No breed has a more highly developed sense of humor than the Poodle. Good thing, too, because no breed has been the butt of more jokes than this one. Humor aside, all the sniping is unfortunate because it makes many a family overlook the Poodle, an intelligent, hard-working breed. Perennially one of the most popular breeds throughout the world, the Poodle earns that devotion with his intelligence, ease of training, low-shedding curly coat, and his eager love of family.
The coat of a Poodle is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it makes the breed shed less so the Poodle may be more easily tolerated by some people with allergies. But the coat – or rather, what people do with it – is what makes many people cross the Poodle off the list when considering the dog that’s right for them. Show Poodles are poofed, shaved and hair-extensioned into an appearance that, though once based on practical considerations, is now the epitome of show-dog silly.
Kept in a sensible short clip and treated like a dog, not topiary, the Poodle is smart and hardworking with a sunny disposition. This easy-to-train dog can go anywhere and do anything. They’re generally good with other dogs, cats and strangers and are easy to house-train.
Poodles shed little, but require grooming every 4 to 6 weeks. Some Poodle owners learn to use the clippers and do the job themselves, but most rely on professional groomers. Either way, it's essential to take care of the Poodle's curly coat, because without regular clipping, it will quickly become a matted mess that can cause painful skin infections at the roots.
The Poodle’s coat comes in a range of colors: apricot, black, blue, brown, café-au-lait, cream, gray, red, silver, silver beige, and white. Parti-colored Poodles are two-tone, including black and apricot, black and brown, black and cream, black and gray, black and red, black and silver, black and tan, black and white, blue and white, brown and apricot, brown and white, cream and white, gray and white, red and apricot, red and white, white and apricot, white and silver. Phantom poodles have tan areas that are somewhat similar to the points on a Doberman Pinscher.
Poodles excel at performance activities such as agility and obedience. They are active dogs who thrive on attention and learning. There’s a reason they used to be popular circus performers.
The Poodle’s frou-frou reputation is unwarranted. It’s too bad that some people dislike the breed just because of that show cut and too easily dismiss a wonderful family dog. As a family pet, the poodle can have a simple and easy-to-maintain look. They don’t all wear nail polish on their toes, although they can if you want them to. To Poodles, getting your nails polished means getting attention, and in their book, that’s what matters.
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