So You Want a Standard Poodle?
Some people take one look at the fluffy, immaculately groomed Standard
Poodles in the show ring and discount them as silly, shallow dogs. However,
the Standard Poodle is considered by many people to be the most intelligent
breed in the world, with the reasoning ability of a three year old child.
These dogs may look like lightweights in the show ring, but they were
originally bred to work hard in the water. The Standard Poodle spent hours
retrieving water fowl for hunters and the breed's dense coat helped protect
it from the cold, damp working conditions. Because the breed is not commonly
used as a working dog today, The American Kennel Club classifies the Standard
Poodle as part of the Non-Sporting Group. These dogs weigh 45 to 70 pounds
and stand over 15 inches tall.
The Standard Poodle has a muscular body under all of that hair. Its
ears are long and fold over close to the head and its eyes are dark brown
and filled with intelligence. This dog's tail is docked and stands erect.
The tail should not curve over the dog's back. The Standard Poodle comes
in a wide range of colors, including apricot, black, cream, red, blue,
gray, silver, brown, parti-color, and white. Overall, the white and cream
colored Standard Poodles seem to be a bit more high strung and nervous
than other colors, while black Standard Poodles seem calmer.
The Standard Poodle does best in family settings and is extremely devoted
to its family's children. This breed also is an excellent choice for families
with more than one dog, as the Standard Poodle rarely meets a dog it doesn't
like. If you have a cat, be prepared for your dog to rampage through the
house as he gives chase, although when he finally catches up to the cat,
he will just want to play.
If you live in an apartment, your dog will need to take a long walk
or go for a romp in the park every day. These dogs can live in apartments,
but do much better in a home with a fenced
Because of its high intelligence, this breed enjoys learning and should
obedience classes. In addition, Standard Poodles need to be socialized
as puppies, or their natural aloofness with strangers can turn to fear.
Your puppy will work hard during classes, because he will want to please
you. If he can't figure out what you want him to do, he will wrinkle his
brow and try again. If he still can't figure it out, he may start to get
depressed and frustrated. If this happens, give him a command that he already
knows and after he joyously obeys he will be ready to try to learn the
new command again. Many Standard Poodles and their owners go on to take
advanced classes so that they can compete in obedience and agility trials.
The Standard Poodle breed has several common health problems. Addison's
disease, hip dysplasia,
and epilepsy problems are prevalent enough that many breeders actually
screen their parent dogs to be sure they don't carry these genetic faults.
Your dog could also suffer from renal disease, bloat, and skin problems.
Standard Poodles are big dogs and have big appetites. If you've never
had a big dog before, be prepared for a noticeable increase in the grocery
budget. These dogs also should receive a daily dog
vitamin. In addition, ask your veterinarian about giving your poodle
a daily vitamin C tablet, which many veterinarians say can help decrease
the chance of hip dysplasia.
If you do not want to spend time grooming a dog, don't buy a Standard
Poodle. These dogs
need to be brushed daily, and, with their large size, it can take an
hour or more to thoroughly brush out a Standard Poodle's coat. Also, you
will have to learn to cut your poodle's hair or you will need to take him
to a professional groomer every six weeks.
The Standard Poodle is a fun loving, intelligent dog. If you don't mind
your dog instead of watching the news, this may be the breed for you.