I am currently looking into adopting a dog, and since I live in a small house with kids, I thought a poodle was a great choice. That’s when I found out poodles are bred in a variety of sizes. I had to do some research to find out what was the best size for my family. This article outlines my findings. Hopefully, it helps you out, too.
Are toy, teacup, and mini poodles the same? Toy, teacup, and miniature poodles are the same breed of dog, but they are not the same size. They are the three smallest sizes of poodles and vary in weight, height, and potential lifespan.
Read on to find out more about the sweet and loyal poodle. Below, we’ll discuss the differences in the size of poodles (as well as how to know what size you have), good lifestyles for each size, and talk about the breed itself.
History of Toy, Teacup, And Mini Poodles
Toy, teacup, and miniature poodles are all the same breed. They were simply bred selectively over time to be different sizes.
It took hundreds of years for the breed to evolve into the three sizes recognized by the American Kennel Association (AKC). These sizes are the standard poodle, miniature poodle, and toy poodle (in descending size).
Recently, however, many breeds are being bred even smaller, and the poodle is no exception. Teacup poodles—or poodles that can fit in a teacup—are usually about the size of a can of soda when they are full-grown. This size of poodle is not recognized by the AKC.
Regardless of size, poodles are a popular breed in the USA, and for good reason.
How To Know What Kind Of Poodle You Have
If you already have a poodle, you might already know their size and family history. However, if you have a rescue, you might not know if they are a miniature, toy, or teacup size. That’s what we’ll cover here.
As I mentioned above, the smallest poodle varieties include the miniature, toy, and teacup. There are several factors that separate these poodles and help you distinguish which variety you may have. The chart below will help you figure out where your pet falls in size as well as how long they might live (on average).
This chart is a great guideline for figuring out what kind of poodle you have, but keep in mind unless you know about their pedigree and family history, it’s not always easy to figure out.
||Miniature Poodles||Toy Poodles||Teacup Poodles|
|Height (Inches)||11-15 in.||9-10 in.||6-8 in.|
|Weight (Pounds)||15-17 lbs.||6-9 lbs.||2-4 lbs.|
|Average Lifespan||12-15 Years||11-15 Years||10-14 Years|
The Weight On The Chart Vs. The Weight Of Your Poodle
You might have noticed there is a gap of a few pounds between the three small sizes of poodles. This is because the weight of a poodle in healthy ranges falls into these categories, but it’s less common for them to be heavier. This could be for any of three reasons.
Your Poodle’s Gender Might Have Something To Do With It
According to experts, male poodles are usually larger than females—especially when it comes to how much they weigh. This is because (similarly to humans), males have a different body composition (like more muscle tone).
Check out this article I wrote on the differences between male and female poodles. In it, you’ll discover more about how each gender’s physical traits and temperaments vary, and ultimately, which gender is best for your family.
If you’d prefer to play it safe, take some advice from the next section and check in with your vet.
Your Poodle Might Be Overweight
If your pet is heavier than it should be based on the chart, don’t panic. First, be honest with yourself. Is your pup obviously overweight?
If you are unsure, consult with your vet to make sure your pet is a healthy weight. If your pup gets the all-clear, there is nothing to worry about.
However, if your poodle is overweight, your vet might suggest more exercise and/or less food. Remember: don’t make these changes on your own; always talk to your vet about your pet’s dietary needs. They can give you some professional advice on how to proceed.
Your Poodle Might Have Parents Of Different Sizes
If your pet is heavier than others in their size class, but it is still healthy according to the vet, your dog might also fall between weight classes because they have parents of two different sizes.
For example, if your poodle’s parents were a miniature poodle and a toy poodle, it’s possible for your pet to be a hybrid in one particular trait—such as height, eye color, or fur color. The same goes for weight. This means your dog’s weight is simply due to genetics.
If your pet poodle weighs more or less than their size recommends, it might be due to their gender, being overweight (or underweight), or have parents of different sizes. Just because your poodle weighs more or less than they are supposed to doesn’t mean there is cause for worry, but if you think there’s something wrong, check with your trusted vet.
