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Miniature Poodle

Challenging Misconceptions About The Miniature Poodle

The Miniature Poodle is a pure bred dog that is not seen as often as a family pet as some other breeds, such as the more familiar, larger Labs, Collies and German Shepherds.

There are common conceptions about the nature of this little Poodle dog and its care needs that might put some people off.

There are common stereotypes about Poodles more generally that are off-putting to those with families and no interest in a show dog. However, a closer look a this mid-sized Poodle type shows that there is more to this breed than initially meets the eye.

In this guide, we aim to offer all the important information about Miniature Poodles that any prospective owner may need before deciding on getting one of these dogs. There is the all important information about the mini Poodle temperament and trainability of these dogs.

We will also ask important questions like how big is a Miniature Poodle, and what is the typical lifespan of Miniature Poodles?

There will also be key sections on general healthcare, grooming and where to get one of these dogs. Before we can get to that point, we need to get a better understanding of where these purebreed dogs came from and why they are so different from the other types of Poodle that are out there.

Why a Miniature: what were Miniature Poodles bred for and how do they differ from their cousins?

It is important from the start that we understand what is meant when we talk about the Miniature Poodle.

There are three types of Poodle – the Standard, Miniature and Toy.

Standards are the large dogs. Toys are the tiny ones seen in dog shows with the interesting cuts and look. Then there is the Miniature that comes somewhere in the middle.

toy poodleToy Poodle – Source: pets4homes.co.uk

When we say miniature, we are not talking about some teacup dog that has been bred to be smaller than average, it is as legitimate smaller breed. There is an additional Klein Poodle now, which is in-between sizes, and a smaller teacup Poodle that is distinct and not recognized

While we tend to think of Poodles as show dogs and little pets, they were once used as retrieving dogs, which is why they still have a tendency to enjoy the water. They are still pretty good at fetching in water and do well in retrieving competitions.

The miniature dog is a small Poodle bred as an attempt to greater a smaller version of the Standard Poodle. It was thought that they would be more economically viable. After a time, many of these little dogs were seen in circuses. Their intelligence and size meant they were ideal for the tricks needed.

Of course, there is also the chance that breeder will have a Miniature Poodle mix rather than a purebred Miniature Poodle. Many like to use the best traits of these little dogs to “improve” other breeds.

White Mini PoodleImage Source: Once Upon A Doodle

What are some of the Miniature Poodle names to look out for?

These mid-sized dogs are pretty much always referred to as Miniature because this is their breed distinction from other dogs.

However, you may see some other names around. Here we will clear up some of the confusion.

First there is the Miniature French Poodle name. French Poodle isn’t a recognized name. It is more of a nickname because of the dog’s popularity in he country. Teddy Bear Miniature Poodle merely refers to a specific look of some mini poodle pups. Then there is the Caniche Dog name. This is a French term not heard too much these days. It means duck dog, referring to their origin in hunting ad retrieving.

Key things to look out for with Mini Poodles looks

Take a quick look at pictures of Miniature Poodles and you will immediately see that Poodles may not be precisely as you expected.

There are misconceptions about Poodles as pristine dogs with odd Miniature Poodle haircuts and fancy names that aren’t like normal family pets. This is seen with the Toy and Standard at times, but not with the Miniature Poodle.

Standard Brown Poodle Show DogStandard Poodle Dog

The Miniature dog looks like a “normal” dog with a curly coat. There are some other important Miniature Poodle characteristics to look out for. They include the rounded skull, proud head, muscular shoulders, a high tail, dark oval eyes, ears flaps that lie close to the head, a strong neck and muscular legs. 

These features are some of the reasons behind the odd show cuts that you see in Standard Poodles, such as the shaved legs and Pom Pom tail.

It is easier to see the elegance of the breed in the Standard form than in the Miniature, but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t also a proud dog.

Miniature Poodle Size WightImage Source: Oodles of Poodles Grooming Salon

How big do Miniature Poodles get?

Size is clearly an important factor when talking about a mid-sized dog that lies between two other forms.

