So I go almost everywhere with Nickel and have met/talked with a bunch of people who are familiar with poodles, e.g. two well-known groomers in town who specialize in poodles, specialized pet food store owner who owns poodles, etc. And they all seem to conclude that minis are smarter than toys. They all say that toy poodles are still smarter than most of other breeds but they are just slower in learning when compared to minis and spoos. I am just wondering how true that statement is. Just curious.
Well, if Poppy is slow, I don't think I could keep up with anything faster! Perhaps people just expect less of toys, seeing them as permanent babies? Poppy learns extremely fast, and then tries to improve upon it - "Hey, if I jump over the stick I get a treat! Look, I've jumped three times, do I get more treats? Look, I can do it backwards! Like me to try with one paw tied behind my back?" and so on!
I think toys are every bit as smart as minis. I owned mini poodles over the years from the late 1960's. They were fabulous dogs. Five years ago I got my first toy, because I really liked the breeder, and I had recently lost my mini to immune mediated hemolytic anemia. Beau is as smart as any mini I ever owned. He's such a great dog that I got another toy from the same breeder two years ago. I think fjm has it 100% correct. If you don't train your dog, you'll never see how bright it is.
I've heard the oposite... that toys are smarter than minis. Who knows.
I do know, however, that Tate is quite smart. Outwardly smart as well as sneaky smart. He is quick to learn as well as quick to find a tricky way to get one more treat, or make it up to where the treats are. I suppose a better word for him overall would be clever. Aren't poodles great?
Seems to me nature and nurture combine to create "smarts." I agree expectations and training (especially started early) are key factors in helping to shape and foster a dog's intelligence. I probably shouldn't admit it, but Chagall is way smarter than me and he's a mini, so if toys turn out to be smarter than the minis, I wouldn't qualify to own one. But boy, I sure would love to! When I'm in my 80's and 90's it would be good to have dog I can easily lift and bathe. And I have every intention of having a poodle (any size) until I take my last breath.