We lost our female Catahoula Lily at 13 years of age. Severe skin allergies were a plague in her later years.
Kidney failure finally did her in.
Our male TC was put down at 14.5 years. In the end he went deaf and had regular bouts with malignant tummy tumors.
His name was originally short for Teeth & Claws. In his advanced age, TC stood for Tumor Control.
The next prospect was going was going to be cut from different cloth and those traits would include:
1. More hair and little to no presence of the Merle gene.
2. Non shedder.
3. Could be protective and a bit formidable if need be.
4. At least medium sized - 50 to 70 pounds.
5. IQ high up on the canine intelligence scale.
6. Veterinarian Approved for Climate, Health and Personality.
I compiled a list of half a dozen or so breeds and presented it to the local Vet. He took about ten seconds and pronounced the Standard Poodle as reasonably bullet proof, highly intelligent, large enough to be a deterrent and a non-shedder
(Poodles have hair, not fur - I did not know that).
The downside was the cost of grooming and the possibility of trouble with stomach torsion.
The other downside is my opinion of the breed in general and it is specifically confined to the small, old and almost always white footballs with the gray circles around the eyes, tear streaks down past their noses and temperaments paralleling those of dachshunds.
I am sure you have seen them....
Walk by an expensive full sized car and get startled by a pint-sized Mike Tyson wannabe, held by a little old man or lady who just can't quite seem to figure out why their darling is going nuts yapping at you, an innocent passerby.
Makes me wish as a minimum that I carried mace.
This wouldn't be a problem if owners would actually take the time to adequately socialize their dogs.
Then of course there was the paperboy episode in the summer many moons ago when I was walking up a long flight of stairs to an apartment when a door opened and one of those football dogs darted out and and latched onto my ankle, drawing blood and bruising the hell out of my Achilles tendon.
I back-kicked the little *@*#$ off a really long flight of stairs.
Lady called the cops, someone called my mom, dog didn't have proof of vaccination, I had to get shots, lady wanted to take dog to the vet, cops called animal control to quarantine dog.......all in all a fun-filled afternoon.
To this day my opinion of Poodles in general is slightly 'colored' and it will be cold day in hell before I ever own a white one.
A Black and White Poodle though.........had to do some thinking about that.
Introducing D&D's Love Sponge - aka Max
Pictured here is the end result of a month or so of further research. This is what's referred to as a Standard Parti-Poodle.
Parti-Poodles can be registered through the AKC and the UKC. This particular parti-poodle sports dual citizenship.
However, Parti-Poodles cannot be shown in the AKC. The AKC does not approve of spots.
The UKC is less fickle about spots and it is actually an older breed registry.
Max rapidly became a major source of aggravation for Rufus, the Cairn Terrier.
Just Desserts, if you ask me.
Ahh, the joys of puppyhood.
Poodle hair does not curl for a number of months and then the amount of curl depends on the genes.
While this may look like a large animal, reality is two inches of hair and about 20 pounds of dog.
This time around training went somewhat better. Pictured is more of a socialization exercise than a training class.
We had some debate as to whether a Parti-Poodle with a black and white coat would in fact stay black and white once exposed to the back yard.
I figured since most of the back was sand anyway, getting dirty wouldn't be much of an issue.
Boy was I wrong.
Ideally, this is what I thought we would be seeing 90% of the time.
Reality is all too often another story.
This particular Standard Parti-Poodle when younger, was not a brave soul.
For a while I thought 'D&D's Super Chicken' would have been a much more appropriate registry name.
On this day, there must have been a dozen or so of the smaller breeds awaiting their turn.
Rufus fit right in.
For Max, it was 'Somebody save me! I am under assault from a roving band of marauding pygmies!'
This is Max's first official photo shoot and no, I'm not holding a gun to his head.
All in all, the haircut experience went well but boy was it exhausting.....
Pictures can be deceptive and this is one of them.
Louisiana Catahoula on the left side - 13 years old and 85 pounds.
Standard Parti-Poodle on the right - 6 months and 38 pounds.
My stereotypical image of a Poodle was that of a lounge dog - you know.....
The Poodle lounging on the couch,
Lounging on a bed,
Or perhaps lounging in a favorite chair.
After all, that's what you see on TV.
The perfect apartment dog......right?
Standard Poodles are high-energy hunters and they love to run. The only thing they love more than running, is water.
We soon found out that the Standard Poodle's personal credo was something akin to:
'It matters not how safe you are......it's all about how fast you can go.' - and Standard Poodles can move......
Standard Poodle Theme Song - 'I Can't Drive 55'
Fall was approaching and sometimes in the afternoons after a rain, slick spots would develop on the back porch.
The only catalyst required to get this Particular Poodle moving is to step outside and then it's off to the races - mad dashes round the back acre, charging through bushes, leaping over Mormon tea and scaring the bejesus out of any quail
(better known as breakfast snack on the wing) unfortunate enough to be caught roosting under a bush in the back yard.
On this Particular day, my wife stepped outside and Max spun around and took a flying leap off the back porch.
