Poodle Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Finding poodle dog information is critical to providing the best life for your perfect pup.

Are you a new puppy owner that is looking for information from the ground up? Or are you a seasoned poodle pro who is looking to brush up?

Poodle Dog Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Personally, I gravitate to poodles for their poise and energy, but there is so much more to poodles.

Broken down here is all the necessary information for every aspect of the poodle’s life.

From training to feeding to lifestyle, whatever you need to know, we have detailed here- so join us for some information and furry fun.


Quick & Fun Facts About Poodles

  • Need to be around people (one of the most social dog breeds)
  • Adaptable and friendly with children and families
  • High intelligence making them easy to train
  • Tend to not wander off, well behaved dogs
  • High energy and very playful
  • Require significant exercise of low intensity
  • Health risks include Addison’s disease and Cushing’s disease
  • Suitable indoor dogs making them one of the few acceptable breeds for urban living
  • Require 1 1/2 – 3 cups of food a day (split into two meals)
  • Tricky to groom- usually better to have professionally managed
  • Poodles don’t shed and are suitable to allergic human companions


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Brainiac Breed Information

Poodles have their roots in German history.

They were first recorded roughly 400 years ago when poodles acted as duck retrievers.


A great deal has changed since that time. Breeding science gets more modern everyday.

Even in its early days this technology bred in smaller dogs, simply by having those of smaller stature procreate.


Modern toy poodles have their origins in these practices.

It is the same methods that allow breeders to increase other preferable traits, like a good temperament, and avoid genetic concerns.



  • Poodle


Other Name

  • Technical Name: Canus lupus familiaris
  • Other names:  Barbone, Caniche
  • Also referred to as: Chien Canne

Types of Poodle

  • There are three sizes of poodle including standard, toy and miniature.
  • Specific measurement parameters determine the class of poodle itself.
  • Breeders are working on sizing-down the miniature poodle even further into what is colloquially referred to as the ‘tea-cup’ poodle.
  • Breeding of poodles has largely been focussed on the size whose small stature has been one of the greatest draws of this breed in modern pet parenting.

Poodles- An Origin Story

The poodle breed originates in Germany (in spite of the common belief that these pups came from France).

In the German language, the word ‘pudelin’ refers to flapping in water.


These adorable pups began their historical careers as retrievers (for ducks mostly).

Cognitive strength matched with water-resistant fur made these dogs ideal for these purposes.


What is now seen as the classic grooming style, was actually a method of protecting important physiology from the cold.


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Since their beginnings (roughly 400 years ago) poodles have evolved into smaller sizes through selective breeding methods.

The idea is to keep the best traits and filter out troublesome ones like a disease.


By breeding the dogs of smaller stature (and continuing to do so over time), types of poodles diverged into ‘toy’ and ‘miniature’ types.




Male: 10–15+ inches (25.4–38.1+ cm)

  • Male dogs tend to be somewhat taller than their female foils
  • This size range covers from toy and miniature poodles to their standard counterparts
  • Differences in size between male and female dogs tend to be more behavioral than height-related


Female: 10–15+ inches (25.4–38.1+ cm)

  • Female dogs are (more often than not) more slight than their male counterparts
  • The height range above covers the span of toy to standard poodles
  • Female and male dogs tend to be of relatively similar stature (there are tall females and short males in every species)


Puppies : 9–12+ inches (>22.9– 30.5+ cm)

  • Puppies are usually kept with their mothers until roughly 3 months time
  • This facilitates ease of transition into a human home and assists in gleaning the eventual adult size of the pup



Male: 17–70 pounds (7.7–31.8 kg)

  • Male poodles tend to be slightly heavier than female poodles
  • This weight range spans from toy poodles to the significantly heavier standard poodle


Female: 16–60 pounds (7.3–27.2 kg)

  • Female poodles have slighter weight
  • This is largely due to the different physiological layout (bone structure and reproductive anatomy)


Puppies: 4.4-9.9 pounds (2–4.5 kg)

  • Newborn pups (however small their adult form will be) focus on gaining weight
  • Generally, pups are kept with their parents for around 3 months to ensure proper, healthy adding of pounds


Poodles Breed Purity: PureBred or Mixed?

