The Poodle is even-tempered, fun-loving, lively and intelligent. Poodles are easily trained and quickly learn to perform tricks. They bond closely to their family and can be acutely sensitive to their owners mood. The Poodle is trouble-free in terms of getting along with other dogs, pets, strangers and children. They make delightful companions with their intelligence and adaptability. Poodles should not be kept in a yard alone as they thrive on companionship and attention and their natural spirit can be destroyed if deprived of this.
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Poodles that are being shown need to be clipped according to the breed style, which takes considerable skill and knowledge and is usually best left to a professional groomer. Poodles that are kept as pets are commonly trimmed short, leaving the hair longer on the head, the ears and legs. If these dogs are left untrimmed the harsh-textured coats will grow vastly in length. The teeth need to be checked for tartar and the ears should be kept clean. The advantage of these dogs is that they don't shed hair. The coat on a Poodle can be washed quite often.
Poodles live happily in flats or small apartments as they don't demand a great deal of exercise. They still need some exercise outside of the home such as walks to the park. These dogs generally excel in obedience classes.
Poodles are believed to have originated from the old Spanish water dogs. They got their name from the German word 'pudeln' which means to splash in the water. This breed were excellent retrievers of injured water birds and ducks. A smaller variety was produced later which became the forerunner of the Miniature version we know today. Hunters shaved off most of the hair on the hindquarters to help these dogs perform better in water. They left the hair on the chest and front parts of the body for warmth and sections of hair on the leg joints for protection against injury. The custom of tying a bright ribbon on the topknot, was for identification of their dogs when at work retrieving. These customs have been maintained over the years for Poodles being shown today.
General Appearance: Elegant, finely chiselled and proud.
Color: Black, silver, blue, white or cream with black pigmentation. Or brown and liver and matching pigmentation.
Coat: Frizzy, dense, fine, woolly and harsh in texture. The coat can be clipped to suit different tastes.
Tail: Set high, commonly docked and carried away from the body at a slight angle.
Ears: Set low, long, wide and hanging close to the head. Covered in long, wavy hair.
Body: The body is longer than the height and the shoulders are muscular and sloping. The back is short and slightly hollowed behind the withers. The ribs should be rounded with a deep chest. The loin is muscular and broad and the croup is rounded.
- Poodles are regarded as one of the most difficult breed-standard patterns to achieve (if not the most difficult).
- This breed is commonly recommended for people who are allergic to dog hair or dust as the Poodle does not shed any hair.
- The Poodle is known for it's intelligence and can be taught a variety of skills from water-retrieving to circus tricks. They appear to enjoy performing with the praise and laughter that it brings.
- Different clips for Poodles include: lamb clip, lion clip, puppy clip and continental clip. The puppy clip is always popular for those owners who aren't showing their dogs.