While both the toy poodle and mini poodle are cut from the same cloth, they are very different dogs. If you're deciding between which type of poodle to adopt.
here's what you should know.
Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle History
Breeds that seem quite similar from the outside can often have quite similar histories.
Learning your favorite breed’s history can be really fun, as well as interesting!
So what about the Toy Poodle and Miniature Poodle breeds?
Toy Poodles and Miniature Poodles both descended from the Standard Poodle breed.
Standard Poodle History
The Standard Poodle was originally used as a duck retrieving dog so spent a lot of time in the water!
But the purpose of the breed changed a little as time went on. Miniature Poodle History
The Miniature Poodle became popular with richer classes in France.
Smaller Standard Poodles were bred to create the Miniature Poodle breed.
The Toy Poodle was created a little later.
Toy Poodle History
This breed originally started out in America in the early 1900s.
The Toy Poodle was bred to be a companion dog.
And its size made it the perfect choice for this role.
So the two breeds had very similar purposes and origins, although one is a little older than the other.
As you might imagine, the history of the Miniature and Toy Poodles are mixed with the history of the regular sized, or Standard, Poodle.
The Standard Poodle is an old European breed, used for hunting and retrieving waterfowl.
Eventually, these dogs became the canine companion of choice for French nobility, and thus the national dog of France.
Standard Poodles have been around since the 15th century, at least.
By the 18th century they were the main companion dog in Spain.
Starting in the 18th century, smaller Miniature Poodles started becoming popular as companions in French royal houses.
In the 20th century, Toy Poodles started being bred in the U.S. as a good companion for people who lived in cities.
All three sizes of Poodle are recognized by the American Kennel Club and the British Kennel Club.
Both the Miniature and Toy are simply considered smaller varieties of the Standard, and are bred to the same standards.
However, some studies show that Miniature Poodles from North America may be a distinct breed compared to Standard Poodles!
Toy Poodle And Mini Poodle Appearances
Standard Poodles are generally considered to be more than 15 inches at the shoulder.
They set the size standard for Poodles in general, in that the other types of Poodle are compared to the Standard to determine which variety they are.
Miniature Poodles should generally be between 11-15 inches at the shoulder.
Toy poodles are even smaller than that, at 10 inches tops!
Size is really the only difference in appearance between these dogs.
All three breeds carry the same official breed standard.
They have curly, dense hair and are usually of solid colors.
Blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-au-lait, apricot and creams, sometimes in varying shades.
Poodles carry themselves proudly, look alert, and are elegantly well-proportioned.
Toy Poodle And Mini Poodle Temperament
All poodles are active, intelligent dogs.
They are known for their steady and calm nerves and hardy constitutions.
They make wonderful companions and do well if treated as part of the family.
Poodles are very people-oriented and may suffer from separation anxiety.
You should know that as working dogs, they have stronger marking and hunting drives than many companion breeds.
Poodles are generally not aggressive and thus are fine with other animals and children.
But the smaller the poodle, the more careful you must be to teach kids proper handling and playing.
So, for small children, Miniature Poodles might be your best bet.
You might expect the smaller dogs to be more likely to bark, but this isn’t necessarily true.
All poodles can become habitual barkers without training or enough attention.
Toy And Mini Poodle Training
Poodles are eager to please and quick to learn, which makes them very trainable.
You may think that, as these are smaller dogs, they don’t need as much training or socialization.
But with Poodles, that’s not necessarily the case.
Poodles have a tendency toward excessive bonding with their owner, and don’t do well alone for long periods of time.
Socialization can be super important to stave off separation anxiety.
Additionally, some lines of poodles can be high strung or shy.
Socialization can be important in helping to overcome these personality quirks.
Poodles are agile and graceful and benefit from training in agility, obedience, and tracking activities.
You should be consistent and positive with them since Poodles can be sensitive as well.
This goes for all varieties of Poodle size, toy and miniature.
Toy And Mini Poodle Exercises
Both Toy and Miniature Poodles should have some exercise every day, and plenty of mental stimulation.
As hunting, working dogs in their past, they can get easily bored.
They have a high energy level and love activity.
They can be even livelier than the Standard Poodle!
