The Poodle is typically an intelligent and amusing dog, lively and full of character. His coat does not shed, which is a definite advantage, but it does need grooming every day and should be clipped regularly. Ideally he should live in a house with a garden and should have regular exercise with opportunities to run free. His usually high level of intelligence needs mental stimulation such as obedience training.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 3.6% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPSTBC
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- The Poodle’s very hairy and curly coat will easily tangle and harbour dirt and debris, which left uncared for, will make him miserable.
- Bloat/Torsion (stomach fills with air and can twist, causing intense pain and requiring emergency vet treatment) Common in deep chested breeds.
- Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability): breed mean score 11 (parents should be lower)
- Eye Disease: Hereditary cataract (HC) (annual testing)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
Parents should be tested for:
- von Willebrand’s disease type 1 (vWD) (bleeding disorder)
- Neonatal encephalopathy (brain infection of newborn)
- Degenerative myelopathy (CDRM) (spinal cord disease, causing weakness in hind limbs and gradual paralysis)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Sebaceous adenitis (inflammation of the sebaceous glad – an auto immune disease) – breed club test.
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Idiopathic epilepsy
- Diabetes mellitus
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (degeneration of heart muscles)
- Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings syndrome) (over production of corticosteroids – lethargy, thirst, hunger)
- Hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease – an autoimmune disease) (loss of function of the adrenal gland)
- Sebaceous adenitis (autoimmune skin disease)
- Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia
- Cancer (various forms, including insulinoma, cutaneous plasmacytoma, squamous cell carcimona, trichoepithelioma, pilomatrixoma)
- Intervertebral disc disease (rupture of disc with compression of spinal cord – pain and weakness)
- Dry eye
- Hypothyroidism (causes lethargy, changes in coat, obesity)
- Distichiasis (double row or eye lashes causing pain and irritation)
- Medial canthal pocket syndrome of the eye
- Entropion (inward turing of the eyelid)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: