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Today we talk about one of the most recognised dog breeds — the national dog of France, the poodle. An interesting fact about the name, courtesy of our friends over at Royal Canin, is that the name ‘Poodle’ comes from the German word for the breed, “Pudel”. In German, “puddeln” is a verb that means to splash. In French, the word for Poodle is Caniche, based on the word cane, which means female duck. So, in all instances, Poodles are inextricably bound up with water. However, and this might surprise many of our readers, although the breed is loved by the French, there is no such things as a “French Poodle”. 

A brief history

Originally, poodles were used for wildfowling (wildfowling is the pursuit of geese and ducks, often on estuaries and coastal marshes). They are primarily descended from an old breed of water dog, the barbet, with which they share many characteristics. What is also interesting about the poodle is that although the breed we know today was set in the early 1800s, dogs that resembled poodles were around long before that. Those years, and before we had professional groomers, the poodle’s coat served a practical purpose. Hunters wanted to protect their dogs’ vital organs in cold water. So, they cut the coat in a way that gave the breed freedom of movement while also protecting vital organs and joints. Today, we think the coat is decorative, and it is, but many years ago, that famous clip had a purpose. 

The poodle size and grooming

The poodle has four recognised sizes, ranging from the Toy, as small as 24cm, to the Standard, reaching 60cm tall. They come in a variety of colours and coat textures. However, their beautiful curly coat does need a lot of grooming. So, if you are thinking of getting a poodle, make sure you are willing to take on their specific grooming needs. 

Why we love the breed so much

  • The poodle has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. (The American Kennel Club (AKC) puts life expectancy for the poodle at up to 18 years!)
  • AKC breed popularity ranks 7 of 195
  • They are loyal and loveable
  • The breed is energetic and a lot of fun to have around
  • They are intelligent, trainable and have a desire to please
  • The breed has a low-allergen coat
  • The coat does not shed
  • They are excellent swimmers (well, they were bred to be duck hunters)

Join us for Part 2 of the poodle breed for health and general care advice. For now, shop quality nutrition made specifically for the breed at our shop.


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