In this article you will find:
- Breed Overview
- History and Origin
- What Are The Different Types of Poodles?
- Poodle Coat Colors
- Common Health Issues
- How to Care For a Poodle
- Buyer’s Guide
- What Are Some Poodle Mixes?
With their wits, curls, and affectionate nature, it is easy to see why the Poodles are the sixth most popular dogs in the US in 2022 according to the AKC. And there are six different types of Poodles that you can choose from if you are eyeing to have one.
However, among these six, only three are recognized by the American Kennel Club. Find out all about these types, including a bit about their physical features, size, interesting characteristics, coat color, prices, and more below.
With all of these options, and with your love for these curly fur babies, we bet you won’t have a hard time choosing which type would perfectly fit your household and living conditions.
Poodles are gorgeous, clever, athletic, and affectionate dogs, but they are not created equally as they come in different forms. Nevertheless, whether Standard, Toy, or Miniature, and either white, black, or apricot, this elegant dog breed stands proudly among the most popular and well-loved canines in the world.
Poodles are known by different names, such as Barbone, Caniche, French Poodle, or Pudle, and they come in three Poodle sizes: Standard (shoulder height greater than 15 inches), Miniature (15 inches or less), and Toy (10 inches or less). While these types differ in height, the proportions and build are the same for all of them.
Poodles are frequently spotted in the ornate Continental clip at dog shows. Most dog owners like the Sporting Clip, which shears the coat to match the shape of the dog's square-built, nicely muscled body.
And while their elegant aura epitomizes a life of beauty and luxury, they were real dogs bred to do actual jobs. To be exact, these gentle dogs were originally raised as water retrievers. They were bred to do a job that involves diving into the water to retrieve ducks for hunters.
Despite being one of the most intelligent breeds, with a high-bearing stance, and athletic nature, the fact doesn’t change that they are people-friendly dogs who love to stay close to their families. They love to be surrounded by their humans, and they get bored and lonely when left alone for a long time.
History and Origin
The Poodle is France's national dog, and the French people certainly adore their Poodles. The “French Poodle,” however, does not exist as a breed. Poodles are referred to as caniche in France, a term that comes from the French phrase chien canard, which translates to “duck dog” in English.
And though the Poodle is often associated with France, the breed actually began as a duck hunter in Germany over 400 years ago. In fact, “pudelin” is a German term that translates to splashing in the water.
Many people think that the breed was created by the mating of different European water dogs, including those from Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Hungary, and Russia. Some historians think that one of the ancestors of the Poodle was the North African Barbet, which was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula. The breed then traveled to Gaul, where its hunting prowess was put to use.
Whatever its lineage, there is no doubt that this breed is exceedingly old. Illustrations that appear like Poodles were seen on Egyptian and Roman artifacts and tombs from the early centuries B.C. The statues and engravings depict dogs that resemble modern-day Poodles herding animals, carrying in game nets, and retrieving games from wetlands.
Many people disagree with the assertion that the Miniature and Toy Poodles emerged soon after the Standard Poodle. Instead, they believe that breeders started producing smaller Poodles in the 1400s, first the Miniature and subsequently the Toy, to appeal to the Parisian bourgeoisie. The Toy and Miniature Poodle varieties were created by interbreeding little Poodles rather than smaller breed dogs.
Although it is unknown when the Poodle initially arrived in the country, the American Kennel Club registered the first Poodle in 1886. The Poodle Club of America was founded in 1896, but it was quickly disbanded. Poodle enthusiasts revived the club in 1931.
Before World War II, Poodles were rather uncommon in the United States; nevertheless, by the mid-1950s, they had become one of the most well-liked breeds in the nation, a position it kept until today.
What Are The Different Types of Poodles?
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes three types of Poodles, and these are the Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodle. However, aside from these three, other breeders, Poodle enthusiasts, and organizations also recognize two more types, which are the Klein Poodles (or Moyen Poodles), and the Teacup Poodles. We will talk about all these types below.
1. Standard Poodles
Standing no less than 16 feet at the shoulder (should be 16 ft and up), the Standard Poodle is the tallest among all the official and unofficial types of Poodles. Most of these dogs stand 20 and 23 inches tall, and their average weight is anywhere between 45 and 80 pounds. Any Standard Poodle that stands 15 feet or less can’t join a competition as a Standard Poodle.
Standard Poodles are recognized as the official breed standard by both the UKC and the AKC, whereas Miniature and Toy Poodles are exact miniatures of this dog breed.
While these adorable dogs may not look intimidating, they do possess an alert and protective nature, which makes them excellent guards or watchdogs. And with their unparalleled courage, loyalty, and affection, as well as their ability to get along easily with kids and other animals, the Standard Poodles definitely make fantastic companion dogs.
