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Dogs as Pets: The Poodle

Introduction: The eighth in the Dogs as Pets series.

Choosing a dog to become a family member is a big decision. You must determine whether you want a mix-breed dog or a pedigreed one. A mix-breed dog is exactly what it implies, more than one breed of a dog mixed together. A pedigreed dog is one breed only with nothing but that breed in the pedigree going back for generations. What size is right for you? Should you buy a long-haired dog or a short-coated one? A big dog or a small dog? In this series, we will examine pure-bred breeds only. So far, we have looked at several breeds. This time we will examine the Poodle as a pet.

The Poodle

If you haven’t already heard, the Standard Poodle went Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show earlier this month. It is only fitting to feature the Poodle in this next series of Dogs as Pets.

Despite that many people around the country refer to the Poodle as the “French Poodle,” there is actually no such breed. In fact, the Poodle did not even originate in France. The Poodle was developed in Germany as a duck hunter. Over 400 years ago the Standard Poodle was developed as a water dog retriever. In 1874, the Kennel Club (in England) registered its first Poodle. As with many breeds, the Poodle was soon imported into the United States and the first one was registered by the American Kennel Club about 12 years later. In the 1950s, the Poodle’s popularity exploded and has been constant ever since. Today it is the 7th most popular breed in America.

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They come in three sizes, the Toy Poodle, the Miniature Poodle, and the Standard Poodle. Obviously the Toy is a member of the Toy Group (Group 5) measuring no more than 10 inches in height (at the shoulder). The Miniature is over 10 and up to 15 inches, and the Standard is over 15 inches. Both the Standard and the Miniature are members of the Non-Sporting Group (Group 6). All three varieties have the same American Kennel Club Standard with the exception in regard to height. The Poodle has a squarely built appearance. The dog’s skull is moderately round with eyes that are oval and dark. The ears are long, wide and thickly feathered. The muzzle is long, straight and fine. The neck is also long. The Poodle is a deep-chested dog that is moderately wide. His tail is straight, carried up. The coat is curly and dense. Although show dogs are shown in an “English Saddle” or “Continental” clip, pet poodles are kept in much shorter styles. They come in a variety of colors including black, white, silver, apricot, blue, gray, and cream.

For those people who are sensitive or even allergic to dogs, this could be the breed for you as Poodles are hypoallergenic. The life expectancy of the Poodle is from 12-15 years. As one of the smartest of all breeds, he is extremely intelligent and very trainable. They are very active and alert dogs. If you are looking for a loving and loyal companion, look no further than the Poodle. They are an affectionate dog that makes a great family pet as they are very good with children, and friendly toward those who come to visit. Keep in mind that Poodles are high energy dogs that need plenty of exercise.

If you have ever watched a Dog Show, you know they require a lot of grooming. Unless you intend to purchase clippers and learn to clip your Poodle yourself, they will require frequent trips to the groomer to keep their coats in good condition. As with any breed, they will need their nails clip, ears cleaned, and teeth brushed, as well as their regular health checkups with your veterinarian.

The breed is generally healthy, but there are some possible health issues to be aware of: Addison’s disease, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (commonly called bloat, a life-threatening condition that affects large, deep-chested dogs), Cushings Disease, Hip Dysplasia, and Epilepsy.

All in all, the Poodle makes a great, healthy family companion. If you are looking for a devoted, intelligent dog, you might want to consider the Poodle. The Poodle Club of America has a listing of breeders around the United States who you can call to purchase your new family member. If you decide on a Poodle, you will not regret it.

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