Poodle

Origin: FrancePoodle Breed

Type: Working dog ­ – duck and game bird hunter

Height: As the Poodle breed has many types, the size of the dog depends on each particular type. There are standard, medium, miniature and toy Poodles.
Standard – over 15 in / 38 cm
Miniature – 11 to 15 in / 28 cm to 38 cm
Toy – under 11 in / 28 cm

Appearance: The Poodle is a very elegant dog with perfect body proportions ­ the length of body approximates the height from the shoulders to the end of the paws. Eyes are oval and dark with an intelligent expression. The ears are dropped, begin at the eye level and fall down close to the head. The coat is thick, naturally curly and requires regular grooming and shaving. Poodles don’t moult, which makes them a perfect choice for allergy suffers. The coat is also single­-layered and can be solid­colored or parti­colored with a wild variety of colours ­ white, black, brown, parti, silver, gray, silver beige, apricot, red, cream, sable, and patterns such as phantom and brindle.

Temperament: The Poodle is a breed well-known for strong instinctive behaviours ­ it marks its territory and its desire to hunt is stronger than in most other dog breeds. It’s an energetic and playful dog, but this means it can easily get bored Provide your Poodle with long walks, toys and games to keep it happy. Despite their strong instincts Poodles are highly trainable and obedient dogs. They’re known to be protective of their owners and reserved with strangers, needing time to let their guard down. Once a Poodle knows that it’s owner and family are safe they’ll be calm around new faces.

Skills: Poodles are extremely good at any dog sports ­ dog agility, flyball, dock diving, field tracking, and even Schutzhund tests, used to identity dogs suitable for police or rescue work.They’re the perfect companion on hiking trips or swimming, most Poodles love to paddle or swim along with their owners. The breed has been used as a lifeguard dog.

Behaviour Toward Other Animals and Children: Of all sizes of poodle it’s the biggest, the standard, that’s considered to be the most suitable pet for families with children. Standard Poodles are kind and playful dogs, extremely patient, the perfect friend for a child and very gentle with babies. It’s rare to find a Poodle that displays aggression towards other animals.

Common Health Problems: Addison’s disease, gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), thyroid issues (hyperthyroid and hypothyroid), tracheal collapse, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer. Poodles have a tendency to ear infections but these are generally minor and respond quickly and easily to treatment.

Lifespan: Average 11­12 years. Most common causes of death in UK are cancer, old age, GDV, and cardiac disease.


Puppy Training

You can easily teach your puppy the basic commands by playing games. With an intelligent and fast learner such as a Poodle pup, you’re in for a good entertainment. You will need a handful of tasty treats, a ball or two and a friend to play along. Allow 3-4 metres between you and your puppy-training fellow enthusiast for a catch-me game. One of you holds the puppy, while the other one calls it by name. When the puppy comes up to you, reward him with generous treats and hugs. You can add a ball for the puppy to retrieve. Another fun way to get the Poodle puppy to come on cue is a game of hide-and-seek. Play it outside – in your back yard or another enclosed space. When the pup is distracted, hide behind a large object or a tree and wait for him to come looking for you. When he gets close, come out, get down on his level with your arms open, and call him to you. This will help strengthen your bond and teaches your puppy to depend on you.

Poodle Puppy

Before you put a collar and a leash on your Poodle puppy, introduce them to him as something fun so he will know there’s nothing to be afraid of. Choose a light nylon leash and collar and when you see he’s interested in the new devices, place the collar – with the leash attached to it, and walk away. He will try to get out of it but will soon realise he can’t and will stop squealing. At this point, you can start playing a game, such as hide-and-seek, or simply let him follow you around for a treat. Remove the collar and leash after 10 minutes and repeat the routine the next day. After a couple of days of the puppy following you around, you can take the leash. Let the puppy lead you around the house and/or yard. In about a week’s time, you can assert yourself as the leader. Be patient and gentle, and don’t yank him back by pulling the leash.

Poodle Pup

Housebreaking

Poodle puppies should not be separated from their mothers before they’re at least eight weeks old. Housebreaking can start at 10-12 weeks of age. Show him where his food and water bowls and bed are and don’t move them around. He needs to establish a routine and depend on these. Bring the puppy outside to relieve after he wakes up, twenty minutes after meals, and before bedtime. In the meantime, consider that a two-month puppy will last about 2 hours, a three-month one – about 3-4 hours, so take him outside regularly, based on these periods. When you take the puppy outside, make sure to have him on a leash, and each time he shows he is about to eliminate, take him to the designated area. Choose one particular area for him to relieve and don’t let him eliminate in different spots. A Poodle pup should be fully housebroken by the time he turns seven months.

