Poodle - Breed Profile:

Origin: Germany / France
Colors: All solid colors
Size: Small to large depending on the variety
Type of Owner: Novice
Exercise: Daily
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Very easy to train
Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
Noise: Average barker

Physical characteristics

The Poodle is an elegant dog with square proportions and a dense curly coat that can be clipped in many ways. The muzzle is rather long and narrow, the head is slightly rounded. The teeth meet in a scissor bite. The ears are relatively large and pendent. The oval eyes are usually dark, even if the coat colour is light. The small oval feet look pretty compact. The tail is customarily docked to half its original size.
There are three varieties of the Poodle:
- the Standard Poodle (large) that weighs 45 to 65 pounds being 22 to 26 inches tall,
- the Miniature Poodle (small to medium) that weighs 15 to 17 pounds being 11 to 15 inches tall,
- the smallest of the all, the Toy Poodle that weighs about 6 pounds being up to 10 inches tall.

Temperament

Poodles are graceful, proud, and good-natured dogs with a cheerful streak. Being intelligent and smart, they are very easy to train. Moreover, many owners are sure that Poodles understand human speech better than other dogs. Companionable and sensitive, these curly fidgets tend to mope without people and attention. But if you spare your Poodle a lot of time, it will be the happiest dog ever because they love to play, amuse and be amused. All efforts putting in training and socializing a Poodle will surely be well rewarded. This breed is friendly with other pets and excellent with children, although usually somewhat reserved with strangers. The Standard Poodle is slightly calmer than its smaller varieties. The smaller ones are more restless and perky, sometimes even too nervous, but a good socialization at an early age should prevent problems.
A show poodle

Coat and grooming

The coat of Poodles is something of a kind. It has no undercoat but, nonetheless, it is very profuse, curly and perfect for grooming in different styles. Perhaps, well-groomed Poodles are the most distinctive breed at various dog shows. Even if you prefer to leave relatively short hair all over the body, the dog needs regular grooming to keep it fluffy and neat. Shedding is very little in this breed.
Poodles come in all solid colours: black, white, cream, brown, cafe-au-lait, apricot, etc.

Health

Poodles can be prone to bloat, hip dysplasia, runny eyes, ear infections, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), von Willebrand's Disease, heart disorders, and skin conditions. Like in other breeds with floppy ears (e.g. English Toy Spaniel or Brittany), you have to spare enough time to keep the ears clean.

The lifespan of Poodles is pretty long (in all the varieties) - 15 years and more.

Image credits: kiro_zoo, amirpaz