Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Standard Poodle
Average Cost to keep/care for a Standard Poodle
Breed Specific Buying Advice
Standard Poodles are the largest of their type and are known to be affectionate, lively and highly intelligent dogs. They are superb family pets and companions thanks to their loyal and kind natures. Rarely showing any aggressive behaviour, Standard Poodles are high-spirited dogs and love nothing more than to please which is just one of the reasons why they are so easy to train when correctly handled.
Standard Poodles soon let you know when there are strangers about and love nothing more than to be part of the family and involved in everything that goes on in the household. Over the years these elegant dogs have found their way into the hearts and homes of many people here in the UK and elsewhere in the world. They are always a huge hit in the showring and can often been seen taking part in canine sporting activities which the Standard Poodle really enjoys and indeed excels at.
The breed originates from Germany, but it was the French who over time developed Standard Poodles to become the dogs we know today which is why they are often thought to hail from France. They were originally bred as working dogs and more specifically to work in water, over marshlands and swamps to retrieve game for their handlers. With this said, the actual origins of the breed remain a bit of a mystery. There are two trains of thought as to how the Poodle first came about. The first theory is that Poodles originated from Asia and that they are the descendants of herding dogs that were used by a north African tribe known as Berbers and that they were taken to Europe in the 8th Century by the Moors.
Another theory is that Poodles are in fact descendants of dogs that once lived on the Asian Steppes alongside the German tribes known as Goths and that they arrived in Europe when Ostrogoths travelled to Portugal and Spain. Ancient, primitive sculptures have been discovered around the Med which leans towards the fact that Poodles may have indeed originated in Africa. This along with the fact that the North African Barbet is thought to be in the Poodle's ancestry although, the it is known that the Barbet was introduced via the Iberian Peninsula to Europe.
What is known is that Standard Poodles have been around since the 15th Century with many dogs having been depicted in literature and art. A German artist called Albrecht Durer often painted them during the 16th Century and by the 18th Century, Standard Poodles were a firm favourite with the Spanish well to do and were often depicted by the famous artist Goya. These large dogs are the oldest of all three Poodles with the Miniature and the Toy being developed much later and they were to become popular with many royals in the Courts of Europe thanks to their adorable looks and intelligence.
It was during the 1800's that Poodles were used to create and develop the Curly-coated Retriever. They were also mated to English Pointers with the end result being the Pudelpointer which was to become a popular and versatile hunting dog in Germany. Standard Poodles were also used to develop the Irish Water Spaniel, another popular and well-respected breed.
Over time Standard Poodles earned themselves the reputation of being highly skilled gundog retrievers whether they were asked to work in marshy, boggy environments or on drier land. But they also became firm favourites in a home environment too. Today, the Standard Poodle has remained a popular choice as a family pet and companion dog with people throughout the world and they are always a popular breed in the show ring.
Height at the withers: Males over 38 cm, Females over 38 cm
Average weight: Males 30 - 35 kg, Females 21 - 32 kg
The Standard Poodle is a noble looking, well-balanced dog that boasts a profuse curly coat. They are strong, muscular dogs yet they move very gracefully which is just one of the reasons the breed is always such a hit and enjoys so much success in the show ring.
Their heads are long and refined boasting a slight peak. They have a moderate stop with a strong, well-chiseled foreface. Standard Poodles have dark, almond shaped eyes which always have an alert, intelligent expression in them. Their ears are set low and close to their heads boasting long, wide leathers. They have a strong jaw line with a perfect scissor bite where a dog's upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones.
A Standard Poodle's neck is well proportioned in relation to their body which allows dogs to carry them high adding to their graceful appearance. Shoulders are well laid back, muscular and strong and their legs are muscular and straight. Standard Poodles have deep, wide chests and well sprung ribs. Their back is short and slightly curved with broad and well-muscled loins.
Their hindquarters are well developed with muscular thigh and strong back legs. Feet are quite small for the size of these dogs and oval shaped with arched toes and thick, hard, well cushioned pads. Their tails are thicker at the root and dogs always carry them straight and away from their body.
