Poodle (Toy & Miniature)

Country of origin: France
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC
Occupation: Companion
Size: Toy: 6–9 lbs, 10–11 in tall
Miniature:  10–18lbs,  11–15 in tall
Longevity: 13 to 16 years
Exercise: Moderate
Training: Moderate; easily
Grooming: Difficult
Colors: Ranging from white through cream, silver,
brown, black, blue, red, apricot

Small versions of the tall, elegant Standard Poodle (see p.207) have existed since the 1700s, but it wasn’t until well into the 20th century that the Miniature Poodle, and then 20 years later the Toy Poodle, were recognized by kennel clubs. The Toy and Miniature sizes are recognized in most English-speaking countries. In most European countries, a poodle about the size of the Miniature is called the Dwarf, which is curious because it does not have dwarfed legs (see p.55), and “Miniature” is used to describe a medium-sized Poodle ranging up to Standard Poodle size. Very small individuals, weighing under 2kg (4.5lb) are often marketed as “Teacups”, but this is not a recognized size. Small Poodles suffer from bad press. It is true that the temperament of the breed deteriorated through breeding for quantity rather than quality, but that was 50 years ago. Nervousness and unpredictability around children today can be attributed more to poor socializing rather than to an inherently inferior temperament. Poodles don’t shed their dense, woolly coats and need to be clipped around eight times yearly. A uniform clip, producing the appearance of a new-born lamb, is the generally preferred style. While only solid colours are recognized by breed registries, parti-coloured poodles can look stunning. An excellent advantage of owning a poodle is that they seldom have a doggy odour, although they are very prone to gum disease and associated halitosis. Some lines are predisposed to inherited blindness caused by cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Breeding animals should always be examined for these conditions. Because thick hair grows down their ear canals, poodles are also prone to ear infection, making routine ear hair removal essential.

Your poodle puppy may be small and cute, but it is a long-term commitment. Pet insurance actuarial statistics show that of all breeds of dogs, Miniature Poodles have the longest median life expectancy of 14.8 years. Toy Poodles can expect to live almost as long, reaching an average of 14.4 years.



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