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Miniature Poodle

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

In general people know of 3 sizes of Poodle, the Standard, the Miniature and the Toy, though there is the 4th less well known type the Klein. The Standard is the largest, next comes the Klein and then come the Miniature and Toy. The Miniature Poodle has German origins but was developed further in France. It was very successfully used to sniff and hunt out truffles but is also a popular companion. It is a small dog with a life span of 12 to 15 years. Other names it can be known by include Caniche, Barbone, Chien Canne, Carniche Moyen, Barboncino Miniatura, French Poodle, Pudle and Zwergpudel.

The Miniature Poodle at a Glance
Name Miniature Poodle
Other names Caniche, Barbone, Chien Canne, Carniche Moyen, Barboncino Miniatura, French Poodle, Pudle, Zwergpudel
Nicknames Mini Poodle
Origin Germany and France
Average size Small
Average weight 10 to 15 pounds
Average height 11 to 15 inches
Life span 12 to 15 years
Coat type Corded, curly, single
Hypoallergenic Yes
Color Solid colors such as grey, white, black, silver, blue, red, brown, apricot or cream
Popularity Recognized by the AKC under Poodle, ranked 7th most popular dog so very popular
Intelligence Excellent – known to be one of the most intelligent breeds
Tolerance to heat Good
Tolerance to cold Moderate to good – may need extra protection if it gets very cold where you are, it only has a single coat
Shedding Low – minimal shedding so not a lot of hair in the home
Drooling Moderate – not really prone to drooling or slobbering
Obesity Moderate to average – measure its food and make sure it is well exercised
Grooming/brushing High – needs a lot of grooming and care, owners need to have time for that
Barking Frequent – will need training to stop on command
Exercise needs Quite active – but being small means it is possible for most owners to keep up with it
Trainability Very easy to train
Friendliness Excellent – very social and cheerful
Good first dog Very good
Good family pet Excellent with socialization
Good with children Excellent with socialization
Good with other dogs Excellent with socialization
Good with other pets Very good with socialization
Good with strangers Good to very good with socialization but wary at first
Good apartment dog Very good due to size but the barking may be a noise issue for close neighbors
Handles alone time well Low – does not like being alone for long periods can suffer from separation anxiety
Health issues Somewhat healthy but Poodles are prone to several health issues, some include eye problems, heart problems, diabetes and allergies
Medical expenses $435 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $75 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats
Miscellaneous expenses $540 a year for toys, basic training, grooming, miscellaneous items and license
Average annual expenses $1050 as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $2,000
Rescue organizations Toy Poodle Rescue, Happy Tails Rescue also check local shelters and rescues
Biting Statistics None reported for Miniature Poodle but under just Poodle there have been – Attacks doing bodily harm: 4 Child victims: 2 Maimings: 1 Deaths: 0

The Miniature Poodle’ Beginnings

The Poodle’s origins are unclear before their arrival in Europe in the 14th century. Some suggest they hail from Central Asia and there is evidence of Poodle like dogs dating back to times BC. Most major kennel clubs have it identified as being German in origin but a clear nod must be given to France for its further development, especially in the case of the Miniature and Toy sized Poodles. Originally the standard was developed and used in Germany then France as a waterfowl hunter and retriever. Its coat was developed to be water resistant, it enjoys the water and was very trainable and intelligent.

In France these traits were observed and the dog was further developed. The preference for smaller dogs mean smaller sizes like the Miniature came about by breeding the standard Poodle down. It is the Miniature that proved to be good at truffle hunting as well as a great companion and circus performer. Because of its popularity in France it became known as the French Poodle by some.

New Lease on Life

It was recognized by the AKC in 1887. While many dog breeds struggled after World War II, especially in Europe and France, the Miniature Poodle came out of it fine. Today this is a very popular breed, being in the top ten of favored dog breeds. It is mostly always kept as a companion and family pet and suits people who love the Poodle, its looks, attitude, brightness, that it is good for some with allergies, low shedding and loyal and affectionate, but all in a smaller package. Prices are high for this dog and there is a large mix of good breeders with poor ones so take care when looking. It is ranked 7th by the AKC.

