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Adopt a Poodle (Toy)

Poodle (Toy) Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


water dog, companion

Area of origin:

Central Europe

Original function:

lap dog

Average size of male:

Ht: <10, Wt: 4-8

Average size of female:

Ht: <10, Wt: 4-8

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Poodle (Toy) Dog Temperament

The pert and peppy toy poodle is one of the brightest and easiest breeds to train. She is alert, responsive, playful, lively, sensitive and eager to please. She is devoted to her family. Some can be reserved with strangers; others may bark a lot.

Poodle (Toy) Dog Care

Poodles need a lot of interaction with people. They also need mental and physical exercise. The toy poodle's exercise needs can be met with a short walk or even indoor games. This is not a breed that should ever live outside, although she enjoys access to a yard. Her coat should be brushed every day or two. Poodle hair, when shed, does not fall out but becomes caught in the surrounding hair, which can cause matting if not removed. Clipping should be done at least four times a year, with the face and feet clipped monthly. Although most poodles are professionally groomed, poodle parents can learn to groom their own dog.

Poodle (Toy) Dog Health

Major concerns: PRA, patellar luxation, Legg - Perthes, epilepsy
Minor concerns: trichiasis, entropion, lacrimal duct atresia, cataracts
Occasionally seen: urolithiasis, intervertebral disc degeneration
Suggested tests: eye, knee, hip
Life span: 12-14 years

Dogs Related to the Poodle (Toy)

Poodle (Standard)
Japanese Chin

Interested in the history of the Poodle (Toy) dog breed?

Although the poodle is most often identified with France, her earliest ancestors were probably curly-coated dogs from central Asia that assisted with herding and followed many routes into various parts of Europe. Interwoven in their ancestry are also several rough-coated water dogs. Perhaps the earliest incarnation of the poodle was the barbet, a curly-coated dog distributed in France, Russia, Hungary and elsewhere. It is the German version, however, that exerted most influence on the modern poodle. In fact, the word poodle comes from the German word pfudel, meaning "puddle" or "to splash," probably reflecting the dog's water abilities. In France, she was known as caniche or chien canard, both referring to her duck-hunting abilities. Thus, from herding and water roots the poodle became a talented water-hunting companion. The poodle was also drawn into service as a military dog, guide dog, guard dog, wagon puller for performers and, eventually, as a circus performer. Her coat was shorn close to facilitate swimming, but left slightly longer on the chest for warmth in cold water. Although some believe the puffs of hair around the leg joints and tail tip were for protection when hunting, compelling evidence suggests that they arose as decoration during the poodle's performing days. The poodle found favor as an elegant companion for fashionable ladies. She became favored by French aristocracy and eventually became the national dog of France. Her characteristic clip was accentuated, and a successful effort was made to perfect the smaller specimens. Poodles entered the show ring in the late 1800s. Some of the early show poodles were shown in corded coats, in which the hair is allowed to mat in long thin tresses rather than be brushed out. While eye-catching, the upkeep was difficult and the trend died out by the early 1900s, being replaced by the bouffant styles still in vogue. At the same time poodle popularity in America waned, so that by the late 1920s, poodles had almost died out in North America. In the 1930s, the breed staged a comeback that eventually placed her as the all-time most popular dog in America.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

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