It is generally accepted that all Poodles (toys, miniatures, and standards) are the same breed of dog. The standard variety is the oldest; you can read about the breed’s shared history on page 326. But Toy Poodles are not new; Louis XVI of France had toys, and many paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries show tiny dogs that look much like today’s Toy Poodles.
Toy Poodles stand 10 inches tall or less at the shoulder and weigh 5 to 7 pounds. There is no official size other than this; the Poodle Club of America does not recognize teacup toys or tiny toys. The head is moderately rounded, with a long muzzle. The eyes are dark and oval, and the ears are dropped. The tail is docked. The coat is curly and dense. Coat color should be one solid color and may be apricot, silver, cream, black, blue, or one of many other colors.
- Temperament: Intelligent, Active, Alert, Faithful, Trainable, Instinctual
- Height: 9.4-11 (male), 9.4-11
- Weight: 6 – 9
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Drive: Companion
- Group: Toy
Grooming the Toy Poodle is a complicated process. Show dogs must be groomed in a specific cut that requires some knowledge, so potential owners who wish to show their dogs should discuss this with a breeder prior to buying a dog. Pet owners often take their dogs to a professional groomer on a monthly basis; potential owners should be aware of the cost. Between grooming sessions, the dog should be brushed every other day to prevent matting.
The Toy Poodle is an active dog but is small enough that her exercise needs are easily met. She will enjoy daily walks but can also play in the house. Toy Poodles are bright and intelligent but are easily spoiled and, when spoiled, can be very demanding.
Fun training, including house training, should begin early so the dog grows up understanding household rules. Toys also need early socialization, as they can be wary of strangers.
Toys are great companions for people who spend time at home. Most breeders will not sell Toys to families with young children, as the dogs can be fragile.
Toy Group Summary
Dogs of this group have one primary function, delighting their owners. Historically, these dogs were kept as symbols of affluence, as watchdogs, or for the health function of attracting fleas away from their owners. The small size of these lapdogs can be misleading since they are often very tough. An example of this is the Chihuahua, which has a bark that is hard to ignore or forget.
These dogs are ideal for people who live in cities and apartments. These smaller breeds are also popular because they are easier to own. They shed less and have a lower cost of care.