Standard poodles are the largest of the poodle breeds. Poodle characteristics are similar in the standard, miniature and toy, although standard poodles tend to be calmer and slightly less active than their smaller cousins. Poodles are considered very intelligent and one of the smartest dog breeds. They're also very popular as pets, ranking consistently in the top 10 of the American Kennel Club's breed registry.
Standard poodles are not only very smart and learn quickly, they're considered one of the most obedient dog breeds. So it's not only easy to train a poodle; once they learn commands, they'll continue to obey them. The standard poodle is elegant and sophisticated in appearance, but don't let that fancy exterior fool you. These dogs were bred to be working water retrievers and they're very sturdy. Standards are happy, affectionate dogs who are good with children and other dogs.
Standard poodles are popular with dog lovers prone to allergies because the thick, curly poodle coat doesn't shed as other breeds do. The standard poodle coat does require frequent grooming and regular clipping, though, with many poodle hair styles to choose from -- ranging from the show look complete with pom-poms to the more traditional cut for pets called the puppy clip. The dog's hair is trimmed the same length all over, which makes grooming and brushing easier. Poodle trimming is usually done by a professional groomer.
Standard poodles, although calmer than the miniature or toy variety, need regular exercise. Poodles were originally bred to work as retrievers, and these dogs like to have a job. A standard poodle will excel at most dog sports including agility, rally or obedience. A testament to their roots, standard poodles love to swim. A standard poodle will appreciate a good run, playing fetch and regular walks. Don't let him become bored. Find activities that engage a standard's mind and body. As long as he gets some daily exercise, a standard poodle will happily settle into any size home environment.
The standard poodle life expectancy is 10 to 13 years. Standard poodles are prone to medical issues typical of other large dogs including hip dysplasia. Your veterinarian can determine your dog's chance of suffering from this with testing and X-rays. Standard poodles are also prone to Addison's disease, gastric torsion or bloat, and inflammatory skin disease. Consult your vet for preventative measures you can take to avoid these issues.
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