Breed Spotlight: the Poodle

The ancestors of the Poodle can be traced as far back as ancient Rome, where images of dogs that closely resembled the Poodle have been found etched on walls of tombs. In the twelfth century, Poodle-type dogs were carved on the coins of Greece, as well as Rome. However, the first evidence of the breed’s beginnings can be found in Germany in the sixteenth century, where pudel dogs were known for their love of water. In fact, the German word pudel means “to splash in the water,” thus resulting in the Anglicized “Poodle” breed name. Germany was not only the origin of the breed, but also of the two coat types found in the Poodle breed: the woolly coat and the corded coat.

As the breed’s popularity spread, the German pudel dogs were exported throughout Europe and eventually France, where the breed was refined into the slender, curly-coated breed that we see today. The breed’s natural affinity for water, its tendency to pick up objects with its mouth, and its intelligence and trainability was soon recognized by upland and water fowl hunters. In France they became known as the Caniche, (with cane being the French word for female duck), or duck dog. The breed continued to grow as a symbol of status during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

The fantastical and extreme pom-poms seen on the Poodle today are strictly superficial. However, the alleged initial reason for the clips was that hunters determined that the wooly coats impeded the dog’s swimming ability, so the coats were trimmed to lessen the load, so to speak. However, some areas were left for insulation, particularly the areas of the thorax and leg joints.

Want to learn more about the Poodle? Click here to read the full bred standard.

Watch this CKC produced show!

Recommended For you!

  • Smell-Stuff.jpg

    3 Reasons Why Dogs Roll In Smelly Stuff

    Read More
  • Heel.jpg

    10 Tips for Teaching Your Dog To Heel

    Read More
  • premack.jpg

    The Premack Principle: Learn How to Motivate Your Dog

    Read More
  • CKC-breed-profile_Yorkshire_Terrier_preview.jpg

    August's Featured Breed: The Yorkshire Terrier

    Read More