Poodle 101: The Miniature Poodle

by Lisa A Collins

If you think a Miniature is just a smaller version of the Standard – you'd be right! The and the Standard Poodle are almost identical in their physical characteristics, their temperament, their needs and their incredible intelligence. The only difference is in their size.

The Humane League of the United States estimates that twenty-five percent of all abandoned animals are purebreds. So, the odds of that shelter dog being a purebred Miniature Poodle are pretty high.

Standard have a minimum height requirement of fifteen inches at the withers, which most make easily. However, some Miniature have had both parents be Toy Poodles, or even both parents are . All three recognized Poodle types are basically different sizes of the same breed of dog. You may see Teacup Poodles advertised, but they are not recognized as a show worthy Poodle type.

The best way to compare the shelter dog and the Miniature Poodle is to look at the dog's profile. The head should have a rounded or more domes top of the skull than most other breeds of dogs. The muzzle should be lean and somewhat pointed. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. They eyes should be dark brown, but lighter shades of brown do occur. The ears should be floppy, rounded at the end and stay close to the head.

The breed standard is usually based on looking at a Poodle in profile. In profile, a Miniature Poodle should stand square, have a level topline (spine) and a profile that looks somewhat chiseled and not heavily jowled. The preferred eye color for the show ring is a dark brown, but much lighter eye colors happen often in pet Miniature Poodles. The ears are floppy, with rounded ends and seem to hug the head. They may or may not have dewclaws.

The Miniature Poodle comes in many colors, but all of them are to be solid for show dogs. Even the lips and nose should be the same color. This is where a lot of Miniature Poodles fall short as show dogs, as they could have bi-colored lips, or more than one color in their coats. Some brown Miniature Poodles will go prematurely grey, so a grey-tipped brown Miniature Poodle may be younger than he looks. Other faults common to Miniature Poodles include large, protruding eyes, an overbite, ewe-neck, a too low tail carriage or a downward sloping topline.

The breed standard for any dog breed is an ideal representation of the breed, not necessarily based on any living example. But the breed standards can act as a good general guide for identifying dogs in shelters.

They don't seem to care whatever clip they are given. Miniature Poodles are long lived (some have reached twenty) and is one of the more healthy breeds of smaller dogs available.

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