The Poodle is a dog breed that dates back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Early poodles were retrieving dogs that brought the killed game birds from the marshes to the hunters. The word "Poodle" stems from the German pudelin which means "splashing in water." France chose the Poodle as their national dog breed and all sizes of poodles have been the favored dogs of royalty, the working class and traveling circus performers alike. The three sizes of the Poodle breed are toy, miniature and standard.
The Toy Poodle is less than 10 inches (25.4 cm) at the top of the shoulders and weighs less than 7 pounds (3.175 kg). The Miniature Poodle is more than 10 inches (25.4 cm) at the top of the shoulders, but less than 15 inches (38.1 cm) and weighs about 15 pounds (6.803 kg). The Standard Poodle is more than 15 inches (38.1 cm) at the top of the shoulders and may weigh about 45 pounds (20.412 kg), or even up to 65 pounds (29.484 kg) depending on its height.
The Poodle breed doesn't shed, but show poodles especially may need up to ten hours a week for grooming. Poodle fur can be very woolly and it's traditionally clipped with some areas shaved off. The continental clip is the most popular show clip and it's quite fancy. "Pompom" sections of fur are left around the legs and tail. The English saddle clip is basically the same as the continental clip, but has a three pompom look.
In the puppy clip used for show poodles, the face and throat are shaved as well as the feet and the base of the tail. There are also pet clips for poodles who are household pets rather than show dogs. Sometimes, a poodle's coat may be "corded." A corded coat means that strands of hair have been twisted into long ropes, or cords, that give the poodle's coat the appearance of a string mop.
Poodles are said to be very intelligent dogs that are easy to train. They are often active and alert and may bark quite a bit. Poodles have low exercise needs, but should be walked daily. Standard poodles need more activity than the smaller types and may do well with regular running and swimming. Poodles are social and people-oriented and considered great around children and other animals, but may be shy around people they don't know.