Dog Breed Guide – Poodle

Dog Breed Guide - Poodle

Everything You Need To Know About Poodles

Poodles are the 7th most popular dog in America.

They are loved for their friendly natured and high intelligence.

Their origin varies with some arguing they came from France while others note that they came from Germany.

They were originally bred as working dogs for duck hunting owning to their excellent swimming skills.

They were bred form the Barbet (the French water dog) and the Hungarian water hound.

Physical Attributes

Poodles come in three distinct sizes: Standard, miniature and toy poodles.

Poodles are approximately 18 to 20 inches long from the shoulders. Females weigh40 to 50 pounds while males weigh 60 to 70 pounds.

Miniature poodles are 10 or 11 inches to 15 inches and 12 to 20 pounds (5 to 9 kilograms) while toy poodles are approximately less than 10 inches and about five to seven pounds (2 to 3 kilograms).

They have a waterproof hair coat with tight curls. They are popular for their hypo-allergic fur as it lacks a fluffy undercoat which makes the hair dander unlikely to shed and spread around the home. They come in solid colors such as whites, blacks, silver, apricot, and chocolate.

Their bodies are well proportioned and muscular. They are also notably square-shaped with a long elegant neck and a straight back.

They have a long muzzle, droopy ears, and a leggy appearance. They walk in a spring-like lively gait.

There is docked, fairly long and can wag gaily.

They also have webbed feet which makes them excellent swimmers.

Personality and Temperament

Poodles are highly intelligent and easy to train. They are very active and require daily exercise to burn their high energy levels.

Poodles love learning new tricks and jumps.

They are friendly though toy poodles are known to be aggressive towards strangers. They are very protective of their families and can turn aggressive towards other dogs.

To curb this aggressiveness early socialization is required and a firm hand during training.

They also love to keep the company of their families and usually develop separation anxiety (barking) when left alone.

Grooming

Poodles are known for their high maintenance haircoat that needs regular grooming at least every 6 weeks. 

The good news is that their curly haircoat lacks a fluffy undercoat making it hypoallergic as it does not shed dander all over.

Cutting the hair short makes it more manageable.

However, it should be regularly brushed as the hair has a tendency to matt and can cause a lot of pain to the dog.

Living Conditions

Poodles make great family dogs. They are calm while indoors but require regular daily exercise as they are very active. A house with a compound would be most ideal as they enjoy playing fetch and retrieval games. They also enjoy swimming a lot.

They also require early socialization to be able to interact freely with nonfamily members as well as other dogs.

They do not make good kennel dogs probably owning to their separation anxiety.

They are good jumpers. Owners should provide proper fencing for their homes to prevent them from escaping.

They are prone to separation anxiety, therefore, require someone who is regularly at home.

Poodles are ideal pets for those with allergies as they have a hypoallergic hair coat which does not shed.

Trainability

Poodles are very intelligent, easy to train and pick up skills quickly. 

They were originally bred for retrieval and duck hunting. They also excel in tracking, agility and obedience training.

Early socialization is essential to enable them to develop good puppy behavior and to get along with strangers and other dogs.

They do well with positive reinforcement and rewards. They, however, do not respond to harsh tones but one requires to be firm when training them.

Health Concerns

Poodles are highly predisposed to musculoskeletal disorders such as

  • Hip dysplasia. This occurs when the ball of the hip joint does not fit well into the socket causing it to be dislocated. It is thought to be a genetic disease.
  • Epilepsy: This is also genetic or idiopathic. It occurs when there is a disturbance in brain activity leading to convulsions and loss of consciousness.
  • Addisons disease: This occurs when the adrenal gland is unable to produce enough cortisol in the body. The dog may appear lethargic, depressed, experience digestive problems, etc.
  • Bloat: This is the accumulation of gas in the stomach. It can be life-threatening especially if the stomach twists on itself.
  • Progressive Retinal atrophy: It affects both eyes at the same time and usually leads to blindness. Affected dogs exhibit signs of canine blindness such as night vision problems, bumping into things, dilated pupils, etc. There is no known cure for this condition.
  • Von Willebrands disease: This is a bleeding disorder that commonly affects standard poodles. It occurs due to the absence of a blood protein that helps the blood to clot at the site of blood vessel injury. It is usually inherited.

Conclusion

Poodles came in three sizes: standard, toy, and miniature poodles. They have characteristic curly hair, floppy ears, and a long muzzle. They are leggy and have a square appearance,

Poodles are friendly and very active dogs. They were bred as working dogs and were used for duck hunting and retrieval. They make good family dogs but require early socialization to get along with non-family members and other dogs.

They are very intelligent and are easy to train. They are also very active and require at least 40 minutes of exercise daily.

They are prone to separation anxiety making them poor kennel dogs. They thrive in homes with a compound where they can run and play fetch. They are also very good jumpers therefore proper fencing is required to prevent them from jumping over.

They have a hypo-allergic coat as they rarely shed hair. This makes them a bit low maintenance. However, they require frequent hair brushing as their curly hair is prone to matting and forming knots.

Poodles are also prone to various genetic diseases. If planning tp adopt a puppy always research on the health status of the mother. Such disorders include hip dysplasia, thyroid disorders, etc.

Dr. Winnie
About Dr. Winnie 347 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone

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