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Poodle Breed Standard

Poodle Breed Standard

Describing the Poodle as an individual breed is best articulated by whats called a "breed standard." This specific standard is compared with what genetics determine - a dog's physical characteristics, such as height, weight, body type, color, or coat. Breed standards also spell out the breeds desired temperament, personality, and faults. Breed standards assigned by a kennel or dog club may vary slightly from nation to nation, and can change over time.

In a nutshell, the breed standard paints a picture of what the ideal Poodle should look like and how it should act, making it distinct and special from other breeds. Only those dogs that most closely meet the standard receive championship status or are elected to be bred, at least in theory. The first American Kennel Club official standard for the Poodle was approved in 1901.

The very first AKC breed standard for the Poodle was similar to the standard for The Kennel Club (English), which was written in 1886. Three distinct varieties of the Poodle - Toy, Miniature, and Standard - existed then, but they were distinguished by weight rather than height as they are now. The following description summarizes the current breed standard, as set by the Poodle Club of America:

Appearance: The Poodle is intelligent and elegant in appearance. Known for his alert expression, the Poodle is well proportioned and moves gracefully. The Poodle has what enthusiasts call "an air of distinction." Its poise and dignity are unique to this breed.

Size: There are three sizes or varieties of Poodles: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. They are all the same breed. Toy Poodles are 10 inches tall or less at the shoulder, Miniatures are 15 inches or less, and Standards are 15 inches or taller.

These three are the only sizes recognized by the American Kennel Club, though prospective Poodle buyers may find "teacup" (very small Toys) or "royal" (very large Standards) Poodles as one of their choices. However, these are not AKC-accepted sizes.

Coat: No matter which size of Poodle you choose, the Poodle's curly coat is her crowning glory. White, black, brown, cream, blue, gray, and apricot are the colors accepted by the AKC. A well-bred Poodle's coat texture is one-of-a-kind: harsh, dense, and curly.

Personality: The Poodle's other greatest asset is his personality. Poodles are highly intelligent, good natured, sensitive, and adaptable. Poodles are people lovers, and aim to please, generally following through on any request their owner may ask. Poodles are suited to show careers, field work, therapy dog work, or life as a pleasing companion. Being the adaptable animals they are, Poodles can live happily in a city apartment or take to life on the farm.

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