Is the Standard Poodle the Best Dog for You?
Standard Poodle - Not your average dog
If you are looking for a dog that is extremely intelligent, good natured and fun loving, the Standard Poodle should be at the top of the list. These dogs are so smart they actually learn and understand many different words. Some Standards excel at agility as they love to compete and are athletes by nature.
As a long time owner of this breed, I can attest they are a fantastic dog and one of my favorite breeds. Standards are great with people that have allergies to dog hair as they do not shed. Your house will stay much cleaner with a poodle living in it. They come in many different colors such as White, Black, Apricot and Silver. Poodles can even be found in multi colors otherwise know as Parti Poodles.
Standard Poodles love to be with their people, they are happiest when they are following you around the house and sleeping in your bedroom. If you want a dog that you can leave in the backyard for hours at a time, a Standard is not the best choice and you will have one unhappy dog on your hands. He will be sure to let the neighborhood know of his displeasure by barking excessively and causing a scene. These dogs are too intelligent to neglect, they thrive on attention and will reward you with loads of affection.
Standards are a durable and strong breed that make great walking and hiking partners. They will be protective of their family and alert you when strangers are near. Yet, they love kids and get along well with almost any other pet you may have.
Standard Poodles are proud and have an air of royalty to them and they will return the love showered upon them many times over. If you talk with people that have or have had Standard Poodles in the past, you will be hard pressed to find someone who does not have something positive to say about this breed.
Reasons a Standard Poodle may not be the best choice
- As great as Standard Poodles are, they do have a few drawbacks. Their hair is constantly growing and will need to be groomed on a regular basis or you will have one shaggy looking Poodle on your hands. Expect to take your Standard to the groomers every month or so. Since they are a larger breed, grooming can get rather expensive. I would recommend learning to groom your Standard yourself. While the initial grooming supplies can be rather expensive, they will pay for themselves many times over with the money you save. Plus, grooming strengthens the bond with your Poodle. Poodles if trained properly to be groomed when pups, love all the attention on the grooming table. I made the choice to learn how to groom my poodles many years ago. Often times when we are out in public with our Standard, people will actually come up to us and ask "Who grooms your dog." I am always glad that I took the time to learn ho to groom poodles.
- Some full grown Standard Poodles males can weigh up to 80 pounds or more. Smaller framed or elderly folks can be easily overpowering by an adult Standard unless these dogs are trained early on not to pull on the leash. Maybe a Mini or Toy Poodle would be a better choice, they have the same great personality as a Standard Poodle in a smaller package. Standards like to play rough and if you have little children underfoot you may want to wait until the kids are a little older.
- Feeding a Standard Poodle can get rather expensive due to their larger size. Standard Poodles need to be fed high quality food to stay healthy and look their best. For a large Standard Poodle expect to go through 30 pounds of premium dog food every month or so. If you have not priced premium quality food lately, you may be in for sticker shock. One bag of Solid Gold Barking at the Moon dog food which we feed our dogs, costs approximately $53 for a 30 pound bag. Please do not think of skimping and buying cheep Grocery Store dog food, you will pay back the money you save in Vet bills. Quality food will make your Standard grow into a beautiful and healthy adult.
- Standards are such intelligent creatures, they will often try to outsmart you. Standards have a long puppyhood and will not begin to mellow out until they are almost three years old. They will need to be kept active and exercised a few times a day to keep their energy level in check. They love to play fetch or go for walks, so be prepared to devote at least 30 minutes twice a day for play time with your Standard Poodle. These dogs can do exceptionally well in obedience training, although some can be a little stubborn and may need ongoing refresher training.
- Genetics, while most Standard Poodles are healthy and can live an average of 14 years or sometimes even longer, some can be prone to genetic problems. If you would like to read more please visit Poodle Club of America, they provide some really good information and are a great resource on genetic testing in Standard Poodles. The best thing you can do is get your Standard Poodle from a reputable breeder. Find one that tracks health issues and has had both parents tested for these issues. Avoid pet shops and puppy mills as they generally do not care about the long term health of your pet, most do not do the necessary health testing and it can be very heartbreaking to loose a Standard Poodle at a young age. Below is a link for the Poodle Health Registry where you can research pedigrees and verify what tests the breeder has done and a few other helpful links as well.
Please do not let some of this information scare you from getting a Standard Poodle, rather use it to make an informed decision. Any purebred dog you research can have their share of genetic issues. It is always best to know ahead of time what you are in for, rather than to learn after the fact. For some a Standard Poodle may not be the best choice. While others, willing to do the research and spending the time, will find a Standard Poodle will be the only breed of dog they will ever want to own. The only thing better than having a Standard Poodle in your life is having two.