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Poodle (Toy)

The Toy Poodle stands proudly, beneath the curly, hypoallergenic coat is an elegant athlete and companion for all reasons and seasons.

Overall Status

Height No more than 10 inches
Temperament Agile, Intelligent, Self-Confident
Weight 4 to 6 pounds
Life Expectancy 14 to 18 years
Coat Color Black, Blue, Brown, Gray, Red, Silver, White
Barking Level Medium

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Grooming is a significant consideration in Poodles. The fine, curly coat that works well in the water needs to be clipped regularly, typically about every six to eight weeks, depending on your preferences. It mats easily, and requires regular brushing at home, even with professional grooming care. Left untrimmed, the coat will naturally curl into cords. Some people want the coat to cord because they prefer the look.

Dental care is an issue, particularly for the Toy and Miniature Poodle. Those small mouths full of teeth can cause problems. Keep on top of it by brushing the teeth regularly with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and having regular dental checks when you go to the veterinarian.

Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Don’t let them get so long that you can hear them clicking on the floor.

Exercise Tips

Poodles of any size are very active dogs who require goodexerciseevery day to suit their high energy level. Poodles are eager for all kinds of activity, and they enjoy keeping busy. Swimming is great exercise for them, and most Poodles love to get in the water.

Bred as hunting dogs, their impulse is to retrieve, so tossing toys, sticks, or balls for them will exercise both their mind and body. They also thrive on going for jogs or long walks with their human.

Feeding Tips

No matter which size Poodle has stolen your heart, you will want to feed him or her the best possible dog food. Your vet or breeder can help you decide on theright foodfor your dog’s age, activity level, and size. Some dogs are prone to gettingoverweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level.

If you choose to give yourdog treats, do so in moderation. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Never feed a dog cooked bones or fatty table scraps. Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.

Health Tips

The average life expectancy of the poodle is between 12 and 15 years. Increased health risks associated with this breed includeAddison's disease,bloat,hypothyroidism,epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease,hip dysplasia, andcancer.


When it comes to exceptionally smart dogs, this breed ranks at the very top of the list. The impressive smarts are not reserved for only one type of Poodle. All of them are considered to be second only to Border Collie in terms of intelligence. If you have the right training approach, this dog is going to be highly trainable. They won’t have a problem learning commands or even elaborate tricks and routines- as long as they have the proper motivation.

Toy and Miniature Poodles might be prone tosmall dog syndromeand have a stubborn streak, so combine positive reinforcement training with a confident, firm attitude for best results.


The Poodle is the national dog of France, and the French sure do love their Poodles. There is, however, no such breed as the “French Poodle.” In France, Poodles are known as the Caniche, or “duck dog.”

Despite the Poodle’s association with France, the breed originated as a duck hunter in Germany, where the word “pudelin” refers to splashing in water. TheStandard Poodlebegan its development as a retrieving water dog more than 400 years ago. With a crisp, curly coat as protection against the elements, superlative swimming ability, and off-the-charts intelligence, the Poodle was, and still is, a magnificent retriever. (TheStandardis the only breed classified as a non-sporting dog that is eligible for AKC Retriever Hunting Tests).

The flamboyant Poodle show coat served a practical purpose in the breed’s early years. Hunters wanted their dogs to have free range of movement in the water, but they also wished to protect vital areas of the anatomy from the cold. They shaved the legs, neck, and tail but left the chest, hips, and leg joints coated. The rounded tufts on the legs, hips, and tail tip are called pompons. (Note the spelling: Cheerleaders have pom-poms; Poodles have pompons.)

The Poodle’s many fine qualities allowed it to move from the lake to the lap of luxury. Elegant Poodles of theStandardandMiniaturevarieties found favor among the nobles of France and, eventually, all of Europe. The breed’s showy looks and trainability made it a natural entertainer, and Poodles have long been associated with the European circus tradition. An excellent nose brought the Poodle additional work as a truffle hunter.

TheStandardwas bred down to the Miniature. The Toy was first bred in America, in the early 20th century, as a city-dwelling companion dog. Well-bred specimens of each variety are exact replicas of each other and are bred to the same standard.

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