Miniature Poodles vs. Toy Poodles: Sizing Up the Differences

white poodle and gray toy poodle front facing on brick road

Did you know there are three types of poodles? Bred from the larger standard poodle, toy poodles and miniature poodles are often considered one and the same. However, these curly-coated dogs differ in temperament as well as size, exercise needs and potential health issues. Here's a closer look at each of these pint-sized poodles.


one miniature and one toy poodle sitting by each other at sunset

Miniature Poodles vs. Toy Poodles: Size

The average toy poodle stands about 10 inches tall. This tiny dog weighs between six and nine pounds — some even less.

Slightly larger than the toy poodle, the miniature poodle stands at about 15 inches tall and should weigh somewhere between 12 and 20 pounds.

Miniature Poodles vs. Toy Poodles: Temperament

The toy poodle is a clever, lively and loyal companion. And, as one of the most intelligent breeds, they’re also easily trained. The toy poodle can be good with children but is usually recommended for older kids; younger children may accidentally hurt this tiny pup with rough play. Without proper training, toy poodles can display unpleasant behavior, including growling, snapping and nervousness.

Miniature poodles are extremely smart, adaptable and easy to train, so it's no surprise they were once very popular circus dogs. Miniatures love being around people and are able to form bonds with each member of the family, and they tend to be friendly to strangers as well as other dogs and pets. Miniature poodles are considered ideal family dogs because they’re patient and playful with children of all ages.


two miniature poodles sitting on log outside looking happy after their exercise

Miniature Poodles vs. Toy Poodles: Exercise Needs

Toy poodles thrive with a daily walk around the neighborhood and a few play sessions each day. These clever pups love learning new tricks and games, and especially enjoy fetching small objects.

Miniature poodles require one or two walks plus a vigorous play session each day. They thrive on reward-based training with food or games, and enjoy the mental stimulation of learning new games or tricks. Miniatures also enjoy swimming, though their coat can weigh them down.

Common ground: Both toy and miniature poodles tend to do well in dog parks, as long as they’re kept separate from large dogs.

Miniature Poodles vs. Toy Poodles: Potential Health Concerns

Miniature poodles are prone to certain health issues, such as:

The toy poodle is prone to more health problems than the miniature, including:

  • Ear infections
  • Skin conditions
  • Eye disorders
  • Heart disorders
  • Epilepsy

Toy or miniature, these petite poodles pack a lot of energy and personality into a small package. And something all poodles have in common? A curly, dense coat that requires a regular grooming routine — though “poodles have below-average shedding and some people consider them a "hypoallergenic” breed!

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