The Height On The Chart Vs. The Height Of Your Pet
Similarly to your dog’s weight, you might notice they can have a height that doesn’t correspond with their size class.
This might be due to their pedigree, which means their parents were different sizes or your pup carries genes making them taller or shorter than average. As we said before, if this is the case, there is nothing to worry about.
However, the difference in height could also be due to their upbringing and overall health. Sometimes factors lead them to stunted growth. Let’s get to the specifics.
Your Poodle Is Taller Than They Are Supposed To Be
If your miniature poodle is taller than average for its size (for instance), you shouldn’t worry.
Take other animals into consideration. Fish, for example, grow to fit their environment if they have the right nutrients in their diet. Your dog could be doing the same thing; they could be getting taller because they are healthy and thriving.
As long as they aren’t having trouble moving and don’t break bones easily, things should be fine; there’s no need to worry about your poodle’s height difference from the chart.
Your Poodle Is Shorter Than They Are Supposed To Be
If your miniature poodle is shorter than average for their size (for instance), you should take into account their overall health before you worry about them. While taller poodles are likely thriving due to their good health, it is possible shorter poodles are unhealthy.
For example, if your pet is in their formative years (up to two years of age), it’s vital they are getting the right food in the correct amounts, getting regular exercise or walks, and receiving proper treatment from the vet—including all necessary shots and medications.
Keep in mind these are important habits at any age, but if your dog doesn’t get these habits down in their formative years, it can affect their health and growth including their height.
Here are a few issues that can stunt a puppy’s growth:
- Parvo and intestinal viruses: viruses that affect the digestive tract interrupt a puppy’s eating habits can stunt their growth if they have the virus long enough. Parvo is one example of such viruses; parvo is particularly dangerous because it spreads so easily.
- Broken bones: Usually, when puppies break bones, they damage growth plates because they are still small. This can stunt their growth, later on, causing them to be shorter than they were supposed to be.
- Malnutrition: If your pet suffered malnutrition in their formative years, they are likely to have health troubles later on, and this can include being shorter than they’re supposed to be when compared to the chart.
Unless your pup has any of the above troubles (or did in the past), there’s probably no need to worry. If you have a rescue pup, keep in mind there could also be something they went through that you don’t know about. As always, if you have any concerns, be sure to discuss them with your vet.
If your poodle doesn’t fall into their respective height class, it could be because of their gender, pedigree, or health. Some poodles are a little taller or shorter than others, but it’s usually no call for alarm. If you have questions, be sure to consult your vet for proper advice.
The Average Lifespan Of Poodles
The lifespan of miniature, toy, and teacup poodles varies slightly. While miniatures can live for 12-15 years, toy poodles can live for an average of 11-15 years. Teacup poodles, however, live for between 10-14 years. To remember this, keep in mind larger poodles have longer lives.
However, you should note this is contingent on a variety of factors, including diet, exercise, and overall health.
You can, for example, give them different food, less food, or change their feeding schedule. You can also take them for more walks or longer ones. Playtime can be exercise, too!
While you can help change your poodle’s diet and exercise habits, sometimes you can’t change their overall health; sometimes, disorders or diseases they face are simply due to genetics (as is the case with things like diabetes and seizure disorders).
Below is a list of common health problems your poodle might face regardless of size:
- Cushing’s Disease: Cushing’s disease is one that target’s your pet’s adrenal gland, where tumors form and disrupt your pet’s normal functions. Lifelong medication and/or surgery might be required.
- Blindness: Blindness is common in poodles—especially older ones. You might notice your dog’s vision grows worse with old age.
- Diabetes: This is the same problem many humans might face as well. Altering your poodle’s diet and exercise regimen might help, but medications like insulin might be needed.
- Thyroid Problems: This is another common problem among poodles. The thyroid controls your dog’s metabolism, so if you notice sudden changes in their appetite or weight, it’s important to tell your vet.