The Miniature Poodle weight tends to be around 15-17 pounds in a healthy dog and the Miniature Poodle height is roughly 11-15 inches.

At this point is it important to talk more about the build of these dogs to get a better idea about Miniature Poodle size.

There are two builds seen in this Mini Poodle. They are meant to be quite a square dog with a good height to the legs and a long, strong back. There are others that are much lower to the ground, and aren’t athletic. This sub-group are those with chondrodysplasia.

Important considerations about the coat of these dogs and Miniature Poodle colors

As you can see from the many different photos that are available online, there are many different colour variants in these dogs. One of the most common, and perhaps the prettiest in tone, is the apricot Miniature Poodle. However, they can be as pale as the white Miniature Poodle and as dark as the black or chocolate Miniature Poodle.

White Miniature poodle dog

An interesting fact with the coat is that these animals can grey with age, a grey Miniature Poodle could simply be an older adult of another color. There is also the fact that brown mini Poodle dogs tend to go grey quicker than a black Miniature Poodle.

Greying is not the only consideration with a Miniature Poodle coat. There is also the fur type and clipping need. The dog has a curly coat in any of the colors above and can be clipped just like any other dog on a regular occasion for low maintenance.

Miniature Black Poodle CoatMiniature Black Poodle Coat

Are Miniature Poodles hypoallergenic? This is one of the most interesting things about this breed. Poodles in general are one of the most hypoallergenic breeds there is because of the quality of the coat. Of course this leads to something wonderful about the dog in terms of Miniature Poodle grooming.

Do Miniature Poodles shed? The truth here is that they do a little, as all dogs and animals – even us humans – have to lose the dead hair to replace it with healthy new hair.

Ignore those guides that say that they don’t shed at all. However, the great thing with these dogs is that it doesn’t happen nearly as much as it does with other dogs. There are very few hairs lost and many can be dealt with via brushing.

This means that the Poodle Miniature is ideal for anyone that usually has dog allergies or that can’t stand the idea of having a pet that continually makes a mess of shed hair on the carpets and upholstery.

Chocolate Mini poodleImage Source: olechkax15/Instagram

What are the general care needs of these dogs and how long do Miniature Poodles live?

Miniature Poodle puppies definitely need a home with owners that have plenty of time for games and mental stimulation because of their intelligence, which is something we will discuss further later.

They are not bad with apartment living, although do require room to play. They are also seen as a good family watchdog and pretty good with other animals like cats and dogs.

They can be good with children if they are careful and play nicely. The reason for this will be discussed further later.

As for the diet and exercise needs of this dog, there aren’t too many considerations to make as they have fairly typical needs.

A Miniature Poodles diet needs to consist of enough food to keep them fit and active with healthy ingredients.

Many say that it is best to feed dry food to them because of their tendency towards tartar build up. The Dog Food Secrets e-book can offer lots of helpful information on the best recipes and healthy eating tips for dogs. It is a great tool for understanding the best and worst foods to give to breeds as well as portion sizes.

When it comes to the exercise needs. A Miniature Poodle full grown may only be a small dog, but it is active and smart and requires plenty of exercise.

The best option is a good daily walk where it can explore new environments and play. Time in the dog park is also important, where it can learn to socialise with other animals.

Finally, there is the life expectancy of Miniature Poodle, expectations and the important Miniature Poodle health problems.

The bad news is that in addition to the chondrodysplasia mentioned above, which can itself make dogs unhealthier, these dogs are prone to other illnesses and conditions. They include eye problems, such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, IMHA (Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia) and heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy and skin allergies.

The good news with these dogs is that the average lifespan is 13 -15 years, so it is a pretty long lived dog if looked after well.

mini poodle behavior problemsImage Source: Monique’s Draperies & Shade

What do new owners need to know about the Miniature Poodle temperament?

The Miniature Poodle personality is quite interesting. This is seen as quite a touchy, sensitive dog by many.

It is easily startled if spooked by a noise or presence or touched unexpectedly. It can be emotionally sensitive too if the home isn’t peaceful and loving. This is why they need to be in a family home with understanding children. Some would say perhaps a childless home would be better. Aside from this, they are fun, characterful dogs that can be great company.

