It took me years to find out Standard Poodles weren’t actual kids in dog clothes. The smaller varieties are in fact kids, though. But I feel even more sorry for the Standard Poodles who are forced to wear their fur in a ridiculous manner. No dog that big should have to look like this.
There is nothing wrong with them physically, per say, but like the Pit Bull, Poodles have built a horrible reputation amongst people. Don’t believe me? Google: Why do people hate Poodles? There are literally hate groups for these dogs… yikes!
And while it’s not the same bad rap as the Pit Bull, blame it on the humans once again.
The lack of people preserving the Poodle’s colorful history as an intelligent, loving, retrieving dog has actually been replaced by pure foofoo’ness. People think Poodles are yappy, annoying, and put above humans. The lack of Poodles living an active lifestyle, or simply a normal pet life has left a masking effect on the Poodle’s natural smarts and working capabilities. The Standard Poodle is nothing more than a hot commodity. They are the kind of commodities that attract a lopsided demographic.
Show anyone who isn’t familiar with dog breeds a cute, scruffy dog and they’ll guess Poodle 100% of the time. OK, maybe they won’t always guess Poodle, but probably a Poodle-mix. Show that same bunch a Standard Poodle in a sporting-clip, and you’ll be playing the guessing game for hours.
To dive further into the topic, I did a survey of 1,000 people to prove my point: Poodles are disregarded animals in the canine kingdom. The survey closed as soon as I collected information from 500 men and 500 women through an anonymous electronic survey.
What was interesting to see was how the Poodle (all 3 varieties) were favored by women. 91% to be exact. The only percentage of men who answered “yes” to owning a Poodle of any variety were men who were aware of the Standards’ working history. An even smaller percentage of men (3%) considered adopting or purchasing the smaller varieties of Poodle.
This is also very clear at dog shows—stand around a ring where Poodles are being shown and it’s predominantly women spectating and running the show. Take a look in other rings and it’s an even split.
So why is it that Poodles have problems falling into the arms of men?
Easily put, Poodles are the most regal dogs in the canine kingdom; but most people (men especially) see them as frilly, prissy, high-maintenance, overdone… or along those lines.
For those who aren’t familiar with the popular continental clip, Poodle hair requires years of meticulous care so it can grow and be put into this show clip. Banding and wrapping their hair on a regular basis is required to avoid hair from breaking. And as one could imagine, no crazy play dates with Mother Nature. In retrospect, some show Poodles live out their lives as canvases. Similar to how racing Greyhounds eventually retire, I’ve heard Poodle people express, “I can’t wait until I title him so I can retire him and shave him.” Nothing wrong with that, considering these dogs all receive love and attention they deserve to live long and happy lives. But it’s obvious the maintenance enforced at the conformation level is out of hand.
Leila, our Standard Poodle, wears a sporting clip. You would not believe the number of times people come up to us and think she is a Labradoodle… or a Bedlington Terrier, or otherwise. They will argue and say, “but she looks different!” People just aren’t used to seeing Poodles without the poof above their head or tail. What‘s even more discerning to the uneducated eye, Leila has a natural tail. Her tail isn’t docked like normal Poodles. It’s irritating when we have to bicker with people. People always say, “Well, fine then, why doesn’t she have a Poodle clip or something?” I put my head down and smile when they say this, “You got me!” (Obviously I’m just screwing with their heads even more.)
After living with 3 Standard Poodles for quite some time, I’ve grown overly fond of them—granted, they are able to play and get dirty. Not only are Standard Poodles underrated Olympians, they’re ridiculously smart. Too smart in fact. They possess very strong minds which can be hard to control just like any working or sporting dog. It’s a good thing for me. I personally love it when dogs can think for themselves. It makes them amazing learners despite being quite the handful. There is no task too big for the Standard Poodle. However, I am not surprised they’re underutilized and sit comfortably in the non-sporting group.