- The earliest version of the poodle may have been the barbet, a curly-coated dog found in France, Russia, Hungary, Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The barbet may have descended from Asian herding dogs and water dogs.
- The German version of the barbet became the dog we now know as the poodle.
- The word "poodle" comes from the German word "pfudel," which means "puddle" or "to splash," a reference to the poodle's ability as a water retriever.
The poodle later worked as a circus performer, military dog, guard dog and guide dog.
- The poodle's hair cut originated as a working clip for retrieving in cold water. The hair was cropped close to cut down on its weight and drag, but left longer over the head and chest for warmth. Although it's often claimed the hair was left longer on the joints and tail tip for warmth and protection, evidence suggest that the style arose later, as decoration when the poodle became a performing circus dog. Regardless, the clip became more accentuated over time.
- The French aristocracy became enamored with the poodle and adopted it as its own. It eventually became the national dog of France, and to this day many people refer to it as the French poodle, even though it is a German breed.
- Smaller versions were bred in France, and by the late 1800s had been perfected. One of these became the miniature poodle.
- The AKC recognized the poodle in 1887. Only later did they split the breed into three varieties according to size.
- In the 1920s, poodles were so unpopular they all but died out in America. They staged a comeback in the 1930s. They were the most popular breed in America from 1960 to 1982, the longest continuous run of any breed.
- The miniature is the most popular variety.
Miniature Poodle Behavior Concerns
- Makes an affectionate and fun-loving companion.
- Playful and very good with children.
- Friendly to strangers, other dogs and other pets.
- Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
- Eager to please, bright and responsive, poodles are among the easiest of dogs to train.
- Excels at obedience and agility competitions, therapy dog work, and even contraband detection.
- Some tend to bark a lot, which should be discouraged from an early age.
Miniature Poodle Suggested Exercises
- Makes a lively and alert housedog.
- A walk around the block once or twice daily, plus a vigorous game in the yard, will meet its exercise needs, not counting bathroom breaks.
- Many miniature poodles have been trained to use indoor potty systems.
- Dog parks can work out well as long as Miniature Poodles are not expected to mingle with much larger dogs.
- Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
- Swimming is a favored exercise, but a full coat can weigh down a dog.
- Its thick coat provides some protection against cold weather, but its fairly small body size nonetheless makes it vulnerable to the cold.
Miniature Poodle Grooming
- Coat is curly, harsh and dense.
- Brushing and combing every other day is necessary to prevent matting.
- Most people have their dogs professionally clipped every six weeks.
- Most people opt for a sporting clip where the hair is fairly short all over.
- Originally, the poodle's coats were corded, so they hung in long dreadlocks. This takes a lot of work and is difficult to wash, so the style has fallen out of favor.
- Shedding is below average.
- No breed is actually hypoallergenic, but poodles may cause allergies in fewer people compared to other breeds.
- The eyes should be checked regularly for hair or lashes that may irritate their surface.
- Hair growing inside the ears may need to be plucked out or clipped.
Suggested Miniature Poodle Nutritional Needs
- Poodles tend to stay in good weight. The thick coat can sometimes obscure weight problems, so be sure to use your hands to feel.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight