Poodle (Standard)

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standard poodle portrait
Picture this: a dog with a regal air, elegant curls, and a personality that's as vibrant as their signature pom-pom cut. Meet the Standard Poodle, a breed that effortlessly steals hearts with its intelligence, grace, and undeniable charm.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, ideal environment, grooming, exercise requirements, training tips, dietary needs, health concerns, history, and more.

Best For

The Standard Poodle is a versatile breed suited for a variety of lifestyles, making them an excellent choice for both families and individuals. Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them highly trainable, ideal for first-time dog owners or experienced trainers.


OTHER NAMESCaniche, Pudel
BREED GROUPNon-Sporting Group
HEIGHT17-24 inches
WEIGHT45-70 lbs
LIFESPAN10-18 years
standard poodle on the beach
Photo: Sean McSeveney/Pexels


The Standard Poodle is a large-sized breed with a well-proportioned and squarely built body. The height for males ranges from 18 to 24 inches at the shoulder, while females stand slightly shorter at 17 to 23 inches. Their weight varies between 45 and 70 pounds, depending on gender and individual genetics.

The body of the Standard Poodle is strong and muscular, with a deep chest that extends to the elbows and a short, sturdy back. The loin is broad and slightly arched, blending smoothly into the croup. This breed has a distinctive, docked tail, carried high and set at the base of the croup. Though docking is no longer required in some countries, it remains a common practice for show dogs.

The legs of the Standard Poodle are well-muscled and straight, with strong, compact feet that have well-arched toes and thick, black pads. The front legs are parallel and vertical, while the hindquarters are powerful, with well-bent stifles and short hocks.

One of the most striking features of the Standard Poodle is its elongated, refined head, which boasts a slight stop and a straight, chiseled muzzle. Their almond-shaped eyes exude an intelligent, alert expression, while their color can vary from dark brown to dark amber, depending on the coat color.

The ears are set at or slightly above eye level, hanging close to the head with a long, wide shape that reaches halfway to the nose when extended.

However, the true crowning glory of the Standard Poodle is its dense, curly coat. This unique, hypoallergenic coat can be found in a variety of solid colors, including black, white, cream, apricot, silver, blue, gray, chocolate, red, and café-au-lait.

The texture ranges from soft, fine curls to thicker, more wiry ones. Poodle coats require regular grooming to prevent matting and can be styled in various trims, such as the popular “puppy cut,” “continental clip,” or “English saddle clip.”

Overall, the Standard Poodle’s elegant appearance, combined with its intelligent expression and distinctive coat, make this breed a truly unique and eye-catching canine companion.

three standard poodles in the backyard
Photo: Laura Fay/Getty Images


The Standard Poodle is a breed known for its remarkable intelligence, friendly disposition, and exceptional versatility in both work and play. These qualities, combined with their elegant appearance, make them an immensely popular and cherished companion among dog enthusiasts worldwide.

Standard Poodles are highly intelligent and eager to please, which translates into a strong desire to learn and interact with their human families. They are affectionate and loyal, often forming deep bonds with their owners, and can be quite sensitive to the emotions of those around them. This sensitivity makes them excellent companions for those seeking a dog that is in tune with their feelings and needs.

When it comes to children, the Standard Poodle is a fantastic choice as a family pet. They are gentle, patient, and playful, making them ideal playmates for kids of all ages. However, as with any breed, it is essential to teach children how to interact respectfully with dogs to ensure the safety of both the child and the pet. Supervision during playtime is always recommended, especially with younger children.

Standard Poodles are typically friendly and social with strangers, although some individuals may exhibit reserved or cautious behavior initially. Proper socialization from a young age is crucial in ensuring that your Poodle grows up to be a well-rounded, confident adult. Exposing them to various people, environments, and situations will help them develop a more adaptable and open temperament.

In general, Standard Poodles get along well with other pets, particularly when introduced early and raised together. Their gentle nature allows them to coexist peacefully with other dogs and even cats.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that every dog is an individual, and some may have a higher prey drive than others. As such, supervision during interactions with smaller animals is always advised until you are confident in your Poodle’s ability to coexist safely with them.

One unique personality perk of the Standard Poodle is their keen sense of humor. They are known for their playful antics and ability to make their owners laugh with their endearing and sometimes goofy behavior. This lightheartedness adds a delightful element to their companionship, making them a joy to have around.

