- History of the Poodle
- Five Basic Types of Poodle
- Physical Traits and Characteristics of Poodles
- Should You Choose A Poodle?
When you think of a Poodle do you see the cute circus dog performing with the clowns or maybe the elegant canine strutting around the show ring? You may even envision your own Poodle lounging next to you on sofa. All of these images would be a correct representation of the breed. This ancient and noble breed has wormed its way into our hearts and homes showing off their amazing smarts and loyalty time and again.
The American Kennel Club has listed the Poodle as the #6 most popular dog breed in the United States. The Poodle also holds the #2 spot for being the smartest dog breed in the world. Who would not want one of these amazing canines? The Poodle even comes in different sizes to fit your family and home. Having had Miniature and Toy Poodles for over 12 years, I can tell you they are the most interesting and fun dog breed I have had the pleasure of owning and training. These canines are exceptional and so very loyal to their family.
Breed Information: Poodle
|Lifespan||12-14 years – Standard|
13-15 years – Klein (Moyen)
15-18 years – Miniature, Toy, Teacup
|Health Concerns||Hip Dysplasia|
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
von Willebrand Disease (vWD)
Thyroid and Adrenal Gland disorders
|Size||Over 15” tall; 40-70 pounds – Standard|
15”-20” tall; 20-30 pounds – Klein (Moyen)
10”-15” tall; 10-15 pounds – Miniature
Under 10” tall; 4-6 pounds – Toy, Teacup
|Colors||Black, Apricot, White, Café au lait, Silver, Fawn, Blue, Brown, Red, Beige, Silver Beige, Gray, Cream.|
History of the Poodle
The Poodle is one of the oldest purebred dog breeds in the world. There is a bit of controversy surrounding the Poodle’s exact origins. Some claim its ancestors came from central Asia, while others say the Poodle is a German breed, but in the end it is France that gets the credit for these amazingly intelligent and loyal dogs. One theory that has a lot of substance is that the Poodle’s ancestors were Asian herding dogs that migrated into Germany and then down into France.
The popularity of the breed skyrocketed during the 18th and 19th centuries when they were bred as water dogs or gun dogs to retrieve fowl from the water for hunters. During the 19th century, Poodles began their circus career due to their intelligence and willingness to learn new things. French nobility were given their first glimpse of the Poodle during these circus acts. French royals and nobles became enamored with the Poodle, making it the official national dog of France. The Poodle made its way to the United States with French immigrants during the 20th century. But the popularity of the Poodle did not explode until after World War I. Today, the Poodle is listed in the Top Ten Most Popular Dog Breeds according to the American Kennel Club.
During the 19th century, some Poodle breeders began the process of “shrinking” the breed to create a smaller version. Thus the Miniature Poodle and the Klein or Moyen Poodle was created. Many German breeders did not like the size of the Standard or Miniature Poodle so they began breeding dogs that were between those two sizes, calling them Klein or Moyen Poodles, meaning medium. The Toy Poodle was created to be a lap dog but since they were bred down from the larger Poodles, do still have the working nature of their larger cousins.
Five Basic Types of Poodle
According to the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club the Poodle comes in three varieties: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. You may occasionally hear a Poodle referred to as a Teacup, which is a small Toy Poodle, or as a Klein or Moyen Poodle, which is either a larger Miniature or a smaller Standard. Each variety has the same look, just in a different sized package.
1. Standard Poodle
Standard Poodle is considered a medium-sized dog with a regal appearance. They must be over 15 inches tall at the withers at adulthood and males should weigh between 60 and 70 pounds, females should weigh between 40 and 50 pounds. The Standard Poodle is exceptionally smart and excels in obedience, rally, and other dog sports. They are also successful in the conformation ring. They easily learn tricks to keep their owners entertained and are very loyal to their family. Training a Standard Poodle is very easy and also necessary for a well-adjusted family member.
2. Miniature Poodle
Miniature Poodle is considered a small to medium-sized dog with the same regal appearance as its larger cousin. They are 10 to 15 inches tall at the withers at adulthood and should weigh between 10 and 15 pounds, both males and females. These clever dogs will leave their owners in stitches over their antics. Playful, full or energy and super loyal, the Miniature Poodle is a delight to have in your home. Training is a must or your Miniature Poodle will run the household. They do require a lot of one-on-one interaction and training to ensure they are social and well-adjusted.
3. Toy Poodle
Toy Poodle is the smallest of the recognized AKC recognized Poodles. This small-sized dog definitely does not see themselves as small; they will take on the world and can become quite barky if allowed. The Toy Poodle is less than ten inches tall at the withers at adulthood and should weigh between four and six pounds. Despite their size, the Toy Poodle does require training so they are a well-adjusted member of the family and have a job to perform. While the Toy Poodle is thought of as just a lap dog, they were bred down from the Standard Poodle and do need a job to perform each day to keep them happy. They do not generally do well with small children and can become nervous or snappy if they feel unsafe or have been allowed to run the home.
4. Teacup Poodle
Teacup Poodle is still a Toy Poodle, just a smaller size than what is recommended in the breed standard. Many breeders call true Toy Poodles Teacups because it was a great advertising gimmick. Then more and more breeders found a thriving market for these pint-sized Poodles and began indiscriminately breeding Teacup Poodles. True Toy Poodles are four to six pounds. Many people classify the Teacup Poodle as under six pounds. Unfortunately, many of the tiny Toy and Teacup Poodles have been found to have health and temperament problems. A Teacup Poodle is not recommended for a household with small children as they can become snappy and defensive when they feel threatened.