  • Breeds exist because of common traits or shared history
  • Poodles, raised for size, tend to be bred specifically with other poodles
  • Savvy pet parents know to ask for lineage information from the breeder
  • Drawbacks to purebred breeding including lack of genetic diversity
  • Crossbreeding works to prevent issues related to a limited genetic pool
  • Purebred pups are favored for show dogs
  • Lineage-focussed breeding tends to show more consistent results (best for if there is a specific canine goal in mind)


Related Reading: 104 Pawsome Poodle Mixes


Behavior And Temperament

Puppy personalities are as diverse as people’s.

That said, breeds share many common behaviors, making knowing what to expect from the poodle somewhat more predictable.


We love poodles for their high intelligence and personable natures.

Poodle fans are generally drawn to these traits as well.



Solid cognitive abilities are generally paired with a good level of alertness. Poodles tend to be very aware of their surroundings.


Alertness has drawbacks, however, since it can lead to excessive barking (since- to the mind of a poodle- there is always so much going on).

Our love of poodles is, in large part, due to the ability to stay alert and still friendly.



General friendliness sets poodles apart from a number of other small breed dogs.

Poodle pups have a high threshold for social stress, meaning they can remain friendly in almost any situation.


Good-spirited animals, we favor these pups for families since they are so energetic and fun.



Some dogs were bred as hunters, which has left them with genetic markers of aggression.

Since poodles originated as retrievers, they do not have this downfall.


Instead, they present as gentle creatures (without being timid).



Overall intelligence impacts more than just training.

Once the pup is properly trained on standards of behaviour and practice, its capacity for involvement in day-to-day life is directly influenced by cognitive ability.


Poodles can be included in most activities (up to and including showcases) due to this high intelligence.



There is a significant difference between being outgoing with humans and with other canines.

Poodles tend to fall into the category of the former.


Great with people, poodles show some of their flaws in interaction with other canines.

It’s not to say that they are anti-social, simply that they prefer interaction focussed on them- not another pup.


Personality of Poodles

The overall personality of poodles is generally a composite of their behavioural tendencies.

Since the breed itself is generally thought of as loyal, energetic, aware, smart, and highly adaptable (easy to train).


Most poodles will draw from these traits (in varying ratios).

We adore poodles because they tend to be favorable company for higher energy human companions.


Coat Types

The coat particulars of poodles is one of the key factors that thrust them into modern popularity.

Poodle pets do not have fur, per say, rather they have material closer to hair.


A fun fact is that, like human hair, it does not stop growing at a certain length. Whether the coat is curly or corded will determine the specific grooming needs.

Understanding the specifics of your pup’s ‘fur’ will assist in finding the right grooming methods.


Read: 34 Small Dogs That Don’t Shed


Coat Colors

Poodles have a wide variety of coat colors. These include classic colors like gray, brown, and white.

Other common poodle coat colors include silver, orange (often referred to as apricot), cream, and coffee colored.


Since these pups are not wont to shed, color preferences can take all the more effect.

There is little to no correlation between fur color and personality, meaning color preference depends on the aesthetic choices of the poodle parent.



This particular breed of pup has some funny characteristics to their eyes and tear ducts.

It is a common occurrence (and quite the adorable one) that poodle eyes will water in excess.


The result is discoloration of the fur surrounding the eyes. Depending on the color of the coat, the staining will be more or less noticeable.


The prevalence of the tendency is most often attributed to allergies and reactions to ingredients in food (or to the environment).

It is not a particularly troublesome trait since it is easy to manage.


That said, if you do not dry off the damp areas, it primes the turf for issue-causing yeast infections.

Keep the eye area dry to avoid this common pitfall.



Aside from the diversity in color, there are several interesting facts related to the canine nose.

In effect, poodles’ abilities to smell is 50 times as powerful as the human ability to smell.


Because of poodles’ historical roots in retrieving, their capacity for smell is on the higher end of the spectrum (even for dogs).



Another result of controlled breeding leading to consistency of presentation, the tail length on poodles is usually quite short.


Docking was once a common procedure done on long tailed dogs (where the desire was a short tail).


Belief was that long tails could lead to harm of the dog during long outdoor excursion.

The other side of that same coin is that longer tails offer sensory benefits when hunting.

Nowadays, docking is fairly uncommon (especially since poodles make great indoor dogs).


If your poodle was born with a long tail, there is nothing over which to fret. It will not impact their health or lifestyle.


