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Why Toy Poodles Are the Perfect Pets: Unveiling Their Incredible Temperament

If you are thinking about welcoming a Toy Poodle into your family, you’ll likely be looking to find out more about the Toy Poodle’s temperament first. Adopting a new pet is no small decision. It’s important to learn as much as you can about the breeds you’re considering before making a lifelong commitment to a new family member.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of these small dogs, you are not alone. This toy breed has even been cross-bred, such as with Pomapoo dogs, and is widely adored. This is largely due to their wonderful Toy Poodle characteristics. These fun-loving, adorable dogs are intelligent, alert, and simply some of the best family dogs in the world.

In fact, Poodles are consistently voted into the top 10 most popular breeds by the AKC (American Kennel Club). Let’s find out why the Toy Poodle’s temperament might just make them the perfect match for you.

golden toy poodle with tongue out toy poodle temperament

Toy Poodle Pros and Cons 

These pooches have strong personalities. These little pups are usually described as being incredibly smart, loving, lively, and engaging. They tend to do well in small living spaces such as apartments. In fact, these miniature poodles will consider themselves a valuable member of your household, so leaving them out of family activities will not fly. 

These excellent qualities can certainly produce somewhat of a double-edged sword. While these devoted family pets are excellent companions when it comes to taking walks and playing with small children for hours, they are prone to stress.

It might be a good idea to get some CBD oil for dogs as separation anxiety is a common struggle for these fluffy fellas. Leaving them alone for too long or neglecting them can bring out a passive-aggressive streak. 

However, this is a small price to pay. Toy Poodle parents will quickly see that their fur baby is a fast and eager learner. This will shine through in all sorts of nifty ways like learning cool tricks and engaging in more complex games like hide-and-seek. 

While these are all big pluses for owners, the biggest perk for many families, is this pooch’s non-shedding, hypoallergenic curly coat.

four golden toy poodles

15 Things to Know about Toy Poodle Temperament

1. History of the Toy Poodle

The incorrect assumption that the Toy Poodle dog originated in France came about because they are so popular with the French. The fact that the Poodle is the national dog of France further proves that they certainly love this breed. However, Poodles actually originated in Germany over 400 years ago.

Originally a hunting breed, Poodles today are predominantly companion dogs. These dogs have been known for being rather aristocratic. 

Their tiny size along with their often fancy-looking haircuts have certainly contributed to their froufrou reputations. Despite these assumptions, these hounds actually started out as hunting dogs for the affluent folk in Europe.

2. Why They Became Popular

Standard Poodles were used for duck hunting and other water retrieving which is where their excellent agility and knack for obedience training came in handy. However, they soon became popular pets. So much so that people started breeding them in miniature and toy varieties. These smaller dogs are ideal for city-living and daily companionship.

Another name for the Toy Poodle can be Toy Caniche. The word “Caniche” actually translates to “duck dog” in French. So despite contrary belief, these guys don’t mind getting down and dirty in the slightest. Add this down-to-earth trait to their incredible intelligence, and they are a real catch.

golden toy poodle face

Common Toy Poodle Personality Traits

Toy poodle behavior can vary widely depending on the personality of the individual dog. So bear in mind that while there are strong similarities within breeds, ultimately, dogs are individuals. Therefore, not every Toy will necessarily display the same temperament.

However, this list will hopefully give you a basic idea about what to expect when you bring one of these pooches into your home. 

3. Intelligence

These hounds are regarded as one of the smartest dog breeds out there – top 10 in fact. They’re inquisitive, clever, and eager-to-please which also makes them a little like canine scholars. They are highly trainable, fast learners who respond well to mental stimulation.

These adorable furballs really know how to strut their stuff, in and out of the ring, which makes them excellent show dogs. In fact, being the center of attention, through tricks and activities, is one of their favorite places to be.

What to be Beware of when it Comes to Their Intelligence

Something for toy poodle owners to note is that one should not baby these dogs. While their small size makes it tempting to make them hand luggage and carry them around everywhere, this is not advisable. 

