are one of the oldest known breed to man. It's true origins is really
impossible to pinpoint a certain time or place. Early as 30 A.D.
Poodle-like dogs appeared on carvings in Roman tombs and on Greek and
Roman Coins. The fifteenth century refers to Poodles in both writing and
art, from France, Holland and Italy. The art of that time portrayed the
Poodle in trims similar to today’s traditional show trims. The three
countries that contributed most to promoting the breed were Russia,
France and Germany. The Russian Poodle was described as being somewhat
Greyhound-like in body type. The German Poodle had a more thickset and
had a wooly coat texture. It was here that the two different coat types
-- curly and corded -- were noted. Where the Poodle got his name; Pudel
(Canis Familiaris Aquatius), or "water dog" in Germany; the
Caniche (chien canard), or "duck dog" in France; in England,
the Poodle, "splash in water"; when they became popular in
Holland and Belgium they were know as "Poedels". All these
names have been given to the breed we know as the Poodle.
The Poodle began to
achieve popularity in Britain by the end of the 19th century. When they
were considered extremely fashionable.
The Poodle was introduced
to the United States in the late 1800's. They were imported mostly from
England. They were mostly black, white, or brown, and the Standard size
attracted the most interest. The first Poodle was registered with the
American Kennel Club in 1887. Poodle registration was minimal and few
were exhibited at shows. Pet Poodles were found in homes, but they were
far from popular.
In 1930 there were only
thirty-four Poodles registered with the American Kennel Club. It was not
until, The Poodle Club of America, which was founded in 1931, that the
Poodle breed was generally noticed, but the breed didn't really achieve
popularity until after World War II.
Standard and Toys were
shown before World War I. The early Toys were considered a separate
breed until 1943 when the American Kennel Club recognized them as being
the third variety of Poodle. As Miniatures became popular, they were
shown with the Standards. A widely accepted theory is that, Miniatures
are the result of breeding small Standards, and the Toy is the result of
breeding small Miniatures.
By the 1960's they were
the most popular breed in America and maintained that distinction for an
unprecedented 23 consecutive years. In 1994 the Poodle was the 5th most
commonly registered breed by the AKC, attesting to it's continued
popularity. From hunting dog, to circus performer, to family pet and
show dog, the Poodle has the ability to adapt to a variety of
History Of The Poodles
The Poodles coat styles
can be traced to the early days of the breed. Their heavy,
water-repellant coats that helped keep them warm while dashing in and
out of the water also hampered their movement once wet.
The solution was to shave
the hair short on the hindquarters, leaving it full on their chests for
warmth. Later, bobbles were left on to protect the joints from
rheumatism. The hair was tied back from the eyes, first with string and
later with colored ribbon to make the dog more visible when swimming or
in the field.
The clips accepted for
the show ring today are offshoots of the early practicality. As time
went on coat styling for the Poodle became more ornamental. Nineteenth
century France saw the rise of the business of Poodle grooming, when no
style of clip seemed too outrageous. Intricate designs and family crests
were clipped into the Poodles coat.
The Corded Poodle was
also quite fashionable. The coat was rolled and twisted into long tight
ringlets. Each rope-like ringlet was formed individually, with the help
of wax or petroleum jelly, and left to grow until it reached the ground.
In the late 1800s, the
Corded Poodle was at its peak of popularity. At early shows, Poodles
were frequently corded, and a battle ensued as to whether the Corded
Poodle and the Curly coated were separate breeds of the same family. If
there ever were two different types of Poodles, the Corded Poodle has
ceased to exist.
According to the breed
standard: the Poodle is a very active, intelligent, and
elegant-appearing dog, squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly
and carrying himself proudly. Properly clipped in the traditional
fashion and carefully groomed, the Poodle has about him an air of
distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.
The Poodles temperament,
personality, and good nature are why the Poodle is, and has been such a
popular breed. The Poodle is intelligent, learns quickly, and is very
eager to please his owner. When the Poodle knows what is expected, he
will happily comply.
The Poodle is highly
adaptable and can fit into the lifestyle of any household. The Poodle is
sensitive to his owner, seems to read situations, and respond
accordingly. The Poodle has a sense of humor and the ability to make
Head and Expression
(a) Eyes- very dark, oval in shape and set far enough apart and
positioned to create an alert intelligent expression. Major fault: eyes
round, protruding, large or very light.
(b) Ears- hanging close to the head, set at or slightly below eye level.
The ear leather is long, wide and thickly feathered; however, the ear
fringe should not be of excessive length.
(c) Skull- moderately rounded, with a slight but definite stop.
Cheekbones and muscles flat. Length from occiput to stop about the same
as length of muzzle.
