Poodle adult in black and white


The Poodle has four recognised sizes, ranging from the Toy, as small as 24cm, to the Standard, reaching 60cm tall.

About the Poodle

Their reputation for loyalty, elegance and capacity for learning help explain why they are greatly prized as companion dogs across the world. Poodles have the appearance of intelligent companions, always alert and active, exuding pride in every situation.

Poodle comes from the German word for the breed, “Pudel”. In German, “puddeln” is a verb that means to splash. In French, the word for Poodle is caniche, based on the word cane, which means female duck. So in all instances, Poodles are inextricably bound up with water.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

FCI Group 9, AKC Non-Sporting Group, AKC Toy Group
Size category
Avg life expectancy
12–15 years

Friendly / Loyal / Alert / Lively / Even-tempered

Key facts

  • Requires a lot of grooming
  • Garden not essential
  • Needs little training
Poodle adult in black and white

Origins of the breed

Many experts feel that Poodles are the archetypal companion dog, coming in a variety of sizes, colours and coat textures. Originally, Poodles were used for wildfowling. They are primarily descended from an old breed of water dog, the Barbet, with which they share many characteristics.

In 1743, it was called the “Caniche”: the female of the Barbet in French. Eventually the Barbet and the Caniche were separated. Breeders worked hard to produce original individuals of uniform colour and their efforts have been duly rewarded as Poodles have become the world’s favourite French dog since the beginning of the 20th century.