Poodles - shy, sissy dogs? That's a long-gone myth. Poodles today are charismatic, athletic, energetic, lovable, courageous pooches who rank high in doggie intelligence and are known to steal anyone's heart!


History

Poodles are France's national dog where they are called Caniche or 'Duck Dog'. However, Poodles were initially bred to hunt ducks in Germany. This retrieving dog with its superlative swimming skills was developed over 400 years ago. Breeders wanted free movement of the dog in water, so they shaved off parts of its coat, leaving the vital areas - legs, neck, and tail intact to keep them warm in the cold. Soon, Poodles went on to become fashion icons of the dog world and made their way to America, France, and the rest of the world, where they were used as circus dogs because of their charisma, trainability, and intelligence. The standard poodle was brought down to a miniature and toy size in the early 20th century, and each variety has flourished ever since. 

About the Breed

Nutrition

Poodles do well on a high-quality diet - wet or dry. Be sure to choose a diet with all nutrients in optimal balance to meet dietary needs since they can suffer from certain deficiency diseases if not adequately met. Moreover, table scraps and snacks must be kept to a minimum since this breed is prone to obesity - and you do not want a fat poodle! To prevent deficiency diseases as they age, it is a good idea to start them on calcium and multivitamin supplements from as early as eight weeks. 

Grooming

Let's face it - Poodles are probably one of the hardest to groom, but they are also one among the most charismatic. Poodles need a daily coat brush and a weekly nail trim, ear clean, and teeth brush. Apart from this, they need a trip to a professional groomer once in three months to keep their coat in good shape. 

Exercise

They're retrievers, so they love to swim! They are also hunting dogs, so they love to fetch too! Poodles enjoy being outdoors with their families, and there is a wide range of activities that you can do with them - swimming, fetching, agility, flyball, running etc. As long as they can get out and spend all their unused energy, Poodles can be calm, even-tempered dogs indoors. 

Training

Poodles are easy to train and eager to please. They enjoy being disciplined and following the rules as long as they get yummy treats for it!

Health

Poodles are long-lived breeds as long as they are adopted from reputable, ethical breeders. Sometimes, the breed can suffer from health complications such as hip and elbow dysplasia, von Willebrand's disease, arthritis, floating kneecaps, bloat, obesity, and a few immune-related disorders. It is important to adopt from a reputable breeder and routinely check your dog at the veterinarian for symptoms of such health complications - early detection and prompt treatment go a long way in increasing quality of life. 

Temperament

Poodles are gentle, loving, energetic, and loyal companions who enjoy the company of their family. It is best to adopt a Poodle into a family with older children, since Poodles do not take well to younger kids (>12). Although they do not mind household pets, it is best to have them socialised from an early age.

Is the poodle right for me?

Poodles are very intelligent and quick to learn
Poodles are a long-lived breed
They have a hypoallergenic coat which makes them a great choice for those with fur allergy
They can live with other household pets.
Poodles can live in apartments but not in hot weather.

Why might this be an unsuitable breed for me?

Poodles are high maintenance
They do not take well to young children (>12)
Poodles need physical and mental exercise - lots of it!
They are a sensitive breed.
Poodles can be loud barkers and, at times, wary of their surroundings.

Poodles are fun family dogs, and with good mental and physical exercise, these wickedly smart canines can sweep you right off your feet!