Breed Information

A Brief History of the Poodle

Few dogs have climbed to such high favor as the Poodle, yet no one knows exactly where they came from. It is supposed to have originated in Germany, although that is doubtful. For years it has been regarded as the national dog of France, but it almost certainly did not originate there. The breed is probably of great antiquity.


The poodle is at the top of the popularity charts all over the world. In the United States it is consistently in first place. The reasons are many, but the most probable one is the Poodle's great intelligence. The Poodle is assertive, extremely responsive, loyal, and intelligent beyond belief. He can learn anything and makes a fine watchdog.


The name Poodle comes from the German pudel or pudelin, meaning to splash in the water. The poodle undoubtedly originated as a water retriever. All of the Poodle's ancestor's were acknowledged to be good swimmers.


Because Poodles come in such a variety of colors and can be clipped in so many ways, they serve any taste. That is another reason for their great popularity. We have three sizes as well as an array of colors. We have white ones, black ones, brown, cream, blue, and apricot ones. Any solid color is allowed. They do not shed, but their fast hair is fast growing and has no apparent maximum length. It keeps right on growing as long as you let it. Every four to six weeks the Poodle needs clipping and styling, and that is a chore many people choose to leave to the experts.


The coat lends itself to a choice of hair styling. The various clips are, of course, a matter of taste insofar as the average owner is concerned. Poodles get along with children, other dogs and cats, and adjust and fit in to any family situation around them. It is like having an extra person in the family. They seem to understand everything and as a result, are immensely popular and will be for a long time to come.

Official Standard for the Poodle

General Appearance, Carriage, and Condition -
That of a very active, intelligent, and elegant-appearing dog, squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly and carrying himself proudly. Properly clipped in the traditional fashion and carefully groomed, the Poodle has an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.

Head and Expression-
(a) Skull- Moderately rounded, with a slight but definite stop. Cheekbones and muscles flat. Length from occiput to stop about the same as length of muzzle.
(b)Muzzle- Long, straight, and fine, with a slight chiseling under the eyes. Strong without lippiness. The chin definite enough to preclude snippiness. Teeth white, strong, and with a scissors bite.
(c)Eyes- Very dark, oval in shape, and set far enough apart and positioned to create an alert intelligent expression.
(d) Ears- Hanging close to the head, set at or slightly below eye level. The ear leather is long, wide, and thickly feathered; however, the ear fringe should not be of excessive length.
Neck and Shoulders-
Neck well proportioned, strong, and enough to permit the head to be carried high and with dignity. Skin snug at throat. The neck rises from strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. The shoulder blade is well laid back and approximately the same length as the upper foreleg.
To insure the desirable squarely-built appearance, the length of body measured from the breastbone to the point of the rump approximates the height from the highest point of the shoulders to the ground.
(a) Chest- Deep and moderately wide with well sprung ribs.
(b)Back- The topline is level, neither sloping nor roached, from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the base of the tail, with the exception of a slight hollow just behind the shoulder. The loin is short, broad, and muscular.
Tail- Straight, set on high and carried up, docked of sufficient length to insure a balanced outline.
(a) Forelegs-Straight and parallel when viewed from the front. When viewed from the side the elbow is directly below the highest point of the shoulder. The pasterns are strong. Bone and muscle of both forelegs and hindlegs are in proportion to size of dog.
(b) Hindlegs-Straight and parallel when viewed from the rear. Muscular with width in the region of the stifles which are well bent; femur and tibia are about equal in length; back to heel short and perpendicular to the ground. When standing, the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump. The angulation of the hindquarters balances the forequarters.
The feet are rather small, oval in shape with toes well arched and cushioned on thick firm pads. Nails short but not excessively shortened. The feet turn neither in nor out. Dewclaws may be removed.
(a) Quality-(1) curly; of naturally harsh texture, dense throughout.
               (2)corded: hanging in tight even cords of varying length; longer on mane or body coat, head, and ears; shorter on puffs bracelets, or pompons.
(b) Clip-A Poodle under 12 months may be shown in the "puppy" clip. In all regular classes, Poodles 12 months and over must be shown in the "English Saddle" or "Continental" clip. In the Stud Dog and Brood Bitch classes and in non-competitive Parade of Champions, Poodles may be shown in the "Sporting" clip. A Poodle shown in any other clip shall be disqualified.
    (1) "Puppy" - A Poodle under 12 months may be shown in the "puppy clip with the coat long. The face, throat, feet, and base of the tail are shaved. The entire shaven foot is visible. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. In order to give a neat appearance and a smooth unbroken line, shaping of the coat id permissible.
    (2)"English Saddle" - In the "English Saddle" clip, the face , throat, feet, forelegs, and base of the tail are shaved, leaving puffs on the forelegs, and a pompon on the end of the tail. the hindquarters are covered with a short blanket of hair except for a curved shaved area on each flank and two shaved bands on each hindleg. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven leg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance.
    (3)"Continental" - In the "Continental" clip, the face, throat, feet and base of the tail are shaved. The hindquarters are shaved with pompons (optional) on the hips. The legs are shaved, leaving bracelets on the hindlegs and puffs on the forelegs. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven foreleg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance.
    (4)"Sporting" - In the sporting clip a Poodle shall be shown with face, feet, throat, and base of tail shaved, leaving a scissored cap on the top of the head and a pompon at the end of the tail. The rest of the body and legs are clipped or scissored to follow the outline of the dog, leaving a short blanket of coat no longer than one inch in length. The hair on the legs may be slightly longer than that on the body.
    In all the clips, the hair of the topknot may be left free or held in place by no more than three elastic bands. The hair is only of sufficient length to present a smooth outline.
Color -
The coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-au-laits, apricots, and creams the coat may show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently present in the somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are definitely preferred, such natural variation in the shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Brown and cafe-au-lait Poodles have liver-colored noses, eye rims, and lips, dark toenails and dark amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream, and white Poodles have black noses, eye rims and lips, black or self-colored toenails and very dark eyes. In the apricots, while the foregoing coloring is preferred, liver-colored noses, eye rims, and lips, and eyes are permitted but not desirable.
    Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified. The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but is of two or more colors.
A straightforward trot with light springy action and strong hindquarters drive. Head and tail carried up. Sound effortless movement is essential.
Size -
The Standard Poodle - is 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle which is 15 inches or less in height shall be disqualified from competition as a Standard Poodle.
Value of Points -
General appearance, temperament,
carriage and condition........................................30
Head, expression, ears, eyes, and teeth.....................20
Body, neck, legs, feet and tail...............................20
Coat, color and texture.......................................10

