Many dog lovers consider the Poodle breeds to be a very excellent dog with a coat hairdo that can be trimmed and styled. What is most noticeable about the Poodle dog is that this is the dog you can commonly see in most if not all dog shows. You can see a lot of them being paraded around in their impressive hairdos. Aside from the looks of the dog, it has a fascinating history and some facts that are necessary to learn.
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History of Poodles
There is some dispute as to the origins of the dog breed. The Egyptian and Roman tombs along with their artifacts show depictions of dogs that look like Poodles fetching game and herding animals. The Goth and Ostrogoth tribes have herding dogs that would become the German water dogs. At this point, the actual dog breed began in Germany and may have been crossbred with other European dogs like Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, German and French water dogs.
The Poodles may have originated in Germany, but it was in France that the breed was standardized. The dog’s function was to be a water retriever, and it did its purpose well. The dog has a remarkable swimming ability which made it ideal to retrieve hunted ducks. They were also used to for truffle hunting due to their sniffing ability. Germany was the Poodle breeds, but it was in France that the dog became popular.
By the time it reached England, the European mainland knew about the dog breed. The 15th and 16th centuries have artwork depicting the dog, while in Spain during the late 18th the dog was the principal pet of the country. It is not known where or when the miniature Toy Poodles showed up, but during the reign of Louis the XVI, the pampered Toy Poodles were favorite pets in particular by the nobility and some upper-classes.
The Poodle is also good at being a circus dog. Traveling performers like the Gypsies train the dog to do fun tricks. They also dressed the dog in costumes and shaped their coats.
The United States have Poodles, but they tend to be rare. After World War 2 the breed was now a favored pet by the Americans. The dog for the past 20 years is still the most popular breed in the United States.
A Poodle is an intelligent dog and training it is not a hard thing to do. From the physical looks of the dog, you can see a noble and dignified attitude. But in spite of it, the dog is loyal, loving, playful and mischievous. Despite being a companion pet, the dog excels at sports and anything exercise activity.
The loyalty of the dog to its owner’s family is remarkable. The dog can be protective against strangers and will give out a warning bark as an alert. In spite of the dog’s suspicious and protective nature, it will warm up to people though it will take some time.
Because of their intelligence (which some say is almost human-like) they learn thing faster and have a good memory. However, try to train the dog properly since Poodle breeds can learn bad habits as well as good habits.
Today’s Poodle dog breeds have three types of sizes. Depending on the dog’s size, it can either be a just a companion dog or a show dog.
- Tiny Poodle – It is also known as a Teacup Poodle. This dog has a height of 9 inches (22 cm) and weighs 6 to 9 pounds (3 kg). Despite its small size, this dog has a long lifespan. This dog is mostly a companion lap dog suitable for apartment settings. Nonetheless, it is an active dog indoors and outdoors. Note that the dog breed is not an official AKC size variation.
- Miniature Poodle – These are dogs that have excellent jumping and retrieving skills as well as being agile. Their body shape looks graceful, light and athletic. Miniatures are 11 to 15 inches tall and weigh 15 to 17 pounds.
- Standard Poodle – The Standard type is the oldest and biggest of all the Poodle breeds. Like its Tiny and Miniature kin, the Standard Poodle is a show dog and a pet companion. However, it still retains its work as a water retriever. Standards are 15 inches and above tall. Males are 45 to 70 pounds, and the females are 45 to 60 pounds.
Health issues of Poodle Dogs
Like any other dog breeds, the Poodle is a healthy dog with a lifespan of 12 to 5 years. Nevertheless, the occasional health problem tends to show up. Here are some of the dog’s health problems:
Addison’s Disease or hypoadrenocorticism – A severe health issues found in these kinds of dog breed. This issue occurs when the dog receives little adrenal hormones due to insufficient production. Poor appetite, lethargy, and constant vomiting are symptoms of Addison’s Disease. In its severe state, the dog gets stressed, and its potassium levels get high enough to be lethal to the dog.
