Poodles are smart, loyal, proud, and fun. The Poodles' intelligence is clear in the knowing gaze they give to all they observe. They seem to understand the moods of their special friends. They enjoy the challenges of obedience training, which gives these intelligent dogs great happiness. Politely reserved around strangers, they can also have a playful sense of humor.
The Poodle was prized by hunters as a water retriever of birds as far back as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Germany. In France Poodles were also used as retrievers and performing circus dogs. Poodles come in three types--Standard, Miniature, and Toy depending on size. Otherwise the types are identical in appearance. All are one breed, governed by the same standard.
Poodles require serious grooming. Their top coat is thick, harsh, and curly, and the undercoat is woolly and warm. The coat does not shed much, but it requires daily brushing and professional grooming once a month. All colors are solid, and can be white, black, brown, gray, blue, apricot, cream, and more. Skin color varies also: pink, cream, blue, or silver.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Active, intelligent, and elegant, squarely built, well-proportioned, moving soundly, and carrying himself proudly.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Heights--Standard, more than 15 inches at withers; Miniature, more than 10 but less than 15 inches; and Toy, 10 inches or less.
Despite their glamorous looks, Poodles were originally hard-working water dogs. They were developed in Germany but may share ancestors with other similar dogs in Russia, France, and Southwestern Europe. The English word Poodle comes from the German pudel or pudelin, which means "to splash in the water." The coat, clipped to make swimming easy, was left longer on the head, chest, and feet for warmth.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.