- Epilepsy: Poodles of all sizes are prone to epilepsy, which is a seizure disorder. If your pup has seizures, be sure to get them checked out right away. There is medication available for epilepsy as well.
These illnesses and health troubles affect poodles of all sizes, but not every dog will have these—or any—ailments.
While not every poodle falls neatly into one size category (miniature, toy, or teacup-sized), this chart has guidelines as to the height, weight, and average lifespan of these precious pets. Keep in mind their gender, weight, overall health, and pedigree can all play a large part in their size.
Which Size Poodle Is Right For Me?
We’ve established smaller poodles like the miniature, toy, and teacup varieties all have good traits to look for in a pet—such as they are easy to train, are hypoallergenic, and are usually good with families—which is perhaps why they are such a popular breed of dog.
However, not every size is good for each owner. A lot of whether or not a certain dog will fit in with you and your family depends on your lifestyle and choices. We cover that below.
How To Tell If A Miniature Poodle Is Right For You
As we discussed earlier, miniature poodles are 11-15 inches tall, weigh 15-17 pounds full-grown, and live between 12-15 years on average.
If your lifestyle matches the following, a miniature poodle might be a good fit for you:
- You live in a small home: A small house is a good match for these dogs. An apartment might even be suitable because miniature poodles don’t take up a lot of space.
- You have small children: If you choose to adopt a poodle, your children are an important factor to consider. If they are rambunctious, you should probably pick a miniature poodle who is less fragile and heartier in general. Make sure both parties know limits!
- You want them to be recognized by the AKC: The American Kennel Club recognizes the miniature poodle. If this is important to you (for breeding or showing purposes, for example), then consider a miniature poodle.
- You enjoy outdoor activities: Miniature poodles love going on adventures, and parks excite them—especially when there’s a lake to swim in! Bring them along for a ride.
On the other hand, if you don’t have time to walk your dog to get them the exercise they need, you might consider avoiding a miniature poodle. They also happen to get pretty mischievous when they’re bored. You might consider interactive toys to remedy this problem.
These factors in your lifestyle should help you with your decision about which size poodle to adopt, but you might still have questions. Read on to learn about other sizes of these precious pets before deciding.
How To Tell If A Toy Poodle Is Right For You
We talked briefly about toy poodles at the beginning of this article, but let’s recap a little. Toy poodles are 9 or 10 inches tall when fully grown, weigh about 6-9 pounds, and live for 11-15 years. They are the middle-ground when it comes to size (at least in this article).
However, there are certain lifestyles that might make a toy poodle right for you. Here are a few examples:
- You live in a very small home: Toy poodles are a great fit for a small apartment or even a studio-style apartment. They don’t require much space at all!
- You enjoy bringing your pet when you travel: Toy poodles are easy to travel with than miniature ones; toy poodles can even fit in a carrier under a seat on an airplane if you opt to bring them along. Just make sure you know procedures and protocols before bringing them on an airline.
- You don’t have a lot of time for walks: Since toy poodles are so small, they need less exercise, so walks and playtime don’t take an exorbitant amount of time.
- Your home is warmer than most: Toy poodles are small enough that they get cold more easily. If your home is on the warmer side, this might be the smallest size poodle you should consider. Make sure they have a nice warm bed, too.
On the other hand, if you live in a cold climate (and don’t want to make your pup wear a sweater), a toy poodle isn’t recommended; they wouldn’t last in cold climates.
These are a few examples of reasons a toy poodle might be the right size dog for you. If you’re still curious about teacup-sized poodles, keep reading.
How To Tell If A Teacup Poodle Is Right For You
Earlier on, there was a chart about the sizes of different poodles. Teacups were the smallest size, coming in at 6-8 inches tall and weighing 2-4 pounds. They also live between 10-14 years, the shortest of lifespans for poodles.
There are certain lifestyles that work better for teacup poodles. Below are a few factors that, if they fit your lifestyle, might mean a teacup poodle is a good fit for you:
Other Teacup Poodle Considerations
Teacup-sized poodles (and other breeds for that matter), have a higher rate of illness than other dogs, making emergency vet bills a concern. Only get a teacup poodle if you can afford them—both for the purchase of the animal and their care costs.
