Poodle Breed Type

Non Sporting, Utility or Toy Dog

History of the Toy Poodle

Poodles are one of the oldest dog breeds known, with their ancestors being traced back to the first century A.D. By the 15th and 16th centuries, large Poodles (similar to today's Standard Poodles) were well established throughout Europe, and were popular as hunting and retrieving dogs for waterfowl. Poodle ancestors were known to be good swimmers, and possibly included links to the Portuguese Water Dog, the Irish Water Spaniel, the Barbet (a French water dog), and the Hungarian Water Hound. Due to its widespread popularity, many countries across Europe had a hand in developing the breed, and although the Poodle probably didn't originate in France, they arguably had the greatest influence in their more modern development. Toy and Miniature Poodles are the same breed as Standards, and were created by simply selectively breeding down from the larger dogs during the 17th and 18th centuries largely in response to a greater demand for companion animals. 


Elegant, but sturdily built small dog with a somewhat long and narrow head and muzzle, and long, wide ears that hang close to the face. They have a light springy movement, and generally come in one solid colour only, which may be a shade of black, blue, grey, silver, brown, café-au-lait, apricot, red, white or cream.

Toy Poodle in show clip.


In the UK, a Toy will be less than 28cm (11 inches) at the shoulder, and in Canada and the USA the standard is for it to measure 25cm (10 inches) or less. A Toy may weigh 3-4 kg (6-9 pounds) 


Non-allergenic, curly or wavy coat which grows continually, moults very little, and requires regular grooming and clipping. Regular brushing (perhaps weekly) is required to reduce matting and tangling, and clipping is required every 6-8 weeks to keep the length manageable. 


Good natured, friendly, versatile, highly intelligent dog with a bright, lively disposition. Poodles are great characters - they almost seem to have a sense of humour, can learn almost anything, and delight in showing off. Toys and Miniatures occasionally have a slight tendency to be overly sensitive or highly strung, which may make them nervous and snappy. Check with breeders regarding this temperament tendency.

Very agile Toy Poodle on his hind legs

Toy Poodle in show clip head shot



15 years or more 


Quite a sound breed, although a number of problems can develop without regular maintenance. If grooming is neglected, there could be vision impairment, grass-seeds and abscesses between the toes, fly-strike and even drowning when an excessively long coat gets wet. They are also prone to ear infections and dental problems. Poodles are people-oriented dogs and their bright, effervescent personality will disappear if they are deprived of company.  

Possible Genetic Disorders

Toy Poodles are particularly prone to Luxating Patellas. They are also somewhat prone to a cardiac disease called Mitral Valve Dysplaia (MVD), Sebaceous Adenitis and the eye disorders Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Entropion. Health screening for these disorders is available, and should form part of any discussion when considering purchase.  

Best Suited

  • Apartment, house or country
  • Household with older children
  • Household with plenty of human contact
  • Household with retirees
  • Allergy sufferers
  • Service work - assistance dogs, therapy dogs, sniffer dogs, truffle hunters

Worst Suited

  • Households where the dog will be left alone for long periods