Hello Rover-ites! This week we are going to examine the 5th most popular dog breed in Seattle, the Poodle (note: not the French Poodle!) One interesting part about researching this dog breed was realizing how much is misunderstood about the Poodle in popular culture. At some points it felt like even very knowledgable dog sitters or dog boarders were talking about a completely different dog than the dog that is technically classified as a Poodle.
For starters, the Poodle is a very old dog breed in the history between man and man’s best friend. The Poodle is actual such an old breed that many people today debate its true origins. Everyone agrees that the early ancestors of Poodles likely originated in Asia and were then brought to Europe. Now how the Poodle was brought to Europe stirs up a pretty big debate between dog historians. Some people argue the Poodle was first brought to North Africa by a group of people called the Berbers trading in Asia. The Poodle then came to Europe during the 8th century during the invasion of Portugal by the Moors. However, another group argues the Poodle actual came to Europe with the Goths as the moved into Russia from Asia. From Russia, people then think traveling gypsies brought the dog breed to Europe as part of performances and shows.
Irrelevant of how the Poodle got to Europe, the breed became popular and well established in the Middle Ages (1000 to 1300 AD). At this point in history the Poodle could already be found in its three sizes today of standard, miniature, and toy. The standard sized Poodles were used as a water dog to help pull fishing nets or retrieve game. The miniature sized Poodles were used to locate and dig up truffles for cooking. Finally, the toy sized Poodles were prized by royalty and nobles as court and electricity free hand warmers. All of these dogs are great to own or be a dog sitter for, as they are intelligent, cheerful and athletic.
That is all we have time for right now Rovers! Make sure to check out part two of this blog post where we examine why the Poodle has haircuts and how it became the “French Poodle.”