Poodle – the most «humanized» breed
Poodle is known as a unique breed. According to the British Poodles are not yet humans, but they cannot be considered as dogs either. The first part of this phrase may be safely omitted, because Poodles are the most intelligent resourceful creatures.
Poodles are frequently considered to be snobbish and pathos, but if to delve deeply into history you will find that they were originally developed for continuous work. The fact that poodles are used as excellent gun dogs should not be surprising. Even their unusual haircuts they owe to hunters, which shaved their Poodles in certain areas to improve mobility, leaving other areas to conserve warmth. Originally Poodles were bred as water retrievers. However, they are, being the same as Labradors by their hunting skills, inferior in no way to them, they even excel this breed in the ability of quick learning
If once you have met wicked, hysterical Poodle on the street, barking continuously at the people around, you actually have the dog’s owner in front of you. Poodles are not only a natural resemblance of their owners, but they mirror them. If the dog happens to be open-hearted, good-natured, then the same is its owner.
There is something behind the fact that Mephistopheles appeared to the Faust in the guise of a Poodle. Quick-wittedness of Poodles, great masters of the circus ring, was inspired by mysticism, attracting brutal Inquisition during the Middle Ages. Among the students Poodles’ intelligence symbolized the ability to perceive sciences, and in Western Europe their every community at that time necessarily had its own favorite Poodle until the 17th century.
Talented Poodles of talented people
The great Richard Wagner never appeared at the orchestra rehearsals without his beloved Poodle. Once the instruments let out with a false phonation, the dog had started its barking. If the composer, conducting the piece, raised his hands angrily at a false note, his dog was reacting with the same barking.
In 1787 Ludwig van Beethoven composed “Elegy” on the death of his lovely Poodle.
There are many paintings dated between 14 and 15 centuries, depicting Poodles with their masters.
“Animals, the same as human beings, have their rights. However, the unprecedented brutality and selfishness, attributable to the conception of Western world, lead to its recklessness, depriving the society of human origin in relation to them”. This was written by the great German philosopher Schopenhauer. He kept Poodles since his student days. Growing up, Schopenhauer distinguished by his accusations against the Christian teachings, in part of its exceptional indifference toward the animals. His German brown Poodle Butz was the last dog of the philosopher. He was “a muse” of the aging Schopenhauer on his daily walks, when he was inspired by his most prominent thoughts. At the moments of particular affection, Schopenhauer called his Poodle “Atman”, which means “soul, the origin of life”. When the philosopher was necessary to scold his “soul,” he barked, “You are a man!” throwing angry, upbraided views at his dog. For the residents of Frankfurt philosopher and his Poodle became a kind of landmark
The Russian writer Kuprin had his own stray Poodle, nicknamed “Negoday” (Scoundrel) at his country estate in Zhitomer. Kuprin loved dogs more than people; in his diary he wrote: “Dogs are increasingly humanizing lately before our eyes. But there are so many people all around resembling dogs and pigs… “
Moustache – the hero of the Austerlitz
Moustache was a black German Poodle (from Normandy, 1799), a favorite dog of the regiment of French grenadiers. Moustache actively participated in the Austrian campaign during the Napoleonic Wars. He attended the battle at Marengo, where he was attributed to unmasking the Austrian spy and rescue of its squad from a sudden attack of the enemy.
But its greatest achievement was at Austerlitz. The young ensign, bearing the regimental banner, mortally wounded and surrounded by the enemy, he was trying to save the flag with his last effort by wrapping it around his body. Moustache came to rescue; he could not help the young soldier, but attempted to recover the thing he had given his life to save. With its teeth and paws he deftly unwound the banner. Holding it in its mouth, it had triumphantly carried this standard back to its frontier
Philippe de Wailly, a veterinarian, narrated how that dog threw itself under the fire guns to the body of the unfortunate flag-bearer and removed the flag. For such rescue the dog was awarded the medal for exceptional bravery, its name was inscribed in the regimental books as a full-fledged soldier, which was supposed to have rations and pay for service in the army. Subsequently, the Poodle was honored to wear a tricolor collar with a silver medal, which was engraved on one side with the inscription: “Moustache, French dog, a brave fighter, worthy of respect,” and on the other “At the Battle of Austerlitz, he had broken his leg, while saving the flag of its regiment.” The dog was presented to the Emperor Napoleon, for whom he performed different tricks, including the most famous one, when he raised a paw at the mention of the Emperor’s enemies.
Moustache followed its battalion, when it was transferred to the Peninsula, and during the siege of Badajoz a cannonball hit near the dog. Soldiers buried the Poodle right on its spot of death. It was committed to earth with its collar and medal under a modest stone with the simple words: “Here lies the brave Moustache”. Unfortunately, the Spaniards destroyed the stone after the war. By order of the Inquisition bones of the brave dog were burned.
Muchuch – soldiers assistant
After the Battle of Talavera (27-28 July 1809), General Graham, later Lord Lynedoch, was told about a Poodle that was lying on the grave of a Spanish officer and refused food. He wished that dog to be brought to his apartment, but the servant came back with nothing, complaining the dog would not allow him even to come closer. Then the general ordered to take as many soldiers as it would be enough to take away this sole dog. Over a time, Muchuch has been sent to Scotland, to the family of the general’s friend Fintry, resided in Edinburgh. At their house Muchuch had been living for several years, delighting all households.
