Poodles have a reputation for being “sissies.” They way their hair is cut for shows probably doesn't help that image, but Poodles are by no means fragile, shrinking violets. They are outgoing, friendly dogs who love to run and romp, and interestingly, they were originally used to assist hunters of water fowl. They are true family dogs who can play hard with children all afternoon, then curl up in the living room for an evening of relaxation. Poodles make excellent watchdogs, they are alert and curious and will sound the alarm that a person or animal is approaching. They make an excellent choice for families of all sizes and ages, and are great for first time dog owners.
Standard Poodles are large dogs who need lots of room to move, both indoors and out. They are well-behaved inside, which can make them attractive for people who live in cities or in condominiums, but unless a commitment is made to exercising your Poodle, these may not be the best environments. Daily walks and the chance to run can keep your Standard Poodle happy and healthy.
They are a smart breed who need to use their minds as much as their bodies, so it is important to give your Poodle lots of interesting activities to do during the day, and you should consider enrolling your Poodle in agility activities where they can use both mind and body at the same time.
Poodles are highly trainable dogs. They catch on very quickly to patterns and don't require much motivation beyond praise and a couple of treats. Poodles should never be treated harshly as they will simply stop listening to you. They are natural learners, however, so they shouldn't test your patience too far during training sessions.
Once basic obedience has been mastered, Poodles should graduate on to advanced obedience, trick training, or the agility course. They are thinking dogs and will appreciate the opportunity to learn new things.
The biggest mistake Standard Poodle owners is not exercising them enough. The breed's reputation for being dainty leads novice owners to believe these dogs don't require vigorous activity, but they need to run daily. Poodles who don't get enough exercise can be anxious or destructive.
Poodles are sensitive dogs who like to live in peaceful environments. If your house is full of chaos, it can cause your Poodle unnecessary stress. Though they are good with kids, they often don't do well in homes with lots of children where there may be a great deal of yelling and tension.