While they are intelligent and dignified, Standard Poodles can also be quite mischievous at times. Their curiosity and problem-solving abilities may lead them to find creative ways of getting into things they’re not supposed to. This cheeky aspect of their personality highlights the importance of providing them with mental stimulation to keep their minds engaged and satisfied.

They are also known for their remarkable versatility in various dog sports and activities. Their intelligence, athleticism, and desire to please make them excellent candidates for obedience, agility, tracking, and even water sports like dock diving. Participating in these activities not only provides physical and mental stimulation but also strengthens the bond between the Poodle and its owner.

Ideal Environment

Physical Environment

The ideal environment for a Standard Poodle is one that caters to their physical, mental, and social needs. This breed is highly adaptable and can thrive in various settings, from apartments and urban environments to suburban homes and rural areas. However, regardless of the living situation, providing ample space for regular exercise and play is crucial to keep them happy and healthy.

Climate Adaptability

When it comes to climate adaptability, Standard Poodles are quite versatile. Their dense, curly coats provide insulation against colder temperatures, making them well-equipped for cooler climates. However, it is essential to take necessary precautions during extreme cold, such as providing a warm and dry shelter and considering the use of a coat or sweater during outdoor activities.

On the other hand, Standard Poodles can also tolerate warmer climates, but extra care should be taken to prevent overheating. During hot weather, it is crucial to provide access to fresh water, shade, and air conditioning when possible. Limiting outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day and opting for early morning or evening walks will help keep your Poodle comfortable and safe.

Ideal Owner

Standard Poodles are well-suited for a wide range of pet parents, including singles, couples, families with children, and seniors. They are particularly compatible with individuals who enjoy an active lifestyle and are willing to engage their Poodle in daily walks, playtime, and mentally stimulating activities.

The breed’s intelligence and eagerness to please make them excellent companions for both first-time dog owners and experienced trainers.

Other Pets

In households with other pets, Standard Poodles usually adapt well and coexist harmoniously with other dogs and even cats when introduced properly. Their gentle and friendly nature makes them a great addition to multi-pet homes. However, it is essential to monitor their interactions with smaller animals, especially during the initial stages, to ensure safety and compatibility.

poodle standing in a park
Photo: ivanastar/Getty Images Signature


The Standard Poodle is a breed with unique grooming needs due to its distinctive, curly coat. Regular grooming is essential not only for maintaining their elegant appearance but also for ensuring their overall health and well-being. The following are some key aspects of grooming that every Standard Poodle owner should be aware of:

Coat Care

The dense, curly coat of a Standard Poodle requires consistent brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Depending on the thickness and texture of your Poodle’s coat, it’s recommended to brush them at least two to three times a week, or even daily for those with particularly thick curls.

A slicker brush is an ideal tool for detangling and removing loose hair, while a metal comb with both wide and narrow teeth can help to smooth out the coat after brushing. When brushing, be sure to work in sections, starting from the skin and moving outward to ensure that you’re thoroughly addressing any potential tangles.

Standard Poodles also require regular trimming to maintain their coat’s shape and length. Many owners opt for professional grooming services every 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the desired style and the dog’s coat growth rate. However, learning to trim your Poodle’s coat at home can be a rewarding and cost-effective alternative.

Popular trims for Standard Poodles include the “puppy cut,” “continental clip,” and “English saddle clip.” Each style has its own specific requirements and level of difficulty, so it’s essential to research and choose a trim that best suits your Poodle’s lifestyle and your grooming capabilities.


Bathing your Standard Poodle every 4 to 6 weeks is usually sufficient to keep their coat clean and healthy. However, the frequency may vary depending on your dog’s activity level and individual needs.

Be sure to use a mild, dog-specific shampoo to avoid irritation and maintain the natural oils in their coat. Thoroughly rinsing and drying the coat is crucial to prevent any residue buildup or dampness that could lead to skin issues.

Dental Care

Regular dental care is vital for maintaining your Standard Poodle’s overall health. Brushing their teeth at least two to three times a week using a dog-specific toothpaste and toothbrush can help minimize plaque buildup, bad breath, and the risk of dental disease. Additionally, providing dental chews and toys designed for oral health can further support your dog’s dental hygiene.

Nail Trimming

Standard Poodles require regular nail trimming to prevent overgrowth, splitting, or cracking. Ideally, nails should be trimmed every 3 to 4 weeks using a dog nail clipper or grinder. If you’re unsure about the process or nervous about potentially cutting the quick, seeking guidance from a professional groomer or veterinarian is recommended.

