Types of Poodles: Curly Canines From Standard to Toy

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Breeds By Meg Marrs 5 min read March 8, 2021 143 Comments

Types of poodles

Poodles are one of the most popular dogs in the US (The American Kennel Club lists them as the 7th most popular breed), and it is easy to see why: They are intelligent, affectionate, and enthusiastic pups, clad in an iconic curly coat. They typically become beloved family members in short order and they can live very long lives.

But not all poodles are created equally, and poodles come in a few different forms. The AKC recognizes three different types, but other registration agencies and poodle enthusiasts recognize two additional variations.

We’ll discuss each of these types, including a bit about their size and other interesting characteristics below.

The Five Basic Types of Poodle

The three AKC-recognized poodle types are listed first, while the last two are only recognized by poodle aficionados and a few other breed registries.

Note that the AKC regards all the three recognized variations as size variants of the same breed. By contrast, the UKC considers standard poodles a different breed than miniature and toy poodles.

1. Standard Poodle

types of poodles 2

The standard poodle is the largest form of the breed, and they stand at least 15 inches at the shoulder (most are between 20 and 23 inches tall) and weigh between about 45 and 80 pounds.

Although they are not that visually intimidating, standard poodles actually make pretty good guard dogs, as they are alert, brave, and protective of their owners.

2. Miniature Poodle

types of poodles 3

A mid-sized poodle by American standards, the miniature poodle is usually 11 to 15 inches tall and weighs 14 to 18 pounds. Although they are smaller than their standard counterparts, these pups have just as much personality, and they make great pets for families.

3. Toy Poodle

types of poodles 4

The tiny toy poodle is the smallest of the three AKC-recognized size variants, and weighs less than 10 pounds (usually between 6 and 9 pounds). They usually stand about 8 to 10 inches high at the shoulder, making them perfectly pint-sized. If you are looking for a loveable lap dog, it is hard to go wrong with a toy poodle.

4. Klein (Moyen) Poodle

types of poodles 5

Photo from Dog Mal

There are a ton of Klein poodles in the US, but they are not recognized by the AKC as a valid size variant. The UKC treats them much like standard poodles, with whom they compete in dog shows. Klein poodles are akin to small standard poodles, and most stand between 15 and 20 inches in height and weigh about 40 to 50 pounds.

5. Teacup Poodle

types of poodles 6

Photo from Pinterest

Teacup poodles are not recognized by most of the major breed registries; instead, they are an unofficial name breeders and poodle enthusiasts give to very small toy poodles.

There aren’t any clearly defined size guidelines for teacup poodles, but most dogs that enjoy the label are in the 5- to 7-pound range.

We don’t generally recommend purchasing teacup dogs, as they’re often bred to be un-naturally petite, and suffer from a multitude of health issues as a result. Make sure to do your research before considering a teacup dog!

Poodle Colors

Poodles come in a diverse array of colors and combinations thereof. While multi-colored pups can be very attractive, they are not permitted by the AKC, who demands that poodles be of one color (the UKC does allow for multi-colored poodles). This isn’t too important, unless you plan on showing your Poodle.

Additionally, there are several regulations concerning the color of the eyes, nose and feet, which vary based on the coat color.

Some of the most common poodle colors include:

  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Silver
  • Brown
  • White
  • Apricot
  • Cream
  • Cafe-au-lait

Poodle Care Basics

No matter which type of poodle you are considering, it is important to familiarize yourself with the type of care they will need. This includes understanding their personality, exercise needs and some of the common health concerns of the breed.


While the various poodles exhibit some differences in personality, they are all relatively similar. The first thing that jumps out to you about poodles is their considerable intelligence (they are typically listed among the ten most intelligent breeds). Poodles figure things out very quickly and are quite easy to train.

In fact, proper training is crucial for poodles, as they can run amok in your home if not provided with consistent, firm leadership and plenty to do. While they are usually gentle dogs, who won’t present the types of problems an untrained mastiff or Rottweiler may, you’ll be much happier with a poodle whose brain is occupied and who isn’t bored.

Poodles are quite affectionate with their families, and they are usually friendly with most strangers and unfamiliar dogs. Harsh treatment methods are not advisable with these sensitive dogs, and positive-reinforcement-based strategies work much better during training.

Poodle Exercise Needs

Poodles are more athletic than many people would suppose, and exercise is an important component of their care. They aren’t huskies, who must be given the opportunity to run to the horizon and back on a daily basis, but poodles do need the chance to run, jump, and play regularly.

