More Poodle (Standard, Miniature and Toy) Pictures
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Poodle (Standard, Miniature and Toy) History
While most people see the Poodle as nothing more than a fluffy lapdog, nothing could be further from the truth. These dogs were bred to hunt and retrieve water fowl, specialties made evident by their coarse, wiry coat. Even the dog's name is suggestive of this original purpose; the word Poodle comes from the German pudel, meaning "puddle" or "to splash." Though the Poodle is most often associated with France, the breed actually originated in Germany and Central Europe during the 16th century. The dog was traditionally employed as a hunter, retriever and herder. Eventually, the Poodle was also put to use as a guide dog, guard dog, military dog, draft animal and circus performer.
But the Poodle found its greatest success as the pet of the French aristocracy. As it became thought of more and more as a lapdog and companion, the Poodle was bred down in size and would eventually come in three sizes. The original Standard Poodle would remain popular with outdoorsmen and the common man, but the Miniature and Toy varieties were the clear favorite of the European elite. So great was the Poodle's popularity that it was named the national dog of France - even Napoleon had one! The Poodle was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1887, and after a lull in popularity in the 1920s, the breed rebounded to become one of the most popular in America. Poodles are still used today by French Customs to sniff for drugs and weapons.