The Standard Poodle is quite a contrast to its smaller family members of the miniature and toy varieties. In fact, the Standard Poodle can be lumped into the mid to large size dog breed category. Sometimes called a French Poodle because of its copious amounts of a curly, wired coat, this dog is quite willowy with a slight physique.
The muzzle is long as is the head although the skull itself has some curvature to it. A scissor bite is typical of the Standard Poodle's teeth. The eyes are oval shaped amber to dark colored while the ears dangle close to the head and are widely shaped. While their tails are originally quite long, the Standard Poodle's tail is often cropped to half its length.
The height of this poodle breed roughly equals that of the measurement from the rear end to the breastbone. The back is almost level except for a slip indentation behind the withers. Their compact feet are quite unusual as they have webbing which help them swim and tread water, something this breed used to do in their capacity as water retrieval dogs.
The wiry, curly coat is the telltale sign of a Standard Poodle and a variety of colors exist for this breed. For the most part, the colors are solid and include such hues as apricot, white, black, brown, silver, auburn and blue although there are some poodles which may show signs of multiple colors. The coat is quite dense and does not shed to the hair will continue to grow unless cut.
No one quite knows the exact origin of the Standard Poodle other than it hails from the general area of Germany and France and can be traced back four centuries. Originally this poodle was used as a hunting dog, for water retrieval in particular. With its webbed feet and dense coat, it kept warm in cold water and the feet made for excellent paddles.
The name "poodle" was likely derived from the German word "pudelin" which translates to "splashing the water." Even today, the Standard Poodle is used for hunting and water retrieval. The French get credit though for cultivating the poodle into what the general public recognizes today.
Hunters who owned Standard Poodles cut their hair leaving thick tufts of it around the joint areas. These short coat parts helped with cutting through water while the tufts kept the joints warm to prevent them from seizing up. Because of their agility and intelligence, the Standard Poodle is a popular breed as well for therapy dogs.
Quite adaptable to most situations, the Standard Poodle is loyal, affectionate and playful. They have sunny dispositions and can be quite active although they are just as happy lounging by their owner's side. Because of their intelligence, they are easily trained by need a firm, guiding hand to curb their tendency toward naughty behaviors. Laughing at their shenanigans will only encourage them to act out even more.
Boredom is a problem for the Standard Poodle so engaging them in physical activities and games will help them burn off excess energy. These dogs are clever and will perform tricks and other actions that are quite surprising which is no wonder why they have been great entertainers in circuses. They love to please their masters and are quite self-assured with is reflected in their gait. Because of their hunting and retrieval instinct, they must be socialized early with other animals. They are great with children and families and serve as great watchdogs, barking to alert you to danger.
The Standard Poodle is just as susceptible as other breeds to health problems. One of the most common and minor of health problems is ear infections. However, they also can develop cataracts or even retinal atrophy. Bloating and torsion of the stomach can occur which is a buildup of gas and twisting of the stomach. This condition can be life-threatening if not treated quickly. Hip dysplasia is a problem in some poodles as is epilepsy which causes seizures.
Cancer, renal issues and Addison's Disease are other problems that Standard Poodles could experience. The genetic history should be investigated should someone wish to purchase this type of dog.
The Standard Poodle does not shed so it is important that it be trimmed regularly. The curly quality of the coat means this dog is susceptible to matting so bi-weekly brushing is important to keep it free of matting, dirt and other debris. Because frequent brushing is necessary, owners may find these grooming times a great way to connect with their pet.
Nails should be trimmed regularly as they tend to grow long and hurt the Standard Poodle's feet. Teeth brushing should also be a common occurrence as plaque tends to buildup around their gum line and could lead to health problems. Plus, when a vet must anesthetize the dog to remove heavy plaque buildup, it could be quite expensive.
There are a variety of styles in which to groom the coat of the Standard Poodle. There is the continental clip which involves shaving part of the tail in addition to the feet, throat and face. Fluffy areas called pom-poms are left around the ankle areas and even sometimes the tip of the tail. The puppy clip involves general, all-around clipping or shaving. A corded look for this poodle's coat resembles that of dreadlocks and can be quite unique-looking.
Because the Standard Poodle can be a bundle of energy, it should have daily walks to let loose that energy. These dogs are not demanding in terms of other physical activities as long as they get their daily walk. They are at their best however, if they have a yard or large area to romp in.
One of the most intelligent dogs around, the Standard Poodle is highly trainable. It is best to start the poodle with obedience training as a puppy so they integrate well with their human families. In addition, early training intervention will help with crate training, housebreaking and curbing that instinct for hunting and retrieval, particularly if there are other pets or animals in the home. Owners have to be cognizant of their actions and what they teach as the Standard Poodle is highly impressionable and may pick up and perpetuate bad habits.