It is no wonder the Standard Poodle is such a popular dog. Poodles are full of energy and personality. They are popular among owners who want a lively, intelligent and dignified dog with a pleasant, happy disposition. In fact, Poodles are so popular that they have been included in the American Kennel Club’s list of the ten most popular breeds for the last ten years.
All Poodles are members of the non-sporting group of breeds. Toy Poodles, Miniature Poodles, and Standard Poodles all share the same standards of the breed, the only difference among them being height. A Toy Poodle must not be taller than ten inches at the highest point of the shoulder; a Miniature Poodle must not be taller than fifteen inches at the shoulder; and a Standard Poodle must be taller than fifteen inches at the shoulder.
The Poodle coat is naturally curly and dense and may be black, white, blue, gray, silver, brown and apricot. The coat usually has varied hues of a single color.
The origins of the Poodle breed are uncertain, although Germany, Denmark and France have all claimed credit for developing the breed. Over the years, France has come to be recognized as the Poodle’s place of origin, and the French hold a special place in their hearts and in their culture for what they call the Caniche.
The Standard Poodle is thought to have descended from a mix between the Barbet, a French water dog and a Hungarian Water Hound. The Miniature and Toy varieties were bred down from the Standard Poodle. Once used as a sporting dog, Poodles retrieved waterfowl during gun hunts. The traditional Poodle cut, with extra hair at the joints, was meant to insulate the dogs’ joints against the cold water. Poodles also worked as truffle hunters, and circus performers. In fact, they remain familiar icons in popular culture, and they continue to perform in the modern entertainment industry.
A Standard Poodle in the entertainment industry might become famous through their own talent or through the fame of their owners. Some Poodles are famous because of a combination of their own talent and the fame of their owner. Writer Gertrude Stein and her muse, Alice B. Toklas, had three Poodles whom they named Basket, Basket II and Basket III.
Entertainer “Weird Al” Yankovic posed his Poodle Bela on top of his head for a photograph used on the cover of his “Poodle Hat” album. When wrestling Superstar Rene Dupree, now known as Rene Bonaparte, gives interviews he often refers to his Poodle Fifi.
And a fictional Poodle named Fifi is featured in the animated TV series Rugrats. Most Standard Poodles will never see their name in lights, but their owners nevertheless consider them stars.