From the AKC breed standard:
The Poodle has a GENERAL APPEARANCE, CARRIAGE AND CONDITION which is that of a very active, intelligent and elegant-appearing dog, squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly and carrying himself proudly. When he is properly clipped in the traditional fashion and carefully groomed, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.
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All about Poodle

Poodle is one of the most popular dog breeds in the World. Poodles are intelligent, extremely people-oriented, active, adaptable and easy to train. They come in three sizes (Standard, Miniature and Toy) and many colors. Poodles' coats do not shed and require special grooming to keep the constantly growing hair at a manageable length and to prevent it from matting.

In the United States, the national poodle club is The Poodle Club of America (PCA).

The following websites provide extensive information on various aspects of the breed:

Origins of the Breed

The name Poodle seems to come from the German 'Pudl' which is "to splash".

Most breed historians agree that the Poodle as we know it in the United States today had its origins in Russia, France and Germany. While the dogs of these countries were very different in type from each other they did have one attribute in common. As long as they have been known, Poodles have excelled as water retrievers and swimmers, and are a true sporting dog. They are marvelous companions as well and the darlings of society due to their amusing personalities and their versatile talents. However, their background is that of the water dog - and these instincts remain with the breed today.

[ Woodcut from Gervase Markham ]
Woodcut from Gervase Markham, London, 1621

For more information on the history of poodle, see the following websites:

The Poodle Activities Today

Apart from being a spectacular show dog poodle excels in obedience, agility, field and many other activities. Their intelligence, desire to please people, trainability and non-shedding coat tolerated by many allergy sufferers have made poodles ideal companions, therapy and guide dogs.

To learn more about the variety of poodle jobs, visit the following websites: