Toy, miniature and standard are the three sizes of Poodle. Other than size, the conformation standards are identical. Many people think of Poodles as simply a dog with a silly haircut. They do not see beneath the fur to the great animal beneath.

The silly haircut actually serves a practical purpose. Poodles are water dogs and retrievers, and the cut protects the dog’s joints and internal organs from cold water. You might not expect to see a Poodle competing in field trials, but it is not unheard of.

After their time on the hunting fields, the Poodle conquered the circus. Their intelligence, beauty and agility make them the perfect circus performer. They can learn a large number of tricks and will perform those tricks dependably and happily.

Today Poodles are mainly a pet. They are happy in any sized home, but owners must remember that all sizes of Poodle are active. These dogs need mental and physical stimulation to be happy. A Poodle that does not get enough exercise becomes a hyperactive, bouncy and frustrated animal.

The sizes are designated as Toy Poodle 10 inches or less, Miniature Poodle 11 to 15 inches and Standard Poodle over 15 inches.

The Poodle is an elegant and confident appearing dog. It should be a solid color and have a thick curly coat. The legs and muzzle are elongated and sharp. Although a thin breed, the muscles of a Poodle are obvious and well defined.

As with several other long curly coated dogs, the Poodle is considered to be hypoallergenic. The fur tends to stay on the dog, even when shed, until brushed. Groom your Poodle regularly to keep the fur in good condition and free of loose hairs that may exacerbate matting.

Poodles are prone to thyroid problems, bloat and hip dysplasia. They are a long-lived breed, many exceeding 12 years.

Poodles get along well with children. Actually, adding children into the mix is a good way to drain the excess energy of this active breed. The smaller the Poodle the older the children should be before they are given unsupervised playtime.

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