The Standard Poodle is one of the oldest pure bred dogs, originating from Germany where they are known as the Pudel or Canis Familiaris Aquatius. Contrary to what most believe of them originating from France. They later became standardized in France, where it was considered and worked as a water retriever. Because of the Poodles popularity in France, today the Poodle is their natioal breed. Their intelligence and disposition led to breeding down to Miniature and Toy sizes for companion dogs for the ladies of the Royal Court of Europe.
1600s painting of the Traditional Poodle
The name poodle came from the German Pudelhund or Pudel (which in English means “puddle”) meaning “to splash about”, and the word Hund in German means “dog.”. In France, the dog was also named “chien canard or caniche,” indicating its duck-hunting qualities. Doubtless the English word "poodle" comes from the German pudel or pudelin, meaning to splash in the water.
The Standard Poodle was traditionally a retriever or gun dog. Working in swamps as water dogs trained to retrieve fallen birds for hunters. Other uses of the Standard Poodle was (and some still are) used as a guide dog, guard dog, military dog, circus performer, and wagon puller for entertainers. The modern Standard retains many of the traits prized by their original owners: a keen working intelligence that makes the dog easy to command, webbed feet that make it an agile swimmer (all of the poodle's ancestors and descendants had or share the love of water)
The Poodles involvement in other breeds:
During the 1800s poodles were used to produce the coat of the Curly-coated Retriever. They were also crossed with English pointers to produce the Pudelpointer, a happy-go-lucky, energetic, and versatile German hunting dog. They also played a part in the development of the Irish Water Spaniel and Portuguese Water Dog. And of course any mix breeds with the word "Doodle" in the name, such as the Labradoodle.