The Poodle is part of a group of formal dog breeds; the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle and the Toy Poodle. The breed was standardized in France, however it was originally bred in Germany as a type of water dog. In Germany it was known as the Pudelhund. Pudel is derived from the Low German Meaning “to splash about” and the word Hund, meaning dog in German. When the breed was standardized in France, it was commonly used as a water retriever. The breed became very popular and was later established the national dog of France.
The standard size Poodle stands over 15 inches tall at the highest point of his shoulders. The Miniature Poodle is 15 inches or less at the highest point of his shoulders. The toy Poodle is 10 inches or less at the highest point of the shoulders. This breed is very active, smart, and elegant, well-proportioned and squarely built. To achieve the desired square built appearance, the length of the body from the breastbone to the rumps point, approximates the height from the highest point of the shoulders to the floor. Its eyes are very dark and oval, and the dog has an alert, intelligent expression. The ears fold over lying close to the head, and are set at or just below eye level. The coat has a naturally curly texture, and is dense all the way through. This breed only has a single layer coat, unlike most dogs that have a double layer. The poodle also comes in a wide variety of colors including, white, brown, black, silver, gray, beige, parti, apricot, red, sable, cream and patterns such as phantom and brindle. Poodles are bred in many sizes and vary in height; toy, standard, medium, and miniature.
The Poodle is considered to be a highly intelligent, sociable, and energetic breed. The need both intellectual and physical activities. This poodle is reserved with strangers at first, however, after a while they will slowly revel the warm, personable side. The poodle is known to have snappy, vicious behavior, and is considered a serious fault in the breed. Of all the sizes of the breed the Standard Poodle is the most recommended for those families who have children. They love to play games, and have a kind demeanor. Introductions with the dog and babies should be gradual, as with all dogs. However, most Standards will learn to be gentle, and tolerate a baby, and respect younger children as long as they are supervised. As long as the family environment is relaxed, standard, and orderly, the Standard is fine in a family with many children. This breed does not like to be left alone, or not included in family fun, as some will get anxious if left alone in the house. A sign of nervousness is atypical and not how a Poodle of any size should behave.
The Standard Poodle has a median life span of 11.5- 12 years, while the Miniature and Toy Poodles have median lifespans of 14-14.5 years; some Toy Poodles can live up to 20 years. Some common illnesses associated with the breed include, Addison’s disease, cataracts, congenital heart disease, chronic active hepatitis, Chushing’s syndrome, Distichasis, entropion, epilepsy, gastric torsion, gastric dilatation volvulus (Standard), glaucoma, invertebral disc degeneration, lacrimal duct atresia, Legg-Calve-Perthes syndrome, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation, trichiasis, urolithiasis, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, mitral valve disease, osteosarcoma, patent ductus arteriosus, sebaceous adenitis, and Von Willebrand disease.