When people think of poodles, they sometimes think, designer dogs with a sassy attitude. They’re wrong.
While Poodles are designer breeds, they have a fun and loving attitude, making excellent family dogs. They are a popular dog breed that is more than looks in competitions and dog shows.
The dog breed also gives advanced intelligence, affection, and loyalty to their human parent. Plus, they are considered hypoallergenic, ideal for people with allergies!
Take a look at these fun facts to learn more about this wonderful breed.
Poodles have such a long, charming history. This breed was depicted in bas reliefs in the 1st century, along with 15th-century paintings. Some people believe they descended from a now non-existent French water dog, the Barbet, and the Hungarian Water Hound.
Contrary to popular belief, poodles originated from Germany. They didn’t originate from France, though considered the national dog there.
The name Poodle originated from the German word, Pudel, short for Pudelhund, a derivative that suggested the meaning, ‘splashing dog.’ French varieties are called Caniche, which is French for ‘duck dog.’
Back then, people bred them to be water retrievers, bringing ducks and birds to their owners. Up to this day, waterfowl hunters have them as their hunting buddies!
The breed comes in 3 recognized sizes, which are:
- Standard Poodle is the largest among the three, over 15-30 inches tall and weighing between 45-70 pounds.
- Miniature Poodle: They are about 10-15 inches tall and weigh between 20-30 pounds.
- Toy Poodle: the smallest among the three. They are less than 10 inches tall and weigh less than 10-15 pounds. This breed, in particular, became royal favorites in the 18th century and beyond.
They are Active
Given their history as duck hunters, expect poodles to be highly active, requiring many exercises. Besides long walks and jogs, they love swimming in cold water, and playing fetch, as they grew up as water retrievers. Expect them to be excellent swimmers that want to do water retrieval exercises.
While they are puppies, they don’t require as much rigorous activity but daily, low-intensity exercise. They will love training and outdoor activities as they grow, but they aren’t demanding and nor require intense workouts.
One of the Smartest Dog Breeds
Poodles aren’t only water retrievers and hunt with waterfowl hunters. They are the second most intelligent dog breed among 138 species, particularly in obedience and work intelligence. Furthermore, they work as service dogs, guide dogs, therapy dogs, and truffle hunters with their keen noses.
Because of their high canine intelligence, poodles are flexible and easy to train. They enjoy mental stimulation and learn commands quickly. People will have a ton of fun training them, whether it’s obedience training, agility training, or teaching them basically to complex orders.
With their intelligence, they also learn how to play more complex games quickly, like hide-and-seek. You can use their willingness to please to teach them many new tricks and games for both of your entertainment. Leverage it to learn complex behavior chains, doggy dance routines, and even help around the house!
They Think They’re Human
Poodles adore their owners faithfully and want to be with them 24/7, making them pet parents’ best friends. They also do well with children, being active and affectionate dogs that devote themselves to their family, considering themselves part of it. If a Poodle feels left out of family activities, they feel frustrated!
This dog breed thrives on companionship, loving attention, and will stay loyal. They will defend their humans with all their might with the dog breed’s affection and attention-loving characteristics.
Also, similar to us, they are friendly with other pets and quite social animals that get along with anyone.
They Show Sympathy
Poodles are particularly sensitive to their owner’s emotions and are in tune with behaviors. They become best friends with you, sitting silently beside you when you feel down or wanting to play fetch when you feel happy.
Even if they are relatively active, they will snuggle up beside you come bedtime.
Poodles love fun, are energetic, and playfully act like clowns, prancing around with toys or holding dog biscuits in their mouths when greeting you.
They have funny personalities and can make you laugh every day.
There are Different Hairstyles
There are many different clip styles to choose from, each having specific rules about where their pompoms and puffs should be. Even the hair length should be exact if you want your dog to compete!
There are three hairdos adult Poodles can carry:
- Continental Clip has a full mantle of hair around their rib cage and chest, with pompoms over their hips, tail, ankles, and knee bracelets. Owners completely shaved off their hindquarters and legs.
- Modified Continental Clip is a shorter variation of the continental clip.
- English Saddle leaves a short coat of hair on the legs and hindquarters.
- Puppy poodles have an official Puppy Clip, an actual length throughout their bodies.
There is also the infamous Poodle cut, which is seen as a canine fashion statement today. However, that traditional cut was more about function and not fashion at all.
Less hair makes Poodles efficient swimmers, though they become vulnerable to cold water. The Poodle’s thick outer coat gets heavy when wet, which is why the bottom half of its body was shorn, allowing them to float. Owners also left puffs of hair around their upper torso and joints to protect those vital parts and organs from getting cold.
Their hair was kept long on their head and chest, along with their ankles, to prevent rheumatism. They also donned a topknot to keep hair out of their eyes as they swam.
An All-Poodle Sled Team Competed in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race
In 1988, musher John Suter entered the Iditarod Dog Sled Race with an all Poodle Dog Sled team. Unfortunately, they didn’t do well because of their cold paws and matted fur, ending up with all dogs dropped off at checkpoints.
That’s why only northern breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes or Siberian Huskies are allowed to join the competition.
They’re Considered Hypoallergenic
Completely hypoallergenic dogs don’t exist, but the Poodle comes closest to that. They don’t have fur, but they have hair with a coarse coat texture. Compared to other dog breeds, they have no undercoat, and they have a water-resistant coat that’s less likely to cause allergies.
Hair and fur have similarities, though hair tends to be smoother and less dense than fur. The major difference is their growth cycle. Poodle hair grows longer but has a shorter growth cycle, resulting in minimal shedding. They shed dander and skin particles every 21 days, compared to other dog breeds that shed 3-4 days.
That way, your dog’s hair won’t fall and spread around the house as quickly, lessening the risk of allergies.
Because of all those characteristics, Poodles are optimum dogs for those who suffer from allergies towards hair and fur. They don’t completely eliminate allergies but compared to other breeds. You won’t suffer from colds and incessant sneezing as often!
That said, they will need more grooming and daily brushing to keep their hair in check. Your dog’s hair coat easily traps dander underneath, and the build-up under that may cause dander-related allergies.
Regular baths are also required to maintain their soft, mat-free coat and clean skin. Other than that, they have no apparent coat issues, and the average person can groom a dog on their own.
The King Loved Them
Elvis Presley loved dogs and had a whole collection. His favorite breed, in particular, was Poodles. While stationed in Germany, he owned one named Champagne, even giving away poodles to those he loved.
Other stars adore these dog breeds, too, such as Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Walt Disney, and Katharine Hepburn.