The Toy Poodle
"Teacup Poodle"

descriptive textDog breed info
Toy Poodle
Teacup Poodle
Weight: 4 — 8 lbs
Height: — 10”
AKC Rank 2008 #9
Lifespan: 15—18 yrs
Group: Toy
Origin: France or Germany

Dog Breed Info - The Toy Poodle

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Breed Overview

Poodle’s are probably of French origin, although that’s not clear. Anyway, France is recognized as the country of origin and the “French Poodle” is known around the world.

Perhaps the earliest incarnation of the Poodle was the Barbet, a curly-coated dog distributed in France, Russia, Hungary, and elsewhere. It is the German version, however, that exerted most influence on the modern Poodle. In fact, the word “Poodle” comes from the German word “pfudel,” meaning “puddle” or “to splash” which suggested dog’s interest in water. In France, the Poodle was known as “caniche” or “chien-canard,” both referring to the dog’s duck hunting abilities. The intelligent little Poodle was used as a circus performer at one time. The Poodle found favor as an elegant combination for fashionable ladies. It became favored by French aristocracy and eventually became the national dog of France. It’s characteristic “clip” was accented and a successful effort was made to prevent the smaller specimens.

At some point the Toy Poodle was crossed with other breeds to arrive at the "Teacup" size. However, all three size Poodles are still grouped together under one description by the AKC.

All Teacup Poodles need a LOT of interaction with people.

The original function of the Toy Poodle was that of a lap dog. Today, it still serves as a lap dog.

9 week old Toy Poodle
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Very easy to train. Intelligent little dog. Learns quickly, especially with clicker training and positive reinforcement. Pick up a clicker for around $3 at a pet store and start using it. They really work wonders.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Toy 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 Toy Poodle puppy is usually pretty 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.

Toy Poodle
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The pert and peppy Teacup Poodle is one of the brightest and easiest breeds to train. It's alert, responsive, playful, lively sensitive, and eager to please. The dog is devoted to its family. Some can be reserved to strangers, some may bark a lot. While not known for it, some Poodles have a problem with separation anxiety which can be dealt with, given a little time and effort on your part.

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Somewhat. Picks and chooses his friends.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Somewhat. A bit standoffish, but can learn to live with other pets.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Quite friendly. Wants to be with people.


Yes. Toy Poodles are very playful.


Yes! Very affectionate.

Good with children

Not really. Very young children can be a problem. The Teacup Poodle is tiny and delicate. Get a little larger dog such as the Miniature Poodle.

Good with Seniors over 65?

The Toy Poodle is excellent for the senior citizen. Watch out for the longevity though. A Toy Poodle can live 18 years. Find a Toy Poodle rescue for an older dog, considering the longevity.

Living environment

Apartment, farm, condo, all OK. Can’t tolerate much heat or cold. You can take a Teacup Poodle anywhere.Toy Poodle must live indoors and will appreciate air conditioning in summer.

Toy Poodle puppy
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Energy level

Very energetic.

Exercise needs, daily

Only moderate to low exercise needed. Some play time and a short walk is plenty.(A brief but challenging obedience or play session plus a walk is necessary daily.)


Excellent watchdog. Will bark at mailman, anything around the house.

Guard dog

NO. Bark worse than bite.




Yes. See professional groomer every 6 to 8 weeks.

Or — give your Toy Poodle a regular “dog” grooming and forget about all the big puffs of fur. Much easier to take care of. That’s what everyone around here does!

Brush dog several times a week. Toy Poodles like to be handled and brushed. Good way to bond. Use a stiff bristle brush.


Suggested Reading For The Toy Poodle

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It is a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.


Toy Poodle Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Toy 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.
Toy or Teacup Poodle Breeders with puppies for sale.

Toy Poodle Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Toy Poodle and are looking for a rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Dog Rescue - (Nationwide) You might find Toy Poodle rescue results here. Petfinder lists all Poodles under "Poodle."
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas. For more dogs available, check Toy Poodle rescue, pets, foster and kennels.

DogHealth Issues For The Toy Poodle
Below are the illnesses or medical problems listed for the Toy Poodle 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 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.

  • Tracheal collapse—The tracheal (air pipe) rings, made of cartilage, can become weak and “collapse” as the Toy Poodle 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.

  • 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 gradually deteriorates.

  • 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 oon your Toy Poodle. 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, 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.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog'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/signs of thyroid problems include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Legg-Perthes—A disease of the hip joint in young dogs. 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.

