Although the Toy Poodle breed is centuries old, its history is still shrouded in mystery. Breed historians believe this petite poodle originated in Germany, with some Russian influences, and then became standardized in France where it is the national dog.
Most experts believe that the Toy Poodle is in fact a "bred down" version of the Standard Poodle, but no one is absolutely sure. However, they do know that the Standard Poodle was developed first, and that the Miniature and Toy Poodles originated afterwards. One theory contends that there is a link between the Maltese and the Toy Poodle. Another suggests a link between the Poodle and spaniels from the Iberian Peninsula.
The aristocracy's breed of choice
The Toy Poodle is featured in many seventeenth century paintings, and is known to have been a royal favorite. Louis XVI owned one, as did Queen Anne of England. During the eighteenth century, a Toy Poodle known as the "White Cuban" became exceedingly popular as a sleeve dog, soon becoming the pet of every grand lady in the country.
A valued truffle dog
The Toy is also credited with being the principal ancestor of the truffle dog of England. Toy Poodles were employed to paw the ground when they caught the scent of the rare mushrooms. With his intelligence and keen sense of smell, the breed was a natural for this task.
Today, the Toy Poodle is still considered a quick study—learning faster than almost any other breed and exceptionally sensitive to praise and correction. And their lively, loyal personality has made them popular both in the show ring and as a family pet. Wherever the breed originated, Toy Poodles are loved everywhere.