The poodle is an active and intelligent dog that is typically recognized for its distinctive appearance, however, what most people don’t know is that poodles are more than just fluffy show dogs fighting for their chance to take the “Best in Show” title. Many aspects of poodles are a mystery to the general public including the reason for their curly coat of fur and why their distinct haircut is so important.
There are three types of poodles, the Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle. Most dogs have double coats; however, poodles have a single layer coat composed of dense, curly fur that sheds minimally. Even though a single coat may seem like less work, grooming poodles takes time and requires plenty of maintenance, especially for show poodles.
For the first year, poodles are given the puppy clip, which is an all-around trim and is unlike the traditional poodle cut. After the first year, they are put into one of the two adult trims allowed by the AKC, the Continental clip or English Saddle clip. The adult trims have the recognizable fluffy pom-pons around the legs and tails called rosettes. Though it may seem that way now, the poodle clip is not merely decorative. Poodles originated as retrievers and are still used by hunters in that role. Their coats are moisture-resistant, which helps their swimming, and the poodle clip is meant to protect the joints and vital organs in cold water.
The clip of the dog can depend on a variety of other factors including climate, whether the dog is a show dog and what type of poodle it is. Regardless of its type, the poodle is universally identified for its clip, instinctive behavior and playfully mischievous nature.