About Standard Poodles

• about Poodles •

Standard Poodles

Why a poodle?

Sadly Standard Poodles have many myths associated with the breed and we will try and dispell some of the more common ones here:

Myth #1: Poodles are foo foo dogs

Answer: Poodles were actually originally bred as gundogs, retrieving waterfowl from the water for hunters. They still retain many of those instincts today. Standard Poodles love to play, have fun and get dirty just as much as any other member of the canine species. Poodles often surprise people with their goofiness and their sense of humor.

Myth #2: Poodles get fussy haircuts

Answer: Yes, but only if you want them to have one! The great thing about the coat of a Standard Poodle is that you can have it styled any way you choose that fits your lifestyle best. Want a frilly poofy haircut? You can do that! Want a low maintenance short style? You can do that too! And here is the biggest secret: your poodle can be groomed to be indistinguishable from a doodle if that's the style you like!

Myth #3: Poodles are mean/aggressive

Answer: No. Any Standard Poodle from a reputable, responsible breeder who selects for stable temperaments will not produce aggressive dogs. Well bred Standard Poodles should have a confident, friendly personality and not be fearful or aggressive. That said, it is also the responsibility of the owner to ensure their puppy receives proper training and socialization to build on the foundation a good breeder has given you.

Myth #4: Poodles are yappy

Answer: Yes, they can be if not trained just like many other breeds of dog. Poodles sometimes do tend to be more on the vocal side, but with training and consistency right from the start you can train them to bark only when appropriate.

Poodle Myths

I'll admit it, I wasn't a poodle person either until I met one. Once I got some experience with the breed my excitement for this underrated breed of dog grew and grew. Standard Poodles are exceptionally intelligent dogs. With some consistency and guidance you will be amazed at how easily poodles pick up concepts. Standard Poodles are a larger breed of dog ranging in height from over 15" to around 25" at the shoulder. (There is no upper limit for height for Standard poodles but most fall in the 22" to 25" range). Although long legged and elegant, the breed is not overly heavy, most Standard Poodles weigh 40 to 65 pounds. You'll love this breeds active nature, trainability and non-shedding characteristics. Standard Poodles make lovely active companions. Standard Poodles have kind, friendly and gregarious personalities. They are very people oriented and love being close to their family. The breed although well known for their elegance, also possess a goofiness and joyfulness. Most are medium-high energy but the breed possesses a very good "off switch" they understand when play time is over and it is time to relax! If you are looking for a non-shedding, intelligent, active family companion the Standard Poodle might be the dog for you!

Breed History

The Poodle, called the Pudel in German and the Caniche in French, is a breed of water retriever. The breed is divided into four varieties based on size, the Standard Poodle, Medium (Moyen) Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle, although the Moyen Poodle is not universally recognized only being a recognized size by the FCI and NOT with the Canadian or American Kennel Clubs. They have a distinctive thick, curly coat that comes in many colors and patterns. The only acceptable colors in the conformation show ring in CKC, AKC and FCI are solid colors, but UKC allow parti (patterned) colors to show in conformation. Poodles are active and intelligent, and are particularly able to learn from humans. Poodles tend to live 12–18 years, with smaller varieties tending to live longer than larger ones.

The Poodle likely originated in Germany. Similar dogs date back to at least the 14th century. Larger Poodles were originally used by waterfowl hunters to retrieve game from water, while smaller varieties were once commonly used as circus performers. Poodles were recognized by both the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom and the American Kennel Club (AKC) soon after the clubs' founding. Since the mid-20th century, Poodles have enjoyed enormous popularity as pets and show dogs – Poodles were the AKC's most registered breed from 1960 to 1982, and are now the FCI's third most registered breed.

Poodles are a highly intelligent, energetic, and sociable breed. A 1994 book by Stanley Corey ranked them second out of 130 breeds in "working and obedience intelligence", a measure of their ability to learn from humans. They are an active dog, requiring regular physical and intellectual activities. Shyness, aggression or sharpness is considered a serious fault in the breed. Though not suitable as a guard dog because it is neither a territorial breed nor particularly aggressive, Poodles tend to be protective of their families and are good with children. They are however alert watchdogs and will often alert owners to the presence of strangers on their property by barking.

Overall, the Poodle is a comparatively healthy breed, and there are no health problems unique to the breed. Poodles have a life expectancy of 10-18 years.

Despite their overall good health, there are some health concerns in the breed to be aware of. Some of the most common hereditary poodle diseases are the skin disease sebaceous adenitis (estimated prevalence 2.7%) and Addison's disease, an endocrine system disorder.

History of Multi Color Poodles

These are excerpts from the article History of the Parti Colored Poodle from the blog Huxtable the Poodle. You can check out the full article here.

