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Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-C: European and African Breeds
Origin Country Germany/France
Weight Males: 11-39 pounds. Females: 11-39 pounds.
Height Males: 10-15 inches. Females: 10-15 inches.
Other Name(s) Caniche, Pudel
Breed Type Pure
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Poodle-Miniature

Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-C: European and African Breeds
Origin Country Germany/France
Weight Males: 11-39 pounds. Females: 11-39 pounds.
Height Males: 10-15 inches. Females: 10-15 inches.
Other Name(s) Caniche, Pudel
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

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.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat dolichocephalic skull-type that is long, narrow, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. From the front, the skull appears slightly rounded and the width is less than the width from stop to occiput. The head is well-chiseled, never coarse or excessively fine. The occiput is well-pronounced. The face is well-chiseled with pronounced supraorbital regions and slightly pronounced zygomatic arches. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, obliquely set, and as dark in color as possible. Darker eye colors are preferred, but lighter, amber-colored eyes are permissible in liver and liver varieties. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never rounded or bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Medium in size and set relatively low on the skull, with the top edge aligning with the corner of the eyes, or falling slightly below eye level. The leathers are long and wide. When extended forward, the tips should reach to the corner of the lips, or beyond. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.
Muzzle: The muzzle is long, full, and deep. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never appearing snipy or weak. The lower jaw and chin are strong, and equal in length to the upper jaw. They are never lacking, recessed, or appearing short in comparison to upper jaws.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Elegant, sufficiently long to allow for proud head carriage and strongly muscled with good arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Body: Balanced, agile, and athletic. The body is never heavy or bulky. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set high on the croup, thick at the base, and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, often anywhere from straight up to slightly above the level of the topline, but never tucked. Tail may be left natural (preferred) or docked. Natural tails are of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. Natural tails may be straight or curved. Docked tails are cut from half to two-thirds the original length.
Movement: The Poodle’s movement is agile, springy, light, efficient, and effortless. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Poodle is known the world over for his keen, engaging, and good-natured temperament. They are devoted family companions, sociable playmates for both human and animal kind, and always the life of the party. Poodles are recognized as the second most intelligent dog breed, next to Border Collies. In fact, the Poodle’s amiable temperament and trainability make it a great family companion and working dog. It’s no wonder why service animal and therapy dog breeding programs cross the Poodle with other breeds, such as the Labradoodle, to produce ideal service and therapy dogs! Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 12: Companion and Toy Breeds

Proportions: Square to slightly off-square in proportion, with the length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being equal to or just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal length-to-height ratio is between 1:1 and 10:9. Females may be slightly longer. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone. The overall proportions give way to an elegant, athletic, and agile dog.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat dolichocephalic skull-type that is long, narrow, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. From the front, the skull appears slightly rounded and the width is less than the width from stop to occiput. The head is well-chiseled, never coarse or excessively fine. The occiput is well-pronounced. The face is well-chiseled with pronounced supraorbital regions and slightly pronounced zygomatic arches. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: The expression is confident, proud, lively, intelligent, and attentive.
Stop: The stop is slight, or barely perceptible, but present nonetheless.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is between 1:1 and 10:9, with the topskull being equal to just longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel; however, a slight divergence is tolerable.
Muzzle: The muzzle is long, full, and deep. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never appearing snipy or weak. The lower jaw and chin are strong, and equal in length to the upper jaw. They are never lacking, recessed, or appearing short in comparison to upper jaws.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks may be smooth, or may exhibit slight padding to denote strength. The cheeks should not appear bulky or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, and white teeth. Bite may be level or scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Eyes: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, obliquely set, and as dark in color as possible. Darker eye colors are preferred, but lighter, amber-colored eyes are permissible in liver and liver varieties. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never rounded or bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Medium in size and set relatively low on the skull, with the top edge aligning with the corner of the eyes, or falling slightly below eye level. The leathers are long and wide. When extended forward, the tips should reach to the corner of the lips, or beyond. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.

Body and Tail

General Description: Balanced, agile, and athletic. The body is never heavy or bulky. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Elegant, sufficiently long to allow for proud head carriage and strongly muscled with good arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Topline: Straight and level from withers to croup. The back is short, broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never long, swayed, or roached.
Croup: May be flat and level with the back, or gently sloped.
Underline: Slight tuck-up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided. The forechest is well-developed, but not protrusive.
Tail: Set high on the croup, thick at the base, and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, often anywhere from straight up to slightly above the level of the topline, but never tucked. Tail may be left natural (preferred) or docked. Natural tails are of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. Natural tails may be straight or curved. Docked tails are cut from half to two-thirds the original length.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with long, well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The distance from the ground to the elbow may be equal to, or slightly greater than the distance from the withers to the brisket.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Long, straight, of good muscle, moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are long, equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Poodle comes in two coat varieties: the curly coat and the corded coat.
Curly coat variety: Well-furnished with abundance of tight, fine, frizzy curls of equal length and woolly in texture. When touched, the coat will spring back into place.
Corded-coat variety: Dense, fine, woolly hair that forms cords measuring at least 20 cm in length.

NOTE: Poodles may be shown in any clip with the exception of a complete close shave to the point where the coat texture cannot be determined.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the Poodle breed: the standard color and nonstandard color variety.
Standard coat color variety: Any solid color including but not limited to: white, black, gray, red/apricot, blue, liver, cream, café-au-lait, Champagne, Isabella, sables (with darker feathering).

Nonstandard coat color variety: Phantom (black, blue, silver, Isabella, liver, gray, or blue with tan points), brindle, tuxedo, pied, piebald, or party (includes all of the above listed patterns and colors with or without white markings), white with the above listed coat colors and patterns.

Movement

The Poodle’s movement is agile, springy, light, efficient, and effortless. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Poodle is known the world over for his keen, engaging, and good-natured temperament. They are devoted family companions, sociable playmates for both human and animal kind, and always the life of the party. Poodles are recognized as the second most intelligent dog breed, next to Border Collies. In fact, the Poodle’s amiable temperament and trainability make it a great family companion and working dog. It’s no wonder why service animal and therapy dog breeding programs cross the Poodle with other breeds, such as the Labradoodle, to produce ideal service and therapy dogs! Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.