In English: Poodle
Other names for Poodle : Pudle (old English), Pudel (German), Barbone (Italian), Caniche (French)… etc.
Country of origin : France (officially for FCI), but also Germany and the whole of Europe.
Classification and norms
Dog (Canis Lupus Familiaris)
Poodle is a dog breed.
The breed has a standard officially lodged with FCI by France that is its holder.
FCI standard n° 172 must be applied in all FCI member countries or countries that have a cooperation contract with it.
As per its standard (2007), this dog can be of 4 different sizes: toy (24 to 28 cm), dwarf (29 to 35 cm), medium (36 to 45 cm) and standard (46 to 60 cm), with a tolerance of + 2 cm, and with 6 different solid colour varieties: black, white, brown, grey, apricot, red.
The original Poodle is a medium size dog, with curly and woolly hair (no mention yet of its colour), it is a working dog (water retriever), agile and obedient. It appears in many European countries in various forms and is named Barbet, Lagotto, Little Lion Dog, Caniche, etc. It is very much appreciated for its loyalty and the love he gives to his owner. Over the centuries selection leads to a very precise morphotype. It becomes the Poodle, a medium size dog, with curly white, black or brown hair; there are also some individuals bearing extensive markings and that are hence of two colours.
It is a European dog; in Germany where he was first known under the name Puderhund, and later on Pudel (related to the word « puddle » in English), its name is derived from the verb that means « to paddle » in Low German, and from the German word Hund that means « dog ». In France, the breed gets the name « caniche », deriving from « cane », ie a female duck, because it was frequently used as a water retriever. Poodle was the main pet dog by the end of XVIIIth century in Spain, as can be seen from the artworks of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya. The European continent has known the poodle way before it came to England.
Two poodles on a sofa
PRINCETEAU René Pierre, 1843/44-1914 (France)
Titre : THE ARTIST’S MOTHER’S POODLE IN LION GROOM
Grooming of a poodle in Paris, 1930.
Ch. Nunsoe Duc de la Terrace of Blakeen by Maud Earl
(this painting features the first poodle who won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (1935)).
(American Kennel Club Collection)
Vulcan Champagne Fiesta born in 1964.
Vulcan Polka photographed (1976) under a painting dating back to 1802.
Later on, the canine world gets organised and official institutions are put in place; the Société Centrale Canine (French Kennel Club) is constituted in 1882 and becomes recognised of public utility by decree on 28 April 1914.
After World War I (1914-1918), some breeders try to influence others so that the poodle becomes a single coloured (solid) dog and that a rigorous standard be put in place in order to introduce a drastic selection.
In 1936 the Club du Caniche de France (French Poodle Club) is created, a standard is established and enforced, and the poodle has to become only solid (black, white, brown).
However, some breeders did save the partipoodle from a foretold death, wanted by a few members of a club who suddenly decided that extensive marking was a serious defect; amongst these breeders were Miss Jane Linien (in England), but also Lady Ionides and Miss Shirley Walne.
Nowadays, the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale – International Canine Federation) affiliated countries, or the ones who run a partnership with it, must strictly apply the French standard. Nevertheless, facing the aberration of refusing to call Poodle a dog that is a poodle, many countries authorise their breeders to produce dogs with colour varieties that are not allowed by the French Poodle Club. Of course, these dogs have pedigrees which permit their breeders to work in peace. They can only be shown in national dog shows.
However, during World Championship 2012 in Austria, partipoodles did compete at the same time as solid poodles, but under separate classes.
Further to this, the French Poodle Club requested FCI to issue a circular reminder of the poodle standard.
Pedigree issued by VDH (German member of FCI)
Purebred DNA testing results of a partipoodle
Poodles are exceptional retrievers, or hunting dogs; they continue to be used by hunters in many countries, in particular in medium and standard size. Toy and dwarf sizes produce clever and exceptional pet dogs. Nowadays, many sporting activities are open to poodles: dog dancing, agility, tracking, truffle hunting, obedience… It is a born pet dog, a whole family member, clever and smart, loyal, elegant and cuddly.
Poodle is a very active, alert and well balanced dog, fitting into a square slightly elongated on its length, and well proportioned. To make sure the dog is well built, the length of the body measured from sternum to point of buttock must be close to the height at withers. Muzzle must be long and thin, nicely chiselled. Eyes must be very dark, almond-shaped, and their expression be lively. Ears must be set at eye level, the ear leather being thin and long. Hair should be naturally curly and thick. Legs must be well symmetrical and parallel, feet must be tight. Tail must be set on high and carried up on the move, but not curled or over the back.
Poodle coat is of a solid colour or particoloured. It is one of the dogs in the world with the largest variety of colours.
It is also the dog that comes in the biggest number of sizes: toy (24 to 28 cm), dwarf (29 to 35 cm), medium (36 to 45 cm) and standard (46 to 60 cm with a +2 cm tolerance).
Grooming is easy and an incredible amount of various clips can be applied to poodles.