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Toy Poodle

Poodle (Standard, Miniature, and Toy): History and Appearance
History
The Poodle is a breed that is popular throughout the world. Available in Toy, Miniature, and Standard sizes, it is a breed that has a long and sometimes murky history. Though the Poodle is mainly associated with France, it is said to have originated in Germany. Yet it is also believed that the Poodle is actually the descendent of a water retriever, and when unclipped and with a full coat, actually resembles some of the water retrievers featured in 19th century English paintings.
Regardless of the country or breed of origin, the Poodle had its beginnings as a water dog. The Standard Poodle is the oldest of the three sizes, and was initially a working dog. The breed was known for its skill in the water, and was used as a hunting retriever. It is believed that the breed’s signature hairstyle resulted from shaving the dog’s hair to assist with its swimming ability. Eventually, the clipping evolved into the styles made popular in France.
The Poodle, often called the “French” Poodle because of its initial popularity during the reign of Louis XVI, is regarded as the national dog of France, though it has history everywhere. There are even Bas-reliefs from the first century depicting a dog like the Poodle. Albrecht Durer’s paintings established the breed in the 15th and 16th centuries. Francisco Goya’s paintings show the breed in the 18th century, where it was a favored pet in Spain. The paintings don’t just establish the breed in that time period, they also establish the size variations. It is believed that the two smaller types, Miniature and Toy, were developed not long after the Standard Poodle became popular.
It is believed that Poodles existed in America as working dogs for quite some time, though their exact date of arrival is unknown. The first Poodle was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1886, though the breed had been participating in shows long before that. In modern times, whether Standard, Miniature, or Toy, the Poodle is still one of the world’s most popular dogs.
Appearance
The most important thing to remember is that the only thing that differentiates each type is size. Whether Standard, Miniature, or Toy, the Poodle retains the same type, features, and characteristics, whether it is a large or small dog.
The Standard Poodle should be over 15 inches tall at the shoulders. The Miniature should be 15 inches or under at the shoulders, with 10 inches being the minimum height. The Toy Poodle should be 10 inches or less. No matter what the size, all features should be in proportion to one another, and the dog’s body should have a balanced appearance.
The Poodle’s head is rounded with flat cheekbones. The muzzle is longer. It should be straight, but not pointed. All Poodles have oval eyes that are set somewhat apart. The eyes should always be a deep, dark color. The long ears are set near eye level. The Poodle has an even scissors bite.
The Poodle’s body should feature a longer neck, a level topline, and a wide chest. The tail is set high. It is straight and carried up. The legs are straight and parallel, with small feet.
When it comes to the coat of a Poodle, there are many specifics in regards to the varying styles in which the dog is clipped. The Poodle’s coat can consist of tight, dense curls with a coarse texture, or cords that are longer on the body, head, and ears, and shorter elsewhere.
Poodles under 12 months of age may be clipped in a Puppy clip. The Puppy clip features a shaped, longer coat with the throat, face, feet, and backside shaved closer. The tail features a pompon on the end.
In the English Saddle clip, a portion of the body is left full, while the face, throat, feet, forelegs, and backside are shaved. The hindquarters are covered with hair, except for two shaved bands on the legs. The forelegs have puffs and the tail has a pompon on the end.
In the Continental clip, the Poodle’s legs are shaved, except for “bracelets on the back legs and puffs on the front legs. The hindquarters are shaved except for pompons on the hips. The face, throat, feet, and backside are also shaved. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. The rest of the body has a full coat, though it may be shaped.
In the Sporting clip, the Poodle’s face, feet, throat, and backside are shaved. There is a cap on the top of the head and pompon on the end of the tail. The rest of the body is trimmed to leave the fur no longer than 1 inch in length.
The longer fur on the top of the head may be left free or held back with an elastic band.
The Poodle’s coat comes in a variety of colors. The coat is typically solid, though grays, blues, apricots, “café au-lait,” creams, and silvers may show some shading. Brown and café au-lait colored dogs have liver noses. All other colors except apricot have black noses. Apricot Poodles may have liver noses and amber eyes.
Showing a Poodle
In show, any Poodle not meeting the height requirements of its designated size will be disqualified. All Poodles, regardless of size, are expected to meet specific criteria in conformation. Poodles should carry themselves proudly and intelligently. Shyness or aggression will be faulted.
Major faults in a poodle include an undershot or overshot mouth, snippiness in the muzzle, and the lack of a chin. A tail that is curled or carried across the back is considered a fault. Any problems in appearance with the legs or the feet will also be considered as flaws.
Coloring can also be a major fault, as the nose, lip, and eye rim color should coordinate with the coat color. Parti colored coats, or coats that are not clipped according to standard will be disqualified.

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