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French Poodle: Everything You Need To Know About This Cute Dog Breed 

French Poodle

Ever wondered if a French Poodle is indeed French? Well, you’re not alone. If you want to know if these cuddly, prissy poodles are French and if standard poodles are any different from French Poodles, read on. 

Dog Food Guide – the go-to site for must-know dog food and dog breed facts – is here to give you the real deal behind the so-called French Poodle breed.

This includes whether they’re French or not, the different poodle types, their temperament, the common health issues experienced by these doggy royalties, and so much more.

French Poodle & Poodles: Are They Different Dog Breeds?

Known as the national dog of France, a French poodle is just the same as your regular poodle. And you know what’s more? These pups are not French. Fact is, these dogs are known as Caniche in France, which is French for “duck dog.”

Unlike your American Dobermans and European Rottweilers whose names indicate where the dogs originally come from, such a thing as a French poodle does not exist. Simply put, the term French poodle is a misnomer

Poodles & How They Came About

If French poodles are not French, where did they come from? 

In reality, poodles originated in Germany. The term poodle comes from the German word pudel or pudelin. In English, this means “to splash into the water.” 

Interestingly, these poised and elegant dogs with their striking clipped updos were bred as hunting dogs back in the day. And since they are great swimmers, the French poodle turns out to be an excellent water retriever with a knack for hunting waterfowl and ducks.

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Different Poodle Varieties

Now that it’s clear that a French poodle is simply a poodle that originated in Germany, let’s discuss all the different types of poodles. 

Poodles come in different sizes and colors. Regardless of size and color, according to the American Kennel Club – they’re all classified under one breed: the POODLE dog breed. All of which must comply with the same dog breed standard.

In general, poodles of all kinds are known for their squarely built appearance. They also have dark, oval-shaped eyes, and a long, straight muzzle. Of course, a poodle isn’t considered an American Kennel Club-approved poodle without its clipped, solid-colored, thick curly coat or corded coat.

French Poodle Types Based On Size

Based on AKC, poodles are categorized into three types based on size. This includes the standard, miniature, and toy variety. All of which show the same proportion and build, but differ in height.

Standard Poodle

Standard poodles are the largest among all three types. It stands over 15 inches tall and weighs around 40 to 70 pounds. As mentioned, these were initially bred to retrieve game from the water. 

Miniature Poodle

A miniature poodle is smaller than a standard poodle, but it's not the tiniest. 

These poodles came about after dog breeders decided to breed the smallest standard poodles from various litters, and voila! The result is a miniature poodle that measures 10 to 15 inches in height and weighs around 10 to 15 pounds. 

Still a great water retriever yet no longer adept duck hunters due to their size, these adorable, curly-coated dogs served as truffle hunters that searched for edible fungi in the woods.

Toy Poodle

The toy poodle is the smallest of the bunch. No longer used to gather truffles, toy varieties were used as circus performers in the past. Later on, they were bred as lap or companion dogs. They stand no more than 10 inches and weigh 4 to 6 pounds. 

Teacup poodles, on the one hand, are said to be smaller than the toy poodle, but they still fall under this category based on the American Kennel Club breed standard. However, some would argue that these are a different poodle variety, although it's still unrecognized.

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Standard French Poodle Coat Colors & Markings

Color-wise, poodles come in a variety of shades. The most popular of all is the white coat color. 

When it comes to poodle breed standards, AKC, along with the Poodle Club of America, only considers the following colors as the acceptable coat colors for dogs of standard, miniature, and toy varieties.

  • White
  • Silver Beige
  • Silver 
  • Red
  • Gray
  • Cream
  • Cafe Au Lait
  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Apricot

NOTE: Brown and faded brown poodles (think cafe au lait) will have liver-colored eye rims, noses, and lips. The apricot-colored ones, on the other hand, will have brown or black noses, eye rims, and lips. Other coat colors like white, black, and cream will have black lips, noses, and eye rims.

