After reading our pal @sirkevinthechow’s awesome blog all about the Chow Chow, I felt inspired to do the same for the Poodle.
If you haven’t worked it out already, I’m a bit of a crazy poodle lady. Tilly our Mini Poo now has me head over heels for the breed, and completely changed my perception of them. I’ve featured some of our poodle friends I’ve had the pleasure of photographing recently.
The Poodle comes in three sizes (officially) here in the UK; Toy, Miniature, and Standard. Although in Europe there is a size in between the Miniature and Standard called a Moyen.
The Poodle (Standard) was originally bred as a water bird retriever in Germany during the 15th and 16th Centuries. In fact, the word ‘Poodle’ is derived from the German word ‘Pudel’ meaning ‘puddle’ or ‘to splash about’. This explains Tilly’s webbed feet!
During the 18th Century the smaller sizes were developed in France and Germany. It is thought the Miniature may have been bred to assist in truffling, as they would do less damage to the truffle than a pig. This certainly explains the state of our garden! Tilly likes to dig…
Did you know the Poodle is the national dog of France? Oui!
Poodles are elegant, athletic, squarely proportioned dogs with almond shaped eyes.
The Toy Poodle was bred as a companion dog, but by no means are they any less mighty. Poodles seem to have endless stamina, but will also sleep all day if you let them…
The extravagant clip you see show Poodles sporting is actually a nod to their heritage. The hair was left long over to internal organs to keep the dog warm in water, and other areas shaved to help with stream lining. The tail fur was also kept long so they could be seen in the water.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the dramatic hair-dos you see at Crufts. This was something that initially put me off the breed, and I do think it has had a part to play in people leaning towards poodle mixes, who often have simple haircuts. You wouldn’t believe how many times a week I get asked if Tilly is a cockapoo!
“I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.” – Rita Rudner.
I prefer a simple and functional look for Tilly, (who really doesn’t appreciate my home haircuts) so quick and easy is the way we go.
Poodle dogs come in a variety of fabulous colours and patterns. These include black, blue, white, red, silver, apricot, cream, brown, cafe au lait, and silver beige. Most Kennel Clubs only recognise solid colours, however patterned poodles exist in parti; sable, brindle, phantom. That’s a lot right! I found a marvelous website that explains the variations really well here.
Dog of the 70s. Poodles aren’t as popular as they once were. Famous Poodle owners include Elvis Presley, Walt Disney, Audrey Hepburn, Barbara Streisand, Robin Williams, Novak Djokovic, and Sir Winston Churchill, who had two brown Miniatures, both called Rufus.
Before we had Tilly I must admit I thought poodles were strange snouty creatures, with crazy hair. Now, they definitely are snouty, but they are such characters, they can be sweet, smart, sassy, and speedy.
Poodles have a single layer of gloriously soft hair, and they don’t shed. This was actually the one of many reasons we went for a poodle, as their hair is more suitable for people with allergies.
They do require frequent haircuts and grooming. Some shave their poodle’s snout to keep mess and matting to a minimum, but others prefer the teddy bear look. This is something I love about the breed; you can do whatever you want with their hair, and if it’s a total disaster (like the first few DIY haircuts) it grows back!
“I know that dogs are pack animals, but it is difficult to imagine a pack of standard poodles … and if there was such a thing as a pack of standard poodles, where would they rove to? Bloomingdale’s? ” – Yvonne Clifford.
Poodles are renowned for being intelligent, in fact they are out ranked only by the Collie…it’s easy to see why! Personally I think the poodle’s intelligence lies in emotional smarts. Tilly is very attuned to people, she barks if she sees humans arguing, and gives extra cuddles if someone’s sad.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found this as interesting as I do! To see more of my photography of all types of dogs check out my Facebook page.
Amy & Tilly