The Poodle is a very famous dog breed all over the world. Traditionally, there is a perception that these dogs were bred in France in the Middle Ages but this is not true. In fact, they first appeared in Germany, a long time ago. Although there are several other theories about this fact. Some researchers believe that the ancestors of the modern poodle is the North African Barbet, which came to the Iberian Peninsula, and then reached Gaul along with nomadic tribes or traders, where they were actively used to hunt waterfowl.
Actually, the peculiarity of the history of the poodle lies precisely in this – it was bred just for hunting waterfowl, which is directly related to the following theory. It states that the poodle is the result of crossing many water dogs living in Europe, including Portuguese, Spanish, French, Hungarian, German, and Russian water dogs.
Now we know the poodle as a decorative dog, and it’s hard for us to even imagine that they could once hunt with. However, no matter where the poodle breed came from, they are really ancient animals. Images of these pets can be seen on the tombs of ancient Egypt, as well as on Roman frescoes and in the form of statues.
In the images, poodles hunt with people, sit near children, extract birds from the water, and even help to graze cattle. It is not exactly known when this breed reached Europe but around the beginning of the 15th century in France, the poodle was already popular among the aristocracy. It was the French who began to breed smaller types of this breed – miniature, and then “toy” variants.
The smallest variety was bred solely for the purpose of surprising the nobility. They did not carry any useful functions. By the way, breeding was carried out exclusively between representatives of the poodle breed, by selecting the smallest individuals. Large poodles were used while hunting ducks, medium poodles were used to search for truffles in the forests, and toy poodles were companions of noble ladies and some gentlemen.
A little later, the poodle became a frequent participant in circus and theatrical performances. Dogs were trained to perform various tricks, and handlers invented all-new, bizarre haircuts, delighting the audience. The first official registration of the poodle breed occurred in England, in 1874.
The Poodle dog breed is small in size, graceful, and has a thin physique. Their limbs are of medium length, and the muzzle is elongated. The Poodles’ ears hang down on the sides of the head. The coat is curly, and the tail is short. There are three sizes of this breed – toy, miniature, and standard.
The Poodle breed has an open and very responsive nature. In the circle of their family, they are incredibly cute creatures with a cheerful disposition who love to fool around and be active. Of course, if their character is not suppressed by the owner while training them, which happens quite often because many people don’t understand the psychology of the animal. They are very sociable animals that seem completely harmless.
However, one should not be fascinated by this feature – it is extremely important not to spoil it because otherwise there is a risk of the dog not behaving. This breed has a very high level of energy, which requires walking, active play, and training. In this way, you will help the dog realize his energy and potential, and he will not make a mess at home every time he is alone.
The poodle gets along well with other dogs but, like most other breeds, they have problems with cats. As such, it is better to socialize this breed with cats from a very early age. They treat children well and will be happy to play and spend time together. But it is better to not leave them alone with children who are too young.
The poodle is very trainable and even needs training, as these dogs have an internal need to perform certain activities. Apparently, this has remained since the time when they used to hunt with people. This breed has a very developed intellect and understands well what is happening around it, as well as understands the words of the owner well.
If the dog gets spoiled, it can sometimes act in its own way, ignoring commands, though. Sometimes their intelligence can surprise their owner. The poodle has an excellent memory and remembers both good and bad.
If you do not pay enough attention to raising your Poodle, he may consider himself the leader of the family. They must be taught how to behave on the street and at home, as well as taught to perform at least basic commands.
If you so wish, you can well expand the field of study for your dog by teaching it more complex commands as well. But remember that the poodle loves to play and have fun. He is literally always ready not only for work and defense but for games as well. Therefore, during the training process, keep a playful attitude, and a sense of humor and try to not be too strict.
Grooming a poodle is, first of all, caring for its coat. Often the owners resort to various haircuts but combing is a mandatory procedure that should be performed 2 – 3 times a week. In addition, keep in mind that around the eyes the hair constantly gets wet, because the Poodle’s eyes are always a little watery.
Wipe its eyes daily, and sometimes several times a day, with a damp cloth without alcohol. Claws should be trimmed three times a month, and the dog should be bathed 1 – 2 times a week. Also, remember to clean its ears.
The poodle dog breed is prone to certain health problems, including:
- Addison’s disease also known as hypoadrenocorticism;
- Bloating, or volvulus;
- Excessive production of cortisol (stress hormone);
- Idiopathic epilepsy;
- Hip dysplasia;
- Legg-Perthes disease – more common in toy poodles;
- Dislocation of the patella;
- Progressive retinal atrophy;
- Optic nerve hypoplasia;
- Sebaceous adenitis – occurs in 50% of poodles;
- Von Willebrand disease.