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Poodle Breed Standard

Non-Sporting GroupToy Group

The Standard for the Poodle (Toy variety) is the same as for the Standard and Miniature varieties except as regards heights.


General Appearance, Carriage and ConditionThat of a very active, intelligent and elegant-appearing dog, squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly and carrying himself proudly. Properly clipped in the traditional fashion and carefully groomed, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.


Size, Proportion, SubstanceSizes:


The Miniature Poodle is 15 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders, with a minimum height in excess of 10 inches. Any Poodle which is over 15 inches or is 10 inches or less at the highest point of the shoulders shall be disqualified from competition as a Miniature Poodle.(12-18lbs) They are not yappy like a lot of the smaller breeds. Although they love to be cuddled, they can be just as tough as their larger cousins.


Miniature Poodles

Miniatures are the next size up from toys. At their shoulder high point they are 11" to 15" and weigh 12 to 17 pounds.

They are suitable for families with children, and are probably the most popular size. Like toys, they need daily exercise. Be sure to engage them in fun activities where they can learn as well as exercise.

If you see a miniature poodle for sale and want to buy her, they may be suited for apartment living, just make sure there is enough room for them to get exercise indoors as well as outside.

Miniatures are members of the American Kennel Club non-sporting breeds class. They often star in obedience training over the other 2 sizes, although all sizes learn quickly and don't forget!

A mini poodle needs a bit more exercise than the toy, and they like to play their favorite games with you. They're good for taking on shorter walks. Like most dogs, she'll appreciate doing rather than just sitting.

A poodle who isn't getting as much activity as he wants will find ways to amuse himself, maybe something that's not amusing to you!


The Toy Poodle is 10 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle which is more than 10 inches at the highest point of the shoulders shall be disqualified from competition as a Toy Poodle.


Toy Poodles


Toys are the smallest of the poodle sizes. You can pick them up and take them with you! At the shoulder high point they are 10" and under.

We've seen them in tote bags carried by their owners! Toys have big personalities, and think they are standards! They weigh about 6 to 12 pounds.

Holly acted much bigger than she was, although I don't think she realized she wasn't a big dog! Toys are very spirited, not high strung, just happy and love to play, be active and make you happy!

Toys should not be spoiled. Even though they are little, spoiling them can sometimes make them think they are top dog in the family.

There's a possibility of turning a cute puppy into an aggressive dog. Train your toy puppy as soon as you bring them home, and you'll have a happy, gentle and loving family member.

Should you get a toy if you have small kids in the family? It can work, but you may want to look at a miniature or standard if the kids are very young.

The toy may not hold up well to rough play. He may also feel like he is top dog over the young kids and not relate as well to them as he will to the adults in the family as he will see them as pack leaders.

If you want to buy toy poodle puppies, toys need to be exercised. Playing with them in the yard or house daily is fine, but it's also good to walk them daily as exercise benefits their health and helps keep them trim.

If you live in an apartment or condo, get them outside for a walk daily if possible. Toys are in the Toy group of the American Kennel Club.

Toys are more suited for single adults, families with grown children and retired couples.

Retirees will find a poodle gives them structure again as they like daily routines. And, it gets you out walking with your dog so both of you get exercise!

Teacup poodles are tiny toys and the result of breeding smaller toys. Teacups may suffer more health problems than the toy and may have a shortened lifespan due to inherited illnesses

As long as the Toy Poodle is definitely a Toy Poodle, and the Miniature Poodle a Miniature Poodle, both in balance and proportion for the Variety, diminutiveness shall be the deciding factor when all other points are equal.




Moyen (medium is the French word for the fourth size in France. The rest of Europe refers to them as kleins (medium). They are a recognized size in Europe. Sadly, they are not a recognized size in the United States. Per the AKC, anything over 15" is considered a standard. Their size ranges from 15" to 18", and weigh between 20 and 35 pounds. This size makes a wonderful apartment dog. They are also a great size for children. They are big enough to play hard, but small enough to sit beside you on the couch and cuddle.


The Standard Poodle is over 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle which is 15 inches or less in height shall be disqualified from competition as a Standard Poodle.( average height is 24” and 45 lbs and up!)


Standard Poodles

You see an ad for standard poodles for sale and like that they are a bigger dog. Standards are the largest of the poodle sizes and are 15" or over at highest shoulder point.



They can be up to 25" in height. They weigh 40 to 55 pounds (females will be at the lower end).

As they are large dogs, they will need to have a larger yard to run around in and will need to be walked on a daily basis.

They are not suited as much for apartment living as toys are, but each person will need to make that decision.

Keep in mind they need daily exercise and if your apartment gives them room to exercise and walk around PLUS daily walking, a standard may be the right size.

These big, active dogs are said to be the most adaptable sized poodle. Standards are also members of the AKC non-sporting breeds group. Standards seem, at times, to be actually smiling in pictures.

They're very personable with a pleasing, happy disposition. Some standard pups, between smiles, get serious, studious looks on their faces. They're just taking in their surroundings, studying and learning!

Whatever poodle sizes are right for you, you will have a faithful, fun, and extremely intelligent companion that will love you for a long time.





Proportion - To insure the desirable squarely built appearance, the length of body measured from the breastbone to the point of the rump approximates the height from the highest point of the shoulders to the ground.


