The miniature poodle is one of three different poodle size variants, each of which are respectively recognised as individual dog breeds in their own right.
This is a dog breed that most dog lovers and the general public could identify and name instantly, so distinctive is the poodle and so well known – and yet today, hybrid dog types with a poodle ancestor are much more common and popular than purebred poodles themselves, and poodles have become less common in the UK over the last twenty years or so as a result of this.
However, the miniature poodle remains the 42nd most popular dog breed in the UK out of a total of over 240 different dog breeds and types, so they’re not in any danger of vanishing from our shores entirely any time soon, and there are a huge number of positive traits about the breed that make them a viable choice for many different types of owners.
That said, the miniature poodle breed is one that those unfamiliar with it make a lot of assumptions about as a rule too, which are often incorrect – and so you need to do plenty of research before choosing a dog of the breed to ensure that you know what you’re getting into.
With this in mind, this article will tell you ten things you need to know about the miniature poodle, before you go out and buy one. Read on to learn more.
There are three poodle size variants, and you might reasonably assume that the miniature was the smallest of them, given the name – but this is in fact incorrect. The miniature poodle is the middle of the three, with the toy poodle being smaller and the standard poodle being larger.
Miniature poodles stand between 28-38cm tall at the withers, and weigh around 7-8kg.
Despite being petite, finely boned and often, looking very fancy in a full show clip, miniature poodles are not toy dogs, nor simply ornamental! The miniature poodle has a whole lot more going on than just distinctive looks, and those looking for a lapdog that is sedentary, quiet and straightforward would be well advised to choose a different breed.
The miniature poodle is right at the top of the list of the canine intelligence spectrum – they’re ranked in 2nd place out a total number of 138 different dog breeds in terms of their capacity to learn, ability to solve problems, and suitability for working roles.
This means that dogs of the breed are highly versatile and can learn a huge number of commands, which might mean that they’re a good choice if you’re looking for a breed that would be a good fit for canine sport.
The poodle coat is wiry and densely curled, and compared to most other dog breeds, very little hair is lost on a day to day basis. Additionally, the hair that they do shed becomes tangled up in their curls, and so they don’t lose a lot of hair around the home.
This coat trait is widely considered to be highly desirable, and is one of the main reasons why the miniature poodle is commonly used in deliberate hybrid dog crossings.
It is not actually dog hair that triggers allergies in people sensitive to them, but rather, proteins that can be found in the skin and sebum and which are spread around on hair that is shed. The fact that the miniature poodle doesn’t shed a huge amount of hair means that they spread less allergens around as a result of this, and this may mean that they won’t trigger allergies in people that are otherwise sensitive to them.
This can mean that they are a viable choice of pet for allergy sufferers, even if most other dogs would not be a good fit.
Dogs with low-shedding coats are often incorrectly referred to as hypoallergenic, but this is not the case and there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog! Additionally, a low-shedding coat requires significant amounts of grooming to resolve tangles and remove shed hair, and for the miniature poodle, many owners visit a grooming parlour regularly to have their dog clipped and trimmed to make this more manageable.
Miniature poodles may be small dogs, but they need significant amounts of exercise despite their small size in order to keep them fit and happy, which is a trait shared with most other highly intelligent dog breeds.
At least two hour-long walks per day that incorporate plenty of variety and off the lead play are essential in order to meet the miniature poodle’s need for exercise.
Miniature poodles are alert, watchful dogs that are interested in everything going on around them, and they can also be quite highly strung. They need an appropriate outlet for their energies and plenty of mental as well as physical stimulation, and can soon become unmanageable and hard work if these needs are not met.
There are quite a number of hereditary miniature poodle health conditions that can be found within the breed population as a whole, although as a rule they’re fairly long lived.
If you are considering buying a miniature poodle, ensure that you do plenty of research into the breed’s health, and speak in detail to the breeder of any dog you might be considering picking, asking abut any health tests they undertook on their parent stock too.
The miniature poodle is versatile and a great fit for many different types of homes, but they do require an owner who understands them and knows how to care for them appropriately.
A lack of research and failure to recognise the breed’s need for a lot of grooming and exercise and also their high intelligence often leads to an unhappy household, so ensure that you are clear about what you’re getting in to and know what to expect before committing to buying a miniature poodle.