The image of the poodle has changed greatly over the centuries. Today, many consider him a companion or lap dog. However, this breed is not only externally versatile, but also very intelligent and lively. In the past, he was a real hunting dog.
The poodle is a breed recognized by the FCI dog federation. They are assigned to group 9, the social and companion dogs. Here the Poodle even has a completely independent section within the group, the section 2. Other names by which the breed is known, especially abroad, are Caniche, Barbone or Poodle.
Poodles are divided into 4 sizes. The large or king poodle grows between 45 - 60 cm shoulder height and weighs up to 23 kg. The small poodle can grow 35 - 45 cm tall and weighs up to 12 kg. The dwarf poodles are between 28 - 35 cm and can weigh up to 7 kg. And the smaller Toy Poodles have a size between 24 - 28 cm and can weigh up to 3 kg. Externally, however, the four types of poodles otherwise hardly differ.
The physique of the Poodle is very slender and elegant. The head is narrow tapered. They also have a bright look and long hanging ears.
A distinctive feature of the poodle is its coat. It is long, very dense and curly to woolly. He belongs to the rough-haired dog breeds. According to the breed standard, the following coat colors are allowed as the standard colors black, white, brown, silver, red, apricot. Also black and white, brown and white and black and tan. Other coat colors exist, but are not officially recognized according to the FCI.
The Poodle is a very intelligent and inquisitive dog. It is said that the intelligence of this dog breed is surpassed only by the Border Collie. They are also very affectionate, playful, active, alert and affectionate. This made them popular family and companion dogs. Its positive character traits made especially the large poodle a popular guide dog, assistance dog, disaster dog and tracking dog. The smaller poodle varieties, on the other hand, are very popular therapy dogs.
Poodles are very adaptable and can therefore live well in the big city. Especially the smaller poodle types are best suited for this. However, you should not underestimate the Poodle's urge to move and its playfulness. It should have enough opportunities to let off steam. Several walks throughout the day with play sessions in the park would be ideal.
The loyalty of the Poodle and his unconditional will are concise for him. Due to their attachment and the urge to please, they can be very good companions in everyday life with good training. He likes to learn new tricks and joyfully participates in all activities.
Although the Poodle was originally bred as a hunting dog, its hunting instinct is now very limited. With good socialization, the bright dogs get along very well with their peers. They also get along well with other animals. Although he likes to make himself known by barking, he is not an exaggerated yapper.
Those who would like to keep a poodle, should keep in mind that this breed can become very old. An age of 16 or even 18 years is quite possible. Because the breed is very robust, apart from the risk of some hereditary diseases.
The right food
The diet of poodles is relatively uncomplicated. In essence, it differs little from that of other breeds.
The poodle usually does not tend to be overweight, if kept in a species-appropriate manner. Exceptions to this are neutered males. Due to the changed hormone balance, the metabolism changes. Likewise with older dogs you should pay attention to the nutrition. They are usually no longer so active in old age and the energy requirement decreases accordingly.
In puppy age, the composition of the feed is particularly important. Since puppies are growing, they need a different food composition than adult animals. Special puppy food is therefore useful.
Pure wet food usually has too high a protein content. This is difficult for the stomach to process in these quantities. Dry food, on the other hand, usually contains a lot of carbohydrates and calories. A mixture of wet and dry food is therefore a popular feeding method.
In general, the diet should be balanced and take into account life circumstances and age. An active dog that likes to run and does a lot of sports needs more energy. A companion dog, on the other hand, less, who goes his usual round in the park. Of course, your dog's preferences and tastes also play a role.
About a pig ear or chew bone from time to time your poodle is happy. It's also good for his teeth, because it cleans them playfully and removes plaque. However, you should not offer it too often. It should only be a small variety. For many dogs, the snack also leads to flatulence.
The poodle loses almost no hair. The reason for this is not entirely clear and two explanations exist on the subject. The coat of the Poodle continues to grow steadily and the dogs, unlike other breeds, do not undergo a true shedding process. On the other hand, the coat of the poodle is woolly, so the loose hairs simply get caught in the dense curl.
