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Meet the breed: Poodle

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for a four-legged friend that’s low on dander and easy on your allergies, find out everything you need to know about the intelligent Poodle.


  • Environmentally adaptable
  • Good with kids
  • Long lifespan
  • Intelligent
  • Hypoallergenic


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These fluffy dogs weren’t always the delicate beauties they are today. Poodles were once natural-born hunters and were originally bred as water retrievers. These prim and proper pups are still excellent swimmers with a knack for anything that involves using their brains as well as their brawn. Named after the German word for puddle, this breed’s webbed feet and water-resistant coat make them great lake and pool companions who love the challenge of obedience training at the highest levels.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Non-Sporting
  • UKC group: Companion Dog
  • Average lifespan: 11-12 years
  • Average size: 45-65 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Curly, thick, dense
  • Coloration: Apricot, black, blue, cream, gray, silver, white, red, beige, and brown
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Other identifiers: Long body frame, straight tail or curving slightly upward, lean and long from head to toe.
  • Possible alterations: Recognized in two other sizes, including miniature and toy.

Is this breed right for you?

Poodles are bold, beautiful and brainy and owners must be ready to keep up with this breed’s active and intellectual lifestyle. This breed can adapt well in most living environments as long as proper exercise is part of their daily routine. Poodles are typically groomed in one of three popular cuts: the continental clip, puppy clip and bikini clip. Depending on the cut you choose, frequent grooming is often necessary to protect their unique and high-maintenance coat. However, if you’re sensitive to allergies and dander, the Poodle’s hypoallergenic coat is worth the time-consuming and cost-intensive upkeep. If the standard Poodle is larger than you’d like for your family needs, it’s the only breed that can be seen in three size varieties: standard, miniature and toy.

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A dream day in the life of a Poodle

Using their brains and flexing those intellectual muscles is a must. Poodles love to work, and a day spent on the job as a therapy dog or assistance dog would be right up this breed’s alley. Bred to excel in athletics as well as poise, Poodles love a day of training, learning new tricks and testing the brain’s limits. A day spent swimming and fetching at the lake or pool would be the icing on a perfect-day cake.

Other breeds you might like

Meet the breed: Miniature Poodle
Meet the breed: Bichon Frise
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