Miniature Poodle Vs Toy Poodle. Which is Better?

Last updated on July 12th, 2021 at 12:46 am


You have done a lot of research and have decided that the poodle is the right dog for you. You know that your home is too small for a standard poodle, or perhaps you have another reason that a standard poodle is just too big for you.

You still have a choice to make. Should you get a miniature or a toy poodle? Both make great pets, both are eager to please and easy to train, and both have great temperaments. So, which size should you get?

The type of poodle that you will get will depend on your specific lifestyle and needs. There are many similarities between the toy and the miniature poodle, but there are some differences as well.

In this article, we will highlight the major differences between a miniature poodle and a toy poodle to help you decide on which one is better for you.

Toy Poodle versus Miniature Poodle

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle History

Miniature poodles have been around longer than toy poodles. In fact, sometime during the 18th century, the standard poodle was bred down to the miniature poodle size. These miniature poodles were then used as performing dogs in circuses in France.

Around this time, miniature poodles also became very popular house pets for the aristocratic class. During this time, miniature poodles continued to be bred for their temperament and for companionship. This is part of what makes small poodles such wonderful companions.

While the standard poodle was originally bred as a water dog in the hunting category, miniature poodles were larger bred for performance and companionship. Standard poodles have since been bred mostly as companion animals as well, although there are still hunting lines out there.

Unlike the standard poodle, miniature poodles and toy poodles, however, are almost always bred to be companions or therapy or service animals.

The toy poodle was introduced almost two centuries after the miniature poodle first came on the scene. In the 20th century, toy poodles became popular as more people moved to big cities where they had smaller yards and less access to grassy areas accommodating to pets. 

Toy Poodle Vs. Miniature Poodle Size

A toy poodle should stand at about 10 inches tall and weigh about 10 poundsA miniature poodle will be 10 inches to 15 inches tall and weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.

You will want to buy a puppy from parents that are bred to breed standards. The Poodle Club of America (PCA) is the official parent club that defines the size specifications of poodles. When a poodle is bred to standard it means that they are about the size of what the PCA says they should be, not too small or not too big.

When you are looking at toy poodles, it is important to remember that smaller isn’t necessarily better. There is a reason the PCA or the America Kennel Club (AKC) never recognized the teacup poodle, and there is a reason that a toy poodle should be 5-10 lbs.

When toy poodles are bred to be too small into teacup poodles, they can be at an increased risk for certain health problems and they can be very difficult to house train. A toy or a miniature poodle bred to standard is your best bet! 

Poodle sizes

Toy Poodle vs. Miniature Poodle Appearance

Miniature and toy poodles look very much alike and they come in the same colors as all poodles! You can find black, brown, parti, phantom, and more! The only difference in how they look is their size.

However, you might find differences in appearances based on how your specific puppy was bred. When looking for a puppy, you will want to see parents who have a slightly wider set snout, ears that are long enough that they just reach the tip of the snout when extended, back legs that do not point inward, and a back that does not arch either up or down. This means that your poodle has a good structure. You can definitely tell when a structure is off, and if you have looked at enough poodles, you will know when you see one with a good structure.

When you’re looking at puppies, ask to see a “stacked” photo of each parent. This is a profile picture of the poodle where the back and front legs are lined up so that you can see the structure and make sure it looks strong. There may also be some differences in the way the coat appears, but once again this is due to breeding rather than size. Look for a plush coat on the parents. 

Toy Poodle versus Miniature Poodle

Toy Poodle vs. Miniature Poodle Lifespan

In many breeds, you will find that the larger versions have much shorter lifespans. The poodle breed is an anomaly. Although the lifespan of a miniature poodle is shorter than the lifespan of a toy poodle, the difference is not a lot. The miniature poodle only has a slightly shorter lifespan than the toy poodle. The average life span of a toy poodle is 14.6 years and the average lifespan of a miniature poodle is 14 years

Toy Poodle vs. Miniature Poodle Temperament

The temperament of the poodle is another thing that depends more on breeding and the temperaments of the parent dogs than on the size of the poodle. That being said, some owners have reported a slightly calmer demeanor among the miniature poodle population. 

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle Training

Toy and Miniature poodles are eager to please and easy to train, for the most part. House training might take a little bit longer with the toy poodle as opposed to the miniature poodle because toy poodles have such small bladders and usually cannot hold it for very long. 

Toy Vs. Miniature Poodle Barking

There is not a notable difference in the level of barking between a toy and a miniature poodle. Both breeds are medium barkers. Smaller dogs tend to have a bad reputation as barkers, but this is not necessarily the case.  Both the miniature and toy poodle will bark to alert you when someone is on your property, but neither breed is likely to bark incessantly when left alone or otherwise. 

