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All About Toy Poodles

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apricot toy poodle with a green sweater

These tiny counterparts of the well-known Standard Poodle make for an adorable companion, a great walking partner, and a fun addition to your household.

While many may associate Poodles with being prissy indoor dogs, that could not be further from the truth. Poodles will happily go on a hike or jump into a puddle of mud like any other dog.

History of Toy Poodles

For years people have associated the Poodle breed with France, but these curly-haired canines actually originated in Germany. Their name is derived from the German word pudel, which means ‘to splash in the water.’

Originally bred as a water dog, hunters would use Poodles to retrieve waterfowls. In fact, the pom pom haircut that these dogs are known for was inspired by their first job as retrievers. The fur around their organs and joints would be left longer, in order to protect them from the cold water temperatures. The rest of their hair would then be trimmed to lower resistance and lower the risk of getting caught on something when they were in the water.

Although they originated in Germany, Poodles quickly made their way to France, where people fell completely head over heels for the canines. Over time, many people began wishing for a smaller, more manageable size of the Standard Poodle.

Breeders began pairing the smallest Poodles from different litters, and as a result, the Miniature Poodle came into existence. While the larger, Standard Poodle was used for hunting and retrieving purposes, the Miniature Poodle was used to sniff out truffles (a type of mushroom) in the woods.

After the success of creating the Miniature Poodle, people once again wished to create an even smaller version of Poodle. Breeders followed the same pattern as before, and they bred together the smallest Miniature Poodles. This soon resulted in the creation of the Toy Poodle. Unlike their larger ancestors, the Toy Poodle was not used for any type of job or service. Instead, people simply wanted Toy Poodles as companions and lapdogs.

Considered to be the same breed, the Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodle were bred to be identical versions of one another, but just at three different sizes. Besides a few slight variances, chances are, if you have enjoyed living with a Standard Poodle, you will equally love living with a Miniature or Toy Poodle.

white toy poodle under a blue plaid blanket

Attributes of Toy Poodles

The Toy Poodle is an old dog breed that has remained popular among families everywhere, since nearly the day they were created. Learn more about what makes these dogs such a great choice.


Just like Standard Poodles, Toy Poodles are incredibly smart. While living with an intelligent dog can be an extremely helpful trait when it comes to training, Poodle parents should still take heed. Your Poodle’s astute cleverness can easily lead to poor behaviors or stubborn tendencies.

For instance, if you choose to feed your Toy Poodle scraps from the table, they will quickly begin to expect scraps every time you sit down at the table. Chances are, they will also turn their nose up to their own food because they will quickly learn to expect delicious human food. Besides creating poor manners, feeding your dog from the table can also be dangerous, since a large amount of human food is toxic to dogs.

Toy Poodles are friendly and outgoing, so they are often happy to meet new friends. Though Toy Poodles get along well with kids, it’s recommended to use caution and to supervise any interaction between your Poodle and a younger child, who can accidentally play too rough with your little pup. Toy Poodles are also known to get along well with other pets, but take note that if they live in a multi-pet household, they will generally want to be the center of attention.


Unlike the Standard and Miniature Poodle, the Toy Poodle size and weight are much smaller. Toy Poodles cap out at 10 inches in height, and they typically weigh between 6-10 pounds.

A Toy Poodle’s coat can be curly or wavy, and feel wiry or soft. They can also be found in nearly any solid color, including apricot, cream, white, brown, red, silver, grey, and black. Poodles can also be found in a phantom pattern or a two-toned pattern, consisting of a combination of colors.

One of the many reasons why people are drawn to these dogs is because of the claim that Toy Poodles are hypoallergenic. In truth, though, no one type of dog is completely hypoallergenic. However, Toy Poodles shed very little when compared to the majority of other breeds—which means there will be less dander present.

People with dog allergies will oftentimes experience less of an allergic reaction, or none at all, when they are around Poodles.

How to Groom a Toy Poodle

Even though they do not shed excessively, Toy Poodles still require regular brushing in order to minimize mats in their coat. These weekly (or more often, if needed) brushings should be done in addition to your Poodle being professionally groomed. Clipping is recommended to be done about every three months, and about every month for the face and feet. Some Poodle parents have even learned how to do these trims on their own.

