#8: Poodle

The name "Poodle" comes from the German word "pudel," which means to splash in the water. This aptly illustrates the dogs' love for water activity and its skill at water retrieval. Although France has claimed the Poodle as its national dog, the breed was developed in Germany, probably as early as the 15th century. The modern breed emerged in France, where it performed in circuses and worked as a duck retriever. In fact, the Poodle's intelligence and ability to learn new tricks quickly made them desirable as a performing dog. The Standard Poodle is the largest and oldest type, having descended from skilled water dogs of unknown origin. The practice of clipping the Poodle's coat began in an effort to ease movement through water. The Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle soon followed the Standard Poodle in breed development. Both were well-known by the 1750s and were performers and entertainers.

The Toy Poodle's official height is 10 inches or less and it weighs less than 15 pounds. Most Toy Poodle colors are blue, gray, silver, brown, cafe-au-lait, apricot, or cream. Their coats may show varying shades of the same color. The Poodle's coat needs constant attention to be kept mat-free. This requires grooming at least every two months (but more often is recommended). The style of the Poodle's haircut should be chosen according to how much brushing you are willing to do. The lesser the coat, the less brushing you will need to perform to maintain it. All Poodles require a slicker brush and a metal comb to keep their coats brushed and well-maintained.

They generally live long, healthy robust lives. However, due to problems associated with artificial breeding, some poodles are born with genetic diseases, such as epilepsy. Problem spots for Poodles are almost always the ears and legs. Most Poodle owners seek professional grooming due to the difficulty of keeping the dog's hair looking good and keeping the hair cut. Regular ear cleaning and nail trimming must also be performed.

The Poodle is a very friendly, intelligent, and easily trained dog. They make loving and well-loved family pets and enjoy showing off as well as being admired. The dogs love exercise and are very high-spirited. They are natural watchdogs with a strong sense of territory. The Poodle is an excellent companion with child-like qualities, which is why it is one of the most popular dogs in the world. In general, poodles have overall good health with few health risk problems.

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