The poodle is a very talented breed which
is universally popular. Although nowadays a pet and show dog the poodle
still displays its original traits - intelligence, versatility and sporting
Description & History
The Poodle, or Caniche, is generally considered
to be of French origin, although some authorities on the breed believe
it could have originated in Germany. They were originally known as Water
Dogs, and it appears that the name Poodle was not used in England until
the middle of the nineteenth century.In Germany and the British Isles
the name Poodle has associations with water. The German word "pudel"
and the English word puddle suggests that owners of these dogs possibly
chose a name that emphasised their love of water.
An ancient breed that down the centuries
has been used in a number of roles; sporting, entertainment and companionship.
As sporting dogs, Poodles were originally used as gundogs. Owing to
their great love of water, combined with a natural hunting and scenting
ability, they were used for retrieving waterfowl.
As entertainers, Poodles have travelled
with circuses for centuries delighting audiences while performing many
parts with or without fancy dress.
Since the thirteenth century writers and
artists have portrayed these affectionate companions in paintings, engravings,
books and porcelain.They depict the Poodle with the aristocracy and
wealthy, also with ordinary folk.
Probably the best known companion and
friend was a Poodle called Boye. He accompanied his owner, Prince Rupert
of the Rhine, when he came to England to fight with Charles I in the
Civil War (1642-1646). Boye was Prince Rupert's companion on and off
the battlefield and was killed at the Battle of Marsden Moor in 1644.
A number of dogs, especially Beagles,
have given their services in aid of medical research. A Poodle called
Roger, a diabetic, helped specialists research the disease not only
for the benefit of dogs but also for humans. Roger developed diabetes
at fifteen months and, due entirely to his devoted owner, lived a happy
and useful life, although insulin dependant, until he was eleven years
The Standard Poodle is the forebear of
the Miniature and Toy Poodle.