A Toy Poodle is a Poodle in miniature form. These tiny toy-sized dogs have all the looks and characteristics of a full-sized poodle, but they are just a fraction of the height and weight!
Toy Poodles are the perfect companion dogs. Standing just 10 inches tall, this mini Poodle will happily sit on your lap all day, and they are wonderful pets to keep in small apartments. They don’t need any space to be happy, but they do need grooming to look the best they can.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the defining features and characteristics of a Toy Poodle, how they stack up against other types of poodles, and what you need to know to raise Toy Poodle puppies!
What is a Toy Poodle?
The Toy Poodle is one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. The best way to describe these tiny pups is simply as a shrunken-down version of larger poodles.
The Toy Poodle is a specific type of Poodle. It has to be a specific height and weight in order to class as ‘Toy.’ While they are small in stature, they have the same character and temperament that you would expect of a full-sized Poodle because they have simply been bred down over generations to be a smaller size - not for any other specific personality traits.
Smaller versions of the Toy Poodle are more commonly known as the Teacup Poodle. These tiny pups are even shorter and lighter, but the Teacup Poodle isn’t an official breed - rather, it’s officially a small Toy Poodle!
Toy Poodle Features
Height: 10 inches or less (required height in order to be classified as a ‘Toy’ Poodle, rather than larger varieties of Poodle).
Weight: cannot weigh any more than 6 pounds.
Temperament: Intelligent, independent, loyal, affectionate, loving, proud.
Appearance: Literally a tiny poodle. Toy Poodles have thick fur coats, which can be a range of colors or mixes (you can find a black toy poodle, a red toy poodle, a black and red toy poodle, and so on). Floppy Poodle-like ears, distinctive dark facial features, and curly hypoallergenic fur.
Known health problems: eye and patella problems. A Toy Poodle puppy is fragile, given its small size, but robust once fully grown.
Lifespan: wide-ranging lifespan that can fall anywhere between 10 and 18 years. Toy Poodles have the potential to live very long lives if well cared for and free of health issues!
A brief history of Toy Poodles
Toy Poodles are the smallest official breed of Poodles (as we said, Teacup Poodles are not officially recognized, they are just super-small Toy Poodles!). Over many generations, larger poodles have been bred down by breeders, a progressive process that eventually resulted in the tiny Toy Poodle, which we all love and adore to this day.
The history of Toy Poodles, then, is shared with the history of other breeds of Poodle (the Toy Poodle is just the newest, in a long line of Poodles!). Technically, the Toy Poodle isn’t even really a breed, just a tiny Poodle, but we won’t be pedantic here. The larger varieties of Poodle are the following:
- Standard Poodles (approx 24 inches tall, weighs 50 -70 pounds)
- Medium Poodles (approx 20 inches tall, weighs 20 -30 pounds)
- Miniature Poodles (must be 11 - 15 inches tall, weighs 15 - 20 pounds)
If you take the smallest Standard Poodles, you can find and breed them together, and you’ll get smaller puppies. Repeat this process over several centuries, and the result is a tiny Poodle!
This sort of down-breeding became common in Europe from the 16th century onwards. Originally, large Poodles were bred to be working dogs (France claims the ‘French’ Poodle as their own, but Germany also claims to be the origin of the Poodle).
Their intelligence and athletic ability well suited them to a life outdoors, while their thick, waterproof coats meant they were well protected from the elements.
Poodles became well known for their coats, though. Hence, with time and money to spare, aristocrats and royal families began breeding the larger dogs down to produce a more manageable companion dog that would be small enough for the court. But while Toy Poodles may look all fluffy and groomed, they are still very active, rugged, and outdoorsy beneath their good looks.
In recent years, the popularity of small, companion dogs has only increased, and so the Toy Poodle has become widely bred and widely available.
How to take care of a Toy Poodle
The Toy Poodle is perfectly sized for life in a small apartment or tiny house where space is limited. These are undeniably tiny dogs; they are happy living in small areas, and they won’t get in your way (much)!
However, despite their small size, these are still very active dogs (remember, Toy Poodles have all the personality of a full-sized Poodle!). Like many toy dog breeds, they are a small bundle of energy, and they can surprise their owners with their active lifestyle.
Toy Poodles like to run and jump around, and so you’ll need to ensure that you have outdoor space or that you can regularly take them for walks (at least once per day). Toy Poodles are small but still need feeding twice a day (in the morning and evening), particularly if they’ve spent all day running around. They don’t need any special food (regular dog food is just fine), and like all dogs, they’ll enjoy a treat every now and then!
If you’re raising a Toy Poodle Puppy, it’s important that you house train them as soon as possible. They’ll need vaccinations, potty training, and socializing. Toy Poodles get on well with other dogs, and they are relatively easy to train. Like all Poodles, though, these are smart dogs. That means they are independent, and you may find them to be stubborn.
If you have difficulty training them, then it’s a good idea to attend puppy training classes.
Toy Poodle Grooming
Toy Poodles are just begging to be groomed, and often, they are raised to be small show dogs or to be styled by their owners. A Toy Poodle’s coat is very thick, and if it’s let to grow, it can quickly become unmanageable and out of control.
For this reason, it’s necessary to keep them trimmed down and regularly washed. This prevents their coats from harboring bacteria or parasites and helps your Toy Poodle to stay healthy.
There are several distinctive looks that dog groomers often give the Toy Poodle. The short trim is the easiest option, but some owners go for the fluffy head and shaved back look.
Toy Poodle Health Problems
Toy Poodles are purebred, and consequently, they can suffer from particular health problems prevalent in many other Poodle varieties.
Despite their small size, these are surprisingly robust dogs, but they do suffer from Luxating Patellas (all small dogs, including Miniature and Toy Poodles, can be affected by this condition). This occurs when the kneecap essentially pops out of place. It’s not an issue for some dogs, and the kneecap simply pops back, but for others, it can cause long-term mobility issues.
Toy Poodles can exacerbate patella problems and other joint or limb conditions when they bounce around the home. You can help to avoid painful injuries by installing a bed ramp for dogs. This stops them from having to jump up and down to get on the furniture.
Toy Poodles are also susceptible to eye and heart conditions (as are all Poodles). It’s good to get your Toy Poodle checked out at least once a year by your vet for peace of mind. Catching any conditions early on ensures that you can treat your Toy Poodle effectively - before conditions worsen.
Like all dogs, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a loving owner are all necessary for your Toy Poodle to live a healthy and long life. If you’re ever worried about the health of your dog, it’s always best to contact the vet - even if it’s minor!
Toy Poodle: the final word
Toy Poodles are fantastically small but surprisingly energetic pups. They are well suited to small homes and apartments and singles, couples, and families looking for a long-lived, lively, and lovable pet dog.
Toy Poodles do require lots of grooming to be kept in pristine condition, and they can be annoyingly stubborn at times, but put in the effort, and these tiny pups will give you the love and affection you’re looking for in return.
If you’re searching for the perfect tiny companion, then why not consider a Toy Poodle?