Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Poodle breed is an agile, athletic dog breed originally developed to hunt birds and today used by French customs in inspections. Loyal and playful, Poodles make great pets for anyone who can schedule time to regularly groom their curly coats.
The Poodle's Behavior
Recommended for: pet, working dog
The Poodle dog breed was originally bred to hunt birds, and today still tends to be fairly athletic and agile. Poodles can also be hard-working, and are used by French customs in inspections. But the Poodle breed also tends to be playful, which sometimes takes away a bit from their competitive spirit in sports. With their families, Poodles tend to be loyal, sometimes to the point of possessiveness. The dogs' coats are famously high-maintenance. The corners of their eyes also need to be wiped clean at least occassionally to prevent buildup of secretions.
Remember that breed only provides a general clue as to any individual dog's actual behavior. Make sure to get to know dogs well before bringing them into your home.
The Poodle's Physical Characteristics
Here are some of the characteristics of the Poodle breed as determined by the American Kennel Club's published breed standard.
* Size: Standard: 15 inches or taller, Miniature: 10-15 inches; Toy: 10 inches or shorter
* Coat: curly or corded
* Color: blue, gray, silver, brown, cafe-au-lait, apricot, cream
* Eyes: very dark, oval-shaped
* Ears: hanging close to the head, set at eye level or slightly lower, long wide, and feathery
* Muzzle: long, straight
* Tail: straight, high-set, carried upward
The Poodle's Origins and History
Country/Region of Origin: uncertain; likely Germany or Russia
Original purpose: hunting birds (gun dog).
Name: from German "Pudel," from "pudeln," meaning "splash about," the Poodle being noted for its skills in water. In Spain and France, it's known as caniche. Other names: Barbone, Pudelhund (German).
Historical notes: though people often think the Poodle breed is 100% French, the breed's actual origins are subject to debate; indeed, the name "Poodle" is German. The breed more likely originated in either Germany or Russia, but it may also have come from the Iberian Peninsula. The Poodle dog breed is related to the Portuguese Water Dog and the Irish Water Spaniel. Today, French customs uses Poodles to search for contraband.