Personality: The Toy Poodle is pert, lively, and playful. This is a highly intelligent and willing to please breed. This most popular of the toy breeds is easily trained. The Toy Poodle is vain about its smart appearance, but it enjoys a good romp in the dirt just like any other dog.
Puppies: Litter of 2 to S puppies after normal whelping. Birth color changes as puppies grow. Early physical maturity, at 1 to 1 1/2 years, but full coat may take 2 years to develop. Life expectancy is 9 to 11 years.
Comment: An all-time favorite, the Toy Poodle is not a distinct breed, but is instead a size classification of the Poodle, along with the standard and the miniature. Although the larger, standard Poodle which is over 15” tall—is generally accepted as the oldest type, there is little question that toys were the well- established, pampered pets of royalty during the 18th century in both England and France. Highly intelligent and easily trained, all sizes of the Poodle were used in dog acts throughout Europe. Unlike the standard, the Toy Poodle was never a sporting dog; it was developed exclusively as a companion animal. This small version retains all the other attributes of its larger ancestors.
Potential Health Problems: Generally a healthy toy. Susceptible to early tooth loss. May get tear stains under eyes. Ears tend to become infected due to poor air circulation; hair should be plucked from ear canals. Possible eye problems such as degeneration of the retina. Other potential difficulties include low blood sugar, congenital heart disease, epilepsy, slipped stifles, and tracheal collapse.
Care and Exercise: Requires weekly bathing and brushing, particularly if has fancy show coat. Blow-dry while brushing after bath. Needs professional clipping and trimming every 3 to 6 weeks, because—unlike other breeds—hair grows fast and has no natural maximum length. Ears must be cleaned frequently. Teeth should be checked regularly for loosening. Check with a veterinarian for instructions and help. Requires a good daily run in an area free of long grass or brush, unless coat is in pet trim. If a run is impossible, substitute long walks on a leash.
Recommendation: The Toy Poodle makes an excellent family dog, as it adjusts to any situation and responds well to other pets and children. Like the other toy breeds, it is ideally suited for apartment life, although it does require some exercise– either daily walks on a leash or runs in a protected park. This breed is only for those who are willing to devote considerable time and expense to coat care. A superb pet breed. One of the most intelligent of all dogs.
Ideal Appearance: Toy size variety of Poodle. Males and females, 10” or under. Although standard does not specify weight, Toy Poodles usually weigh 5 to 7 pounds. Long, lean head; moderately rounded skull with chiseling under its dark, oval-shaped eyes. Long, wide, heavily feathered ears, set just below eye level. Square body with level topline; slight hollow just behind withers. Small, oval feet. High-set, docked tail, carried up. Harsh, dense coat may be curly or corded. Accepted show trims: puppy (under 1 years old), English saddle, continental, and sporting (the latter in noncompetitive classes only). Permissible colors: all solids; combinations of colors not permitted.