Standard Poodles: Complete Breed Guide

What comes to your mind when you think of a Standard Poodle?

You might have imagined an elegant, regal, and pampered show dog. In fact, you could even think they look like a “sissy.”

Most of the time, people get this impression due to their simple bouncy gate and their energetic nature.

Plus, their reputation for being kind, gentle, and eager to please dogs also contributes to the image people know them for.

But there’s way more than meets the eye than you think regarding the Standard Poodle. To help shed some light on this brilliant creature, today we’re going to shine some light on all things about the Standard Poodle. 

History and Original Purpose

If you’re not familiar with the Poodle by now, it comes from Germany and was once bred to be a very different type of dog.

Their original purpose was to be a dog that hunted waterfowl such as ducks, birds, and other wildlife. 

Part of the reason they were great at hunting was that their curly soft single-layered coat made them streamline in the water. Later on, the Poodle became popular in France after becoming adopted by many circus performers. After some time, they were on the arm of many French aristocrats, becoming France’s national dog.

Similarly, today if you look up information about the history of the Standard Poodle, you may find some conflicting information. Germans often claim they developed the Poodle to be a hunter. At the same time, the French claim to have developed this breed as their hunters’ companion. This is because they would fetch game, misplaced bolts, and arrows that had missed their target. 

After some time, waterfowlers started to trim this dog’s hair to make it look like a lion’s coat to make it more streamlined in the water. Back then, a Poodle would have long hair on their chest for the sole reason to protect their heart and lungs from getting cold in the water. After all, the Poodle only has a single coat!

From France, their popularity spilled across the world, and they became bred for different purposes. There were four types of Poodle that started to get bred: the Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle, Klein(Moyen) Poodle, and Standard Poodle. Unfortunately, many people including the AKC, do not recognize the Klein(Moyen) Poodle breed.

Standard Poodle Appearance

When looking to get a dog, their appearance can be everything and certainly a major factor influencing your buying decision. In comparison to other breeds, this dog is placed in the medium to large-sized category. It tends to have a square physique and a rounded head with a slight stop. It’s also renowned for its black or brown straight muscle. Plus, its eyes have a distinct oval shape that can either be black or brown. 

Further to this, a Standard Poodle can look quite cute, and one of the main features that contribute to this is its long floppy ears. It also has stocky legs and oval-shaped feet, which adds to its elegant image. Now regarding its coat, its short, curly, and soft making them a great breed to stroke. 

A Standard Poodles coat can also come in various colors from black, white, apricot, cream, sable, grey, red, blue, brown, red, and more.

If you look to bring a Standard Poodle in your life, you’re going to be spoiled for choice with a range of options to choose from. They’re gorgeous!

Size (height and weight)

Even though I mentioned before that the Standard Poodle is a medium to large-sized breed, you might be wondering how big exactly are they? Well, to look at them further, let’s break it down based on their gender.

Male Standard Poodle18-24inches / 46-61cm45-70lbs / 21-32kg 
Female Standard Poodle 15-18 inches / 39-46cm 45-60lbs / 21-28kg 

You can also read more about the differences between the male and the female poodle, as I’ve written more in depth about this topic.

As you can see, there are some slight differences in their height and weight, but not too much! The real difference is between the different types of Poodle. Out of all three, the Standard Poodle is the largest and strongest of them all. 

Did you know there is also a Giant Royal Standard Poodle?

Standard Poodle Coat

If you have a lot of allergies, then a Standard Poodle is a fantastic breed for you to own. This is a dog that has a single coat layer and therefore does not shed that much in-between seasons. 

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Because they’re low shedding, they are seen as close to hypoallergenic as possible they don’t trigger many allergies, as long as they’re looked after properly. 

Because of this, if you plan to own them, you must look after them and maintain them well. Ideally, you should use a slicker brush and brush their coat around 3-4 times a week. If you don’t brush them frequently, their hair will get tangled, and it could matt. If their hair matts, it can cause different textures and difficulties. It can also put them at greater risk of getting ingrown hairs or infections. 

Standard Poodle Markings

Standard Poodles can come with an assortment of white markings. They range from some white chest hairs to an almost solid white dog. They’re truly a unique breed.

Standard Poodle Grooming

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If you plan to own a Standard Poodle, you may also wish to take them to a groomer or wash their coat every 4-8 weeks. In addition to this, if you do this yourself, you should wash them with a specialized dog shampoo. 

Standard Poodles are also highly at risk of getting dental disease and gum disease. Therefore you should brush their teeth 2-3 times a week to stop them from getting a gum infection and spreading to other parts of their body. 

Also, pay attention to the area around their ears where hairs can grow. Their hair can easily trap dirt, fungus, bacteria, and more and enter their ear, increasing the risk of ear infections. To reduce this risk of ear infections, check their ears once a week and use a cotton swab to wipe them to stop wax accumulating in them. 

Standard Poodle Temperament

When it comes to the Standard Poodle, there’s a lot of curiosity surrounding whether this breed has the same personality as the Toy and Miniature Poodle. The truth is, they are quite different! 