Both poodles may benefit from fetching games and walks with their humans.
They will probably enjoy swimming and retrieving.
Still, because of their size, their exercise requirements can be different.
Miniature Poodles might need to stretch their legs a bit more than Toy Poodles.
Indoor play and short jaunts outside might be enough for the tiny Toys.
However, both types of dog will still need plenty of mental exercise.
And those agility, obedience and tracking activities mentioned before are good for their minds and their bodies.
Toy And Mini Poodle Health
Miniature and Toy Poodles are both generally fairly sturdy little dogs.
A history of good breeding means these dogs generally live long and healthy lives.
Their life expectancy runs about 10-18 years.
Interestingly, Miniature Poodles have more genetic diversity than Standard Poodles.
This may make them even slightly healthier than their larger counterparts.
But you should know that Toy Poodles, because of their small bones and size, are more likely to suffer from injury.
Their size makes them more fragile.
All poodles are prone to certain genetic issues.
These include certain autoimmune disorders.
Including Addison’s disease, and sebaceous adenitis, which is an inflammatory disease affecting hair follicles.
These also include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, diabetes, hepatitis, hypothyroidism, atrial septal defect (of the heart).
And a bleeding disorder called von Willebrand’s disease.
They may also experience eye disorders.
Miniature and Toy Poodles also experience certain orthopedic problems.
Especially Legg-Calvé Perthes (a bleeding disorder of the hips), and luxating patellas.
With Miniature and Toy Poodles, recommended health tests include a hip evaluation, an ophthalmologist evaluation, a PRA optigen DNA test, and a patella evaluation.
Miniature And Toy Poodle Grooming
Poodles are a low-shedding breed, but this does not mean they have low grooming needs.
Poodle coats must be brushed daily completely to the skin in order to keep from matting near the roots.
If you don’t do this, your dog’s hair may eventually have to be shaved because it has gotten too matted!
This is often why many Poodle owners take their Poodles to be professionally groomed once or twice a month.
You must take this into account if you want a Poodle of any size.
An alternative is to keep the coat very short. This may work well in the summer.
Also, for those of you who want a hypoallergenic dog.
You should know there’s no such thing.
However, the Poodle’s infrequent shedding means that they cause fewer reactions in allergic people, which may help those who suffer but still want a dog.
If you have allergies, doctors recommend that you expose yourself to the individual dog you want and see how you react to him specifically.
What Breed Makes A Better Pet?
Honestly, if you’re trying to decide between a Miniature and Toy Poodle, there’s really just one main factor to consider: size.
These aren’t separate breeds. They are simply different size varieties of the same breed.
Do you want your dog to be under 10 inches at the shoulder, or above?
A smaller dog will require less exercise because she’ll have smaller legs.
The Toy Poodle is slightly more fragile, and thus may be a better option for older kids who can treat a puppy more gently.
The Miniature Poodle is still on the small side, but will require a bit more exercise.
Miniature Poodles are sturdier than Toy Poodles, which may be a consideration for certain people.
Yet both dogs are relatively healthy, lively, smart, affectionate creatures that can make great additions to your household.
Any differences in terms of health, temperament, personality and other aspects of the dogs will be down to individuals, or to the breeders.
Thus, it’s important for you to look for the most responsible breeders you can find.
You should make sure your breeder has no issues with you visiting or with providing the health testing information for both parents of your potential pup.
Sizing Up The Difference Of Toy And Mini Poodle
Bred from the larger Standard Poodle, the Toy and Miniature Poodles are often considered one and the same. However, these dogs differ in temperament, as well as size and weight. Here's a closer look at each of these pint-sized Poodles.
The Toy Poodle
The average Toy Poodle stands about 10 inches tall. This tiny dog weighs between six and nine pounds—some even less. The Toy Poodle is a clever, lively, and loyal companion.
And, as one of the most intelligent breeds, he's also easily trained. The Toy can be good with children but is usually recommended for older kids. Without proper training, the Toy can display unpleasant behavior, including growling, snapping, and nervousness.
The Toy Poodle is prone to more health problems than the Miniature, including:
- Ear infections
- Skin conditions
- Eye disorders
- Heart disorders
The Miniature Poodle
Slightly larger than the Toy Poodle, the Miniature Poodle stands at about 15 inches tall and should weigh in somewhere between 12–20 pounds.
