Everything about your Poodle - LUV My dogs

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Everything about your Poodle

  These fluffy dogs weren't always the delicate beauties they are today. Poodles were once natural-born hunters and were originally bred as water retrievers. These prim and proper pups are still excellent swimmers with a knack for anything that involves using their brains as well as their brawn. Named after the German word for puddle, this breed's webbed feet and water-resistant coat make them great lake and pool companions who love the challenge of obedience training at the highest levels.
  Elegant. Proud. Clever. Poodles are impressive dogs, as the many best-in-show winners from this dog breed can attest. Behind the blue ribbons, impressive hairdos, and regal attitude, you'll find an affectionate family dog with an ancient history and many talents.

Overview
  Although today's Poodles seem to epitomize a life of leisure and luxury, make no mistake: These are real dogs bred to do real jobs. Although it hardly seems possible when you look at a primped-up Poodle in the show ring, the breed was originally a water retriever, a job that requires jumping in the water to fetch waterfowl for hunters.
  In fact, the English name poodle is derived from the German word pudel, or pudelin, which means to splash in the water. And in France, Poodles are called Caniche, a name derived from chien canard, meaning duck dog.
  Even the elaborate coat styling that the breed's known for once had a practical purpose: trimmed areas lightened the weight of the dog's coat and wouldn't snag on underwater debris, while long hair around the joints and vital organs protected the dog from the cold water.
  There are three sizes of Poodle, all considered part of the same breed: going from smallest to largest, these are the Toy, the Miniature, and the Standard. The Standard is probably the oldest of the three varieties, and some still carry on the Poodle tradition of working as a water retriever.
  No matter the size, Poodles are renowned for a playful but dignified personality and keen intelligence. When it comes to training, this is an "A" student, and the Poodle excels at performance sports such as obedience, agility, and hunt tests.
  Despite his regal air, the Poodle is no snob. These are people-friendly dogs who want to stay close to their families — they get lonely when left by themselves for long periods — and are always up for a good game.

Highlights
  • If you spoil your Poodle and don't train him, he's likely to conclude that he's the alpha dog of the family. This is especially common among the smaller varieties — Miniature and Toy Poodles — who are more likely to be coddled and untrained. Teach your dog good canine manners, and then insist that he use them; it shows him that you're the leader of the pack.
  • Because of their intelligence and playful nature, obedience training is essential to keep your Poodle's mind active. A Poodle who is thinking and learning isn't bored, and therefore won't find destructive ways to occupy himself.
  • The Poodle coat needs a lot of upkeep to stay beautiful and healthy. Most Poodle owners take their dogs to a professional groomer every three to six weeks. If you want to save money on grooming expenses, you can learn to do it yourself, but it takes time and effort.
  • Poodles have weepy eyes that can stain the surrounding hair. To cut down on stains, gently wipe down the face daily with an alcohol-free pet wipe or washcloth dipped in warm water.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Standard Poodle was originally bred in Germany as a duck retriever; he is still capable of performing that task today.
  • The crazy haircuts seen on today’s show Poodles have their roots in the dog’s hunting roots; the thick, curly coat was cut in a way that allowed him to swim but also kept his chest and joints warm.
  • A Poodle’s intelligence can translate into stubbornness, so be kind but persistent with training.
Breed standards
  • AKC group: Non-Sporting
  • UKC group: Companion Dog
  • Average lifespan: 11-12 years
  • Average size: 45-65 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Curly, thick, dense
  • Coloration: Apricot, black, blue, cream, gray, silver, white, red, beige, and brown
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Other identifiers: Long body frame, straight tail or curving slightly upward, lean and long from head to toe.
  • Possible alterations: Recognized in two other sizes, including miniature and toy.
History 
  Poodles are thought to have originated in Germany, where they were called Pudel, meaning "splash in the water,” a reference to their work as water retrievers. The exaggerated show cut seen today began as a practical way to keep the dog’s joints and torso warm in cold water.
  The Standard is the oldest of the three Poodle varieties. The Miniature and the Toy were created by selecting for smaller size. They, too, were working dogs. Miniatures are said to have sniffed out truffles, a type of edible mushroom that grows underground, and Toys and Miniatures were popular circus dogs because of their intelligence, love of performing, and ability to learn tricks.
  The curly-coated dogs became popular in England and Spain, but in France they were adored. King Louis XVI was besotted with Toy Poodles and the breed became thought of as France’s national dog. It was in France that the breed achieved status as companions, and Poodles still enjoy that status today. They are beloved around the world and are consistently ranked among the most popular breeds. Today the Miniature is the most popular of the three sizes, and the three varieties together are ranked ninth in popularity among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club.



