What Were Poodles BRED for?

Poodle Dogs

Poodles have remained among the top ten most popular dogs for several years. So the big question is– what are poodles bred for? Well, if you have been asking yourself this question, you are in the right place.

Poodles are famous for their high intelligence. However, it is their look that is fascinating. For instance, they have curly and poofy coats that would be left wondering what they are meant to do! Keep reading this articulate article to discover more about poodles. Let’s dig in!

Cute Poodle

What Were Poodles Bred for?

The Poodle was initially bred to be a retriever in water. Mainly, hunters would go with them to help retrieve shot-down ducks and other waterfowl from lakes and ponds. After that, however, they became war dogs, circus dogs, and truffle hunters. Additionally, many people breed them for companionship.

Historically, the German soldiers were the first to breed the Poodle. They intended to create a dog with excellent hunting capabilities. They wanted a dog tailored to hunt in water, creating the term “water retriever.” So, even your French Poodle did not originate in France!

The Poodle is very popular among breeders because it is brilliant, trainable, and loyal. These attributes also make it popular among families looking for pets. The Poodles come in three size variations which will be discussed in detail in the next section.

Technically, Poodles were hunting dogs. However, they did not hunt or kill the game; instead, the Poodle hunting dog was used as a retriever dog. As mentioned earlier, they were initially bred to be used as water retrievers.

You will still find some Poodles being used as water retrievers. This is because the Poodle breeds have the temperament and physical qualities that make them effective as water retrievers.

Hunters shoot down aquatic birds like ducks and geese then the Poodles retrieve them from the river, lake, or any other water body. This made the hunting process more efficient because hunters did not have to use a boat every time.

The Poodles needed the right temperament and qualities to be excellent retrievers. For example, they were trained to be agile in the water. Fortunately for them, their coat is water-resistant, and they are eager to learn.  

Other Jobs Poodles have Today

Waterfowl hunting was on the decline in the 19th century. Coincidentally, the number of Poodles being bred for hunting also reduced. Nonetheless, thanks to the attributes of the Poodles, it became easy to train them for new roles.  

The French Poodle – For Hunting, Accessory

The modern use of Poodles is different in different regions. For example, the French Poodle is the national dog in France. This is what has made many people believe that Poodles originated in France. But, you already know the truth from the previous section.

People have associated the French with the breed for long that many assumed that the French Poodle was an actual breed! In France, Poodles are still being used for hunting, especially the large Poodle.

Standard Poodle – War Dogs

Poodles were highly regarded as all-purpose working dogs. For example, they were used to pull wagons, guide dogs, or guard dogs. In this sense, the Standard Poodle was a favorite of the army, mainly because it could learn fast. The only drawback was its fast-growing coats.

Nevertheless, the US army continued to explore the Poodle for military use. Although the Poodle did not travel overseas to the battlefield, they remained necessary for local use. They were used as guard dogs that protected military facilities.

In this regard, the Standard Poodles were bred for the following:

  • Hunting and water retrieving.
  • Circus dogs, truffle dogs, and companion dogs.
  • Show dogs and service dogs.

The Miniature and Toy Poodle Breeds

The Standard Poodle was bred down to create the Toy Poodles and the Miniature Poodles. The breeders aspired to make them smaller to live comfortably in the city in smaller spaces.

These smaller Poodle breeds are regarded as the best apartment furry friends. Moreover, regardless of their size, Poodles are the best family dogs because they are charismatic, have stylish personalities, and have good characters.

Studies have shown that the smaller Poodle breeds are ideal for high-strung families with kids, while the Standard Poodle is an excellent playmate for kids.  

In short, the miniature and toy poodle breeds were bred as:

  • Companion dogs
  • Sleeve dogs

Poodles as Show Dogs

Poodles working as show dogs is perhaps the most famous role in modern society. The Poodles make excellent show dogs; you would think they were built for those roles.

These lovely furry friends dumbfound judges in dog shows worldwide. What makes them outstanding is their iconic hairstyles, flawlessly groomed downy coats, straight muzzle, and strong pompon tail. All three sizes are excellent at dog shows.  

Poodles as Service Dogs

Poodles are excellent service dogs because they are calm and gentle. They are also good at performing assigned tasks, thanks to their intelligence. If you train dog Poodle properly, they make excellent service dogs for people who need physical and emotional support.

You should consider several things when training a Poodle as a service dog. For example, where will the training take place? What is the size of the dog? What are the dog’s capabilities?

Remember, even if Poodles make excellent companions, their roles as service dogs are different. They are supposed to help their owners ease their daily struggles. In this regard, you should enroll your Poodle in a training course specially designed for service dogs. After the training, it will become a certified service pet.  

