A standard poodle is highly intelligent, loyal, great with families and children.  It also does not shed and is one of the few animals with whom people with allergies can.... and do.... coexist beautifully.  It has a large bark when needed, but does not bark needlessly.  Our standard poodles have always been the ideal dogs.  We generally  walk our dogs off leash  without incident.  The standard poodle is in a class by itself.  Faithful, obedient, playful, intelligent.   It is almost "human" in figuring out what you are thinking and feeling.
The poodle is known in France as le Caniche, where is considered to be the national dog.  In Germany he is known as der Pudel.  He is claimed to be a German creation.  The poodle is one of the older of all breeds of dogs.  Poodle images appeared on the tombs of the Greeks and Romans as early as 30 AD., long before the claims of the French and German peoples.  In Germany, the translation of the name of the poodle is "Pudel" "to splash in the water" as a water retriever.  In fact, it was common to clip the poodles coat down so that the dog would be able to glide through the water with ease.  The hair was left on the head, chest and feet only so as to protect those parts of the body from injury.  The hair was clipped from the rear to give the dog a greater mobility in the water.  So, that familiar poodle clip of today has come down from that clip which is centuries old.
The standard poodle in the United States is measured as being over fifteen inches at the highest point of the shoulder.  The miniature poodle is 15 inches and under and the toy poodle is ten inches and under at the shoulder.
The Poodle Club of America was founded in 1931.  At that time the standard poodle and the miniature poodle were considered as one variety. In the conformation breed ring they were considered to be  the same thing, a poodle, and they competed against each other.  That changed and now the standard poodle has its own breed winner and the miniature poodle has its own breed winner.  However, they still compete against each other in the nonsporting group show ring.  The toy poodle has its own breed winner and competes in the toy group.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes the poodle standard as "That of a very active, intelligent and elegant appearing dog, squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly and carrying himself proudly.  Properly clipped in the traditional fashion and carefully groomed, the poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself."