The Poodle is a breed of dog whose origins are unknown. It is often considered a French breed due to the role of the French in the development of the modern breed. It is one of the oldest breeds of dog which has been popular throughout Europe for centuries. There are three sizes of Poodle: standard, miniature, and toy. The breed was originally purposed as a retriever, and is still often used as a gun dog. The name poodle comes from the German word Pudel, which is short for Pudelhund, which means “splashing dog”.
The Poodle is an elegant breed with a dense, curly coat. Despite its lack of shedding, the breed needs frequent and extensive grooming. It is not low-maintenance by any means; the Poodle can require up to 10 hours a week of grooming. It has hair, as opposed to the fur of most breeds, and it can come in many colors ranging from solid to parti-colored. The look of the poodle varies from dog to dog and is dependent on its clip. The breed varies in size with the standard Poodle being 15 inches or more, the miniature standing from 11-15 inches tall, and the toy under 11 inches. The tail of the Poodle is generally docked.
The Poodle is an alert, active, and intelligent breed. It often acts on its strong instincts, yet it is still very trainable. The breed has a high energy level and is eager to please its owner. The Poodle does not generally bond specifically with one person, but rather with its entire family. It loves and needs to exercise and play daily. The breed is remarkably athletic, and due to that athleticism along with its instinct, makes an excellent tracking and hunting dog.
The median lifespan of the breed ranges from 11.5 to 14.5 years depending on its size. The breed may have several health problems which may include: Addison’s disease, cataracts, congenital heart disease, chronic active hepatitis, Cushing’s syndrome, distichiasis, entropion, epilepsy, glaucoma, intervertebral disk degeneration, lacrimal duct atresia, Legg-Calve-Perthes syndrome, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation, trichiasis, urolithiasis, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, gastric torsion, mitral valve disease, osteosarcoma, patent ductus arteriosus, sebaceous adenitis, gastric dilation volvulus, and Von Willebrand’s disease.