It's the Standard Poodles that are pretty smart.
The toy and miniatures have been bred mostly for size, so brains aren't necessarily part of the package. There are some smart ones, but you're just as likely to draw a dumb one.
But while the Standards are smart, they aren't really very good retrievers any more. There is a couple in our hunting retriever club that is trying their hardest to get their Standard Poodles ready for a hunt test. Now, don't get me wrong, these are very smart dogs. But while they were originally gun dogs and water dogs centuries ago, they have lost most of the desire to retrieve, especially in water. They just don't WANT to get in the water to pick up that duck . . . they'll do it, but very reluctantly (while the ruder members of the gallery are hooting and hollering that they don't want to chip their nail polish or mess up their hairdo).
Meanwhile the Labs and Chessies are hitting the water at a dead run with huge splashes and great big grins . . . the problem is keeping them OUT of water.
I guess really the point of all this is that it's easier to get a dog to do what he's been bred for, than to just out of stubbornness or to prove a point try to train a dog to do something he wasn't bred for.
Having raised toy poodles for 12 year years, that has not been our experience whatsoever. The toy poodles were we raised seemed crème de la crème in intellenge. Of course owners were a different breed.