Black Miniature Poodle Full Grown
Miniature poodles are intelligent, athletic dogs who love companionship and are easy to get along with. Although they are occasionally characterized as a finicky breed, miniature poodles are actually wonderful family dogs thanks to their smarts, their eager-to-please attitude, and their gentle demeanor with kids and other pets. They're an easy breed to train, low-allergen, and low-odor, so they fit in well with most homes and families. Though their low-shedding curly coats have the benefit of being nearly hypoallergenic, they do require lots of care and grooming. If you have the time and resources to dedicate to these peaceful pups, they make loving and loyal companions.
The average miniature poodle puppy costs around $900, but you can expect to spend more than double that price for a miniature poodle with superior pedigree.
There are three sizes of poodles—standard, miniature, and toy—recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Miniatures fall into the middle of the pack; standard poodles are the largest and toy poodles are the smallest. Some breed enthusiasts argue that there are actually five poodle classes, though the Klein or medium poodle and the teacup poodle have yet to be recognized by the AKC.
black miniature poodle wearing a red collar standing in grass
Of the three sizes of poodles, minis are the happy medium at 10–15 inches tall and 10–15 pounds.| CREDIT: JACKSON PHOTOGRAPHY / ADOBE STOCK
Miniature poodles stand about 10–15 inches tall, and they typically weigh between 10–15 pounds. Like their standard and toy-size cousins, miniature poodles have athletic, muscly bodies thanks to their origins as water retrieval dogs for duck hunters.
Like their breed siblings, mini poodles have curly coats, lively faces, and dark eyes. While the elaborate continental hairdo, with its curling pom-poms carefully shaped and clipped around the joints and chest, is popular with show poodles, most miniature poodle owners prefer the low-key sporting clip, a short, one-length cut that looks a bit less like a topiary.
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Have a particular love of dogs of a certain color? No problem. The miniature poodle comes in an array of hues, including black, white, apricot, grey, silver, and brown. The breed tends to shed only minimally, so you won't need to stock up on lint rollers with a mini poodle around. And, while no dog is truly hypoallergenic, poodles of all sizes can be a good fit for people with allergies.
When compared to their breed siblings, miniature poodles fall in the middle of the pack in terms of temperament, too. Tiny toy poodles tend to be a little more hyper, while the standard is the calmest of the three. All poodle types can be anxious and timid at times and do best in a peaceful living arrangement with lots of attention and care.
Miniature poodles are smart, active, and playful. They love to romp and play nearly non-stop as puppies and young dogs. Their activity levels do change with maturity, but you can expect your miniature poodle to stay pretty active even as an adult dog.
six miniature poodles sitting on a park bench with a woman
No matter their size, poodles come in a wide range of colors including apricot, black, brown, blue, and cream.| CREDIT: HEDGEHOG94 / ADOBE STOCK
"In the past 45 years, I've seen that miniature poodles are just happy and intelligent dogs," Joel Silverman, a Hollywood animal trainer, says. "They possess a naturally fun and content personality."
People-pleasing poodles are easy to train and love delighting their human companions. When they meet someone new, their reactions can range from friendly and polite to shy and timid. Their sensitive nature sometimes results in hypersensitivity and anxiety; help your mini out by socializing them early and providing them a stable, conflict-free living arrangement.
"The good news is that most miniature poodles naturally have a great temperament. That can actually be a reflection of a number of things, but the most prominent variable is socialization, either the implementation of it or lack thereof," Silverman says.
These little athletes love space to run and burn off their extra energy, so a big fenced-in yard or frequent trips to the dog park is a plus. Their small size means they can live well in an apartment as long as they get their exercise needs met, says Chyrle Bonk, DVM at Pet Keen.
"They are going to need lots of activity," she says. "Daily walks or runs along with games and interaction are required."
Your miniature needs lots of physical and mental stimulation in the form of play, games, and training, so expect to spend plenty of one-on-one time with your pooch. Miniature poodles are peaceful dogs who know how to play nice with children, Bonk says. And, with proper socialization, poodles can be friendly with other pets.
But because they can be anxious, a poodle might not thrive if you have a revolving door of visitors or a noisy, chaotic living situation. Early socialization will keep your miniature poodle from being overly watchful and timid. Spending time with their owners is important to minis—they can become lonely or experience separation anxiety if left alone too often. As Bonk says, poodles "require a lot of attention and mental stimulation to fill their hours. They aren't going to like being left alone without something to do."