Mini Poodles: Everything You Could Want to Know

Miniature poodles are a very common and popular pet in the United States and many other countries. But, what makes them so great? Are they worth it?

Mini poodles are the middle sized dog in the poodle breed, typically between 10 – 15 inches and 10 – 15 lbs. Mini poodles often live between 15 – 16 years. These dogs are extremely friendly, loyal, energetic, and intelligent.

Aside from these facts, there are many more things to know about a miniature poodle before purchasing one. To help you learn about this fun breed, I will explain all you could want to know about miniature poodles.

Mini Poodles at a Glance

Size10 – 15 inches
Weight10 – 15 lbs
TemperamentFriendly, intelligent,
loyal, loving
Lifespan15 – 16 years
PriceFree – $3,000
PurposeRetriever
PopularityHigh Popularity
GroomingHigh Needs
HypoallergenicYes

Poodles are the medium sized poodle breed. There are three poodle breeds including:

  • Standard Poodle
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Toy Poodle

And, although by the name, “miniature,” it would seem that the miniature poodle would be the smallest of the poodle breeds, it is actually right in the middle.

The miniature poodle is a very common pet, especially in family settings.

However, the miniature poodle was actually not the first type of poodle to come about. The chain of poodles started with the standard poodle.

The History of Mini Poodles

The history of mini poodles comes from standard poodles.

Because miniature poodles come from standard poodles, it is important to understand why the breed came about and what that means for your poodle today.

Poodles origin began in Germany in the fifteenth century.

In history, poodles were companions to water hunters. The poodles would go into the water to catch waterfowl. This took a lot of skill for a dog to become a hunting companion to his/her owner.

Because poodles would go into the water to catch the waterfowl while their owner was waiting at the land, their tail would have to stick out. With the top of the poodle’s tail being a pom pom, it made it so the poodle was always visible while swimming in the water.

Because of their history as water retrievers, poodles excel with two things:

  • Retrieving
  • Swimming

To this day, poodles are still great swimmers who love to go into the water. And, they are good at retrieving. Poodles can play a game of catch for longer than we often want to.

Not only did water retrieving require swimming and retrieving skills, but it also required a high amount of intelligence. While poodles were hunting, they would have to listen to the commands of their owner and follow. Because poodles are very intelligent, they excelled.

Later in history, poodles became circus dogs because of this same intelligence.

Because poodles are so trainable with high intelligence, they were taught many tricks in history to perform in front of audiences. This is also where the funny looking haircuts came out.

With the reputation as a silly circus dog, many people have the wrong opinion of poodles, assuming there is not much to them aside from following along with their owner with ridiculous haircuts.

In history, poodles were companions to water hunters.

However, poodles are far different from the assumed opinion of them.

Another misunderstanding about poodles is that miniature poodles came about from breeding with smaller dog breeds. This would create a poodle mix.

However, miniature poodles were bred from the smallest poodles.

Of course, with a litter of puppies, there is a variety of sizes. Although each puppy is within the same dog breed, there will be large ones and the runts of the bunch.

Miniature poodles were bred from the runts of the bunch. Breeders took the smallest of the standard poodles and bred them, creating miniature poodles.

So what significance does this have relating to mini poodles?

This simply means that miniature poodles are simply small standard poodles, containing the same characteristics.

Many people assume that with different sizes, there will be extreme differences. However, because miniature and toy poodles are simply bred with the smallest of the bunch, all types of poodles are very similar.

There are only slight variations between mini poodles and standard poodles.

Physical Features of Mini Poodles

It almost a guarantee that you have seen a poodle, even if you weren’t aware that it was a poodle.

Poodles are extremely common pets, and they are very active. So, that means that poodles are very often outside in the parks or running around. But, to clear up the physical appearance of miniature poodles, I will clarify the details behind their appearance.

Coat StyleCurly
Coat ColorSolid Colors
Size10-15 inches
ShapeSquare

The most famous physical features that poodle have is their curly hair.

This curly hair is not only adorable, but it gives poodles a unique look that sets them apart from other dog breeds.

Aside from the curly hair that defines a mini poodle’s physical appearance, mini poodles are shaped like a square. This simply means that mini poodle’s legs are long enough that their height matches their length.

Their square shape makes them easily able to complete different tasks, lending to their athleticism.

If a miniature poodle is not square-shaped, they probably have the common issue of Chondrodysplasia. This simply means that the miniature poodle would have shorter legs, with a longer back, making more of a rectangular shape instead of square.

Aside from their signature curly coat, poodles are also distinct because of the solid colors on their coat. Rather than a mixture of colors, poodles will only have one color, with the exception of hair dying.