Miniature Poodles are extremely smart, adaptable and easy to train, so it's no surprise that they were once very popular circus dogs.
Miniatures love being around people and are able to form bonds with each member of the family. They are considered ideal family dogs because they are patient and playful with children of all ages.
The Miniature Poodle is prone to certain health issues, such as:
Toy or Miniature, these petite Poodles pack a lot of energy and personality into a small package.
Basic Types of Poodle
1. Standard Poodle
The standard poodle is the largest form of the breed, and they stand at least 15 inches at the shoulder (most are between 20 and 23 inches tall) and weigh between about 45 and 80 pounds.
Although they are not that visually intimidating, standard poodles actually make pretty good guard dogs, as they are alert, brave, and protective of their owners.
2. Miniature Poodle
A mid-sized poodle by American standards, the miniature poodle is usually 11 to 15 inches tall and weighs 14 to 18 pounds.
Although they are smaller than their standard counterparts, these pups have just as much personality, and they make great pets for families.
3. Toy Poodle
The tiny toy poodle is the smallest of the three AKC-recognized size variants, and weighs less than 10 pounds (usually between 6 and 9 pounds).
They usually stand about 8 to 10 inches high at the shoulder, making them perfectly pint-sized. If you are looking for a loveable lap dog, it is hard to go wrong with a toy poodle.
4. Klein (Moyen) Poodle
There are a ton of Klein poodles in the US, but they are not recognized by the AKC as a valid size variant. The UKC treats them much like standard poodles, with whom they compete in dog shows.
Klein poodles are akin to small standard poodles, and most stand between 15 and 20 inches in height and weigh about 40 to 50 pounds.
5. Teacup Poodle
Teacup poodles are not recognized by most of the major breed registries; instead, they are an unofficial name breeders and poodle enthusiasts give to very small toy poodles.
There aren’t any clearly defined size guidelines for teacup poodles, but most dogs that enjoy the label are in the 5- to 7-pound range.
We don’t generally recommend purchasing teacup dogs, as they’re often bred to be un-naturally petite, and suffer from a multitude of health issues as a result. Make sure to do your research before considering a teacup dog!
Poodle Daily Brushing
But if you don’t want to do this, you’ll have to be prepared to groom your Miniature or Toy Poodle daily.
You need to groom your Poodle’s fur all the way to the skin to prevent matting close to the roots.
Alternatively, many people choose to take their Miniature or Toy Poodle to a groomer so they don’t have this stress!
Alongside fur care, you should regularly trim your Miniature or Toy Poodle’s nails and check its ears for excess wax build ups.
What Kind Of Poodle You Have?
If you already have a poodle, you might already know their size and family history. However, if you have a rescue, you might not know if they are a miniature, toy, or teacup size. That’s what we’ll cover here.
As I mentioned above, the smallest poodle varieties include the miniature, toy, and teacup. There are several factors that separate these poodles and help you distinguish which variety you may have.
Your Poodle Might Be Overweight
If your pet is heavier than they should be based on the chart, don’t panic. First, be honest with yourself. Is your pup obviously overweight?
If you are unsure, consult with your vet to make sure your pet is a healthy weight. If your pup gets the all-clear, there is nothing to worry about.
However, if your poodle is overweight, your vet might suggest more exercise and/or less food. Remember: don’t make these changes on your own; always talk to your vet about your pet’s dietary needs.
They can give you some professional advice on how to proceed.
Poodle Might Have Parents Of Different Sizes
If your pet is heavier than others in their size class, but it is still healthy according to the vet, your dog might also fall between weight classes because they have parents of two different sizes.
For example, if your poodle’s parents were a miniature poodle and a toy poodle, it’s possible for your pet to be a hybrid in one particular trait—such as height, eye color, or fur color.
The same goes for weight. This means your dog’s weight is simply due to genetics.
If your pet poodle weighs more or less than their size recommends, it might be due to their gender, being overweight (or underweight), or have parents of different sizes.
Just because your poodle weighs more or less than they are supposed to doesn’t mean there is cause for worry, but if you think there’s something wrong, check with your trusted vet.
