- Dog suitable for owners with some experience
- Extra training required
- Generally healthy breed
- Enjoys active walks
- Needs under an hour of walking a day
- Small dog
- Minimum drool
- Requires grooming every other day
- Chatty and vocal dog
- Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
- Generally friendly with other dogs
- Gets along with other pets with training
- May need additional supervision to live with children
- Needs a small garden
- Can happily live in the city
- Can be left occasionally with training
|Lifespan:||12 – 15 years|
|Colours:||Blue, grey, silver, brown, apricot and cream|
|Kennel Club Groups:||Utility|
|Easy to train:||5/5|
|Tolerates being alone:||1/5|
|Likes other pets:||4/5|
The Poodle is a lively, sociable and affectionate dog who is both intelligent and amusing, and makes a wonderful and fun companion. They love to be included in all family pursuits and can be good watch dogs, announcing visitors without being aggressive. They bond closely to their owners and so do not like to be left home alone.
History and Origins
Country of Origin: Germany
The original Poodle is the Standard Poodle, a water retrieving dog, So, this is a breed who was always very much a worker. The smaller Poodles (the Toy and the Miniature) were created as smaller versions of the original Poodle for owners who didn’t want such a large dog but were enchanted by their personalities and enthusiasm for all kinds of work. The major influencers in this desire for a smaller Poodle were circuses - who were using this highly intelligent, easy to train, friendly and even comical dog in their shows with great success but found the Standard Poodles just a bit too big.
Up until 1907, the Toy Poodle and the Miniature Poodle was both called the Toy Poodle, but as even smaller versions of the breed became popular due to selective breeding, these smaller dogs (under 28cms) became known as Toys while Miniature was used to describe dogs over 28cms but under 38cms.
Like many small dog breeds, the miniature Poodle can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas). They are also prone to a hip condition and an inherited eye disorder that should be tested for. Visit the Kennel Club website and also the breed club for more information on health testing.
The Toy Poodle is an active fun dog who enjoys canine exercise and will be happy with an hour every day split into two walks - but will still enjoy dog games, training, interactive toys and being involved in all family activities at the rest of the time too. If under-exercised or bored, they can become overactive and noisy.
The Toy Poodle can be a country dog or a city dog - and can live in smaller urban spaces as long as they have access to outside for daily exercise and toileting.
Small dog breeds, such as the Toy Poodle, have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion. Discover more about how to offer your dog a balanced diet with our easy-to-follow guide.
Toy Poodles do not shed and are often (though not always) tolerated by allergic people. Their coats do take a great deal of care, though, generally requiring professional dog grooming, as well as regular combing and brushing at home. The poodle should be taken to a groomer about every six weeks to be clipped, or you can learn how to do it yourself. A groomer will also advise on ear care.
Poodles are a joy to train as they are clever, quick to learn and love working with their owner. It’s not just dog training they excel at. They can also turn their paw to dog sports such as mini agility, heelwork to music and even obedience with no problems whatsoever - and in fact training and working with their owner will keep this often-busy little dog happy and relaxed.
The Toy Poodle can make a fabulous family dog but are better for older children and quiet households as, especially as puppies, they are very small and easily injured by rough or boisterous play.
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with each other and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.
Did You Know?
Poodles - especially the ones you see in the show ring - seem to have all kinds of crazy hairdos but these often flamboyant-looking styles all started off with a purpose. Poodles were originally water-retrieving dogs but their coats could easily get water-logged and pull them down. The answer was to clip off all their hair but leave some around their vital organs to keep them warm, and around any vulnerable joints to protect from injury.