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A Brief Poodle Dog History

Poodles found their way to America from England. They did so in 1887. Prior to World War I, Poodle popularity reached a peak at American dog shows. Originally, Standards and Miniatures in America were shown as a single breed, and Toys were shown as a separate breed prior to World War II.

The Poodle Club of America, founded in 1931 to govern the standard of perfection for all Poodles, offered classes with the same criteria for all three sizes. As a matter of fact, the first Miniature to earn an American championship title was the black English dog named “Chopstick”.

Some of England's finest Poodles as well as several from the Continent were imported to America during the early 1900s. Their genetic heritage still carries on today, and we often see the names of well-known English dogs in the pedigrees of modern American Poodles.

By 1960, America had caught up with the British and European interest in the breed. Poodles became the most popular breed of dog in American Kennel Club registration. In the 1930s, Helen Whitehouse Walker, owner of Carillon Kennels, wanted to introduce the sport of obedience into America.

She was tired of hearing people say that Poodles, with their fancy hairdos, were vanity dogs. She vowed to prove the Poodle's intelligence and ability to be well-trained to America.

In 1934, as England was enjoying the growing sport of obedience “trialing”, Mrs. Walker went to Great Britain to study the sport and the training methods for obedience. When she returned home to America, she shared what she had learned with others, including her dear friend, Blanche Sauders, who ultimately became a renowned obedience exhibitor and teacher.

By 1947, America was ready to recognize obedience competition. The American Kennel Club officially adopted the rules and regulations for the sport and established an obedience department within its ranks.

From the working Poodle-like dogs of Europe in the 12th century to the sophisticated Poodles of the 21st century, the breed maintains its ancestral traits  that endear it to people around the world. Thus, centuries after the breed's development, there seems no reason to believe that Poodles will be any less popular in the future than they have been in the past.

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A Brief Poodle Dog History