The Miniature Poodle is an intelligent, joyful, companion dog. They can be trained to a high degree, and are very willing and happy to please their handler. Comical and clever, they are often used as a circus dog. The more intelligent a dog is the more they need their minds occupied. This breed cannot live outside in a kennel. They need to be part of the family. It is a very good watchdog for its size, seldom becoming aggressive. Poodles are friendly with other dogs and non-canine pets. The Miniature Poodle is good for apartment life. They will be calm indoors if they receive enough exercise. They will do okay without a yard. They adore water and love sessions of play. They are a very versatile breed with a hunting and retrieving beginning although they excel in any performance event you offer them. Agility, obedience, Rally, Conformation showing and often one will leave one ring and go directly to another to compete again. Since they love water they are great dock diving dogs and love water retrieving.
The sizes of the official AKC recognized Poodle breeds are determined by height, not by the weight. The Miniature Poodle must be over 10 inches and 15 inches or less at the highest point of the shoulder. Any Poodle which is over 15 inches or is less than 10 inches at the highest point of the shoulders cannot compete in the AKC show ring as a Miniature Poodle.
The Poodle has been known throughout Western Europe for at least 400 years and is depicted in 15th century paintings and in bas-reliefs from the 1st century. The subject is controversial of where the dog was officially developed and no one really knows the breed’s true country of origin. France has taken a claim on the origin, but the AKC gives the honor to the Germans where they say it was used as a water retrieval dog. Other claims have been Denmark, or the ancient Piedmont. What is certain is that the dog was a descendant of the now extinct French Water Dog, the Barbet and possibly the Hungarian Water Hound. The name “Poodle” most likely came out of the German word “Pudel,” which means “one who plays in water”.The “Poodle clip” was designed by hunters to help the dogs swim more efficiently. They would leave hair on the leg joints to protect them from extreme cold and sharp reeds. The hunters in Germany and France used the Poodle as a gun dog and as a retriever of waterfowl and to sniff out truffles laying underground in the woods. The French started using the breed as a circus performer because of the dog’s high intelligence and trainability. The breed became very popular in France, which led to the common name “French Poodle”, but the French people actually called the breed the “Caniche,” meaning “duck dog. The Toy and Miniature Poodle varieties were bred down from larger dogs, today known as Standard Poodles. In the 18th century smaller poodles became popular with royal people. The three official sizes are the Toy, Miniature and Standard Poodle. They are considered one breed and are judged by the same written standard but with different size requirements.