The Dog You See Today

The Miniature Poodle is a small dog weighing 10 to 15 pounds and standing 11 to 15 inches tall. It has a squared appearance as its height is just about the same as its length. It has a level topline and legs that are in proportion to the rest of it with oval shaped small feet and arched toes. Dewclaws can be removed. Its tail is set high and sometimes docked to half length in countries where that is still practiced. Most European countries actually have banned it. It has a single coat that is curly or corded and dense. Its skin is supple but not too loose and common coat colors vary but include grey, white, black, silver, blue, red, brown, apricot or cream. It has a skull that is rounded and its head is chiseled. The muzzle is fairly long and straight and a black nose. The eyes are oval and brown or black in color and are set fairly far apart. Its long ears are set at eye level, are flat and hang down touching its cheeks.

The Inner Miniature Poodle

Temperament

Poodles are one of the brightest breeds of dog and this has its benefits and issues when you own one! It is eager to please and trainable and can go far beyond basic obedience training, but it can also quickly learn bad habits and then be hard to get them to relearn things. If spoiled and not with a firm leader it can be high strung, hard to live with, vocal, destructive and even snappy. In the right hands though it is a joy to live with, affectionate, funny, willing and friendly. It does need a lot of attention, it does not like being alone and can suffer from separation anxiety. If you are out a lot, work and socializing this is not the best dog for you.

The Miniature Poodle is alert and can be a good watchdog. It is generally polite with people it does not know but reserved and wary until it gets to know them. It is a sensitive breed so needs to be treated well. It needs a good mix of some fun and some loving in a calm household. It does bark frequently so training that to stop is a good idea. People who are not Poodle owners have the impression these are snotty and aloof dogs but in fact that is not the case at all. With their family and owners they are loving, devoted, funny and sometime goofy dogs that make great companions and family pets.

Living with a Miniature Poodle

What will training look like?

The Miniature Poodle is easy to train and in fact should learn quicker than many other breeds needing fewer repetition before it gets something. It enjoys hanging out with you, loves to please you and so this with the right approach means it can be trained as far as you are willing to take it. This is why it does well in tricks, circuses and dog events. The other side of having a smart dog is that it needs a good amount of mental stimulation to keep it happy and calm. Keep the training sessions fun for it, interesting and positive. Use things like treats, praise and rewards to encourage it, avoid physically punishing or even scolding. Be a firm and consistent pack leader, do not let it think it is the boss and you can avoid behavior problems. Early socialization is another important factor, have it introduced to various different people, places, situations, noises, animals and such so it learns the proper way to deal with them.

How active is the Miniature Poodle?

This is small but active dog, it is not going to be happy being a lap dog all the time. Its size does mean though that if you are mobile you can give it what it needs. Take it for a couple of walks a day, short to medium in length is fine and play with it. Also give it some puzzle toys to keep its mind active too. It can be an apartment dog, it does not need a yard, but having one is a nice bonus for dogs to play and investigate in. There should also be opportunities for off leash time where it can run safely. It is an adaptable dog and as long as they get some daily activity they will be happy and easier to live with.

Caring for the Miniature Poodle

Grooming needs

This dog is suitable for some allergy sufferers but check with visits if that is a concern. It is low shedding, not a lot of hair has to be dealt with around the home but its coat does need a lot of care as a result. It should be stripped professionally every two to three months, especially if it is a show dog. Some owners opt to have it clipped short regularly otherwise. It also needs to be brushed every day to remove debris and prevent matting. White Mini Poodles will need tear stains cleaning, and it should be given a bath only ever as needed taking care to only use a dog shampoo. Using anything else, or doing it too much will cause the natural oils to be damaged.

Other needs include checking its ears for infection and give them a wipe clean. Do not insert something into the ears however, just reach what can be reached and wipe it. The hair in the ears will need plucking as needed and it nails need cutting when they are too long. Take care not to go too low down the nails as there are nerves and blood vessels which should not be cut or there will be bleeding and pain. To look after its teeth and gums brush its teeth with a pet toothbrush and toothpaste two or three times a week.

Feeding Time

When feeding your Miniature Poodle use the best quality dry dog food you can afford as it is better for the dog. The amount they eat depends on how healthy they are, metabolism, size, age and how active they are. It is likely to be about ½ to 1 cup of food a day divided into a minimum of two meals. It also needs ccess to water that is kept as fresh as possible.

How is the Miniature Poodle with other animals and children?

Poodles regardless of the size with socialization are known to be great family dogs, they are excellent with children being loving, playful getting up to mischief and clowning around together. Teach children how to stroke and play nicely. It also gets on well with other pets so is fine to bring home to a place with other animals apart from birds. After all it comes from a dog bred to hunt birds and those instincts can run stronger in some Mini Poodles than others. It also gets on well with other dogs in general when it has been properly introduced.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

The Miniature Poodle has a life span of 12 to 15 years on average though some can live longer. However there are a few issues Poodles are prone to. These include eye problems, hypothyroidism allergies, skin problems, epilepsy, diabetes, patellar luxation, heart problems, Cushings, cancer, hip dysplasia, bloat and Addisons.