A few long walks each day may suffice for some, but it is always better to – in addition to a solid walk – give your poodle a chance to chase a frisbee or a tennis ball for 20 minutes or so a day.

If at all possible, you should give your poodle a chance to swim regularly, as this provides them with a low-impact form of exercise, and – most importantly – poodles usually love swimming.

Poodle Grooming Needs

Poodles are famous for their fabulous coats, which are often cut in a number of different ways (see chart below). Some owners prefer their poodles to sport extravagant clips, such as the English Saddler or Continental cut, while others like simpler designs, such as the Teddy Bear or Kennel coat.

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Photo from TeacupDogDaily.com

Even if you do not wish to keep your poodle groomed like a show dog and clipped in one of the fancy ways these dogs are often maintained, you will need to care for your poodle coat very regularly – perhaps daily. Their hair must be brushed very often so that you can remove tangles and prevent mats from forming.

One thing is for sure: You will want to foster a good relationship with a skilled groomer upon becoming a poodle parent. You can groom them on your own, but most owners will find it preferable to have their pooch groomed professionally.

Poodle Health Concerns

Poodles are one of the longest-living breeds (particularly when considering the standard poodle, which lives for far longer than many other breeds of similar size). However, despite often living for 12 to 15 years, they are susceptible to a number of common health ailments.

Some of the most common include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (Bloat)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Several different eye disorders
  • Sebaceous Adenitis

No matter which type of poodle you find the most appealing, it is easy to see that they are all great dogs, with their own unique beauty.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with poodles of all sizes, so be sure to share your stories in the comments below!

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!


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I have a beautiful chocolate brown poodle from miniature parents. They were both 14-16 pounds and he is 26 pounds, taller then most small poodles but much smaller then standard. He was the giant of the litter. Is he a klein? Or a miniature?

Susie Conti

I have three beautiful female toy poodles…Luna is a pedigree cream colour and is 10inches at shoulder…Misu’ is a pedigree chocolate and white phantom type at 9inches at shoulder….Mali is a pedigree black and cream phantom type at 10inches at shoulder….All three are affectionate, smart, active and the Greatest Joy of my Life!!! Prior to having these three girls I had Chelsea a jet black girl.. 10inches at shoulder and Georgia a red girl at 9inches at shoulder….they were a marvellous pair and I’ll miss them always and dearly…they both died at Eighteen years old with all their teeth and beauty!! Poodles have become my life!! They are Everything that is good and fun about owning a canine!!! If you want to loved and licked to distraction and laugh daily and run about like a 20yr old (I’m now 75!) get a poodle!!!!
You will Never Regret it

Ben Team

They all sound fantastic, Susie! Thanks for sharing!


I have a moyen poodle. She is such a sweet heart. She has lots of energy. She is 2 years old. Loves to play keep away. Loves rides. Never had a poodle before. She is so different then our others were. So funny. If you have any games we can play let me know

Ben Team

She sounds like a great doggo, Bella!
Check out these training games that are fun and help teach your dog important skills!

Priscilla Martin

Hi I have a standard Poodle we call him Cooper. Cooper is a real catacture, he loves nothing better than go play fetch all day if we let him. He is also really mistchevious apt to go through bins taking whatever he fantasies.
He is smart too if his ball goes under the furniture he will try his best to get it mostly he succeeds.
For all his intelligence it took over 18 months to house train him was very stubborn where that was concerned we got there eventually that’s the main thing Being a poodle I thought he would be a fussy eater Cooper however will eat just about anything that was a surprise to me. He really loves a long walk /run He has a wonderful cheeky personality loves to sleep with me and I feel very protected with him Cooper is my best friend and I hope to have many more years with him.

Ben Team

Cooper sounds absolutely wonderful, Priscilla!
Thanks for sharing.


I found this page to be very informative. It has taught me a lot about poodles my baby girl is a standard with grayish black hair she’s so smart and loyal. I love both my twahuahua and my Poodle. They get along so good. Poodles are such kid friendly loving caring intelligent pets. They do require care because they don’t shed therefore it has to be cut at least 4-5 times a year or at least mine does but it’s all up to the owner how long or short they want their hair on their baby.


We got my daughter’s a Toy Poodle and any information I can get on them is greatly appreciated. Thank you and I would love to join this informative group.


I am looking to adopt a rescue. She was breeder surrendered and is absolutely darling. They are calling her a toy however she is only 5 lbs. The warning on the teacup has me worried. What should I ask? She is 6 years old and shy but warms up with time.