They are so brilliant that once a toy poodle is carried around everywhere they will expect no less the next time. These pooch’s need consistent, firm guidance or they’ll walk all over you.

golden toy poodle on wharf

So while they can learn a new trick in no time, they can learn a bad habit just as fast. Instead of sitting with a badly behaved pooch, poodle owners should take full advantage of this breed’s brilliance and eagerness to please by training their pet from a young age. 

With their brilliance also comes little tolerance for the mundane – this is where dog toys come in handy. It is important to provide your Toy Poodle with plenty of stimulation to prevent them from getting bored and to avoid toy poodle behavior problems. Mental exercises can take the form of dog toys, food puzzles, brain games, or trick training.

4. People-Orientated

Your pooch will need to feel like they are as much a part of the family as any human member. They are companion dogs and need to be around people at almost all times. 

They want to be active in every part of family life. From being dressed up for make-believe tea parties, going to sports practice, and racing around the beach, to charging into the water with you.

This means that these dogs are not impressed when left alone for long periods at a time. If they are, they may develop separation anxiety which can lead to destructive behavior such as barking, digging, or chewing.

Make sure you have plenty of time, energy, and enthusiasm to devote to this breed if you are considering a Toy Poodle. Overall they are quite human-like and expect to be treated as a person which makes them higher maintenance but rather special companion dogs.

Basically, a Toy sized Poodle will be like a best friend who thinks all your ideas are excellent and who wants to join in with great enthusiasm. But the flip side of their cleverness can easily be translated to stubbornness, especially if they feel they’re being neglected or left out.

grey and white toy poodles

5. Training

Toy Poodles are extremely people-oriented. This means that if you stay consistent with what you ask and you make your training routines fun, interactive, and positive, your pooch will jump at the opportunity to please you. 

They’re highly intelligent and easily trainable so they make for excellent competitors in a variety of canine sports. They’re agile, graceful, and smart which has them excelling in areas like agility work, obedience, and tracking. In addition, they compete in sports like dock diving and retriever hunt tests because they are excellent water retrievers. They respond well to positive reinforcement.

Exuding beauty and brains, your Toy Poodle can really become an asset if trained correctly. Teach your Toy Poodle tricks and get him qualified to be a therapy dog so he can perform in facilities like nursing homes and children’s hospitals.

Poodles make wonderful therapy dogs. Their empathetic nature and joy in engaging with people make them a natural at this type of work.

6. Exercise

Swimming is a great exercise for these hounds – they love the water. Since they’re built as hunting dogs, their instinct is to retrieve. So throwing sticks, toys or balls will provide excellent stimulation for them both physically and mentally.

Other than that they will be in their element going for walks or runs with their favorite human. Since they are so small, they don’t need a lot of space nor do they need daily exercise. 

In fact, Toy Poodles are often the companions of people who are less active and can be extremely happy as lap dogs and TV-watching buddies. Just be sure these busybodies have enough entertainment to keep them away from mischief.

Playing with your pooch inside or in a small backyard will more than suffice. And playing fetch will no doubt become a family-favorite game when it comes to these retriever-orientated hounds.

grey toy poodle dressed up in pink

7. Playfulness

The Toy Poodle temperament is playful, happy, and fun. Your pooch may be small but they require plenty of movement. They’re not fussy, as long as they can get active in some way. 

But they will always be down for a game, whether that be hide-and-seek or fetch. You’ll certainly be far from being in the dog box when you lean into their playful side.

They have a terrific sense of humor and love entertaining – these clowns thrive off being the center of attention. Their astonishing braininess allows for impressive behaviors, tricks, and a remarkable sense of humor. Some believe it is entirely possible for you to be outwitted by a Poodle.

8. Socialization of Puppies

Your Toy Poodle may be small enough to evade trouble but this shouldn’t be a reason for them to skip out on socialization or obedience training. Puppies need plenty of socialization to instill them with the confidence they need around humans as adults. This is also the case with other dogs and cats.

