What is The Smallest Poodle + Lots More Facts!

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Have you ever wondered about the smallest poodles out there?

These adorable little pups are pint-sized bundles of joy with personalities that can’t be matched.

I remember the first time I laid eyes on a miniature poodle, it was like seeing a living teddy bear!

But of course, along with their undeniable cuteness comes a unique set of questions and challenges.

So whether you’re a current poodle parent or considering adding one to your family, keep reading for the inside scoop on these tiny furballs!

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What is The Smallest Poodle?

what is the smallest poodle

Poodles are a fun and loving breed of dogs that come in different sizes and by far, the smallest poodle in the group is the Teacup Poodle.

Dog breeders have collectively agreed to call the smallest poodle a Teacup Poodle, though they can’t actually fit into one.

Teacup poodles can only grow to about 6 to 9 inches, a very small height compared to other types of poodles.

However, Teacup Poodle isn’t recognized by United Kennel Club (UKC) and American Kennel Club (AKC).

You’re probably wondering what these UKC and AKC are and how they could not register an adorable breed like Teacup Poodle.

Well, UKC and AKC are these friendly organizations dedicated to dogs and responsible breeding!

You can say that they’re exclusive clubs that register the breeds of dogs, and boy do they have a long list of records of a dog’s pedigrees.

These two organizations do consider Toy Poodle as the smallest poodle with a height of 9 to 11 inches.

Read this too: Best toys for poodles

What Are the Different Sizes of Poodles?

The Standard Poodle

Recognized by both UKC and AKC since the 1940s, the Standard Poodle is one of the most popular breeds in the United States of America.

UKC observed that Standard Poodles are at least 15 inches tall so long as they’re measured from their withers.

AKC has the same height measurement for the Standard Poodle at above 15 inches, but they included that this poodle can weigh from 40 to 70 pounds.

They’re a medium-sized breed and are known for their intelligence.

The Miniature Poodle

This variety is also registered by both UKC and AKC, but the UKC considers Miniature Poodles as just a sub-breed for “Poodle,” or in other words, a sister breed to Standard Poodle.

Nevertheless, UKC has a height measurement for them which is the same as the AKC, at 10 to 15 inches.

AKC has a further requirement for its weight to be between 10 to 15 pounds.

The Toy Poodle

The height requirement for both the UKC and AKC are the same for toy poodles, which is below 10 inches.

When it comes to weight, only AKC determines that they should weigh between 4 to 6 pounds.

The Klein (Moyen) Poodle

UKC and AKC don’t recognize the Klein Poodle or what some others like to call Moyen or French Poodles.

The ironic thing is, they are actually a German pure breed!

Both have the same leggy appearance with coarse hair, their long muzzles also look uncannily the same!

The main visual difference is really just their size.

Klein Poodles are slightly smaller than standard Poodles when fully grown.

The Klein Poodle can grow up to 15 inches to 20 inches only, whereas the standard on can grow up to 24 inches tall.

Fun fact: Klein means small or mini in German, while Moyen is “medium” in French!

The Teacup Poodle

Teacup Poodle is another unrecognized Poodle variety.

Both the UKC and AKC would still look at a Teacup Poodle as a Toy Poodle no matter how small it can be.

As you can imagine, they are super tiny, never growing to more than 8 or 9 inches, and can only weigh around 4 to 6 pounds.

Breeders are the only ones who call these pups Teacup Poodles, and no other dog clubs register them as independent dog breeds.

Doggy thinks you might be keen to read this too: Why does my poodle have straight hair?

Comparing Miniature Poodle Vs Toy Poodle Vs Teacup Poodle

CharacteristicMiniature PoodleToy PoodleTeacup Poodle
SizeMedium-sizedSmallVery Small
Weight10-15 pounds4-6 pounds3-5 pounds
Height10-15 inchesUp to 10 inchesUp to 9 inches
Life Expectancy10-18 years10-18 years12-15 years
TemperamentIntelligent,Intelligent,Intelligent,
Active,Active,Active,
SocialSocialSocial
Exercise NeedsModerateModerateModerate
Grooming NeedsHighHighHigh
TrainabilityHighly trainableHighly trainableHighly trainable
Recommended forFamilies, singles, seniorsFamilies, seniors, apartmentsAdults, families with older children

Ancestry and history

The ancestry of the Miniature Poodle isn’t really certain, but one thing is for sure, it comes from Germany.