When it comes to their coat, the Standard Poodle boasts a very dense and thick coat that is quite harsh to the touch. Their coats can be traditionally trimmed which is acceptable when showing these dogs. They come in many colours with all solid ones being acceptable which includes the following:
When a Standard Poodle moves, they do so with a free-moving, flowing, light action that's shows a tremendous amount of drive.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and judge any faults on how much they impact a dog's overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to work.
Male Standard Poodles must have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and the size of a dog can be a little smaller or larger and they can be slightly heavier or lighter than stated in their breed standard which is given by the Kennel Club as a guide only.
The Standard Poodle is a highly intelligent dog that is ranked 2 out of 79 other breeds. They love to please and are always eager and willing to learn new things, which in short, means they are extremely easy to train providing they are correctly handled. Over the years, these dogs have appeared in circus acts all thanks to their highly tuned sensitivity to tones and vocal intonation. They excel at all canine sporting activities and this includes agility, Flyball and obedience trials.
In a nutshell, the Standard Poodle is a high-energy, above average intelligence character that loves nothing more than to please. They make wonderful companions and are a good choice as a family pet or companion dog. However, they are not the best choice for first time owners who may not know how to manage, train and socialise this type of dog well enough for them to be well-rounded, relaxed characters. Standard Poodles need to know their place in the pack and who is alpha dog in a household or they may start displaying a more dominant and unruly side to their character.
However, for people who are familiar with this type of high energy, intelligent dog, a Standard Poodle would be the ideal choice and more especially in a household where the family spend much of their time in the great outdoors in which case a Standard Poodle would fit in perfectly with their lifestyle. With this said, Standard Poodles are better suited to households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out so they never spend too much time on their own.
Although, they are a great choice for first time dog owners, Standard Poodles need to be trained correctly right from the word go so they mature into well-rounded mature dogs. This means having the time to dedicate to an active, energetic and immensely intelligent canine companion.
Most Standard Poodles do not have a high prey drive which is a trait that over time was bred out of them as they became more popular pets and dogs that are exhibited in the showring rather than being used in the field.
Standard Poodles are playful and fun-loving by nature and remain very puppy-like well into their senior years. They adore being involved in any sort of interactive game and they excel at canine sports which includes things like obedience, flyball and agility.
Standard Poodles are very adaptable by nature and providing they are given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep their minds occupied, they do adapt well to apartment living. With this said, there's nothing a Standard Poodle enjoys more than being able to romp around in a secure back garden where they can really express themselves as they should.
Standard Poodles form very strong ties with their owners and families. As such, they never like finding themselves on their own which can lead to a dog suffering from separation anxiety. The result is a dog that can become destructive around the home and one that shows other unwanted behaviours too which is their way of showing how stressed out they are at being on their own.
Standard Poodles do like to bark and are always quick to let an owner know when there is something they don't like going on in their environment or when they are strangers about. However, this is a trait that can be gently curbed when a dog is still young to prevent it turning into a real problem later on.
Standard Poodles love being in water and will happily jump in whenever they can which is why it's essential that owners take extra care when walking their dogs off their leads anywhere near more dangerous watercourses, just in case they decide to leap in.
Standard Poodles have a nature instinct to "protect" their families and their property which in short means they are excellent watchdogs with the added bonus being that although they would put people off from approaching a property, they would rarely do so aggressively.
Ranked at number 2 out of 79 other breeds, the Standard Poodle is a highly intelligent character, and a dog that is renowned for being easy to train. The reason for this is that these dogs thrive on being around people and like nothing better than to be taught new things. This is thanks to the fact they are ultra-sensitive to different tones in a person's voice and the fact they thrive on the one-to-one relationship they get when they are being trained and when taking part in any events or competitions.
With this said, a Standard Poodle's training must start at a young age so they learn their place in the pack. They also need to be well socialised from a young age which involves introducing them to new situations, dogs, other animals and pets for them to be truly well-rounded, outgoing dogs.
Standard Poodle puppies are incredibly cute and therefore it is all too easy to spoil them and to let them get away with things. However, puppies need to know their place in the pack and who is the alpha dog in a household for them to grow into well rounded mature adults. A puppy's education must start as early as possible and they need to be taught the rules and boundaries. The first commands they must be taught are as follows:
Once a dog is older, they can be taught other more complicated commands to ensure they grow up to be obedient and well-behaved in all sorts of different situations and environments.
