Toy Poodles

Filed under Dog Breed Index

At a glance
toy poodleThe Toy Poodle is the smallest of the three sizes of the Poodle breed. The Poodle is the national dog of France. Despite being always grouped together with everything French, the breed is thought to have originated in Germany or Russia, although their current appearance was developed in France. They are elegant, highly intelligent and obedient dogs, adept at retrieving and agility training.


  • Names – Caniche, Chien Canne, Tea Cup Poodle, Pudle (Old English)
  • Group – AKC: Toy Group; KC: Utility
  • Size – small
  • Life expectancy – average of 14; range of 12 to 18
  • Cost of ownership – medium
  • Ease of ownership – low
  • Aggressive tendency – low
  • Amount of Exercise – medium
  • Amount of Grooming – high
  • Ease of Training – high
  • Obedience level – high
  • Suitable for Children – medium
  • Amount of Care Required – medium
  • Susceptibility to Health Problems – low

Dignity pervades the stance and the look of this dog, together with his slender muzzle and long neck. The Toy Poodle has a small but graceful frame with a rounded skull, a medium-length head and muzzle, dark oval eyes and wide, close-hanging ears. They have docked tails (usually) and compact, webbed feet. The coat can vary from curly and wiry, to soft and wavy, and can be any solid color. The popular grooming styles include the “pet clip” (a consistent short trim all over), the “Continental clip” (the hindquarters, half of the tail and the upper half of the legs shaved) “English saddle clip” (same as the “Continental Clip” except the hindquarters are not shaved). Most show dogs are commonly groomed in the “Continental Clip.” Poodles move with a graceful and prancing gait.


  • Dog: 4 – 5 lbs (1.8 to 2.2 kilos)
  • Bitch: 4 – 5 lbs (1.8 to 2.2 kilos)


  • Dog: 10 inches or less (25 centimeters or less)
  • Bitch: 10 inches or less (25 centimeters or less)


  • Color – Only solid colors are allowed and include black, white, gray, blue, silver, cream, red, apricot, chocolate, and cafe-au-lait (pale brown).
  • Coat – handsomely single layered and low-shedding, with a texture that ranges from wavy and soft to wooly and rough.
  • Shedding – low
  • Allergies – low
  • Causes Allergies – low

The Toy Poodle has an aristocratic bearing. But the looks match the physique and movement too, since they are sturdily built and move at a lively pace. This breed is agile, athletic, and spirited. The Toy Poodle’s trademarks known the world over are their natural drop ears and webbed paws.

  • Separation Anxiety – medium
  • Barking tendency – high
  • Aggressive tendency – low
  • Compatibility with other animals – high
  • Suitable for children – medium
  • Watchdog suitability – high

The Toy Poodle is highly intelligent. They excel at obedience training and can perform a variety of tricks through different skill levels. However, they are happiest following whatever their owner teaches them to do.

While the Standard Poodle is the most energetic of the three Poodle groups, the Toy Poodle is a tad more reserved. They can be aloof with individuals outside their family circle and need socializing as a puppy. They prefer interaction with their owners and the children close to them. When it comes to barking, the Toy Poodle cannot be dismissed outright as a “yappy” dog.  Although they have the potential to be avid barkers, training can control this behavior.   Poodles will bark to defend or alert their owners but tend to be more reserved compared to most small toy breeds.

Poodles can become overly excited, but this hyperactivity does not transform into destructiveness when he is left alone. Their high energy can be easily controlled with physical and mental stimulation. Nevertheless, owners may encounter the occasional bloodline that is high strung and these dogs can be very nervous. That said, generally, Toy Poodles are devoted to their family and have an open, optimistic disposition.

Early socialization and obedience are key to helping the Poodle become more mature. The Toy Poodle is highly intelligent and trainable. They are especially quick at picking up and making associations with the tone and sound of their owner’s voice and will not respond well to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Toy Poodles thrive on fairness, patience and consistency and are won over with reward and praise. A well trained Poodle can excel in many dog sports, including agility, obedience, tracking and even herding.

  • Obedience – high

Exercise required
Even though this is a dog that loves to be on the move, his requirements for exercise can be easily met. Walks, playing games or learning new tricks is a great way to keep these dogs in good spirits. Toy Poodles are also fascinated with retrieving. Water retrieving is suitable for all three groups but is a sport primarily enjoyed by the larger Standard Poodle.  Exercise involving social interaction is a must for these dogs.

  • Energy – medium
  • Amount required – 20 – 40 minutes daily

Toy Poodle owners have a lot of grooming styles to choose from. The dogs need to be clipped and bathed regularly. Though grooming can be a chore, one very attractive factor about Poodles is that they don’t shed.

Poodle coats require considerable grooming to prevent the hair from matting and to keep it manageable. Matted fur can be hard to unravel and aggravate the dog’s skin. Knotted clumps often need to be removed with scissors.

Some Poodles have hyperactive tear ducts that do not drain well. This can result in unsightly streaks of gooey brownish-red secretions near the tear ducts of their eyes. A lint-free towel can be used to remove this. Other ways to control the color of the secretions may involve using bottled water as the sole source of the dog’s drinking water and switching dog food brands to one that has a different food coloring content.