Read : Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information


Litter Size


1 – 12 Puppies to a Litter

The amount of puppies born to a litter varies based on the side of the poodle.

Toy poodles will often have litters as small as a single puppy with as many as four.


This size of poodle is healthiest at a single pup per litter.

Miniature poodles can range anywhere from a single pup to as many as eight.


For this size, two or three is a healthy litter. Larger (standard) poodles, have as few as two pups to a litter to as many as a dozen.

For this size of poodle, four is an optimal litter size.


Life Expectancy


12- 15 Year Lifespan

There are exceptions to every rule (but this section refers to the general average- not including illness or unexpected tragedy).


A poodle, when kept in good health through a good diet, exercise, and affection, can live roughly 13.5 years of age.


To facilitate this end, proper grooming and regular veterinary visits are a necessity.


Standards of Care for the Perfect Poodle



We love these pups because their fur is so unique. It does, however, lead to equally unique needs in terms of grooming.

Because the fur is so prone to matting, the classic poodle cut has been used frequently.


If you are not intending to clip your poodle’s hair in this manner, it is best practice brushing them daily to prevent this unpleasant dander.



  • High energy as puppies and adults requires proportionate amount of exercise
  • Poodles require a lot of activity of medium exertion level
  • Due to roots as duck retrievers, these pups benefit from swimming
  • Proper exercise improves eating habits and general health
  • Walking and running are great sources of playtime for these energetic animals



  • Diligent breeders have worked for many generations to improve the health of poodles
  • A number of potential issues remain (it is diligent to check with a vet to ensure these are not of concern)
  • Common poodle health issues include potential for hip dysplasia and ophthalmological issues (eye concerns)
  • Though many of these problems only begin to show well into adulthood, modern genetic screening (available through most vets) can provide knowledge of what is to come



  • Easy dogs to train given their ability to learn (due to high intelligence)
  • Poodles are focussed on pleasing their pet-parents (adding more ease to the training process)
  • Begin training with standard and necessary commands (sit, stay, etc.)
  • Poodles can also learn with more advanced material (frequently, these pups become show dogs)
  • Tracking is an additional skill that can be trained (given the genetic propensity towards retrieving)
  • As with all pups, finding the right method of training will depend on the dog/owner relationship itself


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Poodle Dog Breed Information Infographic


Physical Characteristics Of Poodles

Poodles have a very distinct appearance.

Even for folk who are ill-acquainted with the dog breed recognition, poodles are (more often than not) easy to identify.


This is due to distinct features such as long legs and angular posture. Another easy-to-identify trait is the gait of the poodle.

Always with a spring in their step, poodles have a contagious energy to them (one of the reasons we are so drawn to this breed).



A high IQ is a double-edged sword in terms of adaptable tendencies. Poodles are generally regarded as adaptable dogs.

However, this is subject to the nature of the change itself. If the alteration is slight, poodles can adjust splendidly.


When the change is significant, however, the poodle breed has been known to act out (especially with barking).

That said, after an adjustment period, there is very little to which a poodle cannot adapt.


Other Dog Friendly

It is no mystery that poodles are friendlier with humans than with other canine companions.

With time, these dogs will become more amenable to company.


Dog parks are a great way for you and your poodle to begin socializing (with an exit strategy).

In short stints, puppy playdates can work well. Poodles do best when they are the pet of the household (meaning they do better without furry siblings).


Shedding Level

This is the primary reason that I love poodles.

They don’t shed. Have you ever had a friend who loves dogs, but is allergic?


Poodles are a great solution to this pesky problem.

Since these pups do not shed their coats, it makes them suitable for indoor conditions and urban living.


Learn: 29 Large Non-Shedding Dogs


Affection Level

The affection levels of poodles is high- making them great for families with children.


Poodles are great in terms of cuddling and playfulness.

Since they do require a large time budget of attention, understanding the demands of poodles for your time is a key factor in deciding on puppy adoption.


Poodles do best when they have the time and focus of their pet-parents.

Ensure that you have enough time to offer your poodle before making the jump into parenthood.


Exercise Needs

These long-legged mammals are geared towards physical activity. Exercise benefits every system of the body (especially the heart/cardiovascular system).

To prevent your pup from putting on pounds, daily exercise is necessary.


