Get to know and fall in love with the poised Standard Poodle

Also known as the Barbone Caniche, the Standard Poodle is a playful companion, attentive watchdog, and a caring breed that has been close to everyone’s heart, especially mine.

Not only have they been loving pets, but they’re also hypoallergenic coat is a must for our allergy-prone family.

A red Standard Poodle portrait laying down
A Red Standard Poodle lying in front of white background

Discover everything you need to know about the Standard Poodle and you might opt to get one, too!

Where did Standard Poodles originate from?

There are many theories as to where the Standard Poodle came from. Some believe that they were a cross of various Spanish, German, Russian, Hungarian, and Portuguese water dogs.

Others say that they are descendants of the North African Barbet, imported to Iberia and Gaul, and used for hunting.

Others link Poodles to Asian herding dogs owned by the Ostrogoth tribes, or to dogs that accompanied the North African Berbers, or even the Moors.

Ancient Egyptian and Roman artifacts also show dogs that look very much like Standard Poodles that served as water retrievers and bringing in-game nets.

A black Standard Poodle laying on side profile
A charming black Standard Poodle portrait

Most historians agree that the modern-day Poodle likely originated somewhere in Germany, developing into a distinct breed in France.

Used for the hunting ducks in Germany, they got their name from the German word from pudelin or pudel, which means “to splash in the water”.

The French call them Caniche or duck dogs

But regardless of what you call this purebred, Poodles became famous for their ability as expert retrievers, then quickly became sought after companions.

These elegant dogs were even a firm favorite amongst French and European nobles.

They quickly became great show animals and entertainers with performers introducing them into their traveling circuses.

They were great in the circus ring because of their ability to do various tricks, while performers transformed their dogs into various quirky shapes. 

These dogs became sought after for their looks worldwide, with many owners clipping and dying their dogs to suit the latest fashions.

They have also declared the national dog of France. In later years Poodles have been used as service dogs, in military work, as wagon pullers, and as a guide and guard dogs.

Although the Standard Poodle is the oldest variety of Poodle, today, three types exist.

Around the 1400s, breeders began to mate small poodles with one another to create the Miniature and Toy varieties so favored by the Parisians. 

The Kennel Club of England recognized the first Poodle in 1874, and two years later, the British Club for Poodle Fanciers was formed.

In 1886 the American Kennel Club followed suit, registering their first poodle, with the Poodle Club of America founded in 1896. However, at this time, Poodles were relatively rare, and the club was closed.

It reformed in 1931, and by the 1950s, the Poodle was the most popular breed in the United States of America. They continued to hold this title for over 20 years. 

What does a Poodle look like?

A white with black pattern Standard Poodle being attentive
Meet Wyatt, a Standard Poodle standing attentively – Image source

Standard Poodles have a well-proportioned body with a deep chest, square outline, elongated neck, and straight back.

Their long legs are on small feet, and they have a proud, elegant carriage and light, effortless stride. The tail is normally docked but not too short; it must still be able to show movement. 

Their face features a long muzzle and droopy ears that sit close to the head. The standard eye color for a Poodle is dark brown. While some Poodles do have blue eyes this can sometimes be a sign of eye disease. 

Some Poodles are born with a pink nose; this should change to black by around 8 to 16 weeks old, although with a lighter colored Poodle, the nose may stay pink their whole lives.

How big is a Standard Poodle?

A standing light brown Standard Poodle wearing a flower crown
Image source

Standard Poodles have a height of 15 to 22 inches (38 to 56 cm) and a weight of 45 to 60 pounds (20 to 27 kg). Females are about 10 pounds (5 kg) lighter than males.

Though there are three sizes of Poodles, all varieties have the same breed standard.

Standard Poodles are considered fully grown around two years old but should already reach their full height by six months.

Despite their bigger size from Miniature Poodles and Toy Poodles, Standard ones are also suitable apartment pets, provided they are given the exercise and attention they deserve.

Toy Poodle vs. Standard Poodle

A red Toy Poodle puppy wearing a vest while sitting on grass
Meet Rusty, the adorable Toy Poodle puppy wearing a white printed dog shirt – Image source

The Toy Poodle is the smallest Poodle variety recognized by the American Kennel Club, standing less than 10 inches (25 cm) tall at the shoulders and weighing between 6 and 9 pounds (3 and 4 kg).

