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Poodle Standard

The Standard Poodle is a noble, elegant and well-balanced dog, with a slender muzzle and long neck. The famous coat is dense and curly and often styled, but beneath that is a lean, athletic and sporting dog.

  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Quiet dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • Gets along with other pets with training
  • Great family dog
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Weight: 20 – 32kg
Height: 38cm and over
Colours: The coat comes in many colours including black, white, blue, grey, silver, brown, apricot and cream
Size: Large
UK Kennel Club Groups: Utility


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 5/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 1/5
Black Poodle (Standard) walking at the garden


Do not underestimate the Standard Poodle, despite gaining a foppish and silly reputation due to the exaggerated hair-cuts of the show dogs, the Standard Poodle is a clever, quick-witted and athletic dog. They are high-spirited and fun loving, make great watch dogs and will adore taking part in any activity their owners choose to indulge in!

Brown Poodle (Standard) walking at the green garden

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Germany

The Standard Poodle is the oldest of the three Poodle sizes and the original, but their exact origins are unknown. Some say they originated in France but it is far more likely that they come from Germany. Their ancestors were the old water dogs of Europe who were famous for their intelligence and skill, and we do know that despite their glamourous appearance, the Poodles original function was as a hard-working water retrieving gundog, and they are still more than capable of doing a day’s work, with some retaining more hunting instinct than others.

Their intelligence and trainability also saw them co-opted into European circus troupes where they thrived – and it was in this capacity that the two smaller sizes of Poodles were developed.

Their flamboyant haircuts were originally practical with the aim of clipping off all unwanted coat that would get waterlogged, but still keeping hair where needed to protect joints and keep internal organs warm.

Health and Common Issues

As with many breeds, The Standard Poodle can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. There is also a high incidence in the breed of a particular hormonal disease (Addison's disease) and a stomach condition (gastric dilation volvulus).

The breed club monitor the health of the breed carefully and should be contacted for the most up-to-date information and details of any DNA or additional testing they recommend. Breed Clubs can be found on the Kennel Club website.

Exercise Needs

Standard Poodles take a great deal of exercise and want room to run. Expect an hour to two hours per day of walking and running, plus extra time to train or take part in dog sports and competition. The Standard Poodle may well enjoy swimming, so choose walking routes carefully if you don’t want to deal with a very soggy Poodle!

Space Requirements

Although the breed standard specifies a minimum height, in reality the Standard Poodle is now a fairly tall dog and takes up a reasonable amount of space. You will need dedicated space to bath and groom if you intend on keeping them in a full coat and grooming yourself.

A secure garden with good, tall fencing is a must, ideally a flagged or paved yard as a wet lawn will be rapidly turned into a muddy racetrack! Town or country living will be fine as long as there are plenty of places to provide an interesting variety of walks and secure space to run off lead.

Nutrition and Feeding

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Standard Poodles are also prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming Poodle Standard

Standard Poodles do not shed and are often (though not always) tolerated by allergic people. Their coats do take a great deal of care, though, generally requiring professional grooming, as well as regular combing and brushing at home. The poodle should be taken to a groomer about every six weeks to be clipped, or you can learn how to do it yourself and this can be as simple as a 'sheep' style clip. Home grooming the standard poodle in full coat will require some specialist equipment!

Training Poodle Standard

The Standard Poodle is very intelligent and quick to learn. They love to learn and perform, in fact they are a bit of a show-off, one reason they do so well in the show-ring. They also can excel at all the dog sports – and have a lot of fun doing them too (although owners need a sense of humour as they can also be clownish!).

A bored Poodle means trouble, so aim to keep their minds occupied with a variety of training exercises, games and puzzle solving. The Standard Poodle is not hard to train, but you will need to be quick, engaging and fun to work with!

Best Family Dog Breeds

The Standard Poodle can make an excellent family pet, however the space, time and exercise requirements may mean this is not a suitable pet for a busy family with young children. With older children or teens who can help with training, walking and grooming however, they are a fun and active companion.

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Standard Poodles or ‘Spoo’ to their owners, have long been popular with the rich, famous and nobility, from ZsaZsa Gabor to Louis XXII, the glamorous poodle has a host of notable owners.
  • The coat is traditionally clipped into what may seem frivolous or silly shapes, but this was originally done to provide protection and buoyancy to some areas of the body whilst keeping other areas clear to free up movement and avoid matting.
  • Poodle coats can also be twisted and rubbed into long skinny cords, giving the Poodle a very different look. At home the Poodle can have whatever clip you prefer and their coat constantly grows meaning if you don’t like a particular look, you can have another ‘do’ next time round!
  • Standard Poodle’s rank number 2 on the list of most intelligent dog breeds!
  • A team of Poodle’s once competed in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, a gruelling 1,150-mile journey through Alaska’s Arctic tundra. Unfortunately, they had to pull out of the race before the first checkpoint as they weren’t cut out for the extreme weather.

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