The Standard Poodle is an elegant, medium to large dog (15 in. minimum, but more commonly more than 21 in.) with a profuse, but well-groomed and clipped, wiry, curly coat. The head and muzzle are long. The skull is a bit rounded, with a slight stop. The teeth should form a scissors bite. The ears are wide and hang close to the head. The eyes are oval and generally very dark. Brown and café-au-lait colored dogs have dark amber eyes. Apricot Poodles may have amber eyes, but dark eyes are considered better. The dog's length from breastbone to rump is approximately the same as the height at the withers. The topline is level except for a slight depression behind the withers. The croup is rounded. The feet are compact, small, and oval. The tail is docked to half the original length. All solid colors are permissible. The coat may be groomed into three basic styles: the pet clip (or puppy clip), with relatively short hair all over the body, the "English saddle" clip, and the "Continental' clip with the rear half of the body shaved, bracelets left around the ankles, and pom-poms left on the tails and hips. The Poodle has a delightful springy gait. History:
The Poodle is most likely descended from early German water retrievers. The name "poodle" probably derives from the German word "Pudel" (meaning “one who plays in the water”). Hunters clipped the dog's thick coat to help him swim, leaving hair on the leg joints to protect them from extreme cold and sharp reeds. The French capitalized on the breed's high intelligence, trainability, and innate showmanship and made the Poodle into a circus performer. His great popularity in that country led to the breed's common name, “French Poodle.” In France, however, the Poodle is called the "Caniche," or duck dog. The Poodle has also been used to sniff out truffles lying underground in the woods. Poodles are depicted in fifteenth-century paintings and in bas-reliefs from the first century. The Toy and Miniature Poodle varieties were bred down from the Standard Poodles. The three sizes are considered as one breed, and are judged by the same standard. Today, the Poodle is primarily a companion and show dog, though he can learn almost anything.