Scratch Dog or Not – Are Standard Poodles Hypoallergenic?
Pet allergies are not to be sneezed at, they affect 10% of Americans and while cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies, many who would love to own a canine companion find they are sensitive to the species.
Step forward the Standard Poodle, this champion of the showring, with his fancy haircuts and proud demeanor, this large hypoallergenic dog breed is not just for show however, Intelligent, playful and great with kids the Standard Poodle could be the perfect choice for allergy sufferers.
Is It True, Is the Standard Poodle a Hypoallergenic Dog?
While no dog is completely allergy-free, this breed is considered the best choice for those who break out in hives or sneeze and wheeze around man's best friend. Of course, symptoms vary and there are no guarantees with any so-called hypoallergenic breeds, but the Poodle usually tops any list of the best hypoallergenic dogs, which is why it is usually used to create the many mixed breed hypoallergenic dogs that are becoming so popular.
What does hypoallergenic actually mean?
What is a hypoallergenic dog? Many people think this means an allergy-free dog but they are wrong. Hypoallergenic means there is less chance of someone suffering a reaction, not no chance at all and this should be taken into account when choosing a dog for allergy sufferers. Do Standard Poodles shed? yes, but very little and the particles do not become airborne meaning there is much less chance of triggering a reaction.
3 Reasons Why the Standard Poodle is a Choice Breed Among Allergy Sufferers
Standard Poodle and allergies - What should I do?
The single most important thing an allergy sufferer who is considering bringing a dog into their lives needs to do, is spend time with their dog of choice. You may be fine with other Poodles you have come into contact with, but reactions vary from dog to dog and the last thing anyone wants is another pooch in the local shelter.
Don't despair if you have done your research and decide that the hypoallergenic Standard Poodle is the breed for you, there are a couple of things you can try:
5 Ways to Reduce the Risk of an Allergic Reaction from Your Pooch
All about the Standard Poodle - Origin of the Breed
The largest and the oldest of the 3 sizes of this breed, the Standard Poodle originated in Germany (Not France, as many people think) They were water-dogs with hunters using them to retrieve fallen birds in marshlands and swamps. Their name comes from the German word "Pudeln" which means to splash about in water and there is reference to the breed and pictures of Standard Poodles as far back as the 1400s.
During the 19th Century their intelligence, looks and disposition led to them being breed down to produce the miniature and toy versions and they became a favorite companion dog among the royal courts of Europe. They were so popular during the reign of Louis XVI that France adopted the breed and they became the country's national dog.
There is much controversy today about Poodles being crossed with other breeds to produce hybrid or so-called designer dogs but it is not a modern practice. In fact, 200 years ago they played a part in achieving the coat of the Curly Coated Retriever and the Irish Water Spaniel to name just two.
The AKC recognized the breed in 1887 three years after being founded the same year as the Great Dane. Nowadays the Poodle is renowned for being the ultimate show-dog with it fancy and sometimes comical haircuts. This is however, a misconception Standard Poodles are at heart a retriever and sporting dog, excelling at agility, obedience and working trials.
Poodles are ranked the 7th most popular dog in America although Standards are not as common as the smaller versions.
The Standard Poodle is an elegant well-proportioned dog. The question "how big do Standard Poodles get?" can be a bit of a lottery with all standing above 15 inches but the average is usually around 22 inches in height. They can weigh anything from 45-70 pounds. They have a long muzzle with oval shaped dark eyes that have an intelligent expression their ears hang close to the side of the head. The most distinguishing feature of the Standard Poodle is their single coat which should be dense and naturally curly. They can be seen in a wide variety of colors including:
Standard Poodles are a highly intelligent, sociable, energetic and make excellent family pets. They are not as hyper as the smaller versions and are much more tolerant of children, they have a kind nature and love to play. They are alert and make great watchdogs.
They are highly trainable because of their eagerness to please and quick understanding of commands. They need a lot of both physical and intellectual stimulation to prevent boredom setting in. They are sensitive and don't do well when left at home for long periods. While their fancy clips might make them look a bit "girly", it couldn't be further from the truth. The Poodle clip actually protected the dogs from the reeds in the marshes and kept them warm in cold water. The Standard Poodle loves to swim, play and work and is a complete all-rounder for the active family who want a large hypoallergenic breed.