When describing, drawing, painting, and discussing poodles in the 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s the color was most often parti-colored.

In fact, the first ever dog book for the United States of America has a parti-colored poodle for "The Poodle". So pre early to mid 1900s a parti colored poodle was what people automatically thought of when they thought poodle. So in laymans terms-- what color do you think of when you say Labrador Retriever-- most likely yellow or black in color, right? Well, that's how the parti poodle was viewed.
It wasn't until the early 1900s did solid color poodles become viewed as the "correct" color for the breed. During that time solid became the preferred color, and the popularity made its way into the United States where many fell suit.

In that time period there were a few notable kennels that continued to breed parti poodles even though many were working hard to eliminate the parti poodle from poodle history, one of which was named Vulcan Kennels of England. Many of the Vulcan Kennel partis were derived from poodles bred by Jane Lane of the famous Nunsoe Kennels. So though there were breeders culling partis, there were still admirable breeders that were dedicated to breeding parti colored poodles.

There were two main ways some breeders and show dog people worked to eliminate the parti poodle: 1.) By culling them (historically, this meant killing them but presently means just removing that dog from breeding stock) 2.) By purposely not registering them. So when a solid poodle would produce/birth parti poodle puppies (as they often did since they themselves came from a parti), the breeder would only register that poodle as having solid-colored puppies, this went on for generations and generations. This unethical practice actually taints the true pedigree of many poodles born between the late 1800s and late 1900s/early 2000s.

It is thought that "Parti" is just a shortened way to say Partially-colored, Partial-colored, or Partly-colored. So Parti Poodle, is a shortened way to say Partially-colored poodle. The term parti was not used initially when discussing poodles, but became popular at some point in the 1900s (likely in the mid 1900s). The term is thought to have came about when dog shows and poodle breeding became more popular (and as solid colors came into popularity). 'Partially' translated in French is partiellement, which can also be shortened to Parti.

Parti is also thought to comes from the French word partager which means, "divide" "split" which would in turn refer to the poodle's coat color being split up or "divided" into two different colors or being "of two colors". Partager was then shortened or conjugated into "Parti".

Artists have been painting poodles for centuries and the oldest paintings and drawings of poodles display the poodle being of two colors, usually white and black -or- white and brown.

One of the earliest paintings/depictions of a poodle is an oil painting painted on a plank of oak dated 1496. The painting is the Auckland Museum and shows the virgin mother and child with saints and a few poodle miniature parti poodles in the continental clip.

One of the most famous earlier poodle paintings is a baroque style oil painting by Rembrandt dated 1631. The painting is a self portrait of Rembrandt with a brown and white poodle.

Two artist in particular that are known to have painted animals, including dogs were John Wootton and George Stubbs.

John Wootton (1682-1764) was an English painter whose interest included battle scenes, sporting subjects, landscapes, and dogs. John Wootton was known as one of the pioneers in painting sporting subjects. His paintings were highly sought after by royalty. It is thought that George Stubbs went on to follow in the footsteps of John Wootton. He painted Duke Thomas Osborne's poodle (which was parti colored) in the early 17th century.

There are many photos of poodles throughout history, and it is quite notable that poodles are most often painted and drawn as having two colors. "Ancient Poodles", as some may call it, were often written about as "water spaniels" and "pudels" b/c they were "puddle dogs" meaning "water dogs". Though poodles are the premier show dogs in modern times, they were originally water and sporting dogs-- hence their famous cuts. The poofy ankles, wrist, and chest aren't just random designs, they assisted in poodles being able to swim more efficiently and effectively. (Poodles also have webbed feet, which is a trait fo water dogs).

Many, if not most books on poodles and dogs in general were published in the 1900s-- during a time when there became a preference for solids, strictly because of their popularity. Therefore most books, which were usually written by those in the "show dog" world, would either not mention parti's or would mention them negatively as to influence the mainstream and confirm and implement their new standard. Those who wrote honestly and unbiased of the breed always mentioned the original two-colored coat of the poodle, as one book states, "Before the standards were fixed in England, France, Germany, and in the USA poodles of all sizes were to be found spotted and white, or white spotted with colors--parti-colored as such dogs are called." The original color of poodles in all countries-- England, France, Russia, Germany, and the USA were all "parti" colored. So that means even the original "french poodle" is a two-colored poodle, most likely black and white, then bred to be all white or all black.

We believe that losing such an important part of the breeds history would be a real shame for the breed. Our belief is to preserve the parti poodle, breeding the best examples we can and bring this part of the history of the breed forward into the future.

Poodle Color Chart

Click on the photo below to expand the poodle color chart.