The second smartest breed of dog
in the world and the second largest variety of poodle
(out of teacup, toy, miniature, standard and royal standard).
Usually averages around 60lbs and 15 inches high at the shoulder.
Comes in white, black, brown, red and rarely, piebald
Classed under Non-Sporting in the AKC
They were originally bred in Germany and/or France for duck-hunting in cold water, which gave rise to the Continental Cut, more commonly known as the "oh-god-that-dog-looks-ridiculous" cut, used to protect the dogs joints in the cold temperatures, while shaving unnecessary hair to cut down on the weight of the coat. All smaller and larger varieties of poodle came from this size.
They are not prissy whatsoever, in that they love mud, rough-housing, and getting generally filthy, but they do seem to know it when they come home from the groomers looking great. They also have a deep, resonant bark that could fool anyone on the other side of the door that you own a large guard-type dog. They can be protective but are not aggressive unless their owner is in real distress.
They are tolerant of children, other dogs and most other pets, such as cats or hamsters (though my poodle has a real fondness for chasing cattle )
Most love to be showered with attention and fawned over by strangers as much as their owners, as they seem to know that they are truly something special.