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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!
I have been researching a lot and it seems that a miniature poodle is the right choice for me, based on general sturdiness/activity level/stamina and my goals of hiking and long walks. I have to fly for most hiking trips, so it would be extra fantastic if the adult dog could fit under the seat in an airplane. That means about 11”, which is obviously on the small side of the standard.
In looking around at breeder websites and sports websites, it seems like many breeders are aiming for the higher end of the standard. Does anyone have any estimates of how common it is to have a small size puppy in a litter? Am I chasing a unicorn here or is this achievable with patience?
I totally understand that predicting a puppy’s final height is not an exact science, so I am prepared for this to not work out. It’s just on my list of “would be nice if...” A mini that is larger than 11” still seems like the best choice for me, and I have found a breeder who ticks all my boxes (Safranne) so I’m just curious if this is a reasonable criteria.
Thank you to every person who contributes to the forum. I have been reading and reading and reading. It’s really an invaluable resource for all things poodle, and has helped me so much to prepare for a poodle.
 

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I wonder if you might find it helpful to extend your search to include large toys - the right size, and just as robust as a small mini, and may be easier to find. Many toy breeders aim for the top end of the size range, so well bred toys often go a little oversize.
 

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No, your not chasing a unicorn. One of our first playdates was with a Mom who specifically searched for a small standard male poodle who is topping out around 35# (15.8kg). Basil is 42# (19kg) on a good day. Our other Spoo friend is a big boned girl around 53# (24kg).

If size is important then just be upfront. "I'm looking for a small mini or large toy".
 

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Sally Ciriola of MiVida Poodles ((San Diego) mentioned she plans to have a small mini litter later this year. Regular minis are $4,000 and toys are $5,000. She may know of someone else breeding small minis. I have a toy now. While on her wait list for a mini, she took the initiative to let me know of a toy available from a New Orleans breeder for $5,000. I'm going to be picking up my mini from Sally in 2 or 3 weeks. She does have a wait list. I waited 6 months.
 

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Sally Ciriola of MiVida Poodles ((San Diego) mentioned she plans to have a small mini litter later this year. Regular minis are $4,000 and toys are $5,000. She may know of someone else breeding small minis. I have a toy now. While on her wait list for a mini, she took the initiative to let me know of a toy available from a New Orleans breeder for $5,000. I'm going to be picking up my mini from Sally in 2 or 3 weeks. She does have a wait list. I waited 6 months.
Wow! Those prices are really high! I certainly hope that for those prices the genetic background is totally clear of hereditary problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I did originally think that a large toy was the way to go, in order to meet the airline requirement for riding in the cabin. As I did more research I ran into a lot of people observing that even large toys were built more lightly than minis, and it seemed like the energy and stamina level of a toy was not as compatible with hiking (10-15 miles) as that of a mini.
I did also identify a great toy breeder (Temple City) but her FAQ section indicates an average of about 7.5# and 10”. That is actually what originally made me start looking more closely at what size is best suited for my home.
I am looking at breeders who don’t dock tails, which obviously limits options a lot, but that is a hard requirement for me.
Maybe I am wrong about the build and stamina of toys? I don’t mind carrying a dog for part of a hike, but I would prefer that to be for a small part and not on every hike. Do all of you feel a large toy is not too delicate for longer hikes? That would certainly solve my airplane issue.
 

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Sally does not dock tails Or remove dew claws.

Of course you want a clear genetic background but, as you may know, you can also ruin a dog by allowing it to engage in physical activity before its joint and bones can handle such activity. For example, no jumping or long walks before a certain age, etc. Good luck with your hunt and happy hiking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sally Ciriola of MiVida Poodles ((San Diego) mentioned she plans to have a small mini litter later this year. Regular minis are $4,000 and toys are $5,000. She may know of someone else breeding small minis. I have a toy now. While on her wait list for a mini, she took the initiative to let me know of a toy available from a New Orleans breeder for $5,000. I'm going to be picking up my mini from Sally in 2 or 3 weeks. She does have a wait list. I waited 6 months.
Oh that’s great! I will add her to my list. Those prices are quite a bit more than other breeders I am seeing, but it’s not a dealbreaker. I assumed she docked because she shows, so that is super information.
No worries, all exercise will be following correct development guidelines. The last thing I want to do is ruin a dog’s structure by doing too much too soon.
 