Some breeders might also advertise Giant or Royal Standard Poodle, and if you come across these ads, just don’t be confused. These dogs are not a different breed. They are still Standard Poodles that are taller than your average dog.
2. Miniature Poodles
Miniature Poodles stand 11 to 15 inches tall at the highest point of the shoulders, and they weigh 14 to 18 pounds. Any Poodle that stands more than 15 inches or is 10 inches or less, shall be disqualified from joining competitions as a Miniature Poodle.
With their versatile size, which is smaller than a Standard, yet not as small as a Toy Poodle, it’s not surprising why they are the favorite Poodle size by breeders when crossing with other dog breeds.
While these dogs are smaller than the default Poodle breed standard, Mini Poodles have as much personality, which makes them amazing family dogs.
3. Toy Poodles
The tiny Toy Poodles are the smallest among the AKC-recognized Poodle breeds, standing at 10 inches or lower at the highest point of their shoulders, and weighing between 6 to 9 pounds. With their cute size, these adorable companion dogs make very cuddly lap dogs.
And like all types of Poodles, these dogs are extremely intelligent and they have fairly high energy levels. Hence, despite being small, they do enjoy regular exercise, not just to keep them healthy, but also to keep them entertained.
4. Klein Poodle (Moyen Poodle)
Currently, the AKC and UKC don’t recognize the Klein Poodle as a valid size variant. With a height ranging from 15 to 20 inches, these dogs are considered Standard Poodles. Technically, they stand at the lower end of the Standard Poodle size variant, and the upper end of the Miniature Poodles.
Weighing anywhere between 40 to 50 pounds, Klein Poodles are generally heavier than Miniature and Toy Poodles, but lighter than Standard Poodles.
Klein Poodles or Medium Poodles are recognized as a breed standard in Europe by the Federation Cynologique Internationale.
5. Teacup Poodle
Aside from having an unofficial name given to them by Poodle owners and aficionados, Teacup Poodles are also not recognized by any principal breed registry.
There are no clear guidelines for their size, but most of these very small Toy Poodles only stand up to 9 inches tall and weigh anywhere between 5 to 7 pounds.
While these extremely tiny dogs are undeniably cute, it’s not advisable to own one unless it is a rescue. These unnaturally small dogs are usually bred unethically for them to reach that size without giving high regard to their health and quality of life.
Poodles can be easily recognized. While their global popularity does help in identifying them easily, we cannot deny the fact that they do have distinctive features that leave a long-lasting impression.
They have a long and straight muzzle, long ears that dangles close to their head, and they also have remarkably small paws. Best of all, Poodles are known for their corded or curly hypoallergenic coat that could come in different shades of solid colors.
Their distinctive hair clip is also one feature that people most often associate them with. And while many may think that this clip was created for aesthetic appeal, its original purpose was very different. The trimmed section made the coat lighter so that it wouldn't get tangled in underwater debris. And the length of the hair protected the Poodle's joints and internal organs from the freezing water.
Poodle Coat Colors
Poodles come in a variety of solid colors, as well as different color combinations. However, the multi-colored poodles are not allowed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) to join the conformation ring in dog shows. On the other hand, the UKC does permit multi-colored Poodles.
The most commonly seen solid coat colors are apricot, black, blue, gray, silver, brown, café-au-lait, white, cream, red, and chocolate.
Aside from solid colors, some Poodles also have markings on their coat. There are Parti colored Poodles or Poodles with predominantly white colored coats with spots or patches of another color. There are also Phantom Poodles, or those with Phantom markings wherein two colors are featured on the dog’s coat with the secondary color present on its face, tail, and feet.
Sable Poodles and Abstract or Mismark Poodles can also be spotted around. Sables have hairs with black tips, while Mismark Poodles have a coat color that features 50% white and 50% another color. Sometimes, there are also Brindle Poodles.
If there is one feature Poodles are known for, it would definitely be their distinctive hypoallergenic curly coat, which is often trimmed fashionably in several ways. While some owners like their Poodles to have ornate cuts like the English Saddler or Continental cut, others prefer more straightforward styles like the Teddy Bear or Kennel coat.
Even if you don't want to keep your dog trimmed in one of the fancy ways these pups are frequently kept, you will still need to take care of its coat fairly frequently — perhaps daily with a regular grooming routine.
Grooming this curly pup is expensive, but it is crucial to prevent mats and remove tangles. You may want to consider a different breed that needs less upkeep if you are unable to afford to give your Poodle regular grooming every four to six weeks. Another choice is to learn how to groom your pup by yourself to save money on grooming fees. However, you should only try this if you are confident enough after receiving professional instruction.
If you decide to groom your Poodle at home, you must first invest in the best Poodle grooming supplies. You'll also need the best Poodle shampoo, grooming clippers, and brushes.
