toy poodle

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The Toy Poodle is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world! You may find yourself constantly laughing at your dog because their agility and intelligence allow them to get in and out of situations that you would find unbelievable.

Most Toy Poodles are very confident. The smallest of the poodle breeds, the breed was originally bred in the United States as a companion animal for city dwellers. This member of the Toy Group was bred from a Standard Poodle first bred in Germany as a water retriever over 400 years ago. Agile, intelligent and confident, this poodle could be the right breed for you.

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If you want a dog who will miss you when you're away, a toy poodle could be the perfect companion for you. Funny, intelligent, and lovable, they are remarkably loyal dogs that might make an ideal pet for you.

toy poodle 1


9 Different Types of Toy Poodles and Toy Poodle Mixes

The American Kennel Club officially recognizes these poodles only in solid colors. Dogs can be lighter in some areas and darker in others, but cannot mix more than one color. These colors include:

  • Bruce – These dogs look like they have faded black coats. They must have black noses, eye rims and lips, black or natural toenails, and very dark eyes. The dogs are born black and transform before their second birthday.
  • Gray – These dogs may be born with a gray coat, or they may develop a gray coat by the age of five. They must have black noses, eye rims and lips, as well as black or natural toenails and very dark eyes.
  • Silver —These dogs appear to be a diluted gray, and they have dark spots like blue and gray. Once the head starts to become clear at about six weeks, the face and paws will turn silver. The rest of the body will turn silver over the next two years. These dogs have the silver allele of the V gene.
  • Brown –The brown Toy Poodle is a dark brown color. They are carriers of the BB gene. The tan Toy Poodle has liver-coloured nose, eye rims and lips, dark toenails and dark amber eyes.
  • Café Au Laits – This color is a light tan. Dogs can be born with this color or develop it before they are two years old. They must have liver colored noses, eye rims and lips, black toenails and dark amber eyes.
  • Apricot – This color comes in different variations. Some appear to be almost the color of hay, while others are so light that they might be confused with cream. Check the skin under its coat, it will have some dark spots. The judges give preference to dogs with dark lips, toenails and noses, but amber is not a disqualification.
  • Face Cream – These dogs are carriers of the Cch gene and they can be any color face cream. They must have black noses, eye rims and lips, black or natural toenails, and very dark eyes.
  • Black —The black Poodle is completely black without a hint of other color. They must have black spots.
  • White –White Poodles allow more variation than other color groups because they can have apricot or beige hair. They must have black noses, eyelids and lips, very dark eyes and black or natural toenails. One trait not allowed in this group is dogs with the ticking gene, which makes their coats look dirty.
Small apricot poodle lying on a bench outdoors
The color of the Apricot Poodle can vary from looking like hay to very light, almost cream.

©Dulova Olga/

3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Toy Poodle

advantage! shortcoming!
Light Shedders These poodles are one of the lightest shedding coat breeds. Needs to be groomed frequently Toy Poodles need to be groomed at least every six weeks.
Very strong toy poodles, their legs are long enough that their height is equal to their length, they are very strong. Need for constant stimulation Toy Poodles must be mentally stimulated or they can become destructive.
Love routine These dogs love routine and constant company. Hate Mess These poodles don't do well when there is too much chaos in the home.
Smallest Dog: Toy Poodle
The Toy Poodle is one of the least shedding dog breeds.

©Lim Tiaw Leong/

Toy Poodle Health and Recreation

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evolution and history

The Toy Poodle was bred to be a smaller version of the Miniature Poodle, which itself was developed from the Standard Poodle breed. It is believed that many people want a smaller Poodle because they appreciate the abilities of the standard breed but want a smaller dog. One such group is circus performers who like to use dogs in their shows because they are easy to train, very intelligent, obedient, athletic and friendly, but feel that smaller dogs would be easier to handle and transport.

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Originating in Germany in the 1400's, the Standard Poodle's cleverness and gentle bite make it the perfect companion for the duck hunter. Hunters would shave poodles to give them greater range of motion while keeping the chest, rump, and legs sufficiently warm and protected when catching waterfowl, which formed the basis for the fancy shearing patterns on modern show dogs. The Standard Poodle later became popular among the royal family and became the most popular breed in France and was named the national dog of France in 1786. Miniature Poodles were also originally bred for hunting and were often used by truffle hunters.

