BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: Etymologically, the French word “caniche” (Poodle) comes from “cane”, the French word for a female duck. In other countries, the name of the breed is associated with splashing around in water. Originally, this dog was used for wildfowling. It descends from the Barbet of which it has conserved many characteristics. In 1743, it was called the “caniche”: the female of the barbet in French. Thereafter the Barbet and the Caniche (Poodle) were gradually separated. Breeders worked hard to obtain original subjects of uniform colour. The Poodle became very popular as a companion dog because of its friendly, joyful and loyal character and also because of its four sizes and different colours which everyone can choose according to preference.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Dog of medium proportions, with a characteristic frizzy coat which is either curly or corded. The appearance is that of an intelligent dog, constantly alert and active, harmoniously built, giving an impression of elegance and pride.
- The length of the muzzle is approximately 9/10ths of that of the skull.
- The length of the body (scapular ischial) is slightly superior to the height at withers.
- The height at withers is practically equal to the height at the croup.
- The height at the elbow is 5/9ths of the height at withers.
BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: A dog renowned for its loyalty, capable of learning and being trained thus making it a particularly pleasant companion dog.
HEAD: Distinguished, rectilinear and in proportion to the body. The head must be well chiselled and neither heavy nor excessively fine.
CRANIAL REGION: Skull: Its width is less than half the length of the head. The entire skull, seen from above, appears oval and seen from the side slightly convex. The axes of skull and muzzle are slightly divergent. Superciliary arches: Moderately pronounced and covered with long hair. Frontal furrow: Wide between the eyes, narrowing towards the occiput ,which is very pronounced. (In Miniatures it can be slightly less pronounced). Stop: Only slightly pronounced.
FACIAL REGION: Nose: Developed, vertical profile; open nostrils. Black nose in black, white and grey subjects; brown nose in brown subjects. In orange fawn (apricot) or red fawn subjects the nose is brown or black. Muzzle: Upper profile is perfectly straight; its length is approximately 9/10ths of that of the skull. The branches of the lower jaw are almost parallel. The muzzle is strong.
The lower profile of the muzzle is determined by the lower jaw and not by the edge of the upper lip. Lips: Moderately developed, rather tight, of medium thickness with the upper lip resting on the lower lip without hanging over it. Black in black, white and grey subjects; brown in brown subjects. In orange fawn (apricot) and red fawn subjects, the lips are more or less dark brown or black. The corner of the lips must not be pronounced. Jaws/teeth: Scissor bite. Strong teeth. Cheeks: Not prominent, shaped on the bones. The sub-orbital regions are chiselled and very slightly filled. Zygomatic arches very slightly pronounced. Eyes:Keen expression, placed at the level of the stop and slightly oblique. Almond shaped. Black or dark brown colour. In brown subjects the colour may be dark amber. Eyelids: The rims are black in black, white and grey subjects. In orange fawn (apricot) or red fawn subjects they may be brown or black. Ears:Rather long, falling along the cheeks, set on in the prolongation of a line going from the top of the nose and passing under the outer corner of the eye; flat, widening after the attachment and rounded at the tip, they are covered with very long, wavy hair. The leather should reach the corner of the lips.
NECK: Strong ,slightly arched after the nape, of medium length and well porportioned. The head is carried high and proudly. The neck, without dewlap, is of oval cross section. Its length is slightly less than that of the head.
BODY: Well porprotioned. The length is slightly superior to height at withers. Withers: Moderately developed. Back: Short. Topline harmonious and taut. The height at withers is practically equal to the height from the top of the croup to the ground. Loin: Firm and muscled. Croup: Rounded but not falling away. Forechest: The point of the sternum should be slightly prominent and set rather high.
Chest: Reaching the elbow; its width is equal to 2/3 of depth. In Standard Poodles, the perimeter of the thorax, measured behind the shoulders, should be superior by 10 cms to the height at withers. Oval cross section, broad at dorsal part. Belly & Flanks: Tucked up but not excessively so.
TAIL: Set on quite high at the level of the loin. It can be either natural or docked by 1/3 closest to the body or by 1/2 of its length in countries where tail docking is not forbidden. When standing the tail is low; in action it is raised obliquely.
FOREQUARTERS: General appearance : Perfectly upright and parallel, well muscled with good bone. The height from the elbow to the ground is slightly more than half the height at withers. Shoulders: Sloping, muscular. The shoulder blade forms an angle of approximately 110° to the humerus. Upper arm: The length of the humerus corresponds to that of the shoulder blade. Carpus (wrist): In continuous line with front of forearm. Metacarpus (pastern): Strong and almost upright seen in profile. Front feet: Rather small, firm, of short oval shape. Toes are well arched and tight fitting. The pads are hard and thick. The nails are black in black and grey subjects. They are black or brown in brown subjects. In whites the nails may be any colour in the range from horn colour to black. In the orange fawns and red fawns they are brown or black.
HINDQUARTERS: General appearance : Hind legs parallel seen from behind; muscles developed and very apparent. The hock joint is relatively well angulated; the coxal-femoral, tibial-femoral and tibial-tarsal angles should be pronounced. Upper Thigh: Well muscled and strong.
Metatarsus (rear pastern): Rather short and upright. The Poodle should be born without dewclaws on the hind legs. Hind feet: See front feet.
GAIT/MOVEMENT: The Poodle has a light and springy gait.
SKIN: Supple, not loose, pigmented. Black, brown, grey and orange fawn or red fawn Poodles must be pigmented in accordance with the colour of their coat. In white Poodles, a silver coloured skin is sought after.
COAT: HAIR: Curly Coats: Profuse of fine, woolly texture, very frizzy, elastic and resistant to pressure of the hand. It should be thick, well furnished, of equal length and form even curls. Corded Coats: Profuse of fine, woolly texture and dense, forming characteristic cords which should measure at least 20 cm.
COLOUR: Solid colour: black, white, brown, grey, orange fawn (apricot) and red fawn. Brown: Should be deep, rather dark, uniform and warm. Beige and its paler derivatives are not admitted. Grey: Must be uniform, deep, neither blackish nor whitish. Orange fawn: Must be uniform without tending to pale fawn, cream or red fawn. Red fawn: Must be uniform over the entire body. It must never tend to orange fawn. Eyelids, nose, lips, gums, palate, natural orifices, scrotum and pads are well pigmented.
SIZE: Standard Poodles: Over 45cm up to 60cm with a tolerance of +2cm. The Standard Poodle must be the enlarged and developed replica of the Medium Poodle of which it retains the same characteristics. Medium Poodles: Over 35 cm up to 45cm.
Miniature Poodles: Over 28cm up to 35cm. The Miniature Poodle must display the apprearance of a reduced Medium Poodle, retaining as much as possible the same proportions and without presenting any sign of dwarfism. Toy Poodles: Over 24 cm up to 28 cm (sought after ideal: 25cm) (with a tolerance of -1cm). The Toy Poodle maintains, in its ensemble, the aspect of a Miniature Poodle and the same general proportions complying with all the points of the standard. Any sign of dwarfism is excluded; only the occipital protuberance may be less pronounced.