Standard Poodles are known to get on very well with children and are generally quite tolerant when they are around them. However, due to their large size, they do risk knocking a smaller child over which means it's always best for any interaction between the kids and a dog be supervised by an adult.
They also get on well with other pets and animals all thanks to their kind and accepting natures. However, just like any other dog when a Standard Poodle is introduced to a new animal or pet, it needs to be done carefully and calmly to make sure things go smoothly.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Standard Poodle is between 11 to 13 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Standard Poodles like their miniature and toy counterparts are prone to suffer from certain hereditary and acquired health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning to share your home with one of these noble and elegant looking dogs. The health concerns that seem to most affect the breed include the following:
Standard Poodles are predisposed to suffering from Addison's disease which is also known as Hypoadrenocorticism. When a dog develops the disorder, there are specific symptoms they show which can be extremely worrying. Dogs vomit and regurgitate their food which leads to a loss of weight. A dog suffering from the condition will be depressed, they shiver and shake while at the same time having an increased thirst which means they need to urinate a lot more too. They also have extreme pain in their abdomens.
The problem is that the symptoms can be sudden or they may gradually come or before disappearing again which makes it very challenging for owners to recognise there is something seriously wrong with them. A vet would need to carry out an ACTH blood test to confirm a diagnosis, but the good news is that many Standard Poodles do recover once they are treated in a timely manner.
Sebaceous adenitis (SA) is a dermatological disorder that affects several breeds which includes the Standard Poodle. The condition affects a dog's sebaceous glands which become inflamed and this eventually sees them being destroyed. The result is hair loss and other secondary skin disorders and infections which are considered as being a real health issue for affected dogs.
A lot of research is being undertaken by the Animal Health Trust with the end goal being to identify the gene mutation responsible for the condition and where it originates in a dog's system.
Research has shown that around 4% of tumours reported in dogs develop because cells contain the pigment melamin and that they can develop in the skin, the mouth, under toe nails and in a dog’s eyes with the severity of a melanoma being judged on where it is located and whether they are benign. Studies have also established that black coated dogs are more at risk of developing cutaneous melanomas with Poodles being among them.
Standard Poodles can now be DNA screened for vWD(type1) through the Kennel Club with Vetgen offering to screen dogs for Neonatal Encephalopathy using the same sample. The results will be kept by the Kennel Club in their Breeds Records Supplement and the details would also be added to a dog's registration documents as well as any of their puppies' certificates.
All Standard Poodle puppies would have been given their first vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to ensure they are given their follow-up shots. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
As previously mentioned, Standard Poodles are known to suffer from a condition known as sebaceous adenitis which can lead to them developing serious skin issues. As soon as a dog shows any signs of there being a problem, they should be examined by a vet so that a diagnosis can be confirmed and treatment plan set in place sooner rather than later. The earlier a dog is treated, the more comfortable they will be made to feel and the prognosis is always that much better when the disorder is caught in its early stages.
With this said, there are other triggers for skin allergies which includes the following:
All responsible breeders would ensure that stud dogs are tested for any known health issues before using them for breeding purposes. The tests available for the Standard Poodle are as follows:
Apart from the standard breeding restrictions set in place by the Kennel Club for all recognised breeds, currently there are no further breed specific breeding restrictions in place for Standard Poodles.
It is mandatory for all Kennel Club Assured Breeders to have stud dogs tested using the following schemes and other breeders are strongly advised to follow suit:
Other tests that the Kennel Club strongly advises all breeders use are as follows:
As with any other breed, Standard Poodles need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in tip-top condition, bearing in mind that they are high maintenance on the grooming front. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, they need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Getting a puppy is an exciting experience, but it's also a big decision because sharing a home with a dog is a lifelong commitment. The timing of when a puppy is introduced to their new environments also takes careful planning and it's best to organise this when someone is going to be around for at least the first week or so. No matter how outgoing a puppy tends to be, they would be feeling quite vulnerable having just left mum and their littermates. In short, they need to know they are not alone in a strange environment which could stress them out even more.