Poodle Is Taller Than They Are Supposed To Be
If your miniature poodle is taller than average for their size (for instance), you shouldn’t worry.
Take other animals into consideration. Fish, for example, grow to fit their environment if they have the right nutrients in their diet.
Your dog could be doing the same thing; they could be getting taller because they are healthy and thriving.
As long as they aren’t having trouble moving and don’t break bones easily, things should be fine.
Poodle Is Shorter Than They Are Supposed To Be
If your miniature poodle is shorter than average for their size (for instance), you should take into account their overall health before you worry about them.
While taller poodles are likely thriving due to their good health, it is possible shorter poodles are unhealthy.
For example, if your pet is in their formative years (up to two years of age), it’s vital they are getting the right food in the correct amounts, getting regular exercise or walks, and receiving proper treatment from the vet—including all necessary shots and medications.
Keep in mind these are important habits at any age, but if your dog doesn’t get these habits down in their formative years, it can affect their health and growth including their height.
Here are a few issues that can stunt a puppy’s growth:
Parvo and intestinal viruses: viruses that affect the digestive tract interrupt a puppy’s eating habits can stunt their growth if they have the virus long enough. Parvo is one example of such viruses; parvo is particularly dangerous because it spreads so easily.
Broken bones: Usually, when puppies break bones, they damage growth plates because they are still small. This can stunt their growth, later on, causing them to be shorter than they were supposed to be.
Malnutrition: If your pet suffered malnutrition in their formative years, they are likely to have health troubles later on, and this can include being shorter than they’re supposed to be.
Unless your pup has any of the above troubles (or did in the past), there’s probably no need to worry. If you have a rescue pup, keep in mind there could also be something they went through that you don’t know about. As always, if you have any concerns, be sure to discuss them with your vet.
If your poodle doesn’t fall into their respective height class, it could be because of their gender, pedigree, or health.
Some poodles are a little taller or shorter than others, but it’s usually no call for alarm. If you have questions, be sure to consult your vet for proper advice.
The Average Lifespan Of Poodles
The lifespan of miniature, toy, and teacup poodles varies slightly. While miniatures can live for 12-15 years, toy poodles can live for an average of 11-15 years.
Teacup poodles, however, live for between 10-14 years. To remember this, keep in mind larger poodles have longer lives.
However, you should note this is contingent on a variety of factors, including diet, exercise, and overall health.
You can, for example, give them different food, less food, or change their feeding schedule. You can also take them for more walks or longer ones. Playtime can be exercise, too!
While you can help change your poodle’s diet and exercise habits, sometimes you can’t change their overall health; sometimes, disorders or diseases they face are simply due to genetics (as is the case with things like diabetes and seizure disorders).
Below is a list of common health problems your poodle might face regardless of size:
- Cushing’s Disease: Cushing’s disease is one that target’s your pet’s adrenal gland, where tumors form and disrupt your pet’s normal functions. Lifelong medication and/or surgery might be required.
- Blindness: Blindness is common in poodles—especially older ones. You might notice your dog’s vision grows worse with old age.
- Diabetes: This is the same problem many humans might face as well. Altering your poodle’s diet and exercise regimen might help, but medications like insulin might be needed.
- Thyroid Problems: This is another common problem among poodles. The thyroid controls your dog’s metabolism, so if you notice sudden changes in their appetite or weight, it’s important to tell your vet.
- Epilepsy: Poodles of all sizes are prone to epilepsy, which is a seizure disorder. If your pup has seizures, be sure to get them checked out right away. There is medication available for epilepsy as well.
These illnesses and health troubles affect poodles of all sizes, but not every dog will have these—or any—ailments.
There are some distinct differences between a Toy Poodle and a Mini Poodle, and if you are interested in either of these breeds it's important to understand the main differences between the two. For the most part, the differences between Toy Poodles and Mini Poodles are limited to size, weight, and grooming requirements. The majority of both Toy and Mini Poodles are bred as companion dogs, but some are bred to compete in dog shows. When it comes to size, the Mini Poodle is the smaller of the two. With both breeds, females are smaller than males.
(Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below)
Leave a Reply