The Miniature Poodle

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Miniature Poodle
Weight: 16 — 20 lbs
Height: 10” — 15”
AKC Rank 2008 #9
Lifespan: 15—18 yrs
Group Non Sporting
Origin France-Germany

Dog Breed Info - Miniature Poodle

Miniature Poodle at the groomer
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Breed Overview

The word “Poodle” comes from the German word “pfudel,” meaning “puddle” or “to splash” probably reflecting the dog’s water abilities.

The Miniature Poodle was a great combination for fashionable ladies. Poodles entered the show ring in the late 1800’s. Some of the early show Poodles were shown in corded show-coats in which the hair is allowed to mat in long, thin tresses rather than be brushed out. At the same time, Miniature Poodle population in America waned, so that in the late 1920’s, Poodles had almost died out in America. During the 1930’s, the breed had a comeback.


Highly trainable. Intelligent dog, loves to please, perky and wants to learn new things. Use clicker training and positive reinforcement. Keep training going through his life so he doesn’t forget anything. The more you train, the more he’ll bond and the happier he’ll be.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Miniature Poodle? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Miniature Poodle puppy is very easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


All Poodles need a LOT of interaction with people. They also need considerable mental and physical exercise. Miniature Poodles are no exception.

If you happen to get a Miniature Poodle with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Yes, usually with some exceptions.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Sort of. Will make friends with another dog and cat but it may take some time and introduce them on common turf such as a park or sidewalk.

Friendly Toward Strangers


VERY playful little dog.


Also very affectionate. Great family pet.

Good with children

Yes, good tolerance with kids 6 and older. This is a great little dog for kids of most ages as long as they have been taught to respect dogs and treat them properly. The Mini Poodle is plenty playful and rugged enough to be a lot of fun for kids.

Good with Seniors over 65?

The Miniature Poodle is excellent for a senior. Not too heavy to pick up. Having a fenced yard to play in is a plus. If the senior can walk the dog twice a day, fine. This is a great companion dog, plenty of love and cuddle time suits the Poodle. It would enjoy the brushing time a senior would be able to give it.

Living environment

Apartment, farm, condo, city life all OK. Tolerates heat and cold fairly well. Might go swimming so a kids pool would be nice or even a sprinkler. NOT an outdoor dog, MUST live indoors.

Mini Poodle resting
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Energy level

Lots of energy. Quite frisky.

Exercise needs, daily

Two nice walks and a little play time is good.


The Miniature Poodle is an excellent watchdog. Will bark at intruding flies.

Guard dog

NO. The Miniature Poodle likes people too much to guard anything.




Yes, heavy. See professional groomer every 6 to 8 weeks if you are using a "standard" dog cut and every 4 weeks if using a standard “Miniature Poodle” cut. (You do NOT need to keep that show-dog look.) Most people around here just get a "regular" dog cut.

Brush the Poodle every day to prevent mats and tangled fur, which is curly anyway.


Suggested Reading For The Miniature Poodle
Click on the cover photo for more book information.

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injures. This valuable reference book is for all dog owners and I keep a copy close at hand.


Miniature Poodle Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Miniature Poodle puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training. Poodles are common so check your dog pound and other kennels.
Miniature Poodle Breeders with puppies for sale.

Miniature Poodle Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Miniature Poodle and are looking for a rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Miniature Poodle Rescue - (Nationwide) When adopting, dog health and past records are important.
Adopt A Pet There are plenty of other Miniature Poodle rescue groups and sites if you go online.

Dog Health Issues For Miniature Poodles
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Mini Poodles by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Diabetes—The pancreas manufactures the hormone INSULIN. If the pancreas stops making, or makes less than the normal amount of insulin, or if the tissues in the body become resistant to the insulin, the result is called “diabetes.” The dog can NOT control her blood sugar without injections of insulin on a regular basis, but given the insulin, the dog can live a normal life like a human can. If the Miniature Poodle does not receive the insulin injections at the same time each day of her life, the dog will go into a coma and she will die. Some causes of diabetes may be chronic pancreatitis, heredity, obesity or old age, but no one is sure. Symptoms are excess drinking and urination, dehydration, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, and cataracts may develop suddenly. Treatment is in the form of the insulin injections daily and a strict diet low in carbohydrates and sugars. Home cooking may be suggested in some cases. Frequent trips to the vet for blood monitoring will be needed but diabetes is not a death sentence.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina graduallydeteriorates.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the Miniature Poodle's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your vet right away if your Miniature Poodle shows any of this.

  • Patent ductus arteriosis—Canine congenital heart failure. Before birth, blood from the heart passes the lungs by a small vessel called the ductus arteriosis. That small vessel is supposes to vanish after birth and the infant breathes on it’s own With this disease, the vessel does not go away resulting in improper circulation of blood.

  • Mitral stenosis -- Enlarged Heart -- (Mitral valve insufficiency)—Hereditary heart problem. A weak mitral valve allows blood to flow backwards and to simplify this, the net result is an enlarged heart and when the heart can no longer compensate, look for a loss of desire for exercise, trouble breathing, coughing at night and liquid in the lungs. As this progresses, the dog may collapse. There is no cure... but if you act quickly, the vet may be able to make the dog more comfortable with medication and diet.