Ben Team

Hey, Li.
That’s tricky, as the rescue may not know a lot about her parents.
If possible, ask if they’ll provide contact info for the breeder. From that point, you could inquire about her parents and verify that they were not “teacups.”
Best of luck!


I had 3 Toy Poodles who were triplets from the same litter. One male and two females. My babies were “party” poodles. Probably not recognized by the AKC since I didn’t see the coloring listed. Two were silver with white markings and one black with tan marking. I adored them! Each had a different personality and funny things he/she did. They lived to be 15. The l6th year I lost all 3 to CHF (congestive heart failure). January, then October, and the last one in November of 2017. I still miss them so very much. If anyone is considering a Poodle, you can’t go wrong. Just love them and appreciate everyday God has blessed you.

Margaret C Talcott

My mom has a Royal Standard who is the life of the party and has *everything* figured out at home and beyond. He’s a smarty for sure and very loving. I myself have a Labradoodle who’s a goof, an absolute love, a total princess, and just as smart as a purebred poodle! She’s my first foray into poodledom as I’ve usually owned chihuahuas and pugs. My mom, on the other hand, is a poodle enthusiast, having had many a teacup and miniature before getting her first royal standard six years ago. He unfortunately suffers from epilepsy but does well on his medication.

Such wonderful dogs!

Carolyn Bauerle

I’m searing for a red toy poodles, both parents being toys. I live in Maryland. Can you help.

Debbie Ray

Thank you for the information on Poodles, mine passed away 2 weeks ago and I am getting a new one in a few weeks and this information is going to really help to me training and giving my new puppy a great life!

Ben Team

Glad we could help, Debbie! Best of luck!


Looking for tiny toy parti poodle!

Sue mahla

This article is so wrong! There are 3 just 3 sizes of poodles. Toy, Miniature and Standard. People who say otherwise are not telling the truth about poodles and I’ve had poodles since I was a kid in 1966. There is no such teacup poodle or any other breed it is a way to unscrupulous breeders to sell their puppies for a lot of money. Teacup size poodles and other breeds are runts and have health problems.

Ben Team

Hi, Sue.
I’m guessing you just skimmed the headings and didn’t read the supporting paragraphs.
We literally say “Teacup poodles are not recognized by most of the major breed registries; instead, they are an unofficial name breeders and poodle enthusiasts give to very small toy poodles.”
But many people use the term, so we want to write about it to help our readers out!
Similarly, we explain that the Klein poodle is recognized in some places but not by the AKC.
Thanks for your comments.


I’m looking for a red/apricot standard poodle. I’ve looked fir a rescue for years. Please contact me if you know of any. Red 720-329-9844

Marla Corder

Where are you located? I’m in Harrison, Ar. This message is for the lady that now has her moms dog. Her mother passed away and she has puppies from her dog and her mom’s dog. I thought this msg would show up under her post. Thank you!

Sandra Angus

Very helpful information

Louanne L Sack

We own a Black and White 2 yr. old male Teacup Poodle. He is a blessing to our family. Our little fur baby loves to dance, and is extremely friendly with other dogs and people. He weighs about 8lbs., but isn’t too keen on getting wet during bath time…..lol !

Erdie Allsup

I have my 3rd Standard Poo. He is a gorgeous black and white male named General Beauregard. He is the best companion I have ever had.

Linda Ayers

I love poodles and have been blessed to have had many over my 72 years. I currently have a darling little chocolate brown toy-poodle who is 16 years old. She has been blind for the past year, but still seems glad to be with us. Poodles are the absolute BEST !!!

Holly Corbett

This description of Poodle sizes and colors is just awful!!!!
The Parent Clubs of each breed,in this case,
The Poodle Club of America,write ,change and update their breed standards as needed.
Those copies are then presented to the AKC for approval.if changes are approved,those updated written breed standards are then sent to all AKC licenced judges.

Ben Team

Hey there, Holly.
Not sure what triggered your all-caps yelling, but the AKC is literally a breed registry.
At any rate, thanks for reading.

Margaret Stiger

Iam looking for female poodle. Toy or teacup.

Dina Yates

Looking for a miniature poodle – Ours got run over and we are devastated – My husband has been in hospital and had a tumor that is meligant – We are so lost without our little fur baby – He had the cutest little bear face.