Substance - Bone and muscle of both forelegs and hindlegs are in proportion to size of dog.

Head and Expression(a) Eyes-- very dark, oval in shape and set far enough apart and positioned to create an alert intelligent expression. Major fault: eyes round, protruding, large or very light.

(b) Ears-- hanging close to the head, set at or slightly below eye level. The ear leather is long, wide and thickly feathered; however, the ear fringe should not be of excessive length.

(c) Skull-- moderately rounded, with a slight but definite stop. Cheekbones and muscles flat. Length from occiput to stop about the same as length of muzzle.

(d) Muzzle-- long, straight and fine, with slight chiseling under the eyes. Strong without lippiness. The chin definite enough to preclude snipiness. Major fault: lack of chin. Teeth-- white, strong and with a scissors bite. Major fault: undershot, overshot, wry mouth.

Neck, Topline, BodyNeck well proportioned, strong and long enough to permit the head to be carried high and with dignity. Skin snug at throat. The neck rises from strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. Major fault: ewe neck.

The topline is level, neither sloping nor roached, from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the base of the tail, with the exception of a slight hollow just behind the shoulder.

Body(a) Chest deep and moderately wide with well sprung ribs. (b) The loin is short, broad and muscular. (c) Tail straight, set on high and carried up, docked of sufficient length to insure a balanced outline. Major fault: set low, curled, or carried over the back.

ForequartersStrong, smoothly muscled shoulders. The shoulder blade is well laid back and approximately the same length as the upper foreleg. Major fault: steep shoulder.

(a) Forelegs - Straight and parallel when viewed from the front. When viewed from the side the elbow is directly below the highest point of the shoulder. The pasterns are strong. Dewclaws may be removed.

Feet - The feet are rather small, oval in shape with toes well arched and cushioned on thick firm pads. Nails short but not excessively shortened. The feet turn neither in nor out. Major fault: paper or splay foot.

HindquartersThe angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters.

(a) Hind legs straight and parallel when viewed from the rear. Muscular with width in the region of the stifles which are well bent; femur and tibia are about equal in length; hock to heel short and perpendicular to the ground. When standing, the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump. Major fault: cow-hocks.

Coat(a) Quality--(1) Curly: of naturally harsh texture, dense throughout. (2) Corded: hanging in tight even cords of varying length; longer on mane or body coat, head, and ears; shorter on puffs, bracelets, and pompons.

(b) Clip-- A Poodle under 12 months may be shown in the "Puppy" clip. In all regular classes, Poodles 12 months or over must be shown in the "English Saddle" or "Continental" clip. In the Stud Dog and Brood Bitch classes and in a non-competitive Parade of Champions, Poodles may be shown in the "Sporting" clip. A Poodle shown in any other type of clip shall be disqualified.

(1) "Puppy"--A Poodle under a year old may be shown in the "Puppy" clip with the coat long. The face, throat, feet and base of the tail are shaved. The entire shaven foot is visible. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. In order to give a neat appearance and a smooth unbroken line, shaping of the coat is permissible. (2) "English Saddle"--In the "English Saddle" clip the face, throat, feet, forelegs and base of the tail are shaved, leaving puffs on the forelegs and a pompon on the end of the tail. The hindquarters are covered with a short blanket of hair except for a curved shaved area on each flank and two shaved bands on each hindleg. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven leg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance. (3) "Continental"--In the "Continental" clip, the face, throat, feet, and base of the tail are shaved. The hindquarters are shaved with pompons (optional) on the hips. The legs are shaved, leaving bracelets on the hindlegs and puffs on the forelegs. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven foreleg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance. (4) "Sporting"--In the "Sporting" clip, a Poodle shall be shown with face, feet, throat, and base of tail shaved, leaving a scissored cap on the top of the head and a pompon on the end of the tail. The rest of the body, and legs are clipped or scissored to follow the outline of the dog leaving a short blanket of coat no longer than one inch in length. The hair on the legs may be slightly longer than that on the body.

In all clips the hair of the topknot may be left free or held in place by elastic bands. The hair is only of sufficient length to present a smooth outline. "Topknot" refers only to hair on the skull, from stop to occiput. This is the only area where elastic bands may be used.

ColorThe coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-au-laits, apricots and creams the coat may show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently present in the somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are definitely preferred, such natural variation in the shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Brown and cafe-au-lait Poodles have liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, dark toenails and dark amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream and white Poodles have black noses, eye-rims and lips, black or self colored toenails and very dark eyes. In the apricots while the foregoing coloring is preferred, liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, and amber eyes are permitted but are not desirable. Major fault: color of nose, lips and eye-rims incomplete, or of wrong color for color of dog.

Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified. The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but is of two or more colors.

GaitA straightforward trot with light springy action and strong hindquarters drive. Head and tail carried up. Sound effortless movement is essential.

TemperamentCarrying himself proudly, very active, intelligent, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself. Major fault: shyness or sharpness.

Major FaultsAny distinct deviation from the desired characteristics described in the Breed Standard.

DisqualificationsSize-- A dog over or under the height limits specified shall be disqualified. Clip-- A dog in any type of clip other than those listed under coat shall be disqualified. Parti-colors-- The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but of two or more colors. Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified.

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