Ultimate Miniature Poodle Guide (with Photos)

The Poodle has an established reputation for its good looks, hyper-intelligence, and sound temperament. And if you want a smaller version of this breed, most will recommend the Miniature Poodle.

Is the Miniature Poodle the ideal dog for you and your family? Find out about this mini version with this Miniature Poodle guide.

Miniature Poodle guide
Check out the ultimate Miniature Poodle guide!

Getting To Know A Miniature Poodle


The Miniature Poodle is a graceful, well-proportioned breed with a round skull and hanging ears that can reach the corner of their lips. They have oval-shaped eyes that are usually dark, giving off the impression of intelligence and alertness.

mini poodle growth chart

This small breed dog grows up to 15-inches and usually reaches the knees of its human owners. Note that this is a delicate and light-boned breed and, in adulthood, will only weigh up to 17 pounds.

Usually, Miniature Poodles sport docked tails with webbed and compact feet. One of their features that set them apart is their coat. Miniature Poodles have either frizzy curls or even cords that hang in different lengths.

Miniature Poodles come in various colors like whole apricots, blacks, browns, creams, grays, and silvers with unique shading distinctions.

The grooming styles usually applied to Poodles make them stand out even more. They have that “pet-clip” or short all over, the “continental clip” where the Miniature Poodle’s hindquarters are completely shaved alongside half of its tail and the upper half of the legs.

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There’s also the “English saddle clip,” which is the same as the “continental clip” but without the hindquarters being shaved. Most Miniature Poodles sport the “continental clip” look.


Sure, they are adorable to look at, but you will fall in love even more with the cheerful personality of the Miniature Poodle.

chocolate Mini Poodles
A chocolate Mini Poodle standing on the snow.

This smaller version of the Poodle is equally intelligent and can do well in apartment living. They get along with other family pets and kids in the household. They are the perfect example of a small dog with a big personality with their playful character.

Miniature Poodles love constant engagement with their families. Most of the time, they form tight bonds with their human packs. And what’s incredible is, since this breed is naturally sensitive, they can even pick up your mood.

And, with their eagerness to please, they can help turn your mood into something positive.

This characteristic makes them ideal, effective, and successful therapy dogs. At the same time, this small breed can be impressively confident with that aura of dignity. At best, they are entirely unaware of the size that they carry and act like regal (and massive) dogs.

The Miniature Poodle can have a stubborn streak. They want to be the center of attention and give love back to their humans. Additionally, the Miniature Poodle can be almost always anxious.

If you raise them incorrectly, they can become aggressive.

Overall, this Miniature Poodle has a moderate temperament and has the right mix of grit and clown-like behavior.


Miniature Poodles are smart dogs, so training is something that both of you will enjoy. This breed is impressively responsive. And as they are eager to please their humans, they tend to execute commands and learn new tricks effortlessly and fast.

gray Miniature Poodle
A Mini Poodle (gray coat) standing in grass looking radiant

Reward-based training coupled with positive reinforcement is the best approach to training this breed. They thrive well and will continuously perform when they know and see that their efforts and good work are being appreciated.


When it comes to small dogs like the Miniature Poodle, you can expect them not to eat as much as they only have little stomachs.

sleeping Mini Poodle
A Mini Poodle comfortably sleeping on soft bed.

And as far as their nutrition goes, it is best to serve up their meals in small portions. They do well with small, frequent meals throughout the day. This breed also grows well in high-quality and age-appropriate food, so make sure that their small kibble portion has every nutrient, vitamin, and mineral they need.

Go for easy to chew and digestible meals specifically for this breed. As much as possible, minimize giving human food to these dogs, and if you do, it should be the dog-safe ones only.

Physical Activities

An active breed like the Miniature Poodle needs to be physically and mentally stimulated. They love taking part in different activities that sporting dogs enjoy.

playful Mini Poodle
The Mini Poodle is an active breed that loves to play!

You can safely bring your Miniature Poodle to join you in outdoor happenings like long walks, jogging, retrieving, agility, rally, and swimming. Not only are these healthy for you and your dog, but it is also a smart way to burn off their energies.

Rest assured, though, that unlike the bigger and more active breeds like the German Shepherd or Golden Retriever, you don’t need to walk them daily. Walks are great, but allowing your Miniature Poodle to play and run around your backyard every so often should suffice when a walk is not possible.

Grooming Needs

In case you didn’t know, Miniature Poodles have hair. Yes, they don’t have fur, and unlike fur that will grow and eventually shed, the hair of Miniature Poodles will keep on growing.

Poodle getting brushed
Using a blunt comb to groom and style a Mini brown Poodle dog

Yes, you can compare it to your hair. So, it will fall out as your hair does, but it will fall back into your Miniature Poodle’s hair. This will save you the inconvenience of having hair everywhere in your home.

This means that with Miniature Poodles, you can only expect minimal shedding, but regular grooming is imperative. This breed’s hair is prone to tangles, mats, dirt, or other debris getting stuck. Vets highly recommend that you brush their hair three to four times a week.

And since their hair doesn’t stop growing, you need to give your dog a haircut every month to make it more manageable for you and your dog.

One thing that you need to pay attention to with Miniature Poodles is their dental healthcare. They have small mouths and usually have crowded teeth, so regular teeth brushing at home and professional cleanings are non-negotiable grooming needs.

Health Risks

Generally a healthy breed, the Miniature Poodle has good genetics, but this doesn’t exempt them from health risks and complications. This is one reason why you need to get your dog from a reputable breeder to be sure that both parents have health clearances.

