The Poodle is commonly acknowledged to be the most wisely intelligent of all members of the canine race. There is a general belief that he is a fop whose time is primarily occupied in personal embellishment and requires a great deal of individual attention in his toilet. It may be true that to keep him in exhibition order and perfect cleanliness, his owner needs to devote more consideration to him than is necessary in the case of many breeds. Still, in other respects, he gives very little trouble, and all who are attached to him agree that there is no dog so intensely exciting and responsive as a companion. His qualities of mind and his acute powers of reasoning are so great that there is something almost human in his attractiveness and devotion. His aptitude for learning is never denied, and many stories are told of his marvelous talent and versatility.
Not merely as a showman’s dog has he distinguished himself. He is more than a mountebank of the booths, trained to walk the tight rope and stand on his head. He is adept at performing tricks, but his alertness of brain places him apart from other animals.
This dog’s profuse and long coat has the peculiarity that, if not constantly brushed out, it twists up into little cords which increase in length as the new hair grows and clings about it. The unshed old hair and the new growth entwined together thus become distinct rope-like cords. Eventually, if these cords are not cut short or accidentally torn off, they drag along the ground, preventing the poor animal from moving with any degree of comfort or freedom.
Corded Poodles are very showy and, from the remarkable appearance of the coat, attract a great deal of public attention when exhibited at shows. Still, they have lost popularity among most fanciers and have become few because it is impossible to make pets of them or keep them in the house. The reason for this is that the coat must, from time to time, be oiled to keep the cords supple and prevent them from snapping, and, of course, as their skins cannot be brushed, the only way of keeping the dog clean is to wash him, which with a corded Poodle is a lengthy and laborious process. Further, the coat takes hours to dry, and unless the newly washed dog is kept in a warm room, he is liable to catch a cold. The result is that the coats of corded Poodles are almost invariably dirty and somewhat smelly.
Poodle’s General appearance
Head: Long, straight, and okay, the skull not broad, with a slight peak at the back.
Muzzle: Long (but not snippy) and firm, not complete in cheek; teeth white, intense, and level; gums black, lips black, and not showing lippies.
Eyes: Almond-shaped, very dark, full of fire and intelligence.
Nose: Black and sharp.
Ears: The leather is long and wide, low set on, hanging close to the face.
Neck: Well proportioned and strong, to admit the head being carried high and with dignity.
Feet: Rather small and of good shape, the toes well arched, pads thick and hard.
Legs: Forelegs set straight from the shoulder, with plenty of bone and muscle.
Hind-legs: Very muscular and healthy bent, with the hocks, well let down.
Tail: Set on relatively high, well carried, never curled or taken back.
Coat: Very profuse and of good hard texture; if corded, hanging in tight, even cords; if non-corded, very thick and strong, of even length, the curls close and wide, without knots or lines.