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All About Poodles

red standard poodle

The Poodle

Elegant, intelligent, and incredibly affectionate. The poodle is an extremely versatile breed that make wonderful family pets. You will find this breed excelling as service dogs, therapy dogs, competing in the show ring elaborately groomed, competing in sports such as dock diving, retriever hunt tests, agility, tracking, and obedience, exploring the wilderness on a hike, enjoying a ride on a paddle board, or having cuddle time on the couch with their people. Because of their intelligence and eagerness to please they can excel in a variety of homes from apartments to estates, so long as they have regular exercise, and even more importantly, regular attention from their people. The most important thing to a poodle is their people and so it is important to remember that this is a breed that wants to be with you as much as possible. They are highly trainable but do need regular mental and physical stimulation to keep them out of trouble. With the right care and training a poodle can be a loving and loyal family companion.


There are three sizes of Poodles, all considered part of the same breed: from small to large these are the Toy, Miniature, and the Standard. The Standard is most likely the original of the varieties and was bred in Germany as a water retriever. The name Poodle comes from the German word “pudel” or “purdelin” which means “to splash in water.” The miniature and toy varieties may be small, but make no mistake, they are still poodles to their core.

poodle size chart

poodle puppy walking on leash


The poodle’s combination of intelligence and eagerness to please make them fun to train. Poodles are very people oriented, and as long as your training routines are fun and positive, they are quick to please you. Be consistent and training your poodle will be a rewarding experience that will make you feel like a professional dog whisperer, even if you have never trained a dog before.

poster of poodle hairstyles


Poodles have a curly, dense coat which is hypoallergenic making them an excellent candidate for those who suffer from allergies. Their coat is made of hair, not fur, and will continue to grow unless it is cut. Because of this, regular grooming and brushing is essential. Without proper maintenance the coat with tangle and mat which can be incredibly uncomfortable for the dog. One quick thing to note is that poodles do undergo a coat change from their soft, fluffy puppy coat to their curlier dense adult coat at about 9-12 months of age. During this transition, matting can be problematic, so it is especially important to stay on top of grooming while this change occurs. However, with proper maintenance the possibilities are endless! The wonderful thing about poodle coats, besides the non-shedding, hypoallergenic aspect of course, is the infinite ways you can style them! Most people are familiar with the iconic Continental cut, but this is only one option. If you like a lower maintenance hairstyle opt for a sporting clip or a Miami. If you like a fluffy, cuddly look try a teddy-bear cut. And if you are feeling adventurous go for a mohawk or Asian-fusion style!


Poodles are generally a very healthy breed, but there are still some important health tests you want to make sure the parents of your poodle puppy have been screened for. The Poodle Club of America (PCA), in conjunction with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), recommend the following tests:


· DNA Test for prcd-Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) from an OFA-approved laboratory.

· Yearly Eye Exam by a boarded ACVO veterinary ophthalmologist.

· Patellar Luxation: OFA Evaluation.

MINIATURE POODLES (Same as Toy Poodles with the addition of):

· Hip Dysplasia: OFA or PennHIP Evaluation.

· The PCA Foundation strongly recommends the DNA test for Miniature Poodle Dwarfism (Osteochondrodysplasia).


· Hip Dysplasia: OFA or PennHIP Evaluation.

· Yearly Eye Exam by a boarded ACVO veterinary ophthalmologist.

· Health Elective (at least one of the following three tests is required for CHIC number): OFA Thyroid Evaluation from an OFA approved laboratory. OFA Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) Evaluation by an OFA approved dermatopathologist. Heart Evaluation by an ACVIM boarded veterinary cardiologist. The PCA Foundation also recommends the following DNA tests from an OFA listed lab DNA Test for Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures (NEwS) and DNA Test for vonWillebrand’s Disease (vWD).

A simple way to check if a parent dog has been properly screened is if they have been issued a CHIC# from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Here is some more information about the CHIC# Program from the OFA website:

The OFA created the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) by partnering with participating parent clubs to research and maintain information on the health issues prevalent in specific breeds. We’ve established a recommended protocol for breed-specific health screenings. Dogs tested in accordance with that protocol are recognized with a CHIC number and certification.

At OFA, we recognize that the more information stored and accessible in these databases, the better it will be for every breed. And so we encourage all breeders to attain CHIC Certification if their breed participates in the CHIC program.

A dog achieves CHIC Certification if it has been screened for every disease recommended by the parent club for that breed and those results are publicly available in the database.

I encourage you to read more about proper health testing for any breed of dog you are considering at

chart of poodle colors

Poodle Colors

Poodles come in a variety of beautiful solid colors such as apricot, blue, brown, café au lait, cream, gray, red, silver, silver beige, and white. They also have a wide variety of multicolor coat possibilities such as parti, abstract, brindle, sable, and phantom. The AKC recognizes all these colors for the poodle breed, but only allows the solid colors into the show ring. The United Kennel Club, or UKC, however, allows multicolored poodles to show as well as solids. Both clubs, as well as the Poodle Club of America do not recognize merle as a naturally occurring color in the breed.

So, whether you are looking for a flashy show dog, a highly trainable athlete, a working service dog, or a simple loving family companion, the poodle may be just the pup for you!


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