Poodles do not require intensive exercise, rather they benefit from longer, less physically demanding workouts.

If your pup has issues with their hips, swimming is a great alternative for the classic walk.


Social Needs

The needs of intelligent animals to group was, in effect, the origin of civilization. Highly clever poodles are no exception.

These dogs require stimulation, mental, physical, and social.


While many pups may resist spending time with other dogs, it is ultimately to their benefit to do so.

Set aside time every day to focus on your poodle.

It will improve their health, both physical and psychological.


My family loves spending time cuddling.

It provides a bonding opportunity as well as an chance for the pup to relax in the company of their puppy parents.


Apartment Friendly

Most dog breeds are ill-equipped to urban living.

Due to the small spaces, mustiness of shedding, and general lack of space, many dogs are unfulfilled in an apartment environment.


Poodles, in this case, are the exception. These pups require minimal space, and benefit from lower-exertion exercise.

So long as affection is plentiful, poodles can thrive in apartment settings.



The need for proper maintenance of these dog’s fur is significant. Since it does not fall out, you (as a proud poodle parent) must practice diligent trimming.


Many poodle parents choose to professionally outsource this need.

In between grooming treatments, it is best practice to brush the hair daily such as to prevent matting and mildewing.


Stranger Friendly

Poodles (generally speaking) are decent with strangers.

Since these dogs are so highly trainable, if they do start barking at a new person, then a simple command can usually get them to stop.


Our family loves poodles since they have such a great read on people.

If the poodle continues to bark in spite of being commanded otherwise, it usually speaks more to the stranger than to the dog.


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Barking Tendencies

Common knowledge is that small dog breeds typically bark more than their larger counterparts.

Specific knowledge to the poodle breed is that, since they are of high intelligence, barking can be deterred through training.


Situational awareness is generally seen in an uptick of barking, though once the pup is familiar with given surroundings, barking will decrease significantly.


Health Issues

Due to centuries of selective breeding, health issues in poodles have decreased drastically.

Typical concerns are specific to the eyes and hips. Older poodles have tendency to be susceptible to poor eyesight (and blindness in more extreme cases).


More aged poodles, as well, are wont to see hip concerns.

Genetic testing done early in life enables the poodle parent to take prophylactic measures (such as increasing Vitamin A or supplementing with glucosamine).



Natural tendencies to follow their instincts lead poodles to certain territorial tendencies.

These behaviours are most frequently observed in their regular areas such as the home, or frequented play zones.


Awareness of surroundings leads poodles to quickly notice changes in routine. Often, this presents as territorial behaviour.

A delicate balance in discipline must be struck, since the act is, in essence, one of caring.


Cat Friendly

Poodles are not generally the most cat friendly breed of pup. At best, they will quietly tolerate a feline presence.


The best situation for a poodle is one in which they are the primary pet of the household.


When a poodle needs to share space with a cat, it is best to set boundaries so that the dog can clearly understand the parameters in which he must operate.

My pups benefit


Read To Learn: Are Shih Tzus Good With Cats?



Famed for their intellectual capabilities, poodles are a very clever breed of dog.

The origin of intelligence has roots in the genetic history of any creature (including our beloved puffy poodles).


Though they are now domesticated, that core ability tied to a retrieving breed is still strong in these animals.

This drives a very high intelligence.



Trainability depends not only on the pup, but also with the trainer (of course).

Poodles are some of the most trainable dogs in existence.


Being clever, coupled with a desire to please, makes them highly adaptable.

Their willingness to learn makes for a quick study (and is largely why they are such common show dogs).


Child Friendly

Poodles are a great dog for families with children.

We adore these pups because their general intelligence helps them understand that children are just that- children.


Everyone knows that dogs can get nervous around unpredictable little humans.

Poodles’ cleverness mitigates this worry because they know it isn’t a threat- just a tiny person trying their best.



While not the most playful of all the dogs, poodles are an energetic critter.

One of their best features is a love for playing games.


Their observance makes them great with toys and the general high energy allows for physically engaging games.


Poodles love to cuddle, but being of such high energy, they need a lot of engagement before being able to settle down.


Watchdog Ability

For more than one reason, poodles actually make great watch dogs.

Their general physical fitness coupled with nimbleness gives them a competitive edge.


In addition, poodles have quick reflexes making them superb from a practical standpoint.

