You’ve probably heard the term “teacup” Poodle. But what is it? Is it a real kind of dog or just a runt? Poodles come in several sizes according to the various kennel clubs, but what is a teacup Poodle? Here’s the scoop.
The Poodle has been around for at least 400 years and comes from Germany where he was used as a water retrieving dog. His curly, single layer coat made him a good choice for water work. He is probably related to other water dogs such as the Portuguese Water Dog and possibly the Irish Water Spaniel, as well as a breed known as the Barbet. Poodles became popular in France as companions, truffle hunters, circus performers, and for other jobs. Their great intelligence has always kept them busy and popular.
Poodles come in a wide variety of colors: white, black, gray, silver, brown, silver beige, apricot, red, cream and sable. They can even be brindle, phantom, or parti-colored. Poodles have a single layer coat which sheds very little and they are considered one of the best breeds for people with allergies. Poodles are often crossed with other breeds to produce “doodle” breeds, in the hope that the offspring won’t shed.
Poodles are known as one of the most intelligent of all breeds and they are very easy to train. They need training and regular exercise. Otherwise, with their intelligence, they can get into trouble. They are very energetic dogs and they need plenty of exercise and activity. They can be taught to do almost anything.
Most people with Poodles, regardless of size, keep their dogs in a pet cut of some kind. Professional groomers can make your dog look good if you take your dog to the groomer about every 6 to 8 weeks. If you would like a more formal look, there are several different Poodle clips, including the show grooming styles, but they require quite a bit of intensive grooming work.
According to the American Kennel Club, the Canadian Kennel Club, the Kennel Club in Britain, and most other kennel clubs in the world, Poodles come in three sizes: the Standard Poodle, the Miniature Poodle, and the Toy Poodle. The AKC standard states that the Standard Poodle includes dogs that are over 15 inches tall at the shoulder. The Miniature Poodle covers dogs that stand between 10 and 15 inches tall at the shoulder. And Toy Poodles are dogs that stand up to 10 inches tall at the shoulder. The other kennel clubs have similar size descriptions for the three Poodle varieties.
However, the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which is the ruling dog show body for many European and other countries, includes another Poodle variety size between the Miniature and Standard Poodle. It is the Medium Poodle and the dogs stand 14 too 18 inches tall at the shoulder.
According to all of these kennel clubs, the smallest size Poodle is the Toy Poodle which is smaller than 10 inches at the shoulder. Weights are not given in these breed standards but they should be in accordance with the height of the dog.
There is no real lower limit on how small a Poodle may be. Toy Poodles are generally very small little dogs and weigh around 6 to 9 pounds. For the show ring the condition and proportion of the dog are more important than the dog’s weight.
Teacups and Tiny Toy Poodles
There are charts online which claim that Poodles that weigh 2 to 4 pounds are “teacup” Poodles; and Poodles between 4.5 and 6 pounds are “tiny Toys.” These terms have no official meanings according to the major kennel clubs or Poodle breed clubs. They are simply terms used by some breeders to sell very small dogs.
Health problems with very small dogs
So-called “teacup” dogs, or extremely tiny dogs, are also found in other Toy breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers. Unfortunately, dogs that are bred to be smaller than normal Toy-sized dogs often have more health problems than usual. The size of their internal organs can be very small and in some cases there can be congenital problems with the organs. The organs may not work properly, be pushed together, or not function correctly as the dog begins to grow. Very tiny or “teacup” Poodles and other dogs often have shorter lives than other Toy dogs.
Teacup Poodles and other very tiny Toy dogs can also be subject to more injuries and accidents than other Toy dogs because of their small size. Frankly, they get stepped on and sat on a lot. They can easily be crushed and injured by children during play, too.
Poodles, especially Toy and Miniature Poodles, are normally long-lived dogs who can expect to live 15-17 years but this does not include teacup Poodles who often have an abnormally shorter lifespan. Where health and long life are concerned, smaller isn’t better.
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.