The poodle is a group of formal dog breeds, the Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle, with many coat colors. Originally bred in Germany as a type of water dog, the breed was standardized in France. The poodle is skillful in many dog sports, including agility, obedience, tracking, and even herding. Poodles have taken top honors in many conformation shows, including "Best in Show" at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1991 and 2002, and at the World Dog Show in 2007 and 2010. Many people have misconceptions about Poodles -- that they look and act like "sissy" dogs.
That is one of the biggest myths in dogdom.
First, ignore the silly show-ring clips. Poodles can be clipped into shorthaired, normal -looking dogs who are a snap to brush. Poodles also have the advantage of being the lightest-shedding, most hypoallergenic of all coated breeds.
Second, Standard Poodles are elegant, energetic athletes who move with a light, springy gait. They excel in advanced obedience competition, where retrieving and jumping skills are required, and in agility (obstacle course) competitions, where they fly over and under and through the obstacles with a strength and grace that is breathtaking to watch.
Even better, a good Standard Poodle is one of the smartest and most trainable of all breeds. He is a "thinking" dog who pays rapt attention to his owner, learns quickly, and responds eagerly to positive training methods. Indeed, Standard Poodles NEED some sort of mental stimulation in order to be happy -- advanced obedience classes (not just basic), agility classes, or challenging games such as hide 'n seek, or fetching a variety of named toys. This intelligent breed cannot simply sit in the backyard and be ignored.
Most Standard Poodles make great watchdogs and some even have mild (and sensible) protective instincts, but this is not an aggressive breed. Their attitude toward people varies from friendly to politely reserved. Early socialization is important to avoid excessive watchfulness or timidity.
With other dogs and cats, Standard Poodles are usually peaceful and accepting.
However, this breed is by no means perfect or low-maintenance. Besides the regular clipping (every 4-6 weeks), they need a good deal of daily exercise. Their energy level varies from moderate to high and they require brisk walks, jogging, swimming, and/or vigorous play sessions to keep them fit, satisfied, and calm indoors.
Standard Poodles also need a lot of daily companionship. They suffer from loneliness and separation anxiety if left alone too much.
Most Standard Poodles are "soft" and sensitive dogs, sometimes hypersensitive. If you touch them unexpectedly or startle them with a sudden loud sound, they tend to flinch. The most sensitive individuals are not good with small children.
Similarly, Standard Poodles can get emotionally upset if there's too much activity or conflict or roughhousing in your household -- they prefer peace and harmony.
You do have to watch your lines: some Standard Poodle lines are high-strung, nervous, even neurotic.
If you want a dog who...
A Standard Poodle may be right for you.
Poodles like any other line may have health problems. We have not experienced health serious related issues in our dogs. They live with us in our home and you may see them.
A Standard Poodle may not be right for you.