Definitions

poodle

poodle

[pood-l]
poodle, popular breed of dog probably originating in Germany but generally associated with France, where it has been raised for centuries. There are three varieties, differing in size only. The standard poodle, classified in the nonsporting-dog group (see nonsporting dog), stands over 15 in. (38.1 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 40 to 55 lb (18.1-24.9 kg). The miniature, also listed in the nonsporting-dog group, stands from 10 to 15 in. (25.4-38.1 cm) high at the withers and weighs from 14 to 16 lb (6.4-7.3 kg). The toy poodle, which is classified as a toy dog, stands up to 10 in. (25.4 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 6 lb (2.7 kg). The profuse coat is dense and hard-textured and may be any solid color. If left untended, the coat will grow out in matted, ropelike cords. The poodle is clipped in a variety of styles (e.g., the puppy trim, the continental clip, and the English-saddle clip), a practice now carried out largely for show or aesthetic purposes but originally for utilitarian value. The poodle was widely used in France as a waterfowl retriever, but its heavy coat required clipping so as not to hinder the dog's progress through water. The poodle has also been raised as a circus and vaudeville performer and as a hunter of truffles. Today it is usually kept as a companion and pet. See dog.

Standard poodle

German water retriever. Poodles have a long muzzle, hanging ears, and docked tail. The dense, solid-coloured, wiry topcoat covers a woolly undercoat. Poodles' hair was traditionally clipped to permit them to swim efficiently when retrieving; today they are usually clipped in ornamental patterns. A dog with unclipped hair, which forms ropelike cords, is called a corded poodle. The standard poodle is more than 15 in. (38 cm) tall and weighs up to 70 lb (32 kg); the miniature stands 10–15 in. (25.5–38 cm); the toy is under 10 in. (25.5 cm) and weighs about 7 lb (3 kg). The poodle is the national dog of France, where it was once trained to scent and dig up truffles. Poodles are regarded as the most intelligent of all domestic dog breeds.

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For the political insult see [[poodle (insult)].
The Poodle is a breed of dog. Despite the use of the word poodle as a political insult, the poodle is regarded as one of the most intelligent breeds of dog. The poodle breed is found in small, medium, and large sizes, and in many coat colors. Originally bred as a type of water dog, the poodle is skillful in many dog sports, including agility, obedience, tracking, and even herding. Poodles are elegant in the conformation ring, having taken top honors in many shows, including Best in Show (BIS) at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 2002 and BIS at the World Dog Show in 2007.

History

Poodles are retrievers, or gun dogs, and can still be seen in that role. The poodle's appearance made it popular as a circus dog and pet for the wealthy. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale lists the country of origin as France, but some experts believe poodles may have originated in Russia or Iberia; Germany is also frequently cited, including by the American Kennel Club, since the breed's English name has German origins. (The name poodle comes from the German word pudel, short for pudelhund or "splashing dog", reflecting the breed's development from a water dog; the word pudel is related to the English word puddle.) However, most sources concur that the French are responsible for developing the modern breed into its current form, and developing the different sizes. The French name for the poodle is caniche, referring to ducks and the poodles' water dog origins.

Characteristics

Appearance

Most poodles have dense, curly, non-shedding hair (not fur) that grows year-round and requires regular grooming. Most are solid-colored, and many registries only allow solid colors in conformation shows. "Parti" (short for parti-colored) poodles have large patches of colors different from the main body color. "Phantom" poodles have the color pattern of a black-and-tan dog, although not necessarily black and tan. Solid-colored poodles may either "hold" their color (i.e., stay more or less the same throughout their lives) or "fade" or "clear" to a lighter shade. Usually the ears and the thicker guard hairs hold more of the original color than other hair.

The tail is usually docked in the US, less often in Europe, and tail docking is now illegal in the UK. These days, tails, when docked, are left much longer than in times past. "Bunny like tails" (very short-docked tails) are now rarely seen except among puppy mill pet shop dogs. Poodles have drop ears, which are never cropped.

Poodle sizes

Unlike many breeds, poodles come in a variety of sizes, distinguished by adult shoulder (withers) height. The exact height cutoffs among the varieties vary slightly from country to country. Non-Fédération Cynologique Internationale kennel clubs generally recognize three sizes, standard, miniature, and toy, sometimes as sizes of the same breed, and sometimes as separate breeds. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognizes four sizes of one breed, standard, medium, miniature, and toy. Only the Fédération Cynologique Internationale describes a maximum size for standard poodles.

The terms royal standard, teacup, and tiny teacup are marketing names, and are not recognized by any major kennel club.

