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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Poodle Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care, Traits, & More

Poodle Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care, Traits, & More

standard poodle lying on grass

The Standard Poodle may come off as a “fancy”, aloof breed of dog, but the truth is these pups aren’t just for those who do dog shows. The Standard Poodle is a bit calmer than the smaller poodle breeds, but aloofness won’t be an issue. The poodle actually makes a wonderful pet due to its sweet and playful nature. Not only is this breed whip-smart, but they are also affectionate and energetic.

Breed Overview


15 – 24 inches


40 – 70 pounds


12 – 15 years


Apricot, brown, white, gray, black, cream, fawn

Suitable for:

New dog owners, families with older kids, people with allergies


Intelligent, active, friendly, mischievous

Originating in Germany, the Standard Poodle was bred to retrieve waterfowl for hunters, making them working dogs. Because of this, you’ll find these pups enjoy having things to do to occupy their time. This breed is also amongst the most intelligent in the world. The combination of working dog and intelligence makes them a breeze to train but also means you’ll need to keep them active and entertained to avoid boredom.

The Standard Poodle is extremely people friendly. Once you’ve adopted one, they’ll become a loyal member of the family!

Standard Poodle Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dogStandard Poodle Puppies

brown poodle puppy on yellow dog bed
Image By: Alison Pang, Unsplash

Though the Standard Poodle is a more common dog, they will still be on the expensive side if you go the breeder route. If you do go with a breeder, any you choose should be reputable and one who has health-tested both parents of the puppies you are considering to ensure a healthy pup. This is extremely important since poodles are prone to health issues. Also, be aware you will likely have to go on a waitlist with any breeder you choose.

If you’d rather not go with a breeder, you could try a poodle rescue group such as Carolina Poodle Rescue or The Standard Poodle Rescue. You can also try searching shelters in your area to see if any Standard Poodles have been surrendered, though you’ll likely have a long hunt on your hands. There’s also a chance you’ll only find adult Standard Poodles at rescues or shelters, so consider whether your family would be okay with an adult dog rather than a puppy.

standard poodle at the beach
Image By: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Standard Poodle

Poodles may have a reputation for being aloof, but in reality, these dogs are goofy, mischievous, and affectionate. They are super active and love to play, so you’ll find yourself occupied with game time quite often. You’ll also find them to be incredibly loyal to their people and eager to please. With those qualities and the fact that they are highly intelligent—in fact, this breed is amongst the top five most intelligent dog breeds in the world, according to canine psychologists—you’ll find it’s very easy to train a Standard Poodle.

These pups can be prone to a bit of neuroticism; they are quite sensitive—both to their family’s emotions and their own—so you might find yourself dealing with some doggy anxiety, particularly around loud noises or voices. You can counteract this sensitivity by socializing them with people and other animals, though. Overall, however, the Standard Poodle will have a relatively chill disposition (at least as long as they get enough exercise and playtime in to deal with their hyper energy!).

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Standard Poodle makes a fabulous family dog (though more so for those families with older children). While the poodle is a gentle dog, due to its sensitive nature, this breed can be easily startled or overwhelmed by younger children who tend to be loud and rambunctious. Small children may also find grown poodles intimidating because of their size. No matter your child’s age, though, you should be sure to always keep an eye on children and dogs playing. The Standard Poodle isn’t aggressive, but accidents can happen when kids and puppies mix.

You’ll also find the Standard Poodle to be very protective of its family. Despite the lack of aggression, they will be sure to bark and let you know when someone is at the front door or if they hear a suspicious noise. They can also be cautious of strangers and may take some time to warm up to new people.

Starting socialization with your poodle at a young age will help curb their wariness and their sensitivity.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Standard Poodle can get along exceptionally well with other dogs, provided they have been socialized from early on with dog parks and classes. They will also do wonderfully if they have grown up with other pups. If your poodle has grown used to being the only animal around, though, it may take them a bit to warm up to a new dog.

This breed can also get along with cats if they are properly socialized. While they have a high prey drive, the Standard Poodle isn’t usually aggressive towards smaller animals such as cats. At worst, you may find that your poodle just doesn’t acknowledge your kitty’s existence.


Things to Know When Owning a Standard Poodle:

Getting a new pet for the family means plenty of research on your end, so you’re aware of just what you’re signing up for. When it comes to the Standard Poodle, you’ll need to learn plenty about grooming them because they are fairly high maintenance. You’ll also need to know about the health issues they face—not to mention what they need to eat, how much exercise they require, and more!

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Your Standard Poodle will require high-quality dog food, preferably one that meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials standards. Foods that meet those standards will have at least 18% protein, which is vital to your pup’s diet.

