Origin: Germany, France
Dog Breed Group: Companion Dog
Life Span: 12-15 years
Weight: Male: 27-32, Female: 18-23
Height: Male: 16-18, Female: 15-17
Origin of Name: The Poodle, called the Pudel in German and the Caniche in French, is a breed of water dog.
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The poodle is France's national dog, and the French make sure they love their poodle. However, there is no such breed as the ""French Poodle"". In France, poodles are known as canachi or ""duck dogs"".
Despite Puddle's association with France, the breed originated as a duck hunter in Germany, where the term ""pudelin"" refers to splattering in water. The Standard Poodle began its development as a reclaimed water dog over 400 years old. With a crisp, curly coat as protection against the elements, superb swimming ability and off-the-chart intelligence, the puddle was, and still is, a superb retriever. (The standard and miniature varieties are classified as a non-game dog and are eligible for the AKC Retriever and Spaniel Hunting Test).
The flamboyant poodle show coat served a practical purpose in the early years of the breed. Hunters wanted their dogs to have free movement of water, but they also wanted to protect important areas of anatomy from freezing. He shaved the legs, neck and tail but left the joints of the chest, hips and feet. Round bunches at the tip of the legs, hips and tail are called pompons. (Note the spelling: Cheerleaders have pom-poms; poodles have pompons.)
Many of the best qualities of the poodle allowed it to be carried from the lake into the lap of luxury. Elegant poodles of standard and miniature varieties were favored by the nobles of France and, eventually, throughout Europe. The show's design and trainingability of the breed made it a natural pastime, and poodles have long been associated with the European circus tradition. An excellent nose gave the puddle additional work as a treble hunter.
The standard was cut down to short. The toy was first introduced in America, in the early 20th century, as a Companion Dog living in the city. Well-bred specimens of each variety are exact replicas of each other and bred to the same standard.