When it comes to Toy Poodles, brushing their teeth is essential. Due to them having a small mouth, their teeth may become cramped, which in-turn can cause dental issues. One of the best ways to help your dog have a healthy mouth is to brush their pearly whites at least once a week. During your dog’s regular veterinarian checkups, your veterinarian can recommend dog-safe toothpaste options and check that your dog’s teeth are in good health.

On top of brushing, clipping, and teeth cleaning, your Toy Poodle should additionally be given regular baths and nail trimmings.

Caring and Exercise

Although a small dog, Toy Poodles still require daily exercise. Walks are always a great choice, but these little pups do equally as well with a game of fetch in the yard or some playtime inside. Besides physical exercise, it is just as important that your pup receives mental exercise.

Mental stimulation, whether through games, puzzle toys, or training, is vital in keeping your Poodle’s mind occupied and their spirit happy. Keep in mind that a bored Poodle will become a destructive and sometimes disobedient Poodle.

gray toy poodle with a teal collar and pink tag in front of a red velvet backdrop

Training Your Toy Poodle

When it comes to training, three of the most important items to keep in mind include:

1. Start as soon as possible
Whether you adopt your Poodle when they are four months old or four years old, it is important to begin training as soon as possible. In fact, an ideal time to begin training is the very day you bring them home. By starting training early-on, this will help establish good manners, it will deter bad habits, and it will serve as a good time to build the bond between you and your dog.

2. Be consistent
Consistency is key, especially in how often you have training sessions and the words and motions you use for commands. By remaining consistent with your techniques and how often you train, this will allow your Poodle to quickly learn what is expected from them in their new household.

3. Use positive reinforcement
Toy Poodles thrive off of positive reinforcement. Great rewards for your dog can include a treat, a toy, or affection. By receiving rewards, your dog will better understand that they are doing the correct command, and chances are they will become more eager to practice the command again.

Along with rewarding your dog, it’s equally as important to use a happy tone when working with your dog. Even if at first your dog doesn’t understand a command, it’s important to remain positive, not to get frustrated, and to simply try the command again.

Poodles are known for being among the most intelligent dog breeds, so chances are they will catch onto new commands and tricks rather quickly.

black toy poodle lying on a pink bed


According to our claims data*, the top 5 Toy Poodle health issues include:

  1. Gastrointestinal issues: These issues will affect your dog’s stomach and intestines, or in other words, their digestive system. Common symptoms include excessive drooling, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and loss of appetite. While gastrointestinal issues can stem from a variety of causes, regardless, most will clear up in just one week.
  2. Ear infections: With their floppy ears, Toy Poodles can be prone to getting ear infections. Because of this, doing weekly checks or cleanings of your dog’s ears is a great habit to begin. When checking your dog’s ears, you will want to be aware if there is any redness or if there is a bad odor.
  3. Allergies: Just like humans, dogs can also develop allergies to pollen, dust, dander, grass, perfume, and food, among many other items. Common allergy symptoms can include: excessive itching, red or watery eyes, frequent sneezing or wheezing, swollen pads, and paw chewing. With food allergies, you will want to keep an eye out for vomiting or diarrhea.
  4. Skin irritation: Many Poodles are prone to having sensitive skin. Various household products such as carpet cleaners, detergents, and various grooming products can cause dry, itchy, or irritated skin on your dog. A quick fix for some households is to simply switch these products over to the hypoallergenic option.
  5. Heart murmurs: Oftentimes, if your Poodle has heart murmurs, it is a result of them having Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA). This congenital heart defect is caused by there being a problem with the puppy’s heart development. However, since puppies are born with this condition, veterinarians are often able to catch the problem when your dog is still young.

If you suspect that your Poodle may be affected by any of these issues, it’s best to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

While these are the most common health conditions among Toy Poodles, that does not mean that your Poodle will be affected by any or all of these conditions. As a pet parent, it is good practice to be aware of which health issues commonly affect your dog’s breed—this can help you know what to keep an eye out for.

*Internal Claims Data, 2019

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.


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