Due to their tendency to cry, many Poodles also have stained under-eye hair. For dogs with lighter coat colors, the tearstains are more noticeable. To avoid stains, wipe your dog's face and eyes with an alcohol-free pet wipe or washcloth that has been dampened with warm water every day.
Every week, check your Poodle's ears carefully for dirt, redness, or an odor that might point to an infection. Then, to prevent problems, remove them once a week using a cotton ball dampened with a mild, pH-balanced ear cleaner.
To get rid of tartar accumulation and the bacteria that live inside it, brush your Poodle's teeth at least twice or three times every week. If you want to avoid bad breath and gum disease, brushing every day is even better.
If your dog doesn't naturally wear down his nails, you should trim them once or twice a month. As with any other dog breed, it's best to start preparing your Poodle to accept being brushed and examined while he is young.
Aside from being proud and highly intelligent dogs, Poodles are also affectionate and friendly with almost anyone, including strangers, and other animals. This devoted breed forms deep relationships with his favorite people and dislikes spending extended periods by themselves alone. They also tend to be shy and sharp. Hence, early socialization is a must.
These adorable dogs are also energetic, and they easily get bored when doing nothing. Hence, you need to keep them busy physically and mentally. Poodles, regardless of their size, require persistent, strict ownership because of their propensity for learning both good and negative habits fast. For this delicate breed, positive reinforcement training techniques work best.
Although Poodles are typically calm dogs who won't cause you the same troubles an untrained Mastiff or Rottweiler may, you'll be much happier with one who is mentally stimulated and isn't bored. Obedience training or training classes would be beneficial for these smart puppies.
A Poodle can be an excellent family dog as long as he receives the care that he needs. This amiable and lively pup can be an ideal canine companion for both experienced and inexperienced dog owners, provided that exercise, grooming, and socialization requirements are met.
Common Health Issues
A healthy Poodle’s average life span is around 12 to 15 years. Certainly, they can live even longer when they don’t have health issues at birth, and when they are well taken care of during their lifetime. Hence, if you are planning of having a pet Poodle, you need to ask for his health records and his parents’ health history.
Good thing that most Poodles can live a long happy life, thanks to the efforts of devoted reputable breeders who routinely test all of their breeding dogs.
Nonetheless, even if the pup appears perfectly healthy since birth, we cannot escape the fact that Poodles are genetically predisposed to several health issues. Below are some of the common health concerns that may plague your potential pup:
- Cushing’s Disease
- Addison’s Disease
- Eye Disorders
- Sebaceous Adenitis
- Hip Dysplasia
- Bloat or Gastric Dilation-Volvulus
- Patellar Luxation (especially in Toy Poodles)
Other health issues such as von Willebrand’s Disease and immune-mediated disorders can be seen in Poodle breeds on some occasions.
Additionally, ear infections are commonly seen on Miniature Poodles, while two orthopedic problems, luxating patellas, and Legg-Calve-Perthes, are most often seen in Miniature and Toy Poodles.
As with any dog, your Poodle must maintain a regular schedule of veterinary checkups. Your pup will feel his best if you keep him in shape with frequent exercise and a healthy diet.
With all of these health risks, it’s best that all Poodles have the following tests:
- Patella Evaluation
- Hip Evaluation
- PRA Optigen DNA Test
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
How to Care For a Poodle
Exercise & Living Conditions
As long as they get regular exercise and lots of human interaction, Poodles can live in any type of home, from apartments to mansions. Poodles, especially Toy and Miniature, prefer to live indoors with their family.
Exercise is a crucial part of taking care of these dogs since they are more athletic than most people realize. You only need to understand that they aren't Huskies that can thrive in running long distances every day. Nonetheless, Poodles do require regular opportunities to run, leap, and play. You should vary up your pup's everyday workout by combining long walks with fun and other activities.
Poodles love to be busy and are eager to be engaged in any form of action. Most of them also enjoy being in the water, which makes swimming a terrific kind of exercise for them. And since they were also originally bred as hunting dogs, it's somewhat ingrained in their body to retrieve. Hence, tossing toys, sticks, or balls for them to retrieve can be a fun activity that could stimulate their mind and body.
Diet & Nutrition
Regardless of the size variant of your Poodle, you should give him the best dog food that is available. You can also ask expert advice from your veterinarian or breeder regarding the best food depending on your dog's age, activity level, and size.
A healthy dog's diet should typically contain between 50 and 60 percent protein, 20 percent carbohydrates, and 20 percent fats. A complete and balanced diet for Poodles includes different meats as well as historically crucial mainstays like fish and chicken.