The common hair colors that poodles have are:

  • Black
  • White
  • Apricot
  • Blue
  • Cream
  • Silver
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Gray
  • Silver Beige

These are the most common hair colors you will see with miniature poodles.

Typically, owners prefer to give their poodle a short hair cut all around. However, there are some show poodles out there with some very unique hairstyles. These hairstyles make the poodle look like a completely different dog breed. Yet, they are all the same.

That poodle with the crazy haircut and the poodle that looks like a little teddy bear still the same breed.

The Good and Bad of Mini Poodles

As should be expected with any dog breed, there is good and bad with miniature poodles. Although miniature poodles are absolutely wonderful dogs, they are not absolute perfection.

In hopes of ending on a good note, I will start with the bad.

The Bad of Mini Poodles

  • Grooming needs are high. You cannot take your responsibility to groom your poodle lightly. Daily grooming is required for a happy, healthy poodle.
  • Can be timid around strangers. Poodles are by no means extroverts. Although this is not a terrible thing, it simply means that others won’t see your poodle’s full personality.
  • Mini poodles have high emotional sensitivity. If you come home having a bad day, your poodle will also have a bad day. Poodles are extremely aware of emotions.
  • Mini poodles don’t do well with loud noises. If things get too rowdy, you may find an irritable poodle on your hands. Your poodle will also be easily startled by noises.
  • Higher chances of obesity and diabetes. In comparison with standard poodles, a mini poodle is more in danger of obesity. It is important to monitor what food is given to a mini poodle.
  • Require a lot of attention and exercise. Poodles are very high energy and need to be taken out to run frequently. And, poodles have separation anxiety when left alone, requiring lots of attention.

The most significant downside towards owning a poodle in comparison to other dogs breeds is that more of your time will be taken up.

Your poodle will need you specifically for grooming, exercise, and attention. And although it does not seem like much at first, you will find that a lot of your time goes towards taking care of your poodle.

But, in the end you will love him/ her so much that it won’t matter.

The Good of Mini Poodles

  • There are a variety of color options. Because of the variety of colors, you can choose a more specific look at what you want for a poodle.
  • Polite with strangers. Although mini poodles can be timid with strangers, it can lead to good manners. Rather than having your dog run another person away, you will not have to worry about that with mini poodles (they’re too small to do that anyway).
  • Mini poodles are extremely intelligent. This is so beneficial when you are trying to train him/ her. They listen and respond well with their owners.
  • Good with allergies. Poodles are considered to be one of the most hypoallergenic dogs out there. Because of this, poodles make a perfect family dog.
  • Mini poodles attach to their owner easily. Poodles simply love to please. So, they attach and bond well with their owner.

Although the lists of good and bad are even for solidifying the most significant features, there is far more good for poodles than bad.

Mini Poodle Temperament

Although I have briefly described some significant traits that are part of a poodle’s temperament, there are many more.

1. Mini Poodles are Very Active

Out of the three types of poodles, miniature poodles are the most active.

They have the most energy and will need frequent exercise to get rid of that energy. This is why it is so important to go out and play or run with your mini poodle.

2. Mini Poodles are Alert

There are some dogs out there who seem completely zoned out all of the time. However, mini poodles are not one of those dogs. Mini poodles are always very alert.

For this reason, mini poodles make great watch dogs.

Your mini poodle will bark when they hear or see something, simply because they will hear it before you can.

Don’t stress too much though. Miniature poodles still have an average tendency towards barking. But, they can be trained easily to not bark.

3. Mini Poodles are Very Loyal

If you are searching for a loyal dog, then you have found the dog for you. Poodles have been loyal in history as hunting companions.

To this day, mini poodles are still very attached to their owner. Although it is easy to say that every dog loves their owner, poodles really do. They will stick to your side every second that they possibly can.

4. Mini Poodles are Not Aggressive

The only thing that is appealing with an aggressive dog is for a guard dog.

Although poodles make a great guard dog because of their alertness, they will not attack.

For most people, this is a desirable trait. You do not have to worry about your mini poodle going after people that you invite into your home. Mini poodles are not very aggressive. Mini poodles are actually very peaceful dogs.

5. Mini Poodles Thrive on Praise

The more praise and attention you can give to your poodle, the happier he/ she will be.

Especially while you are training your mini poodle, you must give lots of praise. This will ensure that your mini poodle repeats the action because of two things.

Your mini poodle loves to please you and thrives on praise.

Mini Poodle Health

Up until now, mini poodles have had very similar traits and rankings to those of standard poodles. However, when it comes to health, mini poodles do not rank as well.

