(aka: Barbone, Caniche, Pudle)
Miniature Poodle Description
The Poodle is a fun loving dog known for its dressed up look. You will find that there are several ways that they can be groomed, which helps to define this breed's characteristics. The Pet Clip may be used for dog's that have a short hair length. The English Saddle or Continental clip is also used with the back half of the body shaved, rings are left around the feet and the tail and tails will have pom poms.
Another feature that defines these dogs is their coat's curl. Some will have a very loose curly look while others have a corded look to them. Colors range widely. The tail on a miniature poodle is set high. It is often docked at about half of its size. The dog's ears are also a tell tale sign of their breed. They are long and flat with a wide look to them. They generally lay down, on their cheeks and close to the head. Generally, the poodle will have dark colored eyes with black and brown being the most common found. Usually, their eyes will have a bright look to them, giving a show of their happy go lucky temperament. They have a squared off body, with a long head and a neck that is just slightly arched.
The miniature poodle is defined as a miniature by its height and coloring. Other varieties of poodle, include the toy (which is the smallest of poodles), and the standard size which is much larger.
The Miniature Poodle is an intelligent, joyful, companion dog. They can be trained to a high degree, and are very willing and happy to please their handler. Comical and clever, they are often used as a circus dog. The more intelligent a dog is the more they need their minds occupied. This breed cannot live outside in a kennel. They need to be part of the family. They can be high-strung if not given the proper type and amount of exercise.
Do not allow this dog to develop Small Dog Syndrome, where the dog is led to believe they are alpha over humans. It can cause them to become sensitive and nervous, and not very trustworthy with children and possibly strangers, along with many other behavior issues. Socialize them well. This is a very good watchdog for its size, seldom becoming aggressive. They may start to bark a lot without proper human to canine communication, rules to follow and limits to what they are allowed to do. Poodles are friendly with other dogs and non-canine pets. Be sure you are this dogs firm pack leader, to avoid any unwanted behavior problems.
Extensive grooming is needed if the dog is to be shown. Poodles must be bathed regularly and clipped every six to eight weeks. Clean and check the ears frequently for wax or mites or infection and pull out hairs growing inside the ear canal. The teeth need regular scaling. Since the coat does not shed it needs to be clipped. There are several different types of poodle clips. The most common for pet owners is an easy care clip called a "pet clip", "puppy clip" or "lamb clip" where the coat is cut short all over the body. Popular show clips are the English saddle and the Continental clip where the rear half of the body is shaved, bracelets are left around the ankles, and pom-poms are left on the tails and hips.
The AKC standard allows for a dog under a year old to be shown in a show style puppy clip which has special requirements such as a pom-pom on the end of the tail. Other clip styles are the modified continental clip, town and country clip, kennel or utility clip, summer clip, and the Miami of bikini clip. Poodles shed little to no hair and are good for allergy sufferers.
The Poodle has been known throughout Western Europe for at least 400 years and are depicted in 15th century paintings and in bas-reliefs from the 1st century. The subject is controversial of where the dog was officially developed and no one really knows the breeds true country of origin. France has taken a claim on the origin, but the AKC gives the honor to the Germans where they say it was used as a water retrieval dog. Other claims have been Denmark, or the ancient Piedmont. What is certain is that the dog was a descendant of the now extinct French Water Dog, the Barbet and possibly the Hungarian Water Hound.
The name "Poodle" most likely came out of the German word "Pudel," which means "one who plays in water". The "Poodle clip" was designed by hunters to help the dogs swim more efficiently. They would leave hair on the leg joints to protect them from extreme cold and sharp reeds. The hunters in Germany and France used the Poodle as a gun dog and as a retriever of waterfowl and to sniff out truffles laying underground in the woods. The French started using the breed as a circus performer because of the dog's high intelligence and trainability.
The breed became very popular in France, which led to the common name "French Poodle", but the French people actually called the breed the "Caniche," meaning "duck dog. The Toy and Miniature Poodle varieties were bred down from larger dogs, today known as Standard Poodles. In the 18th century smaller poodles became popular with royal people. The three official sizes are the Toy, Miniature and Standard Poodle. They are considered one breed and are judged by the same written standard but with different size requirements. Some of the Poodle's talents include: retrieving, agility, watchdog, competitive obedience, and performing tricks.
The miniature poodle is a great find for many reasons including their intelligence. They have served as being some of the best and smartest dogs available and for that they have a long history of training. Often, the dog's will do best with positive, rewarding training because they enjoy pleasing their masters and often are more than willing to do anything to showcase that love that they have.
As mentioned, they are highly trainable and this has played a significant role in their lives and history. Being highly trained circus dogs made them an enjoyable yet hard working dog. They loved every minute of it and they do enjoy being trained now. It often seems they like a challenge and are willing to learn what you teach and what makes you happy.
You will find that the miniature poodle of today has many great talents. This includes being a watch dog, being the trick performer, being very obedient and even competitively so. They are very agile dogs even for their small size and light weight. You will find that they are excellent at learning to retrieve. You can teach them to do nearly anything. When you provide these dogs with a happy, companionship based life, it is likely that they will learn anything you want them to.
Miniature Poodles are prone to cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which may cause blindness, IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia), heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, runny eyes, ear infections, and skin allergies. Brown Poodles tend to become prematurely gray.