Standard poodles are a very old breed of dog that have been perfected for centuries to create the unique, energetic, and intelligent form that we have today. It is believed to have been around for at least 400 years, finding its roots in Western Europe.
Its actual origin location isn’t known for certain, but it is believed that the original breeding between a Barbet and an Hungarian Water Hound occurred somewhere in the region of Denmark, Germany, France, or Piedmont. Though all of these countries do have their own justified claims to the standard poodle origins, the official title has been given to France, to which the standard poodle is most heavily associated; some do call the standard poodle the “French Poodle”. Amusingly enough, though, the French don’t call it “poodle” at all, but refer to the breed as Caniche, which means “duck dog”.
Though officially French, the standard poodle’s name is believed to stemmed from the German word that means one who plays in water, pudel. This is because the first use for standard poodles was a gundog for hunting waterfowl in Germany and France. The coat was trimmed so that the legs were bare except for its joints so that they remained protected from both the cold air and water temperatures, as well as the plants and reeds that could be sharp as the dog ran or swam through them.
Since standard poodles also had great intelligence and trainability to go with their physical capabilities, the French made the breed extremely popular for jobs other than hunting. In fact, they were used for just about everything from scenting to entertainment as performers in the circuses!
The standard poodle is an elegant dog with a moderate build. It’s not a bulky dog, but it’s also not slim nor frail. It’s overall appearance should be well balanced and have a very dignified and satisfied air about it.
One of the most distinguishing features of the standard poodle is its coat. It has a very wooly; long, curly, and thick. It is considered to be a non-shedding dog. This means that like all dogs, they do go through seasonal hair loss and replacement, it is not at the substantial, constant rate as seen, for example, with golden retrievers. There are many different clips (styles) that poodles can wear, including the “English saddle”, and “continental”, which are the most widely used. Dogs younger than a year will usually wear the “puppy clip”.
Standard poodles make great pets as well as working dogs, as they are alert, active, intelligent, and very eager to please. In fact, they are widely considered to be among the most intelligent dog breeds. Because of this brightness, though, owners need to make certain that their dogs are always stimulated and entertained because they are easily bored, leading them to become quite imaginative in the ways that they will get into mischief.
Best of all for standard poodles as pets are great with families and visitors, as they adore people. They do remain, though, great watchdogs since they are so loyal to their family and want to ensure its security. They are also usually quite mellow dogs, making them great and manageable company. Keep in mind, however, that they do like lots of exercise because of their athletic nature, and if they don’t receive their exercise through playing and walking, they will find other ways to use their energy.
Overall, the standard poodle is a joy as a pet, a companion, and as a working dog. It is one of the most practical, intelligent, and appealing breeds, and lives up to its popularity wholly.