If you are considering one of these beautiful dogs you may wonder "How long do Standard Poodles live?" the good news is; for a large breedThe Standard Poodle has a long life-span for a large dog around 12-15 years but like all breeds they do have some specific health issues to be aware of including:
As with many of the hypoallergenic dog breeds Standard Poodles can be prone to allergies themselves so living with an allergy sufferer could be beneficial to them too as most people that are sensitive to certain proteins will keep their homes clean and as allergy-free as possible. If you notice your pooch is scratching excessively or constantly licking their paws, talk to your vet it may be a simple solution of just changing their diet. Hypoallergenic dog foods are easier on the digestive system of many dogs including the Standard Poodle.
Choosing the correct food for your Standard Poodle is one of the most important factors in them leading a long, healthy active life so don't just reach for the first one you come across at the store.
Dogs have different nutritional needs throughout their lives, for example puppies need to grow while older dogs are not as active and may need joint supplements so it is important to understand what these are and feed appropriately.
Some commercial brands may not be suitable for your sensitive Standard Poodle, that is because they contain artificial flavorings, preservatives, fillers and by-products or ingredients known to be a cause of allergies such as wheat, soy and corn.
The best choice is a premium quality grain-free food or alternatively one of the increasingly popular hypoallergenic dog foods available. Remember to also check the ingredients in snacks and treats.
Poodles can be fussy eaters as they are quicker than other breeds to become bored. If this is the case mix it up a little try switching from chicken to fish or giving them part of their daily allowance in a treat dispenser.
Finding A Good Standard Poodle Breeder
As with any breed of dog, if you wish to purchase a puppy it is important to do some research, find out all about the Standard Poodle and find a responsible breeder, not rush out and buy the first pup you see in the classifieds or even worse in a pet store window.
Reputable breeders put the welfare of their puppies above all else and if you want a healthy Standard Poodle with a great temperament the best place to start is the The Poodle Club of America not only can they give you lots of information about this wonderful purebred hypoallergenic dog breed, you will be able to find local events where you can find great contacts and they also have a breeder referral program.
Word of mouth is the best recommendation, so go online talk to owners and ask where they got their dogs, even better talk to people who suffer from asthma or allergies and actually live with the breed. Compile a shortlist and start making enquiries, good breeders do not have a constant supply of puppies so be prepared to wait a while if you want that perfect pooch.
A great breeder of hypoallergenic Poodle puppies will encourage you to visit their premises, provide all the relevant health screening results, a sales contract for if things don't work out. They will have had the litter vet-checked and treated for parasites, give you written information about the puppy's diet and ongoing care. Most importantly they will ask you questions, don't be put off by this, they want to be sure their puppy is going to the right owner.
3 Red Flags to Look Out for When Searching a Standard Poodle Breeder
Adopting a Standard Poodle from a Rescue or Shelter
Everyone know puppies are hard work and require a lot of time and patience initially, especially a lively, energetic Standard Poodle. Another thing to consider is that dog urine can be a major trigger for allergy sufferers so proximity to pee should be avoided, difficult in a puppy that hasn't been housebroken yet, so with these things in mind you may consider adopting an older dog that will fit in with your lifestyle better.
While it is rare to find a purebred Standard Poodle at the local shelter there are breed specific rescue associations that have all sizes of Poodle along with other hypoallergenic Poodle mixes that could just be waiting for that special someone to give them a second chance.
You could also join online owners' groups and forums where you may get the heads-up on a local dog that needs rehoming, this way you are able to find out the dog's history so know what you are getting.
How Much Will a Standard Poodle Set You Back?
The purebred hypoallergenic Standard Poodle doesn't come cheap with some breeders asking up to $3000, but the good news is depending on where you live, the sex and conformation lines of the dog that you can pick up a quality puppy for between $500-$1500
It is important to remember that the initial outlay is not the only expense with this breed you will need to take into account premium quality food, vet's bills, training classes, toys, insurance and grooming costs of between $70-$150 every 6-8 weeks for up to 15 years, unless of course you learn to do it yourself.
It's a Wrap
So, there you have it, just why the Standard Poodle is one the best hypoallergenic dog breeds in the world. Although some people can still suffer symptoms around them the risk of doing so is lower than most other dog breeds and can usually be managed by taking precautions.
Contrary to their public image the hypoallergenic Standard Poodle is not a frou-frou dog in fact, they are far from it and can keep up with the most active of families. They are easy to train and perfect for first time owners although they do not like to be left home alone all day.
They get on with children, other dogs and make excellent watchdogs, and although their coats are high maintenance they are a non-shedding dog which produces no doggy odor (another bonus)
All in all, the the Standard Poodle is not only one of the best large hypoallergenic dogs they are arguably one of the best dog breeds. Period!