That’s right, poodles, known for their ‘dos, snagged the eighth spot on the AKC’s popular dog breed list. Though its airy curls may have you believe differently, the poodle is not a fluffy toy, and rather the breed sports major smarts and excels in obedience training.
The breed comes in three size variations: The standard variety, the oldest of the three, is the only one to have its genome sequenced, a feat reported in 2003; the miniature may have been used to sniff out truffles — an edible fungus considered a delicacy; and the toy poodle, which was often used in performances and kept as a pampered pet. For instance, during the reign of Louis XVI in France, toy poodles were all the rage.
Though poodles come in a variety of coat colors — including white, black, apricot and gray — research published in 2007 in the journal Science revealed that all poodle coats and those of nine other breeds arise from the same gene called beta-defensin that encodes black and yellow coat color. And all colors in between are just modifications of yellow and black, the researchers said