About the Poodle Dog

Poodles have gotten a bad rap over the years. Ask anyone who has never been around a poodle to describe one, and you’re likely to hear something about “yappy, nervous little dogs with weird haircuts.” In actuality, the poodle is known for its intelligence. Although a little high-strung by nature, a well-trained poodle is even-tempered and devoted to pleasing its family.

History

The poodle’s history is somewhat unclear, although poodles or their ancestors have been around for a long time. They are believed to have originated in Asia. The poodle was originally bred to be a “water dog” to retrieve game shot into water. The poodle’s intelligence and unusual appearance also placed it in demand as a circus animal that delighted audiences with clever tricks.

Finally, the poodle’s sweet nature ability to form attachments to people made it a wonderful pet.

Appearance

Poodles do have an unusual appearance compared to other dogs. Their square bodies can range in size from over fifteen inches (standard poodle) to under ten inches (toy poodle). Poodles generally have dark oval eyes set well apart, ears that hang down the head to slightly below eye level, and a long, straight muzzle. Their necks are long and muscular. Most poodle lovers note that poodles have an air of dignity unmatched in other dogs.

Of course, it is the poodle’s fur that really sets it apart from other dogs. Poodles come in many different colors including black, white, brown, gray, silver, red, etc. Their fur may be curly or corded (small clumps of ringlets) and their tails are usually docked (cut) to about half their original length. Frequent professional grooming is a must.

Temperament

Poodles are typically good natured, intelligent dogs who love attention and who bond very quickly to their people. Some dogs are content to be alone much of the time. This is not the case with the poodle, who craves attention and love. Poodles enjoy learning new things and showing off their new discoveries and tricks. They crave stability and routine.

Poodles are definitely one-person or one-family dogs, and may become shy or anxious around strangers. Their habit of barking at people they don’t recognize makes them good guard dogs as well as good pets.

A Poodle in the Home

Poodles make adorable and adoring pets, but they do require time and energy to become ideal companions. You should plan to spend at least an hour a day with your poodle, grooming it, walking it, playing with it, teaching it or simply sitting and stroking its fur.

Since you are dealing with an intelligent dog, you should make every effort to challenge it. Poodles thrive on consistency, so try to keep the routine the same from day to day. Poodles who are constantly trying to second guess a chaotic household may become anxious, nippy, and high strung.

If you have children, show them how to hold and pet the poodle gently so that it won’t be afraid. Young children should only play with the poodle under supervision. Poodles usually get along famously with elderly families.

You’re probably wondering how the sweet little dog with bows in its fur was once a formidable German hunting companion.

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