Complete Toy Poodle Guide: What To Know Before Buying

Toy poodles are one of the most popular companion dogs around.

They are a highly intelligent and self-confident breed who will mirror the love you give them.

Although they rose to popularity as dogs of royalty they are not a dainty weak breed but actually very agile.

Despite their smaller size, you should expect them to behave the same as a standard poodle. The smaller toy size will definitely win over anyone’s heart.

What is a Toy Poodle?

As their name implies, the toy Poodle belongs to the toy group.

This group of dogs may be small in size but they definitely have big personalities.

They are very sociable, lovable, and can fit in with a variety of different lifestyles. This is all true of the toy Poodle whose number one desire is to please its owner.

These tiny athletes do amazingly well in obedience and agility competitions. Their smaller size was created to be a companion dog, but their athletic ability still shines through.

They are one of the most intelligent and trainable breeds so there is a variety of physical and mental situations they will excel at.

  • Overview: Purebred.
  • Purpose: Companion.
  • Weight: 4-6 pounds.
  • Size: >10 inches.
  • Temperament: Self-confident, friendly, and intelligent.

Toy Poodle Appearance

Toy Poodle Lying Down

The only real difference between a toy Poodle and a standard Poodle is their height and weight.

They share the same coat colorings, markings, behaviors as a standard-sized Poodle. The toy in their name implies that they are smaller than 10 inches and were created for companionship.

This pooch appears squarely built and well proportioned. They will have black noses with very dark and dazzling eyes.


  • Males should be between 7-10 inches tall and weigh between 4-6 pounds.
  • Females should be between 6-9 inches tall and weigh between 3-5 pounds.

Coat and Colors

They come in a variety of colors so it can be hard to choose just one!

These colors range from blues, grays, browns, creams, and other shades in between.

However the most popular is the red toy Poodle and the black toy Poodle.

As for their coat there is virtually no shedding – it is amazing for people who suffer from allergies. However, it will require more time and effort than other dog breeds.

Without proper care their coat is prone to matting that can cause painful infections.

This coat should be groomed every 4- 6 weeks.

5 Fun Facts About Toy Poodles

A Red Toy Poodle

  1. Toy Poodles were popular with royalty in France.
  2. Poodles come in 3 different sizes and the toy size is the smallest of them all.
  3. They excel at agility and obedience competitions.
  4. Their curly coat is virtually non-shedding and great for people who suffer from allergies.
  5. Royalty liked to use them as warmers because of their fluffy coat.

Toy Poodle Personality and Temperament

Red Toy Poodle Puppy

The toy Poodle has a superb personality which explains their immense popularity.

They are very adaptable and can thrive in an urban environment if given daily walks. If you are looking for a dog to have in your apartment this is a good pick as long as they still get outdoor exercise.

Toy Poodles are companion dogs and will require companionship from you. If they are left alone for long periods of time they could develop separation anxiety. This is not a breed that is suitable to be left alone the entire day and will get anxious and possibly destructive if this happens.

They are inquisitive and very trainable – they are eager to please and love working alongside humans.

Due to their low aggression levels, they are a safe and curious breed to have around others.

Their ability to socialize with other animals humans and children relates to their friendly nature. However, since they are very small, they could easily be hurt by another animal or young child.

Poodle breeds in general are extremely observant and make great watchdogs – mostly because they’ll bark at the slightest unknown noise. Unfortunately, they are, at times, too eager to sound the alarm, and their endless barking can quickly become a problem for both owners and neighbors alike. Thankfully, the toy poodle is highly intelligent, and with a little work and training, you should be able to rid your pooch of this annoying trait.

This is a naturally athletic and active dog that will require lots of daily physical and mental stimulation.

Just because they are a small dog it does not mean that they will like to lounge and lay on the couch all day. They have been bred to be more of a companion animal but they still yearn for exercise.

Is The Toy Poodle A Good Family Dog?

Although the toy Poodle is an exceptionally friendly and loving breed, it is not recommended to place them in a household with small children due to their fragility.

However, they do make excellent family dogs in households with older children.

Caring for a Toy Poodle

Toy Poodle Running Outside

The toy Poodle will make a great companion or family dog for anyone that wants an intelligent and agile smaller dog. They will be a very rewarding and affectionate dog if you are willing to provide them with physical and mental challenges.

When they are not challenged they can get destructive.

Professional grooming will be required every couple of weeks and it is a very important part of owning a Poodle. Brushing will also have to be done daily to keep it from matting.

As long as their requirements are met they should fit perfectly in a family with older children.

Exercise Requirements

Although toy Poodles do enjoy being athletic it is important to keep their small size in mind.

Their size can make them prone to injuries if an owner is not careful. Around an hour of daily exercise is enough to keep them happy.

You can keep this pooch even if you only have a small year.

A fun exercise they would enjoy is being in water. They have a retrieving background so the water is a happy place for them.

