Miniature Poodle vs. Toy Poodle: Which is Better For You? 

If you love small dogs, then I recommend you choose between the Miniature and Toy Poodle.

But, before you do, it’s important to know the difference first. While they’re both small, there are some benefits both can bring into your home. To help you, today we’re going to compare the two side by side to understand them better.

Miniature Poodle Vs. Toy Poodle: Which Is Better For You? 
Toy Poodles have a bigger popularity in the US than their Miniature Poodle cousins

Size comparison (height and weight)

I get it; it might be confusing looking at both Poodle names, thinking which is the smaller breed? After all, Miniature and Toy are both small in general. To help clear up confusion, let’s compare their measurements.

Toy Poodle24-28cm / 9.5inch-11 inches 1-3kg / 4-6lbs
Miniature Poodle25-38cm / 10-15 inches5-9kg / 12-20lbs

As you can see, the Toy Poodle tends to be a lot smaller and weigh less than the Miniature Poodle. Both breeds are great for apartment dwellers, but Toy Poodles are maybe a bit yappier than a Miniature. 

Temperament comparison

Personality can be a big factor when looking to buy a dog. While the Miniature and Toy Poodle do come from the same family, there are some slight differences. 

Miniature Poodle And A Toy Poodle

Toy Poodle

First of all, the Toy Poodle is a fantastic breed to bring into your home if you have kids. They’re full of energy and love to play with kids; however, they should play with slightly older children. Due to their small size, they can easily get hurt. 

However, they’re a highly intelligent breed which means they’re easy to train and learn quickly. They’re also good watchdogs; they love to bark, growl, snap and are slightly anxious around strangers. To avoid all of this, it’s best if you socialize them from an early age.

Miniature Poodle

A Miniature Poodle is a breed that’s always alert and is trying to please you. They’re also a dog breed that can easily adapt to other animals in your home; they’re generally quite peaceful. 

Miniature Poodles are also a confident breed that often walks around like a member of royalty. They do hold a lot of similarities to the Toy Poodle, one of which is that they love to play. Unlike the Toy Poodle, they love to play and can play with any family member in your home. 

Exercise & living needs

Miniature Poodles

If you don’t have much time on your hands, then you might want to own a Toy Poodle. Regarding exercise, a Toy Poodle should have 60 minutes of exercise a day. This is often best done split into sessions through games, playtimes, and walks. 

On the contrary, the Miniature Poodle requires a bit more exercise, often one or two walks, and vigorous playtime each day. This breed also requires a lot of mental stimulation like Kong toys, Tug of War, hide and seek, and more. If they don’t get enough mental stimulation, they could develop self destructive behaviors like chewing on your furniture or crying. 

Both types of Poodle love playing and exercising in dog parks, as long as they’re kept away from large dogs. 


Poodles, in general, tend to be a hypoallergenic (a low shedding) dog breed. This means they’re less likely to trigger allergies in pet owners. There’s not much difference in the grooming requirements of a Toy Poodle or Miniature Poodle, though. Both dog breeds are renowned for their soft, thick curly coat. 

Their coat needs to be brushed daily to stop it from matting and causing a potential infection. Many people choose to take their Poodles to professional groomers to trim their coats to make things easier. 

Similarly, their ears should be checked once a week to see if there’s any dirt, bacteria, or moisture is trapped inside. Pet owners should clean their ears with tissue or cotton swab. 

Lifespan comparison 

Toy Poodle

Owing a Poodle is a life changing experience; they become part of your family and a member you never want to leave your side. However, just like our lives, a Miniature and Toy Poodle will eventually pass away. 

This is why lifespan is an important factor to look for when buying a Poodle.

On average, a Toy Poodle can live 12-15 years, whereas a Miniature Poodle can live between 13-15 years.

Do note that these are just average figures and they can change slightly based on their lifestyles, such as their food, diet, exercise, health conditions, and more. 

If you plan on owning either Poodle breed, you should be aware of their health problems to allow them to live as long as possible. 

Toy Poodle

The Toy Poodle can have the following health problems: 

  • Epilepsy: As mentioned above, it’s a condition that can cause seizures, and lifelong medication is needed.
  • Ear infections
  • Addison’s disease: This is a rare disorder where a Toy Poodle’s adrenal glands do not produce enough cortisol or aldosterone.
  • Heart disorders

It’s not always guaranteed that these dogs will face such health problems, but to rule out, you should always take them for veterinary checkups twice a year. 

Miniature Poodle

The Miniature Poodle may have the following health problems:

  • Cataracts: A cloud-like film develops in front of the Miniatures eyes, causing vision difficulties and blindness. Treatment is normally required, which is surgery.
  • Diabetes: A condition where a Miniature Poodle’s pancreas can overproduce insulin or produce too little. Treatment usually involves daily insulin injections.
  • Epilepsy: This is a neurological condition that occurs in dogs that causes seizures. Treatment normally involves lifelong medication.

If you want to read more about the health of the Miniature Poodle, make sure you check out our more in depth article.

Which is better for you? 

Regarding the two different types of Poodle, it can be a subjective topic on which is better. Both breeds require the same amount of grooming and exercise. 

There are slight differences in their temperament; the Toy Poodle tends to be better with older kids and has guard dog tendencies. At the same time, a Miniature Poodle is great with humans of all ages. 

They do have a slight independent attitude acting like royalty. Finally, in terms of health problems, they’re slightly similar; they don’t have too many. 

Ultimately, I can’t tell you which type of Poodle breed is better. To get an idea for yourself, you might want to consider adopting a breed for the weekend to see how it fits in with your lifestyle. 

You could also visit a breeder to see them in person, to see which one you’re drawn to the most.

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Marko Is the Founder and Director of Marketing at PoodleHQ. He is a proud owner of 3 generations of poodles, a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores animals of all shapes and sizes!

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