Puppies are notorious for chewing on things some of which they are given whereas others are things they find lying around the home. As such, puppy-proofing the home and the garden is essential and it should be done well in advance of their arrival. Electric wires and cables should be put out of harm's way and anything breakable be put somewhere safe to avoid breakages. Garden tools and implements should not be left out because a boisterous playful puppy might injure themselves on them.
Investing in stairgates to fit on doors helps limit the amount of space a puppy can roam around in which keeps them safer too. Another option is to buy a well-made playpen which also keeps young puppies safely out of harm's way and the risk of stepping or tripping over them is eliminated altogether. Puppies also need to sleep a lot which can be anything up to 21 hours a day, so they need a nice quiet area they can retreat to when they want to nap. The area should not be too out of the way because puppies need to know someone is around and it's also important to be able to keep an ear out for them should they get themselves into any sort of trouble.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
Needless to say, there are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a Standard Poodle puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The essential items needed to look after a puppy are as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Standard Poodle puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out.
As previously mentioned, puppies are already vaccinated before they are sold, but their new owners should make sure they have their second vaccinations and the schedule is as follows:
Older dogs change mentally too which means their response time tends to be slower as such they develop the following:
Living with a Standard Poodle in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include taking a look at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older Standard Poodles need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older Standard Poodles is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Standard Poodles don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
Standard Poodles are high maintenance in the grooming department because they need to be professionally groomed on a regular basis which ideally should be every six to eight weeks. Their ears also need to be kept clear of any hair and this involves very carefully plucking the hairs out of them which is best left up to a professional dog groomer even though it is not a painful process. Having the hair removed from the inside of their ears ensures that air circulates well in a dog's ear canal reducing the risk of an infection taking hold which often happens if any moisture is allowed to build up in them.
The good news is that all Poodles and this includes the Standard do not shed, but their coats need to be regularly clipped and ideally this needs to be left up to an expert.
Standard Poodles are high energy dogs and therefore they need to be given at least an hour's exercise every day, but in an ideal world these dogs need to let off steam more often and really benefit from being able to run around a large, secure garden whenever they can.
They are also renowned for their intelligence which means they need to be given a tremendous amount of mental stimulation to be truly happy, well rounded dogs. If boredom is allowed to set in, they can become a little destructive around the home all due to the fact they will try to find things to keep themselves busy and entertained. As previously mentioned, the Standard Poodle excels at all sorts of canine sporting activity and they love the one-to-one working relationship they build up with their owners when competing.
If you get a Standard Poodle puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule for your new pet and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same type of food to a puppy to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change their diet again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature Standard Poodle twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories which is important or they might start to gain too much weight and this can seriously impact their overall health and wellbeing.
It's also important not to feed a Standard Poodle before taking them for a walk or as soon as they get back from one. The reason being that like all deep chested dogs, they are prone to suffer from bloat and if fed when they are still warm or before they go out and do any sort of strenous exercise, it increases the risks of them suffering from gastric torsion. It's also best to feed these dogs smaller meals twice a day rather than give them one large meal for the same reason.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Standard Poodle puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 15 months old they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult Standard Poodle must be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult Standard Poodle can be fed the following amounts every day:
If you are looking to buy a Standard Poodle, you would need to pay anything from £500 to over £800 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Standard Poodle in northern England would be £22.07 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £47.19 a month (quote as of August 2017). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether they have been spayed or neutered.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £40 - £60 a month. On top of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Standard Poodle and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of having a dog neutered or spayed when the time is right and their annual health visits, all of which could quickly add up to over a £1000 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Standard Poodle would be between £80 to £120 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a well-bred pedigree Standard Poodle puppy.
When visiting and buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. You can read our generic puppy/dog advice here which includes making sure you see the puppy with its mother and to verify that the dog has been wormed and microchipped.
Standard Poodles are an extremely popular breed both in the UK and elsewhere in the world which means that well-bred puppies command a lot of money. As such, with Standard Poodles there is specific advice, questions and protocols to follow when buying a puppy which are as follows:
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