How much food you give your dog will depend on both their weight and how active they are. Lazy doggos will need less food than ones that love to go on walks and play. However, the typical recommended food amount will be between 1½ to 3 cups a day, divided into two meals. It is not recommended to free-feed your poodle as they will likely eat more than needed and become overweight, leading to health issues. Checking with your vet to find out their recommendation for food amounts is always a good idea, as well.

Your Standard Poodle should also always have access to clean water.

Exercise 🐕

The Standard Poodle is high-energy and active, so this breed’s recommended daily exercise amount is at least an hour. Your poodle will be excited to engage in a variety of activities—especially swimming since they love the water and playing fetch since they were bred to be hunting dogs. They will also be happy to go on long walks or jogs with a family member. Having numerous toys on hand is a must as well!

Making sure your dog is active enough will go a long way in keeping them healthy (and keeping them from getting bored and destructive), so be sure to engage your poodle in play or exercise often!

Training 🎾

Training your Standard Poodle should be a relatively easy affair. With this breed’s high intelligence and eagerness to please, they are quite adept in quickly adapting to training routines. Just be sure to start them right away with obedience classes and socialization. And, when you train them on your own, keep things upbeat and positive. Poodles will be quicker to want to please you with positive reinforcement rather than negative.

Grooming ✂️

You’ll find that one of the great things about the Standard Poodle is that they are a low-shedding breed, making them wonderful for those with allergies. The downside is that this low-shedding coat also requires a ton of maintenance. When it comes to grooming your poodle, you’ll need to put in a lot of work—or regularly take them to a groomer every 4-8 weeks (which is what a good amount of poodle owners do).

Even if you clip your poodle’s hair into a trim that is short, you’ll still need to brush them each day to keep their hair mat-free. And, when you brush, it needs to be all the way to the skin—otherwise, your dog’s hair could mat at the roots, resulting in your pet needing a good shave to fix the issue. Every 4-8 weeks, your poodle will need its hair trimmed and will need to be bathed.

Besides the coat maintenance, your pup will need to have their teeth brushed at least thrice weekly, as they are prone to dental problems. Your poodle will also need to have its ears cleaned out approximately once a week. Not only do the Standard Poodle’s droopy ears equal more wax build-up, but they also have hair that grows inside. And, when it comes to your dog’s nails, if you hear them clicking on the floor, it means it’s time to get them trimmed!

Finally, the poodle is prone to weepy eyes. Because of this, the hair surrounding the eyes can become stained if you aren’t careful. If you notice weepy eyes, simply wipe down your pet’s face gently with a warm washcloth or pet wipe that is alcohol-free.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Most Standard Poodles will lead long and healthy lives (particularly those from breeders who regularly test their dogs). However, all dog breeds will have certain health conditions they are more prone to develop, and the Standard Poodle is no exception.

Minor Conditions
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
  • Dental issues
  • Allergies
  • Patellar luxation
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Von Willebrand disease
  • Glomerulonephropathy

Male vs Female

While all individual dogs will have their own temperaments, when it comes to male and female Standard Poodles, you’ll likely find that the males are the more affectionate and loving of the two. Female poodles have a tendency to be more stubborn and independent than males. Other than that, the most significant difference will be in their size, as males can be a bit taller and a bit heavier.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Standard Poodle

1. The national dog of France is the Poodle.

Though this breed originated in Germany, France has claimed it as their national dog. They call the breed caniche, or “duck dog”.

2. A Poodle team once competed in the Iditarod.

In 1988, a team of poodles was used by musher John Suter to compete in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska. The outcome wasn’t great as some of the dogs became so frozen they had to be dropped off at checkpoints. After, a rule was made that restricted the breed of dog allowed in the race to northern breeds that are highly adapted to cold weather.

3. A Nintendo character was modeled after the Standard Poodle.

Nintendo modeled the character of Pappy Van Poodle in the game Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball after the Standard Poodle.


The Standard Poodle is a sweet, affectionate, highly active, super smart, and loyal pupper. This breed makes wonderful family dogs (though they do better with older children due to their high-strung natures). They also make fabulous pets for first-time pet owners and singles; honestly, they are great for anyone!

Be aware of what you’re getting into price-wise before purchasing one, though. Not only will Standard Poodle puppies cost a pretty penny if you pick one from a breeder, but their grooming needs can be a bit costly as well. You can try finding one of these dogs at a rescue or shelter to save on costs (but you might find yourself waiting awhile and relying on luck). You can also learn how to do all their grooming yourself if you have the time to learn the ins and outs properly.

You should also be prepared to spend plenty of time playing and exercising with your Standard Poodle since they are extremely active dogs. They will need lots of playtime and many walks to keep them from becoming bored or destructive.

So long as you have the time and energy to commit to one of these pups, you’ll find yourself with an amazing companion who will stick with you!

Featured Image Credit: digitalskennedy, Pixabay

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