The Toy Poodle is a member of the AKC Toy Group. This smallest poodle has become a very popular pet and able competitor in the show ring, and no disgrace to its larger Poodle kin in achieving obedience titles. Toy Poodles, in the opinion of one breed expert, are somewhat like cats: "They can take you or leave you." Small the Toy Poodle may be, but it still shares much of the versatility of the Standard and the Miniature.
Both the Standard and the Miniature varieties are much older then the Toy Poodle of today. Even though poodles under 10 inches have been known for centuries, the Toy Poodle we have now is really a creation of recent decades. American poodle breeders, working with some excellent Miniatures, gradually produced a Toy Poodle of much better quality than the odd-looking assortment of so-called toys of earlier days. Achieving a small size without sacrificing the unique attributes of the true Poodle, a group of dedicated breeders literally made the Toy Poodle a small image of the stately Standard and the popular Miniature.
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Toy Poodles are ideal city dogs for small-quarters living, and are also very suitable for those who travel a lot. They are small enough to be carried on the lap or under the arm. They require less food, exercise, housing, and preparation, and they become devoted companions. Everything about them is dainty, petite and showy. If you have children in your family, don't buy a Toy Poodle. A Toy Poodle is fun and loves to play, but it just isn't built strong enough to stand roughhousing with kids. Sooner or later it will either get hurt, turn shy or begin to defend himself and turn nippy. Miniature Poodles mix better with kids. Bruce Fogle, DVM, a noted canine behaviorist, warns that Toy poodles may not be the easiest breed to house train, ranking them far below the Miniature and the Standard Poodles and below the all-breed average.
All three varieties of Poodle suffer some of the drawbacks that often come with being popular over a long span of time. Health problems seen in this breed include: Patellar luxation; Autoimmune hemolytic anemia; Cryptorchidism; Deafness; Diabetes mellitus; Distichiasis; Entropion; Epilepsy; Familial macrocytosis and dyshematopoiesis; Familial non-spherocytic hemolytic anemia; Glaucoma; Growth hormone-responsive and adrenal sex-hormone dermatoses; Hyperadrenocorticism; Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia; Legg-Calve-Perthes disease; Microphthalmia; Mitral valve disease; Optic nerve hypoplasia; Patent ductus arteriosus; Progressive retinal atrophy; Sebaceous adenitis; Hydrocephalus; Tracheal collapse;
Cataracts; Congenital hypotrichosis; Corneal dystrophy; Retinal dysplasia; and Tetralogy of Fallot. A Toy Poodle must be purchased from a knowledgeable breeder to increase the odds of getting a quality, healthy pet.