Poodle Breed standards UKC and AKC
Breed Standards: UKC & AKC
Official U.K.C. Breed Standard
Copyright 1991, United Kennel Club, Inc.
Revised January 1, 2004
The Miniature and Toy Poodles were probably developed by crossing small Standard Poodles with Maltese and Havanese to bring down the size. While the Standard Poodle was first developed as a hunting dog, the Miniature and Toy varieties were strictly companion dogs, popular in the French court from the reign of Louis XIV through that of Louis XVI. Miniature and Toy Poodles appear in many 17th century paintings. These dogs were also popular with circus performers and clowns from as early as 1700 through the late 1800's. 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 '50s, the Poodle was the most popular breed in the United States, a position held for over 20 years. Today the Poodle is divided into two breeds: the Standard Poodle, which serves primarily as a gun dog and companion animal, and the Poodle, composed of the Miniature and Toy varieties, and which serves primarily as companion breed. The standards of the two breeds are essentially identical but for size.
The Poodle was recognized by United Kennel Club in 1914. The Poodle was divided into two breeds, Standard Poodle and Poodle, in 1999.
The Poodle is a medium-sized, squarely built dog with a distinctive harsh curly coat that may be presented in any of several traditional Poodle clips or corded. The ears are long, drop, and densely feathered. The tail is normally docked, set high, and carried erect. The length of body (sternum to point of buttocks) is equal to the height (withers to ground). The Poodle carries himself with an air of dignity and pride.
The Poodle's most readily identifiable characteristic is its harsh, dense coat, which is presented in various traditional trims or, less frequently, corded. Another essential characteristic is proper temperament. The breed is noted for its high intelligence and trainability. While Poodles are wary of strangers, they require human companionship and do not do well without regular, close interaction with family members. Because of their great intelligence and the joy they take in human companionship, Poodles excel in performance events of all sorts. They are extremely affectionate with children.
The head is proportionate to the size of the dog. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are roughly parallel to one another and joined by a slight but definite stop.
SKULL - The skull is long and moderately rounded on top. Cheeks are clean and flat.
MUZZLE - In profile, the muzzle is straight and roughly equal in length to the skull, measured from stop to occiput. The muzzle is fine with a slight chiseling under the eyes but with sufficient depth of underjaw to prevent snipiness. Lips are tight with black or liver pigment appropriate to coat color.
Serious faults: Lip pigment incomplete or of wrong color for color of coat; weak underjaw.
TEETH - The Poodle has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.
Serious faults: Overshot, undershot, wry mouth.
NOSE - Nose leather is black or liver, depending on coat color.
Serious faults: Nose pigment incomplete or of wrong color for color of coat.
EYES - Eyes are oval in shape and set sufficiently wide apart to give an alert, intelligent expression. Eye and eye rim colors are black or liver, depending on coat color.
Serious faults: Round, protruding, large or very light eyes; eye and eye rim colors wrong for color of coat; eye rim pigment incomplete.
EARS - Ears are drop with long, wide, densely-feathered ear leather. Ears are set at or slightly below eye level and hang close to the head.
Fault: Excessively long ear fringe.
The neck is of sufficient length and strength to permit the head to be carried high when standing or moving. The neck blends smoothly into well-laid-back shoulders. The skin on the neck and throat is tight.
Serious fault: Ewe neck.
Shoulders are smoothly muscled. The shoulder blades are long and well laid back. The upper arm appears to be equal in length of the shoulder blade and joins it at an apparent right angle. Elbows are close to the body. The forelegs are straight with bone and muscle proportionate to the size of the dog. Pasterns are strong and slightly sloping. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are parallel. Viewed from the side, the point of elbow is directly below the withers.
Serious fault: Upright shoulders.