Major Faults - Any distinct deviation from the desired characteristics described in the breed standard with particular attention to the following:

    Temperament-Shyness or sharpness.
    Muzzle-Undershot, overshot, wry mouth, lack of chin.
    Eyes-Round, protruding, large or very light.
    Pigment-Color of nose, lips and eye rims incomplete, or of wrong color for  color of dog.
    Neck and Shoulders-Ewe neck, steep shoulders.
    Tail-Set low, curled, or carried over the back.
    Hindquarters-Cow hocks.
    Feet-Paper or splayfoot.


Clip-A dog in any type of clip other than those listed under Coat shall be disqualified.
Parti-colors-The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but of two or more colors. Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified.
Size-A dog over or under the height limits specified shall be disqualified.

                                                               Approved November 14, 1978

Preventable Health Problems

  Eyes- Eyes are exposed to dust, hair, grooming products, brushes, etc. and can easily sustain eye injury. This can be from a playmate's toenail, running through bushes and plants, or an eyelash that grows toward rather that away from the eyeball. All cam result in ulcers which, although invisible to the naked eye, are extremely serious and can cause an opaque scar on the eye. If your dog's eyes seem irritated, a simple test by your vet can show any eye damage. In extreme cases, the offending eyelashes can be surgically removed. In most cases, medication will clear up the injury.
    Make a point of examining your dog's eyes regularly.

Bones, joints, ligaments-
    Many young dogs injure themselves by jumping. Even going down a short flight of stairs or off a couch, can injure the shoulder, elbows, or lower jaws of small dogs. Discourage your pets from getting onto the couches or coffee tables. Hold him carefully so that he doesn't jump out of your arms when you pick him up. Don't let him jump off the grooming table. If a dog limps more than a few minutes, take him to the vet. Even if your dog never shows any sign of injury from repeated jumping, the damage may be a gradual invasion of arthritis in the shoulder and other joints. It's an unnecessary risk to allow your dog to jump, however much fun he seems to be having.

    Foxtails are grass seeds with barbed sprouts on the back end. They work themselves under eyelids, into ear canals, the penile sheath, the vagina, between toes, and into any part of the skin. All must be removed by the vet as they don't extract easily and the proper instrument must be used to avoid breaking off part of the foxtail and leaving the worst of it behind. If your dog shakes his head a lot, or holds it to one side, it could be an ear infection or a foxtail. Limping could indicate a foxtail in the foot, or under the leg. Once under the skin, it can cause a boil-like, pussy lump. These things are to be avoided. Keep grasses around your property cut down before the seeds form. Don't run your dog in dried grasses. If he gets into it anyway, don't waste any time in rolling him over and giving him a thorough once-over.

    A red, watery spot which is causing scratching or biting can be caused by something in the environment, but is more often caused by flea bites. Rid the area of fleas and then , if the dog is still scratching, take him to a vet for possible medication to calm the skin down.

    Some dogs retain their baby teeth.  When this happens, the adult tooth comes in , either in front of, or behind, the baby tooth. This does not necessarily force out the baby tooth.  More does not mean better in this case. Have the vet pull the tooth before it spoils the adult tooth's alignment, causes a wry mouth, abscess, or decay. Look at your dog's teeth regularly, from the beginning. That way, he will get used to it, and you can quickly tell if he needs teeth pulled or tartar removed.

    The most common is the umbilical hernia, which shows itself as a soft bump where the navel was. The next common is in the groin. An umbilical hernia can be felt while the dog is standing. The inguinal hernia can be seen as a bump in the groin while the dog is standing on its hind legs. Lift the dog carefully and look for swelling. Both kinds of hernia should be surgically repaired. The tissue trapped into the hernia can become incarcerated (trapped) and become gangrenous. Fix this as soon as possible. You don't want it to become a problem when you are out of town or the dog is being boarded.

Internal Parasites-
    Only rarely can these be detected by the naked eye. No matter how clean your premises, take a stool sample in to the vet for microscopic examination regularly. He will prescribe medication, usually without your having to take the dog in. Don't try to save money with over-the-counter medications. They don't work. Worms are not a natural or unavoidable part of owning dogs. They can cause major and persistent health problems if left untreated.

Heat Stress-
    Some breeds are more prone to heat stress. Having a lot of hair and undercoat makes them even more susceptible to heat prostration. Keep your dog cool by keeping him indoors under cooling or if possible keep him in a summer puppy clip to make the heat more bearable. Possibly, you may need to do both in some areas where it is exceptionally hot and humid. Your dog needs protection from the cold and elements. A good general rule of thumb is, if you are comfortable, so is your dog.