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All About the Toy Poodle

You may be looking for a small companion or a winning show dog. Either way, the Toy Poodle fits the bill.

Toy Poodles are confident and clever little pooches. They love being the center of attention and value praise.

Their lively strut and fluffy curls are bound to captivate your heart. Luckily, caring for them is relatively easy. In terms of diet and exercise, they’re low-maintenance.

Nevertheless, you may need to place extra effort into their grooming needs. Besides that, stick around to learn more about Toy Poodles and why you should own one.


Toy Poodles came into the world during the 20th century after being selectively bred from their miniature counterparts. The origin of the breed dates back 400 years ago in Germany. During that time, hunters enlisted Standard Poodles to retrieve the shot-down waterfowl.

The breed had distinctive haircuts to facilitate their way through the water. The hunters trimmed the dog’s legs, tail, and neck. They kept their hips, chest, and leg joints fully coated to protect them from the cold.

The haircuts presented nowadays, like the continental trim, pay tribute to the dog’s old hunting days. That said, Toy Poodles were popular companion dogs. Famous names like Sophia Loren owned the breed allowing it to gain more traction with the crowd.


Toy Poodles have small frames and angular heads. The posh breed has long ears and teddy bear-like brown eyes. Its muzzle is well-proportioned to its face and fitted with an adorable brown boopable nose.

The Toy Poodle has curly, coarse hair, not fur. They have docked tails and a straight posture evoking confidence.


Toy Poodles don’t extend beyond ten inches. Any higher than that, and breeders would categorize them as Miniature Poodles instead.


Toy Poodles weigh anywhere between six to nine pounds.


The elegant breeds come in various colors. It can even be a Parti variation where it’s two-toned. Here are commonly found shades of Toy Poodles:

  • Apricot
  • Blue
  • Black
  • White
  • Cream
  • Silver


Whether you’re a Toy Poodle enthusiast or want to own the breed, check out some interesting facts below.

They’re Not French

Toy Poodles are often associated with France. Nevertheless, the breed has German roots. It may have gained its title from its popularity in French aristocracy. Accordingly, French King Louis XVI owned a Toy Poodle.

They’re Purebred

Even though Toy Poodles originated from a standard size, they still fall under the same breed. As long as they meet the breed standards of professional registries, they count as Poodles.

They Work

Toy Poodles don’t only serve as companions. They can also work as service dogs due to their intellect.

Plus, the breed is also a popular therapy dog option. You can also find Toy Poodles in the wild sniffing out truffles.

Care Requirements

Toy Poodles may appear stereotypically fussy, but you can care for them with little issues. You mainly need to focus on their grooming routine. Other than that, their diet and exercise are standard.


Dog feeding relies heavily on the breed’s size and weight. Since Toy Poodles are tiny, they don’t require many calories.


Between birth and three months, you can free-feed your Toy Poodle. We suggest providing dry kibble since it’s easier on the stomach and better for dental health. You can start restricting their intake and feeding them three to four meals between the three-month and six-month mark.

To promote their growth, supplement your Toy Poodle’s diet with healthy fats and vitamins. You can browse for puppy food formulas that cater well to your pet’s needs. Make sure to locate organic products with no added preservatives or fillers.


After six months, your Toy Poodle can live off of two to three meals. Generally, one cup of food will suffice. You can feed them fortified kibble.

Alternatively, a raw food diet plan is also an option. Either way, ensure their diet is protein-rich and filled with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Additionally, incorporate carbs and fibers to promote the Poodle’s digestive health.


Toy Poodles are active and aren’t strangers to zoomies. For this reason, you need to exercise them for an hour daily. With Toy Poodles, that primarily involves walking them.

On top of walking, you can also engage in a friendly game of fetch. If you have children around, they can play hide and seek.

Toy Poodles are also exceptional swimmers. They can waddle through water, thanks to their duck-hunting lineage. You can divide their exercise routine into two parts throughout the day. That way, your froufrou friend can remain physically stimulated.


Now comes the hard part, grooming your Toy Poodle. Since the breed has hair that doesn’t shed, trimming it is essential. A professional groomer visit at least every six weeks is needed. Since you’ll be visiting the groomer regularly, training them to behave will make your life easier. Plus, it creates the perfect opportunity to socialize your pet at an early age.

Additionally, brush your Toy Poodle’s curls daily or every other day. Brushing is especially critical during your Poodle’s puppy months. Their young hair is more prone to tangling since it’s softer and wavier.

Meanwhile, adult Toy Poodles have tighter curls that detangle more easily. We suggest using a fine-toothed comb to brush their locks from root to tip. On top of brushing, you also need to maintain your Poodle’s oral, eye, and ear hygiene.

Subsequently, you can use grooming face wipes to clean out any gunk weekly or biweekly. Cleaning their ears is crucial since they have long ears making them more vulnerable to bacteria formation.


Toy Poodles require a bath every three weeks. Their skin produces natural oils that tend to accumulate when not cleaned off. Consequently, the abundance of dirt and debris can cause skin complications.

Before bathing your Toy Poodle, detangle its coat using a conditioner spray. That way, you can remove any knots pain-free. Next, wet its hair and apply mild shampoo to its curls. Make sure to scrub their skin to get rid of any pollutants.