Poodles that are taller than 10 inches will not be considered Toys. 

Toy Poodles are tiny dogs created as companion animals, particularly for the wealthy and nobility. They earned the nickname Sleeve Dogs because of how they’re carried around in large shirtsleeves.

In the United States, Toy Poodles were bred primarily towards the early 20th century.

They should look exactly like the bigger versions of this breed, just in a smaller package.

They are not recommended for families with little kids who don’t know how to handle dogs because they’re delicate and very fragile.

Some breeders have been breeding even smaller Poodles known as Tea-Cup Poodles. These dogs stand less than 9 inches (23 cm) tall and weigh less than 6 pounds (3 kg); however, they are not yet recognized by the AKC. 

Miniature Poodle vs Standard Poodle

A vibrant gray Miniature Poodle standing in a rock near a lake
Meet Tate, a brave service Miniature Poodle sitting on a big rock – Image source

For a dog to be classified as a Miniature Poodle, it must stand between 11 and 15 inches (28 and 38 cm) tall.

Anything less or more than this will either be a Toy or Standard Poodle. Miniature Poodles weigh between 15 and 17 pounds (7 and 8 kg)

While Standard Poodles were historically used for duck hunting, Miniature Poodles were primarily used for sniffing out truffles in forests. 

Alongside the Miniature Poodle, breeders are working to get another Poodle variant classified by the AKC.

This is referred to as the Klein or Moyen Poodle (with these words meaning medium) which stands between 15 and 20 inches (38 and 51 cm) tall and would fit between the Miniature and Standard variants.

What type of coat hair do Poodles have?

A portrait of a proud Standard Poodle on a fall season
Image source

Poodles have a curly, low-allergen coat that doesn’t shed. This coat provides excellent protection against the elements, forming a water-resistant barrier.

The coat is easily clipped and trimmed into various shapes, with the American Kennel Club allowing four specific grooming styles for the show ring. 

Many people know these dogs for the elaborate Continental Clip which is displayed at dog shows.

These flamboyant cut includes shaving the legs, neck, and tail but leaving rounded tufts, or pompons on the chest, hips, joints, and tip of the tail.

Historically, this showy clip did serve a purpose when Poodles were used as hunting dogs. The cut protected the dog’s vital areas from cold water but still allowed for movement.

Today, most pet owners prefer to keep their Standard Poodles in a Sporting Clip. This means the dog’s coat is simply shorn short all over, making it easier to maintain. 

The most common colors of the Standard Poodle include black, white, chocolate, apricot, and silver. Variants of these including cream, red, café-au-lait, and blue also occur. 

Parti-colored coats, such as black and white, white and apricot, or blue and white also rarely occur although they are not accepted for show Poodles.

In order to be considered Parti-colored, the dog’s coat must be at least fifty percent white with patches of another color. These dogs can sometimes have a saddle but it is not preferred. 

Other markings include phantom, in which the dog has a secondary color on the eyes, feet, and tail. Abstract refers to dogs that are less than fifty percent white, while sable dogs have black-tipped hairs.

A brindle Poodle’s coat looks tiger-striped, while a tuxedo dog will have a white bib and white belly.

Some dogs will have masking which refers to a white mask on the face, and multi-patterned poodles can combine all of the above.

What is the personality of a Standard Poodle?

White Standard Poodle standing on its owner
A white Standard Poodle standing with red collar

Poodles are known for their regal, proud appearance, making them an aristocrat in the dog world. They are also exceptionally athletic, eager, and love to play, with a goofball side to them too.

However, goofy doesn’t mean stupid, as these are some of the smartest animals around, said to have human-like intelligence.

This intelligence makes these dogs easily trainable. They are eager to please and quick to pick up new tricks and tasks.

However, as they pick up things very easily, it can be just as easy to teach your Poodle bad habits as good ones.

A spoilt, untrained Poodle will act as the family’s alpha, leading to various unwanted behaviors.

Watch a cute video of three Standard Poodles playing here:

Are Standard Poodles aggressive?

Poodles are not naturally aggressive dogs; however, they can be protective of their family. If they are used to being the only dog in your home, they may need additional training to ensure no aggressive tendencies occur. 

However, a well-socialized Poodle that grows up with other animals and children and is provided with many opportunities for interaction when young will enjoy most people and pets’ company. 