Many say that Miniature Poodle’s ancestors are a variety of water dogs like the North American Barbet.

Nonetheless, the main reason for breeding Miniature Poodles stemmed from the bigger size of Standard Poodles.

They were bred when Standard Poodles became too popular, and people started needing even smaller poodles to become lap dogs

Meanwhile, Toy Poodle has almost the same ancestry as the Miniature Poodle as it also originated in Germany.

But it’s said that Toy Poodles are the result of breeding small-sized poodles.

People thought that Standard Poodles are too large to carry around, especially for circus entertainers.

Hence, they bred an even smaller version of the Standard Poodle.

Teacup Poodle is the newest Poodle in the market, only recently bred to cater to socialites as designer dogs.

Breeders used the smallest Toy Poodle, or the “runts” in the litter so Teacup Poodle can be born.

Size

Between Miniature, Toy, and Teacup Poodle, Miniature is the largest. It grows as tall as 11 to 15 inches and 14 to 17 pounds.

Toy Poodle follows the Miniature Poodle when it comes to size, weighing 5 to 9 pounds with a short height of 9 to 11 inches.

As the smallest among the three, Teacup Poodle is an adorable short pup at 5 to 8 inches tall. It weighs too light as well, with only 2 to 4 pounds in its little body.

Appearance

Miniature, Toy and Teacup Poodle looks… Well, POODLE. 

They all have the same dense and curly coat that’s become the poodle’s signature look. They come in different colors from white, and black to beige.

They also have this elegant aura when they walk, their head always held up high. Their tails are almost always up as if a human standing with his back straight.

Cost

The cost of a Miniature, Toy, and Teacup Poodle vary among breeders.

How old the pup is before adoption also plays a role in the pricing.

Miniature Poodles typically run from $1200 to $5000. You can also buy a Toy Poodle at $1200 to $4000 depending on how many pups were in the litter.

Something that the general public may not know is that the lesser the pups in a litter are, the more expensive one single Toy Poodle can be.

You can’t find any Teacup Poodle at $1000, unlike the other two poodle varieties. This is because the Teacup Poodle is still hard to breed despite its rising popularity.

Nowadays, you can only buy a Teacup Poodle starting from $2000 to $2500.

Behavior and temperament

Miniature Poodles are very intelligent dogs and because of that, they can easily be trained in different commands and socialization skills.

They are calmer than other varieties of poodles, and they’re great with kids. But they can also be anxious right away.

They’re easily scared of sudden noises, hence they aren’t great for families who are always hosting parties at home.

Let’s just say Miniature Poodles can be introverted from time to time.

Toy Poodles, on the other hand, are quite timid yet still friendly dogs. They’re sweet to those they already know well.

But they can be really shy with strangers, and they can be barkers too.

A Toy Poodle is very tuned in with his human emotions as well. He can be very sensitive when the house is full of sadness or anger, and it can make him equally anxious.

A smart and playful dog, Teacup Poodles are great with kids and other dogs.

But they can get extremely clingy. They prefer being in constant company with their family and hate it when they’re alone.

Activity level and exercise requirements

Both the Miniature and Toy Poodles are very active dogs that can become restless when they don’t get enough physical activity.

They have to engage in exercise for 30 minutes to 1 hour per day. Walking these poodles for a short 30-minute walk is great to release their pent-up energy.

At home, you can also engage them in a 30-minute playtime with their toys.

Teacup Poodles aren’t as active as those two. In fact, they only have moderate energy levels.

A 2 times per day walk that lasts at least 15 minutes each is already enough exercise for a Teacup Poodle.

All these poodles love exercise from mountain walks to swimming. Even a simple game with balls could already make them happy.

However, as active as they can be, they don’t like hot temperatures when playing or exercising. But they won’t mind a cold temperature!

Food and diet

Miniature and Toy Poodles alike should only be fed twice a day if they’re already grown up.

Feed them with complete and balanced meals which you can find from dog foods that meet the AAFCO guidelines.