Teacup poodles are the right choice for a very small group of pet owners, but if this sounds like you, you should consider adopting this tiny dog. They are quite cute!
Depending on a variety of factors, including your home, children, other pets, and travel, one size poodle might be a good fit for you. If your lifestyle fits for a certain size dog more than another, you should definitely take this into account before you adopt a furry friend of the poodle variety.
Are Poodles Expensive?
Poodles are an expensive breed to purchase mainly because they are so popular; it’s the old principle of supply and demand. It’s an unfortunate scenario on many accounts because this can lead to overpopulation of the breed, inbred poodles, and too many poodles in shelters after time.
If you want to get your dog directly from a breeder, do your research. Make sure you trust your breeder and make sure they aren’t simply running a puppy mill (in which dogs are mistreated and simply seen as means of profit). Reliable, ethical breeders are those that don’t run puppy mills and truly care about the dogs they raise and socialize.
Sometimes you can find a poodle puppy for as little as $750, but that amount can climb to $3,500 if you are purchasing a smaller dog—despite the fact that the smallest dogs (like teacup-sized ones) are thought to be more prone to illness.
Here is a list of factors that might increase the cost of your poodle:
- The size: Smaller dogs are more expensive. Surprisingly enough, teacup poodles can go for upwards of $3,500 while miniatures start at $750 or so.
- Gender matters: If you purchase a female dog, you might have to shell out more cash. Female dogs are more desirable on the whole. On the other hand, you might get a good deal for a boy.
- Your dog’s purpose: If your dog is being purchased to be a pet, this will likely mean you’ll get a better deal. Some breeders mark up prices for dogs if you want to use them later to breed your own dogs.
- Pedigree: Purebred pups—or dogs whose breeders have proof of their poodle-only lineage—are generally more expensive than others. This is because if you choose to enter your new poodle in dog shows, they must be purebred.
- Other lineages: If your dog’s parents are well-known on dog shows, some breeders raise prices on the pups with the thought that the puppies might have the same traits as the parents, which might lead them to success.
Keep in mind purchasing a poodle is not the only expense you incur from becoming a pet owner. There are also regular vet bills and grooming costs as well as food and toys to pay for. This doesn’t take into account any medications they would need (such as heartworm prevention, flea/tick prevention, and any medicine related to illness).
Considering A Shelter Pet Cuts the Cost
If you are truly looking to cut costs for your new furry friend, you should consider rescuing a dog from a shelter.
Adopting a dog from a shelter can save you from the steep prices of purchasing a poodle as well as save a dog from a lonely and potentially deadly path through life. Adoption fees can be as little as $25 in select shelters. Sometimes fees can even be waived due to overcrowding.
Though you might not see a poodle right away at a shelter, it’s worth looking if it means you save a life. You can also consider adopting a mixed-breed dog; there are countless poodle-mixes available that are also largely popular.
Here are a few types of mixed-breed poodles:
- Maltipoos are crosses between a Maltese and a poodle.
- Shihpoos are a poodle mixed with a Shih Tzu.
- Yorkipoos are a mix of a Yorkshire Terrier and a poodle.
Check out this article I wrote on the 50 best Poodle mixes. In it, you’ll find pictures of some of the cutest, and most popular, Poodle crossbreeds available for your family today.
If you are dead-set on a poodle, you can also look online for pet adoption websites and filter results to include only poodles within a certain range of your residence. An example of a good adoption website can be found here. You can also set up email alerts on some websites like this, so you are the first to know about new adoptable poodles.
Though poodles are expensive pets if purchased instead of adopted, they are wonderful animals to have in your life.
Toy, teacup, and mini poodles, though the same breed, are all different in size. One size might be a better fit for you than another, and sometimes these pets don’t fall neatly into a “toy” or “miniature poodle” category. However, they all have the potential to make wonderful and loyal pets—as do mixed breeds.