Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Questions and answers about Toy Poodle temperament, personality, behavior, physical traits and characteristics, feeding, health care, buying, adoption, puppies and adult dogs.

Toy Poodle dog breed

Toy Poodle FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Toy Poodle Dogs

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014



How big are Toy Poodles?

Officially, a Toy Poodle is any Poodle who stands up to 10 inches at the shoulder. Weight is usually about 6-9 lbs, but many individuals are smaller, and many individuals are a little larger and are referred to as "oversize" Toys.

These larger Toy Poodles are not a problem – they make sturdy pets – but smaller Toy Poodles can definitely be a problem.




Problems with "Teacup Poodles"

Have you heard of "Teacup poodles" or "Tiny Toy poodles"? Some breeders use these cutesy, made-up phrases as "marketing terms" for smaller Toy Poodles.

But there is no such breed as a Teacup Poodle.

There is only one Toy Poodle breed. As long as a Poodle doesn't exceed 10 inches at the shoulder, it doesn't matter whether he weighs 2 pounds or 6 pounds or 12 pounds......he is called a Toy Poodle. Some individuals are simply smaller or larger than others.

I recommend that you acquire a Toy Poodle who will weigh at least 6 pounds when mature. The 4-6 pounders can be okay if you're very, very careful with them.

But the so-called "teacup" Poodles who weigh less than 4 pounds are at great risk for health problems. They need constant protection because they are so fragile. They tend to have difficulty regulating their blood sugar and are vulnerable to hypoglycemic comas. Their internal organs are tiny and often not strong enough to survive a normal lifetime.

Responsible Toy Poodle breeders never try to produce these high-risk creatures. If a tiny one pops up in one of their litters, they seek out the best home that can keep it alive, but they try hard not to produce them in the first place.

IRRESONSIBLE breeders, on the other hand, deliberately breed these "teacup" Poodles because they know they can sell them for absurdly high prices to unsuspecting owners who don't know how fragile they are, or to owners who want one because it's "adorable." Don't be one of these people. If you reward irresponsible breeders by giving them your money, you're just encouraging them to keep producing tiny, fragile, short-lived creatures.




How can I tell how big a Poodle puppy will be?

No one can predict this with certainty, because some bloodlines grow more quickly or more slowly, some litters grow more quickly or more slowly, and some individual puppies grow more quickly or more slowly.

But generally....whatever a puppy weighs at 4 months old, double it to estimate its mature weight. At 3 months old, multiple by 3. But the younger the puppy, the less certain these estimates will be.




Where does the name Poodle come from?

Hunters have long used dogs to retrieve ducks and geese shot down over the water. In Germany, one such dog was called a Pudelhund ("water dog"). From Germany, the Pudel was taken to France, where it was miniaturized and became more of a show and circus dog and family pet. This is why you might hear the breed called a "French Poodle."




What kind of temperament and personality does the Toy Poodle have?

I give you my honest opinions about Toy Poodle temperament and personality -- positives AND negatives -- in my dog breed review, Toy Poodle Temperament (What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em).




How long do Toy Poodles live, and what health problems do they have?

Their lifespan depends on how you care for them and on any health problems they may have inherited from their parents. Take the Dog Lifespan Quiz and also read about Toy Poodle Health Problems




Do crossbred or mixed breed Toy Poodles make good pets?

Many do make good pets, yes, in the right homes. But before you choose ANY purebred, crossbreed, or mixed breed, you need to know what a purebred dog really IS – and what crossbred and mixed breed dogs really are. You might think you know, but I bet you'll be surprised by my articles: The Truth About Purebred Dogs, The Truth About Crossbred Dogs, and The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs.




Can you help me decide whether the Toy Poodle is the best breed for me?

Yes, I offer personal consultations on choosing the best breed for your family and lifestyle. Learn more about my Dog Breed Consulting Service.




Do male dogs or female dogs make better pets?

Ah, let the debate begin! Honestly, male Toy Poodles have pros and cons, and female Toy Poodles have pros and cons. Visit Male Dogs versus Female Dogs




If I just want a dog for a pet, not for showing or breeding, does it matter whether he has AKC registration papers?

First you need to know what registration papers really mean – and don't mean. You might THINK you know, but you might be wrong! Find out the truth about AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?.




There's an adorable Toy Poodle puppy at the pet shop. The store manager assures me they only buy from responsible breeders. Could this be true?

No. There are no responsible Toy Poodle breeders who would ever place one of their Toy Poodle puppies in a pet shop for resale. To find out more about pet shop puppies, visit Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store.




How do I find a good Toy Poodle breeder?

It's hard! The sad truth is that the vast majority of people offering Toy Poodle puppies for sale are unknowledgeable, irresponsible, completely clueless – or all of the above. Visit Dog Breeders: How To Find a Good Breeder.




How do I pick the best Toy Poodle puppy from a litter?

You can do puppy personality tests. Visit How To Choose a Good Puppy.




I'm interested in adopting a dog rather than buying from a dog breeder. How do I find Toy Poodles for adoption?

You can find Toy Poodles available for adoption from dog rescue groups or from the animal shelter. Visit Adopting a Dog From Rescue and Adopting a Dog From The Animal Shelter.




I just got a new Toy Poodle. Which pages should I read first?

  • Toy Poodle Health, which includes my advice on feeding, vaccinations, and health care. These pages are very important, because if you start your Toy Poodle puppy off on the wrong foot, he will probably experience health problems later on. Starting off RIGHT is essential!
  • Training Toy Poodles, which includes my advice on respect training, housebreaking, and socialization. Again, you must start your Toy Poodle puppy off on the right foot by teaching him what he needs to know and you must avoid doing the wrong things with him so that he doesn't develop bad habits that will be much harder to fix later on.



What's a good training schedule for training Toy Poodle puppies? What things should I teach, and when?

Here's the puppy training schedule I use for Toy Poodles: Puppy Training Schedule.




How do I housebreak my Toy Poodle?

The key to housebreaking your Toy Poodle is confinement, confinement, confinement. Visit Housebreaking Your Puppy or Adult Dog.




My Toy Poodle has some behavior problems I'd like to solve.

Respect training solves behavior problems much better than obedience training. Visit Respect Training For Puppies and Adult Dogs.




What's the best dog food for Toy Poodles?

Homemade dog food, i.e. real food. Visit The Best Dog Food For Your Dog. If you can't or won't make a meal for your dog, there are only a few (very few!) commercial dog food brands I recommend – and these MUST be mixed with real food. There is no commercial diet that should be fed to a dog by itself. Learn why in my article, The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Dog.




I have to take my Toy Poodle to the vet soon for shots. Which vaccinations does he really need?

The schedule of vaccinations that dogs really need has changed dramatically – but unfortunately most vets are not telling you the truth about this, because a good chunk of their income depends on frequent vaccinations. Please don't get any more shots for your Toy Poodle until you've read my article on Puppy Shots and Dog Vaccinations.




What are the pros and cons of spaying and neutering my Toy Poodle, and when should it be done?

Spaying and neutering are often recommended too early, which can lead to health problems later in life. Visit Spaying Your Female Dog or Neutering Your Male Dog for the straight scoop on the safest (and riskiest) times to spay or neuter.




My vet doesn't agree with some of the things you've written about health care.

My advice is based on the latest research by veterinary immunologists, and it's the same advice given by most licensed veterinarians who belong to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. If this advice sounds different from what your own veterinarian is telling you, it's a good bet that he or she does not belong to the AHVMA. Visit Think Your Veterinarian's Good? Here's How To Tell.




I have a question about Toy Poodles that I don't see answered on your web site.

It's probably answered in one of my books: