When groomed to show dog standards the body is meant to give off a square appearance. It is approximately the same length as the height at the withers. The skull is moderately rounded with a slight but definite stop. It has a long, straight muzzle. The dark, oval-shaped eyes are set somewhat far apart and are black or brown. The ears hang close to the head and are long and flat. Both the front and back legs are in proportion with the size of the dog. The topline is level. The tail is set and carried high. It is sometimes docked to half its length or less to make the dog look more balanced. The oval-shaped feet are rather small and the toes are arched. The coat is either curly or corded. It comes in all solid colors including black, blue, silver, gray, cream, apricot, red, white, brown or café-au-lait. While it does not make the written show standard, some breeders are breeding parti-colored Poodles. See grooming for different types of Poodle clips.
The Poodle has been known throughout Western Europe for at least 400 years and is depicted in 15th century paintings and in bas-reliefs from the 1st century. The subject is controversial of where the dog was officially developed and no one really knows the breed’s true country of origin. France has taken a claim on the origin, but the AKC gives the honor to Germany, where they say it was used as a water retrieval dog. Other claims have been Denmark, or the ancient Piedmont. What is certain is that the dog was a descendant of the now-extinct French Water Dog, the Barbet and possibly the Hungarian Water Hound. The name "Poodle" most likely came out of the German word "Pudel," which means "one who plays in water." The "Poodle clip" was designed by hunters to help the dogs swim more efficiently. They would leave hair on the leg joints to protect them from extreme cold and sharp reeds. The hunters in Germany and France used the Poodle as a gundog and as a retriever of waterfowl and to sniff out truffles laying underground in the woods. The French started using the breed as a circus performer because of the dog's high intelligence and trainability. The breed became very popular in France, which led to the common name "French Poodle," but the French people actually called the breed the "Caniche," meaning "duck dog.” The Toy and Miniature Poodle varieties were bred down from larger dogs, today known as Standard Poodles. In the 18th century smaller poodles became popular with royal people. The three official sizes are the Toy, Miniature and Standard Poodle. They are considered one breed and are judged by the same written standard but with different size requirements. Breeders are also breeding an in-between size called a Klein Poodle (Moyen Poodle) and a smaller Teacup Poodle. Some of the Poodle's talents include: retrieving, agility, watchdog, competitive obedience and performing tricks.
The Toy Poodle is remarkably intelligent. Highly responsive, it is said to be one of the most trainable breeds. Sweet, cheerful, perky and lively, it likes to be with people. Delightful, very amusing and keen. Socialize these dogs well. They make very good watchdogs for their size. Without the proper type and amount of exercise they may be high-strung and timid. If the human is not 100% pack leader, they may snap if they are teased or surprised. Toy Poodles are generally good with other pets and dogs. Unless given rules to follow and limits as to what they are and are not allowed to do, this breed will tend to bark a lot. Do not let this small dog develop Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog believes he is pack leader to humans. This causes varying degrees of behavior issues, including, but not limited, to snapping, growling, guarding, demanding, untrustworthiness with children and sometimes adults, sensitive, nervous, reserved with strangers and obsessive barking, as the dog tries to tell the humans what it is HE wants THEM to do. This little dog can be good with children, however is usually recommended for older children who know how to display leadership skills. The reason is that most humans treat the dog in such a way that makes it unsure just who the pack leader is in the human-dog relationship. The dog, in his mind, is convinced HE is the leader to humans. These are NOT Toy Poodle traits, but rather traits brought on by meek owners. Make sure you are your dog’s firm, consistent, confident pack leader, providing daily mental and physical exercise in order to have a trustworthy, mentally stable dog.
Toy Poodle's are expected to live around 12-15 years.
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