The Poodle dog is a dog with a rich and lengthy history. Much of what we think we know about Poodles is based on facts, but some of that knowledge has stemmed from fable. Learn what’s true and what’s not about the Poodle dog, explore its history, and see if maybe this courageous furry friend is indeed the dog for you.
Myths About Poodles
The first falsehood associated with Poodles concerns their origin. Poodles are not from France as frequently thought, but are a German bred dog, given the name Poodle which is derived from the German word pudel and means to splash in the water.
That leads us to the second Poodle dog falsehood. Poodles were not originally intended as designer dogs or to be purse puppies. The Poodle’s introduction to life was far more hearty and Herculean. Poodles are water dogs and were originally created to fetch water fowl for hunters. The Poodle’s fancy coif is actually more utilitarian than designed for show. The leg pompoms keep the knees and ankles protected from icy waters, the shaved hind end promotes strong swimming strokes, then the fluffy head and shoulders aid in buoyancy.
Basics of the Poodle Breed
Once thought to be the smartest dog, it is now understood that the Poodle is second in intelligence to the Border Collie.
Poodles come in three sizes that are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The largest Poodle dog is the Standard (15 inches or more), the Miniature (10 inches plus) and the Toy Poodle (Under 10 inches).
There are other Poodles bred, such as the Tiny Toy and Tea Cups, but they are not AKC recognized and you won’t find them prancing their stuff across the carpets of the more prestigious dog shows.
Poodles are considered high energy dogs, but most Poodle owners find them rather adaptable and they tend to accept the pace of their environment.
The Poodle dog has a life span of 11 to 15 years and are a considerably healthy dog. According to the Official Poodle Guide most of the health concerns for Poodles are genetic in nature, and it is important for any potential Poodle parent to do some research before choosing where to acquire their new pet.
Poodle dogs are a very good pet dog for those who suffer from allergies as they do not shed, have low dander flux and are considered to be hypoallergenic.
- 15th and 16th Century AD – The Poodle breaks into popularity and is a frequent model for German artists like Albrecht Duer.
- 18th Century – The international appeal of the Poodle becomes evident as paintings from all over the world feature Poodle dogs. Spanish artist Francisco de Goya was very fond of the dog and used Poodles in many of his works.
- 1789 – The Poodle rises in status and become the preferred lapdog of French nobility. (No doubt where the “French” Poodle rumors began) After the Revolution, the elaborate coiffure of the dogs further established the obvious decadence of the aristocrats.
- 1887 – Poodle dogs are first recognized by the American Kennel Club.
- 1940s – Winston Churchill brings even more prestige and dignity to the Poodle breed by owning two in succession; Rufus I and Rufus II.
- 1960s – The Poodle is rated “most popular dog in America”.
- 1990s – The AKC rates the Poodle as the ninth most popular breed, according to their registrations.
Poodle dogs are not for everyone, but for those who love them or are lucky enough to share in the life of one, there is no better dog alive.