Your Poodle should also consume some vegetables, healthy fats, and oils. He should also have starchy vegetables, fruits, and even some grains like rice or oatmeal in addition to those protein-rich foods.
Keep an eye on your dog's calorie intake and weight, because just like other dog breeds, Poodles can also be prone to obesity. If you decide to give your dog treats, make sure you use them sparingly. Treats can be a valuable training tool, but offering them in excess might lead to obesity.
Never give cooked bones or fatty table scraps to your dog. Discover which foods fit the bill for canine consumption and which don't. If you have any worries about your dog's weight or diet, don't hesitate to speak with your veterinarian.
Poodles are incredibly smart and easy to train. They enjoy and succeed in a range of canine activities, including agility, obedience, and tracking. Aside from being exceptional water retrievers, they can also compete well in dock diving and retriever hunt tests.
Because Poodles are such people-oriented animals, they will readily comply with your requests if your training sessions are enjoyable and rewarding. However, you need to ensure that you are consistent with whatever you are asking.
Poodles don't do well as outside dogs or when left alone for extended periods. To ensure a healthy and well-rounded adult dog, it's crucial to socialize and start training this breed right away.
Additionally, Poodles are known to be sensitive to vocal inflection. Hence, owners must be firm without being harsh. The Poodle breed benefits most from a calm and confident pet parent.
Ensure that your Poodle has plenty of interaction with both people and other dogs. It may take some time for some Poodle breeds, particularly Miniature and Toy varieties, to get acclimated to meeting new people.
Trusting your gut can help you find the right pup for your home. However, to be on the safe side, it’s best to observe the tried and tested practices on how to find the pet Poodle of your dreams.
While it is easier said than done, you should start by finding a reputable breeder with a proven record of providing high-quality, healthy, and socialized puppies. While you may lean towards the extremely tiny teacup Poodles, you should be mindful that these small dogs can have a lot of underlying health issues. Also, you won’t really want to support unethical breeders from producing litters with extremely compromised health for aesthetic reasons.
Once you’ve spotted a breeder, speak, or better yet, meet him personally. Ask him a lot of questions, and don’t forget to ask for the pup’s paperwork. A credible breeder should be able to provide you with details about your puppy’s microchip, as well as vaccination and deworming records. You should also ask him for a signed copy of a contract of sale.
Again, if possible, it’s best if you can also meet the parents, especially the mother of the pup that you are planning to purchase. If not, you should at least ask for a picture of the parents together with the puppies. Chances are if the mother is not available, then, the puppy might have been bred elsewhere.
How Much Is a Poodle?
One thing to be aware of straight away is that a Poodle puppy's pricing depends on several variables, including size and color. At adoption, purebred Poodles typically cost much more than mixed-breed dogs.
Expect to shed an initial investment of around $700 to $5,000 for a Purebred Poodle. Training, grooming, walking, boarding, and other unforeseen costs are not included in this estimate.
What Are Some Poodle Mixes?
There are other variations resulting from crossbreeding over the years in addition to all the pure breed Poodles mentioned above. These mixed-breed Poodles are also called “Doodles.” And these Poodle mixes can come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, from the small Peekapoo, a Poodle Pekingese mix, to the humongous Saint Bernedoodle, a cross between a Poodle and a Saint Bernard.
Below are some of the most common Poodle mixes that you may come across, and that you can also consider if you are looking for a uniquely-looking pup:
- Shihpoo (Shih Tzu Poodle Mix)
- Chipoo (Chihuahua Poodle Mix)
- Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever Poodle Mix)
- Maltipoo (Maltese Poodle Mix)
- Poochon (Bichon Frise Poodle Mix)
- Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel Poodle Mix)
- Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever Poodle Mix)
- Pomapoo (Pomeranian Poodle Mix)
- Bordoodle (Boxer Poodle Mix)
- Pugapoo (Pug Poodle Mix)
- Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Poodle Mix)
- Yorkipoo (Yorkshire Terrier Poodle Mix)
Poodle is not only an intelligent breed, but it is also undeniably gifted with adorable distinctive physical features, charming personality, and incomparable loyalty. This dog breed also features a hypoallergenic curly coat, which makes it an ideal pet for dog lovers with allergies.
And as mentioned earlier, there are a lot of size variations for this dog breed. Whether you stick with the AKC-recognized sizes or not, you can guarantee to have a loving and clever dog, that can shower you with love and affection and accompany you through your ups and downs.
However, given their energetic nature, you should also be prepared to provide your pup’s daily exercise requirements. This won’t only keep him in tip-top shape, but it will also make him happy and it will prevent him from being destructive due to boredom.
And while it may not show because of their proud stance, these dogs are also sensitive and they can easily develop separation anxiety. Hence, training and early socialization are important to prevent future problems that can affect your pup’s personality.