In order to acclimate your puppy to small humans and other animals, you could arrange a fun, stress-free environment for them to engage and interact. This will set them up for good relationships in the future.

Even if you don’t have children around very often, it’ll still be a good idea to get your Toy Poodle comfortable around kids. They are fast learners after all. And the last thing any dog owner wants is a little dog that’s scared and snappy around children.

toy poodle on bed

9. Delicate Size

While their Poodle relatives come in around 15 inches at the shoulders, Toys stand no more than 10 inches tall. And a full-grown Toy Poodle may weigh only 4 or 5 lbs.

While they’re small in size, they have an abundance of solid character, heaps of intelligence, and remarkable versatility. But Toy Poodles are very small and delicate, that’s for sure. Due to their small stature, they should always be supervised around children and other pets. Dynamite comes in small packages after all.

10. Coat Colors

Toy Poodles don a wide array of coat colors. These include white, black, gray, apricot, blue, brown, café-au-lait, cream, and silver. The coat is also always a solid color rather than particolored.

An unusual and unique Poodle variety is the red Toy Poodle. The red color is extremely rare. This deep red hue comes from a recessive gene that leads the apricot or brown coloration to darken.

11. Health

Toy Poodles are healthy, strong dogs for the most part thanks to responsible breeders who keep a finger on breeding stock. However, all breeds are prone to certain genetic health issues and the Toy Poodle is no exception.

white toy poodle with tongue out on floor

In the Toy Poodle’s case, there are some common ailments or health issues to look out for or be financially prepared for. Some of the most common Toy Poodle health issues are:

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a degenerative condition that causes the retina at the back of the eye to gradually degenerate and eventually results in loss of sight. This can occur purely from bad luck or faulty genes inherited through certain breeding lines.

Fortunately, the faulty gene can be identified in carriers through a simple DNA test. When you visit a Toy Poodle breeder, be sure to ask for certificates for both parent dogs so you can confirm they don’t carry the unfortunate gene.


Toy poodles have been known to suffer from Cataracts. A normal eye lens is usually clear,  whereas if your pup has Cataracts their lens will be cloudy. This ailment usually develops slowly over time and causes symptoms like blurry vision.

There is a clear underlying genetic link between Toy Poodles and Cataracts. However, unlike Progressive Retinal Atrophy, there’s no simple way to identify an at-risk dog using a DNA test. In order to screen for this, Poodles used for breeding should have a yearly complete eye exam by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Patella Luxation

Patella luxation is a problem with the way the knee joint forms and it can eventually lead to lameness. This occurs when the shin bone slips in and out of position.

Many small dog breeds are afflicted by luxating patellas, and the lovely Toy Poodles are unfortunately not excepted. There are different degrees of Patella Luxation, depending on how severely it affects the dog. It’s also important to discern whether it was present from birth or developed in adulthood.

Toy Poodles being bred should have certificates issued by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals detailing the condition of their knee joints.

white toy poodle with tongue out

Von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrand’s Disease is an inherited blood disorder and is more commonly referred to as vWD. This disease is present in both dogs and humans. It occurs when the body fails to produce enough of a protein in the blood plasma called von Willebrand factor (vWF).

vWF is essential for effective blood clotting when the skin is broken. Sadly, dogs who suffer from vWD are prone to nosebleeds and bleeding gums. They will also bleed excessively from cuts or skin wounds.

This condition is caused by a mutation in the genes. This sadly means that it can be inherited by puppies of Toy Poodles who carry the faulty gene. A DNA test for this disease is readily available, however, and a puppy breeder should be able to show you certificates to confirm that neither parent carries the gene.

Thyroid Problems

Lastly, all poodles are rather vulnerable to thyroid issues. This umbrella term refers to a broad spectrum of symptoms and conditions. Some of these include:

  • lethargy
  • weight gain
  • digestive problems
  • greasy skin, dry skin, or skin infections
  • hair loss or a greasy coat

Be sure to confirm with the breeder whether the puppies’ family tree is cleared for thyroid problems.

