Today, Poodles are thought of as a French breed of dog. However, it is believed that they were originally bred in Germany, where they were used as water dogs (retrievers of waterfowl). Despite the common misconception of Poodles as froufrou dogs, they are actually extremely intelligent; ranked second in extensive tests to ascertain the smartest dog breeds.
As a pet, the Poodle can be a wonderful choice, as it is loyal, affectionate, docile and, as mentioned above, very intelligent. However, before welcoming any new dog into your home, it is wise to research the breed thoroughly to ensure that it is the right animal for you. As a guide to the breed, below you will find a list of the pros and cons of owning a Poodle.
The Pros of Poodle Ownership
As mentioned, the Poodle is very intelligent, subsequently, training is relatively easy and very enjoyable. Poodles are not the most active of dogs and therefore do not require multiple exercise sessions per day. However, the breed does enjoy a medium sized yard to play in. You may have heard a Poodle referred to as a hypoallergenic dog, while this is technically false, it is true that Poodles shed very little and are, therefore, a good choice for owners who suffer from pet allergies. Poodles are very gentle souls that are patient with children and happy to share their homes with other animals.
The Cons of Poodle Ownership
Poodles need to be groomed at least once every six to eight weeks. Similarly, Poodles should be bathed regularly, because if not cared for properly, a Poodles fur can become matted and poorly conditioned. A Poodles nails grow very quickly and will, therefore, need to be trimmed once every two or three weeks. The Poodle is genetically predisposed to certain illnesses, including Von Willebrand’s disease, retinal atrophy, cataracts, skin problems, and allergies.
Types of Poodle
There are three varieties of Poodle: standard, miniature and toy. Standard Poodles stand at 15 inches or taller and weigh at least 20lbs. These dogs were designed as working animals, principally as water retrievers and watchdogs, and latterly as sled dogs and pets. Miniature and toy Poodles, on the other hand, were bred purely as pets and show dogs. The miniature Poodle is between 10 and 15 inches tall and weighs between 12 and 20lbs, while the toy Poodle is smaller still, reaching a maximum of 10 inches in height and 12lbs in weight.
The smaller varieties of Poodle are ideal for city and apartment living. However, a standard Poodle does not need a large home and yard, as it is not among the more energetic breeds. According to the American Kennel Association, all sizes of Poodle should have a pointed head with a long, straight muzzle. The eyes should be egg-shaped and dark in color, while the ears must hang low and close to the dog’s head. Poodles have two coats: a downy undercoat and wiry topcoat, which can be almost any color.
If you intend to show your Poodle, its coat must be clipped and styled in one of the accepted ways. The Continental and English Saddle styles are two of the most popular, both involve the legs being shaved to eave only a ring of fur around the ankles. The fur on the face and tail is also shaved, leaving just a topknot and pom-pom of fur at the tail. Since the 19th century, Poodles have been incredibly popular as pets, in France. Today, they are popular across the globe, as a loving, affectionate and intelligent family pet.