Breed Portrait Of Poodles: Character, Appearance, Origin

A poodle is a “granny dog”? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! If you buy a poodle, you get a highly intelligent and absolutely loyal companion. We are fans!

There has always been a dispute among dog lovers as to which breed of dog is the most intelligent. There are many candidates. The poodle is definitely one of the absolute favorites.

His intelligence, character, and looks make him a popular family and companion dog, whose virtues are sometimes quite underestimated in the canine world.

But what poodle sizes are there? Who are the ancestors of these dogs and why is the poodle a perfect family pet? In our breed portrait of the poodle, you will find out all the important information about the breed and what makes it so unique and endearing.

How big is a poodle?

Not all poodles are the same. The dog breed is one of the few that comes in multiple sizes.

  • The male king poodle has a height at the withers of between 45 – 60 cm (bitches: 40 – 50 cm),
  • the miniature poodle has a height at the withers of between 35 and 45 cm (30 – 40 cm),
  • the miniature poodle between 28 and 34 inches (26 – 30 cm) and
  • the toy poodle between 24 and 28 inches (18 – 24 cm).

How heavy is a poodle?

The different sizes are also reflected in the weight of the poodle.

  • Standard poodles can weigh up to 27 kg
  • miniature poodles up to 12 kg,
  • Miniature poodles up to 7 kg and
  • Toy poodles up to 3 kg.

As with size, female poodles are on average lighter than males.

What does a poodle look like?

The poodle’s appearance is largely determined by its curly, frizzy coat. That’s his trademark. The fur of this dog is very dense, soft, and fine. It hardly sheds at all.

The coat colors of the poodle

If other breeds often only have a few fixed coat colors, the poodle is literally a true rainbow: Its coat comes in the colors:

  • Black,
  • White,
  • Brown,
  • Silver colored,
  • apricot,
  • reddish,
  • black and white harlequin and
  • black-brown black-tan.

The body shape of the poodle

The actual shape of the poodle is often not even noticed due to all the curly fluff. Some people are surprised when their darling is clipped short for the first time. Because the dog breed has a very slim, elegant body with a flat stomach and straight back.

The poodle’s head

The face is narrow with a long, pointed snout, large floppy ears, and slightly slanted eyes.

By the way: Regardless of whether it is a Standard Poodle, a Small Poodle, or a Miniature Poodle, the different variants of the dogs only differ in their size and weight, not in their physique.

How old does a poodle get?

The life expectancy of the breed is high, with the Standard Poodle living an average of around 13 years and the Small Poodle types can even live up to 17 years.

What character or nature does the poodle have?

It’s a bit surprising that the breed isn’t THE most popular pet in Germany these days, because it boasts such a wide range of positive and endearing traits that it easily outshines many other dog breeds in the breed portrait.

The nature of the poodle is shaped by

  • high intelligence,
  • Loyalty,
  • people-relatedness and loyalty to the family,
  • willingness to learn and docility,
  • Friendliness,
  • meekness and
  • Playfulness.

His reference persons mean everything to him and the poodle usually encounters new people and animals in an open-minded and curious way. Aggressive behavior towards other creatures is not in its nature and only occurs when its owners neglect it or raise it incorrectly, or the breeder has done fundamental things wrong.

There is hardly any hunting instinct in dogs and it can be channeled very well through good training or suitable games. Rather, the dog has a pronounced play and fetch instinct, which is why you should have a good throwing arm because your dog is guaranteed to bring you rows and rows of sticks when you go for a walk.

Its intelligence, balance, and gentleness make the curly-haired an ideal service and family dog, which is primarily used as a therapy and companion dog, but also as a rescue and protection dog.

Due to their ability to learn quickly and the will to please their people at all costs, the dogs are easy to train and well suited as beginner dogs.

Where does the poodle come from?

The origins of the dog breed have not been clearly clarified to this day and there are various approaches and attributions. A popular theory is that today’s poodle descended from the French water dog, the barbet, as both body shape and coat type are very similar.

Although still unclear, in the 1930s the FCI identified France as the breed’s country of origin, while the British Kennel Club, in turn, put the breed’s origins in Germany.

The name of the breed, which is common in the Germanic languages, probably comes from the old German “puddle”, which can be translated as “splash”, while in Romance the breed name is based on the French “Caniche”. “Cane” is a French term for a female duck.

It is certain that the dog breed was originally used as a water retriever for duck hunting, especially in France and Germany. The front body, heart, and lungs of the poodle have well protected from the cold water thanks to the dense, curly fur. The rear part of the poodle has been clipped short to improve mobility in the water.

This clipping pattern has been preserved to this day, although it is now almost exclusively used for “show dogs”. Poodles that live as family and service dogs are usually allowed to keep their cuddly fur completely.

Poodle: The right attitude and training

Oh, if only all dogs were as easy to train as the curly-haired ones. Because of its intelligence and willingness to work together, the poodle learns new orders and commands faster than average.

He absolutely wants to please his master and mistress and be guided by them. This makes education particularly easy. It is therefore usually a real pleasure for both you and your fur nose to learn new tricks.

Give your dog a consistent but loving upbringing. It is best to start with the puppy when it comes to you from the breeder.

When keeping the breed, it is particularly important to encourage and challenge the animals mentally. If they get bored a lot, the dog could end up exhibiting undesirable behaviors. You should therefore always incorporate intelligence games for the dog into everyday life.

Space required for the poodle

Depending on their size, poodles need different amounts of space, although the king poodle does not necessarily need a castle with a garden. If he has his own place with close contact with his family, gets fresh air every day, and is mentally challenged, he is also happy with a big city apartment.

A lot of exercises are a must for all poodle variants, best combined with fetch games, which they love more than anything.

The dog school is particularly good for the breed, as they are mentally trained here, can let off steam and at the same time come into contact with other people and dogs.

What care does the poodle need?

Most of the grooming for this dog breed is focused on the coat. Since poodles don’t shed and their fur continues to grow constantly, regular clipping is necessary every six to eight weeks, but at the latest every three months, so that the fur does not become matted. In summer, the fur should be clipped shorter than in winter, otherwise, the clipping pattern is left up to you.

The previously popular “lion cut” is now (except perhaps for show dogs) frowned upon and unaesthetic. Instead, poodle owners are increasingly letting their darlings roam around with a natural cut.

Because of the thick fur, you should check the dog more closely for injuries, inflammation, or parasite infestation, as these are often invisible under the thick hair.

What typical diseases does the poodle have?

Hip dysplasia, which is typical for large dog breeds, can occur particularly in standard poodles. Be sure to choose a reputable breeder to minimize the risk.

With the smaller poodle variants, there is an increased possibility of going blind from an eye disease. This applies to the so-called progressive retinal atrophy and cataract disease.

A breed-specific disease is sebadenitis, which causes hair loss in dogs. Overall, however, fluffy dogs are among the very healthy and robust dog breeds with a long life expectancy.

How much does a poodle cost?

Depending on the breeder, prices for puppies vary between 650 and 3,000 euros. The smaller poodle variants start from 650 euros to an average of 1,100 euros, while standard poodle puppies can cost between 1,100 euros and 3,000 euros.

As with all dog breeds, there are additional maintenance costs, whereby the necessary costs for care, for example shearing in a dog salon, should be taken into account in the case of poodles. Prices can range from 30 to 150 euros per clip.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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