There are 3 types of Poodle. They include the Standard (over 15 inches tall), Miniature (10-15 inches tall), and Toy (under 10 inches tall). They have a dense, curly coat that does not shed a lot and are almost hypoallergenic.
The Poodle is the national dog of France, but they actually started out in Germany as a duck hunter over 400 years ago. The name Poodle comes from the German name Pudelhund, which comes from the word puddeln, meaning to puddle or to splash in water.
The French also used the Standard Poodle for duck hunting. They used the Miniature Poodle for sniffing out truffles. The Toy Poodle served as a companion for nobility and wealthy. Gypsies used Poodles for circus dogs and gave them fancy haircuts.
Some believe they got their famous hairstyles from the circus, but others believe it was for hunting. The rounded hair at their feet, hips, and tail tip is called pompons (commonly incorrectly called pom-poms) and was believed to keep their joints and vitals warm while hunting in water. Shaving their neck, legs, and tail was to help with movement and keep from snagging on debris.
Poodles are ranked the second most intelligent dog breed (first is the Border Collie). They are energetic, love to swim, and do well in many dog sports as well as make good companions for hiking and camping trips. The Standard Poodle makes an excellent pet for families as they love to play and get along with children.
They commonly breed Poodles with other dog breeds to create what are called designer dogs and given a blended name. Some of these include: Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel), Maltipoo (Maltese), Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever), Labradoodle (Labrador), Schnoodle (Schnauzer), and Pekapoos (Pekingese).