The Greater Cincinnati Poodle Club

Poodle History

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Illustrated Study of the Poodle Breed Standard

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The Poodle Club of America

The Poodle’s true ancestry is murky. We do know the breed has been around for a long time. Ancient Egyptian and Roman artifacts often depict the Poodle’s ancestors assisting their owners as they bring in game nets, herd a variety of animals or retrieve selected catches from various marshes. The Poodle was bred to be a water dog, retrieving game fowl for its master. In fact, the name “Poodle” is a derivative of the old German expression, “Pudlen”, which translates roughly as, “to splash in water”.

Unlike many other breeds of dog that were bred to specific sizes only within recent history, the Poodle’s three primary sizes – toy, miniature and standard – have been around for centuries.


For centuries the Poodle’s intelligence and personality made it a favorite with gypsies and other traveling performers who trained it to perform all manner of tricks and skits to the delight of paying spectators.

One of the most misunderstood aspects of Poodles is why they are clipped in such an array of seemingly bizarre styles. The fact is that the distinctively shaved areas and tufts of hair – the unique Poodle look – are a direct result of the Poodle’s working and sporting heritage. Certain areas were shaved for added mobility and to lessen the chance of snagging while other key body areas (heart, lungs and joints) were left densely covered to provide warmth from the biting cold water. The ribbon commonly found tied to a Poodle’s topknot is believed to have originally been a means of finding and identifying the dog when it was working in the water.

The Poodle has worked in virtually every capacity a dog is capable of filling, and he excels at everything he sets his mind to. With such a rich varied history, the Poodle is a master of all trades and one of the finest companions any human could ever hope for.

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