Just for fun here is a cool video showing miniature poodle doing tricks:

Are there any Mini Poodles behavior problems?

One common question from prospective owners is do Miniature Poodles bark a lot?

Barking at strangers is definitely possible with any little Poodle, hence their use as watchdogs. More frequent barking is a potential problem with these dogs, but it is not too bad if they are trained well from an early age.

There is also the problem of separation anxiety if they are left alone too much. They like to be with people and, as we mentioned before, they need stimulation. A bored, lonely Mini Poodle is one that is unhappy and potentially one that will misbehave.

There are concerns with new owners about Poodles being neurotic. This can be the case with Toy Poodles and dogs that are overly sensitive. It is important to treat them like a dog, with a clear place in the pack to avoid neurosis, small dog syndrome and excessive barking.

The intelligence of the Miniature Poodle and training issues?

It is important to take a moment to talk about the Miniature Poodle intelligence here because not only will this help with any training and behavior learning, there is something quite remarkable about these dogs.

We tend to think of the Collies as being the smartest of the dog breeds, but Poodles are incredibly smart dogs. They are great in obedience competitions, and their surprising agility here helps too. They are also a very attentive dogs that can understand and respond quickly. This is great with training, less so when they start to learn your routine and pre-empt you.

This means that there should be absolutely no problem when it comes to training Mini Poodle puppies. If they are the good-natured dogs with this intelligence and gentle demeanor, they will be keen to listen and learn and should pick up all kinds of behaviors and tricks without much need for repetition.

This also means that there is a great chance that they will pick up everything they need to know at a young age. This makes toilet training and basic obedience less of a concern.

If you do struggle with a slightly more nervous dog, or one that has unfortunately already developed small dog syndrome, you may benefit from some additional training aids. Both Doggy Dan the online dog trainer and the Secrets to Dog Training online program are full of easy-to-follow guides on all kinds of training issues. They will help you teach your Poodle its place in the pack.

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Finding the right Miniature Poodle breeders

If the above issues haven’t put you off, you may be thinking of looking for a Miniature Poodle for sale.

This means finding a reliable breeder that will have good pups at the right Miniature Poodle price. The first thing to check is the health of the pup. Remember about the issue of chondrodysplasia and look at the body shape of the pups. If they are all low to the ground, this could mean bad breeding and health issues down the line.

Any time spend with the parents will also give you an idea of any additional risks regarding health and behavior. If these dogs seem high-string and potentially neurotic, this may be passed down to the young.

The chance to look for Miniature Poodles for sale via ads and breeder may seem like the logical next step. However, there is also the chance to look at a Miniature Poodle for adoption.

Miniature Poodle puppies can be a handful and there will be some people that don’t want the hassle of training a young dog when there is an adult Miniature Poodle in need. There are all kinds of purebred dogs that end up in shelters, not just cross breeds, so contact your local shelter to see what they have. These smart, loving dog deserve a home where their nature and intelligence is appreciated.

toy poodle trainingImage Source: Pug & Puffin Lyme Regis

So what have we learned about the Miniature French Poodle.

There is a good chance that you will have learned quite a lot about these dogs from this guide.

There are plenty of misconceptions about the Poodle because of the images seen online of show dogs and high-strung little toys. However, it is clear that you aren’t necessarily going to get this with the Miniature Poodle.

There are many desirable traits with these dogs, including their intelligence, demeanor and the ease of care. They are perhaps more “normal” than you might think. Forget about notions of yappy little bags of nerves needing expensive haircuts every week. They are really quite different.

The Dog Solution

Is the Miniature Poodle right for you and your family?

There are some concerns about bringing these dogs into a family home because they can be sensitive with children and strangers. Yet, their trainability, good nature and playful spirit mean that there is a good chance that many will get along well as family pets.

They are attractive, sweet little dogs – whether you end up with a red Miniature Poodle or black mini Poodle. They may need a lot of attention in terms of exercise, training, mental stimulation and care, but they are worth the effort and have that long Miniature Poodle lifespan. If you think you can handle them, they can be very rewarding.

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