Personality
  Intelligent, loving, loyal, and mischievous are four words Poodle enthusiasts commonly use to describe the breed's personality. The Poodle is also known for what his fans call "an air of distinction": a dignified attitude that's hard to describe, but easy to spot in the dog.
  Despite his regal appearance, the Poodle has a goofy streak and loves to play — he's always up for a game of any kind. He's also very fond of people and eager to please. Combine that with his legendary intelligence, and you've got a dog that's highly trainable.
  A good Poodle who's been taught canine manners has a calm disposition, especially if he gets regular exercise to burn off his natural energy. Some owners and breeders think the smaller Toy and Miniature Poodles are a bit more high-strung than the Standard; however, other breeders and owners disagree with this theory.
  The Poodle is protective of his home and family, and if strangers approach your house, he'll sound a warning bark to let you know. And although he's affectionate with his family, he may take a while to warm up to new people.
  An outstanding trait of the Poodle is his intelligence. He is often said to have human-like intelligence, an amazing cleverness that astounds his owners. Of course, smart dogs can be difficult to live with. They learn fast — good habits and bad — and they remember everything.

Health
Miniature: The Miniature Poodle has a lifespan of 13 to 15 years and may be prone to minor problems like trichiasis, entropion, distichiasis, cataract, glaucoma, lacrimal duct atresia and major concerns such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), epilepsy, Legg Perthes disease, and patellar luxation. Urinary stones are sometimes seen in this breed. Eye, knee, and hip tests are advised for Miniature Poodles, as are DNA tests, which can identify PRA and von Willebrand's Disease (vWD).
Standard: This breed lives for 10 to 13 years, and may suffer from serious conditions like gastric torsion, Addison's disease, and sebaceous adenitis, as well as minor concerns like distichiasis, entropion, epilepsy, cataract, and canine hip dysplasia (CHD). Eye, hip, skin biopsy, and DNA tests are some of the tests which can be used to identify these conditions.

Care
  Poodles require a lot of socialization and interaction with humans, as well as physical and mental exercise. A short and challenging play or obedience session, in addition to a walk, is required everyday, although, poodles should not be allowed to live outdoors. Standard Poodles require more physical activities (e.g., they love swimming).
  Show Poodles require daily hair brushing, however those with shorter coats need only a weekly brushing. During shedding, a poodle’s hair does not fall, but instead gets trapped in the adjoining hair, causing matting. Therefore, it should be removed at all costs. This can be done by taking the poodle for a pet clip (or haircut), which can be done once every four to six weeks.

Grooming
  Grooming is a significant consideration in Poodles. The fine, curly coat that worked well when the Poodle spent his time in the water needs to be clipped regularly, typically about every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on his owner’s preferences. It mats easily and requires regular brushing at home, even with professional grooming. Left untrimmed, the coat will naturally curl into cords, though some people prefer that look.
  Dental care is important, particularly for Toy and Miniature Poodles. Keep on top of it by brushing teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and having a veterinarian do regular dental checks.
  Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. They shouldn’t get so long that you can hear them clicking on the floor.

Is this breed right for you?
  Poodles are bold, beautiful and brainy and owners must be ready to keep up with this breed's active and intellectual lifestyle. This breed can adapt well in most living environments as long as proper exercise is part of their daily routine. Poodles are typically groomed in one of three popular cuts: the continental clip, puppy clip and bikini clip. Depending on the cut you choose, frequent grooming is often necessary to protect their unique and high-maintenance coat. However, if you're sensitive to allergies and dander, the Poodle's hypoallergenic coat is worth the time-consuming and cost-intensive upkeep. If the standard Poodle is larger than you'd like for your family needs, it's the only breed that can be seen in three size varieties: standard, miniature and toy.

Children and other pets
  The Poodle is a wonderful companion for kids, although young kids who don't know how to handle a dog could accidentally hurt a Toy Poodle, the smallest and most delicate variety of the breed.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Poodles who grow up with other dogs or pets in the house — or who have plenty of opportunities to interact with them in group training classes, dog parks, and the like — will enjoy their company. If your Poodle is used to being the only pet in the household, however, he may need some time and special training to help him accept a newcomer.

Famous poodles
  • Boye, pet of Prince Rupert of the Rhine (1619–1682), was killed at the Battle of Marston Moor.
  • Charley, pet of Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck, a black (referred to as "blue" in the book) Standard Poodle, played Charley in the TV miniseries "Travels with Charley: In Search of America", based on Steinbeck's 1961 book of the same name.
  • Derek, pet of Patrick Swayze
  • Rhapsody in White ("Butch"), the Standard Poodle featured in the movie "Best in Show".
  • Roly was featured in the BBC's "EastEnders" for eight years.
  • Atma and Butz, poodles owned by philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer
  • In Goethe's Faust, Mephistopheles first appears to Faust in the form of a black poodle.
  • Darla the Poodle who plays Buffalo Bill's poodle Precious in The Silence of the Lambs (film).
Did You Know?
These curly-coated canines are often thought of as France’s national dog, though the breed originated in Germany.
A dream day in the life of a Poodle
  Using their brains and flexing those intellectual muscles is a must. Poodles love to work, and a day spent on the job as a therapy dog or assistance dog would be right up this breed's alley. Bred to excel in athletics as well as poise, Poodles love a day of training, learning new tricks and testing the brain's limits. A day spent swimming and fetching at the lake or pool would be the icing on a perfect-day cake.


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