  • Number of Walks Per Day: 1.
  • Total Exercise Needed Per Day: 45 Minutes.

Grooming and Shedding

Toy Poodle On Bed

One of the main reasons someone might be attracted to a Poodle is their minimal shedding allergy-friendly coat.

However, this does come at a cost and this coat will require more clipping and maintenance than many other dogs.

You should get accustomed to daily brushing and combing of their curly coat to keep it from matting. It is common for toy Poodle owners to keep their dogs coat short to save some time combing.

If you are unfamiliar with grooming a dog with a coat like this you should set up a monthly appointment with your groomer.

Feeding and Diet

Two key factors you should keep in mind in terms of your dog’s nutrition are size and activity level.

When feeding them and monitoring their growth you should keep in mind that males should be between 4-6 pounds and females should be between 3-5 pounds.

You should be cautious with table scraps and treats since this could lead to obesity. A high-quality ingredient dog food should be chosen for your toy Poodle. Since they are a small toy breed, it’s advisable to provide your Toy Poodle with a top-notch kibble specifically formulated for their nutritional requirements.

This kibble will likely have less fat and carbohydrates than the food you would feed a larger breed.

Nonetheless, you should always consult your vet if you have any questions or concerns regarding your dog’s weight and diet.

Calories Per Day:Cups of Kibble Per Day:

Known Health Problems

Most toy Poodles on average live long and healthy lives due to having responsible breeders and owners. However, there are some health problems that they can be predisposed to:

  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Idiopathic epilepsy.
  • Luxating patella’s.
  • Von Willebrand’s disease.

How Long Does A Toy Poodle Live?

The life expectancy for a toy Poodle is between 10-18 years.

How Much Does A Toy Poodle Cost?

On average Toy Poodle Puppies will cost anywhere between $1,200 and $2,000.

How To Train a Toy Poodle

Training A Toy Poodle

Whoever owns one of these curly cuties is lucky because of their eagerness to please.

This makes dog training very easy.

Their intelligence will shine during training and so will the way they gracefully conduct themselves. Like with any dog you bring into your home, it’s important to start training early on.

Remember toy Poodles can sometimes be timid or nervous and positive reinforcement will help to ease some of this. Training is best when it is both fun for the dog and the trainer.

It should never be a stressful experience.

The best games for them are water-based games because they are excellent retrievers.

They will be the star of agility, obedience, and tracking competitions if given the chance. One of the specific and fun ways to train them is through dog competitions. This can range from showing off their superb brain in an intelligence completion to showing off their swimming skills in dock diving.

At home mental enrichment could be from food puzzles, clicker training, or toys.

They take in information fast and when trained properly they will make a great companion.

Buyer’s Guide

Very easy to train.
Can bark a lot.
Friendly and well-tempered.
Suffers from loneliness and anxiety.
One of the smartest dog breeds.
Prone to destruction if left alone.
Excels in agility.
Not suitable for young children.
Minimal shedding.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:No taller than 10 inches
Lifespan:10-18 years
Coat:Single coat composed of dense curly fur
Color:Many different colors including blues, grays, silvers, browns, and creams
Do They Shed:No
Temperament:Friendly, social, and obedient
Socialization:Easy to socialize
Destructive Behavior:Can be destructive is left alone too long
People Skills:People-oriented breed
Good with Children:Yes
Activity Levels:Moderate energy levels


The toy Poodle’s small size should not fool you. They stand proudly and boast athleticism, friendliness, and a low-allergen coat.

All of these qualities have boosted them to being one of the most popular breeds in the United States.

This is a well-deserved title because they have all the great qualities of a lifelong companion. If their eagerness to please does not win you over, their intelligence surely will.

They are best suited for a family with older children who are willing to put in the time and effort it takes to raise them.

They love to be challenged and need an owner willing to challenge them.

Things to Consider:

Toy and miniature poodles are straightforward to train, so if you are looking for a furry friend who will do as you say, these small dogs are right for you. Pet lovers will agree that dogs are jolly family members, with their place in the pack firmly embedded in the home. That is why there are a lot of things to consider before choosing your new fur baby. 

Every breed of dog has its traits (some more desirable than others) as well as health issues and allergies. Being familiar with the dog breed’s behavior and medical conditions you are interested in will help you identify illness and problems down the road. 

Below is some information that will guide you in your search for your next fur baby. Read the following information carefully before choosing your new best friend.  


Does the poodle’s physical appearance affect how much it costs? Is a red toy poodle more expensive than a black-haired toy poodle? Why do teacup poodles cost more than standard poodles? 

Unfortunately, how the poodle looks affect its price; standard poodles are the most common poodle breed. This brings their price right down compared to miniature poodles and teacup poodles. All poodle breeds make excellent companion dogs, but the toy poodles dainty size makes it easier to cuddle and carry around.

 You should also take into consideration how much toy poodles cost to own, not just the initial purchase price. Poodle monthly costs vary from pup to pup and due to different medical needs and food requirements. 

