Archive for Non-sporting Group
Breed Group: Non-Sporting
Weight: 45-65 lbs
Height: 15-21 inches
Color(s): any solid color
Area of Origin: Germany and Central Europe
Date of Origin: 1500s
Original Function: Water retrieving, performer
This ancient breed appears in three varieties: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The Standard is the oldest. The Poodle was originally developed to be a water dog that retrieved game fowl. Favored by royalty as well as gypsies, this versatile breed was able to master many tasks and trades and maintain a reputation as a fine companion.
The Poodle is an agile, athletic, and graceful breed. They are considered to be one of the most intuitive, attentive, and intelligent breeds. Lively and playful, they have a tremendous sense of humor and a true love of life. Poodles are a breed of distinction, elegance, and dignity.
Although the poodle is most often identified with France, its earliest ancestors were probably curly-coated dogs from central Asia that assisted with herding and followed many routes into various parts of Europe. Interwoven in their ancestry are also several rough-coated water dogs. Perhaps the earliest incarnation of the poodle was the barbet, a curly-coated dog distributed in France, Russia, Hungary and elsewhere. It is the German version, however, that exerted most influence on the modern poodle. In fact, the word poodle comes from the German word pfudel, meaning “puddle” or “to splash,” probably reflecting the dog’s water abilities. In France, it was known as caniche or chien canard, both referring to its duck-hunting abilities. Thus, from herding and water roots the poodle became a talented water-hunting companion. The poodle was also drawn into service as a military dog, guide dog, guard dog, wagon puller for performers and, eventually, as a circus performer. Its coat was shorn close to facilitate swimming, but left slightly longer on the chest for warmth in cold water. Although some believe the puffs of hair around the leg joints and tail tip were for protection when hunting, compelling evidence suggests that they arose as decoration during the poodle’s performing days. The poodle found favor as an elegant companion for fashionable ladies. It became favored by French aristocracy and eventually became the national dog of France. Its characteristic clip was accentuated, and a successful effort was made to perfect the smaller specimens. Poodles entered the show ring in the late 1800s. Some of the early show poodles were shown in corded coats, in which the hair is allowed to mat in long thin tresses rather than be brushed out. While eye-catching, the upkeep was difficult and the trend died out by the early 1900s, being replaced by the bouffant styles still in vogue. At the same time poodle popularity in America waned, so that by the late 1920s, poodles had almost
Among the very smartest and most obedient of dogs, the standard poodle combines playful exuberance with a zest for life’s adventures. It retains its hunting heritage and loves to run, swim and retrieve. It gets along well with everyone, although it is somewhat reserved with strangers. It is excellent with children.
All poodles need a lot of interaction with people. They also need mental and physical exercise. A brief but challenging obedience or play session, combined with a walk, should be part of every poodle’s day. Standard poodles will need more exercise and may especially enjoy swimming. No poodle should live outdoors. The show poodle should preferably be brushed every day or weekly for shorter coats. Poodle hair, when shed, does not fall out but becomes caught in the surrounding hair, which can cause matting if not removed. The pet clips are easier to maintain and can be done every four to six weeks.
• Major concerns: sebaceous adenitis, gastric torsion, Addison s
• Minor concerns: distichiasis, entropion, cataract, CHD, epilepsy
• Occasionally seen: PDA, vWD
• Suggested tests: skinpunch for SA, eye, (hip)
• Life span: 10 – 13 years
Form and Function
The poodle is a square-proportioned dog with proud carriage and elegant appearance. It should move with a light, springy, effortless stride. The poodle stems from working retriever stock, and its conformation should reflect its athletic background. The coat is curly, harsh and dense; if corded, it should hang in tight even cords. The traditional clips stem from functional and decorative tradition; acceptable clips for show purposes are the puppy (for puppies only), English saddle, Continental and (for some nonregular classes only) sporting.