Proud and Pretty

More than just flashy looks, the Standard Poodle is a caring, devoted family pet.

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Grace Blair was sick — too weak to throw a ball or go for walks, and coughing, always coughing. Soon she was in the hospital. Diagnosis: pneumonia. She recovered and returned home, but her Standard Poodle Gable remained permanently changed.“For years after that, every time I’d cough, Gable would grab my arm in his mouth, wrap his legs around my waist, and look at me very worriedly,” says Blair, a 30-year Poodle breeder and retired cardiac surgeon in Sheridan, Mont. “Standards make tremendous connections,” she notes. To Gable, coughing equaled Blair’s impending departure.

When Blair comes down with a cold these days, her new dog, a white Standard named Powder, is less concerned. “Powder’s more like, ‘As soon as you catch your breath, throw this toy for me!’” she says. “He’s sensitive, but he’s not a caregiver like Gable.”

Born to Pudel
Although gentle and affectionate, the Standard Poodle also has a working dog’s energy and thinking ability. The name Pudel, or Poodle, comes from the German word for “splashing in water.” And that’s what they did best — retrieve fallen fowl from the water. Even in France, where the national dog’s popularity earned it the nickname French Poodle, he is called “duck dog.”

Want to read the full story? Pick up the November 2006 issue of DOG FANCY today.



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