In the popular imagination, it's a tiny, high-strung foofoo dog. Toy poodles are often pretty yappy and aggressive, though they may be getting their bluff in on a world that's much, much larger than they are. 

Standard poodles, believe it or not, got their start as bird dogs, and their traditional haircut was designed to reduce the weight of their fur when they were in the water, while keeping their joints warm.

Poodles are considered highly intelligent, obedient, and sociable dogs. They make excellent pets. 

Regarding poodles:

True, the teeny tiny ones can be yappy and horrid, but the others; the larger, less fragile (and less frequently dyed pink) ones are truly remarkable beasts. "Standard" Poodles (the big ones) are usually between 45-60 pounds (Female) and 65-80 pounds (Male.) They come in four colors, basically: Black, white, chocolate, and apricot. ("Apricot," how silly. It's sort of a tan color.) They DO NOT SHED (neither do the teeny ones, for that matter,) and their dander is considerably less irritating to the allergies of most humans than other breeds' dander. (Some people even refer to poodles as "hypo-allergenic" dogs.) Standard Poodles are phenomenal athletes. They are excellent jumpers, superb retrievers, and they are gutsy and stout-hearted. They love to swim, they do exceptionally well in obedience and agility classes, and Standard Poodles make remarkably good assistance and therapy dogs.

Part of the Poodle's "Girly-Pansy-Ridiculous-Pretend-Dog" reputation (maybe even most of it) is related to the profoundly bad haircuts dog show people have traditionally put poodles in. It's ugly and -- well, just stupid. But, there was at one time an actual use for it. Poodles were originally bred to be water retrievers for hunters. ("Hey, how about this...I'll shoot that thing from here, then you jump off the boat and go get it for me, deal?") That silly puffy-ankled, naked-butted haircut acted as a little personal flotation device for the dog, making him more bouyant and able to swim without tiring as quickly. Today, the haircuts are just dumb. Just about nobody uses poodles for hunting dogs anymore. There are a number of poodle clubs and breeders who are actively trying to get the American Kennel Club to stop requiring that hairdo silliness in shows because of the adverse effect it has on the breed's reputation.

And guess what else. Standard Poodles are also really really good with children and other dogs.

Sherman (of Sherman's Lagoon fame): "Poodle, the other white meat.".

Background info: Sherman is a shark who as a specific fondness for poodle breed. He detests weiner dogs. Every so often (it's rare, I assume so the joke doesn't wear thin) you'll see references poodles, in the form of dreams etc.

I tried so hard to find that daily comic strip, but after sifting through all of the cartoon archives of both '93 and '92 (it should be noted that '92 had many missing image links). I can only guess that the strip was in one of those missing images. :(

Good news though. There is a book also by the same title. I think it's a collection of strips. And it's a pretty safe bet that that specific strip will be there.

Book details (source the Sherman's Lagoon website):
"Poodle:The Other White Meat"

The Second Anthology of Sherman's
Comic Strips.

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Release date: April 1999
Paperback 127 pages
ISBN: 0-8362-8287-6
Price: $9.95 USD ($14.95 CAN)

A slang term for a catspaw, a fawning and obedient follower, a lackey. Apparently British twentieth-century slang, having originated in a speech by Lloyd George against the Prime Minister's use of the House of Lords, supposedly an independent guardian of liberties, to rubberstamp his decisions:

The House of Lords consented. This is the defender of property! This is the leal and trusty mastiff which is to watch over our interests... A mastiff? It is the right hon. Gentleman's poodle. It fetches and carries for him. It barks for him. It bites anybody that he sets it on to.

Hansard, 26 June 1907

The word 'poodle' came into common currency in this sense. The House of Lords was referred to as 'that Tory poodle' (1944); Roy Jenkins wrote Mr Balfour's poodle (1954), an account of the struggle involving Lloyd George; and we have since then had people called, or denied being, anybody's poodle, the poodle of the BBC, and so on. In recent years it has been kept in the public mind by its graphic depiction in the works of the trenchant satirical cartoonist Steve Bell in The Guardian.

Another colloquialism is poodle-faker for a ladies' man, a man who insinuates himself into the company of women. This may be military or naval in origin, as it also means a newly commissioned officer. Then there are terms such as poodledom for the state in which a man stays at home under the thumb of his wife, doing little.

Pick a small breed of dog (Spaniels, Terriers, I could go on), and you will find some that are quiet and affectionate, some that are quiet and aggressive, and some that are very loud.

If a dog is small then it's bark is likely to be higher pitched, and a yappy dog is one with a high pitched bark, hence smaller dogs are more likely to be yappy. This has more to do with physics than breeding.

There is a lot more to poodles than lap-dogs. Standard Poodles are majestic, intelligent, athletic and loyal. Which is more than I can say for myself.

Just some poodle funfacts:

-Poodles enjoy using their paws more than other breeds of dogs. I read this in a "Raising a Poodle" manual, and discovered that it's accurate, for the most part. You will always find a poodle poking at something with it's foot, scratching at something, or kicking a toy around. I have even spotted my poodles lying on their backs and "holding" an object in their paws. It's rather adorable.

-The standard poodle is originally from Germany. The French Poodle is what we call the toy poodle. Here's why:

-Not too long ago, there was no such thing as a toy poodle. All of the poodles in the 1800s were standards. The standard poodle was an intelligent, loyal, and friendly breed of dog that was good with children. The French thought that these characteristics would be great in a lapdog, so they decided to shrink the poodle. The smallest dog in a litter would be bred with another runt in another litter, and all of the puppies were even smaller. This selective breeding process took decades until the toy poodle came about. However, nervousness genes accompanied the genes for smallness, kind of like how red hair often comes with freckles. So that is how we ended up with the horrible little creature known as the toy poodle.

-The hideous pom-poms that we sometimes see on poodles actually served a function back when they were used as water-retrievers. It did not help them to float, as many people think, because poodles are excellent swimmers without bushy hair. The lakes and rivers in Germany were extremely chilly, so the pom-poms insulated the dog's body. The big pom-pom kept the cold away from the heart and lungs. The pop-poms around the ankles of the dog kept the joints warm, and the two pop-poms on the hips of the dog protected the kidneys. The poof on the tail served as a flag for when the dog dove underwater.

Poo"dle (?), n. [G. pudel.] Zool.

A breed of dogs having curly hair, and often showing remarkable intelligence in the performance of tricks.


© Webster 1913.

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