The Poodle's Origins and History Source: Wikipedia. Country/Region of Origin: uncertain; likely Germany or Russia Original purpose: hunting birds (gun dog). Name: from German "Pudel," from "pudeln," meaning "splash about," the Poodle being noted for its skills in water. In Spain and France, it's known as caniche. Other names: Barbone, Pudelhund (German). Historical notes: though people often think the Poodle breed is 100% French, the breed's actual origins are subject to debate; indeed, the name "Poodle" is German. The breed more likely originated in either Germany or Russia, but it may also have come from the Iberian Peninsula. The Poodle dog breed is related to the Portuguese Water Dog and the Irish Water Spaniel. Today, French customs uses Poodles to search for contraband.