Cute white Poodle

The Poodle’s Build

Poodle dogs have different attributes that make them ideal for different situations. For example, they are great swimmers, which is a characteristic built into the Poodle for purposes of water retrieval. So, what are the physical characteristics that distinguish the Poodle?

The Coat

The Poodle boasts a radiant and thick coat. Additionally, it has tight curls making it highly water-resistant. This is the attribute that makes the Poodle an excellent water retriever.

Moreover, the fluffy coat was helpful back when Poodles were used as working dogs. The cut was not just for show; it was meant to give the Poodle hunting dogs more mobility in water and at the same time protect their vital areas.

For example, they used to get the “continental clip,” which involved removing the fur from the tail, legs, and neck to make them more effective in their roles.

Poodle Head & Neck

All types of Poodles hold their head high with pride. This is also an excellent trait for swimming. Moreover, it has a solid and elongated neck allowing the dog to stick its head far out of the water as it swims, allowing it to see well.

The long neck also prevents water from entering the dog’s eyes. This is the next best thing to swimming goggles for swimming dogs.

The Body

The Poodle has a strong, well-balanced, and well-proportioned body. It is also athletic and agile, so don’t be fooled by its elegant looks. Moreover, their muscular shape makes them excellent swimmers but graceful at the same time.

The Poodles body suits its role as a working and athletic dog. It also makes it graceful in the water and on land. The Poodle’s movement seems effortless with a definite elegance in its step.  

What Were Miniature and Toy Poodles Bred for?

Have you ever heard of the term “lapdog?” Well, this is a type of dog ideal for sitting on your lap, allowing you to love and groom it unconditionally. Toy Poodles became popular during the Renaissance for this purpose.

The nobles desired a smaller version of the Poodle that would serve as their companions. The Toy Poodle served this purpose perfectly and was also an accessory. This is where the term “sleeve dogs” was coined.

By the way, the nobles used Toy Poodles as accessories to keep their hands warm. This is different from the current use of the Poodles, where they serve as a lifestyle accessory.

It would help to note that the miniature Poodles were not bred to be accessories to nobility. Instead, they were bred for people who loved the attributes of the Standard Poodle but wanted it in a smaller size.

It is that request that gave birth to the Toy and Miniature Poodles. Moreover, although these Poodles were not bred for hunting and water retrieving, you can train them for those roles.

brown toy poodle

What does it Take to Own a Working Poodle?

By now, you probably love this noble and intelligent dog breed already! So, you must be asking yourself how you are going to get a Poodle and the best way to do it. Should you go to a trusted breeder or a pet shelter? Should you go for a Poodle puppy or a mature one?

All these are excellent questions you need to answer as you look for your first Poodle. Well, your best move would be to get the Poodle from a highly regarded breeder. It would also help determine how much you are willing to spend on the dog.

You love the regality of the Poodle, right? Well, their beloved character comes at a cost. The toy Poodles and Miniature Poodles are more expensive than the Standard Poodles.

Here are the benefits of getting a Poodle from a reputable breeder:

First, you can easily find a pure breed Poodle registered with professional breeders. Moreover, breeders have notifications for when Poodle puppies are available for purchase. This makes your search for a furry companion effortless.

Some breeders have years of experience producing big winners in national dog shows. However, if you are looking for a Poodle to participate in dog shows, you need a purebred. This means that the dogs used in the breeding process must be of purebred descent.

Buying from a breeder allows you to verify the dog’s medical and family history. Therefore, you will know the genetics, behavior, and other attributes that may influence the dog’s health and character.

You can also adopt a purebred Poodle from an animal shelter. However, this only happens on rare occasions. For example, you can find a pet owner who gave up their Poodle due to behavioral problems that made it poorly fit its initial adoptive family. Moreover, they could no longer need the dog.

Whatever the case, ensure you try to interact with the Poodle before deciding. This is particularly important if the dog is older.  

Once you purchase your new furry friend, it is essential to register it. The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the only purebred dog registry in the US. Its mandate is to maintain an investigation and inspection effort. Moreover, it is responsible for conducting thousands of inspections every year to ensure dogs live in a safe and healthy environment.

The ACK will send you an official certificate by mail once you finish the registration process. Other benefits of registering your Poodle include complimentary first vet visits and pet insurance for 30 days. Besides that, your pet will be eligible to participate in AKC sports and events.

Key Highlights

Poodles are excellent dogs with numerous favorable attributes. One of their most loved characters is their smartness and trainability. This means that you can train it to serve different roles.

However, raising a Poodle would be a tragedy simply because it is brilliant. It is better to pick a dog breed that matches your personality and needs. All dogs are intelligent enough to fit in most families.

Because Poodles were originally bred as hunters and retrievers, they have very active lifestyles. Therefore, you must offer them plenty of space for physical activity.

Get the Poodle size of your choice if you have an active family, and it will be worth your while.

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