The athletic Standard Poodle is the largest variety of the breed. While any Poodle over 15 inches is classed as a Standard size, most will grow up to 24 inches tall, and weigh 40 to 70 pounds when full grown. This is an energetic, playful canine, that needs more exercise than the miniature and toy poodle breeds. But with the right training and grooming, these loyal and agile dogs make great low allergen pets for an active family.
History and Original Purpose
The American Kennel Club first recognized the Poodle as a breed in 1887. The Standard Poodle is thought to have originated from Germany as a breed of water retriever. The word Poodle probably comes from the German word Pudel.
Some argue that the poodle is a descendent of the French Barbet dog. What we do know is that this is an old breed, with a history stretching back to the 15th century at least.
The Standard Poodle’s distinctive continental cut seen in the video above and in show rings around the world, has evolved from the way poodles were shaved by their hunter owners in the past.
Owners clipped their Poodles’ rear ends to make it easier for them to swim and retrieve waterfowl. The bands left at their ankles are supposed to have kept their joints warm in the harsh waters.
Most modern poodles are pets of course, and will benefit from an all over clipping or what’s known as a sport cut or clip, every four to six weeks throughout the year.
The name “Poodle” is likely a derivation of the word “Pudel” and the word “Puddle”; an association drawn from its water dog routes.
Standard Poodle Appearance
Standard Poodles are well proportioned dogs. That is, they are tall with even legs and backs, and a proud stature. Their eyes are dark ovals, and their ears hang close to their heads. Their skulls are rounded, but with defined flat cheekbones. Overall, they give the impression of elegance and grace.
Their coats come in two different types: curly or corded. The curly Poodle coat is harsh and dense all over, with an even spread of fur. The corded Standard Poodle has a coat of tight cords. They also have longer fur on their heads and bodies, but shorter on their ankles.
These dogs come in a fabulous range of colors:
- Silver Beige
The apricot Standard Poodle is a popular choice for mixed breed dogs, like the Labradoodle.
But There’s More!
There is also a range of bi-colored Poodles:
- Black and Apricot/Brown/Cream/Gray/Red/Silver/Tan/White
- Blue and White
- Brown and Apricot/White
- Cafe Au Lait
- Cream and White
- Gray and White
- Red and Apricot/White
- White and Apricot/Silver
Standard Poodles can also be a mix of colors, usually expressed by distinct markings. For example, a black Standard Poodle might have white markings, or a red Standard Poodle could have black accents. These could be in the form of:
- Black markings, mask or points; or
- White markings or mask.
Today, Standard Parti Poodles (two colors with at least 50% white) are also increasingly popular, but fairly rare. This color type is not currently specified in the show breed standards. But, it is in-demand among Poodle puppy buyers.
Are Standard Poodles Hypoallergenic?
In truth, no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic. Dog allergens are found in dander, saliva, and urine – so every dog will have them. However, the Poodle’s tight curly or corded fur will often catch and trap dander, rather than letting it shed with fur.
So, many people with dog allergies find they show fewer symptoms around the Standard Poodle.
If you suffer from dog allergies, this could be a good choice. But, you will also need to groom your dog very regularly, and employ a strict cleaning regime. Wash your dog’s bedding regularly, and any soft toys that could soak up saliva.
Standard Poodles tend to be active, intelligent dogs. They have a reputation for being aloof. But, this is more a calm reserve with strangers. They are very loving and loyal to members of their family.
This quiet reserve also means that they are likely to be less distracted by other people when you want them to focus. Plus, they can be a sensitive breed, who will cringe or cower if you raise your voice to them. So, they are best handled gently, reflecting their own soft and adorable nature.
Despite being a highly active dog, a well exercised Poodle will be quite happy to relax and sleep next to you. They won’t race around the house. Instead, they will be a chilled-out companion as long as they have had sufficient daily exercise.
Homes with Small Children
Young Poodles, much like any juvenile dog, can be very bouncy. A lively young dog may need to be physically separated from a small child to prevent accidents.
It is important to remember that any dog, however reliable they may seem, should be supervised around small children. This is because dogs and children can accidentally injure each other. Keeping a close eye will ensure that you avoid any potential problems or stress for the dog.
Despite this quiet nature, Standard Poodles can be fans of their own voices. They tend to alert you to visitors, which is a trait that some families appreciate.
If you are not a fan of barking, then make sure to never react to your dog woofing. Also, the click for quiet technique can be very effective in reducing a noisy dog’s barking.
Training and Exercise
Despite their stereotype as being posh, stuck-up dogs, the Standard Poodle is actually a very clever and active, hard working dog.
Standard Poodle training is something that both the dog and owner can really enjoy and benefit from. In fact, Standard Poodles excel at co-operating with their handlers and have a great capacity for physical activity.