First of all, a good dog food will have meat as its very first ingredient. Furthermore, it will have no corn content, animal by-products, chemical preservatives or dyes. A responsible breeder or veterinarian can guide you toward the right brand and variety. Check the packaging before you make your purchase, since the bag will tell you if the food is recommended for puppies, adults, or senior dogs.

If an owner is planning to switch their Toy Poodle to a new brand of food, the change must not be abrupt. Over the course of a two week period, food should gradually be introduced by slowly adding more of the new food and less of the old.  Switching too quickly increases the risk of gastrointestinal upsets.

In addition, many Poodle owners prefer to feed their dog a raw food diet. Alternatively, a different raw meat can be used, some of which are sold as food mixes.

Poodles must be bathed regularly and clipped every six weeks. The ears need to be regularly cleaned of wax and checked for infection.  Hairs growing inside the ear canal can be pulled out or plucked (a painless process if done right). The teeth of the Toy Poodle needs regular scaling. As for grooming, traditional clips are ideal if the dog swims often or if the joints and major organs need to be shielded from cold.  Plain lamb is another favorite clip among pet owners, as the coat is left the same length all over.

  • Ease of grooming – medium
  • Amount of grooming – high

There are at least 5 areas to examine when someone plans to breed Poodles: motivations, enough physical space to raise the pups, personal time for the dogs and litter, finances, and the form and health status of the Poodles (bitch and dog).

Stud fees start at $300. A breeder will also need to feed your female(s) the best food available and pay for the first shots when the puppies are born. In fact, it is said that the best breeders pay more attention to the actual quality of the litter than how large the profit margin will be.

The female will be ready to breed when a clear discharge is observed and accompanied by bleeding. After 10 more days, the female will be ready for the stud. Toy Poodles usually go into heat only twice a year and the second heat is more preferable to the first. All those responsible for the breeding must take no chances. For example, they must be ready to assist the stud to fulfill his part if he looks “unsure” and the female may need to be held to prevent lashing out at the male. During the pregnancy, a cesarean operation might be necessary since Toy Poodles are so small.

In regard to the litter, a Toy Poodle can have from one to eight or more puppies, although some might be stillborn. Once the puppies are born healthy and are growing, you can start promoting the puppies.  However, they should not be taken to their new home until they are at least ten weeks old, as they need their mother’s milk until this point.

  • Litter size – average of 3 and range of 1 to 4
  • Puppy cost – average of $ USD 1,500 and range of $ USD 1,000 to 2,000, and up to $ USD 2,500 for show dogs

Poodles can be prone to several illnesses, most of which are fortunately treatable. Miniature and Toy Poodles, despite being more prone to kidney problems, tend to live longer than Standard Poodles.

  • Life expectancy – average of 14; range of 12 to 18
  • Susceptibility to illness – low
  • Common health problems – Addison’s disease, kidney disease

Toy Poodles may look sensitive but they are actually sturdy and athletic dogs capable of learning many things.  In fact, within just about every Poodle exists a potential sports competitor or a beautiful show dog. Those who wish to own a Toy Poodle need to be aware of the fact that this breed requires intense grooming to maintain their coat and health and are prone to various hereditary health problems. Nonetheless, when all is said a done, the smallest Poodle is an excellent watchdog, does not shed much, is highly trainable, a first-class clown and is a good companion for the elderly.

  • Living conditions – Toy Poodles are primarily indoor dogs.  Although they love the outdoors and country living, they are perfect city dogs and will happily dwell in apartments as long as they are regularly played with and walked.
  • Good with Children – Mature children are better companions for this dog breed, as younger and more careless children can play too rough and make the Poodle nervous.

Poodles were first bred to be retrievers or gun dogs and even now they can still fulfill both roles. The breed’s English name has German origins (The name Poodle was inspired by the German word “pudel” which in turn is related to the English word “puddle”). However, most sources agree that the French deserve the credit for the refining of the breed’s current looks and, moreover, the different Poodle sizes. The French name for the Poodle is Caniche, which refers to ducks and the Poodles’ water dog roots.

  • County or origin – Germany/ France
  • Group – Gun Dog, Toy  (AKC), Utility (KC)

Did you know…

  • Some famous owners of Poodles include:
    • John Steinbeck (Charley)
    • Patrick Swayze (Derek)
    • Winston Churchill (Rufus)
    • Mary Tyler Moore (Diswilliam)
    • Vanessa Hudgens (Shadow)
  • Some famous  Poodles are:
    • Georgette from Disney’s “Oliver and Company.”
    • The devil Mephistopheles became incarnated in a Poodle, according to German man of letters Goethe’s version of “Faust.”
    • Roly, a Poodle who appeared in the BBC’s EastEnders for eight years.
  • The word “Teacup” which is often used to describe tiny Poodles is not an official designation. Teacup toy Poodles usually grow to no more than 5 pounds as adults. Teacup Poodles are said to be high-risk pets since their weak frames strongly invite future health problems.
  • Poodle puppies cannot open their eyes until they are about two weeks old.
  • Winsor Pilates


2 Responses to “Toy Poodles”
  1. Martha says:

    Very nice and helpfull informacion, gracias

  2. Karen says:

    Excellent overview—thank you!

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