Elegant. Proud. Clever. The Poodle is an impressive dog, as the many best-in-show winners of this dog breed can attest. But behind the blue ribbons, impressive hairstyles, and regal demeanor, you will find an affectionate family dog with an ancient history and many talents.
The Poodle is one of the oldest breeds, developed specifically for hunting waterfowl. Most historians agree that the Poodle originated in Germany, but developed into a separate breed in France.
Many believe the breed is the result of crosses between several European water dogs, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Hungarian, and Russian water dogs. Other historians believe that one of the Poodle's ancestors is the North African Barbet, which was imported to the Iberian Peninsula. The breed then made its way to Gaul where it was used for its hunting abilities.
Although some say that the Dwarf and Toy Poodles came into existence shortly after the standard, many believe that it was not until the 1400s that breeders began producing smaller versions of the Poodle - first the Dwarf and then the Toy Poodle - to please the Parisian bourgeoisie. The Toy and Dwarf varieties were created by breeding small Poodles with each other, not by breeding Poodles with smaller breeds.
Intelligent, loving, loyal and mischievous are four words that Poodle lovers use to describe the personality of the breed. The Poodle is also known for a dignified demeanor that is difficult to describe, but easy to recognize in the dog.
Despite his appearance, the Poodle has a funny disposition and loves to play - he is always up for a game of any kind. He is also very fond of people and eager to please. Combine that with his legendary intelligence, and you have a dog that is very trainable.
- Hip dysplasia (developmental hip disorder)