Poodle Appearance

Poodle Characteristics

  • Apartment Living
  • Active Lifestyle
  • Watchdog Ability
  • Child Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Cat Friendly
  • Shedding Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • Social Needs
  • Grooming needs
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Health Issues
  • Trainability
  • Adaptability
  • Poodles Appearance

    Origin: France.

    Utilization: companion dog.

    Classification FCI: Group 9 Companion and Toy dogs; Section 2 Poodle;  Without working trial.

    Important proportions:

    • The length of the muzzle is approximately 9/10 of the length of the skull
    • The length of the body is slightly larger than the height of the dog at the withers
    • The height at the withers is almost equal to the height of the croup
    • The height of the elbow is 5/9 of the height at the withers.

    General appearance:  intelligent, attentive and elegant dog of medium-sized with harmonious physique and a characteristic curly or corded coat.

    Behavior/Temperament: an intelligent and faithful companion-dog with excellent training abilities.

    Head is well chiselled, exquisite, rectilinear and in proportion to the body.

    Skull: its width is less than half the length of the head. It appears oval along the longitudinal axis if see over and slightly convex in profile. The longitudinal axes of the cranial part and the muzzle are slightly divergent. The superciliary arches are moderately expressed and covered with long hair. The frontal groove is wide between the eyes, narrows in the direction of the well-marked occipital mound. Miniature poodles have a less pronounced occipital tubercle.

    Stop: very slightly expressed, but should not be absent.

    The nose is developed, vertical at profile; the nostrils are well open.

    • Dogs of black, white and gray colors have a black nose; brown poodle has a brown nose.
    • Poodle of red and apricot colors or any shade of color has a brown or black nose; it depends on the intensity of dog`s color.
    • Dogs of a light-apricot color should have as dark the nose as possible.

    Muzzle is strong. The upper profile is straight. The length of the muzzle is approximately 9/10 of the length of the skull. The lateral bones of the lower jaw are almost parallel. The lower profile is formed by the jaw, and not by the lower edge of the upper lip.

    Lips: moderately developed, medium thickness, rather tight. The upper lip lies on the lower lip, not overlapping it. The angle of the lips is not pronounced.

    • Poodles of black, white and gray colors have black lips.
    • Dogs of brown color have brown lips.
    • Poodles of apricot and red colors can have brown (more or less dark shade) or black lips.

    Cheeks: the musculature of the cheekbones does not protrude and densely adjoins the bones of the skull. The infraorbital region is well fashioned and little filled. The cheekbones are protruding slightly.

    Jaws/Teeth: the bite is completely scissor. Teeth are strong.

    The eyes are almond-shaped, black or dark brown; are located at the level of the stop (the transition from forehead to muzzle); are slightly skewed. The expression of eyes is smart, friendly and temperamental.

    • Brown poodles can have dark amber eyes.
    • Poodles of black, white and gray colors have black edges of the eyelids; dogs of brown color can have brown edges.
    • Dogs of light apricot colors should have the edges of the eyelids as dark as possible.

    Ears are long enough and falling along the cheekbones. The base of the ear is located in the continuation of the line starting from the upper part of the nose and passing just below the outer corner of the eyelid. The ears are flat, extending downward from the base, the tips are rounded; are covered with wavy and very long hair.  The ear is stretched forward should reach the corners of the lips, or can overlap them (in ideally).

    The neck is strong, of medium length, very proportionate; the line of the neck slightly convex. The head is carried high and proud. Neck without dewlap, is of oval cross section. Its length should be less than the length of the head.

    The body is very proportionate; the length of the body slightly exceeds the height at the withers.

    Withers: moderately pronounced. The height of the dog at the withers is almost equal to the height in the croup.

    Top line: harmonious and taut.

    Back: short.

    Loin: strong and muscular.

    Croup: round but not sloping.

    Chest: reaches the elbows; the width of the chest is 2/3 of its depth. The front part of the chest should protrude slightly and placed high enough.  In Standard Poodles, the circumference of the chest, measured behind the scapula, should exceed the height at the withers by at least 10 cm. The breast is of an oval section, wide in the back area.

    Underline and belly: tucked up but not excessively (not like in the greyhound).

    Tail: set on quite high at the level of the loin.

    Forequarters: straight, parallel, well-muscled and with good bone. The distance measured from the elbow angle to the ground should be greater than the distance from the elbow angle to the withers.

    Shoulders are set obliquely with well-developed musculature; Shoulders should form an angle of about 110° with the humerus.

    Shoulders: the length of the humerus bones corresponds to the length of the shoulder blades.

