Breed Group: Non-Sporting
A Poodle of any size is one of the smartest, most easily trained, and sensitive of all breeds. With his superior intellect and above average energy level inside, Poodles are both amusing and clever. The Miniature Poodle’s reduced size makes them better suited to families with older, well-behaved children rather than rambunctious pre- or grade-schoolers. To keep their mind occupied they need a daily mental challenge which can include advanced training or mentally stimulating games. Although not “velcro” dogs, they also need daily companionship. These two traits make them poor candidates for a backyard dog that is ignored by their family. Most are at least sociable with other pets, with many enjoying the company of other canines. Most also enjoy the company of visitors but still make good watchdogs by announcing a strangers arrival. But Miniature Poodles do not make good guard dogs and some bark more than they should. As active outside as they are in, the playful, Miniature Poodle is both elegant and athletic. But their reduced size and exercise needs makes them an ideal candidate for a family that is somewhat inactive. A walk around the block twice a day easily meets their exercise needs. One walk and a good play session suffice. But highly adaptable, they are also capable of jogging for a mile or two if their owner is interested. Some lines can be dainty and high strung while others are confident and extroverted. Originally bred as wetland retrievers, Miniature Poodles love to play in water.
The Miniature Poodle, even though the mid-sized Poodle, is still a small dog. They stand between 10 and 15 inches tall and weigh 15-17 pounds. Like all Poodles, the Miniature has dense, curly, wiry coat that sheds little if at all and is generally recognized as ideal for people with allergies. Coats have a wide range of colors including blue, gray silver, brown, black, white, café au lait, apricot or cream. Although they shed little, a Poodle’s coat requires extensive care and grooming. Their coats grow quickly and require regular brushing to avoid tangles. They must be bathed on a regular basis and clipped every four to six weeks. They do well in all but extreme temperatures.
Most Miniature Poodles require no more than an average amount of socialization to reduce any tendency to be timid. The highly intelligent and eminently trainable Miniature Poodle pays close attention during training sessions, learns very quickly, and responds enthusiastically to positive training methods. A skilled reader of his trainer’s body language, he is capable of learning anything and is often a skilled obedience or agility competitor. Miniature Poodles make a good choice for first-time dog owners, seniors, or those living in apartments or small homes.
Although their life expectancy is 12-15 years, Miniature Poodles are subject to an array of genetic diseases including Legg-Perthes, Patellar Luxation, Epilepsy, and PRA which causes blindness. Less frequently seen are several eye problems including Distichiasis, Entropion, problems with tear ducts that are unopen or missing, Cataracts, and Glaucoma. Even less often seen is IVDD and Urolithiasis.
The Poodle is one of the world’s most loved dogs and has remained one of the most popular breeds in the U. S. for many years. Poodles are currently ranked 8th in popularity by the AKC with between 31,000 and 32,000 annual registrations.
Although its great popularity in France has resulted in the breed’s more common name, “French Poodle,” the Poodle may have originated in Germany. The Poodle descended from a now nearly extinct French water dog and its name is probably a variation on the German word “Pudel,” meaning one who plays in the water. Originally bred in Germany and France to retrieve waterfowl shot by hunters, the French also utilized their intelligence and trainability to convert them into circus performers. Smaller varieties became pampered pets of royal families. Over the years, the original Standard Poodle has been bred into smaller variations, including the Miniature.
Although the official breed standard specifies the only difference between Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodles is size, some believe Standards are more docile than his smaller cousins and is a better choice for families with small children who want a sturdy pet. They make exceptional watchdogs and a passable guard dog. Miniatures can live in less space and do well in families with older children but they have no ability as a guard dog. Toys are too small and fragile for families with small children and are a better choice for older, less active people or those with limited living space. The National (US) Breed Club is the Poodle Club of America.
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