Poodles 101: The Ultimate Guide to the Toy, Mini, and Standard PoodleReading Time: 6 minutes
All the poodles! These rather regal dogs make fantastic emotional support animals. They’re friendly and kind, very affectionate and will stay loyally by your side for life. Bred in 3 super cute sizes to suit all kinds of households, there’s bound to be a pup for you. Find out if the poodle is your spirit dog in our 101 guide…
A Brief History of the Poodle Dog Breed
All pretty poodles are about looks and fashion, right?
Actually no! This dog originated in Germany and was bred for hunting! We can track back the poodle right the way to the Egyptians and Romans, where dogs were bringing in small game for their owners.
The modern breed we recognize today is French. In fact, the French loved the poodle so much that in the 15th century French dog breeders started to develop the miniature and toy varieties. The standard would be your hunting companion, the mini would snuffle out truffles and the toy would become a house pet, keeping you company and entertaining guests.
They are now a non-sporting group, recognized as a dog breed that’s highly affectionate and kind while maintaining their intelligence and agility from old hunting dogs genes.
From, Toy to Giant Poodle: Poodle Sizes Explained
There are quite a few different sizes of poodles. These size differences are due to breeding to achieve specific heights and weights. Your pooch won’t start off as a teacup and grow into a standard!
The 3 poodle sizes recognized by most dog club societies and the American Kennel Club are toy, miniature, and standard.
Toy Poodles aka Teacup Poodles or Micro Poodles
Yes, they really can fit in teacups when they’re just puppies! Even when fully grown they won’t be taller than 9 inches, which is just a bit shorter than a wine bottle.
Miniature Poodles aka The Mini Poodle, Medium Poodle or Moyen Poodle
The miniature falls right in-between the toy and standard sizes. Although it grows to an average small dog size, akin to many of the terrier breeds, it maintains a cutesy appearance even into old age!
Standard Poodles aka The Giant or Large Poodle
Although they are often known as the giant, they aren’t massively large dogs! A standard is about the same size as a golden retriever, just a bit heavier. That being said, they are twice the size of a miniature.
The Appearance of These Fluffy, Royal Doggos
Poodles have an almost elegant stance on slender legs, a modest waist and strong but not too burly chest. They have floppy ears and an oblong shaped face and tall neck. But what really stands out about the poodle is the magnificent fur! When left clean and healthy but natural and uncut, their coat is very fluffy and verging on shaggy.
When meticulously clipped and groomed, the muscular shape of the poodle’s hunting body is more pronounced – this also makes it easier for the dogs to cut through water when swimming and chase prey with agile movements.
French Poodle Colors!
All those pretty colors to pick from – the poodle is a beautiful breed. These pretty coats are very low shedding, so don’t worry about your furniture!
Apricot, Golden, and Red Poodle
Soft and sunny. The apricot, gold and red coat shades are like golden syrup! This is the most sought after coat color so be prepared to pay more for an apricot canine.
Phantom Poodle and Parti Poodle
Both phantom and parti varieties have black fur along their back with a contrasting color all over their front or just on their chest. Phantoms have been around a long time! They have an apricot patch on their chest and a lovely silky dark black fur everywhere else. Partis are always up for a good time, with dark fur on their backs and white fur covering most of their front and all 4 legs.
The classic! White poodles are a symbol of luxury, but these are no more loyal and regal than other poodle coat colors. The white poodle will show up dirt in her coat very quickly, so you’ll know exactly when it’s time for a bath!
No poodle looks better wearing a bow tie than the black poodle! The fur is a very dark black, not a mild brown-black. Black fur appears silkier and less fluffy and airy than white, despite the hair density being the same!
IT’S A REAL THING!
Okay, so the pink color is not natural, but you can definitely dye your poodles’ fur. This is not something to do at home – leave it for the expert groomer who has dog safe dyes and knows exactly how to treat poodle fur.
So yummy we could just eat them up. The chocolate brown colored poodle can range from dark chocolate to light caramel. Once grown up, these dogs are very beautiful and everyone will want to stop and pet the fur when you go out for walks!
Grooming Requirements and Poodle Cuts
From the tiny toy poodle to large adult dog, haircuts are essential and best managed by a professional groomer. Although they are low-shedding, hypoallergenic dogs, their fur can easily mat. Take them to a groomer for a bath, nail trim and hair cut every 1-2 months.
The Most Popular Poodle Haircuts
Poodle haircuts are known as clips!
The sporting clip is the easiest to maintain. Simply shave and trim that curly coat close to the natural muscles and contours of the pooch’s body.
Arguably the most well-known poodle clip is the continental clip. This is one of four clips accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) for entering competitions. This haircut leaves a round mount of fur around their chest, big poofy ears and fluffy pompoms hovering above each paw.
If your pup is under 12 months, you’ll need the “puppy clip” for entering into the AKC competitions. For older pups you’ve got the choice of continental or English saddle.
Average Height and Weight
In order from adorably tiny to huggably large: toy, miniature, standard, giant!
Standard Weight and Size
The average standard is around 24 inches tall at the highest point of the shoulder – but to be classified as a standard your pet needs to be at least 15 inches tall at the shoulder. On average these poodles weigh between 50 and 70 pounds (or 50 and 60 pounds for the slightly smaller female pooch).
