Despite its “froo-froo” reputation, the Poodle actually was bred as a working water retriever. It is said to have descended from the Barbet and the Hungarian Water Hound. The elaborate, exaggerated trims seen on Standard Poodles in the show ring today are actually a quite practical adaptation of trims developed to facilitate its life as a tough working water dog. Its dense coat was shaved to facilitate its progress and speed, and to provide protection and maintain warmth in key areas, while it was retrieving in icy water. This led to the clipping pattern that it is known for and shown in today. It remains one of the best waterfowl retrievers. The Standard Poodle was also admired for its ability to sniff out truffles, a prized mushroom that remains a culinary delicacy to this day. Poodles were common in Europe well before the eighteenth century, particularly in Spain, Germany and France. There are three distinct varieties of Poodles today: the Toy, the Miniature and the Standard. They come in black, white, brown, cream, blue, gray, silver, apricot and any other solid color. However, despite the size differences, this is still one breed, governed by the same standard. The Standard is the foundation for all other poodles.
Poodles are known for their extreme intelligence, athleticism and trainability, and they are remarkable family companions. Despite their fancy reputation, Standard Poodles are terrific outdoor dogs. They enjoy and excel at all types of outdoor activities, including field trials, agility, fly ball, rally, obedience and other outdoor sports. The Standard Poodle remains a skilled retrieving and hunting dog and thrives in the conformation ring, as well.
The average life span of a Standard Poodle is 10 to 15 years. Breed health concerns may include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patent ductus arteriosis, dilated cardiomyopathy, patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, sebaceous adenitis, a number of skin problems, renal disorders and von Willebrand disease.