A properly proportioned Poodle is square, with the length of body (measured from prosternum to point of buttocks) equal to height (measured from the withers to the ground). The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is just slightly longer than half the dog's height. The line of the back drops off almost imperceptibly behind the withers and is then level. The loin is short, broad and muscular with moderate tuck-up. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung out from the spine, then curving down and inward to form a deep body. The brisket extends to the elbow. Viewed from the front, the chest is well filled and moderately wide.
Hindquarters are muscular and with broad second thighs. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the angulation of the forequarters. The stifles are well bent and the hocks are well let down. When the dog is standing, the short, strong rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground and, viewed from the rear, parallel to each other. In profile, the croup is nearly flat.
The feet are relatively small, oval in shape and compact with well-arched toes and thick, elastic pads. Feet do not turn in or out. Nails are short and dark or self-colored, depending on coat color. Dewclaws may be removed. Serious fault: Thin pads, splay foot.
The tail is straight, set high, and normally docked to a length proportionate to the size of the dog. Whether standing or moving, the tail is carried erect.
Serious faults: Low tail set, tail curled or carried over the back.
The Poodle has harsh, dense, curly coat. For conformation exhibition, the coat may be presented naturally, corded, or in one of the traditional clips described below.
Corded--The cords are tight and of even diameter but varying lengths. Cords may be longer on the mane, body coat, head and ears; shorter on puffs, bracelets and pompons.
Clips--In all of the traditional clips described below, the hair on the topskull may be left free or held in place by elastic bands, which may not be used elsewhere in the coat.
Puppy. The coat is long with the face, throat, feet and base of the tail shaved. A pompon shall be left on the end of the tail. The coat may be shaped to give a neat appearance.
English Saddle. The face, throat, feet, forelegs and base of tail are shaved, leaving puffs on the forelegs and a pompon on end of the tail. The hindquarters are covered with a short blanket of hair except for a curved shaved area on each flank. Each rear leg is circled by two shaved bands, one just above the stifle and one just above the hock joint. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped for balance.
Continental. Face, throat, feet and base of tail are shaved. Hindquarters are shaved with pompons on the hips optional. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. Legs are shaved leaving bracelets on the rear legs and puffs on the forelegs. A portion of the foreleg is shaved above the puff. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped for balance.
Sporting. Face, feet, throat and base of tail are shaved. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. Coat on the top of the head is scissored into a cap. The rest of the body and legs are trimmed following the outline of the dog. The body coat shall be no longer than 1 inch in length. Leg hair may be slightly longer.
Coat patterns in Poodles include the following colors: Apricot, black, blue, cream, gray, silver, white, and all shades of brown, including café-au-lait. Dogs whose coats include the brown shades may have dark amber eyes; liver noses, eye rims and lips; and dark nails. Dogs with apricot coat color may have this combination of eye, pigment and nail color as well but it is not desirable. All others must have very dark eyes; black noses, eye rims and lips; and black or self-colored nails. These colors must appear in one of the following patterns:
Solid. Coat color is solid and even. Clear colors are preferred but natural variations in the shading of the coat are not to be considered a fault.
Parti-colored: At least fifty percent white, with spots or patches of any other acceptable solid color. The head can be of a solid color but white muzzle, blaze, or white muzzle/blaze combination (preferably symmetrical) are equally acceptable. Full or partial saddles are acceptable, as long as they do not exceed the color proportion, but are not preferred. Ticking in the white of the coat is acceptable but not preferred.
Phantom: Solid base color with sharply defined markings of a second color appearing above each eye, on the sides of the muzzle, on the throat and forechest, or in a chin and forechest bowtie pattern as well as on all four legs and feet, and below the tail. A phantom without clearly defined face markings or one that presents with its whole face colored in the second color is acceptable, as long as it maintains all the other specified body markings. Any combination of acceptable colors is allowed.
Abstract: Less than fifty percent white, with the remaining percent any other acceptable solid color.
Sable: A coat represented by black-tipped hairs on a background of any solid color, with no particular pattern/location designated for such hairs.