Biting Statistics

Looking at data that covers reports issued about dog attacks on people going back 35 years the Poodle can be found identified in 4 attacks. This is listed as a Poodle not specifically a Miniature Poodle so it is possible they are all referring to a Standard sized dog but it is still worth mentioning so readers understand even an intelligent, friendly and great family dog like the Poodle can have bad days. Two of those attacks were on children and one was a maiming. This means there was permanent scarring, loss of limb or disfigurement. This averages to a Poodle incident just once every 8 years, it is unlikely to attack people especially if socialized, trained, exercised, stimulated and well looked after.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

All Poodles come with a fairly high price tag being good even for people with allergies, low shedding and great family dogs. If you are not wanting a show dog, just a companion, a pet quality dog will still set you back at least $2000 from a decent dog breeder. If you are wanting to take it to dog shows and compete with it you could pay a lot more than that, even double. If being a purebred is not an absolute must there is another option, adoption. Look at rescues for Poodles specifically or at local shelters. Adoption fees should range from $50 to $400 and you get the joy of bringing a deserving dog to its new forever home. Avoid terrible breeders from puppy mills, pet stores or backyard breeders.

When you are all home and settled you should take it to a vet for a physical and other medical tests like deworming, shots, blood tests and spaying or neutering, as well as getting it micro chipped. This will cost about $260. Then there are some things you should get it, like bowls, collar and leash, crate and carrier for another cost of about $130.

A dog has needs that will cost you money while you have it, things like insurance, basic health, feeding, grooming and such. A Mini Poodle will cost about $1050 annually, that is $540 a year for license, basic training, toys, grooming and miscellaneous items. Another $75 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats. Then $435 a year for emergency health savings or pet insurance and basic health care like check ups, shots and tick and flea prevention.

Names

Looking for a Miniature Poodle Name? Let select one from our list!

A Miniature Poodle could make a great companion and friend as they have a lot going for them. It is smart, funny, loving and loyal. Social and friendly though socialization is still important especially in terms of birds and meeting strangers! It does need owners who are home more than out though and when spoiled too much can become difficult which is something owners of small dogs tend to be guilty of more.

Popular Poodle Mixes

DogBreed
Affenpoo
Affenpoo
Affenpinscher and Poodle Mix
General Information
Size Medium
Height 10 to 20 inches
Weight 10 to 25 pounds
Life span 12 – 16 years
Touchiness Can be grumpy!
Barking Average
Activity Low
Breed Traits

Curious
Clever
Affectionate
Intelligent
Like to be busy
Sometimes grumpy

Hypoallergenic

Yes

DogBreed
Airedoodle
Airedoodle
Airedale Terrier and Poodle Mix
General Information
Size Medium
Height 22 to 26 inches
Weight 40 to 60 pounds
Life span 10 to 15 years
Touchiness Easy going
Barking Low
Activity High
Breed Traits

Intelligent
Loyal
Good natured
Friendly
Loving
Happy

Hypoallergenic

Yes

DogBreed
Shepadoodle
Shepadoodle
Poodle German Shepherd Mix
General Information
Size Large
Weight 50 to 80 pounds
Height 22 to 28 inches
Life span 12 to 14 years
Touchiness Very sensitive
Barking Rare
Activity Very active
Breed Traits

Devoted
Loyal
Protective
Social
Intelligent
Eager to please

Hypoallergenic

Can be

DogBreed
Labradoodle
Labradoodle
Labrador and Poodle Mix
General Information
Size Large
Weight 45 to 75 pounds
Height 21 to 24 inches
Life span 12 to 14 years
Touchiness Can be sensitive
Barking Rare to occasional
Activity Very high
Breed Traits

Intelligent
Loving
Energetic
Gentle
Eager to please
Good Family Pet

Hypoallergenic

Can be

DogBreed
Double Doodle
Double Doodle
Golden Retriever, Labrador retriever and Poodle Mix
General Information
Size Medium to large
Weight 30 – 70 pounds
Height Medium to large
Life span 12 – 15 years
Touchiness Fairly high
Barking Low to moderate
Activity Very active
Breed Traits

Hyperactive
Social
Friendly
Intelligent
Good Family Pet
Loyal

Hypoallergenic

Yes


Featured Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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