  • Hypoglycemia—The brain must have sugar to function, but has little space to “store” the glucose/sugar hormone. Small dogs and Toy breeds as well as puppies, are especially prone to hypoglycemia because they are already small and have no space to store glucose so any dip in the level is a big problem. Abnormally low blood glucose, or sugar, causing lethargy, weakness, lack of coordination, SEIZURES, loss of nerve control and the dog may even become unconscious in severe occurrences. Quick action is necessary to avoid a hypoglycemic coma in the dog. The solution is small and frequent meals each day and a few treats tossed in.

  • Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia—Autoimmune disease. The immune system begins to destroy the red blood cells that are supposed to carry oxygen throughout the dog’s body. Damaged red blood cells collect in the blood stream and are called spherocytes. With the shortage of red blood cells, oxygen and spherocytes in the body, hemolytic anemia is the disease in charge. Symptoms are weakness, lethargy, pale gums, eyelids, ears (from lack of oxygen), rapid heart rate, possibly vomiting and abdominal pain and in some cases blood in the urine or stool.

  • Lethargy has been reported in Toy Poodles/Teacup Poodles but it is unexplained and could have a variety of causes including hypothyroidism above. In Standard Poodles, one might suspect Addison's Disease. A lethargic dog could have diabetes or other serious problems. Lethargy is not something to fool with. Get to the vet for a checkup and blood work.

  • Anal sac disease—Anal sacs secrete an oily fluid when stool is passed. If the anal sacs become too full they become very smelly and impacted, causing discomfort for the dog. The dog will begin to “scoot” across the floor, trying to relieve the pain. Cleaning out the anal sacs is quick and easy. A responsible Toy Poodle owner will make sure this cleaning is done regularly by the vet and see to it infection doesn’t happen, or, if it does, that the vet can cure it quickly.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Patent ductus arteriosis (PDA)—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.

  • Von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

  • 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, Toy 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.

  • Cataract—Hazy or cloudy vision similar to humans and can lead to blindness if not treated.

  • Urolithiasis—Blood in urine. Excessive crystals (stones or bladder or kidney stones) can form in the urinary tract or kidney, bladder or urethra, blocking the flow of urine. The crystals or stones irritate the lining of the urinary tract. They cause blood in the urine and pain and in severe cases make urination impossible. Symptoms which include the senior poodle are frequent urination, urinating in odd places, blood in urine, dribbling, depression, weakness, straining, pain, vomiting and loss of appetite. Can also cause accidental urinating in bed and house. Toy Poodle's can be treated by diet, medications and surgery, depending on the dog, severity and other circumstances of the individual case.

  • 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.

  • Mitral stenosis (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 Toy Poodle 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.

  • Mast Cell Tumors—Mast cells are found throughout the body and help maintain the dog’s normal immune response, health and body functions. The most common sign of tumors in Toy or Teacup Poodles are lumps under the skin. The tumors in question are CANCEROUS and will spread through the body. There is no known cause for mast cell cancer and no cure, other than surgery for early-detected, low degree tumors that haven't spread too far. The best formula is to keep the dog as healthy as possible and be aware of any signs of tumors or poor health. Whether the dog survives or not depends on how advanced and fast moving the malignant tumor is.

  • 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 Toy Poodle can live a normal life like a human can. If the dog 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.

  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis—A problem of unknown origin that comes on suddenly with vomiting and diarrhea, both containing various amounts of blood. To diagnose, many other illnesses must first be eliminated through extensive blood, x-ray, urinalysis and other testing. The dog will be extremely ill and without treatment will die. Once the diagnosis has been make, IV fluids are common. The IV fluids must begin immediately to prevent dehydration and then medication is added. Without the IV, the dog will die in spite of medication so get to your vet as soon as you think there might be a problem.

  • Hydrocephalus—An excess of spinal fluid built up in the brain caused by an obstruction in the fluid pathway. Congenital Hydrocephalus is most common and occurs shortly after birth. A number of things can cause it. Adult dogs can get it from tumors or infections in the brain. Some neurological signs are seizures, loss of coordination, unusual behavior, walking in circles, and blindness. Doctors have various tests to detect this disorder so don’t fool with it if you suspect something is wrong.

  • Cushing’s disease—(Hyperadrenocorticism) 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 for the Toy Poodle, including surgery which might save the dog’s life depending on the existence of cancerous tumors.

  • Intervertebral disc disease—Biochemical changes in a young dog of certain breeds 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!

  • Deafness—Hereditary or caused by: Excessive loud noise, Intolerance to anesthesia, drug toxicity, and Otitis (middle ear infection), In some cases, one ear can have no hearing from birth and the other ear can be losing the ability to hear over time, undetected, then suddenly one morning the hearing is totally gone. There is no reversing once that happens.

  • Malassezia dermatitis—A highly itchy skin infection, usually around the ears, muzzle, inner thighs, eyes or feet. The Toy 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 problem could occur with your Toy Poodle. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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