The poodle is very intelligent, easily trained, family orientated dog. The standard poodle adjusts easily to most situations and is equally at home on the farm as in an apartment. They come in a number of colors: white, black, brown, silver, apricot, red, blue, cream, and sometimes partly coloured or phantom marked. For the show ring poodles must be one solid color.
The poodle is different from other breeds in that it understands language far better than other dogs. Not only does the standard poodle understand that words mean something, they seem to understand sentences as well. Poodles also have a great sense of humor, they just love life. When training a poodle you will often get the poodle adding its own variations to obedience exercises. They have a zest for life and almost seem to be able to read your mind. (Or they are just very good at picking up body language).
Standard poodles need to be clipped and groomed regularly by a professional groomer. With a little patience and practice you can learn how to do this yourself. Time spent grooming builds a great bond with your poodle.
Standard poodles are happy, healthy, sound, well adjusted dogs with good temperament and are suitable for conformation, agility, obedience and family companions.
The poodle should not be a wimpy and insecure dog. They should not be nervous, shy or snappy. They are very intelligent, easily trained, a good alert dog, non allergenic, like to be kept clean and are very family orientated. The standard poodle adjusts easily to most situations. Most of the neurotic smaller poodles that people see are made that way by their owners handling of them. Treat a poodle like a regular dog and it will behave as a dog should. Proper socialization and training will turn your cute little puppy into an intelligent, well behaved member of your family; where molly -coddling and carrying your poodle everywhere to protect it from life will turn it into a nervous wreck.
Poodle Clipping and Grooming
Poodles have always been clipped and trimmed and we have references of clipping the poodle from over 400 years ago. Paintings from the late 16th - and early 17th century depict the poodle's unique haircut. Some references also cite Roman coins and monuments dating back to A.D. 30. as depicting clipped poodles.
Most people think that breeders trim poodles on a whim and a fancy just for the show ring. The poodle clip that we see in the ring today is an elaborate form of the traditional lion trim that poodles have been dressed in for over four hundred years.
The poodle breed was developed in Central Europe (particularly in the region that's now Germany) where poodles were bred for use as water retrievers. (The word "poodle" is derived from the German pudel, short for pudelhund, which means "water dog. "Pudeln in German means "splash, "and is also the root of the English word "puddle.")
The Traditional Lion Trim
This functional trim or clip originated to help the dog in its work of retrieving birds from marshy areas. An unclipped poodle's thick coat could weigh it down in the water. Clipping the hair from the rear region made the poodle more buoyant and freed the dog's legs for efficient swimming. The long mane and hair around the chest were left intact to keep the poodle's vital organs warm in the cold water.
Picture: The Water Dog, woodcut by Gervaise Markham, 1621
The smaller puffs on the ankles of this trim provided warmth at the joints and the rosettes on the rump protected the kidneys. While most dogs were white or brown, hunters tied the hair above each dogs eyes with different colored yarn to enable them to distinguish between dogs at a distance. Plenty of hair was left on the top of the head and pompom on the end of the tail, which made it easier to lift the poodle from the water. The coat for hunting purposes is much shorter in length than what we see in the show ring today.
The long mane over the chest protected the heart and lungs while the tufts of hair on the legs protected the joints. Most people, unaware of the breeds history, laugh at this trim. Once you research the breed you will have a greater appreciation for the trims' utilitarian nature and realize that conformation show people do not fashion their dog's coat in this manner just to win at shows.
Poodles' haircuts evolved into some of the more ornate and elaborate incarnations we see today when the animals gained popularity in France, particularly in the 18th century under the reign of Louis XVI. Poodles, especially the smaller varieties, were popular with the nobility, who would mold the little dogs' hair into extravagant styles, sometimes mimicking the ornate pompadours that French men and women wore themselves at the time. Monograms were also clipped into the dog's coats.
Some people believe that the more elaborate poodle clips originated from their use as performing dogs with the circus. The poodles' coat would have been trimmed to resemble the ruffs seen on the neck, wrist and feet of a clown.
(Provided by Avonti Standard Poodles, February 2007)