Archive for Toy Group
Breed Group: Toy
Weight: Male: 6-9; Female: 6-9 lbs
Height: 10 inches
Color(s): Black, white, apricot, silver, brown, red, gray. The color
may be solid, parti-color, or multi-color
Area of Origin: Central Europe
Date of Origin: 1500s
Original Function: lap dog
Originating in France, the Toy Poodle enjoyed popularity as a gun dog, retriever of waterfowl, and circus performer. They are believed to have descended from a nearly extinct water dog known as the Barbet and the Hungarian Water Hound. Today this breed is primarily utilized as a show dog and companion.
The Toy Poodle displays a proud and dignified demeanor. They are sturdily built and have an elegant and lively gait. This breed is agile, athletic, and spirited. The Toy Poodle’s most distinctive features are their natural drop ears and webbed paws.
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
The pert and peppy toy poodle is one of the brightest and easiest breeds to train. It is alert, responsive, playful, lively, sensitive and eager to please. It is devoted to its family. Some can be reserved with strangers; others may bark a lot.
Poodles need a lot of interaction with people. They also need mental and physical exercise. The toy poodle’s exercise needs can be met with a short walk or even indoor games. This is not a breed that should ever live outside, although it enjoys access to a yard. Its coat should be brushed every day or two. Poodle hair, when shed, does not fall out but becomes caught in the surrounding hair, which can cause matting if not removed. Clipping should be done at least four times a year, with the face and feet clipped monthly. Although most poodles are professionally groomed, owners can learn to groom their own dog.
• Major concerns: PRA, patellar luxation, Legg – Perthes, epilepsy
• Minor concerns: trichiasis, entropion, lacrimal duct atresia, cataracts
• Occasionally seen: urolithiasis, intervertebral disc degeneration
• Suggested tests: eye, knee, hip
• Life span: 12 – 14 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. The traditional clips stem from the function of the coat in protecting and insulating the dog’s joints and chest.