There are many breeds of dogs. There are purebreds, accidental mixed breeds and deliberate mixed breeds. One of the most adored of the purebred dogs is the Poodle. The Standard-sized Poodle is stately, while the Toy Poodles are soft and beg to be cuddled. Having the ability to endear themselves to people, they make extremely good house dogs and wonderful family pets. The Poodle has those special characteristics, but they also have a natural ability to point, retrieve and track on land or in the water.
Larger, or Standard Poodles are primarily classed as Sporting Dogs, while the Miniature Poodle is classed in a group referred to as a Non-Sporting Group. Toy Poodles, including the Teacup variety are members of the Toy Group. In its own right, the Poodle is believed to be a highly intelligent breed of dog. It is easily trained and requires a great deal of mind stimulation, in order to prevent boredom and limit mischievous behavior. Because Poodles are easily trained, they make excellent pets. They were used as early as the 1400s in Germany for the purpose of hunting, retrieving, and as companion dogs. It was not until 1887 that the Poodle was first recognized by the American Kennel Club, and it was not AKC approved until 1984. The Standard Poodle is approximately 15″ in height from the floor to the top of the shoulder, with all dogs being measured accordingly. The Standard Poodle weighs between 45 and 75 pounds. The Miniature Poodle stands somewhere between 10″ and 15″ high, while only weighing an average of 15 to 18 pounds. The Toy Poodle is under 10″ in height and weighs anywhere from 6 to 9 pounds. Of course, the Teacup variety is smaller yet. They weigh on an average of 4 pounds. Poodles are groomed in different cuts and are styled for different purposes, i.e. for show, hunting or in a more relaxed style which denotes a more inactive stage of a Poodle’s life. This type of dog does not shed as much as other breeds and creates less dandruff. They are thought to be naturally hypo-allergenic. They are gentle dogs and make excellent pets. The life span of the Poodle is between 12 and 14 years. Certain health difficulties are characteristic of this breed. They tend to suffer from endocrine imbalances which occasionally lead to Addison’s Disease. Gastric problems, ear infections, cataracts, glaucoma, and joint problems are prevalent. In the end, cancer frequently takes the life of the Poodle. The Tea Cup variety of Poodle is not as prone to disease as are the other two classes. Consequently, it has a longer life span and can live as long as 20 years.
The Standard is the oldest of all of the Poodle varieties. The other two classes are believed to have been in existence for 300 to 500 years. Though the Poodle originated in Germany, possibly with ancesters from Asia, the French standardized the “poodle cut” through high art clipping. Due to the perfection of their artistic clipping and the intense affection that they had for these animals, they adopted the Poodle as France’s Pedigree. Hence, they are frequently called “French Poodles.” Clipping them the way they do allows the dog to be more proficient as a swimmer while keeping their organs and joints warm.
“Poodles have worked in virtually every capacity a dog is capable of filling. From cart-pulling draught animal to parlour-room trickster, from sled dog to assistive guide, from water warrior to rest-home companion, from truffle hound to eminently competent bird dog, and from watchdog to show ring master, the Poodle excels at everything it sets its mind to.”
Poodles are a wonderful breed and a beautiful animal. Though it cannot be denied that whatever the breed of a “chosen” dog, “Dogs are not our whole life, but they (certainly) make our lives whole.” Roger Caras