The Poodle, called the Pudel in German and the Caniche in French, is a breed of water dog. The breed is divided into four varieties based on size, the Standard Poodle, Medium Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle, although the Medium Poodle variety is not universally recognised.

The Poodle is most commonly claimed to have been developed in Germany, although it is also claimed to be from France. The Standard Poodle was originally used by wildfowl hunters to retrieve game from water. The smaller varieties of the breed were bred from the original in France where they were once commonly used as circus performers, but have become popular companion dogs.

Whatever the Poodle's country of origin, the modern Poodle's ancestors were widely used by waterfowlers both to retrieve shot game as well as to recover lost arrows and bolts that had missed their mark. The breed's distinctive lion coat clip developed as a practicality when they were used as waterfowler's dogs. The long hair around the chest provided insulation for the dog's vitals in freezing water, the shorn hindquarters reduced drag while swimming and the tufts of hair on the legs provided purchase in the water.