Adult Training

Poodle

When training a poodle, you have to keep him interested and excited. Poodles are highly intelligent and need new challenges, or they will become bored and uncooperative. Ensure a diversity of activities, exercises, and games. Always present your commands in a clear manner; Poodles need to know what is expected of them. If they feel confused or humiliated, they will be discouraged and develop a negative attitude towards training. Never scold or punish a Poodle – they are sensitive dogs and harsh training methods or reprimands will make them shut out. A nervous or agitated dog is not responsive to training.

By the time they turn a year, Poodles should have an understanding of all basic and most advanced commands and you will be able to start teaching tricks if you wish. While commands are necessary for the emotional development of the dog, tricks are optional. Some Poodles will enjoy performing tricks as they relish the praise and smiles they will get.


There are many theories surrounding the origin and history of the Poodle – some suggest the Poodle is a crossing between several European water dogs, others propose the breed originates from the North African Barbet and there are also common speculations that Poodles may be descendants of Asian herding dogs or dogs that were brought to Portugal and Spain out of the Asian steppes. The country of origin has also been a subject of much debate but most historians agree that the breed originated in Germany to establish itself in France, which is now the standardised country or origin.

Poodle 17th Century Engraving

Undoubtedly, Poodles are a very old breed, as evidenced by depictions of poodle-like dogs in Egyptian and Roman artefacts and tombs, dating all the way back to the first centuries B.C. These illustrations and statues show dogs bearing resemblance to modern-day Poodles, herding animals and retrieving water fowl and game nets.

The breed has three main sizes – Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The Standard Poodle is considered to be the oldest one, which was later bred down to the Miniature and Toy sizes. The smaller versions of the Poodle were produced around 1400 by breeding small Poodles to each other, not by out-crossing to other breeds and were favoured by the Parisian bourgeoisie. While the Toy Poodle was used as companion and a “sleeve” dog, the Standard Poodle was used for duck hunting and the Miniature – to discover truffles in the woods. Poodles had also been used as working dogs in the military since at least the 17th century, and in 1942, the Poodle was one of 32 breeds officially classified as war dogs by the American Army.

Poodle 1600s Painting

The gypsies discovered yet another feature of these working dogs – their ability to easily learn and perform tricks and started training them as circus dogs, clipping their coats into extravagant shapes and dressing them in costumes to add flare to the performance. This fashion took off among wealthy Poodle owners and soon patrons were clipping, decorating, and even dying the coats of their Poodle companions.

The first Poodle was registered by The Kennel Club in England in 1874 and the first British club for Poodle fanciers was founded in 1876. In the USA, the American Kennel Club registered their first Poodle in 1886, with the arrival of The Poodle Club of America ten years later only to be disbanded shortly thereafter. The club was re-established in 1931. By the mid-1950s, the Poodle had become the most popular breed in the country, and held on to that position for over two decades.


Food

Poodle Food

Despite the variety of canned and dry food you can buy for your Poodle, it is best that you feed him home cooked meals for the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, and starch he needs. Keep the ratio of 40-45 % meat, 25-30% veggies and 25-30% starch. A good source of protein are organs, such as liver, kidney and brain, and lean meats – white chicken breast and fish. Diversify with vegetables – potatoes, carrots, spinach, peas, and zucchini, and add pasta and rice for the starch. Avoid generic dog food you can buy at supermarkets; it can make your Poodle overweight and even weaken his immune system. Never feed a diet of exclusively wet food – it can upset the dog’ stomach; instead mix some wet food with larger quantities of high-quality dry food.

Health

Poodle Care

Ear infections are widely-spread among all varieties of Poodles, as their non-shedding coats grow into the ear canal and accumulate ear wax and dirt. Regularly clean the ears, plug excess hair, and take the dog to a vet at the earliest signs of infection, such as redness and bad odour. Some of the most serious conditions Poodles are susceptible to include hypoglycemia, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Standard Poodles can be diagnosed with Gastric Torsion-Bloat, commonly known as bloat and often occurring among large dogs, and Addison’s disease, while Toy and Miniature Poodles can suffer from Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease – a degeneration of the bone ends in the hips that occurs in young miniature and small breed dogs.

Grooming

Poodle Grooming

The non-shedding coats of Poodles make them suitable for people with allergies, but also require high maintenance. Most owners opt for a professional groomer but even if you have him professionally groomed, you still need to brush your Poodle daily as the dead hair which collects in the coat quickly makes it matt. There are numerous styles of coat clippings, and many owners simply have it shaved off. Brushing, bathing, and trimming every three to six weeks are necessary for keeping the coat clean and free of tangled excess hair. If you decide to do the grooming yourself, consult a tutorial and acquire a quality pair of scissors, a set of electric clippers and blades, a brush, a comb, and a toenail trimmer. Poodles have weepy eyes and tear-stains will appear under the eyes – the lighter the coat, the more visible the stain. Use non-alcoholic wet wipes to dab the eyes and face every day.


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