Some poodle lovers would say all poodles are royal because they have such regal bearing. However, some breeders sell extra-large poodles, commonly called royal poodles, who are larger than the typical-size standard poodles. Technically, though, the American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn't put a top limit on the standard poodle's height, so royal poodles are still standard poodles; they are just very large.
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Identifying royal poodles
The AKC gives the height for standard poodles as over 15 inches tall at the shoulders. That's it. It does not give an upper height limit; therefore, royal poodles, who are typically 25 inches or taller at the shoulders, would still be considered standard poodles by the AKC. However, that's a difference in height of over 10 inches. Breeders, who may refer to these extra-large poodles as royal poodles, giant poodles, giant royal poodles, giant standard poodles, royal standard poodles, or another similar name, are telling you that they are selling the extra-large poodles that may be 25 to 32 inches tall at the shoulders.
Royal poodles are not only extremely tall but they also weigh more than typical standard poodles. The average weight of standard poodles is 60 to 70 pounds for males and 40 to 50 pounds for females. In contrast, royal poodles typically weigh 70 to 90 pounds. Their weight has not been differentiated by gender as it is in standard poodles.
Other than their size difference, royal poodles share the same characteristics and traits as smaller standard poodles. Royal poodles can be expected to have single-layered, curly coats of hair and not fur. This distinction is important because fur falls out at a certain length, whereas hair continues to grow until it is cut. That's why poodles of all sizes do not shed much and are often tolerated by allergy sufferers, whereas other dogs who shed more often cause allergy symptoms.
Royal poodles are often referred to as gentle giants because they have the sweet, loyal disposition of standard poodles. They are also high-energy dogs who need exercise every day. If they don't get that exercise, they can become bored or depressed and turn to destructive behaviors, like chewing furniture, pillows, or shoes. Poodles are true companion dogs who need significant attention from their owners, and that goes for royal poodles too. Leaving them alone too much is not a good idea.
Care and training of royal poodles
Although large dogs typically have shorter life spans than small dogs, royal poodles can live 10 to 15 years if they are properly cared for throughout their life. Their huge body needs more food than smaller dogs — about 4 to 5 cups of food per day, preferably split into two feedings. It's important to measure the food accurately so you don't feed the dog too much food or too little. Of course, along with ample food, you'll need to supply fresh water in a large, clean bowl daily.
Poodles are extremely intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy to train. The earlier you start, the easier training usually goes. If you bring your royal poodle into your home as a puppy, you should start training with simple commands and positive reinforcement at about 3 weeks of age and definitely by 12 weeks. Training an older dog can be harder because they already have their own habits, but it is still important to do.
Potential health problems
As long as breeders perform proper testing on dogs they plan to breed, royal poodles can be quite healthy dogs. All large dogs have certain risks, however, including bloat, where the stomach twists on itself, and hip dysplasia, where the head of the thigh bone does not properly fit into the hip socket. Poodles in general are more prone to eye diseases and sebaceous adenitis, a skin disease that causes them to lose hair. Your vet should check for these problems at your royal poodle's regular visits.