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The origins of the poodle are not exactly known and somewhat confusing. Some say the breed originated in France, others Germany or Denmark. Regardless it is believed that the modern day poodle was developed from a french water dog called the barbet.
There are three different varieties of poodles the toy poodle which is less than 10" tall and 15 pounds, the miniature 10-15" and 26 lbs and the standard which is 15" or more and 49 or more pounds. This is the breed standard as described by Simon and Schusters guideto dogs, however most pet breeders don't breed exactly to standard and have also added the tea cup variety which is a petite 5 lbs or less. The teacup version of any breed reflects the demands of consumers for smaller dogs and is not always manifested in a healthy, genetically sound animal.
The poodle is a highly intellengent dog no matter what their size and are masters at out foxing their owners. At times they can be quite stubborn but they are almost always easily guided with positive training methods. Most poodles have a reasonably high energy level and can be prone to barking problems if not taught self control from an early age. The poodles' biggest fault is that they are too cute and intelligent for their own good. They are easily spoiled by over indulgent owners and can run the show in no time at all. Early training and good strong leadership however make this almost humanly intelligent dog an outstanding companion and friend.
Of all the breeds I have trained and worked with in veterinary practice, the poodle is one of the easiest to train and the healthiest of purebred dogs. Sometimes prone to the little dog ailments like cataracts, knee prblems and allergies, for the most part these are healthy animals. Poodles need regular grooming, probably done by a professional, but shed little if at all and are low maintenance between visits. Most people groan when I suggest a poodle as a companion, but with the right breeder, the right temperment and good leadership these dogs are a delight to own.