Elegant and regal, the miniature poodle is everything that a standard poodle is, just in a smaller package. This beautiful curly-coated breed has long been a popular pet all around the world. While their ancestors were working dogs, miniature poodles are loyal and loving lap dogs.
Poodles come in three different sizes that are all considered part of the same breed. Standard poodles are the oldest variety and the largest of the poodles, standing taller than 15 inches at the shoulder. Toy poodles are the smallest, being no taller than 10 inches.
Miniature poodles sit somewhere between the two. They range in height from 10 to 15 inches and weigh around 10 to 15 pounds. These dogs have a square-proportioned, athletic body type.
Miniature poodles come in 28 coat color combinations, including both solid and parti-color variations. The 10 standard colors of miniature poodles are apricot, black, blue, brown, cream, gray, red, silver, silver-beige, and white. However, the most common color is black.
Some dogs also have varying shades of the same color throughout their coats.
While no breed is completely hypoallergenic as every dog sheds at least a little, poodles come pretty close. Their beautiful coats can be high maintenance and require daily brushing to avoid matting and tangles. Many owners prefer to either get their dog professionally clipped every 4 to 6 weeks instead of doing it themselves. There are a wide variety of clipping styles to choose from.
While miniature poodles are very friendly with the people they know and trust, they can be leery of strangers. This can cause them to be overprotective of their owners and sometimes get a little aggressive. Early socialization is vital for this breed.
Even with training, miniature poodles are likely to remain cautious of new people, which is what makes them great guard dogs. They will always alert their owners to the presence of people at the door.
Historically, miniature poodles were used by hunters to collect ducks shot down over bodies of water. While today's miniature poodles are family companions more than working dogs, their strong retrieving instinct remains. They are happy to fetch just about anything their owner throws for them, and the exercise keeps them happy. Ideally, they need around an hour of walks and active play to stop them from getting bored or becoming too highly strung.
These high-spirited, amicable pups enjoy being part of the family. They make easy-going pets and are suitable for first-time owners as well as families with children. They also adapt well to apartment living, provided they get plenty of opportunities to play.
Miniature poodles can suffer from separation anxiety if left on their own for long periods too frequently. This could result in barking and destructive behaviors. For this reason, poodles are better suited to households where there is always someone around.
Their charming looks, coupled with their intelligence, make these pups a firm favorite for their comedy value. They were often used as circus performers in the past as they can learn a variety of tricks with ease. These days you are more likely to see them in a show ring than a circus ring displaying their impressive skills. Miniature poodles also excel at canine sports such as flyball, agility, and obedience trials. These are all things they thoroughly enjoy.
Miniature poodles are barkers. While this behavior can be mostly eliminated through proper training, these little pups can still have a barking fit every now and again for no clear reason.
However, excessive whining and howling are not particularly typical with this breed. These noises likely indicate a problem, either with the dog’s emotional or physical health.
While this breed is usually quite patient and well-mannered, they can get a little upset if there is too much going on around them. Miniature poodles should be supervised around children, especially if the children are boisterous or if the poodle doesn’t know them all that well.
In the past, poodles suffered from severe genetic issues because of careless breeding. However, these days, carefully controlled standards have luckily lessened these problems considerably.
Like every breed, miniature poodles are still prone to hereditary issues such as eye problems, digestive diseases, and skin allergies. Despite these possible health concerns, miniature poodles generally have a long life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years.
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