Facts Every Toy Poodle Owner Should Know

The smallest of the Poodles, your Toy is a highly trainable, very intelligent, athletic, and versatile breed.

While you might have chosen a Toy Poodle because they are lovable and loyal companions and excellent dogs for small living spaces, your dog’s ancestors were considerably larger. In fact, toy poodles were bred from the larger, Standard Poodle, considered a brilliant water dog. This explains the classic, pom-pom poodle cut—a functional style that kept the standard poodle streamlined in the water, but warm at the joints and organ areas.

A cute and colorful breed

To be a true Toy, your Poodle must be 10 inches or under (at the shoulder), and weigh between 6 and 9 pounds. Their curly coats appear in many colors, from apricot and café-au-lait, to black-and-white and shades in between. While the coat is relatively shed-free (making them a good dog for allergy sufferers), it needs to be clipped and groomed every four to six weeks.

Unusually alert and sensitive

You’ve probably already discovered that your Toy Poodle is a sensitive dog that wants to be a member of the family. The breed has an uncanny ability to read body language and anticipate owner commands, sometimes acting before you speak or gesture. But this sensitivity can also make some toys skittish, snappy, or territorial. They may be quick to bark and act suspicious of strangers. And while they’re good family pets, the toy has a reputation for not being the best dog around small children.

The Toy Poodle is generally a healthy breed, although they are prone to watery eyes, digestive problems, heart disorders, and skin conditions. Still, you can plan on many good years with your Toy because their life expectancy is generally between 12–15 years. As with all dogs, regular visits to your vet will help ensure that you have a healthy pet for years to come.