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The poodle (also called the barbone or caniche) is an elegant and highly intelligent dog. This lively dog has an amazingly springy gait. The coat is often clipped, and the straight tail is sometimes docked to half its original length. There are three breeds of poodle (they are similar except for size): the standard (the largest), the miniature, and the toy (the smallest poodle). The life span of the poodle is about 12 to 15 years or more.

Origins: The poodle was originally bred to retrieve game from the water. It probably originated in France or Germany over 500 years ago; it was probably bred from the French Barbet (a gun dog).

Anatomy: The solid-color coat is wiry; it is white, apricot, black, or shades of brown. The standard poodle is over 15 inches (38 cm) tall at the shoulders, and weighs from 45 to 70 pounds (20-32 kg). The miniature poodle is from 10 to 15 inches (25-38 cm) tall at the shoulders. The toy poodle, a companion dog, is under 10 inches (25 cm) tall at the shoulders.

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