Poodle: A Breed Guide
The Proud Poodle: A Breed Guide
Poodles are known for their fluffy and often elaborately groomed coats. But, there is more than just fluff to this breed. Poodles are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds, ranked behind only the Border Collie, according to Science Alert. What can you expect from this clever breed?
While poodles are often considered pampered, luxury dogs today, they got their start like many other breeds: as working dogs. The breed can trace its roots back to Germany, and its name even comes from the German word “pudel” or “pudelin,” according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). The German word means “to splash in the water,” a fitting description for a dog that was bred as a water retriever.
Poodles come in three different varieties, but they are all considered a part of the same breed.
- Toy. Toy poodles, the smallest of the three varieties, weight only four to six pounds. They have a life expectancy of 10 to 18 years, according to the AKC.
- Miniature. Miniature poodles are slightly larger, weighing 10 to 15 pounds, according to the AKC. They have the same life expectancy as their toy counterparts.
- Standard. Standard poodles are far larger than the two other breed variations. Males can weigh up to 70 pounds, while females can weigh up to 50 pounds, according to the AKC. The life expectancy is the same across the entire breed.
Particulars of the Poodle
The poodle’s coat, its most distinctive physical feature, has two components: an undercoat and a topcoat. The undercoat has a wool-like texture, while the topcoat is wirier. This breed’s coat is high-maintenance. You can expect to take regular trips to the groomer to keep your pup’s hair healthy and neat. If you want to adhere to show standards, there are a series of official haircuts to choose from, including the Continental Clip, Modified Continental clip, and English Saddle.
While the coat does take some work, the poodle does minimal shedding. Dog owners with allergies often find this to be an attractive quality. When it comes to color, the poodle’s coat can be different shades of brown, black, grey, white or cream.
While their coats may require some hard work, poodles are hardly prima donnas. These dogs are athletic and loyal. Their intelligence also makes them highly suited to training and learning new skills.
The Poodle Lifestyle
Poodles can fit into many different families. They are both loyal and affectionate. Well-trained poodles are a good fit for homes with and without children. But, keep in mind these dogs are bred to be active. Poodles need exercise every day. They will be happy to take long walks and runs with you. Plus, their history as water dogs makes them well-suited to swimming.
If you are interested in bringing a poodle home, you can search local rescue groups, such as Illinois Poodle Rescue, or find a responsible breeder.
Written by Carrie Pallardy