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Are poodles really from France?
No. Poodles are really from Germany, 'Poodle' comes from 'Pudel', a germanic word meaning 'puddle'. They were bred as water dogs, hence their other name 'puddle dogs'.
History of the Poodle by Lee Weston
The Poodle's history is shrouded in antiquity
and hypothesis. By the 15th century we see dogs that actually resemble
the Poodle as we know it, in writings and in art work It is believed by
some that the poodle is the original water spaniel. It is known that the
Poodle was, and even today, is used as a working hunter and duck retriever.
The very stylish hair trim that is distinctive with the Poodle, and seen
in conformation, actually has a real function and purpose. The Poodle's
coat protects the dog from water and debris in the water, it buoys the
dog, and adds insulation to keep the joints, and the rest of the dog, warm
while working. The hindquarters of the dog is shaved so that the dog can
swim more easily rather than being weighted down with the equivalent of
a diaper and long footed pajamas.
Breed historians are in general agreement
that the Poodle had its origins in Germany, with some influence from Russia
and then became standardized as a distinct breed in France where it is
the national dog. That is why many people today refer to the Poodle
with the misnomer of "French" Poodle. In Germany the Poodle (from
the German word pudel - meaning "to splash in water") was a very
sturdy dog, that possessed two coat types, curly and corded. The
corded type of coat is rarely seen in the United States, but is still in
existence. The Russian variety was described as somewhat "greyhound"
in body type.
We know that the Standard (sized) Poodle developed
first, and that the Miniature and Toy Poodles were developed afterwards,
and all three varieties have a long history. It is not known for
certain if the Miniature and Toy Poodles are "bred down" versions of the
Standard, or if these smaller Poodles developed in their own right. An
interesting hypothesis dealing with the history of any breed that predates
written history, did the breed develop from a common ancestor, or
did the breed develop because dog fanciers from different countries were
trying to breed a dog for a particular purpose and function and, independently
developed a breed of dog that had similar traits?
In France, Poodles were used for a variety
of purposes. There was the Caniche which was a large dog widely
used for duck hunting. The Petit Barbet was a Toy size dog
that led a pampered and primped style of life in the royal courts.
The Truffle dog was used in the search for that flavorful morsel
that was used by so many of the French chefs.
A very important event in the history of the
Poodle is when the breed was imported from France to Great Britain.
The Kennel Club of England registered its first Poodle in 1874, and the
Poodle Club of England was founded in 1876. In 1910 the curley and corded
dogs were put in separate divisions, as was the Miniature. Prior
to this time Poodles of all sizes and coat types were shown in the same
The foundations that were developed in England
became the cornerstones of the breed in the United States. Precisely when
the Poodle was imported to the United States is not known. The American
Kennel Club registered its first Poodle in 1886. The Poodle Club of America
was originally founded in 1896. Shortly after its establishment it was
disbanded, and then reorganized in 1931. The P.C.A. used the Standard and
Rules of the Curley Poodle Club of England as its base for establishing
the Standard in the U.S. The same Standard now applies to all three sizes
of Poodle, the only difference is in the height measurements for each size.
The Standard and Miniature Poodle are shown
in the Non Sporting Group of the A.K.C., and the Toy Poodle is shown in
the Toy Group.
The F.C.I. (Federation Cynologique Internationale)
recognizes four sizes: the Standard, Miniature, Dwarf and Toy. All
four sizes are shown in Group 9.