The winner of Crufts 2002 & 2014 – The Standard Poodle
The Standard Poodle goes back nearly 400 years. The breed originated in Western Europe where they were bred as retrievers. Several countries claim to be the home place of this breed, including Germany, Denmark, and France.
The name “Poodle” likely comes from the German word “Pudle,” which is a word for someone who likes to play in the water. The Poodle certainly fits this description. It was bred to have a moisture resistant coat in order to help maximize its usefulness in water retrieval. The iconic “Poodle Clip” was designed to help the breed swim better by giving a little extra insulation on the leg joints.
When the Poodle wasn’t retrieving game, they were digging for truffles and delighting audiences as a circus performer. Because of the breed’s high intelligence they are very easy to train, making them popular in entertainment. Smaller versions of this breed were created, known as the miniature and toy varieties. These smaller dogs were popular among royalty during the 18th century. Their popularity continues today, as they are 8th most registered dog in the American Kennel Club.
The show standards of this breed call for it to be groomed in a square appearance. This means that the height of the dog at the withers should be the same as its length. The Poodle has a long muzzle, dark eyes, and long, flat ears.
What makes the Poodle stand out from other breeds is their coats. These coats are either curly or corded and they do not shed. This means that these dogs must be groomed and clipped on a regular basis. The coats come in almost any solid color, including black, white, red, silver, grey, and blue.
There are several different clips that are commonly used on Poodles. The most utilized one is called the puppy clip, which calls for the coat to be clipped short and evenly all over the body. The continental clip is instantly recognizable. This clip calls for the back end of the dog to be shaved except for the iconic pom-poms on the legs and tail. Other clips are the summer clip, the modified continental clip, the kennel clip, and the bikini clip.
Poodles are listed as one of the most intelligent dog breeds, second only to the Border Collie. Their quick minds make them very easy to train. They instinctively have a drive to hunt, making training in this area especially simple. This breed is very eager to please and gets along well with children, making them great family dogs. They’re also considered to be suitable for people with allergies..
Although the Standard Poodle is not as energetic as their smaller counterparts, they do need regular exercise to be happy. They like spending time in the water, but they’re perfectly happy to go on a simple walk as well. If they don’t get sufficient exercise they can be a little highly strung. This breed is very sensitive, and will be easily hurt if they sense anger in their owner’s voice.
The Standard Poodles is a relatively long-living breed, although they are prone to several ailments. Hip dysplasia, cataracts, allergies, skin conditions and ear infections are all common problems among these dogs.
As you might imagine, the fact that Poodles are so intelligent makes them very easy to house train. They also get along quite well with strange people and strange dogs alike. They’re very playful dogs and enjoy a good game of catch every now and again. Time spent with family is crucial to this breed: they do not do well if left alone in a kennel.