One of a kind — second most intelligent — and seventh most popular breed, it’s no wonder two hncountries contend for the Standard Poodle. Most kennels give the origins nod to Germany, but France isn’t backing down from tackling their claim.
While their origins are up for debate, especially the breed’s ancestry, there’s no arguing that the breed is old.
Aside from their prissy appearance, this elegant and smart breed has a history that surprises most.
What is it that surprises people about the Poodle? Is this the right dog for you and your family? Are Poodles worth the hype?
Here is what you need to know about the Standard Poodle.
There’s the Standard Poodle, the Miniature and Toy Poodle. Out of the three, the Standard is the oldest of the Pudel family. The Poodle word itself derives from the Germans. Moreover, the German word “Pudel” means “to splash in water. Pudelhund was the name of the breed centuries ago, which was a way for the Germans to describe a dog that can hunt or retrieve waterfowl in the water. These days that description is lost upon most dog lovers, as some may see the Standard Poodle as a show dog or strict companion. And while the latter is true, to an extent, this breed does have a long history of reliability for retrieving Duck.
Although the French continue to stake their claim on the breed, it was the Germans who gave the breed its development. In that, the Germans bred the Standard Poodle roughly 400 or so years ago to handle harsh conditions. More specifically, the Standard Poodle was bred purposely with web feet to be competent swimmers. That they became and still are.
History tells us that the Standard Poodle was more of a hunting dog, while Mini’s and Toy’s would serve miscellaneously roles. According to Poodle Patch, mini’s and toy’s began to appear during the 14th century. Europeans writings and paintings during the 1500’s did describe a Pudel as the best water retriever around.
As important as the Poodle was in Germany, the French also held the breed in high regard. But in a different capacity. Today, France hails the breed as their national dog. For centuries, the French would use them as circus performers, a testament to the dog’s intelligence.
Around the world, England would register their first Poodle in 1874, while the American Kennel Club would follow suit in 1887. However, the breed was kicking around respective countries for likely a century before their official status.
In time, in different nations, the Standard Poodle would find itself in different roles. Some would accept the breed as a symbol of wealth. In the United States, the Poodle’s fame wouldn’t come until the mid 20th century. In fact, the breed was the most popular breed in America during the 1950’s, a feat that would last for approximately 20 years.
The UKC, the second biggest kennel club would grant distinction in 2000 for the Poodle as Standards and Mini’s. Today, the breed is seen as a performer, a companion and in certain places, a hunting dog. The American Kennel Club lists the breed as the 7th most popular in the United States.
According to the American Kennel Club, the height for a Poodle Standard should be more than 15 inches.
With regards to weight, the Standard Poodle male should weigh between 60 to 70 pounds, as females should range between 40 to 50 pounds.
This puts the breed in the medium class for size.
Personality and Temperament
Never one to shy from the center stage, the Standard Poodle is graceful, obviously elegant and is more than fine being the standup comic. Loving attention, the breed doesn’t mind performing in front of others and often does. They aren’t shy nor will shy away from exuding what they are capable of learning. Speaking of which, as one of the most intelligent breeds, this breed will pick up on tricks and new assignments easily. They are eager to please and very simple to train.
They love a backyard romp, the Standard Poodle can be a playful menace. There’s nothing more entertaining for them than a backyard romp alone or with friends. And why not, they get along with all. Kids will adore them as this is a breed that handles smaller children skillfully.
With their web feet, the Standard Poodle will love it if you bring them to a body of water. This is why you see so many at lakes during family gatherings. Aside from water activities, such as swimming or retrieving, the breed enjoys fetch and daily strolls. Moreover, if you are a jogger, the Standard Poodle will jog along with you gladly.
This easy going breed is rather adaptable and will go wherever their people go. For all types of ownership, whether you’re a rookie or someone with years of dog experience.
All in all, the Standard Poodle isn’t all for show. They will work and are quite agile in their efforts. The breed is protective over family but not in the jealous fashion. This is a friendly breed, but when its all said and done, their loyalty will always prevail and favor their people. A great family dog and pretty good hunting breed.
You may have been friends with someone for a long time, who for equally as long of a time had a Poodle –that’s because the Standard Poodle can live for a long while. In fact, their life expectancy can last from 10 to 18 years, according to the American Kennel Club.
When you buy a Standard Poodle — you should only purchase one from a reputable breeder — someone who can provide you with the proper paperwork and health clearances. Do your homework, ask the hard questions, and seek reviews.
In addition, you should schedule regular visits with the veterinarian to ensure your Standard Poodle’s health.
There are some problems to watch out for regarding their health. Gastric Dilatation or Bloat is a big problem for Poodles. The Standard Poodle is no exception. This is a devastating condition, in which the stomach distends from an excess of air. This can bring along death as a consequence. The stomach will swell, they’ll lose interest in eating or suffer from lethargy as some indicators. Contact a Vet right away if you suspect your Standard Poodle suffers from this.
A lack of hormonal production from the thyroid gland is Hypothyroidism. This can cause issues with the coat, lack of appetite, among other issues. If you find your Standard Poodle losing hair or having issues with mood, whether they are mopey or tired frequently, again, contact your Vet.
