Standard poodle – canada’s guide to dogs

** — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

There are several theories of the Poodle’s origins and, while it is regarded as the National Dog of France, the breed’s actual roots may have come from Germany where he is known as the Pudel or Canis Familiaris Aquatius.

The breed is also known as the "French Poodle" and the "Caniche." The Standard Poodle‘s original popularity was largely due to his fame as a Water Retriever. Ancient Egyptian and Roman artefacts depict the Poodle’s ancestors assisting their masters as game nets are brought in, retrieving various game from marshes, and herding animals. The Poodle is said to be related to the Portuguese Water Dog and the Irish Water Spaniel.

The Miniature and Toy varieties were developed as companion dogs and the Toys were said to serve as "hand-warmers" within the large sleeves of nobility during the Rennaissance period and from this, these and other small dogs, came to be known as "sleeve dogs." From as far back as the early 1700s, Miniature and Toy Poodles became popular circus performers and, during the 19th century, Poodles were often seen working with gypsies and other travelling performers who trained them to perform tricks.

The clipping of the Poodle goes back to their working and sporting days when certain areas of the coat were shaved for added mobility when swimming as well as to prevent snagging and other areas were left covered for warmth. The wearing of a ribbon on the topknot is believed to have originated as a means to identify the dog when he was working in water. The travelling gypsies also added to the styles of clips for the performing Poodles who were often dressed in various costumes. Soon, it was discovered that the Poodle could be clipped, dyed and decorated in an endless number of styles.

• Addison’s Disease — Addison’s Disease is a disease where the adrenal glands secrete an insufficient amount of adrenal hormones. Initial symptoms include gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting, lethargy and poor appetite. When an affected dog is stressed or when potassium levels are high enough to interfere with the heart, more severe symptoms may be seen including severe shock which can be fatal, heart arrythmias can occur or the heart could even stop.

• Bloat — Gastric Torsion (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV)) — This condition is caused by a twisting of the stomach and thus trapping the stomach contents and gases resulting in a rapid swelling of the abdomen accompanied by pain and eventual death if untreated. It is a true emergency, requiring immediate veterinary action. This condition is most often seen in large, deep chested breeds. Anyone owning a deep chested breed, susceptible to Bloat should be prepared to handle the emergency procedures necessary, including having readily available the name and phone number of emergency clinics and/or who to call after hours. For more information on what you can do in the case of a Bloat emergency, see First Aid for Bloat in the Health & Nutrition section of the Canada‘s Guide to Dogs website.

• Sebaceous Adenitis — This is a chronic skin disorder resulting from abnormal and/or inflamed, or in some cases a total absence of, sebaceous glands. It is a major problem in the Poodle breed with estimates indicating that 50% of all Standard Poodles are carriers or affected. It can be misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism or allergies and, currently, there is no cure. All breeding animals should have an annual skin biopsy taken by a veterinarian.

• Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) — vWD is a blood disorder — a deficiency in clotting factor VIII antigen. Similar to hemophilia in humans, dogs affected by the disease do not effectively utilize their platelets for blood clotting and therefore are more likely to have excessive bleeding episodes upon injury. vWD is a common inherited disorder. A DNA test to detect vWD is available from VetGen.

If you are considering the adoption of a Standard Poodle puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. The responsible Poodle breeder will provide results of x-rays, blood tests, eye examinations, and other tests done on breeding stock for hereditary health problems for which tesing is available. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

• The Poodle Health Registry (PHR) — "The nonprofit PHR is a permanent international open registry for all diseases affecting Poodles, living and dead, of all varieties everywhere in the world. Whether you are a puppy buyer looking for a new Poodle to join your family or a breeder searching for a good match, the PHR will help you make an informed decision."

• Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) — Standard Poodle Requirements — Providing a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. CHIC is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).