    Wrists: form a single line with forearms.

    Pasterns: strong and almost vertical if see it in profile.

    Hindquarters: if see behind, the limbs must be placed parallel; the musculature is well developed and distinctly expressed.

    Hips have strong and well-muscled muscles. The corners of the hip joints should be well defined.

    Knees: the angle formed by the hip and shin should be well defined.

    Hock joints have sufficiently pronounced angles (the angle formed by the shin and the plus should be clearly visible).

    Hocks: pretty short and vertical. Poodle should be born without dewclaws on the hind legs.

    Feet: rather small, firm, of short oval shape. Toes are well arched and tight fitting. The pads of paws are hard and thick.

    • Poodle of Grey and black colors have black nails.
    • Brown dogs have brown nails.
    • Poodle of white color can has the nails of any colors in the range from the horn color to black.
    • Poodle of red and fawns (apricot) color has brown or black nails; according to coat color, as dark as possible.

    Gait/Movement: the Poodle has a light and bouncy gait.

    Skin: supple, not loose, pigmented. Skin of black, brown, grey and fawn Poodles must be pigmented in accordance with the colour of their coat.  Poodles of white colors have to have a silver coloured skin (in ideally).


    Poodle with Curly Coat: wool is profuse, fine, fluffy texture, very curly, elastic and resisting when is pressed by hand. The wool should be very thick and plentiful, of equal length, forms even curls.

    Poodle with Corded Coat: abundant wool of fine texture, fluffy and dense, forms characteristic cords of the same length, which should have a length of at least 20 cm.

    Size and weight: the sexual dimorphism must be clearly visible in all varieties.

    Standard Poodles: Over 45 cm up to 60 cm with a tolerance of +2 cm. The Standard Poodle must be the enlarged and developed replica of the Medium Poodle of which it retains the same characteristics.

    Medium Poodles: Over 35 cm up to 45 cm.

    Miniature Poodles: Over 28 cm up to 35 cm. The Miniature Poodle must display the appearance of a reduced Medium Poodle, retaining as much as possible the same proportions and without presenting any sign of dwarfism.

    Toy Poodles: Over 24 cm (with a tolerance of -1cm) up to 28 cm (sought after ideal: 25 cm). The Toy Poodle maintains, in its ensemble, the aspect of a Miniature Poodle and the same general proportions complying with all the points of the standard. Any sign of dwarfism is excluded; only the external occipital protuberance may be less pronounced.

    Faults: any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

    Severe Faults:

    • Eyes: too big and too round, or sunken, not dark enough.
    • Ears: too short (not reaching the corner of the lips).
    • Snipey or pointed muzzle.
    • Convex muzzle.
    • Roach or sway back.
    • Tail set on too low.
    • Croup falling away.
    • Rear angulations too straight or over-angulated.
    • Flowing or extended gait.
    • Sparse, soft or wire hair.
    • Undefined or not solid colour.
    • Partially depigmented nose.
    •  Absence of 2 PM2.

    Disqualifying Faults:

    • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
    • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities will be disqualified.
    • Lacks type and particularly in head, hinting notably at a mixture with another breed.
    • Height exceeding 62cm in Standards and less than 23 cm in Toys.
    • Absence of tail or naturally short tail.
    • Dewclaws or evidence of dewclaws on rear limbs.
    • Any subject displaying signs of dwarfism: globulous skull, absence of occipital protuberance, very pronounced stop, prominent eyes, muzzle too short and turned up.
    • Median furrow practically inexistant.
    • Very light bone in Toys.
    • Tail completely curled.
    • Subjects whose coat is not of solid colour.
    • All white marks on the body and/or feet for all subjects other than white.
    • Nose completely depigmented.
    • Underbite or overbite.
    • Every tooth position which could injure the dog (for instance: ill-positioned canine that touches the palate).
    • Absence of 1 incisor or 1 canine or 1 carnassial.
    • Absence of one PM3 or of one PM4.
    • Absence of three or more PM (except PM1).

    N.B: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.

    Color of Poodle

    Solid color is black, white, brown, gray, red and apricot (fawn).

    Brown: deep, dark enough, even and warm. Beige and its lighter derivatives are not allowed.

    Gray: must be uniform, neither blackish nor whitish.

    Red and apricot poodles can have a color tone from red to light apricot; including orange (the color should be uniform). Eyelids, nose, lips, gums, palate, natural openings, scrotum, paw pads are well pigmented. In red and apricot Poodles, the pigmentation of all mucous membranes should be as dark as possible.