Miniature Poodles are bred from Standard Poodles. They’re smaller — although not as small as Toy Poodles, which are less than 10 inches tall — but are otherwise an almost identical breed. Unlike the Standard Poodle, which originated in Germany for duck hunting and water retrieval, the Miniature Poodle was first introduced in France as a companion dog and was a favorite of royalty.
After arriving in the United States in the late 19th century, the Miniature Poodle’s popularity skyrocketed at the end of WWII. Ever since, they’ve been a breed loved by many American icons, including Elvis Presley, Walt Disney, Jackie Kennedy, and Marilyn Monroe.
10 – 15 inches
10 – 18 years
12 – 15 years
Apricot, black, blue, brown, cream, gray, red, silver, silver beige, white
Active families, apartments, houses with or without a yard
Loyal and loving, intelligent, easy to train, friendly, wary of strangers, noisy without training, athletic
Miniature Poodles are intelligent and agile and carry themselves with a regal splendor that makes them great show dogs. You’ll often see Poodles of all sizes styled with various clips, the lion cut being the most popular, and their single coat is well known for being low shedding. They’re a great hypoallergenic dog for owners with allergies.
Their name, “Poodle,” comes from the German, “pudle,” meaning to splash in puddles.
We put together this guide to introduce you to the Miniature Poodle and help you decide whether this breed is right for you and your family.
Miniature Poodle Characteristics
Miniature Poodle Puppies
As a popular AKC recognized breed, the Miniature Poodle is one of the more expensive pedigree dog breeds available. Depending on the age of your puppy and your chosen breeder, the Miniature Poodle can be rather pricey.
This price doesn’t include the ongoing care expenses, though. Remember to consider the cost of food, veterinary visits, insurance, toys, grooming, and other supplies that you need to properly take care of your Miniature Poodle before purchasing one.
No matter the size of your home or yard, your Miniature Poodle should have no problem fitting in with your family. These loyal and loving pups are easy to train. That being said, if you don’t get on top of training right away, you may be dealing with a few noise complaints which will not be ideal, especially if you live in an apartment.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Miniature Poodle
Poodles in general are highly active and incredibly intelligent. While they’re less active than their Standard cousins, the Miniature Poodle easily holds their own among other athletic dog breeds and loves to show off their training in agility and obedience.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Raised around children, Miniature Poodles are playful and protective of their small human charges. They’re a naturally friendly breed, but their wariness around strangers and new situations means you need to make sure you properly socialize them as they grow.
These dogs are on the small side. While not as small as the Toy Poodle, they can still be hurt during rough play, and children should be taught to respect and care for their canine playmates.
Miniature Poodles suit active families best. They don’t require as much exercise as the Standard Poodle because they’re smaller, but they do need regular walks and play sessions for a healthy lifestyle.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
Proper socialization with all dogs is always a good idea, and it’s best to be safe than sorry, even if you have a dog renowned for being friendly to everyone. Miniature Poodles should be introduced to other dogs and pets as they grow. They’re not an inherently aggressive breed but have been known to growl at unfamiliar animals and people.
Raised in a multi-pet household, Miniature Poodles are more than happy to live with other dogs and cats.
Things to Know When Owning a Miniature Poodle
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Like most small dog breeds, feed your Miniature Poodle 1 cup of food a day split over two meals. High-quality food is always better. You can purchase commercial brands or make your own following your veterinarian’s instructions.
Remember to adjust the amount of food that you give your Miniature Poodle depending on their activity level, treat intake, and whether you mix kibble with wet food for their meals.
Smaller than the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle is athletic but not to the point that you can’t keep up. They’re the perfect size for apartments and indoor play sessions, but they won’t turn their nose up at a walk to the dog park or a game of fetch in the yard.
Along with playing active games, Miniature Poodles should be walked at least once a day. Keep outings brief so they don’t get too tired.
When people first see Poodles of any kind, they focus so much on the show-dog-style haircuts, they don’t realize just how intelligent these dogs are. The Miniature Poodle is no exception.
