Poodles – One of the World’s Smartest Breeds

Come with me as I take a look at the Wonderful World of Poodles.

History

Although the national breed of France, the Poodle actually originated in Germany where it was used as a water retriever. Many believe the name “Pudel” comes from the German word “pudel” which means “one who plays in water.”

In fact, the famous “Poodle Clip” was created by hunters to help the breed swim faster and more efficiently. The clip was not created as a decorative element. It was created to protect certain vital organs and joints of the breed in cold water.

The term “French Poodle” comes from France’s capitalization of the breed’s intelligence, trainability and eagerness to perform. The French turned poodles into popular circus performers where they gained notoriety and became Louis XVI and Queen Anne’s court favorites. They have long since been associated with royalty. Even America’s President, Grover Cleveland, owned a poodle.

The Standard Poodle, the largest of the three recognized varieties, is the oldest of the breed. All of the poodle’s ancestors were water dogs known for their swimming abilities.

Characteristics

The poodle is the only breed that comes in three AKC registered varieties. The three recognized types are the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle and the Toy Poodle. The Standard is the tallest, measuring over 15 inches. The Miniature is 15 inches or under, but a minimum of 10 inches. The Toy is under 10 inches.

The breed comes in a variety of solid colors, including white, black, apricot and gray.

The Poodle is an exceptionally intelligent dog that excels in obedience training. Its intelligence and ability to learn makes it one of the most popular breeds in the world. It is considered one of the easiest breeds to train. Also, its hypoallergenic coat makes it a favorite amongst owners. It does not shed, but does require grooming on a regular basis. The breed adapts well to any living conditions, making it an ideal pet for apartments. However, it is an active dog and does require daily exercise.

The Poodle carries itself proudly and has a very distinct air of dignity. The word “elegant” is most often used to describe the breed. The Poodle is known to be shy, but sharp at the same time. Poodles are reserved with strangers and unless trained at an early age, can bark excessively.

The Standard Poodle (Caniche, Barbone, Chien Canne)

The Standard Poodle is considered to be a large dog of high intelligence and trainability. Elegant, strong and good natured, it makes an excellent family dog. It has a thick, soft, curly coat that does not shed but requires daily grooming. The ears are wide and hang close to the head. The eyes are very dark and alert. The feet are compact and the breed has an effortless and delightful gait (like walking on air.)

The Standard Poodle is pleasant, happy and generally easy to maintain. It is a loyal companion but unlike the Miniature and Toy varieties of the breed, can be less sensitive to its surroundings and does not bond to one owner or one household as much. It is considered the calmer of the Poodle varieties. Standard Poodles are friendly and excellent with children and other dogs.

Height: 15 inches

Weight: 45-70 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The Standard Poodle is inactive indoors and even a small yard is acceptable. However they do require daily walks. They are not overly demanding but their temperament is based on their living conditions.

This is a long lived breed but it is subject to certain genetic diseases like most dogs. Cataracts, skin conditions (from allergies to certain shampoos,) hip dysplasia, runny nose and ear infections are common. Also, the breed is subject to bloating, so only feed it two to three small meals a day instead of one or two large meals.

The Miniature Poodle (Caniche)

The Miniature Poodle is considered to be a medium dog of high intelligence and trainability. More cheerful and playful than the Standard variety of poodle, it has a thick, soft, curly coat that does not shed but requires daily grooming. The ears are wide and hang close to the head. The eyes are very dark and alert. The feet are compact and the breed has a spunky gait.

The Miniature Poodle is an amusing, often curious dog. It is a loyal companion that insists on being included in all of its owner’s activities. It can learn tricks effortlessly. It is considered less calm than the Standard Poodle, but not as feisty as the Toy Poodle. Most Miniature Poodles love children and other dogs but they will exhibit jealous tendencies and can display sharp reactions. They can be over playful and must be trained early on that there is a limit to play time. Overall, they are friendly and make excellent pets.

Height: 11-15 inches

Weight: 15-17 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The Miniature Poodle is a good dog for apartment life. They are active indoors but do fine without a yard. However they do require daily walks. They are not overly demanding but their temperament is based on their living conditions.

This is a long lived breed but it is subject to certain genetic diseases like most dogs. Cataracts, skin conditions (from allergies to certain shampoos,) hip dysplasia, runny nose and ear infections are common. Also, the breed is subject to bloating, so only feed it two to three small meals a day instead of one or two large meals.

The Toy Poodle (Caniche, Chien Canne, Tea Cup)

The Toy Poodle is considered to be a small dog of high intelligence and trainability. More sensitive than the Standard and Toy varieties, it is also considered the smartest of the three. It has a thick, soft, curly coat that does not shed but requires daily grooming. The ears are small and long and hang close to the head. The eyes are very dark and alert. The feet are compact and the breed has a perfect gait.

The Toy Poodle is sensitive but extremely intelligent. They are very responsive and alert. They can be a delight, but also demanding. They do not like strangers and are reserved around children and other dogs. They are known to snap if they are teased, surprised or mishandled.

They generally bond with one owner for life and they are extremely loyal to that individual and will defend them at all cost, despite their size. However, a true “lap dog,” the Toy Poodle expects an equal amount of loyalty and love in return. They adapt better to one dog households and do not do well with small children. The Toy Poodle is considered the least calm of the three poodle varieties.

Height: up to 10 inches

Weight: 3-8 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

The Toy Poodle is a good dog for apartment life. They adapt very well to “city life.” They require little indoor or outdoor activities but nonetheless, should be socialized with a daily walk. They are demanding dogs and can bark excessively if left alone for long periods of time.

