The Poodle: Miniature, Standard, And Toy Sizes

The poodle may look like a prissy pooch, but we assure you it’s anything but.

Whether standard, miniature or toy-sized, the poodle is a bundle of talent, energy, and personality wrapped in a fluffy package.

Although they’re mainstays at dog shows, poodles can also be found hunting waterfowl, performing agility feats, and warming the hearts of celebrities.

Should you want this dog around, here’s a quick overview of all three poodle types.

A Basic Overview of the Poodle

The poodle breed comes in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy.

The Standard is the largest and oldest of the three, with some owners still using them to retrieve game. Miniatures have also been (and are still being) used as hunting dogs, while Toys are companion dogs through and through. All three share the elaborate, puffed-up coats that characterize the breed.

Unlike most dogs, the poodle doesn’t have an undercoat. Instead, it has a single layer of fur that comes in a variety of textures and colors. Some poodle coats are fluffy and wavy, while others are woolly and coarse.

Despite looking like walking bundles of fur, poodles are surprisingly hypoallergenic. That’s because their hair grows in such a way that shedding and dander are kept to a minimum.

Still, it won’t hurt poodle owners to give their carpets a quick clean, in case stray bits of hair happen to trigger sensitive family members.

What is the Personality of the Poodle?

Poodles have the sort of personality found in well-liked celebrities: elegant but not stiff, playful but not obnoxious, and intelligent yet eager to please.

There are slight differences between the personalities of the standard, miniature and toy poodle, however.

In general, Standards are the most reserved of the three, while Miniatures are the most active. If you have small children, the Toy is probably the most suitable, since their size makes them less likely to hurt infants and toddlers — even if they’re jumping all over the place.

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Speaking of jumping, poodles love to jump. In fact, they love anything that lets them lose a bit of steam. As long as you keep their paws busy, they’re not likely to get bored and destructive.

For example, poodles work quite well as guard dogs, even if they don’t look the part. They’re quite protective of their “pack,” and they will bark if think there’s anything strange going on. They’re not aggressive though, so don’t expect them to scare off any unwanted intruders.

Although they’re sociable, poodles can take them a while to warm up to a complete stranger. Once they do, their true selves come out: loving, intelligent and absolutely delightful pooches.

History and Background of the Poodle

It’s not really clear where the poodle came from. According to the Kennel Clubs in the U.K. and the U.S., the breed can trace its origins to a type of German hunting dog.

They cite the fact that the name “poodle” comes from the German word Pudel (“to splash in water”), which is appropriate given what the dog was used for.

However, the Belgium-based Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) disagrees, saying that the breed comes from the French Barbet. Germany, being an FCI member, concurs, and the poodle currently holds the honor of being France’s national dog.

Whatever its origins, it’s clear that the poodle was popular in Europe. Artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Francisco Goya have all tried to capture the breed’s beauty in their portraits.

The poodle has since inspired many other beautiful breeds like the Standard and Miniature Schnauzers, as well as the Bichon group of dogs.

Are Poodles Playful and Fun?

Make no mistake: This pooch is no slouch when it comes to fun.

Thanks to their hunting dog ancestry, poodles are active, trainable and always on the lookout for something to do. You can count on them to spice up the most boring days, so long as you’re willing to indulge them.

The best way to have fun with your poodle is to figure out which activities they enjoy the most. For example, does your poodle like to play fetch? Brisk walks? Sniffing out hidden items around the house? Let them do what they love, but switch things up once in a while.

Can’t think of things for your pooch to do? No problem: Just let them be as silly as they can be. After all, that’s what poodles do best!

How Much Exercise Does A Poodle Need?

When it comes to poodles, exercise requirements vary depending on age.

For puppies three months old and younger, you can give them daily walks for up to 15 minutes per day.

Once they reach four months, bump it up to 20 minutes (which can be split into ten-minute increments), and 25 minutes for five-month olds, and so on. A good rule of thumb is to add five minutes for every month your poodle ages.

Be careful not to over-exercise your puppy, however. Their bones are still growing and developing, and if they get injured at that stage in their life, that could lead to serious problems later on.

As for grown-up poodles, they should at least have an hour of exercise each day. You can divide that hour into 20- or 30-minute increments — one block in the morning, another in the afternoon, and the last one in the evening.

Even elderly poodles need to stretch their legs. Like their human counterparts, aging dogs can benefit from physical activity, which helps them increase muscle mass and decrease joint discomfort.

In case you’re concerned about over-exerting your pooch, ask a vet for more information.

What are the Grooming Needs of Poodles?

As you can imagine, grooming a poodle takes a bit of work.

Even for the simplest coat styles, you’ll have to brush, clip and trim your poodle’s fur on a regular basis. Otherwise, your pooch will have to deal with some nasty skin infections — not to mention a nasty vet bill.

When caring for poodle coats, keep in mind that they have very curly hair. In other words, if your poodle sheds, there’s a good chance the shed hair will mat or tangle. And if your poodle has a lot of matted or tangled hair, you might have to shear his hair like a sheep’s.

Luckily, it is possible to groom a poodle at home. You’ll need a shampoo and conditioner for baths, a towel to keep them dry, and a brush to keep their hair in tiptop condition.

Bathe your poodle thoroughly, and check for anything unusual (e.g. skin infections) while you’re at it. Then, using a 100% cotton towel — preferably Egyptian or American pima — pat your poodle’s fur the way you’d pat your face when applying powder. Be careful not to rub the towel if you don’t want to deal with a lot of tangling.

At the same time, brush your poodle’s hair such that it will puff up by itself naturally. Simultaneous drying and brushing ensure that your pooch’s coat stays supple and beautiful. Of course, if you’re not sure about your grooming skills, you can always leave it to the pros.

Are Poodles Easy to Train?

Looks aren’t the only reason poodles rank as the 7th most popular dog breed.

Smart, energetic and eager to please, poodles are one of the easiest breeds to train. They can pick up almost any trick you teach them, provided you teach in a way that emphasizes positive reinforcement over brute force.

Poodles are sensitive dogs and will not respond to being hit or shouted at.

On the flip side, high intelligence can translate to stubbornness if training isn’t done properly. Therefore, we recommend putting obedience training on top of your list of things to teach your poodle.

Obedience training involves teaching your poodle to follow commands like “Sit,” “Down,” “Stay,” and “Come,” as well as helping them get used to a leash.

If your pooch is feeling adventurous, you can sign him up for agility competitions. These competitions can involve tunnels, jumps, obstacles and the sort.

Of course, you’ll have to give your dog some preliminary training at home before you have him perform for a crowd.

Don’t forget the basics like crate and potty training. The earlier your poodle learns these, the easier it’ll be to keep him around for the long term.

How Much Does a Poodle Puppy Cost?

For AKC-registered standard poodles, the cost can range from $400 to $2,000 per puppy. If you’re looking at a pedigreed pooch, you’ll probably shell out as much as $3,000.

Naturally, the Miniature and Toy versions are easier on the bank, with prices capped at $1,500 and $1,100 respectively.

You’ll also have to prepare for extra costs such as grooming, vet checkups, accessories, food, supplies and dental cleaning. On average, these can total between $500 to $2,000 per year.

It’s important to note that these figures aren’t set in stone. The actual price will vary depending on factors such as breeder, color, size, bloodline, and age.

Overall, the poodle is a perfect blend of elegant and entertaining. For those of you who’ve had first-hand experience with this breed (or would love to), share your thoughts in the comments!

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