UKC 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
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 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
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
Miniature - Over 10 inches up to 15 inches, measured at the
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.