Dog Breeds/Miniature Poodle

Miniature Poodles measure from 11 to 15 inches high at the shoulder and weigh between 15 and 17 pounds.

The Standard Poodles were in ancient Egypt and Rome, and originally herded numerous animals or retrieved birds from marshes.

While their exact lineage is controversial, "Poodle" derives from the Germanic "pudeln," roughly translating "to splash in water." The French call them Caniche, from chien canard or "duck dog."

The birthplace of Poodles as their own distinctive breed is thought to have taken place in France. Most believe the Miniatures and Toys were bred in the 1400s to amuse the Parisian bourgeoisie.

Poodles of all kinds were even used as Gypsy circus dogs and performed tricks while dressed in showy costumes with their coats trimmed in impressive shapes.

But those clipped shapes are historically traceable more to their original hunting purposes than for show. Their fur was shaved in certain body areas for greater mobility in the water, as well as to decrease snagging.

Also, the familiar ribbon tied into the Poodle's top knot was used for spotting and identifying the dog while in the water.

Miniatures, like other Poodles, are smart, real smart and are ranked no. 2 in dog intelligence, just behind the German Shepherd and just above the Border Collie.

They are ace when it comes to training and performance sports like hunting, obedience, and agility tests.

Though they project regal, they really aren't snobbish, and mingle rather gregariously and playfully among their human family.

They take longer to warm up to outsiders, however, and typically give a warning bark as strangers approach. Miniatures are highly trainable, and perform well in dog shows.

As smaller dogs, though, they tend to be cuddled more, and since they also bristle with energy, they particularly need obedience training to best focus that attention and energy so as to not think of themselves as alpha dogs and behave badly.

Like all Poodles, they are very easy to housebreak, and are athletic and agile. Because they, like others of their breed, tend to shed less than other dogs, they also cause fewer allergies.

Miniatures generally require to 1 cup of dry food twice daily. It is disputed whether they are more high-strung than their larger relatives. But they do tend to be more outdoor-oriented than the Standards.

They also live longer. Surveys suggest that the live 14 to 14.5 years (comparable to the Toys), with the leading cause of death as old age. In contrast, the median lifespan of Standards is 11.5 to 12 years.

So love, train and give proper care to a Miniature, and it will be a very loving, obedient pet for years to come.

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