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Finding a quality undocked mini will be harder than finding a small one because they're going to have to be breeders that don't show in AKC conformation. I'd look at breeders that show in UKC and performance breeders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Finding a quality undocked mini will be harder than finding a small one because they're going to have to be breeders that don't show in AKC conformation. I'd look at breeders that show in UKC and performance breeders.
That part has been very challenging, and it made me start looking at papillons because it seemed so impossible. Temple City for toys and Safranne for minis, and now MiVida as well, have given me hope that I can find an undocked poodle. Once I found the two breeders I started flip flopping back and forth between a large toy and a small mini, and that is why I wanted to get some input on the likelihood of a small mini.
 

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@fjm has a very active senior toy poodle

Fjm, what was Poppy doing in her younger years?
Five miles in hilly country was about my limit - we aimed to average 3 miles a day when Poppy was well. But Sophy, my papillon, would happily do more - I know a dog walker whose papillons averaged 8-10 miles a day. I think 10-15 miles might be pushing it even for a small mini without very careful conditioning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Five miles in hilly country was about my limit - we aimed to average 3 miles a day when Poppy was well. But Sophy, my papillon, would happily do more - I know a dog walker whose papillons averaged 8-10 miles a day. I think 10-15 miles might be pushing it even for a small mini without very careful conditioning.
Thank your for the info. Do you think I would be better off going with a papillon? I adore poodles but if this is not appropriate for a mini then I don’t want to make them miserable. There would absolutely be slow training to get up to longer miles and consecutive days.
 

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Long hikes might be too much even for a papillon - and the different exercise levels are based on an extremely small sample of dogs I have known! I think your best bet is to talk to breeders about their lines, and decide whether portability or keeping up with you on long walks is most important to you. A smaller dog is easier to carry in case of injury, or even to pop into a backpack when they have had enough; a rather larger one would cope better with distances and obstacles.
 

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How frequent would those long walks/hikes be and over what sort of terrain, and what sort of weather?

I'm honestly wondering if a toy or small mini of any breed is ideal for your plans. Flying will present an issue, definitely, but I would think an oversize mini or even that other unicorn, the true medium size poodle, a la Karbit, would be a better fit. I'd also think performance lines would be a better fit.


Cowpony recently listed these breeders who don't dock in another thread. Some breed mpoos or mediums


[Some I know for sure don't dock are:
Karbit - Texas (renowned for true moyens)
Shyre - Ohio
Perigeaux - Ohio
Autumn Shades - Ohio
City Lights - New York
Pristine - Ontario
Heart Song - Alabama
Two Acre Wood - Wisconsin
Moonrise - South Carolina (miniature/moyen/small standard)
Magenta Bay - New York (moyen/small standard. Somewhat controversial, as one of her bitches was Continental Kennel Club registered)
/QUOTE]
 

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Thinking even more on this. There's nothing to say you shouldn't have a dream but this feels like a bit of cart before horse when it's a dream that you want to fit a dog into.

What if the dog can't tolerate flying or car rides or ???

I'd look for a dog of whatever persuasion that I want to spend, if I'm lucky, 15 or more years with, whatever else life may bring. Then if that dream also fits both of you, jackpot! If it doesn't, you find a dream that does.
 

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I was having similar thoughts, R'n'P. The best laid plans fall apart - dogs and humans get injuries, life changes, plagues hit... It is an excellent idea to consider your life style when choosing a dog breed, but it is also important to be prepared to adapt around the dog's idea of what that life style should be. I speak as one who originally chose a papillon for my first "own" dog having read repeatedly that they needed only minimal exercise. None of the papillons I know seem to have read that particular memo!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh let me assure everyone that, as with all dog activities, everything I have planned depends on the dog enjoying it and wanting to do it. Just like some dogs wind up not being able to do confirmation/agility/obedience/etc because of some issue or simply not enjoying it, I absolutely accept that that could happen. They are living things after all, and that inherently means some unpredictable results. This is where I am at with my current rescue, who has severe collapsing trachea that was diagnosed two days after I brought her home. Would love to hike with her, but it’s just not something she can do. Going with a purebred is part of my attempt to do all I can to ensure as much predictability as possible, while acknowledging that that is far from a guarantee.

I think it’s a great idea to just talk to the breeders about their dogs and see if they thinkI would be a good fit. I have had large dogs before and carrying them when they have an injury was the worst. It’s also not something I could have done for more than the few miles it took to get back to the car. I’ll put some more research into it and touch base with some breeders to get their take on it.
 

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FWIW, I have flown with Blueberry in cabin and he is not a small mini. I don’t know if my measurement is accurate but I think he is 15”.
 
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