Poodles do require a lot of affection, so they will always perform better if they get their cuddles in before going on duty.


Other Pets

Poodles are moderately territorial. They are also known to be friendlier with people than other pups.

That said, these creatures are highly adaptable, and (given time), will learn to get along with other pets in the household.


To best accommodate this, give the poodle its own space (however small).

Establish proper boundaries and there should be no issues.


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Furry Feeding Time

The enormous energy of the poodle makes for a keen eater. Even with their frame, poodles will gain weight just like any other breed of dog.


We need to give them a proper, balanced diet in portions that suit the poodle metabolism.


Our pups often want more (and it is so hard to resist), but keeping a healthy diet is one of the best ways us pet-parents can work to lengthen and improve their puppy lives.



Puppies need the least amount of food (for obvious reasons). Feed these little guys three to four times a day- ¾ cups total.


Puppies are using all their calories to grow- so it is important to space out their meals. Extra time is needed for a pup to have time to digest.



Adult pups’ diets will vary based on their weight.

Dogs under 10 pounds need little over ¾ cup of food throughout the day (though some hyper little guys eat as much as a full cup).


Following the guidelines of the dog food you are using is advisable. It will best represent the correct caloric intake to suit your pup.


Famous Poodle Dog All Over the World


#1 Rufus, the poodle of Sir Winston Churchill

This particular pup has his claim to fame by gaining the affections of one of the most beloved British leaders of all time.


Rufus was so beloved that after his passing, Churchill refused to have another dog that wasn’t a poodle.


#2 Charley, the travelling poodle

Charley belonged to the famous American novelist, John Steinbeck.

Together they travelled the world and gained inspiration for novels such as ‘East of Eden’ and ‘Of Mice and Men’


#3 The Poodle Comedian

The late American comedian, Robin Williams, was an avid fans of poodles.

At the time of his passing, two of these furry companions were a part of his family.

Given the wit and pleasantness of poodle dogs, this is no surprise.


#4 A Graceful Poodle Pal

Katherine Hepburn, once known as the standard of western beauty, was also a poodle fan. This classy, elegant canine companion seems fitting to this Hollywood star.

  • Famous writers that loved their poodle pals include James Thurber (famous ‘New Yorker’ contributor) and Victor Hugo (French poet and novelist)
  • Other celebrities with poodle preferences include Ellen DeGeneres (beloved comedian and talk show host) and Barbara Streisand (actress and singer), both American

Read : Rottweiler Dog Breed Information


Passion for Poodles? How To Source These Furry Friends

Finding a reputable breeder is key to a good poodle purchasing experience.

We are all looking for a healthy, happy pup to bring into the home.


To find a poodle with a clear lineage, turning to a respected breeding professional is the best course of action.


How Much Does a Poodle Cost?

  • Bred poodles generally run in the range of $1000 to $2000 dollars
  • Smaller poodles sourced in a pet store environment are priced in the $600-$700 range
  • Adopting a poodle is a great, low-cost option


Breed Group



This category refers to dogs that were once bred for work purposes and are now bred to be pets or show-dogs.


Poodles fall into this category.

While poodles may serve a lot of functions, show dogs will remain their breed group due to the poodle’s roots and modern purpose.


National Breed Clubs

Rescue Groups

Which Poodle Particular has Piqued your Interest?

Poodles are clearly an amazing breed of dog, with countless reasons to love them. Which poodle pointer helped you out the most?

Personally, I appreciate knowing more about this breed’s temperament (having children makes family friendly pets essential).


As a passionate pet parent, you probably knew some of these tidbits. Were there facts that surprised you?

Are you planning on adopting a poodle dog? If so, what is the one thing you will keep in mind when making the final decision?


Give us a shout in the comments section and let us know.

As you can see, poodle fans are all around, so if this article helped you, then pass it along to other potential poodle enthusiasts.


Let us know if you have anything to add from your poodle experience.

The goal is happy and healthy pets, and together that is something we can achieve.


Further Reading:

Other Dog Breeds Related Topics
1. 28 Charming Mountain Dog Mixes
2. 44 Impressive German Shepherd Mixes
3. 36 Largest Dog Breeds You May Find Rare
4. 37 Strikingly Beautiful Siberian Husky Mixes
5. 42 Pretty Pomeranian Mixes

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