Unfortunately for us and for him, whilst taking flying leap off the deck, he did so on a patch of ice and his trajectory was altered.......
....altered straight into the corner of a pipe fence.
The unfortunate episode resulted in blood all over the back seat of the car and a whole bunch of stitches and........
The Cone from Hell.
As my wife says, 'You don't know what hell is until you spend six weeks with a cone poking you in the butt every time you get up to go anywhere...'
The Poodle soon discovered that the cone made a convenient holder for toys and if the toy was a ball, he could spin the ball around inside his cone.
Or, he could walk around with a football nestled along side his face.
The Standard Poodle is usually listed as the second-most intelligent of all dog breeds, falling in line right behind the Australian Shepherd.
I would hazard a guess that the Standard Poodle is actually as smart but the problem lies in the ability to focus.
In other words, this Particular Parti-Poodle could be the canine poster child for Attention Deficit Disorder.
Case in point:
After tiring of Poodle toys strewn about the room on any given day, I decided to teach Max to put his toys in a basket.
In true Poodle fashion, it did not take long.
Within a few days, he could search out and return 7-10 toys scattered throughout different rooms in the house.
Returning them one after the other was another issue.
There were just so many distractions.....
The interesting speck of dust on the floor..
The air conditioning unit turning on...
Trotting half way down the hall, brain misfire and forgetting what he was trotting down the hall for...
Did he eat at all today?.....better grab a mouthful of kibble and dribble it all over the floor just in case.
The TV changed channels
UhOh.... Rufus actually moved. Better go check that out.
Oh look! - Socks in the clothes basket!
............Keeping a Poodle on task is not easy.
However, a perfect retrieve of multiple toys hidden in multiple rooms behind doors, couches and obscure corners while improbable, is possible - and I finally have proof!
Toy Retrieval Video - Flawless Execution!
Standard Poodles can display a Formidable Intellect at an early age
Six months old:
My wife was out vacuuming off the mat on the deck under the watchful eye of the Poodle with one of those cannister cleaners with foot switches for turning on and off the vacuum and retracting the cord.
When she got done she retracted the cord and set the vacuum off to the side, putting everything else out of reach of the Poodle and went inside.
Several minutes later there was a tremendous thump outside and my wife rushed out to see what happened. What happened was the Poodle managed to grab hold of the retracted power cord, pulled it out and around a couple flower pots on stands, bringing a bunch of them crashing to the deck.
She chewed out the dog, righted the flower pots and hooked up the vacuum again to clean up the mess.
A minute or two later in the middle of vacuuming, the vacuum stopped. My wife started to look around and then the vacuum started again. And then it stopped. And then it started again. She figured the Poodle must have chewed into the cord, shorting out the power supply. The vacuum stopped again.
She turned around to ensure the vacuum was in fact turned off only to see the Poodle pressing down with his paw on the power switch and turning the vacuum on. The Poodle's head popped slightly back, looking around like he was kind of proud of himself and then he proceeded to press down on the power switch several times until the vacuum turned off.
That kind of intelligence and power of observation in a Poodle pup only 6 months old is almost scary.
What was his partner in crime, Rufus the Cairn Terrier doing while all this was going on?
We'd never given much thought in the past to taking a dog with us on vacation and one year we decided to give it a try,
not so much because it was a wonderful idea, but because boarding fees suddenly got very expensive.
We found in short order that taking along a Standard Parti-Poodle fresh from the hair dressers has two distinct advantages:
1: They are had to lose. You can see a Standard Parti-Poodle from a mile away.
2: These dogs are unusual and are Absolute Show Stoppers when freshly groomed.
Therefore, they make excellent ice breakers whilst on vacation.
There were some days where if all we wanted to do is talk dogs, just walk slowly down any busy street and one could talk for hours.
People who would probably never talk to you sans dog, would talk as long as you wanted with a dog. And....you find out many interesting things like little-known beaches where dogs are allowed to run free, the best places to eat, walking trails only a local would be aware of, local shops which offer truly good deals.....and so on.
Pictured here is a lady from Bakersfield who shows both her dogs. She really liked Max's conformation and asked if we were going to show, one day.
We might.......one day.
You never know haw someone is going to respond when seeing a Parti-Poodle for the first time.
From this couple it was:
'Young lady, that has to be one of the skinniest spotted cows I've ever seen. You're not keeping a cow in your room, are you?'
Many wineries in California come complete with wine dogs and books have been published about same.
Castoro Vineyards had a wine Poodle. This dog was 14 years old - very old for a Standard Poodle.
Vineyards as a rule, welcome other well-behaved dogs. They are also great places to talk not only all things wine, but all things dogs.
You meet lots of interesting people at wineries.
Max only found the Poodle marginally interesting, and the old man was much more interested in making it to the other side of the parking lot to get #1 out of the way than he was in Max.
He walked very gingerly, but walking is still walking and at that age it is often considered an accomplishment.
The question has come up more than once: Are Standard Poodles Water Dogs?
Yup, Poodles like water and it can be a pain trying to get any watering done with a Standard Poodle in the vicinity.
