I got it again just the other day; "what is that?" That being my boy Luke with his fresh new haircut. I get this alot; my dogs don't look what people think poodles should look like. So why do poodles have all the poofs and pom poms? Poodles were originally a water retriever; way before labradors came the poodle. Yep, they are a working dog and a great utility dog at that. The poofs were created to protect certain parts of their body from the cold in the water. Later as they made their way into the show ring the hair got bigger and higher; like we see today.
There really is no reason for it today and most of the "actual" working poodles are clipped in utility type styles. The shorter the hair the less the work; plain and simple. Absolutely everything sticks in a poodle coat and if you plan on a day of swimming and running through the fields or beaches with your poodle then you have two choices. 1. Tons of brushing and bathing or 2. Clip them short and don't worry about it.
I was asked many years ago why I wanted poodles if I didn't want them to look like poodles. Hmmmm; poodles do not come out with pom poms. Let's be straight about this, pom poms are a human thing, not a dog thing. Poodles come out as curly dogs; that's it curly and hugely hairy if let to grow. There are some people letting their dogs grow and cording but that comes with a whole pile of gross issues. To each his own; I like ease in my life and I happen to think poodles are far to beautiful an animal to hide under a pile of hair. But if you love the hair then that is entirely up to you.
The one thing I do hate is that people think of poodles in a certain way because of the pom poms. And this could not be further from the real poodle inside. They all look like my poodles, under the hair that is.