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A breeder I was considering told me that toy poodles shouldn't be allowed to walk on cement for the first few months. Another person familiar with poodles said they will break their legs if they jump off the bed. It sounds like their little legs are made of glass. Is that normal?

I love the toy size, but don't want to worry about jumping off bed or sofa. What's the smallest size you can get where you don't have to worry about that kind of thing?
 

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I don't think I've ever heard of a poodle not being able to walk on cement for the first few months for leg reasons--although if it's hot enough, it can burn paws, and if you visit a site where dogs frequent, then sure, the dog can pick up diseases. Maybe the breeder has gotten confused with running on cement--that can damage joints in the early months for any dog. As for jumping off the bed, it depends on how big of a toy you have (and how high the bed is off the ground). If the dog has patellar luxation, which many poorly-bred toys do have, then I would caution against letting the dog jump off of anything. Pretty much any dog can injure themselves jumping off of things, but you do have to remember that 1 1/2 ft to a 7-10 inch dog is a lot more than to a dog that is 15 inches. Have you thought about mini poodles? Those dogs are a bit sturdier, and taller, if that is a concern.

I will admit that I take much greater care with Fluffy, my slightly oversized 11 inch toy poodle, than I do with my JRT mix, simply because the JRT mix is a block of muscle (Fluffy is half her weight!), and he does have knee problems. Before we found out about those problems, he jumped off and onto couches many times without a single issue, and surprised us with his athleticism, often jumping higher than the JRT! He has no problem keeping up on our daily walks. Toys are fragile, though, especially as puppies, so you would want to be cautious about letting a puppy jump on things.
 

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If you get a well bred toy poodle, he will have a square body, which means long legs. Since toys do have a smaller bone structure than minis or standards, yes, you do have to be more careful with them than with sturdier breeds.

It’s always best not to have them jump off the couch, a chair or bed or anything a little too high. Unfortunately it’s not always possible. One of my toys doesn’t jump much, he uses the stairs I got for the couch, but my other toy just jumps off. She also runs like a kangaroo, jumping high and bouncing, so there isn’t much I can do.

My male broke his front leg as a puppy. It got caught in the walls of an x-pen, as he was trying to get away from the breeder’s grand-son.

Any toy breed in general will be more fragile than bigger breeds. It’s something you need to consider. You can always get a small miniature, it will have a bigger bone structure than a toy.
 

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My toy poodle competes in Agility. That's a lot of hard, and soft, surfaces and multiple jumping and climbing obstacles.

A breeder who cautions you about broken bones, or special restrictions about surfaces to walk on, is not the breeder to buy from. Be knowledgeable about health testing for the parents, especially certifications eliminating luxating patella (faulty knees) hip dysplasia and eye abnormalities. All reputable breeders (of any breed) will provide this information.

Any dog can hurt itself jumping, or chasing squirrels for that matter. A well-bred toy poodle is a healthy, delightful pet. They're not "fragile." But the key is: well-bred.
 
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