Comparison of Poodle sizes defined by major kennel clubs
Size Fédération Cynologique Internationale The Kennel Club (UK) Australian National Kennel Council New Zealand Kennel Club Canadian Kennel Club American Kennel Club United Kennel Club
Standard, Grande 45cm to 60cm (+2 cm) (18ins to 24ins) over 38 cm (15 ins) 38 cm (15 ins) and over 38 cm (15 ins) and over over 15 inches (38cm) over 15 inches (38cm) over 15 inches (38cm)
Medium, Moyen 35cm to 45cm (14ins to 18ins) not used not used not used not used not used not used
Miniature - Dwarf, Nain 28cm to 35cm (11ins to 14ins) 28cm to 38cm (11ins to 15ins) 28cm to under 38cm (11ins to 15ins) 28cm to under 38cm (11ins to 15ins) over 10ins to under 15ins (25.4cm to 38cm) over 10ins to 15ins (25.4cm to 38cm) over 10ins up to 15ins (25.4cm to 38cm)
Toy 24 cm to 28 cm (11ins to 14ins) under 28 cm (11 ins) under 28 cm (11 ins) under 28 cm (11 ins) under 10ins (25.4cm) under 10ins (25.4cm) under 10ins (25.4cm)
All the Fédération Cynologique Internationale poodles are in Group 9 Companion and Toy, Section 2 Poodle. All the Kennel Club poodles are in the Utility Group. All three sizes of poodle for the Australian National Kennel Council and the New Zealand Kennel Club are in the Non-Sporting Group. The Canadian Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club place standard and miniature sizes in the Non-Sporting Group, and the toy size in the Toy Group. The United Kennel Club places the miniature and toy in the Companion Group and the standard poodle in the Gundog Group.

Coat

Unlike most dogs, which have double coats, poodles have a single layer (no undercoat) of dense, curly fur that sheds minimally and is hypoallergenic. Texture ranges from coarse and woolly to soft and wavy. Poodle show clips require many hours of brushing and care per week, about 10 hours/week for a standard poodle. Poodles are usually clipped down as soon as their show career is over and put into a lower-maintenance cut. Pet clips are much less elaborate than show and require much less maintenance. A pet owner can anticipate grooming a poodle every six to eight weeks. Although professional grooming is often costly, poodles are easy to groom at home if one has the proper equipment.

Show clips

Many breed registries allow only certain clips for poodles shown in conformation. In American Kennel Club shows, adults must be shown in the "Continental" or "English saddle" clips. Dogs under 12 months old may be shown with a "puppy clip." The United Kennel Club (US) allows in addition a Sporting Clip, similar to the puppy clip, with the fur trimmed short for hunting dogs. The American Kennel Club allows the Sporting Clip in Stud Dog and Brood Bitch classes as well.

Some sources believe the show clips evolved from working clips, which originally provided warmth to major joints when the dogs were immersed in cold water. The rest of the body is shaved for less drag in the water. Others express skepticism at this theory (if poodles need to warm their joints, why do other water dogs such as Labrador retrievers not require this same precaution?), instead citing the French circus as the origin of the entertaining and unique clips.

Second Puppy
This clip is also called the Scandinavian clip or puppy clip. It was invented by Swedish and Norwegian show groomers in the 70th. This clip is the most common one in all sizes for shows in Europe and is allowed for adult poodles to be shown in the FCI countries. The face, throat, belly, feet and the base of the tail are shaved 5 to 7 days before the show to get a nice smooth appearance of the shaved areas. The hair on the head is left to form a "topknot" that is fixed by using latex bands, in most European countries hair spray is banned. The rest of the dog is shaped with scissors.

In the picture above you can see an medium sized female poodle (37cm) that is groomed by one of the inventor of this clip.

Continental clip
In the continental clip the face, throat, feet and part of the tail are shaved. The upper half of the front legs is shaved, leaving "pompons" around the ankles. The hindquarters are shaved except for pompons on the lower leg (from the hock to the base of the foot) and optional round areas (sometimes called "rosettes") over the hips. The continental clip is the most popular show clip today.
English Saddle clip

The English saddle clip is similar to the continental, except for the hindquarters. The hindquarters are not shaved except a small curved area on each flank (just behind the body), the feet, and bands just below the stifle (knee) and above the hock, leaving three pompons. This clip is now rarely seen in Standard Poodles.

Pet clips

Pet clips can be simple or as elaborate as owners wish. The hair under the tail should always be kept short to keep feces from matting in the poodle's curls. Most owners also keep the feet and face clipped short to prevent dirt from matting between toes and food from matting around the dog's muzzle. Beyond these sanitary requirements, desired clips depend on owners' preferences. Some owners maintain a longer clip in winter than summer, which they groom often with a wire slicker brush to remove tangles and prevent matting.

Corded coat

In most cases, whether a poodle is in a pet or show clip, hair is completely brushed out. Poodle hair can also be "corded" with rope-like mats similar to those of a Komondor or human dreadlocks. Though once as common as the curly poodle, corded poodles are now rare. Corded coats are difficult to keep clean and take a long time to dry after washing. Any poodle with a normal coat can be corded when their adult coat is in. Corded poodles may be shown in all major kennel club shows.

