Poodles—there’s no mistaking that classic silhouette. Although they are sometimes the butt of a joke or two, Poodles are an extremely intelligent breed with lots to offer a pet parent. In fact, after compiling this breed breakdown, a Poodle just might have gotten added to my Christmas list!
Poodles Are the New Black
1. Poodle enthusiasts make artwork out of their pups! This creative grooming turns Poodles into everything from Lady Gaga to the cast of Madagascar.
2. One of the first nods to these poised pooches in pop culture was through the iconic 50’s poodle skirt.
3. There have been TONS of celebrity Poodle owners throughout the years including Liz Taylor, Picasso, Walt Disney, Marie Antoinette, and even Patrick Swayze.
4. The King – Elvis – is also known for being a fan of this breed with quite the collection at his home in Graceland.
5. Elvis even had a Poodle named Champagne when stationed in Germany.
6. He was also known for giving them as gifts to the women he fancied. Check out Priscilla Presley below!
7. Poodles have also graced the big screen in films such as Interview with a Vampire, The Burbs, and Zoolander.
8. In the late 80’s a man named John Suter decided to enter the Iditarod with an all poodle sled team. Unlike the Jamaican Bobsled team in Cool Runnings, they didn’t do so hot in the cold elements.
9. There has since been a rule implemented for dog safety that only northern breeds such as the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute are allowed to race.
10. An awe inspiring story of intelligence among this breed lies with the teacup Poodle, Nala. Although never trained to operate an elevator, Nala somehow figured it out on her own and uses it to visit the residents at a local nursing home.
You Say Poodle I Say Puddle
11. There are a lot of theories on the Poodle’s lineage. Some historians believe that one of their ancestors is the North African Barbet. Others believe they are a cross of several European water dogs.
12. It is also commonly believed that Poodles descended from Asian herding dogs that traveled with Germanic tribes to eventually become German water dogs.
13. While their ancestry might not be completely certain, it IS certain that Poodles are an extremely ancient breed. Illustrations of Poodle-like dogs have been found on Egyptian and Roman artifacts and tombs dating back to the first centuries B.C.
14. Don’t judge a book by its cover though—Poodles might look like frou-frou pups, but they were actually bred to be working dogs. Hunters would use them to retrieve various water fowl.
15. The French also had a specific use for each of the 3 sizes of Poodles.
16. The Standard Poodle was utilized for duck hunting.
17. The Miniature’s job was to sniff out truffles in the woods.
18. The Toy Poodles had it the easiest as companions to nobility and the wealthy merchant class.
19. Despite their association with French culture, Poodles are actually from Germany.
20. In their home country, Poodles are referred to as ‘pudel’… which is German for puddle.
21. In France, Poodles are called ‘caniche’ which means duck dog.
22. Poodle owners during the Renaissance would carry their toy poodles in their large shirtsleeves leading to the nickname “sleeve dogs” (mental note: get Poodle and put in sleeves).
23. Poodles were the most popular breed in the country for 20 years starting in the mid-1950s.
24. However, it wasn’t until after World War II that the Poodle became popular in the U.S. Before then, they were fairly rare.
25. Poodles are in the category of Companion Dogs.
26. Have allergies? No problem? Poodles are mostly hypoallergenic.
27. This is for two reasons. First, the dander that would normally float around your house causing you to sneeze (ew) becomes trapped in the Poodle’s curly coat.
28. Secondly, Poodles do not shed like most dogs. They still lose hair daily (like humans), but it is typically much less – which means less floating fluff.
29. The Poodle has also been bred with other dogs such as the Golden Retriever (Goldendoodle), Cocker Spaniels (Cockapoo), and Wheaten Terriers (Whoodle) to make interesting and hypoallergenic mixes.
30. Unfortunately, while Poodles are mostly hypoallergenic, some people (very few) can still be allergic to them.
31. This can happen due to the fact that dander isn’t just found on the skin, but is a protein that can be found in a dog’s saliva and urine as well (think of it as pet pollen).
32. Poodles enjoy a good vacation (my kind of dog). They love riding in cars, and Toy Poodles can even be taken on airplanes in carry-on bags.
33. Speaking of traveling, if you have a Miniature or Toy Poodle, you can even buy doggie car seats to keep them safe and in style on your next road trip.
34. Ever wondered why your Poodle hesitates before going out in the rain? It’s not due to their delicate nature or a fear of getting their hair wet. Since dogs have such acute hearing, the rain amplifies sound and hurts their ears.
35. Your Poodle will put his tail between his legs if he is frightened. This is to cut off the scent glands that can identify the individual dog. Think of it like hiding your face when you’re insecure – the face-palm of the dog world.
Ooh La La
36. Originally hunting companions, Poodles weren’t bred for their appearance until the 19th century.
37. A Poodle’s coat can come in many colors including black, white, gray, silver, brown, and cream.
38. Some owners even opt to use pet safe dye to change the shade of their white pups.
39. The color of a Poodle’s coat will often change from what it is as a puppy.
40. When a pup keeps the same color, it is known as “holding”.
41. When the coat fades or lightens to another color, it is known as “clearing”.
42. The iconic grooming pattern of the Poodle is one that is either loved or laughed at. But it isn’t just for fancy looks. These haircuts originated to avoid having wet fur weigh the dogs down while still offering protection to vital areas from freezing marsh water.
43. Poodle hair is curly, wiry, and dense and lends well to being trimmed and clipped into many different shapes and styles.
