In a world of ever-decreasing size, Miniature and Toy breeds the Standard Poodle stands out as an elegant long legged, and athletic example of a large breed. Poodles in general are popular throughout Europe, The States, and beyond for their intelligence. However, the Standard variety adds in an additional dollop of strength and stamina which comes from being super-sized against its diminutive Toy counterpart.
It is always a bit of a marvel to see a little Standard Poodle puppy beside its full-size parents and many new owners can struggle to get their head around just how quickly their tiny pup will gain in height and weight.
In this article, we will aim to cover what expected growth rates are in a Standard Poodle alongside what changes occur physically as they grow. As always, any figures in this article are generated from averages and there will always be dogs who are considered outliers to the norm. If you are at all worried about your dog’s growth or weight it is advisable to consult your veterinarian.
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Standard Poodle Growth Rate
Here is a table of average heights of the Standard Poodle at key intervals in their life.
|0 – 4 weeks||Less than 10”||4lbs to 5lbs|
|4 – 8 weeks||10” to 13”||7lbs to 10lbs|
|8 – 16 weeks||13” to 19”||10lbs to 22lbs|
|16 – 32 weeks||19” to 23”||23lbs to 45lbs|
|32 weeks – 52 weeks (1 year)||23” to 27”||34lbs to 65lbs|
|2 years||24” to 27”||38lbs to 70lbs|
The graph below plots these weights and heights as a percentage of their fully grown weight and height.
As you can see from both the table and the graph a Standard Poodle is considered fully grown at around 2 years. The graph shows the trajectory of height growth in green, note the sharp increase in size with an 8-week puppy quickly approaching 50% of its expected overall height.
Weight gain, by comparison, shown by the blue line, is a bit more of a slow burner, with your puppy steadily increasing weight until they reach a plateau as they approach one year with a slow final gain to reach their fully grown adult weight.
What Happens as Your Standard Poodle Grows?
It is easy to visibly see that your puppy is growing in height or becoming harder to carry but what exactly goes on internally as your Standard Poodle grows?
One of the most noticeable indicators of your puppy passing through the weeks and months will be changes to their coat. All Standard Poodles are born with a puppy coat, compared to an adult Poodle coat this is often thinner and softer and rarely represents that trademark tight Poodle curl that most adults have.
Anywhere from around 3 months onwards, you may notice your puppy shedding out the thinnest, wispiest puppy hairs. This is often replaced with coarser thicker hair. Luckily as the Poodle is single coated and the transition process is very gradual there is unlikely to be excessive shedding. Often the remaining puppy coat is captured in the tight curls replacing it and can be brushed out.
It can take up to 1 year for a Standard Poodle’s adult coat to fully come in. It can often be surprising to see that even the smoothest puppy will grow in a tight curly coat.
While we suggest a Standard Poodle is fully grown at around 2 years in reality some may be fully grown a bit sooner and some a bit later. The only definitive way to check is to undertake x-rays to examine the “growth plates”.
What exactly is a growth plate though? Just like humans, Poodle puppies are not born with rock-hard bones. Instead, there is some area of hard bone and softer areas at the top of long bones such as in the legs and areas of the skull. These soft areas are what allow the bones to extend and grow. If they were already hard your puppy would stay small forever.
As your puppy grows these areas lengthen and harden from the inner to the outer. Only once the bones are fully hardened is growth complete. This is an important fact to understand as the younger your puppy is the softer these areas are and the higher the risk of damaging them with over-exercise.
Same as us humans, your Standard Poodle pup does not come straight out with a fully-fledged set of adult gnashers. The whole process of adult teeth coming in is a lot quicker though in our canine counterparts.
Around 3 months you might note an increase in puppy “mouthing” or nibbling. Don’t get too cross though your little pal is just trying to cope with teething as their baby teeth begin to be pushed out as their adult teeth come through. Adult teeth will generally all be present and correct around the 4-to-5-month stage.
As your Standard Poodle grows and encounters new experiences and sensations their brains are constantly developing and making new connections. If we could peek inside you would see their brains physically change. While rapid changes in brain function occur in the first year it is worth remembering that your Standard Poodle not only takes up to 2 years to physically grow in height and weight, but it also takes 2 years for their brains to fully develop.
This is key for continuing training past the initial small puppy stage as your Poodle still has such capacity to learn. Post 1 year is the prime window that if a mischievous Poodle is not taught good skills or manners, they will more than happily come up with their own agenda.
Around 12 months is a prime time in Poodle’s cognitive development for them to display some of the independence bordering on an aloofness that the breed is known for. Counteracting this stage with plenty of socialization, new experiences, and reward-based training is key to keep your Standard Poodle on the straight and narrow.
It is worth putting in the time as remember these guys grow big and you cannot just pick them up if they are misbehaving.
Alongside growing bone, muscle, and fat your puppy’s hormonal system is also growing and developing. A Standard Poodle generally approaches sexual maturity at between 8 and 12 months.
That means a whole host of hormones will be flying around and may cause some behavioral changes including some aspects of dominance in non-neutered males. There may be an increase in marking-type behaviors while your female Poodle may display increased anxiety or territorial traits.
Will All Standard Poodles Grow at the Same Rate?
In short. No. There are so many factors that play into growth rates. Size and build of the parent dogs, gender, and overall health of the dog.
Often and sometimes most importantly, diet is one of these influences. Standard Poodles grow into large dogs that require significantly more calories than a Miniature breed.
For healthy bone and muscle development, your Standard Poodle will need sufficient protein and a balance of vitamins and minerals. Any reputable breeder should be able to advise on food when collecting your puppy but other areas for advice include your vet or a quick internet site that can yield comparison pages where you can compare and contrast dog foods on everything from protein percentage to cost.
Another factor to impact growth and development can be activity and exercise. Too much exercise when your puppy is very young can actually counteract growth by injuring or causing damage to those important growth plates.
Conversely, puppies who have limited opportunities to exercise or be outdoors lack the opportunity to develop healthy bones and muscles to support them as they grow.
Generally speaking, female Standard Poodles will be in the region of 10 to 15% smaller in terms of height and weight than the boys. However, it is not always guaranteed, with some girls, depending on their parentage being larger than average.
Puppies who are falling way below expected growth rates should always be screened for any underlying health conditions. Poodles can have a predisposition to some hormonal conditions (Addisions and Cushings) as well as cardiac issues that could stunt growth if undetected or untreated.
Some Poodles can also exhibit digestive sensitivities or allergies which can impact their calorie intake and affect weight as well as height if they lack essential nutrients.
As the growth charts show your new Standard Poodle puppy does not stay little for long. In what feels like no time you will have an energetic, loyal and intelligent puppy which also has the added complication of being the right height to raid bins and countertops from around 6 months. Because remember there is average house puppy proofing and then there is Standard Poodle puppy proofing!