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The Toy Poodle is the diminutive version of the Standard Poodle. Retaining the Poodle's elegant appearance and personality, the Toy Poodle proves the old adage: Great things do come in small packages.
As it descends from the working retriever stock, the Poodle’s body is a reflection of its athletic background. Many standards list the Toy Poodle as 10 inches (or under) at the highest point of the dog's shoulders. This square-proportioned dog also has an elegant appearance and a proud carriage. It moves with effortless, springy, and light strides; its coat is dense, curly, and harsh. The Toy Poodle's conventional clips (or hairstyles) originally served to insulate and protect the dog’s chest and joints.
This breed is very dedicated to its family. Some dogs can be shy in front of strangers and some may bark too much. As the energetic and sprightly Toy Poodle is among the brightest of breeds, it is a pleasure to train -- eager to please, responsive, alert, sensitive, playful, and lively.
The Toy Poodle is not meant for outdoor living, but it enjoys moving to and from the yard. Its coat requires to be brushed on alternate days. When hair sheds, it does not come off easily, but gets tangles, thus causing matting. Clipping is recommended four times annually, while the feet and face require monthly clipping. Most of the Poodles need professional groomers, but owners of the dogs can also learn the grooming procedure. Poodles require plenty of physical and mental exercise -- indoor games, short walks, etc. -- as well as interaction with humans.
This dog has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years and may suffer from minor diseases like trichiasis, entropion, cataract and lacrimal duct atresia, and major aliments like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, and epilepsy. Urolithiasis and intervertebral disk degeneration are sometimes noticed in the breed. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip, knee, and eye exams on the dog.
The early ancestors of the Toy Poodle were likely to be the Central Asian curly-coated dogs, even though this breed is associated with France. These ancestors helped in herding and followed their masters to various routes taking them to different parts of Europe. Many rough-coated water dogs are also said to be the ancestors of the Poodle. Poodle is derived from pudel, a German word meaning "to splash," or puddle, indicating the breed's water abilities. It was also known as chien canard in France, reflecting its duck-hunting abilities.
The Poodle served as a guard dog, military dog, wagon puller, guide dog, and a circus performer. For swimming, its coat sheared but was left a little long on the chest to keep it warm. The Poodle became a stylish companion for trendy ladies. The French aristocracy also favored it and finally it became France’s national dog. The dog’s characteristic clip was highlighted and smaller varieties were successfully made.
In the late 19th century, Toy Poodles became show dogs. Some of these early show dogs had corded coats, meaning the coat was allowed to entangle in thin and long tresses. This trend became unpopular as it was difficult to maintain and the bouffant styles took its place. Even though the popularity of the Toy Poodles in the United States diminished in the late 1920s, it has since made a successful comeback and is once again quite popular.
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