Hound & Co Breed Spotlight: Poodles
One of the best things about the Poodle breed is that they come in a variety of sizes and colors. From a tiny teacup poodle to a large standard poodle they’re America’s favorite breed. The AKC (American Kennel Club) recognizes three sizes, the toy, miniature and standard Poodle. Poodles can be cream, red, black, brown and less often combination colors called “parti poodles”. They are highly intelligent, energetic and playful. Poodles make a great choice of dog breed.
Origins and Characteristics of Poodles
The standard poodle is the oldest of the breed and was originally bred as a hunting dog. The name Poodle derives from the german word “Pudel”. It translates to “splash around”. Poodles were great at retrieving waterfowl shot by hunters. They wouldn’t hesitate to jump in the water and bring back the bird. Art depicts the Poodles as an ancient breed dating back to B.C. era. Their popularity throughout history can’t be denied.
Their original use as bird dogs also helped create the fancy Poodle haircuts that have become etched in our minds to represent all things Poodle. The full breast coat with a shaved backside that has two full pom poms on their rumps actually had a purpose in cold waters. The pom poms on the hips and ankles helped to protect the joints from stiffening when swimming. Shaved face, feet and backside areas let them glide through the water with less resistance than if they had a full long coat. In today’s time the cut has become known as the “Continental” clip. Poodles that are professionally shown in AKC conformation events are usually shown in this style of haircut.
Miniature and toy poodles were trained and used in circus acts in later times. They are smart, loving and bond to humans easily. Their coats can be kept short for low maintenance. They are known to be non-allergenic and most people who are commonly allergic to dogs can tolerate living with a poodle. The smaller size poodles make good pets for those who live in apartments. Kids love poodles as they are playful and irresistible . Some smaller poodles may not do well with small children only because they react to the unpredictable behavior of children. Poodles like routine and can be protective of the home and occupants. They are a fun family dog or a great companion to singles or elderly.
Fun Movies That Include Poodles
Poodle lovers are wooed by movies with poodles in them. The older movies like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” flashes a scene where a poodle is laying in Patricia O’neal’s lap. There is a quick Alfred Hitchcock cameo in the movie “The Birds” that shows him walking poodles. Diane Keaton loaned her voice to the poodle Daphne in the movie “Look Who’s Talking Now”. Bette Midler did the same and is the voice of Georgette in the Disney movie “Oliver”. Movies like “Best in Show” make a parody out of show competitors and make poodle people laugh at one liners like “you don’t even know my dog”. My personal favorite, a movie called “Good Boy” where the poodle Barbara Ann says “Can we just talk about how pretty I am”?
Being a poodle owner doesn’t mean you’ll become cultish…”It’s a Poodle thing, you wouldn’t understand”. But you do have to own one to truly know one.