The Toy Poodle is thought to have been first introduced around the 18th or 19th century. Initial efforts to create small dogs suffered from physical and behavioral difficulties due to irresponsible breeding, but once new practices were developed, the dogs became toy-sized replicas. They were originally owned mainly by the royal family, who used them as pugs and warmers, which they put in the sleeves of their clothing to provide warmth. King Louis XVI of France was known to be very fond of toy poodles.

Poodles in circuses perform a variety of tricks, including tightrope walking, performing comedy skits, and assisting with magic tricks and card tricks. Today, the Poodle is best known as a show dog and is one of the most popular dog breeds on the planet.

White toy poodle playing in the garden
Because of their athleticism, obedience, and intelligence, toy poodles are widely used in circuses.

©Rin Seiko/

size and weight

To be classified as a toy poodle, a dog must be under 10 inches at the highest point of the shoulders (more than 15 inches for a standard poodle and 15 inches or less for a miniature poodle). The length of the dog from the end of the croup to the breastbone should be equal to the height of the dog. While the American Kennel Club does not set a minimum or maximum weight limit, most dogs and bitches weigh between 3.5 and 5.5 pounds. The smallest toy poodles at birth weigh less than 1 ounce and fit easily in a man's hand.

height (male) under 10 inches
height (female) under 10 inches
weight (male) Usually 3.5- 5.5 lbs
weight (female) Usually 3.5-5.5 lbs
Toy poodle standing on the lawn
Poodles below 10 inches from the highest point of the shoulder are classified as toy poodles.

© Jagodka/

common health problems

Like all dog breeds, these poodles have some common health problems. These include:

  • skin tumor
  • bladder stones
  • Tracheal collapse
  • Cushing's disease

Let's look at each in more detail.

Skin tumors usually occur in dogs over the age of seven. If they are slow growing and regular in shape, there is usually nothing to worry about, but if they are irregular in shape and growing rapidly, definitely check your toy poodle as it could be a cancerous growth.

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The most common signs of bladder stones are blood in the urine and straining to pass urine. Many stones take years to form, while others take as little as two weeks to form. Consult a veterinarian as this condition can be life-threatening and surgery may be required.

Tracheal collapse occurs when the rings of cartilage that make up the trachea collapse. Often, it is difficult for doctors to determine why it started. You may notice that your dog has a severe dry cough. This condition usually occurs in middle-aged dogs and can make breathing difficult and cause respiratory problems.

Cushing's disease, also known as hyperadrenalism, is a dysfunction of the adrenal glands. It usually develops very slowly. You may notice that your toy poodle drinks and urinates more than usual, and eats more. Early treatment is usually oral medication, but if left untreated, it can lead to hair loss, thinning skin, and a potbellied stomach.

crying dog
Common health problems faced by toy poodles include skin tumors, bladder stones, and Cushing's disease.



Many people are amazed at the agility of poodles if they meet the breed standards as long as they are high. This ability allows owners to train them for agility obstacle course competitions. This behavior often makes them look funny.

These poodles can be very protective. They tend to cling to a person and want to be with them all the time. This trait can lead to separation anxiety when that person is at work or not with their dog. It can also cause a toy poodle to develop jealousy towards other dogs or people.

This breed thrives on everyday life. They are smart, and they like to know when something is going to happen. One of their personality traits is that they can get a little nervous if a pattern is broken, so if your home isn't usually quiet, this might not be the best breed for you. They tend to bark and snap when startled.

Toy Poodle and Golden Retriever
The Toy Poodle is a protective and loyal breed.

© Wirestock Creators/

How to Care for a Toy Poodle

There are many factors to consider when caring for a toy poodle, especially a puppy. You need to be prepared to take care of your pet in the best possible way, so take these different factors into consideration.

Best Dog Food for Poodles

It is crucial to consider your dog's nutritional needs.

  • Puppy Food : During the first three months of a toy poodle puppy's life, food should be readily available to them. Make sure to wash and dry their feeding bowls frequently. From three months old, your Toy Poodle should be fed 3 times a day with a healthy snack between meals. Puppies need about 45 calories per pound per day weighed.
  • Adult food : Adult toy poodles should be fed at least two meals a day. An adult toy poodle needs about 35 calories per pound weighed daily. You should feed them dry food as it is better for their gums.

The breed has a unique health profile and you want the best for your poodle. So, choose a quality dog food carefully to give them the nutrients they need to live a long and healthy life.

At AZ Animals, we believe the best poodle dog food is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Poodle Adult Dry Dog Food.