Ear Care

Due to their long, floppy ears, Standard Poodles are prone to ear infections. Regularly checking and cleaning their ears is essential for maintaining their health. Use a gentle, dog-specific ear cleaner and cotton balls or pads to clean the outer ear canal, being careful not to insert anything deep into the ear. If you notice any signs of irritation, redness, or unpleasant odor, consult your veterinarian for further evaluation.

standard poodle running in a park
Photo: ivanastar/Getty Images Signature


Standard Poodles are an active and intelligent breed that requires regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Meeting their exercise needs helps prevent boredom, destructive behaviors, and health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Exercise Amount & Types

On average, a Standard Poodle should receive at least one hour of daily exercise, which can be broken down into multiple sessions throughout the day. This exercise can include walks, playtime, and mentally stimulating activities.

Daily walks are essential for meeting a Standard Poodle’s exercise requirements. Ideally, these walks should be at a brisk pace and cover a variety of terrain to keep them engaged and challenged. Incorporating some off-leash time in a safe, enclosed area can allow your Poodle to explore and expend extra energy.

They also enjoy playful activities such as fetch, tug-of-war, and frisbee. These games not only provide physical exercise but also help to strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Interactive toys and puzzle feeders can also be used to engage your Poodle’s mind and keep them entertained.

Many Standard Poodles have a natural affinity for water, making swimming an enjoyable and low-impact form of exercise for the breed. If your Poodle enjoys swimming, consider incorporating it into their exercise routine during warmer months. Always ensure that the swimming environment is safe and closely supervise your dog while they’re in the water.

Dog Sports

As highly intelligent and trainable dogs, Standard Poodles excel in various dog sports, including obedience, agility, tracking, and even water sports like dock diving. Participating in these activities not only provides an excellent source of exercise but also taps into their natural instincts and desire to please.

Additionally, involvement in dog sports offers an opportunity for socialization and reinforces good behavior.

Exercise Precautions

It’s important to remember that every dog is an individual, and exercise needs may vary depending on factors such as age, health, and personal preferences. Be sure to monitor your Poodle’s energy levels and adjust their exercise routine as needed to ensure they remain happy and healthy.


Standard Poodles are renowned for their exceptional intelligence, making them highly trainable and eager to learn. Their innate desire to please their owners further enhances their ability to quickly grasp new commands and concepts.

When it comes to training, Standard Poodles generally excel and can be taught a wide range of skills, from basic obedience to advanced tricks and participation in various dog sports.

Positive reinforcement training methods, which focus on rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, or other rewards, are particularly effective with Standard Poodles. These techniques help build a strong bond between the owner and the dog while reinforcing desirable behaviors.

Consistency, patience, and clear communication are essential aspects of successful training, ensuring that your Poodle understands what is expected of them.

Early socialization is a crucial aspect of training for Poodles. Exposing your puppy to a variety of people, environments, and situations from a young age will help them develop confidence and adaptability. Puppy socialization classes can be an excellent way to introduce your Poodle to new experiences and reinforce basic obedience skills in a controlled setting.

Poodles can also benefit from crate training, which helps establish a safe space for them to retreat to when needed and can aid in housebreaking. Introducing the crate as a positive and comfortable environment will ensure that your Poodle feels secure and relaxed when using it.

As intelligent dogs, Standard Poodles require mental stimulation in addition to physical exercise. Incorporating brain games and puzzles into their daily routine can help keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom. Training sessions that challenge their problem-solving abilities will also contribute to their overall mental well-being.

It’s important to remember that every dog is an individual, and training progress may vary depending on factors such as personality, prior experiences, and learning style. Some Poodles may require additional time or a slightly different approach to master certain skills, so maintaining patience and adaptability is key.

white standard poodle sitting by the stairs
Photo: ivanastar/Getty Images Signature

Diet & Nutrition 

The diet and nutrition of a Standard Poodle play a significant role in maintaining their overall health and well-being. Providing a balanced and nutritious diet tailored to their specific needs will ensure they thrive throughout their lives.

What to Feed & How Much

When selecting dog food for your Standard Poodle, it’s essential to choose a high-quality product that follows the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines. These guidelines ensure that the food contains the appropriate balance of nutrients required for your dog’s health.

