by Lee Dobbins
The Toy Poodle is one of the smartest dog breeds and, although it's exact origins are unknown, it is France that this breed is most closely associated with. Drain down from the standard poodle, the Toy Poodle was a favorite of 18th-century royalty.
A member of the American Kennel Club Toy Group, the Toy Poodle weighs between 6 and 9 pounds and is up to 10 inches tall. This can be very long-lived breed if given the appropriate care and may live longer than 15 years.
This dog is elegant in stature with its curly coat that can be groomed in different styles, but the most familiar being one which includes poofs of hair around the ankles and head. The ears are long and flat hanging down next to the head and the eyes are dark and almond shaped within alert expression. The tail is typically docked and can also have a big poof at the ends depending on the way the dog is groomed. The quintessential show dog, the Toy Poodle has a spring like gait when moving and comes in any number of solid colors.
The Toy Poodle is extremely intelligent and one of the easiest dogs to train, although he is a bit sensitive and of course you will want to use positive training with this breed. They love to be with people and have a perky and pleasant personality. Some bloodlines, however, may be highly strong and timid. They do need to be socialized from an early age and can tend to be excessive barkers if not trained properly in this area.
Toy poodles can suffer from runny eyes, ear infections, hearing disorders and skin conditions as well as problems with the digestive tract. Some may fall victim to Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia or PRA.
The Toy Poodle does not need excessive exercise, but it does need to go for walk every day. They can make great apartment dogs if they are trained not to be barkers.
This breed should have its coat clipped every six weeks and does need to be bathed regularly. It is important to keep the eyes clean and check the years and clean them frequently. Like most small dogs, they can have dental problems so the teeth need to be brushed regularly and will require periodic de-scaling. The Toy Poodle sheds very little.
This breed of dog has perhaps the most interesting array of grooming styles. There are three basic styles, the pet clip which has the hair clipped rather short over the entire body. And the English Saddle and Continental clips which have different variations where the rear half of the dog is shaved and pom-poms are left on the ankles, tail and hips.
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