For many pet lovers, the journey to discovering the perfect companion often begins with some history. In the case of the beloved poodle, it's a history stretching from the rolling fields of France to Germany's bustling squares. 

While many associate the poodle with France, often dubbed the "French Poodle", it was Germany that first introduced us to these curly-coated pups, originally as duck dogs known as "caniche". 

From there, their journey took them to circuses, stealing the limelight with their intelligence and agility. Fast forward to today, and they’ve become cherished family pets, adored by many around the globe. 

What Are the Physical Characteristics of Toy Poodles?

In the world of pet enthusiasts, it's often said that a toy poodle has the spirit of a standard, and rightfully so. These small dogs have an abundance of charisma, despite their size.

Their curly coat, varying from apricot to café-au-lait shades, is both an aesthetic and functional marvel. This coat is low-shedding and often hypoallergenic, perfect for homes mindful of fur and allergens. The continental clip, with its shaved body and pom-tail, is a favored style, accentuating their elegance.

How Do I Groom My Toy Poodle?

Every poodle owner knows that beneath those curls lies a responsibility to keep them in tip-top shape. Grooming isn't just about keeping your toy poodle looking like the star of the show ring — it's about their well-being, too. 

For starters, that dense, curly coat can be prone to matting if not tended to regularly. Brushing at least every other day is key. 

And while the phrase "curly and hypoallergenic" might make you think they're low maintenance, their coat needs consistent care to stay that way. Visits to a professional groomer every six to eight weeks are recommended, especially if you're a fan of styles like the continental clip or simply want to ensure they’re comfortable and matt-free.

A lesser-known fact is the importance of ear canal health in poodles. Due to their curly hair, even the insides of their ears can hold unwanted pests. 

Regular ear checks and cleaning can help prevent issues, ensuring your toy poodle's trademark perky ears remain problem-free. And while they don’t typically drool much, it's always good to keep an eye on their dental health with regular brushing.

Health and Wellness

Just like us, our dogs have their share of health concerns. Toy poodles, with all their energy, are no exception. 

Some health information all prospective and current poodle parents should be aware of includes genetic conditions like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), von Willebrand's disease, and legg-calvé-perthes. Staying informed about these issues doesn’t just ensure you’re prepared; it means a happier, healthier life for your pup.

The lifespan of a toy poodle is impressive, often ranging up to 15 years or more. But to ensure every year is filled with tail-wags and joyful barks, regular vet check-ups are a must. It’s not just about spotting potential health problems. It’s about fostering a proactive approach to their overall wellness.

Toy poodles are generally a healthy breed, but just like their human counterparts, regular exercise, a balanced diet (perhaps even a dash of fresh food cooked sous-vide?), and lots of love make for the best recipe for health.

Behavior and Training

Ever watched a toy poodle in action? Their zest for life is undeniable. But with great energy comes great responsibility. 

Thankfully, poodles rank high on the trainability scale. Their intelligence is legendary in the canine world. Basic commands? They’ll pick those up quickly. More complex tricks? With patience and positive reinforcement, they're up for the challenge. 

However, their smarts mean they also need regular mental stimulation. Puzzle toys and interactive games are perfect to keep those keen minds engaged.

Exercise is equally important. While they might be small, their exercise needs are significant. A blend of playtime and daily walks will keep them happy and fit. 

But, it’s worth noting that toy poodles can be quite the little watchdogs. They're keenly alert and might occasionally surprise you with a bark or two, especially if something seems amiss.

While their size makes them perfect for apartment living, it's essential to ensure they're well-socialized, especially around small children. Their gentle nature combined with proper training ensures they get along well with everyone, making them not just pets, but cherished family members.

Toy PoodleFeeding Chart

Curious about setting up the perfect feeding schedule for your Toy Poodle? From determining the right amount of food to meet their nutritional needs to following feeding guidelines tailored to their life stage, this guide helps you navigate the essentials of your dog’s diet. 

Here’s how to keep your Toy Poodle thriving.

