The Poodle originates in Germany, where it was bred as a water retriever, used by duck hunters. It’s ancestors were various water dogs of Europe. Show Poodles normally have a fancy trim but those who are pets often do not. The tight, curly coat does need professional care as very little shedding occurs naturally. Although tiny the Toy Poodle needs up to an hours exercise per day and is suitable as a family pet. It suits a town or country life but would prefer a small/medium garden if possible. The average lifespan is 12 years plus
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 3.5% - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')
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 tight curls and non shedding nature of the Poodle’s coat means that daily grooming is essential. Regular professional grooming is also necessary.
- The Toy Poodle’s fragile bones can mean that fractures occur
- Eye disease: Hereditary Cataract.
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed
DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)
- Von Willebrands Disease (vWD) Type 1
- GM2 Gangliosidosis
- Chondrodysplasia (CDPA)
Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.
Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes
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)
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Congenital portosystemic shunt
- Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
- Patellar luxation
- Hereditary cataract
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.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding