The Toy Poodle is the smallest of all Poodles and over the years these charming little dogs have proved to be among the most popular companions not only in the UK, but in many other countries of the world too. Like the Standard and the Miniature, Toy Poodles don't shed and this paired to the fact they are highly intelligent has seen these charming little dogs find their way into the hearts and homes of many people, they are also always well received in the show ring.
The Toy Poodle like the Standard and Miniature, is thought to have originated in Germany with the breed having been taken to France by German soldiers during the war. As such France is listed as their country of origin, although it’s more likely that the breed first appeared on the scene in Germany. It is also thought that Poodles were bred to work the marshlands of Germany where they were highly prized as water retrievers. In France, they were renowned for being excellent "duck dogs" with the Toy Poodle being used to find highly prized and expensive truffles. In times long past, they were sometimes referred to a "Sleeve Poodles" because owners kept them as hand warmers when the weather was cold.
The breed is thought to be an ancient one, with Poodles existing 500 years ago. Toy Poodles became popular with European Royals during the 17th and 18th century when they were kept as pets and companions along with the Miniature Poodle. When they were first exhibited, they were shown with long corded coats. It's thought their name Poodle comes from the German word 'pudeln' which translated means "to plash in water". However, the actual origins of the breed remain a bit of a mystery, but it's thought the breed's ancestors originally came from the East or from Africa and that these charming dogs found their way to Europe via Portugal.
In France, Toy Poodles were used as circus dogs because they love to entertain and show off their skills. Being such intelligent dogs, they learn new things extremely quickly and are therefore easy to train to do all sorts of things, which includes some quite complicated and challenging circus acts. Poodles have remained a popular breed throughout the centuries and for good reason. They are highly intelligent, extremely loyal and real clowns of the dog world which are just some of the reasons why they are such a pleasure to be around. Today, the Toy Poodle is also one of the most popular breeds in the show ring.