This is a long lived breed but it is subject to certain genetic diseases like most dogs. Cataracts, skin conditions (from allergies to certain shampoos,) hip dysplasia, runny nose and ear infections are common. Also, the breed is subject to bloating, so only feed it two to three small meals a day instead of one or two large meals.

Choosing Your Poodle

Never is it more essential to choose a responsible and well-respected breeder than when choosing a Poodle Puppy.

As you’ve already learned from reading this article, dogs come in many different colors, sizes and TEMPERAMENTS!

Poodles especially fall into this category. You can end up with a great pet or a nightmare. Fortunately, with a little bit of research and homework ahead of time, you’ll minimize the risk of a difficult pet and maximize your chances of a truly wonderful new companion.

I recommend everyone get the definitive guide to choosing a dog breed. This book will help you make the right choice. It was written by Marcel Cobs, very well respected in the industry. A dog is a companion for life. Making sure you choose the right breed should be step one. When you buy a car, you do not buy the very first car, on the very first lot, on the nearest street, do you? You do a little research. Choosing a dog is no different and this is the ONLY guide I have ever recommended.

How to Choose the Right Dog for You! By Marcel Cobs

A practical guide to guarantee you and your new best friend enjoy a great life together. If you have any interest at all in getting a dog… if you want to find out what type of dog you should get to fit you and your family… or you just want to figure out whether you should get a dog or not… then this book was written just for you. Comes with eBook and professional mp3 audio recordings included!

You can email me and I’ll provide you the link to get the book.

Once you’ve decided on the type of dog you are getting, I suggest you check your local shelter. There are thousands and thousands of dogs in need of good homes and yes, some are pure breed dogs. It’s a misconception that only “mutts” can be found in shelters (by the way….some of the best dogs I’ve owned or simply known, were mutts!)

The name of your local shelter can always be found in your Yellow Pages or online. Or you can simply go to The Humane Society of the United States website. Call your local shelter and ask them to notify you if a specific type or breed of dog comes in. Many are more than happy to keep you on a notify list, but some are not.

Second, I recommend you contact breed rescue organizations. You can Google breed rescue organizations by simply typing in the name of the breed and then the words “rescue organizations.” These organizations have dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to find homes for purebred dogs and yes, many times THEY DO have puppies.

Finally, if you have not found what you are looking for at a shelter or through a rescue organization, I recommend you find a reputable breeder in your area. How will you know if they are reputable? Do some research and do a little homework. Also, try to visit more than one. Don’t just buy the first puppy you see. Here are some helpful hints:

General

Check the Better Business Bureau. It’s amazing to me how many people forget to do this! It’s free and it takes about two seconds. Do it!

Health

1. Do the puppies look clean and do they appear healthy? – Puppies should be bright eyed, active, playful and have an outward appearance of good health (good skin and coat, no unusual odor, clean ears, etc.)

2. Have the puppies been checked for worms? – The puppy should have been examined for worms and the breeder should present you with proof that it has received at least one vaccination before it goes home with you.

3. Have the parents been x-rayed for hip dysplasia? – This is a genetic disorder that many dogs are prone to. The breeder should know all about hereditary diseases and should breed healthy dogs with good temperaments.

Early Socialization

1. Are the puppies friendly? Do they seem happy to be around you? – Puppies should be outgoing, begging to be picked up, competing for attention, and love being held and played with. A very timid puppy might tug at your heartstrings but chances are it’s not in good health.

2. Insist on seeing the mother. Is she friendly and attractive? – At 6 weeks old, the mother should no longer be overprotective of her puppies. Insist on seeing the father. How is he with visitors? DO NOT buy puppies whose parents do not have good temperaments.

3. How old are the puppies? – Puppies should not be removed from their litters before 6 weeks. They need to be around their littermates for at least 6 weeks. Seven or eight weeks are even better. However, there is a limit. A puppy that is kept with its littermates past the age of 10 weeks may have become too dependent on its mother.

4. Has the breeder begun to socialize the puppies? – You can tell if a breeder has given each puppy some individual attention, care, and training. Don’t be shy. Ask the breeder about this! Ask him, “what have you done to begin socializing this puppy?”

The Breeder

1. Is the breeder experienced with the breed? – The breeder should be able to answer any questions about the breed and agree to help you with any problems. After all, this is why you are buying from a breeder and not a pet shop.

2. Has the breeder gone over both the good and bad characteristics of the breed? – Every breed has good points and bad. No breed can be considered “perfect.” The breeder should be honest with you. Some of the best breeders I know refuse to sell certain breeds to families with small children or owners who live in apartments, etc. It seems harsh and unfair, but actually they are doing you and their puppies a favor. Don’t fall for the hard sell. There is no reason you should be pressured in any way. If you feel like you are going through a hard sell, walk away.

3. Has the breeder suggested further obedience training? – Many responsible breeders make this a requirement for the sale. All dogs need training. Don’t be put off by this. This means they have the best interest of the dog in mind.

4. Does the breeder offer any kind of “starter kit”? – The breeder should give you some materials to take home. The “kit” will probably include some dog food, instructions on the care and feeding of your pup, a list of necessary supplies to have at home, dog care books, and some information on Veterinarians and dog training schools.

5. How about the paperwork? Is it all in order? – You should receive a contract (signed by both you and the seller), and a pedigree. You should not have to pay extra for the pedigree.

Your Part In All This

1. Are you willing to make a long term commitment to this puppy? – When you purchase a puppy, you are making a very serious, long term commitment to the care, training and love of this dog. This animal will live for a dozen years or more and it is your responsibility to do everything possible to keep it well and happy for its entire life.

Hope you’ve enjoyed “Poodles: A Look At The World’s Smartest Dog Breed.”

Ellen Weber


Source by Ellen Weber