Word of Warning - use care when playing with the hose. A Poodle can easily impale himself on a fence or other object while chasing after streams of water. If the Standard Poodle has any common sense at all, it vacates the brain with the first shot of water out of the hose.
That aside, hoses are great fun!
The river is also great fun and we had to retire early because Max was irritating the other dogs in that a person would throw a ball, the other dogs would have a 20 foot head start and Max would still get the ball first. Every time.
In the water, a big-footed two dimensional Standard Poodle has a distinct advantage.
The Poodle is long and tall and has little breadth.
In other words the Standard Poodle is a skinny, powerful swimmer that easily parts the water much more quickly than the more robust breeds in order to reach the target.
For this reason, use some caution as to where you let your Poodle loose and use some common sense because a Poodle in water has no common sense.
Standard Poodles love the ocean.
........and retrieving seaweed from the ocean.
Certain Poodles have also been known to try to retrieve surfers, kite boarders, seagulls and fishing net floats.
Certain Poodle's brains begin to short-circuit from all the added sensory input and therefore must be leashed up and calmed down at regular intervals
That aside, the ocean is great fun! Need to watch out for those waves, though.
Standard Parti-Poodles are merchants of death to so-called 'Tough Toys for Aggressive Chewers'.
Tough Toy Rating Guide:
~ Logo produced with the assistance of Janice Baker. Free plug for Janice, owner of
I don't know how many dollars we've spent on these so-called 'tough toys', only to find them shredded into gazillions of bits and pieces in short order.
Max is the only dog I've ever owned that absolutely loves his toys and loves shredding them.
His saving grace is that his toys are the only things he shreds.
Today we are going to examine the 'tough toy' offering from a so-called manufacturer of same.
Tough Duck - Let's Start Out 2012 with a Real Winner
Wow! The label looks 'tough', doesn't it!
I dunno..........Other than the tail, this looks highly questionable.
00:00 - Max is introduced to the 'Tough Duck' (Note the slightly dreamy expression).
00:10 - Toy is removed for close observation.
One wing has been shredded and the duck's brains are in the process of being excised from the head.
Observations dutifully noted and toy returned to the Standard Poodle.
00:20 - 'Tough Duck' has been eviscerated.
A close examination reveals the brain is still attached to the brain stem and one wing remains relatively intact.
00:25 - Duck Lips are missing the rest of the duck.
Tough Toy Rating:
Burning Question: Do Poodles Howl?
Yup, they sure do but are loathe to admit it. It is very tough catching a howling Poodle in the act, unless you can sneak up on him.
It took the better part of a year to get this video.
Around the House
If you ever felt the need for a second skin, the Standard Poodle would be a good fit.
They don't like leaving their owners unattended.
It takes some getting used to, being outside mowing the lawn and looking up at the kitchen window only to a see
a Standard Parti-Poodle at the sink looking back, carefully monitoring your progress.
This Parti-Poodle has no illusions as to exactly who in the household is the Pack Leader.
The Pack Leader is whomever has control of the ball.
As an aside, I called the Standard Poodle the Original 2D dog and I think this captures the effect.
In all seriousness, if one is used to man-handling a much sturdier dog (pig-headed 90 pound Catahoulas come to mind) to provide 'direction', doing same with a Standard Poodle would be a bad and potentially dangerous thing (for the Poodle) and could prove quite costly (for the Owner).
Standard Parti-Poodles don't have quite the same effect on blood pressure as let's see.........a Cairn Terrier perhaps?
......I don't really miss that.
Standard Parti-Poodles in our neck of the woods, require monthly grooming. Popular convention says every six weeks but if we were to do that, we would rarely see a black and white Parti-Poodle. Brown and Black would become the new norm. While not overly expensive, it is a maintenance fee we did not have before.
......I can live with that
On the road, Standard Parti-Poodles can garner all the attention you ever wanted and then some.
......That's ok on the odd occasion - like vacation.
The enormous amount of brain power packed into that fuzzy Poodle brain can be a challenge and for some might not be worth the effort because having a bored Poodle in the household is not a good thing.
How one responds to the following question is a Prerequisite when Pondering a Standard Parti-Poodle Purchase Proposition:
It's Monday - back to the daily grind.
Do you want a dog that......
A. Knows you just went to work and knows for about how long he can he can have his fun.
B. Eight hours later, still doesn't realize you left.
If you choose option 'A', a Standard Poodle might be for you.
If you choose option 'B' and you end up owning a Standard Poodle anyway, you were warned.
So........Would we get another one?
Without a Doubt. We wouldn't blink at the prospect of owning another Standard Parti-Poodle.
Another Cairn Terrier..........
One of them from cradle to grave is more than enough to last a lifetime.....
as witnessed in my Award Winning An Introduction to the Cairn Terrier
Footnote: If there was enough interest...
I could be persuaded to start a 'Standard Poodle Hall of Fame' page similar to my Cairn Terrier Pages.
I think Standard Poodle Ownership is a tad underrated so I am willing to aid in the cause, provided submissions are not the small, tear-stained and white colored obnoxious examples one sees all too often these days anywhere you choose to look.