Simply because miniature poodles are smaller, they will have more health problems in comparison to standard poodles.

General Poodle Health Problems:

Health IssueProblem AreaSymptoms
EpilepsyBrainSeizures, hiding away, running
around frantically.
Addison’s DiseaseAdrenal GlandsVomiting, lethargy, poor appetite.
Cushings DiseasePituitary GlandIncreased appetite, large pot belly,
hair loss, frequent urination.
Retinal AtrophyEyesPoor vision, running into things.
BloatStomachMajor discomfort and pain in
the stomach.
Hip DisplasyaHip JointImproper alignment, crooked
walking.

These are all some very common health problems that poodles have in standard, miniature, and toy poodles.

The treatment for these various health issues is different. However, the best thing you can do for you poodle when you see any symptoms of a health issue is to take him/her to the vet.

Not only does the vet have the answer for how to help your poodle out when there are health problems. But, you can also give your poodle tests and x-rays to discover any possible health issues that make come later.

Additional Mini Poodle Health Problems:

Aside from the issues that are common for any poodle, miniature poodles have more problems that are more common among mini poodles.

Health IssueProblem AreaSymptoms
DiabetesPancreasExcessive thirst, frequent urination,
extreme weight loss.
Disc DiseaseSpineBack pain, shivering, paralysis, stiff
neck.
PancreatitisPancreas Gagging, diarrhea, lethargy, strange
posture.
TrichiasisEyesSwollen eyes, excessive tears, eyes
twitching.
Urinary StonesUrineInflamed belly, problems with
urinating.
EntropionEyelidsExcessive tears, inner eye
inflammation.

Because miniature poodles are specifically bred to be a smaller poodle, there are more health risks associated. However, not every miniature poodle will have these issues.

But, it is still significantly important to know the symptoms so that you are prepared to help your poodle when he/ she is actually having a health problem.

Allergies and Mini Poodles

Now, after you have learned about the miniature poodle dog breed, it is time to start thinking about owning one of the wonderful dogs.

One of the most significant factors that comes into the decision process for getting a dog is allergies.

For some people, allergies are not an issue at all.

However, for those of you that have minor or major allergies, this should be a major concern for you when getting a dog. You do not want to live in constant discomfort or even pain. And luckily for you, mini poodles are a hypoallergenic dog.

Although mini poodles do not have a 100% guarantee to not bother your allergies, the chances are drastically decreased.

Why?

Well, your allergies are often bothered by one of three things:

  • Pet Dander
  • Saliva
  • Urine

Luckily miniature poodles have a low tendency towards each of these things.

Pet Dander

If you are unaware of what pet dander is, it is similar to human dandruff.

The pet dander is simply the dry skin like material that is at the based of your poodle’s hair. Pet dander can spread by your dog brushing up against something, or simply from petting your dog. However, whatever the reason for spreading, your dog’s dander can spread fast.

The more pet dander there is, the more your allergies will be bothered.

The amazing thing about mini poodles is that they have a low tendency towards pet dander. So, although a mini poodle may have some pet dander, the will not be much to the point of aggravated allergies.

The more pet dander there is, the more your allergies will be bothered.

Saliva

Saliva is simple. Everyone has it, even us.

However, for those will allergies, dog’s saliva will be very annoying to handle. The most common form of dog saliva coming in contact with humans is from drooling.

Mini poodles also have a low tendency towards drool.

They simply do not drool as often. However, if your mini poodle does drool, it is easy to train him/ her not to. In order to train your poodle not to drool, you have to discipline him/ her for drooling. After discipline, your poodle will learn and fix the behavior.

Urine

Urine is another of the common allergies towards dogs.

Again for urine, you can train your mini poodle to safe your allergies. If you set aside a specific spot for your mini poodle do their thing, then your allergies will be safe.

You simply have to stay out of the zone where dog urine is.

Although there may be some training necessary as far as your mini poodle’s saliva and urine go, you will find that a mini poodle is one of the very best dogs you could get to save your allergies. Many dogs out there will have a high tendency towards these things, and you will find it near impossible to save yourself from discomfort.

However, with a mini poodle, there will be minimal effort needed to save yourself from allergy discomfort.

Finding Miniature Poodles

If you are anything like me, by now you are just in love with miniature poodles.

So what’s the next step?

The next thing for us to do is find you a great miniature poodle.