(d) Muzzle- long, straight and fine, with slight chiseling under the
eyes. Strong without lippiness. The chin definite enough to preclude
snippiness. Major fault: lack of chin. Teeth- white, strong and with a
scissors bite. Major fault: undershot, overshot, wry mouth.
Neck well proportioned, strong and long enough to permit the head to be
carried high and with dignity. Skin snug at throat. The neck rises from
strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. Major fault: ewe-neck.
The topline is level,
neither sloping nor roached, from the highest point of the shoulder
blade to the base of the tail, with the exception of a slight hollow
just behind the shoulder.
(a) Chest deep and moderately wide with well sprung ribs.
(b) The loin is short, broad and muscular.
(c) Tail straight, set on high and carried up, docked of sufficient
length to insure a balanced outline. Major fault: set low, curled, or
carried over the back.
Strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. The shoulder blade is well laid back
and approximately the same length as the upper foreleg. Major fault:
(a) Forelegs straight and parallel when viewed from the front. When
viewed from the side the elbow is directly below the highest point of
the shoulder. The pasterns are strong. Dewclaws may be removed.
The feet are rather small, oval in shape with toes well-arched and
cushioned on thick firm pads. Nails short but not excessively shortened.
The feet turn neither in nor out. Major fault: paper or splayfoot.
The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters.
(a) Hind legs straight and parallel when viewed from the rear. Muscular
with width in the region of the stifles which are well bent; femur and
tibia are about equal in length; hock to heel short and perpendicular to
the ground. When standing, the rear toes are only slightly behind the
point of the rump. Major fault: cow-hocks.
(a) Quality- (1) Curly: of naturally harsh texture, dense throughout.
(2) Corded: hanging in tight even cords of varying length; longer on
mane or body coat, head, and ears; shorter on puffs, bracelets, and
(b) Clip- A Poodle under 12 months may be shown in the "Puppy"
clip. In all regular classes, Poodles 12 months or over must be shown in
the "English Saddle" or "Continental" clip. In the
Stud Dog and Brood Bitch classes and in a non-competitive Parade of
Champions, Poodles may be shown in the "Sporting" clip. A
Poodle shown in any other type of clip shall be disqualified.
A Poodle under a year old may be shown in the "Puppy" clip
with the coat long. The face, throat, feet and base of the tail are
shaved. The entire shaven foot is visible. There is a pompon on the end
of the tail. In order to give a neat appearance and a smooth unbroken
line, shaping of the coat is permissible.
Saddle"- In the
"English Saddle" clip the face, throat, feet, forelegs and
base of the tail are shaved, leaving puffs on the forelegs and a pompon
on the end of the tail. The hindquarters are covered with a short
blanket of hair except for a curved shaved area on each flank and two
shaved bands on each hind leg. The entire shaven foot and a portion of
the shaven leg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left
in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance.
In the "Continental" clip, the face, throat, feet, and base of
the tail are shaved. The hindquarters are shaved with pompons (optional)
on the hips. The legs are shaved, leaving bracelets on the hind legs and
puffs on the forelegs. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. The
entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven foreleg above the puff
are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped
in order to insure overall balance.
In the "Sporting" clip, a Poodle shall be shown with face,
feet, throat, and base of tail shaved, leaving a scissored cap on the
top of the head and a pompon on the end of the tail. The rest of the
body, and legs are clipped or scissored to follow the outline of the dog
leaving a short blanket of coat no longer than one inch in length. The
hair on the legs may be slightly longer than that on the body.
In all clips the hair of the topknot may be left free or held in place
by elastic bands. The hair is only of sufficient length to present a
smooth outline. "Topknot" refers only to hair on the skull,
from stop to occiput. This is the only area where elastic bands may be
The coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In blues, grays,
silvers, browns, cafe-au-laits, reds, apricots and creams the coat may
show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently present in the
somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the tipping of the ruff.
While clear colors are definitely preferred, such natural variation in
the shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Brown and
cafe-au-lait Poodles have liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, dark
toenails and dark amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream and white
Poodles have black noses, eye-rims and lips, black or self-colored
toenails and very dark eyes. In the reds and apricots while the
foregoing coloring is preferred, liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips,
and amber eyes are permitted but are not desirable. Major fault: color
of nose, lips and eye-rims incomplete, or of wrong color for color of
Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified. The coat of a parti-colored
dog is not an even solid color at the skin but is of two or more colors.
A straightforward trot with light springy action and strong hindquarters
drive. Head and tail carried up. Sound effortless movement is essential.
Carrying himself proudly, very active, intelligent, the Poodle has about
him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself. Major fault:
shyness or sharpness.
Any distinct deviation from the desired characteristics described in the
Size-- A dog over or under the height limits specified shall be
disqualified. Clip-- A dog in any type of clip other than those listed
under coat shall be disqualified. Parti-colors-- The coat of a
parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but of two or
more colors. Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified.