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Mini/Teacup Poodle: What’s the Difference?

Poodles are some of the most popular dogs in the world. This dog breed comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. You may have heard of the Standard and Toy Poodles, but what about the Mini/Teacup Poodle?

The Miniature Poodle is the second-largest variation of the breed. On the other hand, Teacup Poodles are the smallest. Other than their difference in size, both these dogs are highly similar in terms of their appearance, personality, and needs.

Read on to learn more about the characteristics of Miniature and Teacup Poodles. We’ve also included in this guide plenty of useful information regarding their price, care needs, training, and potential health issues.


Both Miniature and Teacup Poodles are dogs of the same breed. The main difference between them is their size.

There are four sizes of Poodles. From largest to smallest they are standard, miniature, toy, and teacup. 

In this guide, we’ll focus on the similarities and differences between Miniature and Teacup Poodles.

Brief History of Poodles

When most people think of Poodles, the first thing that comes to mind is a fashionable dog breed that’s a status symbol and the national dog of France.

The idea that Poodles are French dogs is a rampant misconception. These dogs actually first appeared in Germany. The root of the word Poodle is the German term “pudel”, which is a verb that means “to splash in the water”.

The Germans chose this name for their furry pals as a reference to the role of Poodles back in the day. These dogs were used to hunt ducks. Poodle owners would let them venture into lakes to retrieve these water birds.

In the 1800s, breeders started to selectively mate Poodles of smaller sizes to create the Miniature Poodle. This practice was repeated yet again in the 20th century to create even smaller versions of Poodles: the Toy and Teacup.

Miniature Poodles vs. Teacup Poodles: Characteristics

In this section, we’ll explore the similarities and differences in size, appearance, and personality between Miniature and Teacup Poodles.


As their names suggest, Miniature and Teacup Poodles are both quite small. A typical Miniature Poodle will reach an adult height between 11 and 15 inches and weigh 15 to 17 pounds. 

There are a lot of factors that determine a Poodle’s weight as well. Therefore, the American Kennel Club (AKC) prefers to use height to gauge whether a Poodle can be considered miniature.

Teacup Poodles are even smaller than Miniature ones. In fact, they’re some of the smallest dogs you’ll ever encounter. These tiny balls of cuteness can reach a maximum height of nine inches and a maximum weight of six pounds. 


Other than size, are there any differences between the appearance of Miniature, Teacup, and Standard Poodles?

Let’s answer that question below:

Fur Coat

The fur coat of adult Miniature and Teacup Poodles is the same as that of their Standard counterparts.

Their coats consist of soft, fluffy curls that peak at a moderate length even if you don’t trim them.

However, you’ll notice that your Teacup Poodle puppy has extra soft hair compared to Miniature Poodles of the same age.


Head shape and structure are other features that Miniature and Teacup Poodles share with each other and with Standard Poodles.

All Poodles have the same rounded head and long, pointy snout coated in fluffy fur. The snouts of some poodles may appear shorter than others. This difference, though, is because the density of fur surrounding their faces varies.


All Poodles have long, fluffy tails. The length of a Poodle’s tail naturally varies with its size. So, Teacup Poodles have shorter tails than Miniature Poodles.

As for the style of these dogs’ tails, there isn’t one that applies to all Poodles. You may find some Poodles with straight, pointed tails. Other Poodles will have tails curling to one side or over their backs.

Eyes, Nose, and Ears

Both the Miniature and Teacup variations have the signature long, floppy ears that extend down to their necks. This is probably the number one reason why they’re so darn cute!

They also have beautiful brown eyes and a distinct jawline that complements their protruding snouts.

Personality and Temperament

The personality and tendencies of Miniature and Teacup Poodles are virtually the same as their Standard Poodle cousins. These two dogs might be much smaller, but their personality is just as big.

Poodles are incredibly smart dogs that are a real treat to be around. They’re also highly enjoyable to train provided that you establish the rules for them at a young age. If you do so, you’ll have your little Poodle doing complex tricks in no time!

Additionally, these dogs are as affectionate and cuddly as they get. You’re likely to find them following you all over the house ready to protect you wherever you go. The downside to this is that they’re prone to separation anxiety. So, avoid leaving them at home all alone.

Furthermore, Miniature and Teacup Poodles are super energetic. As such, be aware that this energy may manifest itself in destructive ways if you don’t provide your furry pal with the physical exercise it requires daily.

Miniature Poodles vs. Teacup Poodles: Price

Making a Poodle the newest member of your household won’t come cheap, no matter which type we’re talking about.

This is due to the simple fact that Standard Poodles are quite pricey themselves. In turn, the selective breeding required to get Miniature and Teacup Poodles makes them even more expensive.

You can expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000 for a Miniature poodle. Typically, their price hovers around $2,500.

As for Teacup Poodles, you’re likely to find them being sold for prices upwards of $2,000 as well.

The aforementioned quote prices are the ones you’d find a reputable breeder offering for these dogs. If you want lower prices, you can try searching on puppy classifieds.

You can also try your local dog shelter, but you aren’t likely to find these Poodle variations there.

However, buying from these places puts you at risk of getting a dog with health defects or mental issues that you won’t find out about until it’s too late.

Caring For Miniature and Teacup Poodles

If you’re considering getting a Miniature or Teacup Poodle as the latest member of your household, you should ensure that you have all the facts when it comes to taking care of these adorable little pups.

Here are some guidelines to follow when tending to your Poodle:

The Ideal Environment For a Mini/Teacup Poodle

Since Miniature and Teacup Poodles are small dogs, they don’t need much space to be comfortable. Their diminutive size makes them perfect house pets for people who live in apartments that would be too small for larger dogs.

If you have any other furry pals living in your home, you don’t need to worry about your new Poodle not getting along with them. Poodles are great with other pets provided that you introduce them to other animals from a young age so that they’re properly socialized.

People who have infants or toddlers are better off going with a Miniature Poodle. This is because Teacup Poodles are simply too small, and your kids can accidentally hurt them by stepping on them.

Finally, you should make sure that your Poodle feels included in the family. Poodles have a collective mindset and don’t do well when living in isolation. In turn, having them live in a kennel in your backyard isn’t advised.

How to Train a Mini/Teacup Poodle

Both Miniature and Teacup Poodles have the high intelligence that the breed is known for. Therefore, training them is relatively easy and quite the treat. 

However, you should know that they thrive the most when living in a structured environment. One where the rules of what they can and can’t do are clear-cut. 

As with all dogs, Poodles need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to keep them obedient and healthy. This physical exercise can come in the form of walks. Since they’re smaller, Teacup poodles need shorter walks since they’ll wear themselves out quickly.

You should also constantly challenge your Poodle mentally. Engage them in plenty of games that stimulate their minds and constantly teach them new tricks. You’ll be astounded at the complexity of the tricks they can learn.

All in all, the key to having a well-trained and conditioned Miniature or Teacup Poodle is to start the training process from as young an age as possible. Make sure to expose it to a diverse range of environments to overcome the timidness and fear it may have due to its size.

What to Feed a Mini/Teacup Poodle

As with all dogs, Miniature and Teacup Poodles require a well-balanced diet. It should be rich in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals their bodies need.

You can achieve this by basing your Poodle’s diet on dry food that isn’t filled with grains. This is because grain-heavy dog food fills your dog with plenty of empty calories and may induce allergic reactions.

It’s best to go with kibble containing plenty of animal-based protein and healthy carbs. If you want to go the extra mile, you can go for high-quality probiotic dog food as well.

Since these dogs are rather small, they don’t need much food in terms of quantity. You should feed Miniature and Teacup Poodles no more than 350 calories a day. This is equal to about one cup of dry food per day.

Be careful not to overfeed your Poodle, no matter how much it tries to tempt you with that cute little face. Obesity is a real issue with dogs and can lead to plenty of problems down the road.

When training your Poodle or rewarding it for being a good pup, use healthy treats and don’t overdo it. 

How Often Does a Mini/Teacup Poodle Shed?

Like Standard Poodles, Miniature Poodles and Teacup Poodles don’t shed very often.

However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t shed at all. They still need regular grooming to keep their fur coats healthy and untangled.

We recommend that you brush your Poodle’s coat two or three times a week. You should also trim your Poodle’s fur every now and then. Their dense curls tend to get into their ears and can cause complications if not removed promptly.

Additionally, taking your Poodle to a professional groomer every few months is recommended. 

What Is the Lifespan of a Mini/Teacup Poodle?

Generally speaking, smaller dogs usually have shorter lifespans.

Poodles are no exception to this rule.

Miniature Poodles can live anywhere between 12 and 15 years. On the other hand, Teacup Poodles can live for up to 14 years and as little as a decade.

Whether it’s Miniature or Teacup, a Poodle’s exact lifespan will depend on its diet and the quality of care you give it. It’s also contingent on the dog being lucky enough not to suffer from any serious health conditions throughout its life.

Potential Health Issues in Mini/Teacup Poodles

It saddens us to say it, but smaller variations of Poodles are susceptible to a host of health issues. These issues include, but aren’t limited to, hypoglycemia, seizures, blindness, heart defects, respiratory conditions, and periodontal disease.

As with most small dogs, Miniature and Teacup Poodles are at risk of dental issues too, such as periodontal disease.

The high susceptibility of these dogs to health issues is primarily due to the breeding practices used to produce them. 


When thinking of dog breeds, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that’s as adorable as Poodles.

The Standard Poodle is already cute as a button, so imagine how much the smaller Mini/Teacup Poodles will melt your heart.

Not only are these dogs beautiful specimens, but they’re also incredibly smart and are truly a joy to train.

In addition to this, they’re highly affectionate, cuddly, and full of energy. This combination means that you’ll rarely have a mundane day at home as long as you have a Miniature or Teacup Poodle roaming it!