Multi-patterned: A dog that clearly exhibits more than one of the acceptable color patterns, such as; a Parti with full or incomplete phantom markings (facial markings with or without presentation of the diamond under the tail), or a Phantom with additional abstract markings, etc.
Disqualification: Any color or color pattern other than described above; albinism.
Miniature - Over 10 inches up to 15 inches, measured at the withers.
Toy - 10 inches or under, measured at the withers.
Within each individual variety, the judge shall favor the smaller dog when all other factors are equal, including balance and proportion.
Disqualifications: A Miniature Poodle over or under the qualifying heights; a Toy Poodle over 10 inches.
When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful and well coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive behind. Action is light and springy with head and tail carried up.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism. Any color or color pattern other than described above. A Miniature Poodle over or under the qualifying heights; a Toy Poodle over 10 inches.
Copyright 2003-2004, United Kennel Club, Inc.
American Kennel Club
Did you know?
· The Poodle is the national dog of France.
· The Standard Poodle is the oldest of the three varieties.
· The words Standard, Miniature, and Toy are used to denote size only. All of these are one breed.
· Poodles are known for their work retrieving capabilities in the water.
So you want to own a Poodle?
The Poodle's coat lends itself to a variety of hair styles. Most of which derive from their duties as a retriever where shorn to protect their joints in cold water.
The Poodle is very active, intelligent, and elegant.
Poodle Breed Standard
The Standard for the Poodle (Toy variety) is the same as for the Standard and Miniature varieties except as regards heights.
General Appearance, Carriage and Condition
That of a very active, intelligent and elegant-appearing dog, squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly and carrying himself proudly. Properly clipped in the traditional fashion and carefully groomed, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.
Size, Proportion, Substance
The Standard Poodle is over 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle which is 15 inches or less in height shall be disqualified from competition as a Standard Poodle.
The Miniature Poodle is 15 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders, with a minimum height in excess of 10 inches. Any Poodle which is over 15 inches or is 10 inches or less at the highest point of the shoulders shall be disqualified from competition as a Miniature Poodle.
The Toy Poodle is 10 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle which is more than 10 inches at the highest point of the shoulders shall be disqualified from competition as a Toy Poodle.
As long as the Toy Poodle is definitely a Toy Poodle, and the Miniature Poodle a Miniature Poodle, both in balance and proportion for the Variety, diminutiveness shall be the deciding factor when all other points are equal.
Proportion - To insure the desirable squarely built appearance, the length of body measured from the breastbone to the point of the rump approximates the height from the highest point of the shoulders to the ground.
Substance - Bone and muscle of both forelegs and hindlegs are in proportion to size of dog.
Head and Expression
(a) Eyes-- very dark, oval in shape and set far enough apart and positioned to create an alert intelligent expression. Major fault: eyes round, protruding, large or very light.
(b) Ears-- hanging close to the head, set at or slightly below eye level. The ear leather is long, wide and thickly feathered; however, the ear fringe should not be of excessive length.
(c) Skull-- moderately rounded, with a slight but definite stop. Cheekbones and muscles flat. Length from occiput to stop about the same as length of muzzle.
(d) Muzzle-- long, straight and fine, with slight chiseling under the eyes. Strong without lippiness. The chin definite enough to preclude snipiness. Major fault: lack of chin. Teeth-- white, strong and with a scissors bite. Major fault: undershot, overshot, wry mouth.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck well proportioned, strong and long enough to permit the head to be carried high and with dignity. Skin snug at throat. The neck rises from strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. Major fault: ewe neck.
The topline is level, neither sloping nor roached, from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the base of the tail, with the exception of a slight hollow just behind the shoulder.
(a) Chest deep and moderately wide with well sprung ribs. (b) The loin is short, broad and muscular. (c) Tail straight, set on high and carried up, docked of sufficient length to insure a balanced outline. Major fault: set low, curled, or carried over the back.
Strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. The shoulder blade is well laid back and approximately the same length as the upper foreleg. Major fault: steep shoulder.
