Life span: 12-15 Years
Height: 18 – 24 inches
Weight: 60 – 70 lbs. (male), 40 – 50 lbs. (female)
One of the most popular breeds in the world, the Poodle belongs to the non-sporting group. The Poodle has a high level of intelligence and this makes it particularly well-suited for training. It has a coat that comes in an array of colors, such as apricot, black, and white, and combo patterns like black and white. Poodles are an active breed that is fast on its feet and an adequate swimmer.
This loving breed is affectionate with its family, gets along well with other household pets and with children. They are a playful breed that will protect their family at all times, without being aggressive.
Their ears are long, with a long tail that has a slight curve at the end. The eyes can be brown or light brown, with a black or brown nose. Their dense and curly coats are soft to the touch. Coat colors include black, grey, light grey, blue, red, brown, light brown, cream colored and white.
Although it originated in Germany, it was developed in France. Its ancestors included Spanish, Russian, German, Hungarian, Portuguese and French water dogs. Its history is greatly debated, but many believe its ancestor was the North African Barbet, or Asian herding dogs, or Asian Steppes. Records of them date back to the first century B.C., in Roman artifacts and Egyptian tombs, which depict similar dogs. Miniature and Toy Poodles were created by breeding small Poodles between each other, and with the purpose of impressing the Parisian Bourgeois during the 1400s. While the Standard version of this breed was used for duck hunting, the Miniature version was used for searching for truffles, and the Toy version was used as a companion. However, gypsies began using them for circus tricks, often changing their appearances to have specific coat shapes and colors. In 1874, the Kennel Club of England registered the breed, and in 1888 the American Kennel Club followed. The Poodle Club of America was first created in 1896, but fell apart and was not remade until 1931.
This smart breed can sometimes be quite mischievous, but they mostly love to please their owners. Their high energy levels make them playful pets, but if properly exercised, they will be calm and well behaved. They are great watchdogs, given how protective they are of their family, and will not hesitate to let you know when someone is within their territory. However, this also means they need time to get acquainted to strangers and become friendly with them. They love being with children, but the smallest version – the Toy Poodle – is quite easily harmed, and should only be allowed near children that know how to treat them. They also get along well with other household pets.
This breed may suffer from many diseases, including:
Addison’s Disease, or hypoadrenocorticism, which causes a lack of adrenal hormones and can be confused for other diseases. It can be noticed through lethargy, vomiting, lack of appetite, or high levels of potassium, which may lead the dog into a shock and, unfortunately, death.
Cushing’s Disease, or hyperadrenocorticism, in which there is too much cortisol in the body that can be noticed through excessive urination and thirst. It can be treated through medication and surgery.
Epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can produce seizures.
Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.
Legg-Perthes is a disease caused by the lack of blood reaching the femur bone, causing the cartilage around it to crack and for the bone to eventually collapse, affecting the hip joint, and noticeable through the dog limping.
Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, which is a congenital failure of development of the optic nerve, which can result in abnormal pupil response and blindness.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
Sebaceous adenitis (SA), a genetic condition that can be confused for Hypothyroidism, allergies, etc. This causes the sebaceous glands (which produce a fatty secretion to help the skin stay hydrated) to become inflamed and eventually destroyed. Its symptoms include: hair loss, scaly and dried skin, secondary skin infections, thickened skin, unpleasant odor, etc. These symptoms are shown in dogs up to five years old.
Von Willebrand‘s Disease, which is a blood disease that affects the clotting process, its symptoms can be nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from surgery, occasional blood in stools, etc.
If kept with their coats trimmed, they should be taken to a groomer once a month. Otherwise, brushing must be done daily. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are highly energetic and must be exercised daily, preferably in the form of long walks or runs with their owners. Training should be easy given that they are highly intelligent.