9 Must-Know French Poodle Facts

Search for the word “poodle” online, and you’ll find images and pictures of poodles looking all cute and regal with their Continental clip or quirky hairstyles. But, you know what? There’s more to these fancy-looking puppies than meets the eye.

Instead of checking their images, try watching a video of a poodle in action, and you’ll realize how fun and energetic they are – far from the spoiled, snobbish French poodles that they’re depicted to be. 

What else can you expect from these blue-bloods? Check out below:

French Poodles Are The Opposite Of Lazy

Remember, French poodles were born to hunt, so they’re NOT the lazy kind. You can expect the standard and the smaller varieties (like the miniature and toy poodle) to be athletic, energetic, and playful. 

Besides that, many of them have jobs. They’re great service and therapy dogs and are excellent exercise buddies. 

They’re Easy-to-Train & Smart

If you’re planning to get a poodle for a pet, you’d love how eager-to-please and highly intelligent they are. For best results, train it while it's still young and use positive reinforcement.

These Seemingly Snobbish Pups Are Actually Uber Friendly

That’s right. Eager to please and affectionate, French poodles are warmhearted and easygoing. They treat strangers as friends and are great with children. 

However, note that smaller varieties like the miniature and toy varieties might have a problem with younger children. The standard-sized type, though, does well with children of any age.

Now, if you live in a home with multiple pets, getting a poodle as a pet is alright. Poodles can get along with other pets (like cats) without problems.

French Poodles Can Be Clingy

When left alone for a long time, a poodle may experience separation anxiety. When this happens, your dog might show destructive behavior, including excessive whining and scratching.

They Can Be Excessively Loud

This is true even for the miniature and toy poodle types. This breed can be very vocal but worry not. This can be minimized with proper training.

They’re Perfect For People With Allergies

Although they’re not entirely hypoallergenic, this breed is an excellent pet for people with allergies. Why? These cuties shed little and do not produce a lot of dander.

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French Poodles Require Regular Upkeep

Given their thick curly hair or coat, regular visits to the groomer is a must if you don’t want your puppy to look like a mop. Daily brushing is also required to keep your dog’s coat matt-free and to reduce the risk of flaking, skin thickening, and hair loss.  

Their Eye-Catching Hairstyles Are Meant For Function

You read that right. A poodle’s unique updo serves a purpose.

Part of the poodle’s coat is clipped from ribs to tail to boost their retrieve game and their swimming abilities. Besides that, their coat is also clipped to protect their vital organs and joints in cold water.

If you’re planning to register your puppy, your pup MUST be clipped. The puppy clip is acceptable among pups under 12 months. Beyond that age, they must be shown in an English saddle, sporting, or Continental clip for them to be qualified.

They’re Somewhat Expensive 

Planning to buy a poodle? Then expect to shell out a significant amount since their sale price ranges from $600 to $2000. The standard purebred poodle is the cheapest among the three types, while the miniature and toy poodle will cost more.

As always, it’s a good idea to buy from a reputable breeder. Sadly, breeders that breed animals for money abound. Often, this type of breeder fails to consider the temperament and health of the animal. So make sure to buy from reputable breeders – preferably those who are members of an AKC-affiliated club. 

Common Health Issues

A poodle can live up to 10 to 18 years. If you want to maximize that, then make sure to get your furball checked by a vet regularly. Like any breed, a poodle (whether standard, miniature, or toy) is prone to health issues like sebaceous adenitis. Besides sebaceous adenitis, other problems include:

  • Hair loss
  • Skin thickening
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand disease

Conclusion

A French poodle might not be French, but they still look classy, regardless. Their history may have started in Germany, but they’re now known all over the globe. In fact, since their “Germany days,” these hunting-turned-lapdogs are now among the top 10 most popular breeds in the world. 

If you’re planning to buy or adopt one (whether it’s a standard, miniature, or toy type), make sure you’re up for it. Owning a furball like this one is a BIG responsibility. 

Aside from buying everything these Fidos need (from their food down to their leash and toys), you also need to make time for them. After all, these fur babies require play dates and regular visits to the groomer and vet to keep them happy and healthy.

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