Addisons Disease is an insufficient production of hormones from the adrenal glands that can have serious implications. Your Vet can provide you with more information but lethargy, vomiting, poor eating habits are a few common signs that a dog will display when they have this disease.
A malformation of the hip joint or Hip Dysplasia is a problem for the breed. Although the breed doesn’t rank among the worst, they do have a 11.9 dysplastic rating out of over 28,000 evaluations. This gives the 100th ranking from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals study. This puts them in the company of the Irish Setter and Alaskan Malamute.
Abnormal growth off the cells in the elbow or Elbow Dysplasia is another issue to be wary about. Like Hip Dysplasia, this can cause lameness and lead to other orthopedic problems in the long run. The OFA ranks the breed 76th worst from 3700 evaluation with a 3.2 dysplastic rating. The Cardigan Corgi and Boxer are neighbors of the Standard Poodle in that subject.
Atrial Septical Defect, a congenital heart malformation seen in Dobermans and Newfoundlands, where the dog has a small hole in its upper chambers of the heart, which can lead to serious issues down the road. A dog with this malformation may faint, incessantly cough or lack energy. Surgery to repair the hole may be necessary.
Neonatal Encephalopathy, which is seen in the Standard Poodle at birth, is a brain disease that affects mobility, leads to mental dullness, and can result in death. Typically, this condition will develop within 4 to 5 weeks from birth.
Other issues may include: Patella Luxation, Tracheal Collapse, Cushings Disease, epilepsy and cancer.
The Standard Poodle is a breed that can have medium or high energy needs. This will likely vary dog from dog, expect to walk them daily, and stimulate the breed mentally and physically sufficiently. This will help create a more sedate dog in the long run, which will break poor habits from boredom.
A Standard Poodle should receive plenty of affection and attention. The breed won’t tolerate long periods of alone time. They need to feel like a part of the family. This is a people’s dog, that expects to be right in the mix. Why else do you think they do so well in companion events? The good thing about the Standard Poodle is that you can own them without a book of knowledge. They can live in apartments or out in the country. Just as long as you exercise them adequately, that is.
Early socialization as normal and early training will help develop a dog with good mannerisms. Introduce your Standard to new people, new things and experiences. Hiking, lake visits, dog parks, etc. This breed will love it all, just as long as you are part of the endeavor.
Keep their ears clean of bacterial buildup and from getting into the ear canal, trim their nails regularly and bathe as you see fit.
The Standard Poodle will do fine with a high quality kibble. The kibble should have a blend of healthy nutrients and a balance of veggies, fruits, vitamins and minerals. Sufficient amounts of quality protein, crude fat and carbs is necessary for any dog, including a working or a dog competing at shows.
How much your Standard Poodle depends on their age, metabolism and activity rate. Not all dogs will eat the same. Spaying and neutering your Poodle may play a part in their diet. Always consult a Vet if you have any technical questions pertaining to diet.
To reduce the chances of Bloat and other serious dietary illnesses, it is better to give your Poodle portions. Most owners feed their dogs one meal in the morning and once again in the evening. 2-3 cups of high quality kibble should suffice the diet of a Standard.
As always, you should provide fresh drinking water for your Standard Poodle.
The hallmark of the Standard Poodle is their coat. Regular grooming will be necessary for this breed, a monthly bath as well. You will want to either send your dog to a professional for their curly coat or brush daily to help reduce tangles and mats. Routine clipping is typical for this breed.
A Standard Poodle should have a curly, harsh and dense coat throughout. The breed has unique pompons on their hinds and fores. This breed is preferable for those with sensitivity to pet dander as a hypoallergenic coat.
The American Kennel Club lists ten acceptable coat colors: Apricot, blue, black, brown, cream, gray, red, silver white, and silver beige. There are no acceptable markings for the Standard Poodle.
Fun Standard Poodle Facts
- The Standard Poodle is one of the more successful breeds at Westminster Dog Show. The breed has won four different times: 1991, 1973, 1958 and 1935.
- Standard Poodles are four time winners at Crufts as a Best in Show Champion: 2014, 2002, 1985 and 1955.
- The second most intelligent breed on Stanley Coren’s “Intelligence of Dogs” list. This means they’ll obey the first command 95 percent or better of the time.
- According to the American Kennel Club, president Grover Cleveland had his own Poodle.
- The Poodle is responsible for many hybrid and mix breeds including: Klein Poodle, Maltipoo, Labradoodle, Teacup Poodle, Cockapoo, Pekapoo and the Affenpinscher Poodle.
- Some believe out of many theories about the breed’s ancestry that the African Barbet and European Water Dogs are the Standard’s Poodle progenitors.
There are many breeds with impressive resumes. They have long and fascinating details to their story. The Standard Poodle is no exception.
A breed that has been a staple for many national traditions and histories such as France and Germany as well as the United States. One of the most popular choices for a pet and one of the most intelligent breeds around — it’s easy to understand Poodle-Mania.