There are various options available, including dry kibble, wet food, and raw or home-cooked diets. Each type has its pros and cons, so it’s crucial to research and consult with your veterinarian to determine the best choice for your Poodle’s individual needs.

The amount of food your Poodle requires depends on their age, weight, activity level, and metabolism. Generally, adult Standard Poodles should be fed twice daily, while puppies may require more frequent meals (3 to 4 times a day) as they grow and develop.

It’s essential to follow the feeding guidelines provided by the dog food manufacturer and adjust as needed based on your poodle’s individual requirements.

Monitoring your Poodle’s weight and body condition is crucial to prevent overfeeding and obesity, which can lead to various health issues. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help you determine if any adjustments to their diet or feeding routine are necessary.

Treats & Water

Treats can be an excellent training tool and a way to bond with your Standard Poodle, but they should be given in moderation to avoid excessive calorie intake. Opt for healthy, low-calorie treats and consider using a portion of their daily kibble allowance as rewards during training sessions.

Fresh water should always be readily available for your Standard Poodle. Providing clean, fresh water ensures proper hydration and contributes to their overall health. Make sure to clean the water bowl regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and debris.


Standard Poodles are generally a healthy breed with a life expectancy of 10 to 18 years. However, like all dog breeds, they may be predisposed to certain health conditions. Providing a healthy diet, regular veterinary check-ups, and keeping up-to-date with vaccinations can help maintain their overall health and well-being.

Some common health issues associated with Standard Poodles:

Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition in which the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain over time. Regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage this condition.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA is an eye disorder that causes gradual vision loss due to the degeneration of the retina. Responsible breeding practices and genetic testing can help reduce the prevalence of this condition in the breed.

Sebaceous Adenitis: This is an inflammatory skin condition that affects the sebaceous glands, causing hair loss, scaling, and sometimes infection. Treatment may include medicated shampoos, topical treatments, or oral medications as prescribed by a veterinarian.

Von Willebrand’s Disease: This is a blood clotting disorder that can lead to excessive bleeding during surgery or injury. Regular veterinary monitoring and blood tests can help detect the condition early and manage it appropriately.

Addison’s Disease: Also known as hypoadrenocorticism, this condition occurs when the adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones, which can result in lethargy, vomiting, and weight loss. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for managing this disease.

To keep your Standard Poodle healthy, it’s essential to provide a balanced diet tailored to their specific needs. High-quality dog food that follows AAFCO guidelines will ensure your Poodle receives the proper nutrition they need to thrive. Regular veterinary check-ups, including routine blood work and physical examinations, can help detect and manage health issues early, improving their quality of life.

Vaccinations are another vital aspect of your Standard Poodle’s health care. Keeping them up-to-date with core vaccinations such as distemper, parvovirus, and rabies, as well as any additional vaccines recommended by your veterinarian based on your dog’s lifestyle, will help protect them from various preventable diseases.

By providing a healthy diet, regular veterinary care, and appropriate vaccinations, you can contribute to your Standard Poodle’s overall health and well-being, ensuring they enjoy a long and happy life.

black standard poodle sitting in the nature
Photo: Kurt Pas/Getty Images


The Standard Poodle, often associated with elegance and sophistication, has a rich history that dates back centuries. Despite its popular association with France, the breed’s origins can be traced to Germany, where it was initially bred as a water retriever.

The name “Poodle” is derived from the German word “Pudel,” which means “to splash in water.” The breed’s unique coat, which is now a symbol of refinement, originally served a practical purpose: it provided protection against harsh weather conditions while still allowing for ease of movement during swimming and hunting.

The Standard Poodle’s keen intelligence and remarkable trainability quickly made it a versatile breed, excelling in various tasks beyond water retrieval. In addition to their hunting abilities, Poodles were employed as truffle hunters, military dogs, and even circus performers.

Their striking appearance and charming demeanor also made them popular companions among European nobility, particularly in France, where they eventually became the country’s national dog.

The Poodle’s iconic coat has undergone several transformations throughout history. Initially, the coat was left untrimmed, but over time, owners began to trim the hair to reduce weight and improve mobility while still providing warmth and protection.

The elaborate clips we see today, such as the “Continental” and “English Saddle” clips, are reminiscent of the breed’s historical function and status as a working dog and a symbol of luxury.

In popular culture, the Poodle has long been associated with glamour, style, and sophistication. The breed has made numerous appearances in films, television shows, and literature, often portrayed as a fashionable accessory or a symbol of high society.