Poodles and their owners can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Royal Canin has created a breed-specific dog food specifically for poodles and their individual needs, including their skin. While joint problems are not prevalent in this breed, we are pleased that this food contains calcium and glucosamine to improve cartilage, which may help prevent tracheal collapse. Only high-quality ingredients, so you can minimize your poodle's risk of adrenal problems.

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Find Royal Canin Poodle dog food on Chewy and Amazon here.

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Maintenance and Grooming

The good news is that your Toy Poodle sheds very little, but you will still need to brush him daily and groom him every eight weeks. Showers will choose different lion decorations for the show venue, but if they don't display them, many will choose to cut the toy poodle's hair short. When on display, the only man-made product that can be left on the dogs is the elastic on their top hats. The first toy poodles displayed corded coats, but this fell out of fashion by the early 1930s.

When shown, the only non-natural product that can be used on a toy poodle is the elastic used for its top cover.



Toy Poodles are intelligent dogs, so it usually doesn't take long for them to learn new things. Most experts rank Poodles, Border Collies, and German Shepherds as the smartest dogs in the world.


Toy Poodles need 60 to 90 minutes of exercise each day. It needs to go fast. It also requires some form of exercise to stimulate the mind. In general, a walk should last about 20 minutes and cover about 0.75 miles. Many poodles love to swim.

Toy poodle and miniature poodle chasing squirrels in summer
Toy Poodles need regular, mentally stimulating exercise.

© Kelly Nelson/


Toy Poodle puppies need to be fed high-quality dog food three times a day. You will need to groom puppies of this breed daily to get used to how they feel when they are young. Most toy poodles are very quick to potty train. Make sure you give them something to do, or they might chew on something you value.

brown toy poodle lying on blanket


Toy poodle and children

Toy Poodles can live with well-behaved children, but they generally prefer a quieter environment. They thrive on routine, so try to keep things the same every day. If you have children who visit you occasionally, take time to interact with them and your dog so they both know your boundaries. It's usually easier to introduce a puppy to a child than an adult dog.

Black toy poodle puppy lying on white background
Toy Poodles generally prefer quiet surroundings and routines.

© Jagodka/

dog resembling a toy poodle

Other breeds that are similar to the Toy Poodle include the Cocker Spaniel, Maltipoo, and Peekaboo.

  • Cockapoos – This is a cross between a Toy Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel. While maintaining the size of a toy poodle when fully grown, most have a very gentle spirit, which may make them better family dogs.
  • Maltipoo – This is a cross between a Toy Poodle and a Maltese. They tend to weigh up to five pounds and stand five inches taller. Because of their frizzy curls, they need daily brushing.
  • Peekaboo – This is a Toy Poodle and Peking Pug mix. They tend to be about an inch shorter, but sturdier.

You usually pay more for a puppy than for an adult dog. In addition, the price of brand-name dogs is usually higher.

A Maltipoo running on the road
Maltipoos are a cross between a Toy Poodle and a Maltese and are heavier and taller than a Toy Poodle.

©Rita Petcu/

Popular names for these poodles often include:

  • teddy bear
  • ivan
  • curly
  • molly
  • porter
  • Red

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The Toy Poodle is the smallest of the three types of Poodles recognized by the American Kennel Club. It stands less than 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs less than 10 pounds.

There are several ways to groom a toy poodle. On the runway, they are usually cut with a lion's head, but many people choose to cut their hair short. This is usually how rescuers trim dogs. Still, others decided to tie their hair with a rope.

Toy Poodles are less than 10 inches tall at the shoulders. It weighs less than 10 lbs.

If your toy poodle, even if it's red or white, is barking a lot, take a look at the environment. As a breed, they dislike confusion and will often bark when it occurs. These poodles also bark when they see or hear something unusual.

The average price for a toy poodle is $1,925. If you're looking for a quality toy poodle at a low cost, consider checking out Rescue.

You can expect to spend about $160 per month on top of the purchase price of about $1,925. So it might cost $3,845 for the first year of ownership. Plus, you can expect to pay around $1,900 per year after the first. Before buying one for your family, make sure you can afford one without losing money. While getting one from a rescue can lower the initial investment, you'll still have to pay to have your dog well cared for.

Toy Poodles tend to cling to one person, so they may not be the best choice for families. Plus, their small size can mean children can easily injure them.

The Toy Poodle has a lifespan of 12 to 16 years. You need to be ready to care for them throughout their lifespan. Even as puppies, they tend to be attached and have difficulty moving to new owners throughout their lives.

What's the difference between a toy poodle, a miniature poodle, and a teacup poodle?