Miniature Weight and Size
The miniature, one of the most popular sizes, weighs less than half of the standard, at 16 pounds. To be classified as a miniature, the dog needs to be between 11 inches and 15 inches and not a millimeter more!
The Feisty Yet Sweet Temperament: What to Expect in These Great ESAs!
These pooches are pompous, pretty and proud! They can be very sweet and loving but don’t forget that they have very distinct personalities. The poodle dog is an intelligent breed – although they are not born escape artists, you will need to keep them active and occupied. They love kids and will play with them for hours in the yard or on the beach playing fetch as a water dog!
This sweet and sociable temperament means that they hate to be left alone for long periods of time. They can be feisty and very playful when excited. Their happy hour is spent training with you. They are extremely obedient when trained well and are amazing when entered into competitions for agility and hunting.
The miniature and toy breeds must be trained and put in their place early on, or you’ll end up with a bad case of too-big-for-those-poodle-boots attitude.
As many Poodle Club members will agree, Poodles are not just a pretty face!
Here are Some Wonderful Poodle Mixes!
The list of mixed poodle breeds is endless! Make sure you see both the mom and dad of mixed pups when buying, as you may not be able to judge by eye what mix they are until they’ve grown up a bit.
Maltese Poodle Mix
This high energy fluff ball of cuteness is smaller than your average poodle and very friendly. Ideal companion pets for senior-dog-lovers and apartment owners who need the motivation to get out more!
Bichon Poodle Mix
We love this mix of Bichon and Poodle! With the pure snowy white coats inherited from Bichon parents, these dogs are as beautiful as they are playful. They’re also great if you want to reduce fur shedding to 0.
Shih Tzu Poodle Mix
This is a real teddy bear of a breed. You can find standard and tea-cup sized Shi-Poos – both are easy to train but can be quite stubborn when they want something!
Husky Poodle Mix
Our favorite name for this breed is the Poosky! It’s also known as the Huskydoodle and Huskypoo. If it’s a Siberian Husky mix, you can call it a Siberpoo.
This designer breed is very sociable and adorable in a rugged, shaggy-coat way!
Not to be confused with the Sheepadoodle, which is crossed with an English sheepdog. The Shepadoodle has thick long black to chocolate brown fur, floppy ears and a gangly appearance! Don’t forget that they’ll grow into medium to large sized dogs later in life.
Pekingese Poodle Mix
As loyal and courageous as a lion… but the size of a lap pup! This mix breed has been adored for over 60 years. Here are 4 other old and new poodle mixes you might love:
Boxer Poodle Mix: The Boxerdoodle!
Remember when looking at mixed breeds like the Boxerdoodle, you could end up with a pooch that’s got traits from either parent! The doggie could be as silly and joyful as a Boxer or alert and graceful as a Poodle.
Other mixed breeds that are worth your attention:
Also known as the Cockapoo!
These are extremely loving mixes of Cocker Spaniels and Poodles. They love cuddling on your lap!
Think you’ve heard it all now? Take a look at these 4 adorable poodle crossbreeds!
What About the Micro Chocolate Poodle?
Newborn micro pups can weigh as little as 2.5 ounces – less than some chocolate sponge cakes!
These little fluffy babies are so small you could pick them up and eat them like chocolates. Being so small is adorable but can mean they’re more prone to health issues including brachycephalic syndrome.
What is the Lifespan of these Gorgeous Doggos?
This breed of dog can live by your side for up to 18 years! A balanced doggy diet is essential to keeping them healthy and happy for a long time.
All sizes should be screened for:
Standards are more prone to:
- Gastric dilatation volvulus (bloating)
- Sebaceous adenitis
In the smaller breeds, watch out for:
- Luxating patellas
Mini and Standard Poodle Puppies for Sale!
Before we go a little crazy with all the puppy love and cute poodle names, here’s what you need to remember:
- Pups can (and should) be prescreened for genetic diseases. However, there is no 100% guarantee that a pup will never be ill. Avoid poodle breeders that offer a health guarantee!
- Avoid puppy mills and breeders that offer a “pick your own pup” service. These places are making their profits a priority, not the welfare of the dogs!
- Ask to meet the parents or see their health records as well as the pups. During the first few months, the pups will pick up on the temperament of their mom so it’s important to know if she was a good parent.
How Much Does a Poodle Puppy Cost?
Giant and standard pups cost around $1000 from your average, reliable pup breeder. For toy poodle puppies, it can be anywhere between $1200 and $2000+ depending on the gender and coat.
Minis can go for a massive $6000 if at breed standard or as little as $700 from a standard reliable breeder.
Regardless of size, for a breed standard pooch from AKC recommended or affiliated poodle dog breeders, get ready to part with $5000 or more.
Adopt, Don’t Shop! Find a Standard Poodle Rescue or Miniature Poodle Rescue Group!
Just like any other dog breed, poodle pups and dogs can end up on the streets. Luckily there are fantastic dog rescue shelters giving these pooches a home… but it’s only temporary. Could you give a rescue poodle a permanent home?
Not only will they be easier on your wallet, but you’ll be giving a much-needed home to a pup that’s in desperate need of a loving owner. Rescue dogs make excellent ESAs!
Common Questions About Poodles
What medical conditions are poodles prone to?
What is a Cockapoo?
How much do mini poodle pups weigh?
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