Some notable examples include the Poodle “Georgette” from Disney’s animated classic Oliver & Company, and the chic “Fifi” from the movie series Open Season. However, these portrayals do not fully capture the breed’s remarkable intelligence, athleticism, and versatility.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized the Poodle in 1887, and since then, the breed has gained widespread popularity across the United States. The Poodle is currently ranked as one of the most popular breeds by the AKC, a testament to its enduring appeal and adaptability.

Today, the breed’s versatility continues to shine through its participation in various dog sports, such as obedience, agility, and rally competitions.

Parent Club

The official parent club for the Poodle in the United States is the Poodle Club of America (PCA). Founded in 1931, the PCA is dedicated to promoting the welfare, breeding, and showing of all three varieties of Poodles – Standard, Miniature, and Toy.

The club provides valuable resources, educational materials, and support for Poodle enthusiasts, breeders, and owners. The PCA’s official website can be accessed here.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines established by breed clubs or kennel organizations, defining the ideal appearance, temperament, and physical traits of a specific breed. It serves as a reference for breeders, judges, and enthusiasts to evaluate and maintain a breed’s unique qualities.

Covering aspects like size, appearance, and temperament, breed standards are used in dog shows and competitions to assess individual dogs against the ideal representation of their breed.

You can check the Poodle’s breed standard set by the American Kennel Club (AKC) here.

standard poodle in a backyard
Photo: Laura Fay/Getty Images


When considering acquiring a Standard Poodle, it’s essential to do thorough research and preparation beforehand. Ensure that you can provide the necessary time, resources, and commitment to care for this intelligent and active breed.

Rescuing a Standard Poodle from a shelter or breed-specific rescue organization is a great option, as it provides a loving home to a dog in need while also helping to alleviate the burden on overcrowded shelters. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Poodle Club of America (PCA) can help connect you with reputable rescue organizations and provide valuable resources for adopting a Standard Poodle.

Before bringing your new companion home, prepare a comfortable living space, including a crate, bedding, toys, food, and grooming supplies. Make sure to schedule a veterinary appointment for a wellness check and discuss any necessary vaccinations and health care requirements.


Are Standard Poodles good dogs to own?

Yes, Standard Poodles make excellent companions due to their intelligence, loyalty, and affectionate nature. They are highly trainable and adaptable, making them suitable for various lifestyles and living situations.

Are Standard Poodles small dogs?

No, Standard Poodles are the largest of the three Poodle varieties (Standard, Miniature, and Toy). They typically stand between 18 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 45 to 70 pounds, making them a medium to large-sized breed.

What are Standard Poodles known for?

Standard Poodles are known for their intelligence, elegance, and distinctive curly coat. They were originally bred as water retrievers and have since become popular companion animals and show dogs.

Can Standard Poodles be left alone?

While Standard Poodles can tolerate being left alone for short periods, they are social animals that thrive on human interaction. Prolonged isolation may lead to separation anxiety or boredom, which can result in destructive behaviors. It’s essential to provide mental stimulation and companionship to keep your Standard Poodle happy and well-adjusted.

How much exercise do Standard Poodles need?

Standard Poodles are an active and energetic breed that requires daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. A combination of brisk walks, playtime, and mentally stimulating activities like puzzle toys or training sessions is recommended to keep them engaged and healthy.

Are Standard Poodles hypoallergenic?

While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, Standard Poodles are considered a low-shedding breed with a curly coat that produces less dander than many other breeds. This makes them a more suitable option for individuals with allergies or sensitivities to pet hair and dander.

How often do Standard Poodles need grooming?

Standard Poodles require regular grooming to maintain their coat and prevent matting. It’s recommended to brush their coat at least two to three times a week and schedule professional grooming sessions every 4 to 6 weeks for trimming, bathing, and ear cleaning. Regular nail trimming and dental care are also important for maintaining their overall health.

Fun Facts

  • The Standard Poodle is often referred to as one of the true aristocrats of the dog world. This breed is known for its elegant appearance, intelligent demeanor, and regal bearing. These characteristics have made them a favorite among royalty and nobility throughout history, from Louis XVI of France to Queen Victoria of England.
  • During World War II, Standard Poodles served as rescue dogs. Their intelligence, agility, and excellent sense of smell made them ideal for this role. They were trained to find wounded soldiers on the battlefield, demonstrating their bravery and usefulness beyond companionship.

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