The name Poodle came from the German Pudelhundor Pudel (which in English means ‘puddle’) meaning ‘to splash about’, and the word Hund in German means ‘dog’. However, there are way more interesting facts about this breed than just its name. Read on to find out!
1. An Ancient Breed
Poodles have been around for thousands of years. Depictions of this breed adorn both Egyptian and Roman artefacts dating back to the first century B.C. The name Poodle and the variety is believed to have originated in Germany.
2. France’s Official Dog
The dogs are extremely popular in France, so much so that the country named the Poodle as their official dog! This is why it is a common misconception that Poodles are French.
3. Poodle Colours
Poodles either have solid colours including white, black, brown, silver, gray, silver beige, apricot, red, cream or sable; or are partly-coloured in patterns such as phantom and brindle.
4. Joy of Living
This breed is graceful, active, intelligent and loyal. They are also known to have a sense of joie de vivre (joy of living).
5. Athletic Skills
Though it has a pop-culture reputation of a pampered lap dog, the Poodle family comes from a line of hard-working sport animals. They are athletic, with a sturdy, muscular build.
6. Excellent Swimmers
They are excellent swimmers and were used by hunters to retrieve ducks and other birds from the water. They even have a ‘soft mouth,’ and can gently pick up wounded or dead fowls.
7. High Maintenance
Most Poodle owners either resign themselves to taking their dog to a professional groomer periodically or learn the grooming techniques themselves. The breed requires daily brushing and tends to have weepy eyes; their face and eye areas need to be wiped every day to avoid stains on the coat.
8. Has Three Varieties
Poodles have been bred in three sizes including Standard (15 inches or taller at the highest point of the shoulders), Miniature (15 inches or shorter at the highest point of the shoulders), and Toy or Teacup (10 inches or shorter at the highest point of the shoulders). The Standard Poodle is the oldest of all varieties.
9. Origin of the Term ‘Poodle-faker’
In the early 1900s, the British coined a slang term ‘Poodle-faker,’ for a man who sought the company of affluent women for financial and social advantage.
10. Their Fur Never Stops Growing
Poodles need regular grooming as their fur grows continuously, unlike other dog breeds. If not groomed, their fur becomes dreadlock-like and matted.
11. The Upside
On the upside, they’re generally odourless and hypoallergenic.
12. Elvis ‘Couldn’t Help Falling in Love with Them’
The Rock and roll singer had a Poodle named Champagne when he was stationed in Germany. He gave away many Poodles to the women he loved: he gifted a toy Poodle named ‘Little Bit’ to a girlfriend, and one named ‘Honey’ to his wife Priscilla.
13. Beauty With Brains
It is one of the smartest varieties, second only to the Border Collie in rankings of canine intelligence. Thus, it is super easy to train them. In the 1800s, they were often dressed in miniature human attires and trained to act out elaborate scenes. Not surprisingly, they were an audience’s favourite in the circus!
14. They Make Great Family Dogs
They love to be with their families and spend time at home. While Standard and Miniature Poodles make great pets for families including infants, Toy Poodles are better off in homes that have adolescents as this variety is very delicate.
15. One Dog, Many Names
Poodles are known by three more names: Pudelhund (German), Pudle (Old English), Barbone and Caniche.
16. Great Mushroom Hunters
In France, Germany, England, and Spain, people loved to feast on truffle mushrooms and poodles were the ideal dogs to sniff them out. Their small paws and soft mouths were gentle enough not to damage the mushrooms. Owners would begin training poodle puppies when they were only 4 months old!
17. Highly Adaptable
Poodles are highly adaptable to climate changes and fit well in cold and hot climatic conditions. They can adjust themselves in an apartment or even in a small one-room house.
18. Sleeping Beauties
Adult poodles sleep up to 13 hours a day! No wonder why they are such great show dogs with all the beauty sleep they get.
19. Muse For Many Artists
This breed has inspired many artists and was featured in many artworks going back to hundreds of years. Egyptian and Roman artifacts show poodles in the first century BC. In the 15th century, Albrecht Durer, a painter of the German Renaissance, frequently drew them in his works. Fransisco Goya, a Spanish romantic painter, did the same in the 18th century.
20. A Soldier Within
Poodles have been used in the military since the 17th century and were even a part of the US war effort during the Second World War. The US Dogs for Defense program trained poodles, and other breeds, for the Army, the Coast Guard, and the Navy.
21. Love Attention
Poodles thrive on attention and can resort to nerve-racking behavior such as nuisance barking if left alone.
22. Tendency To Get Fat
23. Good Life Span
They live a comparatively long life; the smaller poodles live for as much as 17 years of age, while the standards tend to have a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.
This breed has an outstanding sense of humour. Its all-around friendliness and quick-wittedness make it a common entertainer during game shows.
25. There’s a Story Behind That Haircut
The peculiar haircut has a specific goal; the dogs had to work in freezing waters and so, required protection. Thus, the hunters would leave the fur only on those parts of the dog’s body where it was most sensitive to cold temperatures.
26. Produced Many Cross-breeds
Its unique fur has led to the production of many cross-breed dogs. The poodle has been mated to breeds including the Cocker Spaniel (Cockapoo), the Golden Retriever (Goldendoodle), and English Pointer (Pudelpointer) in order to produce hypoallergenic hybrids.
27. They Leave No Dog Smell
They don’t emit that stench which usually reigns over the homes having pets. This breed is a great choice for those who don’t want to spritz air fresheners all over their homes, everyday, to get rid of that dog smell.
28. They Shed Less Fur
Poodles shed a great deal less than other breeds.
29. Not Afraid of a Challenge
An all-Poodle dog sledge team once competed in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, which is a grueling 1,150-mile journey through the Arctic tundra of Alaska and recognized as the ultimate dog sledging competition. Unfortunately, they just weren’t cut out for the harsh weather and injuries forced many of the dogs out of the race before the first checkpoint.
30. Einstein of the Dog Family
Poodles fall in the category of the most intelligent dog breeds.