Treatment – Use of fludrocortisone (trade name Florinef) or a Percorten-V monthly injection will work on Addison’s Disease. Additionally, prevent your dog from getting stressed since it will worsen its problem.
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or bloat – An issue that affects Poodles who have large deep-chests. What causes bloat is overfeeding the dog with a large meal more than once a day, drinking large quantities of water after meals and vigorous exercise after eating. What happens here is that air or gas distend then twist the dog’s stomach. The distended stomach prevents the removal of excess air via belch or vomit. In turn, the blood supply of heart is impeded causing blood pressure loss. Look out for signs of weakness, lethargy, and restlessness.
Treatment – To prevent bloat moderate your dog’s meal, drink, and activities after it eats. If the situation is severe surgery is the answer depending on your vet’s advice.
Cushing’s Disease or Hyperadrenocorticism – When the dog’s body produces too much cortisol this condition happens. Constant urination, diarrhea, hair loss and excessive drinking are some symptoms of Cushing’s Disease. Your dog at this point requires a visit to a vet
Treatment – Depending on the gravity of the Cushing’s Disease the treatment will either be medical or surgery. Usually medical or use of prescription medicine is the first choice since surgery has risks.
Epilepsy – Normally a seizure in a Poodle is not epilepsy if your dog suddenly falls on its side with its head twisting back along with legs rigid and stretched you can be sure that your dog has epilepsy. Epilepsy is an inherited problem and often causes mild or severe seizures. Epilepsy is not curable, but your vet can recommend some drugs to help control the seizures. Also, don’t breed your dog if it has epilepsy.
Treatment – Your vet will likely recommend effective drugs to mitigate the seizures. Phenobarbital is the highly recommended medication.
Hip Dysplasia – A dog’s hip femur (specifically the balls of the thigh bone) often slide out of the hip socket due to loose ligaments or poorly formed hip socket. As time goes by the troubled joint will cause pain, lameness, and arthritis. Despite this symptoms, X-ray scans can show if your dog has Hip Dysplasia.
Treatment – There is no cure for it, but you can do weight management, physical exercises, and swimming training to ease the problem.
If you think that your Poodle dog is having a problem with its health, take it to a veterinarian immediately to diagnose the actual problem. This way you can stop or mitigate your dog’s health problems at an early stage.
Poodles Coat Types
Poodle breeds come in different skin colors. The colors depend on the how the dog was bred. Here is a list of coat colors and their description.
- Brown – Deep dark color coat. Pure brown dogs have dark amber eyes and liver points. No black pigment on the body sans the nose and eyes.
- Blue – Diluted or faded black. Black Poodle puppies are black from birth, but the coat color lightens as it matures. The roots of the hair are a mixture of colors. Those dogs with an actual blue color have dark brown eyes and black points.
- Apricot – The new color on record found on this dog breed. The color often looks red or light colored like cream. The dog has black spots and liver point though it is not acceptable in some places.
- Cafe Au Lait – Shiny light tan color. Often mistaken for silver beige if you’re not looking closely. The dog has liver points and dark amber eyes.
- Black – There are lots of Poodles that are black colored, but a real black Poodle is dark ink black. There is zero silver or blue tint and no silver or white guard hairs. The dog’s coat remains deep black, and it will not fade as the dog grows older.
- Silver Beige – Diluted brown in appearance. The dog has liver points and dark amber eyes. Puppies are born brown, but at six weeks the silver beige color begins to appear.
- White – The most common color in Poodles. There should be no other color aside from a bit of black spotting.
- Silver – Silver colored puppy Poodles are born with black coats. However, by the age of 6 weeks, the face and paws have a clear color. The rest of the pup’s body follows afterward with the next one or two years. The dog has black points and dark brown eyes.
- Red – Another recent on record found on Poodle breeds. A real red Poodle has black points. Liver points are present, but only acceptable in some countries.