(a) Forelegs - Straight and parallel when viewed from the front. When viewed from the side the elbow is directly below the highest point of the shoulder. The pasterns are strong. Dewclaws may be removed.
Feet - The feet are rather small, oval in shape with toes well arched and cushioned on thick firm pads. Nails short but not excessively shortened. The feet turn neither in nor out. Major fault: paper or splay foot.
The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters.
(a) Hind legs straight and parallel when viewed from the rear. Muscular with width in the region of the stifles which are well bent; femur and tibia are about equal in length; hock to heel short and perpendicular to the ground. When standing, the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump. Major fault: cow-hocks.
(a) Quality--(1) Curly: of naturally harsh texture, dense throughout. (2) Corded: hanging in tight even cords of varying length; longer on mane or body coat, head, and ears; shorter on puffs, bracelets, and pompons.
(b) Clip-- A Poodle under 12 months may be shown in the "Puppy" clip. In all regular classes, Poodles 12 months or over must be shown in the "English Saddle" or "Continental" clip. In the Stud Dog and Brood Bitch classes and in a non-competitive Parade of Champions, Poodles may be shown in the "Sporting" clip. A Poodle shown in any other type of clip shall be disqualified.
(1) "Puppy"--A Poodle under a year old may be shown in the "Puppy" clip with the coat long. The face, throat, feet and base of the tail are shaved. The entire shaven foot is visible. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. In order to give a neat appearance and a smooth unbroken line, shaping of the coat is permissible. (2) "English Saddle"--In the "English Saddle" clip the face, throat, feet, forelegs and base of the tail are shaved, leaving puffs on the forelegs and a pompon on the end of the tail. The hindquarters are covered with a short blanket of hair except for a curved shaved area on each flank and two shaved bands on each hindleg. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven leg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance. (3) "Continental"--In the "Continental" clip, the face, throat, feet, and base of the tail are shaved. The hindquarters are shaved with pompons (optional) on the hips. The legs are shaved, leaving bracelets on the hindlegs and puffs on the forelegs. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven foreleg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance. (4) "Sporting"--In the "Sporting" clip, a Poodle shall be shown with face, feet, throat, and base of tail shaved, leaving a scissored cap on the top of the head and a pompon on the end of the tail. The rest of the body, and legs are clipped or scissored to follow the outline of the dog leaving a short blanket of coat no longer than one inch in length. The hair on the legs may be slightly longer than that on the body.
In all clips the hair of the topknot may be left free or held in place by elastic bands. The hair is only of sufficient length to present a smooth outline. "Topknot" refers only to hair on the skull, from stop to occiput. This is the only area where elastic bands may be used.
The coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-au-laits, apricots and creams the coat may show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently present in the somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are definitely preferred, such natural variation in the shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Brown and cafe-au-lait Poodles have liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, dark toenails and dark amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream and white Poodles have black noses, eye-rims and lips, black or self colored toenails and very dark eyes. In the apricots while the foregoing coloring is preferred, liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, and amber eyes are permitted but are not desirable. Major fault: color of nose, lips and eye-rims incomplete, or of wrong color for color of dog.
Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified. The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but is of two or more colors.
A straightforward trot with light springy action and strong hindquarters drive. Head and tail carried up. Sound effortless movement is essential.
Carrying himself proudly, very active, intelligent, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself. Major fault: shyness or sharpness.
Any distinct deviation from the desired characteristics described in the Breed Standard.
Size-- A dog over or under the height limits specified shall be disqualified. Clip-- A dog in any type of clip other than those listed under coat shall be disqualified. Parti-colors-- The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but of two or more colors. Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified.
Value of Points
General appearance, temperament, carriage and condition.......30
Head, expression, ears, eyes and teeth.......20
Body, neck, legs, feet and tail.......20
Coat, color and texture.......10
Approved August 14, 1984
Reformatted March 27, 1990