Temperament

Poodles are intelligent, alert, and active. Historically, their aptitude has made them ideal for performing in circuses across the globe for centuries. Otherwise notable is this breed's keen sense for instinctual behavior. In particular, marking and hunting drives are more readily observable than in most other breeds. Even Toys will point birds. Classified as highly energetic, poodles can also get bored fairly easily and have been known to get creative about finding mischief.

Poodles are extremely people-oriented dogs and generally eager to please. They are excellent watchdogs, but unlike some working breeds, don't usually become "one-person" dogs when they are part of a family. Standard Poodles in particular tend to be good with children. Poodles are adaptable and easy to train. Like most dogs, they appreciate daily exercise, such as a walk or a play session. Most are fairly agile and athletic.

Toy Poodles will play ball and love to fetch. Play time is vital, but one must be sure that they get plenty of rest following long play periods and that fresh water is available at all times.

Potty training can be difficult in many dogs, but the poodle is one of the easiest to train. Whether going outside or being trained on a pad, they learn quickly where to relieve themselves. However, they are still animals, and they need time to understand what you want from them. It may take a while, but poodles are quite smart and learn more quickly than most dogs.

Health

The most common serious health issues of standard poodles (listed in order of the number of reported cases in the Poodle Health Registry (as of August 20, 2007) are Addison's disease, gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV = bloat/torsion), thyroid issues (hyperthyroid and hypothyroid), tracheal collapse, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer. Standard poodles are also susceptible to some health issues usually too minor to report to the poodle health registry. The most common of these minor issues are probably ear infections. Ear infections are a problem in all poodle varieties. Ear problems can be minimized by proper ear care. A veterinarian should be consulted if the dog shows signs of an ear infection, lest a minor issue turn into a major issue.

Addison's Disease

Addison's disease is (as of August 20, 2007) the illness most commonly reported to the Poodle Health Registry. The number of reported cases of Addison's disease is nearly twice as high as the next most common problem (GDV). Addison's disease is characterized by insufficient production of glucocorticoid and/or mineralocortoid in the adrenal cortex. Addison's is often undiagnosed because early symptoms are vague and easily mistaken for other conditions. Standard poodles with unexplained lethargy, frequent gastric disturbances, or an inability to tolerate stress should be tested for Addison's. Addison's can cause fatal sodium/potassium imbalances, but, if caught early and treated with lifelong medication, most dogs can live a relatively normal life.

Gastric dilatation volvulus

Standard poodle owners should take special note of the high incidence of GDV (Gastric dilatation volvulus) in this breed. Excess gas trapped in the dog's stomach causes "bloat." Twisting of the stomach (volvulus or "torsion") causes or is caused by excess gas. Symptoms include restlessness, inability to get comfortable, pacing, or retching without being able to bring up anything. The dog's abdomen may be visibly swollen but dogs can bloat or torsion without visible swelling. GDV is a dire emergency condition. If you suspect a dog is bloating, you should not wait to see if he improves. A dog with GDV requires immediate veterinary care. The dog's survival usually depends on whether the owner can get him to the vet in time. It is a good idea for a standard poodle owner to know the route to the nearest 24-hour emergency clinic, so time is not wasted looking for directions.

Longevity and causes of death

Standard Poodles in UK, Denmark and USA/Canada surveys had a median lifespan of 11.5 to 12 years. In a UK survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (30%), old age (18%), GDV (bloat/torsion, 6%), and cardiac disease (5%).

Miniature and Toy Poodles in UK surveys had median lifespans of 14 to 14.5 years. In Miniature Poodles, the leading cause of death was old age (39%). In Toy Poodles, the leading causes of death were old age (25%) and kidney failure (20%).

Some toy poodles can live up to 17 years or even longer if they have a healthy life and are not overweight.

Common illnesses

Poodle hybrids

Hybrid is a new term for an individual dog with ancestry in two different purebred dog breeds, traditionally called a crossbred dog. Poodles are crossed with other breeds for various reasons, and the resulting puppies (called designer dogs) are described by whimsical portmanteau words, such as cockapoo or spoodle (Cocker Spaniel cross), goldendoodles (Golden Retriever cross), and many others.

A cross between a shedding breed and a poodle (which doesn't shed) does not reliably produce a non-shedding (and hence hypoallergenic) dog. Wally Conron, the originator of the Labradoodle (bred in hopes of producing an hypoallergenic guide dog) in 1989, noted that although the first Poodle-Labrador Retriever breeding produced a success, "our next litter of ten labradoodles produced only three allergy-free pups. Traits of puppies from crossbreedings are not as predictable as those from purebred poodle breedings, and the crosses may shed or have unexpected or undesirable qualities from the parent breeds.

Poodle crossbreds (fashionably called hybrids) are not recognized by any major breed registry, as crossbreeds are not one breed of dog, but two. If both parents are registered purebreds but of different breeds, it is still not possible to register a puppy as two different breeds. Some minor registries and internet registry businesses will register dogs as any breed the owner chooses with minimal or no documentation; some even allow the breeder or owner to make up a new "breed name" (portmanteau word).

Famous poodles

References

External links

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