For Miniature Poodles, 1 cup of such dog food should be parted into two meals. While Toy Poodles can enjoy a 1/2 cup of the same complete and balanced dog food a day rationed into two meals.

Teacup Poodles should be fed three to four times a day because as little as they seem, they need more nutrients to remain healthy.

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Suitability for families

Miniature, Toy, and Teacup Poodles are great for families living in small homes or apartments. These dogs don’t take up much space, and they’re great for city living.

However, Teacup Poodles don’t go well with children because of their size. They are way too small, and often they get stepped on by running and playful kids.

But Miniature and Toy Poodles are great with adults AND kids though. They’re sweet, playful, and though small, they can’t easily be trampled.

Grooming needs

Teacup Poodles have thick yet short and curly hair. They don’t shed much, but you’ll have to brush their fur at least five times a week to remove the tangled curls.

Since they’re so small, you won’t have any problem giving Teacup Poodles a bath in your kitchen sink.

However, you’ll still have to bring them to the groomer to pluck the hair in their ears and cut their nails.

Miniature and Toy Poodles should also be brushed regularly since they too have dense and curly fur. 

They should also be groomed every 6 weeks to make sure that they stay clean and beautiful and prevent matting!

Known health issues

Miniature Poodles are known to have eye problems as they get older.

QUITE often, these dogs get cataracts that can lead to blindness.

They are also prone to heart diseases like Mitral Valve Disease. MVD usually causes heart enlargement, and when not treated can lead to death.

Because they’re sensitive dogs, Miniature Poodles are often diagnosed with Addison’s Disease too.

It’s this condition wherein he doesn’t get to manage his stress. 

The stress will become too much for the dog until his entire health becomes affected and he stops functioning properly.


Toy Poodles, because of their small size, often suffer from Luxating Patellas— a condition where the kneecap is “displaced.”

It can be very painful, and it can cause the Toy Poodle to limp and not walk straight.

But this condition is much milder than Epilepsy, another disease that’s common among Toy Poodles that is caused by genetics.

Any dog with Epilepsy will suffer seizures from time to time that can be fatal.


I’ve mentioned that Teacup Poodles are usually bred from the “runts” among the litter, right? So usually, their parents are weak and have health issues.

This unfortunately translates to puppies that are not in the best of health. Add to the fact that there are often unscrupulous and unethical breeders who rush the process and caues more harm than good.

I used to gush over how adorable the cute little heads of Teacup Poodles are until I found out that those heads are usually filled with water.

Teacup Poodles are prone to Hydrocephalus, wherein their brains get filled with water. Perhaps it’s because of some fault in their skull structures.

Heart diseases are also common among these poodles, ranging from mild difficult breathing to life-threatening heart conditions like Degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD).

Lifespan

Miniature and Toy Poodles have a longest life span among the three since they can live up to 18 years, while Teacup Poodles can only survive 12 to 15 years.

It’s sad indeed that these sweet and smart companions can only live for that long. 

It’s a common problem among loving dog owners, you know?

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How to Know What Kind of Poodle You Have?

Knowing what kind of poodle you have is kind of easy so long as you know the height and weight of your dog.

If you don’t know the measurements of your poodle yet, measure his height with a measuring tape from his withers to the ground.

You should also weigh your dog using a dog-friendly weighing scale.

Once you’ve got your dog’s numbers, check out the standard sizing of AKC or UKC for the different varieties of poodles.

If you aren’t sure of the results, you can bring your poodle to the vet for a more accurate answer.

Which Size Poodle is Right for Me?

Which Size Poodle is Right for Me

How to tell if a Miniature Poodle is right for you

A Miniature Poodle is an active dog who loves playtime. If you’re an outdoorsy person, you’ll be able to take him with you for long and fun walks.

I know Miniature Poodles are still smaller than Standard Poodles, but because of their high energy level, they need a backyard to run around in.

If you’re living in a detached home with even just a small backyard, I’d say Miniature Poodle would be a good choice for you.

You should also have plenty of time to interact and socialize with Miniature Poodles if you want one because they’re very affectionate to their humans.

And they become sad when ignored for too long.

How to tell if a Toy Poodle is right for you

Toy Poodles still need exercise, but they can be taken for a very short walk compared to Miniature Poodles.

