This month’s Dog Breed Corner hosts one of Australia’s favourite dogs: the Poodle. Read about the Poodle’s history, personality, trainability, living needs, and more!
Quick Facts ✔
Height – 45 – 60cm (Standard Poodle), 28 – 35cm (Miniature Poodle), 24 – 28cm (Toy Poodle)
Lifespan – 12 – 15 years
Country of origin – France, Germany
Breed type – Companion Dog
- Novice Owners
- Apartment living
- Families with children
- Owners with allergies to dog hair
Breed History ♜
At a glance, the Poodle looks like it embodies the concept of “style over substance”. After all, they’re often the prettiest pooch in the park, and you won’t find them working on farms or airports. However, the Poodle began their life as a duck-hunting dog in Europe. Thanks to their soft mouths and penchant for swimming, they excelled at retrieving felled waterfowl from ponds and lakes.
Even their famous perm-like hairstyle served a practical purpose. Their fur would keep them warm when they went splashing through the chilly waters and marshes of Europe. Over time, hunters would strategically shave their Poodles to allow for peak mobility while still keeping their vital areas warm.
While the breed grew into its modern guise in Germany and then France, it has been around for much longer. In fact, images of Poodle-like pups appear on artefacts from ancient Rome and Egypt. When the breed became popular in France in the 1400s, though, dog lovers began breeding different types of Poodle. Hunters kept using Standard Poodles for hunting fowl, while farmers would use Miniatures to locate wild truffles. Toy Poodles – the result of a breeding program that paired the smallest Poodles with each other – served as companion dogs.
These days, all four variants of Poodle are beloved around the globe.
Personality Traits, & Trainability ★
Not many creatures can balance “regal” and “goofy” quite like the Poodle. When you see one strutting down the street, you might think they’re training for the catwalk. Fast forward five minutes, and they’ll be bounding after a ball like a circus juggler. Their poise make them a sight to behold, but their commitment to fun ensures they don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re also eager to please, and will bond with adult and children Owners alike.
While this breed is ideal for first-time Dog Owners, you’ll need to invest some time in training them. An untrained Poodle will assume they’re the Alpha of your household, and may carry on like a diva. Fortunately, they’re a very clever canine, and will respond quickly to obedience training.
Grooming and Living Conditions ⌂
For many, the Poodle’s claim to fame is the fact that it doesn’t shed any hair. This is a boon not only for people allergic to dog hair, but for those who hate sweeping it up. Of course, as they don’t shed, you’ll need to trim your pooch every three to six weeks. Professional dog groomers can attend to this, but you can also give it a shot if you’re feeling bold.
The Poodle is a classic indoor dog, and will thrive in apartments and mansions alike. However, thanks to their playful streak, they require a daily walk and lots of quality playtime with their human.
Fun Fact ♥
From the 15th century onwards, Gypsies trained Poodles to perform in the circus. As travelling minstrels, they would wear costumes, perform tricks, and sport wild and wacky fur styles!