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Getting to know the Poodle dog breed - brown poodle looking up

Getting to know the Poodle

The Poodle is one of the world’s most easily recognized dog breeds—consistently ranking between 7th and 8th on the American Kennel Club’s list. They are often depicted as “beautiful, but brainless;” however, the Poodle is quite intelligent, outgoing, and easy to train.  

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the Poodle dog breed and see if it might be the ideal dog for you.

History of the Poodle

Known as a meticulously groomed show dog and often depicted as prized by the wealthy, surprisingly the Poodle has working class roots. While there’s some debate as to whether the Poodle owes its heritage to the French Barbet or to a similar German breed, there’s no doubt that these athletic animals earned their living as water dogs. In fact, the pom-pom show cut commonly associated with Poodles was originally intended to keep the animal’s chest, head, and ears warm while freeing the legs for bounding through chilly water to retrieve birds and fish.

Physical Characteristics of the Poodle

The AKC recognizes three sizes of Poodle—the standard, miniature, and toy. Standard Poodles weigh between 40 and 75 pounds and typically stand 18 to 24 inches in height. Miniatures and toys are significantly smaller, standing 10–15 inches (weighing 12–20 pounds) and under 10 inches (weighing 5–7 pounds) respectively. Poodles have what’s referred to as a “square” frame, with a straight back, elegant neck, long muzzle, and dropped ears. Poodles come in a range of solid colors—including white, black, gray, brown, silver, and apricot. Sorry, no spots or stripes.

The Poodle’s Personality

Despite their reputation for being dainty, Poodles are athletic and gregarious dogs that love to swim, jump, and play. They bond easily with people and are eager to please—characteristics that make them among the most easily trained dog breeds. They do require regular exercise to keep fit, and because they thrive on attention and companionship, they’re excellent pets for those who have the time to devote to them. They don’t do as well as other breeds when left alone for extended periods or boarded in kennels. While not known as guard dogs or loud barkers, Poodles are loyal family dogs and are quite protective of their human companions.

Poodle Health and Grooming

As you might have guessed, the Poodle needs lots of grooming. Its longish, curly hair is prone to matting, so frequent brushing and consistent bathing are musts. Fortunately, the breed’s history as a water dog means that most Poodles don’t mind getting wet! Many Poodle owners choose to leave the complex work of fur trimming to a professional groomer—particularly if looking for that classic show cut—but some routine trimming of the dog’s outer coat can be done at home. Poodles can be prone to obesity, so keep the treats to a minimum and be sure regular exercise is part od your dog’s routine. Poodles are jumpers, so yard fencing should be high enough to prevent an adventurous animal from escaping.

Are You a Poodle Person?

Poodles do require a fair amount of attention to stay happy, healthy, and well groomed. The standard Poodle requires some running room, and doesn’t make as good an “apartment dog” as do the miniature and toy varieties. Poodles make excellent family dogs, but should be thoroughly socialized at a young age, especially if there are other pets or young children in the home. Poodles are athletic and don’t enjoy being left alone, so if you’re into outdoor activities like running, you’re Poodle will want to go along. Grooming is essential to keeping your Poodle’s coat trimmed and healthy, so be sure you can spare the time for a routine brush and cut.

We hope these fast facts will help you decide whether the Poodle is the right dog breed for you!


Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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