So if you’re kinda busy but still have a bit of time to come out for a walk, you can consider adopting Toy Poodles.

They’re also small and can live comfortably in small homes and apartments. 

If you’re just starting and are living in a starter apartment, Toy Poodles won’t complain about how small or big your place is.

Plus, if you want a cuddly pup, Toy Poodles make for great lap dogs who can easily fall asleep right next to you!

How to tell if a Teacup Poodle is right for you

If you don’t have any kids at your place, Teacup Poodles are a great companion.

Being around kids can be dangerous for them because of their size. Being stepped on won’t be impossible!

Hence, these poodles are great in childless yet small homes or apartments.

However, Teacup Poodles can be expensive to maintain because they’re prone to diseases. If you’re tight on budget, I suggest not adopting this one.

What is the Smallest Poodle Mix?

Chipoo (Chi-poo)

A mix of Chihuahua and Poodle, you can only expect how small this mix is.

They are usually just 5 inches tall from their withers! And they typically only weigh about 5 pounds!

But you can only get that small Chipoo if the Poodle parent is a Toy.

Shihpoo (or Shih Poo)

An adorable furry mix between Shih Tzu and Poodle, they can grow as tall as 18 inches.

They’re very friendly and are bred to be an excellent sweet companion!

Yorkipoo

Yorkipoo is a mix between Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle, which is usually a Toy and rarely Miniature.

Yorkipoo is a bouncing ball of active energy. I mean, what can you expect from Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle crossbreed?

Their size will depend on whether the parent is a Toy or Miniature Poodle.

Pomapoo

Pomapoo is a mix of Pomeranian and Poodle.

There’s no telling who Pomapoo will take after until they’re a few weeks old.

Sometimes, they look so much like their Pomeranian parent with the intelligence of their Poodle parent. 

Other times it’s completely the other way around.

Maltipoo

When a Maltese and Toy or Miniature Poodle are bred, a Maltipoo is the offspring.

They’re very playful too, and have a high level of energy that’s why they need more playtime and exercise.

They can grow from 8 inches to 14 inches and are very cuddly dogs. But they can watchdogs too!

They’re very vocal and will bark anytime they see something unusual.

Pugapoo

Pugapoo is a mix of Pug and Poodle, whether Toy or miniature.

They have quite an unusual yet adorable appearance, and they’re around 8 to 15 inches tall depending on the Poodle parent.

Clever and affectionate, Pugapoo is a whole package for sure!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much do Teacup Poodles cost?

In most cases, you should expect to pay $2,000 to $2,500 in the United States, even sometimes up to $4,000 for a puppy. This is due to the low supply, and reputation of the breeder.

How much do Toy Poodles cost?

Toy Poodles usually cost from $1200 to $4000. Some are cheaper than others because most breeders depend on their pricing on how many pups are in the litter.

Are Toy, Teacups, and Mini Poodles the same?

Toy, Teacups, and Mini Poodles came from the same breed and have no distinct differences in their appearance other than their size. They are three different sizes of the same breed.

Are poodles expensive?

Poodles are an expensive breed of dog because they’re becoming more popular day by day. Breeders can see how much dog owners gravitate toward poodles, hence they increase their prices. Plus, it’s also expensive to breed poodles as it is especially the smaller ones. 

How big is a Teacup Poodle?

Teacup Poodle is the smallest poodle variety. It only weighs 3 to 5 pounds and has a height of 6 to 9 inches.

Which is smaller, a Toy Poodle or a Miniature Poodle?

A Toy Poodle is smaller than a Miniature Poodle. Toy Poodles can only grow as tall as 11 inches, while Miniature Poodles can grow up to 15 inches.

What is the rarest Poodle color?

The rarest Poodle color is Apricot. While Apricot Poodles are not as common as other colors like black, white, or brown, they are still recognized and appreciated in the breed. Their beautiful and unique coat color adds to their charm, making them sought after by some Poodle enthusiasts.

In Conclusion: Smallest Poodle

For sure, the smallest poodles may be small in size, but they are big on personality and love.

They may have their challenges, but with the right knowledge and approach, owning a small poodle can be a rewarding and joyful experience.

So go ahead, embrace the cuteness and embrace the adventure of having a mini poodle by your side!

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog breed articles too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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