Everything You Need to Know About the Poodle Dog

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The Poodle is the 7th most popular dog breed in America.

There is some dispute as to the Poodle's origins. Some believe the breed originated in Germany as the Pudelhund (a combination of the phrase "to splash about" as an homage to the breed's love of water and the German word for "dog"), and others argue that it was descended from the Barbet, a French dog, and might have been crossed with the Hungarian water dog.

The French variety was named chien canard or caniche as a nod to its talents as a duck hunter, and in fact, the Poodle's popularity in France earned it the esteemed title as the country's official national dog. However, the early German variety of the breed is largely responsible for the Poodle we know and love today which come in three sizes: Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle, and Toy Poodle.

Early art depicts the Poodle on the European mainland as early as the 15th and 16th centuries. It was wildly popular in 18th-century Spain, making appearances in the art of Spanish artist Francisco Goya, and as the favored pet of French royalty during that same era.

In the late 19th century, Poodles entered the show ring. They gained American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition in 1887, but by the 1920s, had lost popularity in America. After about a decade, though, the breed began making a comeback, and today, is one of America's most popular companion dogs.

Thanks to its superior intelligence and trainability, the Poodle breed has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history. It has been used as a water retriever hunting dog (the traditional Poodle clip, although peculiar-looking, actually serves to protect the dog's joints and organs from the dangers of swimming in cold water), a guide dog, a guard dog, a military dog, a companion dog, and even a circus performer.

The most common health issues for the Poodle include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, Addison's disease, thyroid issues, hypoglycemia, bloat or gastric dilatation volvulus, and collapsed trachea. Always keep an eye out for any change in their energy level. Also, one of the common health issues that can be seen on with the Standard Poodle is Von Willebrand's disease. Von Willebrand's disease (vWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder of both humans and dogs. It is caused by a deficiency in the amount of a specific protein needed to help platelets (the blood cells used in clotting) stick together and form clots to seal broken blood vessels.

Poodle owners should be vigilant and talk with their vet about vWD if there is any reason for anesthesia.

The Poodle's lifespan ranges from 10-18 years.

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Want to learn more about this four-legged Einstein? The Poodle Club of America is the Poodle's national breed club, and a great resource for all things Poodle.

Is there a special Poodle in your life? Show and tell us in the comments section below!

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