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Poodles have long been stereotyped as the snobby companions of wealthy aristocrats. Their fancy haircuts and aloof demeanor seem to back that up at first glance. However, poodles and their ancestors have a centuries-long history as working dogs, and they still continue to help people today as hunting and service dogs. This intelligent, driven breed has far more to it than meets the eye.

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1. A long history

Although poodles are commonly believed to be a French breed, most experts believe they actually originate in Germany. The breed name may come from the German word "pudel," which is similar to the English word "puddle." It's believed that the dogs were given this name because they were originally used to hunt ducks and geese, and spent a great deal of time in the water. They've been depicted in art since the 15th century, and one was even featured in one of Rembrandt's works during the 17th century.

Poodles hunted water fowl Consu1961 / Getty Images
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