Did you know that the American Kennel Club recognizes 167 breeds of dogs? And the International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance recognizes 73 breeds of cats? Not to mention the amount of small animals that make popular pets, including rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles and more.
Let’s get to know a few stand-out breeds over the next few months, starting with an all-time favorite, the Poodle.
According to dogtime.com, the Poodle originated in Germany, although some say it’s a French breed. Originally used as a retriever (especially for ducks), the Poodle is widely known today for its famous tricks. While there are many theories of the descending history of the breed, it’s known as one of the oldest. In fact, illustrations of dogs that resembled Poodles adorn Egyptian and Roman artifacts and tombs dating back to the first centuries B.C.
Did you know that Poodles were rare in the U.S. until after World War II? By the 1950’s, they had become the most popular breed in the country and have held a top position ever since.
The AKC recognizes three size varieties for Poodles: toy, miniature and standard. Toy is the smallest of the group, standing at 10 inches or under, and the standard is the largest and can stand at around 22 inches and weigh up to 70 pounds. History says that the standard was bred largely for hunting, while the miniature was used to sniff out truffles in the woods and the toy’s main job was to serve as a companion to the affluent class.
One of the most prominent features of the Poodle is its luscious coat, typically groomed in a fashionable manner. The coat is curly or corded and comes in a variety of color and marking combinations. The coat is also hypoallergenic, making it a great option for those with pet allergies. But keep in mind, the coat needs regular professional grooming to stay in top shape.
This highly intelligent breed is eager to please and can master many sports and tricks. The Poodle is known to do well with children, get along with other pets and adapt easily to training.
- Here’s a quick list of famous celebrities who have owned Poodles: Walt Disney, Pablo Picasso, Princess Grace Kelly, Barbara Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Rihanna, Maria Menounos, and the list goes on.
- The Poodle has been crossbred with a variety of other breeds, including but not limited to: Cocker Spaniel, Maltese, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever and the Schnauzer.
- Poodles are known to be excellent swimmers, and in France were known as caniche, or “duck dog.”
- Their coat never stops growing. They need regular grooming to keep it from matting.
- Elvis loved Poodles and had an impressive collection. He was known to give Poodles to the women he loved.