Poodles are some of America's favorite dogs. Their name comes from the German word for “puddle” — they were originally bred as water retrievers. That traditional puffy styling was meant to keep their joints warmer while they were fetching their prey from the water. The original Toy Poodles had cushier and more glamorous gigs than their their standard-sized cousins, however — they were circus performers, lap dogs, and buskers! These days, most Poodles are more likely to be companions than anything else.
Because they don't produce much dander and shed infrequently, Poodles have been crossbred to create more kinds of dogs that are less aggravating to allergy sufferers. These include the Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel + Poodle), the Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever + Poodle), and the Whoodle (Wheaten Terrier + Poodle).
Originally from Central Europe and Germany, this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 4-6 pounds and lives an average of 10-18 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Non-Sporting group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Companion
Origin: Germany, Central Europe
Breed Group: Toy
Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Bark Factor: I love to talk!
AKC RANKING 8
FAMILY water dog, companion
AREA OF ORIGIN Central Europe
DATE OF ORIGIN 1500s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION lap dog
TODAY'S FUNCTION companion
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: <10 Weight: 4-8
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: <10 Weight: 4-8
OTHER NAME caniche
Energy level High energy
Exercise needs Low
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Very friendly
Ease of training Hard to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs High maintenance
Cold tolerance Low tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A TOY POODLE'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Toy Poodles are playful and love to romp with kids, but be sure to supervise your little ones (furry or otherwise). Their small size means Toy Poodles aren't built for rough play and can be fragile. This breed is loving and eager to please. They're generally happy to meet strangers and get along well with other pets, including dogs, but (like many small dogs) the Toy variety likes to be in charge.
WHAT IS TOY POODLE BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This is a very active breed. Poodles love to run, walk, or swim — preferably with you by their side. These dogs want to be on the go.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A TOY POODLE?
This breed is very amenable to training. Poodles are extremely intelligent and eager to please. Their smarts and amenability make them ideal candidates for social therapy, seeing eye, and service work. These dogs excel in obedience, agility, hunting, and tracking. They can be a bit barky, but their obedience means it shouldn't be hard to discourage nuisance noisemaking.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO TOY POODLES SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
A Toy Poodle's hair doesn't shed much. If you bring a Poodle home though, you're going to be very good friends with your dog groomer. This breed requires clipping at least every other month. You'll also spend a lot of time brushing her hair to prevent mats and tangles.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO TOY POODLES HAVE?
As a breed, Poodles are generally healthy. Some are prone to eye ailments, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, skin disease, blood clotting disorders, and thyroid or adrenal gland issues.
Miniature and Toy Poodles are also susceptible to orthopedic problems, including slipping kneecaps and circulation disorders.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE TOY POODLES GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club lists Toy Poodles among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
This breed sheds infrequently and predictably, and produces less dander than most dogs.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as tiny as a Toy Poodle! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS A TOY POODLE'S BEST DAY?
A Toy Poodle's very best day is going to include a lot of activity. She'll like it best if you can take her to play in the water somewhere, and let her run around until she's run her fill.
SHOULD I ADOPT A TOY POODLE?
For all their posh appearance, Poodles can live just about anywhere. With enough exercise, they're well suited to apartment dwelling. They don't mind the heat, but they're too teeny to do well in the cold. Admittedly, they do require some serious grooming. But there's a reason these dogs are so popular: they're playful, affectionate, and very, very smart. Train and treat a Poodle right, and she could be your perfect puffball pet.
Have you decided that a Toy Poodle is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.