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Discussion Starter #1
I've tried to find this out on the internet and haven't found anything which explains.

PCA standards are 3 sizes
AKC standards are 3 sizes
KC standards are 3 sizes
FCI standards are 4 sizes

The Poodle Club of America
Sizes of Poodles
Poodles Come in Three Sizes
The Standard Poodle: over 15 inches at the shoulder — most are in the 22-27″ range
The Miniature Poodle: over 10 inches and not over 15 inches at the shoulder – most are in the 13-15″ range
The Toy Poodle: 10 inches and under at the shoulder

Miniatures and Toys have been bred down from the larger Poodles and they exhibit the same general characteristics.

From <https://poodleclubofamerica.org/sizes-of-poodles/>

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About the Poodle (Standard)
Poodles come in three size varieties:
Standards should be more than 15 inches tall at the shoulder;
Miniatures are 15 inches or under;
Toys stand no more than 10 inches.

All three varieties have the same build and proportions.

From <https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/poodle-standard/>


From http://images.akc.org/pdf/breeds/standards/Poodle.pdf

Official Standard of the Poodle The Standard for the Poodle (Toy variety) is the same as for the Standard and Miniature varieties except as regards heights.

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From The Kennel Club UK

The Kennel Club recognises three varieties, differentiated by size. All share the same standard. The Miniature and the Toy varieties are a result of scaling down and capturing the same features in a smaller mould.


From <https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/display.aspx?id=4099>

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CANICHE

From http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/172g09-en.pdf
SIZE AND WEIGHT: The sexual dimorphism must be clearly visible in all varieties.
Standard Poodles: Over 45 cm up to 60 cm with a tolerance of +2 cm.
The Standard Poodle must be the enlarged and developed replica of the Medium Poodle of which it retains the same characteristics.
Medium Poodles: Over 35 cm up to 45 cm.
Miniature Poodles: Over 28 cm up to 35 cm.
The Miniature Poodle must display the appearance of a reduced Medium Poodle, retaining as much as possible the same proportions and without presenting any sign of dwarfism.
Toy Poodles: Over 24 cm (with a tolerance of -1cm) up to 28 cm (sought after ideal: 25 cm). The Toy Poodle maintains, in its ensemble, the aspect of a Miniature Poodle and the same general proportions complying with all the points of the standard.


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From Wikipedia

Size variants
The poodle has been bred in at least three sizes, including Standard, Miniature, and Toy. According to the American Kennel Club, which recognized the breed in 1887,[18] the Standard Poodle is the oldest of the three varieties,[19] and was later bred down to the miniature and toy sizes. The British Kennel Club also recognizes three sizes, stating that the miniature and toy are scaled down versions of the standard.[20] The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognizes four sizes of one breed: standard, medium, miniature, and toy.
Poodles exist in many coat colours. Despite the Standard Poodle's claim to greater age than the other varieties, some evidence shows the smaller types developed only a short time after the breed assumed the general type by which it is recognized today.

From <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poodle>

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In each standard, the size measurements are similar with a bit of seemingly arbitrary variation and a 4th size in one, possibly to make the sizing more even?

In each standard, either the smaller sizes are bred down from the larger or the medium is the size to compare to.

In each standard, the sizes are referred to as varieties, and that they basically should be indistinguishable from each other, apart from size.

So, where did the Moyen/Klein/Medium come from? If all varieties are defined by the same standards, then are M/K/M's just small standard poodles bred to other small standard poodles? Doesn't that make them small standards?

What would be the issue breeding a small standard to a large miniature? Isn't it the size description which is arbitrary, not the breed description?

I really would like to learn.
 

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My understanding is that all the smaller sizes were selective breeding down from the standard size. I also heard toys were developed by crossing with Maltese generations back, but I’m not an expert on that.

Crossing sizes have been discussed here before particularly as a solution to genetic bottlenecks. It’s an interesting idea. I believe there were concerns regarding conformation when mixing sizes.
 

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Good question. AKC doesn’t set the standard, Poodle Club of America does and AKC uses that criteria; therefore AKC matches PCA.

There’s also the difference in semantics. My minipoo is theoretically within the size limits of a moyen but she wasn’t born from parents who were registered as moyens by the FCI. I’ve met people with small standards who call their dogs moyen but again they didn’t have parents registered with FCI as moyens either but they aren’t much taller than my mini.

We know there were Poodles of different sizes before these organizations were born and started to develop a standard, registering dogs and holding conformation trials because we see them in paintings, tapestries and other art work. How and why the different categories of height were determined would be interesting to know. There must be some random preference involved. Maybe FCI just wanted to be different? Or they wanted more evenly spread out size categories?

I don’t know a lot about conformation but each dog breed club sets their own standards and some are complicated with many different categories such as American Cocker spaniel.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So looking at this from another angle....

Toys are 10"-11" and under (depending on registry) with no mention of the predominant size range.

Miniatures are 10"-11" to 14"-15"(depending on registry) with the majority between 13"-15" (within range PCA).

M/K/M's are 14"-18" (FCI only) with no mention of the predominant range.

Standards are 15"-no upper limit (PCA with the majority 22"-27", KC of the UK no mention of predominant range) or 18"-24.4" (FCI no mention of predominant range)

Why are standards generally not being bred in the lower 4"-7" range? (registry dependent 18" low end, 15" low end)

Why do mini's have only a 3"-5" range? (registry dependent)

Standards are presumed to be the oldest, with the smaller sizes bred down from them. Reading the FCI standards as written, you could even make a case that they think the M/K/M was the original size since they compare from medium to standard and the other direction from medium to miniature.

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I started with a question about the Moyen variety which doesn't seem to be answerable in the sense of "this reason" "this place" "this time"...

Now I'm down to observations.

There are varieties of poodle based on size.

Those sizes are, for the most part, imposed by man.

The size range seems to be arbitrary, and average size per variety may change thru the years to smaller or larger.

In the 1930's the Standard size apparently averaged about 20". Now it's apparently at least 2" higher on average.

In 1905 the English Kennel Club separated Miniature poodles from the Standards and moved them to the Toy register.
By 1924 Miniatures had to be removed from the Toy register and to restore the Miniature variety, they had to be bred again to Standards to improve them.

In the USA, it wasn't until 1933 that Miniature poodles were given a separate classification. Previous to this time, they were shown in the Toy poodle section.
In spite of the fact that in this year, 1933, the AKC gave the Miniatures their own classes they were still looked upon as a variety of Standard poodles, and today (still 1933) any poodle weighing less than 12 pounds may be registered and shown as a Toy.

All I can conclude is that size, classification, and breeding practices can and do change based on fashion and/or a need to improve the breed.
 
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