The best way to find a miniature poodle is:

  1. Breeder
  2. Shelter

Breeders and Shelters Around the United States

Northeast

NameTypeLocationSite
Eriand PoodlesBreederPort Washington,
NY
Eriand
Northeast Animal
Shelter
ShelterSalem, MANortheast
Lavandaire Miniature
Poodles
BreederPembroke, NHLavandaire
Animal Refuge League
of Greater Portland
ShelterWestbrook, MEAnimal
Light N’ LivelyBreederStaten Island, NYLight
Arndt’s Happy Trails
Poodles
BreederMillerstown, PAArndt’s

Southeast

NameTypeLocationSite
Marjo PoodlesBreederNorth CarolinaMarjo
Williamson County
Animal Shelter
ShelterFranklin, TNWilliamson
Poodle PleasureBreederGeorgiaPleasure
Lucky Pup Rescue ShelterGreenville, SCLucky
Acclaim Miniature
Poodles
BreederFruitland Park,
FL
Acclaim
Florida Dog RescueShelterFlordiaDog

Midwest

NameTypeLocationSite
Celeto PoodlesBreederIllinoisCeleto
4 Luv of Dog Rescue
Shelter
ShelterFargo, NDLuv
Absolute Silver Miniature
Poodles
BreederWinona, MNAbsolute
Last Day Dog RescueShelterLivonia, MILast
FirelakeBreederIndianapolis, INFirelake

Southwest

NameTypeLocationSite
Alegros PoodlesBreederDenton, TXAlegros
Arizona Animal Welfare
League
ShelterPhoenix, AZWelfare
Aurak PoodlesBreederTexasAurak
Aurora Animal ShelterShelterAurora, COAurora
Peggy’s Arizona Red
Poodles
BreederPhoenix, AZPeggy’s

West

NameTypeLocationSite
Karbit PoodlesBreederWashingtonKarbit
Snake River Animal
Shelter
ShelterIdaho Falls. IDSnake
Bar King PoodlesBreederCitrus Heights, CABar King
Paws For Life UtahShelterHeber City, UTPaws
Ash’s Mystical
Poodles
BreederLas Vegas, NVAsh’s

Although I personally believe that rescuing a dog is far better than purchasing from a breeder, there are some reasons that make breeder a great option for miniature poodles.

For one, the history of the poodle is often important for performing poodles.

Also, in my experience, there are not many miniature poodles in shelters. For whatever reason, it is difficult to find this breed when searching through different shelters. But, I would first search through shelters near you to see your options.

However, there are also great breeders out there. Whatever you choose, I am sure you will love your miniature poodle.

Owning a Mini Poodle

The last thing that I would like to touch on about miniature poodles is how to own one.

Although there are many things that you learn when you become a dog parent or through time, I will go over a few general guidelines of what mini poodles need from you.

1. Give Your Mini Poodle Lots of Exercise.

As discussed earlier, mini poodles have the most energy out of every type of poodle. This means that they are going to need lots of exercise in order to get rid of that energy.

If the mini poodle does not get his/ her energy out, he/ she will likely be more irritable and wild.

In my opinion, the best way to go about this is to take your mini poodle out for a walk or run (whichever you like) twice a day. This may seem like a lot, but your mini poodle needs that much exercise. There should also be random playing throughout the day.

2. Don’t Leave Your Mini Poodle Alone for Too Long

Because mini poodles have high anxiety when left alone, it is important that you are not constantly away.

The more things you can include your mini poodle in, the better. You will want to give your mini poodle as much attention and love as you have in your system. This is not just because you love him/ her, but because it is what your dog needs.

Mini Poodles make great service dogs because they want to be with you always.

3. Train Your Mini Poodle Young

As I mentioned earlier, mini poodles are extremely intelligent. Mini poodles are ranked number 2 in intelligence out of every dog breed.

However, you cannot take this for an advantage. Just because mini poodles are extremely intelligent, does not mean you can neglect training yours. Even dogs with high intelligence need discipline.

You can take your mini poodle to obedience school as well as train him/ her at home. The results will be worth it. Try training your dog as soon as possible.

4. Groom, Groom, Groom

I feel that this part of owning a mini poodle cannot be stressed enough. Your mini poodle needs to be groomed very frequently.

Not only does your mini poodle need to be groomed daily with brushing, but your mini poodle also should be clipped and taken to a professional groomer every few months.

This step is so important to save your mini poodle from any pain and save your bills.

Overall, miniature poodles are incredible.

You will not be disappointed with this dog breed. Despite their impression as a simple show dog, you will find that miniature poodles are very fun, loving, and athletic dogs.

Marryn Jenkins

I am a long time pet lover. There has always been a soft spot in my heart for dogs. Although I have owned many dog breeds in my lifetime, poodles have become my favorite. I have a standard poodle, Sally, and a miniature poodle, Luna. With my experience owning poodles, I am here to help you learn all about this wonderful dog breed.

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