The largest of the poodles, the Standard Poodle was originally a hunting dog, especially as a water dog and retriever. The traits that made them excellent hunting dogs are still present today: a good working intelligence, webbed feet (making them good swimmers), athleticism, and a water-resistant protective hair coat. They were also trained as working war dogs during WWII.
Standard Poodles have become a very popular dog breed since then and make excellent family pets, but do have some health and behavior issues to be aware of. When purchasing a Standard Poodle chose one that has been genetically screened by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) to help minimize the numerous genetic conditions of this breed.
They can suffer from separation anxiety and other behavior issues. Good socialization and obedience training are extremely helpful for Standard Poodles, beginning in puppyhood. A commitment to caring for their coats regularly is also important, as the poodle coat grows continuously and will become tangled and matted without regular brushing and grooming.
If you dog is lethargic, is drooling thick saliva, or appears bloated, it could have GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus). This is an emergency, and should be checked immediately if you poodle shows any of these symptoms.
Addison’s disease (a disorder of the adrenal glands) is especially prevalent in Standard Poodles compared to other dog breeds. Symptoms are variable, and can be subtle. They range from a pet that seems a little sluggish to complete collapse, and anything in between. Any symptom of disease in your poodle warrants an exam and a blood panel to check for this.
They can also get another adrenal gland disease called Cushing’s. In this disease they will routinely drink and urinate more than usual, might pant excessively, have skin changes, and even a pot bellied abdomen.
von Willibrand’s Disease (a type of hemophilia) can cause anemia. There might not be any symptoms, or your pet might be lethargic, have decreased exercise tolerance, and have a poor appetite. Our learning center shows you how to check the gums for anemia. This disease is diagnosed with a blood panel.
Heart disease can also occur, so a routine yearly exam can help detect this by listening to a murmur or irregular heart beat.
An eye problem with the retina can occur. If your pet has any vision problems this needs to be checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist.
Standard Poodles are hardy and long-lived dogs. Keeping their weight down, and having their teeth cleaned every 6 months with our non-anesthetic dental, along with constant monitoring for problems, is the best way for them to achieve their full lifespan.
All of these possible problems emphasize the need for yearly exams and routine diagnostic tests to catch problems early. Many of the diseases of this breed are found in the Diseases section of our web site.