I am very interested in a teacup poodlepoodle


I currently have two poodles a toy and a mini. Toupee and Smokey my very first dog was a poodle and even though they all had their own personalities they also had their own uniqueness. Can’t go wrong with poodles.

Brian Lamberts

Short of getting run over by a car, GDV is the worst thing that can happen to a dog. Standard Poodles have a 1 in 20 chance of Gastic Dialation and Volvulus. Great Danes are even higher chance. Gastroplexy, tacking the stomach to the chest wall, reduces the likelihood (tho doesn’t completely eliminate it.) It’s a procedure that is relatively inexpensive and easy if done during spaying or neutering when the dog is anesthetized anyway. A dog is a major investment, not just in money but in emotions, and having lost one 3 year old Standard Poodle, I can attest to how expensive and heart breaking it is. All my dogs get Gastroplexy. It’s worth the extra $500 or so.

Loretta Mart

I have a toy Poodle named Buddy he is 11 years old and very smart …
Great dog for kids and for me a great companion. I talk to him like an adult and he must understand cause he minds me


Looking for a Standard poodle pup or rescue.


My Standard JACK has been my best friend for 14 years. He still loves the dog run, playing ball n frisbee. Hr is an alpha but hes called the sheriff at the dog run because he keeps the peace and breaks up any arguments by body slamming. Hes funny hes my joy.


My Standard JACK has been my best friend for 14 years. He still loves the dog run, playing ball n frisbee. Hr is an alpha but hes called the sheriff at the dog run because he keeps the peace and breaks up any arguments by body slamming. Hes funny hes my joy.

Diane Carter

I had s 4 lb poodle for 18 years she was the best little thing anybody could have.Didn’t want to give her up but her wings were ready just not me.

Ben Team

Sorry about your pooch, Diane. She sounds like she was wonderful though.
Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Brandy Weiss

I love my standard poodle ROXY! She is by far the best dog we have ever adopted. Best family dog. So very very smart.

Brandy Weiss

I love my standard poodle ROXY! She is by far the best dog we have ever adopted. Best family dog. So very very smart.

Michelle Wright

I have a poodle great dogs inteligent relates to commands very well good listerner.Soft cuddly and very loyal protecting lovable doggies.thnx Scoobs❤

Barbara Sandlin

We had a 3 pounder that was amazing. She was supposed to be my dog but my husband could do anything with her but she turned into kugo with me. She travelled with us everywhere. We were given a pocket if change to buy a Whole Dog. Her name was Kline Schuzza spelling changed to protect the innocent. Meaning “Little Shit” unfortunatly had a stroke at age 12. We have had poodles since 1989. Love em

Clare Coram

My poodle passed 2yrs ago.
I want to adopt another one now… I think I’m ready. She was the best baby girl. I miss my Penny Lane everyday.

kelley pedranti

Want a teacup poodle white

Greysy Young

I don’t have a site.Luved Urs on G. I am Hospice Nrs,Ret.Im 58, looking for a Moyen Pup or young. Hope U see this 🙂 & I hear from you.

Gina Nicolas

I have a 4 yr Male maltipoo white I need to get him a mate to get some babies before I get him fixed if intrested send me a message thru here thanks

maria batteate

I have 4 pitbulls and one Standard female Parti poodle.
She tug a wars all day long with the pit bulls and very often wins and pranced away very proud lol.
Shes very smart but unaware shes not a Pit.
She definitely gives the other dogs a run for their money!


Red is not listed as a common Poodle color. Is red interchanged with Apricot? My friend gave me a poodle for a gift. He said it was a miniature red poodle. However, the papers are checked apricot .

Lori rowe

They have pahtom colored poodles I have a miniature poodle and her mom’s a phantom which is tan colored that can be on the legs and tail but her dad is apricot but she has some colors like her mom but black as she got older and she’s 11 years old now.

Roger Schultz

We have a red standard, six months old. We love her very much but have not found her easy to train. Is this because she is so young? She has begun to bark excessively and we don’t know what to do. Although she loves to be near us and especially to tug and fetch she is not particularly affectionate. She”s smart all right–especially mischievous. We love her and don’t know what we’d do without her. Could use some advice.

Denise Dargan

Looking for toy poodle female reasonable price

Linda Dorado

I have an 18 year old toy poodle who is still going strong. I have had poodles my whole life love them.


I love my puppy Haha she is a poodle as a baby


Teddy my toy poodle turned 13 yo today. He is very smart, loves to take walks, Chase balls and stuffed toys. He is very loving and friendly. Best dog!


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