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle Exercise

Both the toy and the Miniature poodle need daily exercise, but the toy poodle requires a smaller area than the miniature poodle. If you like to hike or jog often, you may want to opt for the miniature poodle, as the smaller toy poodle may tire out more quickly than you would. If you have a very small yard or live in an apartment with limited grassy areas, a toy poodle might be a good choice for you. 

Toy Poodle versus Miniature Poodle

Toy Poodle Vs. Miniature Poodle Price

Toy poodle puppies tend to be more slightly expensive than miniature poodle puppies. The average price of a toy poodle is $2840. The average price of a miniature poodle is $2560. This is because toy poodles give back to fewer puppies than miniature poodles. This makes the supply of toy puppies low, and therefore, the price high.

There is a wide range in the price of both miniature poodles and toy poodles. This is beacause the differences in prices for poodles are related to how much health testing was done on the parent dogs and whether or not the parents were show champions. You will usually see different prices for show quality and pet quality poodles. If you plan to rescue a poodle, prices will be similar for a standard and a miniature poodle. 

Toy Poodle vs. Miniature Poodle Health

The same genetic diseases run in both the toy and the miniature poodle. Certain genetic diseases and health concerns affect poodles of all sizes. Other issues tend to present themselves in one size more often than the other. Miniature and toy poodles alike can suffer from progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA, Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), and Von Willebrand Disease (VWD). If you are purchasing a puppy from a breeder, you will want to ask if your puppy’s parents have been genetically tested for at least these three diseases. They are easily preventable by testing the parents and avoiding breeding two carriers of the disease together. 

Toy poodles are more likely than miniature poodles to suffer from petallar luxation. The smaller the dog, the more likely this condition will develop. Miniature poodles can suffer from it, but toy poodles have a higher likelihood of having this condition. 

Toy Poodle vs. Miniature Poodle Grooming

Anyone who has ever owned a poodle of any size can tell you that grooming is a huge deal. It can be a strain on the budget if you aren’t prepared for the cost of grooming.

The size of the dog makes a difference in the cost of grooming. Miniature poodles will run anywhere from $50-$150 per groom depending on location and expertise. Toy poodles will cost between $40 and $100 on average.

Keep in mind, however, that groomers will often charge more for a dog that is not well-behaved. When you are looking at poodle puppies, you should ask the breeder whether he or she has worked on getting the puppies used to grooming. Most will have groomed their puppies, as they need to keep them neat and trimmed anyway! You will also want to make sure that you take your puppy in to get groomed early and often, even if you think that she doesn’t need to get groomed so much.

Taking your puppy into the groomer early and often might cost you a little more on the front end, but it will pay off long term. When your puppy gets used to the groomer early, she will be better-behaved on the grooming table for the long term. That could save you a lot of money over the 10 to 15 years of your poodle’s life! Whatever you do, don’t skimp out on grooming during the first year of your poodle’s life! That is where he will learn that the groomer is safe and that there’s nothing to worry about. A well-behaved poodle not only costs less to groom but is also less traumatized by the experience! 

If you plan to groom your poodle yourself, you will still want to do it early and often, as your job will be much easier if your poodle learns to get used to the sound of the buzzer and the blow dryer. Your job will be easier if you introduce your poodle to being groomed in the early stages of her life. 

Toy Poodle versus Miniature Poodle

Is the Toy or the Miniature Poodle Better with Kids? 

Both toy and miniature poodles are good with kids, but the toy poodle could be too fragile for very young children to play with safely, particularly during its puppy years.. Miniature poodles are an excellent choice for families with young children, as they are not so large as to trample children, but they are not so small as to be too fragile for children to play with.

Which Size Makes A Better Pet

Both the Miniature and the Toy poodle will make an excellent pet. Your lifestyle and needs will determine which size will make a better pet for you. For example, if you live in a high rise apartment or a place with little to no yard, you may want to opt for a toy poodle. On the other hand, if you have more space and small children and are concerned that a toy poodle might be too fragile for small children, a miniature poodle would be a better option for you.

If you are home often and can take your poodle out to go potty whenever he needs to, a toy poodle would be just fine for you. However, if you are gone during the day for hours at a time, and you will be leaving your poodle alone, you might need a dog with a larger bladder who doesn’t need to go outside as often. In that case, you would opt for a miniature poodle.

Perhaps you have allergies and know that you need a poodle, but budgeting for grooming is going to be difficult. In that case, you’d want to choose a toy poodle. When you evaluate your family and lifestyle, you will be able to choose which size of poodle will make a better pet for you.