This section is from the book "The Dogs Of Great Britain, America, And Other Countries. Their Breeding, Training, and Management in Health and Disease", by John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). Also available from Amazon: The Dogs Of Great Britain, America And Other Countries.
The engraving given on this page represents the poodle as he is generally to be seen, shaved in part, so as to resemble the lion in having a mane; the tip of his tail having a tuft left on it. He is by many supposed to be the produce of a cross between the water and land spaniels, but there is no good reason to suppose that the breed is not quite as distinct as either of them. For many years it has been known in France and Germany, particularly the former country, and it is there occasionally used for sporting purposes, though, as in England, it is chiefly as a companion that this dog is kept. With more intelligence than falls to the lot of any other dog, he unites great fidelity to his master, and a strong love of approbation, so that he may readily be induced to attempt any trick which is shown him, and the extent to which he may be taught to carry out the secret orders of his instructor is quite marvellous. He fetches and carries very readily, swims well, and has a good nose, but has no particular fondness for hunting game, often preferring a stick or a stone to a hare or pheasant.
Fig. 32. - POODLE DOG.
Two of these dogs which were exhibited in London astonished every one by their clever performances, sitting up to table gravely, and playing a game at cards as quickly as a human being, the cards being placed before them, and the one to be played being selected by the dog's foot. Of course this was all done by preconcerted signal, but nevertheless it was remarkably well managed, and showed a degree of intelligence and discipline worthy of a better purpose.
The poodle is characterized by a large wide head, rising sharply at the forehead, long falling ears clothed with thick curly hair, rather small eyes, square muzzle, with a liberal allowance of jowl, and a sedate appearance until roused by any prospect of fun; a well-formed pointer-like body, but covered with thick closely curling hair, hanging down in ringlets below; tail usually cropped more or less, naturally covered with crisp curls; legs straight, and covered all round with hair hanging in short ringlets; feet small and round, and moderately hairy; color white or black, or white and black; hight from 16 to 20 inches.
The Barbet is merely a small variety of the poodle, which it resembles in all respects but size.