Breed Group: Non-Sporting
A Poodle of any size is one of the smartest, most easily trained, and sensitive of all breeds. With his superior intellect and above average energy level inside, Poodles are both amusing and clever. The Standard Poodle’s large size makes them better suited to families with rambunctious pre-teen or grade-schoolers rather than the more easily injured toy or miniature varieties. To keep their mind occupied they need a daily mental challenge which can include advanced training or mentally stimulating games. Although not “velcro” dogs, daily companionship is also needed. These two traits make them poor candidates for a backyard dog that is ignored by their family. Most are at least sociable with other pets, with many enjoying the company of other canines. Most also enjoy the company of visitors but still make good watchdogs by announcing the stranger's arrival- although some dogs bark more than they should. However, unlike their smaller cousins, a Standard Poodle makes a reasonable guard dog; Calmer than their smaller brethren, they are no more active than most dogs but remain both elegant and athletic. Although more playful than the average dog, they are not as playful as their smaller counterparts. However, with their larger size comes a greater need for exercise. This makes them an ideal candidate for a family that enjoys being active as they need more than a walk around the block twice a day. They will be happy to jog for several miles if their owner is interested. Some lines can be dainty and high strung while others are confident and extroverted. Originally bred as wetland retrievers, Standard Poodles frequently love to play in water.
The Standard Poodle is a large dog. They stand in over 15 inches tall and are usually between 22 and 27 inches in height. They weigh anywhere between 45 and 80 pounds. Like all Poodles, the Standard has dense, curly, wiry coat that sheds little if at all and is generally recognized as ideal for people with allergies. Coats have a wide range of colors including blue, gray silver, brown, black, white, café au lait, apricot or cream. Although they shed little, a Poodle’s coat requires extensive care and grooming. They need clipping every four to six weeks if they are to be kept in a traditional Poodle cut. Their coats grow quickly and require regular brushing to avoid tangles. They need to be bathed on a regular basis too. They do well in all but extreme temperatures.
Most Standard Poodles require no more than an average amount of socialization to reduce any tendency to be timid. The highly intelligent and eminently trainable Standard Poodle pays close attention during training sessions, learns very quickly, and responds enthusiastically to positive training methods. A skilled reader of his trainer’s body language, he is capable of learning anything and is often a skilled obedience or agility competitor. Standard Poodles make a good choice for first-time dog owners but require more room than either the toy or miniature variety.
Hip Dysplasia affects 12% of the breed. Addisons Disease is seen more often than most breeds. Watch out for Bloat. A skin punch biopsy should show clear for sebaceous adenitis which can produce critically dry skin. Epilepsy, and PRA which causes blindness are also issues. Less frequent and less severe are a number of problems with their eyes including Distichiasis, Entropion, Cataracts, and problems with tear ducts that are unopen or missing. Unusual is Von Willebrand’s Disease and even less often seen is PDA. A Standard Poodle’s life expectancy is 10-13 years.
The Poodle is one of the world’s most loved dogs and has remained one of the most popular breeds in the U. S. for many years. Poodles are currently ranked 8th in popularity by the AKC with between 31,000 and 32,000 annual registrations.
Although its great popularity in France has resulted in the breed’s more common name, “French Poodle,” the Poodle may have originated in Germany. The Poodle descended from a now nearly extinct French water dog and its name is probably a variation on the German word “Pudel,” meaning one who plays in the water. These dogs were originally bred in Germany and France as to retrieve waterfowl shot by hunters. Later the French utilized their intelligence and trainability to turn them into circus performers. Small varieties became the pampered pet of royal families. Over the years, the original Standard Poodle has been bred into smaller variations, including the Miniature and Toy. Although the Poodle primarily serves as a companion and show dog today, he is capable of learning virtually anything.
Although the breed standard specifies the only difference between Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodles is size, many believe as their size decreases, Poodles tend to become more active and need less exercise, are less stable (especially with children), more demanding of attention, and yappier. The National (US) Breed Club is the Poodle Club of America.