They also learn very quickly and can be taught numerous tricks and take part in a wide range of canine hobbies.
As sensitive dogs, they work most effectively when trained using positive reinforcement methods. This will keep them happy and motivated throughout your sessions together, as well as increasing the strong bond between you.
Socializing your Standard Poodle puppy is an important way to help ensure that he or she grows up into a confident, happy adult dog. This should begin from the day you bring her home at 8 weeks old.
To start, you can carry her outside (until her vaccinations have been completed) to all the places you will want her to feel comfortable when she is older. Let her experience a variety of sites, sounds and smells.
Secondly, make sure you have lots of visitors over to your home, and that they all make her feel happy and comfortable.
All in all, if you let her associate strangers with pleasant experiences, she will be less likely to be wary of them approaching the house when she has grown up.
Standard Poodle Health and Care
Standard Poodles are a pedigree dog breed. Pedigree dogs with small populations like Standard Poodles will have greater problems with inherited diseases. However, this breed’s health can be very good, if you manage to avoid the genetic diseases.
Idiopathic epilepsy is sometimes seen in Standard Poodles. It is thought to be an inherited condition. So, you should not buy a puppy with a parent or grandparent who has ever had a seizure.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a genetic condition that leads to blindness in dogs. Fortunately, there is a DNA test for PRA, and you should ensure that both of your Poodle’s parents have had this test.
You should ask for proof that the puppy’s parents are “both clear” or “one clear and one carrier”.
There is no test for cataracts, but you can tell how healthy an adult dog’s eyes are with a veterinary eye test. Make sure that both parents have had eye examinations in the past year. The breeder should have certificates for these to show you.
You can significantly reduce the chances of getting a Poodle with hip dysplasia by only buying a puppy from parents with good hip scores. For instance, if you are In the US, make sure both parents’ hips are graded “Excellent” or “Good”.
von Willebrand’s Disease
Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) is an inherited blood clotting disorder, which causes excessive bleeding. It os important to ensure that both parents have had DNA tests for this disorder before you bring your puppy home.
Bloat is a common issue in several large breeds of dog. It occurs when gas causes the stomach to become distended. To help avoid bloat, feed your dog several smaller meals a day. You can feed him at ground level and, if necessary, put his food into a slow-feed bowl.
Sebaceous adenitis is an inflammatory skin disease that can affect Poodles. It can cause itching, hair loss, infections, blistering and scaling of the skin.
There is not currently a DNA test for sebaceous adenines. So, it is important to ask your breeder whether any dogs in the line had skin problems.
Addison’s Disease is an adrenal hormone disorder that causes problems with the dog’s blood composition. Symptoms can be quite vague and hard for the vet to diagnose. These symptoms include lethargy, gastro-intestinal issues, a low temperature and pain.
Autoimmune Haemolytic Anemia
Also known as Immune-Mediated Haemolytic Anemia, this condition occurs when the dog’s immune system destroys its own oxygen-carrying red blood cells. It causes the dog to become lethargic and to have abnormal breathing/pulse rates and pale gums.
There is no current DNA test for Autoimmune Haemolytic Anemia. So, you will need to ask about family history.
Standard Poodle care is very important. These are not low maintenance dogs. They require daily exercise, training, grooming and frequent company throughout the day.
You should check your Poodle’s ears and eyes regularly to ensure that they are clean and clear.
You will also need to clip their coat at least once every four weeks to keep it manageable. Take particular care to ensure that the coat is not getting into their eyes and irritating them or becoming matted around the feet or legs.
What is the Standard Poodle Lifespan?
The average Standard Poodle lifespan is around 12 years. They have shorter lifespans than their Miniature counterparts, who live on average 14 years. But, with good general care and a puppy from a reputable breeder, your Standard Poodle could live well into their teens.
Rescuing a Standard Poodle
There are many benefits to rescuing a Standard Poodle instead of buying one. For starters, you will also know whether an adult Poodle has any behavioral or temperament problems. This will give you a good idea if it’s a good fit for your family, especially if you have young kids.
This is a popular breed, so finding a Standard Poodle rescue shouldn’t be too hard. In fact, many countries have breed centers dedicated to the Poodle breed.
Finding a Puppy
Standard Poodle puppies are all beautiful. However, don’t let their cute faces distract you from their health and temperament. Your best chance at getting a healthy puppy is to make sure that the Standard Poodle breeders have carried out all available tests on both parents, and to ask lots of questions.
When you have found a breeder who fully health tests, you will probably have to go on a waiting list for a puppy. While you wait, arrange to meet the breeder and their dogs. Make sure that the parents are confident and laid back characters.
You can expect to spend anything from $1,500 to $3,000 on a puppy from health-tested parents. Prices can vary depending on local demand, puppy parentage, pedigree and more.