Love the Poodle? Pick Your Size!
The poodle breed brings to the dog world, a variety of attributes that make it the perfect dog for a variety of people. One of the best attributes a poodle has to offer the world is the fact that they come in three different sizes!
A poodle is a poodle is a poodle, regardless of its size.
Why is this fact so exciting? Simple! Because you can pick a size that best suits your lifestyle, and you will always have a poodle!
Each size of poodle follows the same breed standard. All poodle sizes are expected to be squarely built, intelligent, obedient, happy, friendly, and proud. When one falls in love with the poodle dog breed, it is nice to know that size doesn’t matter!
The Standard Poodle size.
Poodle sizes are determined by their height, measured from the highest point at the shoulders, down to the floor.
A poodle is considered a Standard Poodle when it is taller than 15”. The average size for a Standard is about 21”-23” for females and 25”-26” for males. But the Standard size of your poodle can vary depending on your breeder’s preference.
For example, my personal preference is to have a very “standard” Standard size poodle. I like a good, middle of the line, size because it’s a great size for the activities I enjoy with my poodles. Hiking and other outdoor activities require a good amount of stamina and ease of movement. In my mind, the 21”-25” Standard Poodle can move through tighter spaces and keep up with a full day of aggressive adventuring.
The Miniature Poodle size.
The next size in line is the Miniature. More commonly referred to as a Mini, these poodles are no taller than 15”, and no shorter than over10”. Most Miniature Poodles tend to fall on the taller side of the standard at about 13”-15”. The Mini size is a great size for agility competitions. Some of the fastest agility dogs are poodles of this size!
The Toy Poodle size.
The Toy size is my runner-up favorite in the poodle variety. I just think these little guys are the cutest thing going! A Toy Poodle is 10” or smaller.
Just like with the Standard size not having a maximum height limit, the Toy size does not have a minimum height limit. And, like the Minis, when in the show ring, preference is given to the smaller of the Toys (all other things being equal, of course).
So what about the Moyen size?
Moyen is a French word for ”medium”. Another term used to describe this size of Poodle is the German word, ”Klein”.
This medium size poodle is not officially recognized in North America. Instead, this size is considered a Standard Poodle, just on the smaller side of the Standard height.
In Europe and through FCI, the world canine authority in 94 countries, the Moyen size poodle is an official size. A Moyen is defined as a poodle that measures within 15”-20”.
So don’t believe anyone who tells you ”there is no such thing as a Moyen Poodle.” Because there is such a thing and it is absolutely still a poodle! Just keep in mind, if this is the size you prefer, in North America you may want to inquire about a “Standard Poodle on the smaller side.”
If all of the varieties are Poodle, can you mix them in a breeding program?
You’d think so, wouldn’t you?
The simple reason as to why mixing sizes in a breeding program is not a good idea is due to health issues. The different sizes bring with them, different health considerations.
Dwarfism is one example of a health concern that does not affect the Standard or Toy size poodles. Mixing poodle sizes for breeding purposes could create an issue by adding the potential for dwarfism in the Standard or Toy size gene pool. Clearly, not a good outcome.
Regular heart evaluations by a certified cardiologist, for Standard Poodle breeding stock, is required by The Poodle Club of America. But cardiac issues are not of as much concern in the Mini and Toy varieties. Once again, passing potential for heart conditions from one size to another is working against the breeders’ goal to always improve the health of the Poodle.
And there you have it. The nitty gritty of the three official North American poodle sizes.
…and the one extra size in Europe and through the FCI!