Poodles are one of the oldest breeds that were originally developed to retrieve waterfowl. This breed originated in Germany, but only developed into its own distinct breed in France.
No one is really sure of the ancestry of the Poodle, but it is believed that this breed came to be by crossing several European water dogs, including Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, Hungarian, and Russian waterdogs. Some also believe that the North African Barbet was one of the Poodle’s ancestors as well as Asian herding dogs.
No matter its ancestry, no one can deny that the Poodle is a very old breed. Illustrations of Poodle-like dogs retrieving game from marches and herding other animals can be found on Egyptian and Roman artifacts as well as in tombs that date back to the first centuries B.C.
Some believe that the Miniature and Toy Poodles emerged shortly after the Standard, but others seem to think that it is more likely that smaller versions of the breed only emerged in the 1400s to delight the Parisian bourgeoisie.
In France the Standard Poodle’s main job was duck hunting, the Miniature was used to sniff out truffles and the tiny Toy Poodle was a companion for nobility as well as the wealthy merchant class.
It was also discovered by the Gypsies that Poodles are excellent performers. They trained them as circus dogs. These dogs were trained to do tricks, got dressed up, the coat got clipped into fanciful shapes, and dyed to suit the performance. This started a trend with wealthy patrons who started copying the Gypsies to decorate their own Poodle companions.
The first Poodle registration in England was in 1874 and the first British Poodle club was created two years later. No one knows for sure when Poodles first arrived in the U.S., but they were registered with the American Kennel Club in 1886 and the Poodle Club of America was founded in 1896 but fell apart shortly after. It was reestablished in 1931 by Poodle enthusiasts.
These dogs were quite rare in America until after World War II. The breed did however spike in popularity around the mid-1950s and became the most popular breed in the U.S. for more than 20 years.
Unfortunately, Poodles are not exempted when it comes to health problems. Some conditions can affect your dog quite seriously. Here are some of the health conditions that affect Poodles:
This condition is extremely serious and is caused by insufficient production of adrenal hormones.
This condition is also referred to as bloat and commonly affects deep-chested dogs like Poodles. If left untreated, the dog may die.
This condition is caused by an overproduction of cortisol.
This condition is often inherited and can cause mild to severe seizures in Poodles.
This is an inherited condition that causes poorly formed hip sockets and loose ligaments.
Hypothyroidism is caused by an underactive thyroid gland.
This condition is common in Toy Poodles and is characterized by the decreased blood supply to the head of the femur which then starts to disintegrate.
This condition can be inherited and is caused by abnormally long tendons which allow the kneecap to dislocate.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
This is an inherited condition that consists of a family of eye diseases that cause deterioration of the retina.
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
This is a congenital disease that results in the failure of the optic nerve to develop properly.
Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)
This condition is a serious problem in poodles and affects mostly the skin of Standards. It is estimated that 50% of poodles are either affected or carriers of this genetic defect.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
Von Willebrand’s disease is an inherited condition that affects the blood’s ability to clot.
Poodles do well in just about any type of home as long as they have human company. They do, however, need regular exercise to keep them out of trouble. These dogs often prefer being indoors with the rest of the family, this is especially true in the Toy Poodle.
Poodles are extremely intelligent which makes training easy. Unfortunately, this also means that they learn bad habits very quickly. Owners of small Poodles often skip training and end up with very badly behaved dogs.
How much you feed your poodle will depend on the size variety you own, your dog’s age, and activity level. It is best to get your dog a good quality, nutritionally balanced dry food. The bag should give you feeding instructions to work out how much your Poodle can eat without getting overweight.
Due to poodles being prone to bloat precautions should be taken when feeding your dog. It is best to divide their daily meal into two meals instead of one giant meal. Feeding less at one time reduces the risk of developing bloat.
Poodles are an excellent choice for people with allergies. They are known as hypoallergenic dogs and have non-shedding coats. The hair is dense, curly and unlike fur never stops growing.
You can take your dog to be clipped and groomed into various styles or you can learn to do all the grooming yourself. If you have a show dog, you will need to make sure your style is accepted in the show ring.
These are high-maintenance dogs that need regular grooming to keep the coat and skin healthy. Poodles need to be brushed daily and bathed every 3 weeks to keep the coat clean and tangle-free. Most owners pay professionals to groom their dogs for them.
Poodles don’t shed like normal dogs, their loose hair instead gets tangled into the rest of the coat rather than ending up on your couch. This means you need to remove the dead hair regularly to prevent tangles, matting, and the resulting skin problems they can cause.
Poodles often have weepy eyes. To keep the fur under the eyes stain-free and clean you will need to wipe your dog’s face daily with a warm, damp washcloth. Poodles grow hair inside their ears, you will need to remove this hair often and clean the ears to prevent ear infections.
If you want a dog with fresh breath, make sure to brush its teeth at least three times a week. Brushing teeth will also prevent other dental problems. If your Poodle is an inside dog, you will need to pay some attention to the nails. Nails don’t wear down on soft carpets so may need to be clipped regularly to prevent discomfort.
It is best to get a Poodle puppy from a reputable breeder. These puppies may cost more, but you can rest assured that your dog is less likely to develop any serious problems. Reputable breeders make it their goal to screen dogs for any inherited problems before breeding them.
Another cost you will need to consider is grooming. If you will be taking your dog to a groomer it will cost a significant amount every month. Poodles need grooming often to keep them healthy and looking great.
- Poodles have hair instead of fur.
- The Poodle was originally bred as a hunting dog that retrieves waterfowls.
- There was a team of Poodles in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race that takes place in Alaska.
- Walt Disney owned a Poodle.
- Poodles make great service dogs due to their eagerness to please and their extremely high intelligence.