- Gray – Puppies of this breed are born gray and will remain even when they mature. However, some black puppies will turn gray though the chances of this change happening are uncommon.
- Cream – A lighter shade of brown color. Black points or stains are present in the coat.
Why do Poodles Turn Gray?
Poodle puppies are born with a solid color, but several factors often affect and determine the final color of the puppy when it becomes an adult. Genetics is the primary factor here. Cafe Au Lait, Blue, Silver and Apricots colored dogs are often born as solid colored pups.
Feeding Tips For Poodle Dogs
Feeding time is an important part of taking care of your Poodle dog. You need to know what to feed it and how much it should eat. A well-balanced diet is a significant factor to your dog’s health.
- Switching new food on new-born puppies – When you bring home a puppy from asking the breeder or dog shelter worker about the kinds of food that they feed the puppy. Digestive problems and upset stomachs are a result of changing food diet fast, so it’s important to know this detail.
Once you have the info you need, you can now do the following:
Week 1: Feed puppy with ¾ of its old food, then ¼ of new food.
Week 2: Feed puppy with ½ of its old food, then ½ of new food.
Week 3: Feed puppy with ¼ of its old food, then ¾ of new food.
Week 4: Switch completely to the new food.
- Feeding a 3-month old Poodle puppy – Free feed your puppy with fresh food. Only leave out the food at all times for the puppy to eat. Keep the food fresh and when cleaning the food bowl do it thoroughly to remove any old food bits.
- Puppy feeding – Serve the puppy with three meal per day on you reach the three-month mark.
- Adult feeding – Depending on what kind of Poodle you have (Tiny, Miniature or Standard) the food that you allocate for their feeding differs. Standard dogs, a one-day dinner food is enough while Tiny and Miniature dogs require two meals a day.
- Snack food – Give you dogs snack as treat or reward for good behavior. For puppies, they’re rewards for obeying and completing your training method. For adult dogs, they’re reinforcement rewards for good behavior.
- Suitable food for your dog – Avoid food (especially some commercial brands) with artificial ingredients as well as questionable ingredients. Food with fillers has no nutritional value so steer clear of them too. Orijen and Whole Earth Farms are some dog food brands that are good for your dog. You can also try home cooking using natural or safe ingredients. The advantage of home cooking is that you control what goes into your dog’s next meal.
Poodle Rescue Groups
If you don’t have money to buy a puppy or dog from a breeder, you can always go to a Poodle Rescue Groups shelter. Here you will find a poor puppy or dog that needs your love. Here are some five dog rescue groups to choose from:
- North Shore Animal League America – Currently the world’s largest adoption and no-kill animal rescue organization. Established in 1944 this group is the leader in advocating animal rescue and rehabilitation instead of euthanizing them.
- Poodle Cross Rescue – This group has been saving a lot of pure-bred and cross-bred Poodles since 2006. They also take in other breeds like Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, Maltese, etc. They make every effort to rescue dogs and find good homes for their charges.
- Carolina Poodle Rescue – The group has gone a long way from taking care of 25 dogs to 5000 dogs in just 16 years. They have given their charges hope, health, and homes due to their actions. They rely mostly on donations for medicine, buildings, equipment, and vehicles to aid dogs.
- Florida Poodle Rescue – Since 1994 this Florida-based Poodle Rescue group has successfully saved, rehabilitated and fostered Poodles. Dogs under their care now have loving, permanent homes thanks to their efforts. Like any other dog rescue organization, they rely on donations to continue their work.
- Poodle Rescue New England – This non-profit dog rescue organization is located in New England and has done much to save Poodles. The group is mostly made up of volunteers who gladly use their time and efforts to rescue dogs.
Now that you know some important info about Poodle breeds it is time for you to get a Poodle dog of your own if you don’t have one already. Poodles are such charming and lovable dogs. Treat them well with love and the dog, in turn, will be loyal and affectionate to you.