Do Poodles bark a lot?

If provided with enough mental and physical stimulation, a Standard Poodle will have a calm and loving nature, making them wonderful family companions, particularly with kids.

They are wary of strangers, however, and will bark to warn you of any new visitors. It may also take them a while to warm up to any visitors to your house.

As affection-craving companions, they get separation anxiety, meaning they will be lonely if left alone for long periods. 

How do you take care of your Poodle?

Despite their larger size, Standard Poodles can adapt well to a variety of homes, being just as happy in large estates as they do in small apartments, provided their exercise needs are taken care of.

As they crave human companionship, these dogs need to live and sleep indoors with their family.

Exercising your Poodle

A gray Standard Poodle running on grass
Gray Standard Poodle dog running on Grass

Poodles love any activity, however, their inbuilt hunting nature makes them excel as retrieving exercises such as fetch and frisbee.

Standard Poodles also love to be in the water, and swimming is a great way to keep your dog fit, along with long walks and jogs. 

Standard Poodles also excel at agility and tracking tasks and canine sports and obedience training due to their intelligent natures and good trainability.

At least an hour of vigorous exercise a day is necessary for this breed, which has high energy levels. Poodles that aren’t given enough daily physical and mental stimulation will get bored and destructive.

Do Standard Poodles shed a lot of hair?

A white Standard Poodle having its routinely grooming
Image source

Poodles do not shed and are thus considered a hypoallergenic breed. However, the curly coat of the Standard Poodle does mean that they are also high-maintenance.

They will require grooming almost every month to keep their coat looking good. This work normally requires going to a professional groomer to get your Poodle’s coat clipped.

If you don’t use clippers to keep their coat short at least every six weeks, then your Poodle may also need daily brushing.

As these dogs don’t shed, any loose hair can collect, causing their coat to tangle and mat very quickly. When you brush your Poodle, be sure you reach the skin as the hair mats near the roots. 

A Poodle whose coat is left to cord or mat will need to be shaved completely to eliminate these cords. While some people like the look of a corded poodle, these dogs need to be washed regularly or they will stink.

That is why most people who don’t plan to show their Poodles prefer to keep them in a short trim. 

A Poodle’s eyes will also need to be checked regularly as their eyes tend to weep, causing brown tear stains on the face, which are particularly noticeable on lighter colored Poodles.

To minimize these stains, you can wipe the face of your Poodle with a wet washcloth or alcohol-free wipe daily. 

Also, be sure to check your Poodle’s ears regularly. As Poodles have floppy ears, they are prone to ear infections as their ears stay moist and dark. Hair growing in the ear canals may also need to be plucked.

Redness and bad odors can indicate an ear infection. A weekly clean with a PH-balanced ear cleaner and cotton wool will help to prevent any ear infections. 

Your Poodles teeth will need to be brushed twice a week to remove tartar and bacteria, while the nails should be trimmed once or twice a month. 

How much should a Poodle eat?

Standard Poodles need between one a half cups and three cups of food a day. A high-quality dry kibble will be sufficient for this breed. 

Be careful not to give these dogs too many extra treats as they can easily overindulge, leading to obesity, causing significant health problems.

This can be hard to do with Poodles, as they have incredibly soulful eyes, which makes them excellent at begging, leading many a Poodle owner to hand over leftovers, table scraps and treats to their dog. 

Do Standard Poodles have health problems?

A white with brown pattern Standard Poodle laying on pillows
Meet Mackenzie, a cuddly Standard Poodle – Image source

Poodles have an average lifespan of between 12 and 15 years. A major health concern for this breed is gastric dilatation, also known as volvulus, torsion, or bloat. 

This life-threatening condition is common in deep-chested dogs like the Poodle.

It typically occurs after the animal has eaten a big meal too quickly or drunk large volumes of water or exercised vigorously immediately after eating.

Bloat causes the dog’s stomach to twist, impending blood flow to the heart, causing the dog to go into shock.

Another common health problem in this breed is Sebaceous Adenitis, with 50% of all Standard Poodles thought to be affected by the disease or its carriers.

This genetic condition affects the skin’s sebaceous glands, causing dry, scaly skin and a foul smell. 

Addison’s Disease is another serious condition in Poodles, caused by a lack of adrenal hormones. This can lead to lethargy, vomiting, and poor appetite.

Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, also occurs in Standard Poodles, causing weakening of the heart such that it struggles to pump blood effectively. This can cause your dog to breathe heavily, cough, or collapse.

Other diseases seen in Poodles include inherited epilepsy, which causes seizures, cataracts that affect the eyes, hip dysplasia, which leads to joint problems and difficulty moving, and von Willebrand’s disease.

As mentioned, obesity in poodles can also lead to other health issues such as digestive disorders, back pain, and joint problems. 

The National Breed Club recommends all breeders perform a hip and ophthalmologist evaluation of their dogs, while a skin punch may also be recommended for diagnosing Sebaceous Adenitis.

You can confirm these health clearance certificates on the OFA website.

Spaying or neutering your dogs can assist in avoiding specific health problems, such as cancers.

How much does a purebred Standard Poodle puppy cost?

A palm-sized Standard Poodle puppy sleeping
Meet Willow, a palm-sized Standard Poodle puppy – Image source

Standard Poodle puppies typically cost between $800 and $1,500, with around six puppies in each litter.

Show quality puppies that come with full AKC registration papers that allow you to breed your dog will be the most expensive.

Show quality papers with limited AKC registration will also cost a lot but not as much as fully registered dogs. 

The most affordable puppy from a reputable breeder will be a pet quality puppy that has the same temperament as a show dog but without the desired coat color or show-winning body.

Other factors that can influence the cost of your Standard poodle can include gender, color, the lineage of the parent dogs, and transport costs, amongst others. 

How do I find a reputable Poodle breeder?

Four Standard Poodles puppy pile
Image source

Most reputable breeders focus on show quality and pet quality dogs. Pet quality dogs are sometimes bred from former show dogs but do not come with full AKC papers.

Most Standard Poodle breeders are very particular about the homes in which their dogs are placed, often vetting potential owners.

As these dogs are in high demand, you can expect to be placed on a waiting list for a puppy at most Standard Poodle breeders, with a deposit required to secure your spot. 

When buying a Standard Poodle puppy from a reputable breeder you can expect your dog to come with health clearances and at least a year health guarantee, a record of vaccinations, and proof of pedigree.

Some breeders even offer a take-back guarantee if your Poodle doesn’t work out in your home. 

Here are some breeders to get you started when looking for the perfect Poodle pup:

  1. LoEll’s Standard Poodles, Nixa, MO
  2. Strut Your Stuff Standard Poodles, Carr, CO
  3. Family Affair Standard Poodles, Spring Hope, NC

Poodle rescue / for adoption

Finding a Standard Poodle up for adoption or rescue can be rare. While you aren’t likely to come across a purebred Standard Poodle puppy looking for a new home, you might be lucky enough to find an adult dog. 

Adopting an older dog can have its advantages as you will already know the looks and personality of the dog and don’t have to go through the difficulties of house training a puppy. Typical adoption fees for these dogs are around $600. 

Here are some Poodle specific rescue sites where you can start looking for a dog in need of a loving home:

  1. Michigan Standard Poodle Rescue, Bay City, MI
  2. Arizona Poodle Rescue, Maricopa, AZ
  3. Carolina Poodle Rescue, Carolina

Popular Standard Poodle mixed breeds

Poodles are one of the most popular breeds for the creation of designer dogs.

They add a variety of highly sought after qualities when it comes to creating the perfect hybrid with their curly hypoallergenic coats, intelligent natures, and affectionate personalities. 

Have a look at some of the most popular Poodle mixes in the list below to discover which one might be suitable for your home:

  • Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever Poodle mix)
  • Labradoodle (Labrador Poodle mix)
  • Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel Poodle mix)
  • Shepadoodle (Sheepdog Poodle mix)
  • Giant Schnoodle (Giant Schnauzer Poodle mix)

Is a Poodle the right dog for me?

A striking portrait of a white Standard Poodle standing on snow
Meet Mirel, a stark white Standard Poodle – Image source

The impressive Poodle is one of the most intelligent dog breeds; however, they also make lovely, affectionate companions.

With a regal attitude and unique coat, they are very sought after, however, this gorgeous dog does require a good deal of maintenance and it is essential to be aware of the expense and time that goes into caring for this breed. 

Do you own a Standard Poodle? Let us know below.

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