Regarding the Standard Poodle, it’s a very friendly dog which means it can adapt to anything that comes in its way, such as new family members or animals in your household. This means they’re very good with children and full of love to give them. They also have a guard dog instinct; this means if they see anyone unfamiliar coming to your home, they will bark and alert you. 

On the contrary, though, they can be quite reserved when around strangers when meeting them for the first time. However, this can be easily removed as long as they’re socialized from an early age. 

Generally, though, the Standard Poodle is a good mix of personalities. It’s not a velcro dog and can be left on its own for some time without developing separation anxiety. At the same time, it’s also a dog that loves to cuddle up and shower its owner with lots of affection. 

With cats and other pets

When buying a Standard Poodle, there’s no need to worry if you have cats in your home. This is a breed that adapts easily and can make friends with them. In fact, they’re the ideal pet for multi-pet households when they’re with other animals in them too. There’s rarely a case they don’t get along with other animals. 

Standard Poodle Playfulness and energy level

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If you’re a sedentary person with not a lot of time on your hands, then you should not get a Standard Poodle. This dog breed is very energetic and requires a person who can dedicate a few hours a day to help use up its energy. The energy level can vary on the Standard Poodle; some have a moderate energy level, but it depends on their parents and individual personality. 

On the contrary, if you end up owning a Standard Poodle that is hyper, it may be able to play all day without becoming tired. One thing is for sure, though, this is a very intelligent dog that needs a lot of mental stimulation to stop becoming bored and developing self-destructive behaviors. To avoid this, it’s best to play games such as hide and seek and use Kong toys to keep them mentally engaged. 


Standard Poodles are not aggressive, but they are the best watchdog species you can get. They bark to inform you about any visitors or strange sounds around your home. Their response to new faces can differ from reserved and shy to engaging and friendly.

Standard Poodle Trainability

Another factor that can influence you buying a dog is how easy they are to train. If you’re a first time pet owner, then the Standard Poodle will be a great dog to have. Some people also get them as service animals. They’re a highly intelligent breed that excels at obedience training. This includes Flyball, agility, dog surfing, dock diving, disc dog, and field tracking. But do note that they can only be trained well if training is conducted from an early age. 

Plus, because they have a history of duck hunting dogs, they have an inherent love of water. It’s often great to introduce the Standard Poodle to water from a young age as they love swimming. This can be either inside the river, on the lake, or even inside whitewater. But these activities need a lifejacket. Most dogs like the Standard Poodle need a gradual launch to water before becoming accustomed to it. 

Exercise needs – physical and mental

Many Standard Poodles require around 60 minutes of exercise a day to stay in shape. Often it’s advised that this dog does not exercise in one go, instead, it can be split into different sessions over the course of 30 or 20 minutes. If you’re someone who lives a busy lifestyle, try taking the Standard Poodle in the morning out for exercise before you get busier later in the day. 

Living needs

As Standard Poodles have a natural desire to swim, it’s often a great idea that you take them out to a lake or beach, so they’re near the water. Also, due to their exercise requirements, they’re not a breed suitable for apartment dwellers. Ideally, you should have a yard if you plan on owning them and live next to a dog park. 

Standard Poodle Health

Just like other breeds, Standard Poodles are prone to a few health problems, which are:

  • Hip dysplasia: A condition where their hip ball and socket don’t align, causing pain and mobility issues. 
  • Addison’s disease: When their adrenal gland does not produce enough cortisol causing low mood, muscle weakness, increased thirst, and more. 
  • Bloat: This is common in large dog breeds; it’s when their stomach fills up with fluid and gas, causing it to expand and twist. 
  • Progressive renal atrophy: An eye condition with many degenerative diseases that stop their photoreceptor cells, making their sight deteriorate, causing vision problems.
  • Epilepsy: A neurological condition that can cause seizures, treatment for this is usually life-long medication. 

While this can happen in a Standard Poodle, it’s not always guaranteed it will. To reduce the risk of such conditions occurring, you should take them to a vet twice a year for full health checkups.

Also make sure you check another article I wrote about the most common Standard Poodle health problems and how to increase their lifespan.

Is this a breed for you?

Finally, having read about the Standard Poodle, you might be wondering if this is the right breed for you. Well, first of all, if you have children, then this breed is perfect! It’s a kind breed, loves to play, and has no aggressive bone in its body. Moreover, when it comes to toddlers and teens, the Standard Poodle plays rough in the mud. They would also enjoy the opportunity of bouncing around. They have a cheerful, friendly disposition and like playing games. 

Similarly, due to its highly intelligent nature, it’s a breed that’s easy to train and manage for first-time pet owners. On the contrary, if you’re looking for a noisy pet that barks, you will find that Standard Poodles are timid and quiet. They’re not a dog that gets aggressive towards others. Plus, if you’re someone who lives an active lifestyle, then the Standard Poodle might not be the dog for you as it requires a lot of exercise and playtime each day.

What interests you about the Standard Poodle? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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