The poodle is a group of formal dog breeds, the Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle (one registry organisation also recognizes a Medium Poodle variety, between Standard and Miniature), with many coat colors. Originally bred in Germany as a type of water dog, the breed was standardized in France. The poodle is skillful in many dog sports, including agility, obedience, tracking, and even herding. Poodles have taken top honors in many conformation shows, including 'Best in Show' at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1991 and 2002, and at the World Dog Show in 2007 and 2010.
Toy Poodles won 'Best in Show' at Crufts in 1966 and 1982. Standard Poodles achieved the award in 1955, 1985 and 2002. The 2002 winner came from Norway and was the first overseas exhibit to win the Crufts best in show award.
The poodle is a very active, intelligent and elegant dog, squarely built, and well proportioned. To ensure the desirable squarely built appearance, the length of body measured from the breastbone to the point of the rump approximates the height from the highest point of the shoulders to the ground. The eyes should be very dark, oval in shape, and have an alert and intelligent expression. The ears should fold over close to the head, set at, or slightly below, eye level. The coat should be of naturally curly texture, dense throughout, although most AKC-registered show dogs have a lion-cut or other, similarly shaven look.
Poodles have either a solid-colored or parti-colored coat. The dogs have a wide variety of coloring, including white, black, brown, parti, silver, gray, silver beige, apricot, red, cream, sable, and patterns such as phantom and brindle
For solid-colored poodles, the coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-au-laits, apricots and creams, the coat may show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently present in the somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are preferred by registries, such natural variation in the shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Brown and cafe-au-lait poodles have liver-colored noses, eye rims and lips, dark toenails and dark amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream and white poodles have black noses, eye rims and lips, black or self-colored toenails and very dark eyes. In the apricots, while the foregoing coloring is preferred, liver-colored noses, eye rims and lips, and amber eyes are permitted, but are not desirable. Incomplete color of nose, lips and eye rims, or a 'mismatched' color are considered faults by registries.
Parti-colored poodles are recognized in poodle history as the original coloring of the poodle. A parti poodle has solid-colored patches over a white coat. The coat will usually be white and colored in equal amounts, though it can vary with a larger percent of white. Registries prefer that parti poodles have the same points as its correlating solid-colored descendants. Brown and white parti poodles have liver-colored noses, eye rims and lips, dark or self-colored toenails and amber eyes. This is also permitted, but not preferred, in apricot and white parti poodles. Black/white, Blue/white, and silver/white poodles have black noses, eye rims and lips, black or self-colored toenails and very dark eyes.
Phantom poodles have the coloring of a Doberman Pinscher, with a lighter color appearing on their 'eyebrows', muzzle and throat, legs and feet and below their tail. Like Dobermans, phantom poodles have either a black or brown main coat with a tan (usually apricot or red) lighter colorings around the eyebrows, muzzle, throat, legs, feet, and below their tail.
When the dog has markings that resemble those of a tuxedo, it is called a 'tuxedo' poodle. The upper coat is solid: head, back, tail; and the lower coat is white: neck, chest, abdomen, and legs, making up usually 40% or more of the coat.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poodle
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