44. Like humans, a Poodle’s hair doesn’t have a genetically determined length. It will just keep growing.
45. Poodle’s can also don stylish dreadlocks. This is referred to in the Poodle world as cording.
46. If you intend to show your Poodle, however, you should be aware that the American Kennel Club only allows four specific clip styles for competitions.
47. The poodle is the only pooch that comes in three size options – standard, miniature, and toy.
48. Standard Poodles are over 15 inches tall at the shoulder. The average height is between 22 and 27 inches.
49. Miniature Poodles are over 10 inches tall at the shoulder, with an average height of 13-15 inches.
50. Toy Poodles are 10 inches and under at the shoulder.
51. The Poodle has an elegant build with a somewhat rounded skull and a long and straight muzzle.
52. The ear type in Poodles is flat – hanging close to the head.
53. A Poodle’s walk is described as light and springy.
A Certain Je-Ne-Sais-Quoi
54. Poodles are extremely intelligent, second only to the Border Collie.
55. This intelligence makes them highly easy to train. So much so that in the 1800s circuses would dress them in miniature human clothing and teach them to act out elaborate scenes.
56. The words that breed enthusiasts use to describe the Poodle are intelligent, loving, loyal, and mischievous.
57. Poodles are also known for their ‘air of distinction’—a dignified attitude—that is easy to spot in the dog.
58. Poodles are generally affectionate, but can take a while to warm up to new people.
59. Because of their apprehension towards strangers, Poodles make good guard dogs. They are very protective of their homes and families.
60. Poodles are gentle and make great companions for children.
61. Miniature Poodles are the most active of the three sizes and are better suited to small children than the smaller Toys, since they aren’t as fragile.
62. Standard Poodles are usually good with other dogs and cats.
63. Be aware that some Standard Poodles can be a little on the sensitive side. They can startle easily if touched unexpectedly.
64. Adult Poodles sleep approximately 13 hours a day.
Combing that Coif
65. Poodles are born with a puppy coat that looks and feels much different than their future adult coat. It is much softer and less curly.
66. At 9 months old, the coat of the Miniature and Toy Poodle will change over to their adult coat —this process then takes around 9 months.
67. For Standard Poodles, the change begins sometime between 9 and 16 months and only lasts 3 months.
68. Female Poodles can sometimes experience coat thinning and hair loss due to hormonal changes associated with birthing puppies.
69. The clip that is required by the AKC is referred to as the “Lion Trim” and comes in 4 variations: the Puppy Clip, the Continental Clip, the Modified Continental Clip, and the English Saddle.
70. The other clip variations are not recognized for show dogs but include The Sporting Clip, Poodle Scandinavian Clip, Kennel Clip, Lamb Clip, Bikini Clip, and the Dutch Clip.
71. You should make sure to apply a coat conditioner to your Poodle to keep her hair soft and tangle free.
72. Your Poodle’s hair will become brassy or yellow as she matures. This is a natural part of the aging process.
73. Color enhancing shampoos can work wonders to keep a white coat shiny and bright.
Poodles Behaving Badly?
74. Poodles can suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone for extended periods of time.
75. One of the most common reasons for a Poodle to bark is “Trigger Barking”. This term means that something—whether it is a situation or a noise—is causing your pooch to bark.
76. Miniature Poodles and Toy Poodles have a more mischievous nature than Standards.
77. If Poodles are too spoiled, they are likely to assume that they are the alpha dog of the family. So even if your pooch won’t be performing under the big tent, make sure to implement some sort of obedience training.
78. Obedience training is also essential to keeping your pooch’s mind active. You know the saying about idle hands…or in this case…paws? Basically, a bored Poodle is a badly behaved Poodle.
79. One of the bad habits Poodles are notorious for learning is nipping (biting).
80. Poodles go through an extremely hyper stage from ages 8 weeks to 1 year.
81. Like most dogs, toy Poodles and Miniature Poodles are considered puppies until they are 1 year of age.
82. However, Standard Poodles mature a little slower and will remain in the puppy stage until they are 2.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Poodle
83. Poodles have a lifespan of 12-15 years.
84. Smaller breeds of dogs tend to live longer. This is also true for Poodles. Standards generally live 12 years on average whereas toy Poodles live 16.
85. How much you feed your Poodle depends a lot on what size she is. Standards should get 1.5 – 3 cups of dry food per day divided into two meals, Miniatures ¾ to 1 cup per day in two meals, and toys ¼ to ½ cup divided into two meals.
86. Your Poodle will be ready for regular doggie dental care beginning at 2 months old and will have its adult teeth by 8 months.
87. Poodles tend to have more hair in their ears than other dog breeds. This hair can interfere with hearing and healthy air flow in the ear canal.
88. With this in mind, make sure to keep your Poodle’s ears groomed. You can either invest in a professional service or do it yourself.
89. Because their coat is so curly, ingrown hairs are fairly common among Poodles.
90. You’ll want to make sure to bathe your Poodle once every 3 weeks. This allows time for the natural body oils to nourish the hair and skin but not too much time that it clogs the pores. (Yes, dogs can get clogged pores too!)
91. This breed also has particularly weepy eyes. To avoid stains—especially in the lighter colors—gently wipe the face daily with a washcloth and warm water or specially designed pet wipes.
92. While your Poodles are known to be mostly hypoallergenic… over 20% of dogs suffer from allergies themselves.
93. The 5 main categories that can trigger allergies in your Poodle are contact, flea, food, inhalant, and bacterial.