In both approaches there is a piece of truth. That is why the coat care of poodles is so important. It must be brushed regularly and thoroughly to prevent matting. The coat also grows very quickly, so it needs a shearing from time to time. The ideal would be to go to the groomer every 6 to 8 weeks. However, you should not wait longer than 3 months. If the fur becomes too long, it not only complicates the care, but is unpleasant for the dog and dangerous to health.
In principle, you can do the trimming yourself at home, if it is not to be a special dog hairstyle. In any case, you should go to a professional the first time. You should have everything shown to you in detail before you try it yourself. A trimmer is very sharp and some parts of the dog's body are very sensitive. You could easily injure your dog.
If you only want to keep your Poodle privately, he doesn't necessarily have to wear the typical Poodle hairstyles that you know from magazines and movies. However, if you want to participate in exhibitions, one of the official hairstyles is mandatory. Otherwise he can't win any title.
The grooming program for the poodle is otherwise little different from that of other dog breeds. Since grooming is so important, you should start getting the dog used to it as early as possible. This will make it more enjoyable for both of you. Because such a poodle grooming program is very elaborate and takes time.
For the grooming of poodles you need a good and sturdy brush especially for poodles. This is also called a curry comb.
When choosing a brush, you should consider how short your poodle is shorn. Accordingly, the brush must be able to reach deep into the fur. If it is short, you will not reach the entire length. If the brush needles are too long, it can be painful for the dog.
If you use a brush with natural bristles, it has the positive side effect that your dog receives a soothing massage. It promotes blood circulation to the skin and loosens dead skin flakes. It also strengthens your bond at the same time.
In addition to the brush, you will need a steel comb as coarse as possible. You need it to carefully loosen the small knots from the fur. Also, a small pair of curved scissors to cut the hair between the paws. They grow back very quickly. Not only do they mat easily, but small stones can get caught in them. These can cause unpleasant pain when walking.
If you want to shear your own poodle, you need at least a dog clipper and suitable scissors. But, as already mentioned, this is not a task for a beginner.
Before clipping, you need to shampoo and wash your dog. Therefore, you also need a good dog shampoo that is suitable for sensitive dog skin. Of course, you can also leave this to the groomer, if you visit one.
Origin & History
Where exactly the poodle comes from is not clear. The FCI officially states France as the country of origin. However, the name Poodle is probably a derivation from the old German word. The word stands for puddle and means splash. He got the name from his former work as a hunting dog.
The poodle was a hunting and retrieving dog. Especially for retrieving ducks and other waterfowl he was used at that time. Today's poodle hairstyles are also derived from that time. The coat was shorn very short on the hindquarters and legs to make the dog lighter in the water. At the same time, it was offered more freedom of movement when swimming. In the chest area, on the other hand, it remained longer so that the important organs such as the heart and lungs remained warm.
Allegedly, the poodle was also used as a herding dog for a time. However, there is no clear evidence for this, except for a mention from the middle of the 16th century. Presumably, the poodle was bred in Germany and France.
The poodle has a similarity with the barbet. Therefore, it is believed that the poodle originated from crosses with this breed. Spanish water dogs may also have contributed to the creation of the Poodle. It is said that the origin of all poodle-like breeds is in Spain.
For a long time there was no breed standard for poodles. However, they have been kept for several hundred years as hunting and companion dogs. Already in the Middle Ages, the poodle was appreciated. He was a popular companion dog of the nobility throughout Europe.
It was not until the 19th century that the poodle was purposefully bred to conform to a breed standard. At that time, only two sizes existed: the King Poodle and the Small Poodle. Only later were the other sizes and different color varieties bred. In time, these were also included in the breed standard by the FCI.
The special thing about the different sizes of poodles is that they were created exclusively from pure breeding and not by crossing other breeds. Therefore, poodles are the same both in appearance and temperament, regardless of their size.