By Dr. Watuwa JamesDr. James Watuwa Last updated: 2nd May 2023

Toy Poodle

Toy poodles are the smallest of the poodle breed, standing no more than 10 inches tall. They were first bred in America as companion dogs. These are among the cutest, smartest, and most acrobatic pet dogs. Toy poodles are preferred as family pets more than standard poodles because they are less expensive and easier to maintain.

Toy Poodle Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesCaniche, Barbone, Chien Canne, Carniche Moyen, Barboncino Miniatura, French Poodle, Pudle, Zwergpudel
CoatSingle, dense coat of curled hair
ColorBlack, grey, red, cream, white, fawn, gold / yellow, brown / chocolate / liver
Breed  TypePurebred
Life expectancy  10 – 18 years
Height10 inches
Weight10 – 15 pounds
Litter Size About 1 to 10 puppies, an average of 5
Behavioral characteristicsTimid, playful, friendly, eager
Good with ChildrenYes
Barking TendencyFrequent
Climate CompatibilityPrefer average to warm weather conditions
Apartment CompatibilityGood
Do they shedInfrequently
Are they HypoallergenicYes
How much do they cost$400 – $600
Competitive Registration Qualification/InformationAmerican Kennel Club
Country France

History and Origin

Poodles originated in Germany as duck hunters. In ancient days, they were retrieving water dogs. Their crisp, curly coat and excellent swimming ability made them invaluable to hunters who wanted dogs that could move freely in the water.  

For being the national dog of France, poodles are often referred to as ‘French poodles.’ Their French name is caniche meaning ‘duck dog.’

In the late 18th century, toy poodles were featured in artworks and appeared in the courts of French aristocrats. Because of their comical appearance, good trainability, and small size, toy poodles were often used in circuses.

Temperament and Personality

These poodles have strong personalities and are curious, eager, playful, and friendly. Their sweet and loving nature makes them the perfect family pet. They consider themselves a part of the family and expect constant attention. These pups love to be pampered.

While they are devoted family pets, their attention-seeking nature sometimes create problem for the owners as they hate to be left alone. If they feel separated or isolated, they often become aggressive and mischievous.

Poodles are also a very intelligent breed of dog that learns things very fast. Toy poodles are more agile and mischievous than standard poodles. They hate sitting idle and constantly look for something to do.



Toy poodles enjoy all kinds of exercises and love to stay active all day. They require a lot of activity to unleash their high-energy level. Owing to their ancestors, they display a love for swimming.
Apart from swimming, walking and running are also their favorite sports. Retrieving objects is in their blood, and they can easily fetch toys, balls, or sticks when tossed around.


Because of their low-shedding, these dogs are perfect for owners with allergies. But their long coats must be brushed regularly to prevent the hair from matting near the roots. To save time in doing so, they can be given a haircut because poodles with short and trimmed coats require less grooming. The owners can also experiment with the look of their poodle by giving them different haircuts.

Health Problems

Because of their active nature, this breed usually stays fit and fine. But like every other breed, they also suffer from occasional diseases. They have a history of disorders like Hip dysplasia, eye disorders, idiopathic epilepsy, von Willebrand’s disease, sebaceous adenitis, and immune-mediated disorders.


Toy Poodles should be fed high-quality dog food. Being small in size, they need 3 to 4 small meals daily to maintain their blood sugar level. Calorie intake should also be monitored. A veterinarian can suggest the appropriate food quantity for toy poodles based on the individual’s metabolism, activity level, size, and neuter status. Treats should be restricted to a few occasions as they can quickly gain more calories from them.

Omega 3 fatty acids should be included in their diet as they can be a natural anti-inflammatory beneficial for kidneys, joints, heart, skin, and coat.


These poodles are easily trainable. Owing to their high intelligence, they can absorb lessons quickly. They respond well to various pieces of training like obedience, tracking, agility, enrichment puzzles, and canine sports. Apart from excelling in obedience training and agility, they can also learn complex games such as hide and seek. They prefer training sessions that are fun and engaging.

Socialization: Toy poodles are generally known to be people-friendly. But, they need proper social training to develop a friendly nature at a young age. The puppies that are socialized more grow up to be loving dogs that can get along well with children and other pets.

Those not socialized well at an early age can develop fear-based aggression. They grow up fearful and restless when they see too many people and often become aggressive out of fear.

Leash: Being very smart dogs, poodles have a mind of their own, which makes walking them on a leash a bit challenging. They tend to make their own decisions and often pull the leash to meet other dogs on the street. Leash training should begin when they are puppies and have an impressionable mind. Rewarding them with treats and praises can increase their obedience. Because of their anxiousness, teaching them self-control is very important to make them walk by their trainer and not run elsewhere.


Q. How long can a toy poodle live alone?

Toy poodles do not like living alone. They love the company of people. They can live alone overnight if necessary, but it is very stressful for them.

Q. Are toy poodles clingy?

Toy poodles can be very clingy at times when they are startled. After a scary event, they cling to their owners for a long time.

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