The Standard Poodle Breed
Traditionally the Standard Poodle, the largest of the subtypes, was a retriever or gun dog, used for duck hunting and upland bird hunting. The modern Standard Poodle retains many of the traits prized by their original owners: a keen working intelligence that makes the dog easy to command, webbed feet that make it an agile swimmer (all of the poodle’s ancestors and descendants had or share the love of water) athletic stamina, and a moisture-resistant, curly coat that acts like a wool jumper in damp conditions. Towards the second half of the nineteenth century their use in hunting declined in favor of their use in circuses and status symbols of the wealthy, so that by the 20th century they were only found as companions or circus dogs.
The breed has been used for hunting in the USA and Canada since the early 1990. However, in the past 20 years, some standard poodle breeders in the United States and Canada have been selecting dogs with drive for birds in order to revive the breed for hunting, with some great success. The Canadian Kennel Club admitted the Standard Poodle for hunting trials in 1996 and the American Kennel Club in 1998, respectively. As of July 2014, the end results of 20 years of breeding to reawaken the hunting instinct have been dogs that are very eager to please their masters, extreme intelligence that requires special training (-their extreme intelligence is second only to the British Border Collie and requires the gunman to be quite specific as to what he wants, unlike most other spaniels and retrievers-) and a dog that has lightning quick reflexes, sprinting hard on command after the downed bird. Standard Poodles have been winning titles against the more widely used native breeds like the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Labrador Retriever. Thus far 13 Standard Poodles have won Master Hunt titles (12 in the United States, 1 in Canada) and several more have won senior and junior titles on both sides of the border. Currently only the United Kennel Club in the US recognizes the Standard Poodle as a Sporting dog, thus in spite of this subtype of poodle being ineligible for field competitions more and more are appearing in the field as waterfowl dogs and hunters of pheasant, the latter especially in the Midwest.
The Standard Poodles have become more and more popular and therefore Standard Poodle Breeders have emerged to provide the ever-growing demand for them as household pets as well as many other uses such as utility, tracking, hunting, therapy and service dogs. For many years in the United States, Standard Poodle Breeders bred all solid colored standard poodles although since their foundation colors genetically were multi-colored as well as solid colored, standard poodle breeders have always had the multi-colors crop out in their litters. The multi-colors today are called: Phantom Standard Poodles, Brindle Standard Poodles, Sable Standard Poodles and Parti Standard Poodles and in Parti colors there is the Tuxedo Parti markings which is a full blanket back from the withers to the tail with a large white chest.