Poodles are Ugly? [Beyond the Fluff]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

I frequently hang out with lots of fellow dog lovers and there’s always a time or two when we get into some controversial discussions.

Just like one we had recently where a friend said that poodles are ugly.

This sparked off a bunch of passionate rebuttals and agreements, and at the end of the day, we just had to agree to disagree.

My thoughts are simple: Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and a real dog lover would never regard a poodle or any dog as ugly.

Anyways, today’s post is an opinion piece and also to shed more light on this super smart breed.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Heinz 57 Dog Breed [All you wanted to know]

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Why do people think that poodles are ugly

Why do People Think That Poodles Are Ugly?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this question in the past few years.

Let’s start with the first thing to consider: What does “ugly” mean?

A proper definition states: unpleasant or repulsive, especially in appearance.

Usually, it refers to specific features, and in the case of a poodle, I guess people find that they have weird features.

Specifically, they have long and pointy noses (like anteaters) and strangely curly hair.

The combination of these two things makes them look strange and unappealing to most people (especially when they’re wet).

Doggy says, consider reading this too: What is the smallest poodle?

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But most of all, they are a victim of their own success.

Being show dogs, they are given these ridiculous haircuts (known as the Continental or English Saddle) that have gained them widespread recognition.

The way they are shaved makes them look like they have a big mop on their head, or worse, afros all over their bodies.

Maybe what people don’t like about poodles is that they’re too cute for their own good.

They look more like toys than dogs, and maybe that’s what makes people uncomfortable: because we expect our pets to be animals, not toys.

Might not be the most popular poodle around, but still a pretty dog!

Doggy says, consider reading this next: Japanese Spitz vs American Eskimo Dog [10 FACTORS COMPARED]

Why are Poodles Shaved Weird?

The origins of the poodle’s distinctive haircut may be traced to Central Europe in the late 16th and early seventeenth centuries, particularly in the area that is now Germany, where poodles were raised as water retrievers.

And there is good reason for these dog owners to do so.

The dog could swim more freely and was more buoyant now since the hair on the bottom half of its body had been removed.

Owners also retained the hair around the joints to shield them from harm and the cold, and to help prevent rheumatism.

The long mane and hair around the chest were kept intact to keep the poodle’s critical organs warm in the cold water.

Its face and mouth area is kept clean-shaven so that it can see its target well and perform its retrieving duties without any hindrances.

And lastly, the hair on top of its head is tied up so that it does not block its vision. Frequently, owners will use brightly colored knots so that they can see their dogs from afar.

Today, poodles are still shaved in a similar way, but somehow, this look has received much criticism without much understanding of its background.

Doggy thinks you might be keen to read this too: Hypoallergenic poodle mixes

Are Poodles Fashionable?

Some of us might remember seeing poodles in movies from the past, more specifically in the late 50s all the way into the 60s.

People associate owning poodles with being fashionable, but this is probably not the case anymore these days.

Although poodles did see some kind of ‘revival’ in the 90s with the introduction of the toy poodle, it has never reclaimed the top spot it lost previously.

However, this is not to say that poodles are not popular.

Quite the contrary actually!

According to the 2021 Most Popular Dog Breed Full Ranking List by AKC, poodles are ranked number 5!

There is still a lot of love for poodles, so the opinion that poodles are ugly is probably down to a minority only.

By the way, check out this cute poodle from a 1950s TV commercial.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: How to measure a poodle’s height and weight?

Why Were Poodles So Popular in The 50s?

Poodles have been popular for centuries, but they really took off in the 1950s.

They became so popular in the 50s because they were the perfect fashion accessory.

Not only were they fluffy, but they could also be dyed any color you wanted, and they came in a variety of sizes to match whichever purse you wanted to carry.

Their appearances in movies such as “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” also helped their cause and skyrocketed their popularity.

Doggy thinks you might be keen to read this too: Why does my poodle have straight hair?

The Popularity of Poodles Today

Perhaps the most obvious reason poodles are popular is because they are hypoallergenic and super smart, ranking as the fifth most popular dog breed in the USA in 2021.

And it’s no surprise that they are widely recognized as the second smartest dog breed in the world, just behind the border collie.

These dogs don’t shed much, and their fur is less likely to trigger allergies than other breeds, making them ideal for people with allergies or asthma.

Training them is a breeze as they take well to commands. Although they can have their own minds, they are happy to be part of the pack led by a strong leader like you.

But their brains aren’t the only thing that makes these dogs so smart.

They also have great instincts and an almost unmatched ability to learn new tricks quickly and easily.

You can train a poodle to do just about anything!

Poodles are also pretty good with kids, making them a highly sought-after family dog today!

Doggy says, you might like this too: How Many Puppies Can a Miniature Schnauzer Have? [Details]

Cute Poodle Pictures

I have never understood the idea that poodles are ugly.

I mean, sure, some might think that they are not the most glamorous of breeds—but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own kind of beauty.

For example, take a look at this poodle’s face:

It’s the kind of face you want to snuggle up against while watching Netflix on a Saturday night.

And if you see one with a funny haircut or a goofy expression? Well then, you just want to hug them even more.

Cute poodle with teddy bear haircut
Different haircuts for poodles
Poodle in Japan
I think this is a pretty handsome Poodle, don’t you think?

Poodles Mixes

Some people might not realize it, but there are so many cross breeds that are super cute and popular that are derived from poodles!

Go ahead and search for pictures of Goldendoodles, Maltipoos, Cockapoos, or Schnoodles, and you will very quickly fall in love.

Here are some pictures that will melt your heart!


Doggy says, you might like this too: Line Breeding Dogs, How Close is too Close?

In Conclusion: Poodles are Ugly, or Not

So, what do you think? Are poodles really ugly? Do they deserve to be called that? Or are they just misunderstood?

Do you have a poodle of your own?

How do you feel about their looks and their reputation as an ugly dog breed? Is this a discussion you might start with other dog owners too?

I love all dogs, and I don’t see them as ugly. Each of them is unique in its own way, just like our friends and family.

Browse around to learn about other dog breed articles such as Golden Retriever Dwarfism, the Pomeranian Chow mix, the Vizsla Dachshund mix, and many more!

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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