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The Poodle is a breed of dog. Poodles are intelligent, active dogs and come in varieties distinguished by size, color, and coat. Toy, miniature, and standard poodles are distinguished by adult shoulder height. Poodles come in many colors including black, white, red, apricot, silver, and brown. They also appear in parti-color, or multi-colors. While the multi-color poodles can not be shown in the American Kennel Club (AKC), Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) or any Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) conformation ring, they can be shown in the United Kennel Club (UKC) show ring and in all performance rings.
The FCI lists the country of origin as France. Poodles were originally gun dogs and may be seen occasionally in that role. The show clips evolved from working clips which were originally to provide warmth for major joints during duck hunts in cold water. The rest of the body is shaved for less drag in the water. Poodles have been popular all through Europe for several hundred years. They also are skilled at most other dog events including herding, agility, obedience and tracking.
They are elegant in the show ring, having taken top honors in many shows. The poodle coat is dense and generally does not shed. As a result the coats in showing condition require extensive care and grooming. Most pet Poodle owners keep their Poodles in much simpler cuts that are easier to care for and require less grooming. The name poodle comes from the German word Pudel, which is short for Pudelhund, which means splashing dog. This reflects the breed's former use as a retriever of water (the word Pudel is related to the English word puddle).
Poodles were developed as a multi-purpose, easily-trained companion dog. They are generally eager to please, sociable, and playful. A personality component of almost all easily-trained breeds is a craving for interaction. Poodles are no exception. They will demand attention, even when you might think you have better things to do. Lifelong playfulness is a distinctive characteristic of most poodles, and they will want you to join their games. Poodles rarely like playing alone. Most like squeaky toys, tug toys, and chasing balls. Many poodles like to carry and retrieve things, but not with the passion of a lab or a golden retriever.
Most poodles like to bark, but rarely with the intensity of a Shetland Sheepdog or an Australian Shepherd. On a barkiness scale of 1-10, they would probably rate about a 7. A few are very quiet, a few are very barky. Most poodles are good with children, if raised around them. Standard poodles are usually calmer than minis or toys, but can be too rambunctious for young children. Toy poodles are too delicate to trust around small children without close supervision. On off-leash walks, most poodles will stay close to their owners. As with all dogs in this crowded world, you should never let a dog off-leash near traffic or where he might disturb someone else. Most poodles are highly sociable and like the company of other dogs and people. A dog-aggressive or people-aggressive poodle should not be bred. Train your pup using Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer tips!
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