  • Legg-Perthes—A disease of the hip joint in young Miniature Poodles. It is a deforming of the head of the femur head where it fits into the pelvic socket and is generally noticed at around 6 to 8 months age. The disease affects small and toy breeds and can range from mildly debilitating to totally debilitating. It’s very painful and the dog will have a lame leg at the affected hip. Pain can become severe in some dogs and the dog will go from occasional limping to continuous carrying of the leg. Severe muscle atrophy can set in with the appearance of shortening of the affected leg. Restricted joint movement is also a common sign Legg-Perthes. Surgery will usually restore a dog to a fairly normal life but prevention at the breeding stage is the right solution.

  • Intervertebral disc disease—Biochemical changes in a young dog of certain breeds like the Miniature Poodle can cause at least one diseased or mineralized disc in the spine of a dog. A disc that is not functioning properly will cause pain, problems walking, stumbling, severe neck pain and even paralysis. The Dachshund has an 80% chance of having this problem. Treatments can go from non-invasive doses of anti-inflammatory steroids, muscle relaxants and bed-rest to surgery. Pain meds are also given as needed. Mess with the spine and you have a serious situation and it’s tough on the dog!

  • Glaucoma - Painful pressure builds in the eyes causing blindness.

  • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. It’s most common in small and toy dogs. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, lame, or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

  • Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision that if not treated can lead to blindness.

  • Tracheal collapse—The tracheal (air pipe) rings, made of cartilage, can become weak and “collapse” as a dog ages, reducing the air supply to the lungs by failing to keep the trachea open wide. This is most likely to be a problem during excitement or exercise when more air is needed in the lungs. This only affects small dogs, and particularly small, obese dogs. Treatment depends on the severity and ranges from diet to medicine to surgery.

  • Cushing’s disease—Too much glucocorticoid is produced by the adrenal or pituitary glands at which time symptoms occur such as hair loss, increased drinking and urination, increased appetite and enlarged abdomen. The disease progresses slowly and the dog can be sick 1 to 6 years without anyone noticing any symptoms. Some dogs may have just one symptom, usually hair loss and owners often contribute the dog's condition to “old age.” This is not a young dog’s illness. There are several treatments available including surgery which might save the dog’s life depending on the existence of cancerous tumors.

  • Epilepsy - A serious seizure disorder that usually shows up at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in the dog.

  • Trichiasis— is a hereditary condition where normal eyelashes growing from normal sites turn inward and irritate the eyes by rubbing on them. Sometimes the eyelashes grow unusually long causing further problems. When the problem becomes serious, cryosurgery is normally used to remove the errant lashes and follicles once and for all.

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy—A serious heart disease. The muscle of the heart loses it’s ability to pump blood properly causing a backup of blood, an enlarged heart, and an improperly functioning heart. Prognosis is generally 4 weeks to 2 years, depending on the dog and how advanced the problem is. The vet may try medications to alter the heart function, but this one is a killer.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Pancreatitis—A life-threatening disease commonly affecting middle age and older Miniature Schnauzers, Miniature Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. The pancreas produces enzymes that help process food. With the disease, the pancreas begins digesting it’s own tissue. Vomiting, loss of appetite and abdominal pain follow in most cases. Some dogs will die from lack of response to treatments PREVENT the disease by not allowing the dog to become obese, and not giving high-fat foods to the dog Info thanks to

  • Anal sac adenocarcinoma—A malignant tumor in the tissue of the anal sac. Very aggressive in nature. Small tumors of this cancer are located by rectal exams by the vet. If not treated, these tumors will metastasize to lymph nodes and spread quickly to other organs. If this develops into hypercalcaemia, you’ll see increased thirst, urination, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting and a slow heart rate and “scooting.”. The larger the tumor, the poorer the prognosis. See your vet immediately upon suspecting any kind of problem.

  • White shaker disease—A problem found in small WHITE dogs. The affected dog’s head and body actually “shakes” - sometimes mildly and in other dogs, a lot. Commonly found in the Maltese, Mini Poodle and Westie. The shaking can incapacitate the dog, cause her paws to land where she didn’t intend, cause rapid eye movement. Cause is unknown. Medication is given to relax the dog which helps. Tremors are reduced when the dog relaxes or sleeps. A vet must be seen for this rare disorder.

  • Lacrimal duct atresia—The channels that drain tears from just inside the eyelids are too narrow which causes tears to overflow down over the dog’s face. Treatment is surgery to open the passageways.

  • Malassezia dermatitis—A highly itchy skin infection, usually around the ears, muzzle, inner thighs, eyes or feet. The Miniature Poodle may become frantic, chewing and scratching the ears and feet. If an ear infection, there might be a waxy discharge and smelly odor. The dog will be rubbing and pawing at the ear. Look for Malassezia in the summer, humidity and allergy seasons. Your vet will treat this with appropriate medications and bathing after a diagnosis.

Other health problems could occur with your Miniature Poodle. If you notice any problems with your pet, take it to the dog immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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