Feeding Guide by Life Stage:


  • What To Feed: Choose high-qualitypuppy food that’s rich in essential nutrients like fatty acids and high-quality proteins, which are crucial for their growth and brain development.
  • How Much and When: Feed your Toy Poodle puppysmall meals of about ¼ to ⅓ cup, spread over four feedings throughout the day to support their high energy levels and small digestive system.
  • Treat Idea: Soft puppy treats are great for training. Incorporate bits of sweet potatoes from our Dog Food Superfood article for a nutritious boost.
  • Feeding Tip: Consistent meal times help establish a routine, aiding in digestive health and potty training.


  • What To Feed: Transition to adult dog food formulated for small breeds to maintain their energy levels and overall health. Whether it’s dry kibble, fresh food, or wet food, ensure it's free from fillers and rich in antioxidants.
  • How Much and When: Typically, an adult Toy Poodle should eat about ½ cup of food per day, divided into two meals to prevent overfeeding and manage weight.
  • Treat Idea: Consider incorporating small amounts of foods rich in prebiotics or probiotics into their treats. Options like plain, unsweetened yogurt or a small piece of banana can support a healthy gut — read more about Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics for Dogs here!
  • Feeding Tip: Monitor their body weight and adjust food amounts as needed to maintain a healthy weight, especially as their activity level changes.


  • What To Feed: Senior-specific food — either wet, fresh, or dry food — with lower caloric content but high in fiber and fortified with supplements like glucosamine for joint health and fatty acids for cognitive function.
  • How Much and When: Less food than adults, around ⅓ cup, depending on their health and energy, typically divided into two smaller meals.
  • Treat Idea: Soft, easy-to-chew treats are gentle on older teeth and can be supplemented with fresh water to aid in hydration.
  • Feeding Tip: Regular check-ups with your vet can help adjust their diet based on health needs and prevent common issues like obesity.

Are Toy Poodles Social?

There’s a delightful charm toy poodles bring wherever they go, whether it's a park, a family gathering, or simply a walk around the neighborhood. With their expressive eyes and buoyant step, they're often the center of attention, winning over even the most reserved people.

Among the ranks of most popular breeds, toy poodles stand out, not just for their appearance but for their sociable nature. They generally mesh well with other smaller dogs, making playdates a perk. 

However, their bond with humans is truly special. It's no surprise to find a toy poodle in the lap of a loved one or playfully engaging with kids. Their adaptable nature, combined with a touch of training, ensures they’re often the life of any social gathering.

Adoption and Breeders

When considering bringing a toy poodle into your home, the journey of choosing where to get one is pivotal. Adoption is a heartwarming choice. 

Many toy poodles in rescues are eagerly waiting for a second chance at a loving home. The experience of adopting can be transformative, knowing you've offered a furry friend a fresh start.

However, if you're leaning towards breeders, it's essential to select responsibly. The American Kennel Club and the Poodle Club of America offer resources to help navigate this path. 

Reputable breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their pups, ensuring they're raised in nurturing environments. Whether you choose adoption or a breeder, remember: it's the love and care you provide that truly makes a difference in your toy poodle's life.

Embracing the Endless Charm of the Toy Poodle

From their rich history in Europe to their undeniable charm and intelligence, toy poodles are more than just pets — they're companions, friends, and family. Their zest for life, combined with their unwavering loyalty, makes them an unparalleled addition to any household.

As you venture into the world of toy poodles, whether as a seasoned owner or a curious enthusiast, remember the values of informed care, boundless love, and a touch of fun. It's these elements, combined, that ensure a joy-filled life with your curly-coated companion.

By offering them a home filled with love, perhaps complemented by a dash of flavorful and nutritious food (much like the carefully crafted meals at A Pup Above), you guarantee a bond that lasts a lifetime. 


Poodle | Encyclopedia Britannica

What makes a dog hypoallergenic? - Scientific American

Progressive retinal atrophy | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

What to know before bringing a dog home to an apartment | Washington Post