The standard poodle is an active, intelligent and elegant dog, squarely built, and well proportioned. To ensure the desirable squarely built appearance, the length of body measured from the breastbone to the point of the rump approximates the height from the highest point of the shoulders to the ground. The eyes should be very dark, oval in shape, and have an alert and intelligent expression. The ears should fold over close to the head, set at, or slightly below, eye level. The coat should be of naturally curly texture, dense throughout, although most AKC-registered show dogs have a lion-cut or other, similarly shaven look.
Poodles are bred in a variety of sizes, distinguished by adult shoulder (withers) height. There are four sizes : standard, medium, miniature, and toy. Non-FCI kennel clubs generally recognize three sizes, standard, miniature, and toy, sometimes as sizes of the same breed and sometimes as separate breeds. Only the FCI describes a maximum size for Standard Poodles. France is the country responsible for the breed in the FCI, and in this country, the puppies of all sizes are listed together. The terms royal standard, teacup, and tiny teacup are marketing names, and are not recognized by any major kennel club.
Unlike most dogs which have double coats, poodles have a single layer coat (no undercoat is present) composed of dense, curly fur that sheds minimally. They could be considered hypoallergenic (though not completely allergen free). The poodle does shed, but instead of the fur coming off the dog, it becomes tangled in the surrounding hair. This can lead to matting without proper care.
Poodles have either a solid-colored or parti-colored coat. The dogs have a wide variety of coloring, including white, black, brown, parti, silver, gray, silver beige, apricot, red, cream, sable, and patterns such as phantom and brindle.
Classified as highly energetic, poodles can also get bored fairly easily, and have been known to get creative about finding mischief: they require walks, toys, and games of fetch regularly to remain happy. Poodles are highly trainable dogs that rarely need to be told what to do more than a few times and any of the three types will pass through an advanced obedience class with flying colours. A dog of this breed will do exceedingly well at any dog sport asked of it, including dog agility, flyball, dock diving, field tracking, and even schutzhund, and will make a wonderful companion on hiking trips or any trip involving swimming in the water, once it teaches itself to paddle along with its master and wear a life vest in deeper water.
Standard Poodles are the most highly recommended for families with children. They have a kindly demeanor and a love of playing games; as with all dogs and babies, introductions should be gradual, though most Standards will tolerate a baby and learn to be gentle and will respect toddlers so long as the child is supervised. A Standard Poodle will be fine in a family with many children, provided the environment is a stable, orderly, and happy one with a backyard and a place to escape and relax if the usual family misrule escalates into pandemonium.
Generally speaking, the Standard Poodle is a healthy breed. The most common serious health issues of Standard Poodles are Addison’s disease, gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV = bloat/torsion), thyroidissues, tracheal collapse, epilepsy, juvenile renal disease and hip dysplasia.