As people-pleasers, this breed loves to spend time with their family and excels in agility, obedience, tracking, and retrieval competitions. Have plenty of rewards on hand, whether they’re treats or favorite toys, and keep training sessions consistent, fun, and positive. The Miniature Poodle’s intelligence also makes them a great option for a service dog.
Miniature Poodles have been known to be the type of dog to bark incessantly without proper training. For apartment dwellers, this may cause an issue with your neighbors. Training your Poodle to be quiet takes persistence and positivity but is a rewarding task.
While they only have one coat and don’t shed as much as other dog breeds, Poodles — even the Miniature ones — have fur that never stops growing. Due to this, you need to keep up with regular grooming sessions. How often you groom them depends on the length of their fur and whether there’s a particular cut — the lion cut, for example — that you need to maintain for shows or just stylistic preference.
Miniature Poodles with shorter fur can get away with a grooming session once or twice a week. Longer fur tends to become matted and unmanageable, however, so brush your long-haired Poodle at least once a day.
You don’t need to do extravagant show-dog clips. Miniature Poodles look great with a simple short haircut. Some owners learn how to cut their Poodle’s fur themselves, saving trips to the groomer, but if you choose the easier method, remember to book professional grooming sessions every 4–6 weeks.
Health and Conditions 🏥
The Miniature Poodle is renowned for being a relatively healthy dog, and a reputable breeder will make sure to screen their stock for any inheritable illnesses before breeding. There are a few health issues to keep in mind, though.
Male vs. Female
Like other dog breeds, the differences between male and female Miniature Poodles go beyond the sizes and weights for each sex.
Male Miniature Poodles often latch onto one member of the family to call their favorite; they’ll adore everyone, but one particular person will be the one whom they seek out the most often. They’re also believed to be more adventurous than their somewhat aloof female counterparts.
On the other hand, female Miniature Poodles have a tendency to seek affection when they please and reject it when they don’t feel like cuddling. While they’re just as people-loving, female Poodles are more reserved and don’t mind spending time on their own. Don’t leave them for too long, though, as Miniature Poodles, regardless of their sex, prefer being around their people and can suffer from separation anxiety.
Without proper training, both males and females can exhibit unwanted behavior like aggression toward strangers. Make sure to properly socialize both sexes to curb any unwanted reactions to other people, children, and pets.
Overall, Miniature Poodles are individuals. When you find the perfect puppy, they’ll settle right into your family with ease.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Miniature Poodle
Miniature Poodles have been around for hundreds of years and have been depicted in paintings as early as the 17th century. Their popularity has shifted and changed over time, but they always find ways to get back into people’s hearts.
With centuries filled with history, it’s no surprise that they have several fun facts to their name. Here are a few that you might not know.
1. Miniature Poodles were a favorite of European royalty.
As a companion dog with an inherent regality, when Miniature Poodles were first introduced, they were a firm favorite of the aristocracy. Louis XVI of France and Queen Anne of England both adored this breed.
2. The Miniature Poodle performed in circuses.
Their high level of intelligence makes the Miniature Poodle easy to train for shows of all types. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they often performed circus acts alongside their handlers.
3. They were introduced in the U.S. in the late 19th century.
While the Miniature Poodle has always appeared in art — especially 17th-century paintings — and shows like the circus, they only made it to the U.S. in the late 1800s. When they did, they didn’t become a popular breed until after WWII.
The Miniature Poodle is an intelligent, eager-to-please, and loving companion that suits active families and apartment life. They are hypoallergenic and have a history of popularity among the European ruling class, like Louis XVI, and American pop culture, from Presley to Monroe.
These dogs often have a snooty reputation due to their show-dog appearance, particularly when they show off snazzy hairdos. But despite suiting shows from agility and obedience to tracking and circus acts, the Miniature Poodle is a breed happy to cuddle up with you on the couch and snooze the afternoon away.
Another interesting read:
- 150+ Poodle Names: Cute, Classy & Popular Ideas
- Klein Poodle
- Miniature Labradoodle (Lab & Mini Poodle Mix)
Featured Image Credit: VitCOM Photo, Shutterstock