Rinse and repeat this process until the Poodle’s hair is dirt-free. Next, you can squeeze conditioner to keep the coat moisturized and manageable. Wash off the product and gently towel dry your pet.

You can use a blow dryer to speed up the drying process. Make sure it’s on a low setting to avoid heat damage.


The fun-size breed has an equally fun personality. Toy Poodles love their owner’s company, often too much. They can develop separation anxiety when left alone for too long.

They’re sensitive and protective as well. Their loyalty is unquestionable since they’ll do their best to alert you of any danger. Apart from that, Toy Poodles are intelligent. Learning new tricks and commands is a breeze.

They thrive on your attention whenever performing their tricks. The breed was previously a circus performer with a large fan base.


Early socialization for the cautious breed is essential. It’ll help it be more comfortable around new people and other animals, especially during park walks.

Toy Poodles may not be the best to have around young children. Due to their small frames, they can be fragile toward rough play.

Aside from that, try to dedicate the first four months of your puppy’s life to sociability training. It’ll raise a confident Poodle ready to take on the world.

If your Poodle feels frightened or threatened by strangers, kindly ask them to keep their distance. Otherwise, it could make them more anxious.


Toy Poodles are moderate barkers. Something or someone usually triggers the barking.


Your Poodle could be barking due to a lack of exercise. Consequently, it’s trying to communicate its restlessness to you. Alternatively, the barking might be from separation anxiety.

In other cases, they’re trying to seek your attention. Toy Poodles have sensitive hearing, so any loud sounds like lightning can alarm them.

Additionally, a stranger may be too close for comfort. Rather than resort to aggression, they alert you by barking.


Luckily, the barking can stop. Firstly, you’ll want to observe the root cause of it. If you’re not giving enough walking time, you can stretch the intervals to two 30-minute walks daily.

Meanwhile, separation anxiety could be the culprit. In this case, you can distract your Poodle with toys. If they’re wary of strangers, socializing them is your answer.

Finally, you can resolve attention-seeking by ignoring the barks. Don’t respond to their calls. Otherwise, it’ll make things worse, and your Poodle will have a hold over you.


Fortunately, Toy Poodles are easy to train, making them an ideal choice for first-time owners. That said, you can use positive reinforcement and reward-based training methods.

It first involves finding a motivating reward for your Toy Poodle. It could be a treat, praise, or toy. You’d be surprised by the power of a “good boy/girl.”

Keep the rewards minimal as your Poodle begins to grasp each command perfectly. Otherwise, they can become too used to receiving treats. In other words, make them work for the prize.

Aside from that, you can begin teaching your dog basic one-word commands. They can include “sit,” “stay,” or “down.”

Training sessions should last around 20 minutes daily. Plus, you can incorporate them into their lifestyle. For instance, when you go on a walk, you can train them to “sit” at certain spots.

Health Considerations

Toy Poodles are vulnerable to a few health complications. Nevertheless, the dog enjoys a long life span when given adequate care.

Life Expectancy

Toy Poodles have a lifespan of around 14 to 17 years.

Health Complications

The breed can develop medical issues like

Addison’s Disease

The illness targets your Toy Poodle’s adrenal glands by inhibiting cortisol production. The hormone is responsible for regulating the dog’s stress levels.

Reduced cortisol levels can cause hair loss, lethargy, and weight loss. Treatment includes hormone replacement therapy.


Hypothyroidism occurs when your Toy Poodle has an underactive metabolic system. Consequently, the dog may experience weight gain, skin issues, and weight gain. Hypothyroidism treatments involve hormone replacement therapy.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Signs of PRA start to show when your Poodle has trouble with its night vision. You may also notice their eyes dilating and looking shiny.

After six months of these signs showing, your pet will likely become blind. The process is non-painful. Nonetheless, the illness has no official cure or treatment as of yet.


Toy Poodles are notoriously pricey breeds. Breeders attribute their high price to their costly care requirements. That said, Toy Poodles can usually birth a litter of two to three pups. In turn, it may prove challenging to match up to the high demands of a low-supply breed.

From Breeder

Breeders sell Toy Poodles for approximately $1,200 to $3,000. Prices tend to go higher when the Poodle has a unique coat color like sable or red. Plus, Toy Poodles with dog-show quality in their blood will run for higher prices.

You can get a referral from a vet or close friend when searching for a reputable breeder. Make sure to visit and inspect the facility’s conditions. That way, you’ll know if they’re responsible breeders.

You may ask for documents detailing the Toy Poodle puppy’s medical history and family tree. They should give it to you without hesitation.

From Adoption Agency

Adopting a Toy Poodle can cost anywhere between $150 to $600. The price depends on the medical and care expenses paid by the agency. Plus, a rescue senior will cost less than a puppy.

Final Thoughts

Toy Poodles are the smallest officially recognized breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The purebred dog holds impressive show quality standards.

Apart from that, Poodles are loveable companions. They’re loyal, affectionate, and trainable. Plus, their intelligence makes training much easier for you.

Toy Poodles can make a great addition to your family or apartment space. They’re easy to care for regarding diet and exercise. You just need to take extra care of their gorgeous curly coat.