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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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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? :D
 

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So this begs the question then. Why do most serious performance people choose a Mini? Looking at the stats..... all of the top Obedience and Agility poodles are Minis.
 

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I NEVER would have never believed that toys were smart. Cute,yes! But I am shocked how brilliant and easy to obedience train my toy is. I just love that about him.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
maybe most of the owners of the toys think that they are too cute/fragile to be disciplined/trained and this ends up with a bunch of appear-to-be-dumb toys and this might be how the groomers got the impression that toys are slower/not as smart as the minis. just a guess~
 

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Were I doing agility, I would choose a mini for size alone. Tate is quite fragile (we had a scare where he was knocked off stairs and limped for a few days) and I wouldn't run agility with him. It seems to me that the minis would be the best size to have.

This isn't me saying that Tate isn't smart enough to do agility, I believe he is that much of a "pleaser" and he has so much energy and spunk that he would love to do it... I'm just not sure if he would be a real competitor die to size.
 

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I agree that it is in the breeding to a certain extent. My toy came from a breeder that focus on temperament and correct size. Reece is very smart. More so than most other toys I see. My friend has a dog from the same breeder and she water retrieves and hunts. We crack up because she is all of 4 lbs soaking wet.

I think most owners baby their toys and do not, or rather, unknowingly teach them to be little pip squeaks. Just like bratty kids.
 

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I agree that it is in the breeding to a certain extent. My toy came from a breeder that focus on temperament and correct size. Reece is very smart. More so than most other toys I see. My friend has a dog from the same breeder and she water retrieves and hunts. We crack up because she is all of 4 lbs soaking wet.

I think most owners baby their toys and do not, or rather, unknowingly teach them to be little pip squeaks. Just like bratty kids.
I would LOVE to see photos of a hunting toy ... please, please, please get your friend to post pictures!!

I have nothing to compare my mini to, having no experience of toys except for a neurotic nippy terrified-of-his-own-shadow toy male we see sometimes in the park. Can't tell if his problems are nature or nuture, but he's a whacko.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
reesmom, may i ask who your breeder is? i would like to get a toy poodle someday and i am compiling a list of good toy/miniature breeders and of course, breeders that i should avoid. thanks a lot.
 

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I think agility people avoid using toys because of the size. I personally would be afraid to even let a little toy jump off the bed, let alone jump over hurdles and such. IMO.
 

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A friend of mine has a toy that responds to over 60 commands. . . super, super smart. When she was taking her through obedience training she heard over and over again from other participants, "So why would you take her through obedience training? She doesn't need it! If she doesn't behave, you can just pick her up!" Aaack. I think often in this world of purchasing dogs as an accessory, especially the toys, charging exhorbitant prices for tiny toys, maybe obedience and smarts are far from many people's minds. Many are choosing their breeders from the tiniest of the tinies rather than the ones with brains, and many buyers are too worried about it fitting in the purse, or matching their own complexion, rather than smarts. Thanks heavens there are still good owners out there who haven't fallen for this way of thinking and realize they're dogs, and deserve to reach their potential! Nature and nurture. . . they sure work together!
 

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"So why would you take her through obedience training? She doesn't need it! If she doesn't behave, you can just pick her up!"

I had much the same problem trying to buy a long, light-weight lead for teaching my two to walk on a loose lead when pups. None of my local shops stocked them, on the grounds that owners of very small dogs didn't bother to train them. Shelves of fancy coats, hoodies, diamante collars, etc in tiny sizes - but no basics like a lead! Fortunately I found an excellent eBay supplier, who made them collars and leads to my exact specifications.
 

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I think agility people avoid using toys because of the size. I personally would be afraid to even let a little toy jump off the bed, let alone jump over hurdles and such. IMO.
Yes but in Obedience a dog only has to jump its shoulder height. That means for most Toys they would be jumping between 8-12 inches. Pretty doable for any Toy. In Agility, the jump height is about the same. Granted, a Toy could launch themselves off of one of the contacts, but that would be a major fail on the part of the trainer.
 

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This goes back to nature/nurture. Some owners of small dogs need to realize they have legs and can walk. Some trainers need to get a sense of humor and lighten up on the little guys. My belle is a mini and sooo not a girlie girl. Since she sleeps with us all mud and stink must be gone by bedtime. She loves to add/alter games, She's very good at training us, every evening we have wild fetch the squeekie, then it's jump in my lap for worship and pet poodle belly, then it's stand on your head with butt in the air so dad can rub your butt, then it's chewie time. She's very amusing. Is she trained in formal OB no. does she behave in public of course. No acting up in public, the vets, the groomer or anywhere else we go. I couldn't ask for a better behaved dog in the car. Is she perfect hardly
 
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