The Poodle is an active, intelligent, ruggedly-built dog which is, at the same time, elegant and refined. Well-bred Poodles in all three varieties have steady, calm nerves, hardy constitutions, and they can be easily trained. A Poodle is a "person" and he expects to be treated as one. Each one is a character and for that reason they make wonderful companions.
A Standard Poodle is over 15 inches at the shoulders, with the average being 22 to 26 inches, weighing 40 to 70 pounds.
Note: There is no such dog as an AKC Royal Standard or Giant Standard.
Standard Poodle is regarded as the second most intelligent breed of dog, after the border collie and before the German Shepherd.
Poodles are retrievers or gun dogs, and can still be seen in that role. The poodle is believed to have originated in Germany, where it is known as the Pudel. The English word "poodle" comes from the Low German pudel or puddeln, meaning to splash in the water. The breed was standardized in France, where it was commonly used as a water retriever.The American Kennel Club states that the large, or Standard, Poodle is the oldest of the three varieties and that the dog gained special fame as a water worker. So widely was it used as retriever that it was bred with a moisture-resistant coat to further facilitate progress in swimming. All of the Poodle's ancestors were acknowledged to be good swimmers.
Most poodles have a dense, curly, non-shedding coat that requires regular grooming. Since poodles do not have the plush double coat of many breeds, their fur is often referred to as "hair", a term usually reserved for humans. Most poodles are solid-colored, and many registries allow only solid colors in conformation shows. "Parti" (short for parti-colored) poodles have large patches of colors different from the main body color. "Phantom" poodles have the color pattern of a black-and-tan dog, although not necessarily black and tan. Solid-colored poodles may either "hold" their color (i.e., stay more or less the same throughout their lives) or "fade" or "clear" to a lighter shade. Usually the ears and the thicker guard hairs hold more of the original color than other hair. Poodles come in a wide variety of solid colors including blue, gray, silver, brown, cafe-au-lait, apricots, red and cream.
A standard poodle catching, otherwise notable, is this breed's keen sense for instinctual behavior. In particular, marking and hunting drives are more readily observable than in most other breeds. Even Toys will point birds. Classified as highly energetic, poodles can also get bored fairly easily and have been known to get creative about finding mischief. Poodles like to be in the center of things and are easily trained to do astonishing tricks, involving both brains and agility. They have performed in circuses for centuries, beginning in Europe, and have been part of the Ringling Circus, in its various forms, from its inception. The Grimaldi's, the famous British clowns Kenneth and Audrey Austin, "developed a stronger circus act" with a clever poodle named 'Twinkle', the success of which allowed them to continue performing even as octogenarians. Poodles are extremely people-oriented dogs and generally eager to please. Standard poodles in particular tend to be good with children. Poodles are adaptable and easy to train, but sometimes their intelligence can make them obstinate and stubborn. Like most dogs, they appreciate daily exercise, such as a walk or a play session. Most are fairly agile and athletic.
Poodles are very easy to housebreak. Whether going outside or being trained on a pad, they learn quickly where to defecate. They are still animals, however, and they need time to understand what is desired of them. It may take a while, but poodles are quite smart and learn more quickly than most dogs.
The most common serious health issues of standard poodles (listed in order of the number of reported cases in the Poodle Health Registry, as of August 20, 2007) are Addison's disease, gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV = bloat/torsion), thyroid issues (hyperthyroid and hypothyroid), tracheal collapse, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer. Standard poodles are also susceptible to some health issues usually too minor to report to the poodle health registry. The most common of these minor issues are probably ear infections. Ear infections are a problem in all poodle varieties. Ear problems can be minimized by proper ear care. A veterinarian should be consulted if the dog shows signs of an ear infection.
Longevity and causes of death Standard poodles in UK, Denmark and USA/Canada surveys had a median lifespan of 11.5 to 12 years. In a UK survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (30%), old age (18%), GDV (bloat/torsion, 6%), and cardiac disease (5%).
Poodles are often cited as a hypoallergenic dog breed. The poodle's individual hair follicles have an active growth period that is longer than that of many other breeds of dogs; combined with the tightly curled coat, which slows the loss of dander and dead hair by trapping it in the curls, an individual poodle may release less dander and hair into the environment. In addition, most poodles are frequently brushed and bathed to keep them looking their best; this not only removes hair and dander but also controls the other potent allergen, saliva. Although hair, dander, and saliva can be minimized, they are still present and can stick to "clothes, carpets and furnishings in your home"; inhaling them, or being licked by the dog, can trigger a reaction in a sensitive person. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can help clear dander floating in the air. The word hypoallergenic, when referring to a dog, is also a misconception; all dogs shed. Poodles shed hair in minimal amounts, and also release dander, but are not as likely to trigger allergies as much as many other breeds.