Poodles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are often portrayed as vain and proud dogs but they are very much the opposite in reality. Here are some facts you may not know about this amazing breed!
1. They have three official sizes
Poodles come in three typical sizes; Standard (the oldest), Miniature and Toy, but all have the same breed standards. Types like "King" and "Teacup" are merely marketing gimmicks by pet breeders to sell them at a higher price.
2. Poodles were originally working dogs
The Standard Poodle was bred to retrieve waterfowl for hunters while the Miniature was believed to sniff out truffles in European forests. The Toy Poodle was bred as companion dogs to nobility and wealthy merchants.
The Miniature and Toy Poodles were also popularly used in circuses because they were intelligent, loved performing, and were able to learn tricks.
3. They were adored by King Louis XVI of France
The Poodle became popular in England and Spain, but even more so in France. King Louis XVI was so enamored by the Toy Poodle that the breed became the national dog of France.
4. But Poodles did not originate from France
Poodles are often assumed to be French because they were so popular in the country. However, it is argued that Poodles originated in Germany where they are called 'Pudel'. This means 'splash in the water', referring to their role as water retrievers.
5. They were also adored by another King The King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, was known to be a huge fan of this breed and had a great collection at his home in Graceland. He had a Poodle named Champagne while he was stationed in Germany. He was also known to give Poodles as gifts to women he loved. He gave a Toy Poodle named "Honey" to his wife, Priscilla Presley.
Elvis Presley with 'Duke' [Image Credit: nationalpurebreddogday.com]
Priscilla Presley with 'Honey' [Image Credit: nationalpurebreddogday.com]
6. They are the second-most intelligent dog breed
Poodles are ranked second to the Border Collie when it comes to canine intelligence. Coupled with an eagerness to please, this makes them easy to train. One poodle even learned to take the elevator and visit patients at a nursing home where her owner worked.
7. Poodle fur grows nonstop
Unlike normal dogs, Poodle fur is unique in the sense that it is truly a hair and not fur. It grows continuously like hair and will shed minimally. Thus, they need regular grooming or their fur will become matted and pose health problems. An abandoned Poodle was ungroomed for ten years and his fur became so matted that he lost two of his legs! Fortunately, he was rescued and you can watch his amazing transformation here. They are also generally hypoallergenic and odorless. These traits have spurred people to breed them with other popular breeds to produce more hypoallergenic breeds.
[Image Credit: poodlefun.com]
8. Their fancy hairstyle is practical
Back then, Poodles often worked in freezing cold waters so they needed protection. However, too much wet fur would weigh them down, so people sheared the areas that least needed warmth. What remained were the poofs that kept their joints and vital organs protected as they splashed about in cold water, resulting in the iconic grooming pattern we know today.
9. Poodles are not proud and pampered
Contrary to the stereotype often portrayed by the media, Poodles are not prissy at all. In fact, they are athletic and enjoy getting wet and dirty just like most other dogs. They have generally good temperament and are extremely social beings, making them an excellent addition to the family.
Luxurious, sassy, aloof. These are the common words that pop up when someone mentions "Poodle", but we hope these facts have changed your perception about these wonderful family dogs. Poodles are truly the epitome of "Beauty and Brains"!
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