There are three poodle breeds that are recognized by the American Kennel Club: standard, miniature and toy. Standard poodles are over 15 inches tall at the shoulder, while miniature poodles are between 10 and 15 inches tall at the shoulder. Toy poodles are classified as poodles under 10 inches tall at the shoulder.
Poodles are very smart and respond well to obedience training. They are also active dogs and require daily exercise to remain healthy. Standard poodles are the oldest known type of poodle and were once used as water retrievers in Germany. It is thought that miniature poodles may have been used for truffle hunting, and toy poodles were used primarily as performance dogs and in circuses. Poodles have a hypoallergenic coat that has to be professionally groomed on a regular basis. All three types of poodles have solid-colored coats. Common poodle colors include white, black, gray and apricot. The stylized poodle clip was created by hunters who wanted the dogs to be able to move better through the water effectively. This clip shears away excess fur while leaving large patches in strategic areas to cover joints and protect major organs that might be adversely affected by cold weather.