Saturday, December 29, 2007

Good Things To Know About Poodle History

By Rick London

When I first started my cartoons, I was thinking of dogs. It was going to be a totally dog cartoon (that is, Londons Times Cartoons). But the more dog cartoons I created, the more I wanted to do cats, and relationships, and people, and science, ad nauseum. Oddly enough, after I opened my RickLondonCollection.com store, I started getting more and more emails from poodle owners and lovers wanting to know if I could kindly put up more poodle-oriented merchandise I finally did, but first, I felt compelled to learn the history of the poodle. Though I'd owned dogs all my life, and my first cousin owns and loves her standard poodle, I knew very little about the breed. I was surprised at what I learned.

Though the origins of poodle history are enmeshed in mystery, people started noticing canines that actually resembled the poodle as we see it today. It was, most likely the original water spaniel, known for its hunting skills, particularly bird hunting and retrieving. Oddly enough, it technically should be known as the German Poodle, as that is where it truly originated. With Russian influence it became standardized as a unique breed in France, first, and known as the French Poodle. In Germany it was still known as the pudel; pudel means to "splash in the water". The European breed has a corded coat, rarely seen in the U.S. The standard poodle came first, then the poodle (the most common), and finally the miniature and toy breeds. All have a long and rich history. Though it is not known exactly when the poodle entered the U.S., AKC began registering them in 1886. Only the miniature poodle is in the non-sporting group of this breed. Though many Americans don't use them for hunting, they remain prolific at hunting, with birds being their forte'.

In France, Poodles were used for a variety of purposes. There was the Caniche which was a large dog widely used for duck hunting. The Petit Barbet was a Toy size dog that led a pampered and primped style of life in the royal courts. The Truffle dog was used in the search for that flavorful morsel that was used by so many of the French chefs.

In 1874 Britain imported the first poodle and two years later the Poodle Club Of England was formed. Prior to 1910, in the UK all poodles were shown in the same classes. That was changed then, as the curly and corded breeds were put in separate divisions as were the various size breeds.

The foundations that were developed in England became the cornerstones of the breed in the United States. Precisely when the Poodle was imported to the United States is not known. The American Kennel Club registered its first Poodle in 1886. The Poodle Club of America was originally founded in 1896. Shortly after its establishment it was disbanded, and then reorganized in 1931. The P.C.A. used the Standard and Rules of the Burley Poodle Club of England as its base for establishing the Standard in the U.S. The same Standard now applies to all three sizes of Poodle, the only difference is in the height measurements for each size. The Standard and Miniature Poodle are shown in the Non Sporting Group of the A.K.C., and the Toy Poodle is shown in the Toy Group. The F.C.I. (Federation Cynologique Internationale) recognizes four sizes: the Standard, Miniature, Dwarf and Toy.

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