It was a big brown Poodle with its ears riddled in a battle. Those days, the cannons of the nearby Castle announced many victories, forcing the dog fall into a state of strong excitation at each shooting. Through the house opened door, Muchuch ran straight to the Castle’s gun battery. After a while the soldiers were regularly expecting its presence in such occasions. The dog loved soldiers and helped them in every possible way. Having heard the story of a Poodle it was allowed to bring and introduce this dog to the protection of a Palace where the security approach and paid all respect to the old hero.
Muchuch ended his days peacefully in the house of Fintry. Acting as a shepherd dog he drove a flock of turkeys into a field every morning and brought them back home by the evenings.
Leo – devoted defender
Destiny of the poor Acton was particularly unfortunate; the same was the fate of his beloved Poodle, Leo. This fine dog had been for many years the most loyal and faithful companion of its owner. Leo had a haircut, trimmed up into the shape of a most ferocious lion, but this was only a superficial resemblance; as Leo distinguished with its kind and playful disposition. Its forte was in aquatic displays, when it was diving or jumping overboard, then scrambling up back by the rope slung over the side of the boat. Leo was a constant attendant upon its master, for all occasions of bathing.
Those night, before the incident (1 May 1819), Acton had been out for a cards playing session, and, on return, he decided to take a bath. While relaxing in the bathroom after a tiring night, being helpless and defenseless, he was ruthlessly stabbed with enemy agents’ bayonets. His faithful Poodle Leo in a vain effort to protect its master took the brunt of a vigorous attack on the barbarous miscreants but was killed the same brutally and ruthlessly.
Malin – the contrabandist
In the 18th century the case “France Customs against Poodles”, stirred up by the Poodle, named Malin received the great public resonance. Among the smugglers, he was known by its nickname “golden tub.” The Poodle’s owner, when being a poor man, began to smuggle luxury lace secretly from abroad using his dog. His companions showing jealousy informed the customs’ officials against the large white Poodle, calling it clever quirky smuggler. However, the white dog tracing was futile until the authorities received another denunciation about the Poodle, which was recently delivered the lace under the skin painted by his master in different colors.
The case had turned into baiting of Poodles of all shapes and colors. This fact, unfortunately, did not stop the smuggler. His dog Malin continued to perform master’s orders secretly, hiding and waiting for him in a secluded place. At the appearance, he ripped up threads, fastening the skin on the close-cropped dog and taking the skein of lace, winded around the Poodle’s body, he set off to sell them in Paris. Such trade made him rich in no time.
Poodles of the World War II
The pervasive “recruitment” of dogs into defensive military structures sprang up during the Second World War. In particular after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941 the United States had launched the nation-wide program of the Corporation “Dogs for Defense” (DFD), providing the procurement and training of animals for Coast Guard, serving in the Army and Navy. In 1942, 32 official breeds have been classified as war dogs for army. Among the breeds listed the Poodles were included. However, only the Standard Poodles were accepted as military dogs, standing from 50 to 65 cm high, weighting from 23 to 35 kg. They were clipped all over for Army work allowing their coat to grow out only to a length of 3-5 cm. Or with their faces and paws clipped bare, the Poodles, in fact, looked like medium-sized retrievers.
The DFD section concerning Poodles stated:
“This breed has an extraordinary ability to learn and retain the acute senses. These dogs differ by their patience, dexterity, flexibility, courage, sharp senses of smell and hearing. They are sturdy, squarely built, active and poised. The drawback lay in their rapidly growing dense coat that must be cut down constantly to avoid it becoming matted or knotted.” It was also noted that Poodles are essentially good-natured and very friendly dog that could be very problematic in terms of war.
Because of the coat properties, Poodles selection as military dogs was terminated. Thus, by the end of 1944 a list of preferred breeds was shortened to five eliminating Poodle. However, history experts proved Poodles were not only recruited and transferred to the actual battlefronts but also the remaining dogs have been involved in important war work inside the country, which they mastered eagerly.
At the same time, evidence suggests that Poodles were not shipped to serve overseas, but they were used quite often within the country in sentry positions, guarding defense plants, military installations and the nation’s coastline.
Modern Poodle and their peculiarities
Today Poodles have proven to be hero dogs more than once.
On electronic filming, obtained from the city camcorders, Poodles were pulling out drowning children from water, dragging the victims of heart attack to safe places, selflessly rushing to protect their hosts in case of sudden attacks. Poodles saved lives in fires, pulling people out by their clothing or biting their hands and feet gently, they brought them to their senses. They unmistakably and promptly led their hosts outside the burning property, instinctively determining the safest way.
Poodles are widely involved in rescue services in the search for survivors and missing people.
If you happened to meet grumpy and aggressive representative of the breed – the cause is rather in coarse, cruel treatment or its adverse environment. After all, the distinctive feature of Poodles is to copy the behavior of their hosts. They will zealously imitate any of your actions, whether you do physical exercises, work in the garden or even have a habit to put things in the right places
Over 200 professional judges, evaluating the ability of dogs to obey and run the commands, ranked 110 dog breeds on the basis of their intelligence. The Standard Poodle is listed second in this list, behind only the Border Collie.
Poodles are not only the favorites of children and adults; they are stars shining in the circus ring and numerous movies. They have also received recognition by some of the world’s best kennel clubs. At the World Dog Show in 2007 and 2010 Poodles have won some top honors and up till now they continue their “triumphal procession”.