We have split the costs up into categories, grooming, food, and additional costs. The following section does not include luxuries such as dog sitters and dog training costs, which can reach over $2000 per month. However, we do cover the basic cost of each category so that you can get a feel for how much you will need to splash out on your pup:


Poodles have beautiful curly coats and many dog owners have poodles just because of that. If you want your toy poodle to be a show dog, you will need to take them to the dog groomers at least once every month as their hair can get matted easily and their skin is super sensitive. You may spend anywhere from $70 to $100 on a full pup grooming session.

1.Skin Care

The poodle’s skin is greatly affected by the state of the gorgeous curly hair on top. With regular shampooing with sensitive canine shampoo, the toy poodle’s skin is in tip-top condition and free of infections and skin irritation. 

2. Ear Care

Not all groomers include ear grooming as part of their service. Poodles’ ears are very sensitive and are a cozy home for pesky bacteria that can cause infection in your pup’s ears in no time. 

3. Anal Glands 

Your dog groomer can treat inflamed anal glads just as easily as your vet. Make sure you ask your groomer to inspect the poodle’s anal glands at every visit. 

4. Dental Care 

Something as simple and forgettable as good dental hygiene for your dog can cause serious health conditions further on in their life. Kidney and liver problems are just two of the health issues poodles can get from poor dental hygiene. 

5. Eye Care

Poodles are notorious for their teary eyes, so make sure your pup is being treated for this condition. If you do not see this, your toy poodle’s eyes could become very dry and irritable. 


Toy poodles have very sensitive stomachs, where some dog breeds can eat table food and leftovers, toy poodles should avoid human food as much as possible. Food such as raisins, grapes, nuts, and chocolate are particularly dangerous for toy poodles. 

Dog food appropriate for poodles can cost upwards of $20 for a small 4-pound bag of food. You can imagine how costly that will be over time. 

Additional Costs

1.Medical Insurance

Depending on your dog’s medical needs, health insurance can cost anywhere from $30 to $110 per month for toy poodles. 

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2. Flea Treatment 

You must treat your dog for fleas every 6-8 weeks, especially if you live in a warm country. Flea treatment costs roughly $20 per treatment.

3. Medication and Supplements

More mature toy poodles will need to take food supplements such as calcium and other essential vitamins. 

4. Treats

Dog chews and treats are heavenly for your pup. Dental chews cost about 

$7 per chew and a bag of dog biscuits are roughly $20 per bag. 

5. Dog Walker

Busy, working dog owners often do not have time to walk their pup for the recommended amount. Of course, that fresh air is extremely important for toy poodles, so in order to get that time outside, the dog walkers get called in. Dog walkers charge about $20 per walk, give or take a few bucks, and monthly dog walking costs can very quickly escalate to $1,500 per month. 


Toy poodle maintenance refers to everything you have to do to keep them happy and healthy. We have listed some general maintenance must-haves, along with the estimated costs in the price section above. 


Your responsibility as a dog owner is to purchase your pup from responsible breeders. There are too many cases of puppy farms and mistreated dogs being sold for extortionate prices. Cut the chain of abuse and rescue a toy poodle or buy one from a recognized breeder. A poodle owners responsibility is to ensure you always have plenty of dog food your home; you need to water your dog and take them for daily walks, 


Toy poodles’ eagerness to please and adorable small size makes them fun additions to the family. Just as they will be a committed and loyal part of your family, you must commit to taking the care of them to the best of your ability; after all, dogs are for life!


As we touched upon earlier on in the article, every dog breed has its one health condition and allergies prone to that breed. Smaller dogs in particular have very special needs as they are usually more susceptible to heart conditions and develop food and skin allergies over time. 

We have another reason for mentioning allergies in our articles. It’s not all about your dog; you can be allergic to them too. Toy poodles are hypoallergenic; this means that they will not trigger pet allergies in their owners. 

Toy Poodle FAQs

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. my friends 11 and she wants a toy poodle she lives with 2 kids under 6 at her dads and 1 kid that’s 16 at her mums she doesn’t know if she should get or if she does, she doesn’t know what age

  2. This is so helpful! Thank you so much! I want to soon get a toy poodle, so this information is exactly what I needed to read to help me know what I am going to be getting myself into!

    • I have spent the last three weeks trying to find a toy or teacup poodle that fits the 4-6 pound category. Have not been successful; nor have I found them for the price stated. Would love to find a puppy for about $2000. Red, short black nose, somewhere in Oregon, Washington.

  3. Contradicting information: Towards the top of the article they say this breed barks a lot, but then under Personality and Temperament they say they don’t bark a lot. Which is true?

  4. Awesome article everything I needed to know about poodles is right here! I have Just recently purchased a red haired toy poodle. Her name is Rosie and We love her to bits! I can’t believe I’ve gone so long without a poodle they are so smart and beautiful what a great companion to have!

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