The miniature poodle, along with the toy poodle, is the small variation of the standard poodle. It is believed to have come from different European water dogs. It is a great companion dog for families with small kids and first-time owners as long as they are willing to take on demanding grooming needs and gentle yet firm training methods.
Are you thinking of getting a miniature poodle? Here is a brief background of this charming and fun-loving miniature dog.
The poodle, considered as one of the oldest breeds created as a waterfowl hunter, originated in Germany but flourished as a breed in France. It is believed to have descended from various European water dogs, whilst others claim it came from Asian herding dogs that eventually reached Germany through the Germanic Goth and Ostrogoth tribes.
The miniature and toy poodles are said to have been developed soon after the standard. However, some argue that it was only during the fifteenth century that breeders started making smaller versions. It is worth noting that the smaller varieties were created by selectively breeding poodles that were small in size and not by crossing them with different smaller breeds.
The miniature poodle rose to popularity as a companion pet and a cute entertainer in the circus. Because of its versatility, it became desirable to the nobles and royalty. It became one of the most sought-after breeds in the world, including the UK during the '50s and '60s. Because of this, the quality of the mini poodle deteriorated, leading to genetic health issues. However, breed enthusiasts were able to revive the breed through selective breeding, eradicating most of the health problems. It remains to be a popular dog breed up until today because of its endearing appearance and gentle nature. It is registered with the Kennel Club under the Utility Group.
Appearance and Grooming
With an average size of fifteen to seventeen pounds and twenty-eight to thirty-eight centimetres, the miniature poodle is a medium-sized dog smaller than the standard and bigger than the toy. It has a long and fine head that is proportionate to the rest of its body and a well-chiselled foreface. It also has tight lips, a well-defined chin, a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite, and long ears that are set low on its head. Its eyes are almond-shaped, nicely set on its face and with a colour that matches its coat.
Miniature poodles have dense, harsh, and profuse coats with extremely curly hair that lie close to the body. They can come in any solid colour such as black, white, apricot, blue, brown, cream, red, and silver. Like its standard and toy counterparts, the miniature poodle is high0-maintenance in the grooming front. Aside from daily brushing to avoid tangles and matts, it needs professional grooming and clipping every six to eight weeks.
Other important grooming requirements are regular nail trimming, tooth brushing twice weekly, and ear cleaning when there is too much wax build-up. Owners also need to check its skin for sores and ticks.
Temperament and Intelligence
The miniature poodle is an affable, lively, and fun-loving dog that enjoys the presence of its family. Since it craves human contact, it always wants to be a part of household activities. It enjoys entertaining its owners with its comical antics. On the other hand, it is usually aloof toward people it does not know, but would warm up after some time. The mini poodle is a good watchdog as it is quick to alert when it senses a presence.
The mini poodle is patient and gentle toward children, but adult supervision is always important just to be safe in case playtime becomes too rowdy. It also gets on well with pets it grows up with, including cats. However, the neighbour’s small pets are a different story.
Because it is intelligent and eager to please, the mini poodle is highly trainable. However, it also easily learns unwanted behaviour if it is tolerated. Because of its animated personality, this breed often gets away with things it is not supposed to do. It is a great dog for first-time owners as long as they are up for gentle yet firm training. Trainings should start early and owners need to take on the alpha role from the get-go, so it will grow up obedient and well-rounded.
Nutrition and Feeding
A typical serving for an adult miniature poodle is one half to one cup of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. It is worth knowing that the amount and type of food you give your dog depend on its age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism.
Typical calorie needs of adult miniature poodle per day:
- Senior and less active: up to 520 calories daily
- Typical adults: up to 590 calories daily
- Physically active/working dogs: up to 650 calories daily
A practical way to feed your mini poodle is high-quality dry kibbles with animal meat as the main ingredient. However, you can serve it homemade food, but make sure to include important supplements. Also include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to keep its coat healthy.
Health and Exercise
The miniature poodle is generally healthy that can live up to fifteen years, but like most breeds, it can be prone to certain health conditions. Look out for signs of eye and dental issues, epilepsy, and achondroplasia. If you notice something unusual with your dog, immediately take it to your trusted veterinarian.
This intelligent, high-energy dog would need at least one hour of exercise per day. If it is unable to get the right amount of physically and mentally stimulating activities, the mini poodle will display unwanted behaviour, such as excessive barking and chewing.
Cost of Ownership
If you want to purchase a well-bred Miniature Poodle pedigree puppy, prepare to pay £400-£1000. Other than the initial purchase, you also need to consider getting a pet insurance, which can cost anywhere from £20 a month for a basic cover up to £43 a month for a lifetime cover. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, size and weight, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.
Food cost is another matter you need to consider since you need to ensure that your dog stays healthy and well-fed at whatever age. To buy high-quality dog food, you will have to spend around £20–£30 a month. You also need to factor in the initial cost for dog accessories and equipment such as bowls, leads, collars, and beds, which will likely be about £200 depending on the brand.
Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £800 annually. On average, caring for a Miniature Poodle will cost about £50–£80 a month, depending on the type of insurance. This is exclusive of walking or grooming services that you might want to use at times.
Miniature Poodle Breed Highlights
- The miniature poodle is a medium breed, bigger than the toy poodle and smaller than the standard poodle.
- It is intelligent, active, and fun-loving to its family, but reserved toward strangers.
- The breed loves children and is suitable for first-time owners.
- It easily learns new things, including undesirable behaviour.
- To maintain its lovely curly coat, it needs to be taken to the groomers every six weeks or so.
Are you sure the Miniature Poodle is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.
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