5. Klein or Moyen Poodle
Klein or Moyen Poodle is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). Moyen means medium in French and sums up this Poodle’s size perfectly. They are between 15 and 20 inches tall at the withers at maturity and between 20 and 30 pounds. The Moyen Poodle has been in existence for about as long as the Miniature Poodle and was created for those who felt the Standard Poodle was too large and the Miniature Poodle too small. This loyal breed is extremely smart and loves learning new things. They do require a significant amount of exercise and training to keep them from becoming bored.
Physical Traits and Characteristics of Poodles
Poodles of all sizes are true comedians, they love playing tricks on their fellow canines and their humans. They pick up new games quickly and are an extremely intelligent breed. Owners of Poodles know that their canines need a specific amount of exercise and attention each day for them to be well-adjusted family members. Poodles do not do well in a kennel situation or stuck in the backyard all day. They crave attention and need to be with their people. Socialization is extremely important for all sizes of Poodles but more so for the smaller sizes as they can become aggressive and unmanageable without proper socialization and training.
2. Lifespan of a Poodle
General rule of thumb when thinking about the average lifespan of a Poodle is 12 to 14 years for a Standard, 13 to 15 years for a Moyen and 15 to 18 years for a Miniature, Toy, and Teacup. However, your dog’s lifespan will be determined by the type of care, nutrition, exercise, and genetics behind them. Poodles that are allowed to become couch potatoes and not get enough exercise may not live as long as active Poodles. Also, Poodles that have genetic problems or are poorly bred may also not have as long of a life. You will want to keep your poodle in their optimal weight and feed a premium diet to ensure they do not develop serious health issues from an unhealthy diet or lack of exercise. Check out the best dog foods for Poodles.
3. Basic Care
Essentially, Poodles are easy keepers and do not require a lot of upkeep. They are a non-shedding breed which means their hair does not float through the air and get on everything from clothing to furniture. Their dander is also low making them a good choice for people with allergies. They do require regular grooming and clipping. You will want to brush your Poodle at least once a week and bathe them at least once every four to six weeks. Be sure to read about the best shampoos for your Poodle before heading to the store. You will want to have them clipped every three to six weeks. If you choose to keep them in the Continental (frou-frou) cut, there is a lot more maintenance. The basic puppy cut is one of the easiest Poodle cuts to maintain and keeps you from having to run to the groomers every few weeks. You can also find the best dog clippers for Poodles and trim your Poodle at home.
4. Exercise Needs
The amount of exercise your Poodle will require is based on their size, age, and health concerns. Puppies require a lot of exercise but you need to be careful that they do not overdo it and strain themselves. Puppies are still developing their bones and muscles and can quickly overtax their bodies and can become injured. Be mindful of your Poodle puppy’s limits and do not push them too hard. Strenuous walks or games can cause harm to a puppy’s joints, muscles, and bones. Healthy adult Poodles will require the most activity to keep them healthy and happy. Plan exciting training sessions, hike along the beach, or organize a Poodle play date to get your Poodle off the couch and moving. Senior Poodles do require the least amount of exercise, but they do still need to get up and move, even if it is for short periods of time. Play modified games with your senior Poodle or take a short walk down to make sure they are getting the exercise they need to stay healthy. Exercise for Poodles comes in many different forms, from taking long walks to doing zoomies in the back yard to actually performing tasks. Most Poodles enjoy the water, so set up a swimming pool for them and teach them to swim then hit the beach or lake for a day of swimming, relaxing, and pure fun.
5. Health Concerns
Overall, Poodles are a generally healthy breed. There are some health issues that are more prevalent in the breed and should be watched for, your veterinarian should be aware of these conditions and know to check at each appointment for any possible signs of development. Some of these conditions or diseases can be tested for to ensure your Poodle is free from these genetic disorders. Poodle mixes are also susceptible to these conditions so have your Poo-mix checked regularly.
Conditions and diseases to watch for include:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- von Willebrand Disease (vWD)
- Thyroid and Adrenal Gland disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
- Orthopedic disorders
6. Training Your Poodle
Poodles are truly one of the smartest dog breeds in the world and they need daily social interactions and stimulation for them to be happy and well-adjusted. A Poodle’s training should begin as a small puppy with a reward-based system. Poodles work best when they are praised for their good deeds and given rewards such as a treat or a toy. Be sure to spend about 10 minutes each day working with your Poodle puppy on their new skills. As your Poodle grows, you may decide to take them to formal training class but remember to keep practicing their new skills at home. Once your Poodle has their basic manners, or obedience, mastered, then you can start teaching them cute tricks to impress friends and family. Make sure you keep training sessions short and upbeat. Always end your training sessions on a positive note and be sure to give lots of praise. Your Poodle loves to hear that they are a good boy or girl!
Should You Choose A Poodle?
Unfortunately, that is a decision that nobody else but you and your family can make. From my own personal experience with Poodles, I will always advocate for this majestic, loyal, and intelligent breed. I have had Poodles for over 12 years and think they are the smartest breed I have ever had the honor of owning, training, and showing. They want desperately to please you and they will do all they can to make you laugh and show that they adore you. The Poodle is considered hypoallergenic and makes fantastic pets for those suffering from allergies. The Standard, Klein (Moyen), and even Miniature Poodle make fantastic companions for children, provided the children know how to respect animals. Essentially, a Poodle is easy to housetrain, obedience train, and is relatively a healthy breed. Do your research when searching for a Poodle to add to your family and find the right one for you. Talk with other Poodle owners and Poodle breeders and determine if a Poodle is the right dog for you and your family.