Mini Poodle with owner
The Mini Poodle with owner working at the back. (Image: Instagram/@minipoocharlie)

Here are the most common health risks that Miniature Poodles face:

#1. Addison’s Disease

This comes from a bad adrenal gland caused by some imbalances in your Miniature Poodle’s hormones.

When your pet has Addison’s disease, it will experience loss of appetite, lethargy, and vomiting. Your dog will also be sleeping more than usual following an unusual sleep cycle.

Unfortunately, this medical condition is often diagnosed too late and has also paved the way to damage your dog’s cardiovascular system by then.

#2. Cushing’s Disease

This disease happens when your Miniature Poodle’s body has an overabundance of cortisol. Again, this is due to a damaged adrenal gland.

The symptoms of this health condition are excessive urination, digestive problems, and excessive thirst.

The good news is that treatment in the form of medications and surgery is available.

#3. Epilepsy

Like human seizures, epilepsy can also cause seizures. This is a scary and overwhelming time for your dog. It may appear confused, paralyzed, run uncontrollably as if seeing ghosts, and bark at anything.

But epilepsy in Miniature Poodles can also be a symptom of another medical condition. So it’s best to have a vet check your dog and have tests done. This will help them recommend treatment to mitigate the epileptic episodes.

#4. Obesity

Most Miniature Poodle parents are guilty of not keeping a close eye on their dog’s food proportions. This can cause their dog to become overweight.

Track the calorie count of their treats and meals. Also refrain from giving them human food that is unhealthy because Miniature Poodles are small breeds, and their digestive systems can’t process that much food.

Pros And Cons Of Owning A Miniature Poodle

No dog is perfect. All breeds, including the Miniature Poodle, have their advantages and disadvantages. As dog parents, you simply have to work with the opportunities and deal with them.

Mini Poodle looks at the camera
Mini Poodle looks at the camera. (Image: Instagram/@mini_the_poodle)

The Pros:

  • They have a convenient size that borders between being small and medium.
  • Miniature Poodles are affectionate and sensitive companions.
  • They are tolerant and patient with children and can be good with other pets.
  • They do best with reward-based training, especially with cuddles, treats, or their favorite toys.
  • They are responsive and eager to please, making training and housebreaking easier.
  • They excel in different avenues like agility and obedience competitions, therapy work, and contraband detection.
  • They are effective watchdogs as they tend to bark when someone is at the door.
  • They are light-shedders and hypoallergenic dogs.

The Cons:

  • They don’t thrive being alone, and they tend to be clingy and always want attention.
  • Miniature Poodles are pattern-oriented dogs, and they don’t adjust to change quickly.
  • Clipping their hair every six weeks is a must.
  • Unwanted barking at anything, at any time.

Living With A Miniature Poodle

Not everyone is meant to live with a Miniature Poodle. You have to know your needs and expectations and how your family dynamics work before introducing this breed to your home.

red Miniature Poodle sits
A red Miniature Poodle sits on the floor. (Image: Instagram/@minimrmilo)

Miniature Poodles are best for families with older children, households with members sensitive to dog hair, and those who live an active lifestyle. Singles and older adults do well having this breed in their home, too, both for company and protection.

The Mini Poodle is a lively companion. They are amusing to be around. They love going out for their walks and savor their outdoor games.

Without activity, they tend to get bored, which can lead to restlessness, anxiety, and aggression.

Miniature Poodles don’t like being alone. There should always be someone home because they thrive being around people. And no, they don’t have favorites among the family members because this breed makes sure that it bonds with every member of the pack.

Fast and Fun Facts About Miniature Poodles

brown Mini Poodle.jpg
A brown Mini Poodle sitting on a lap. Poodles are one of the greatest lap dogs.

#1. Miniature Poodles love to sleep.

Despite their energy, Miniature Poodles love to sleep and can spend 13 hours a day napping. If they get less than these required hours, they tend to be mentally lazy, so just let them snooze the morning or afternoon away.

#2. They are war dogs.

These adorable and harmless dogs were part of the 32 breeds that the US army classified as war dogs in World War II.

#3. These Minis are athletic dogs.

Although this breed is part of the Non-Sporting Dog Group, they still have lots of energy (probably due to all the sleeping) to compete and go around. You can count on these curly canines to excel in intensive activities like swimming, hiking, and even dog sports.

History of the Miniature Poodle

Poodles lived in Europe for many centuries, but it is uncertain where they specifically originated. The earliest version of this breed was the Barbet, a dog with a curly coat found in France, Germany, Hungary, Russia, and other parts of Europe.

A well-known and beloved breed, the name “Poodle” came from “pfudel,” a German word that means “to splash,” “puddle,” or “play with water.” This is in reference to the then French Water Dog that was bred to retrieve waterfowls that their hunter owners shot.

Later, Poodles worked in different industries as circus performers, military, guards, and guide dogs primarily because of their impressive intelligence.

The French aristocracy became so fond of the Poodle that it became the national dog of France despite it being a German breed.

Today, there are three Poodle versions, with the Standard Poodle being the oldest among the Poodle types. The Miniature Poodles and the Toy Poodles were bred from the Standard Poodle, but all are judged under the same category.

The Miniature Poodle specifically was also bred in France in the late 1800s and is the most popular among the three. Families with Miniature Poodles can enjoy their furbaby for up to 15 years.


A Miniature Poodle can complete your life and your family. They are patient, highly intelligent, and sensitive towards their human families.

However, like all breeds, Miniature Poodles need your commitment to attend to their needs and to make decisions on their behalf. And this entails sharing your time and resources with them. This will help them thrive, enjoy life, and get trained to be a good fur-member of your family.

If you are ready for this breed, stop thinking and start looking for your Miniature Poodle today!

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