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-sized Poodle. The smaller toy size will definitely win over anyone’s heart.

Interested to learn more about this tiny pup? The read on…

A Red Toy Poodle

What is a Toy Poodle? (Overview)

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 a variety of different lifestyles. This is all true of the toy Poodle whose number one desire is to please their owner.

These tiny athletes who do amazing 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.

Pros and Cons


  • Very easy to train.
  • Friendly and well-tempered.
  • One of the smartest dog breeds.
  • Excels in agility.
  • Minimal shedding.


  • Can bark a lot.
  • Suffers from loneliness and anxiety.
  • Prone to destruction if left alone.
  • Not suitable for young children.

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

  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.

Being a toy breed many people would assume that they are yappy and bark a lot. However the good news is that they are not known for barking!

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 is 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 and toy breed, they should be given kibble that is made especially for them.

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:
400 ~1

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:

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 training them 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.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size: No taller than 10 inches.
Weight: 4-6lb.
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.
Intelligence: High.
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 surly 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.

If you have any questions about this breed let us know in the comments section below…

Thomas Woods Face Portrait
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.

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