12. Further Health Care for Your Toy Poodle

Your Toy Poodle should visit a veterinarian at least once a year for an annual check-up and yearly vaccines. When it comes to nutrition, they should be fed high-quality dog food. Avoiding cheap food with filler ingredients such as corn or animal by-products is best.

white toy poodle

Flea prevention is an important part of dog-parenting. When it comes to having a happy fur baby, It’s vital to give your Toy Poodle flea, tick, and heartworm prevention pills every month. There are many brands on the market, so consulting with your vet is best. Spaying and neutering are also highly recommended for health and behavioral reasons.

With excellent care and nutrition, your Toy Poodle baby can have a lifespan of up to 18 long, happy years.

13. Grooming

Are you planning to enter your pride and joy into a dog show or do you simply fancy the aesthetic of pom-poms around the ankles? If so you’ll need to find a groomer who is well-versed in the fascinating world of poodle cuts. They will hopefully guide you through the world of continental clips, English saddle clips, and bikini clips.

The Toy Poodle breed requires a lot of grooming – on average every 4-6 weeks. Regular grooming is not optional with this breed. These poodles are at risk of super matted coats if not regularly brushed. Frequent trips to the groomer require a large financial commitment from owners so be sure to consider it carefully.

More on Grooming

Some owners choose to take their dog to a professional groomer while others learn to do it themselves. There are many different Poodle hairstyles and it may be best to talk with your groomer about which style makes the most sense for your Poodle.

A good choice is an easy-to-manage coat, known as the Toy Poodle Puppy Cut. This variety is a short ‘all-over’ cut that gives your puppy a neat coat of 1-2 inches in length. If you hear of a teddy bear Toy Poodle it’s likely because they are sporting a Teddy Bear Cut. This will leave them with more hair on their face and paws, creating a puppyish look.

It would be ideal if you can keep your pup clipped and trimmed. Alternatively, you’ll need to learn how to shampoo your pooch and brush them daily in order to keep their coat from matting. Matting usually occurs near the root, and in extreme cases, will need to be shaved off in order to facilitate new growth.

So basically, if you are not willing to spend a substantial amount of money and time on your pet’s grooming, then a Toy Poodle may not be right for you.

14. Hypoallergenic

On the plus side, for those who are plagued by allergies, the Toy Poodle will suit perfectly. And while we’ve covered the extensive grooming needs of a Toy Poodle, there is a bright side. Had you gone with a different breed, time spent grooming your Toy would otherwise have been spent cleaning hair around your house and lint-rolling the furniture.

So while this breed has been called high maintenance when it comes to their grooming needs, they make up for it by practically not leaving a trace of hair behind. Something that all Poodles have in common is those luscious curls.

All dogs shed, but when it comes to curly-haired pooches, the shed hair remains trapped in the tight curls rather than ending up on your clothes and furniture. 

This relatively non-shedding coat they boast makes them an excellent hypoallergenic choice. As well as a popular choice amongst dog owners who find shedding to be somewhat of a dealbreaker. 

golden toy poodle on the run

15. Toy Poodle Price

Are you feeling sold on the Toy Poodle? Then you may be wondering where you can get one and how much you can expect to spend.

Well, the cost of a Toy Poodle puppy will vary depending on the breeder. The average price, however, is between $700 and $1000 from a reputable breeder. And some coat colorations and bloodlines can go from $1200 to well over $2000. This is no small price tag, that’s for sure.

But these are truly unique, remarkable dogs that add so much to daily life. Be sure to contact local breeders in your area or otherwise visit shelters near you if you prefer to go the adoption route.

Final Thoughts on Toy Poodles and Their Temperament

The Toy Poodle boasts a charming temperament which makes this breed an extremely popular pet for so many animal lovers out there. If you are looking for a fun, smart little companion, you can’t go wrong here. You’ll get to take your Toy pooch out and about while also building a real rapport with them.

Just be sure to do your research thoroughly before you join the Poodle party. Other than that, their sunny disposition has made them a favorite choice for years – in fact, you will likely go Poodle and never go back.

golden toy poodle face

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