Which breed has the longest consecutive reign as the #1 most popular dog in America?
The Poodle holds the record for being the most popular dog for 22 consecutive years (1960 – 1982). Poodles are one of the high achievers of the canine world and the breed is highly intelligent, hardy and excels in obedience training. Yes, the coat can be a bit more maintenance than some breeds, but you don’t have to keep them in show coats.
About the Poodle
Many people think the Poodle isn’t smart because they always look so primped up with their fancy hairdos, but the Poodle is smart, active and excels in obedience training. This breed comes in three size varieties, which is probably why so many people like the breed. Poodles can be a variety of solid colors, including white, black, apricot and gray. In AKC they should not be parti-colored, but the breed does come in that color too and you can see parti-colored Poodles in UKC and performance events.
A Look Back
The Poodle originated in Germany as a water retriever. The stylish hairdo, called the “Poodle clip” was designed by hunters to help the dogs move through the water more efficiently. The patches of hair left on the body are there to protect vital organs and joints which are susceptible to cold when the dogs are retrieving. The largest size, the Standard variety is the oldest of the three Poodle varieties. The medium sized Miniature variety may have been used for truffle hunting — a little fancier than a pig. The smallest size, Toy Poodle was often used in stage performances and circuses as early as 1700 and through the 1800s.
The smaller two varieties, the Miniature and Toy Poodles were likely developed by crossing small Standard Poodles with Maltese and Havanese to bring down the size. The Standard Poodle was first developed as a hunting dog, however the Miniature and Toy varieties have always been strictly companion dogs, and were popular in the French court from the reign of Louis XIV through that of Louis XVI.
Poodles were first brought to the United States at the end of the 19th century, but the breed did not become popular until after World War II. By the mid 1950s, the Poodle was fast becoming the most popular breed in the United States.
Is a Poodle right for you?
Poodles can live in almost any size home and their almost hypoallergenic coat may reduce allergies, but that coat usually does require professional grooming. The Poodle is an active breed and requires daily exercise, but as an upside, you’ll get out and walking too.