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Discussion Starter #1
We are trying to choose between the toy or mini for our first poodle pup. So I've gathered all the pros and cons between the two to help us in our decision making. I'm not sure if the data I have is accurate or whether I miss some important point. I hope to learn more from PF members who have actual experience owning this breed.

Mini's Pros:

More sturdy, less risk of physical injury (stepped on, fall off furniture, etc...)
Less hereditary health risk
Less expensive
More available

Mini's Cons:

Less portable (bigger to carry when going to places, can't bring as carry on on airplane?)
More hair = more dander = more allergen
More active

Toy's Pros:

More portable
Less active
Less hair = less allergen

Toy's Cons

Fragile
More Yappy
More hereditary health risk
More expensive (50-100% more)
 

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Before reading this, I always thought that minis were more rare and were the same price as toys, though I haven’t ever looked for one myself. It always seems that people have a very hard time finding minis.

The biggest con for me with minis is that some of them are extremely active and I have also heard that some lines have weird temperaments. I would be very careful getting a mini from well tempered lines.

The biggest con for me with toys is that they are not often completely potty trained and most people with minis keep potty pads in their house. That is a dealbreaker for me but many people don’t mind. They are also too fragile for me and have so many health problems.
 

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We are trying to choose between the toy or mini for our first poodle pup. So I've gathered all the pros and cons between the two to help us in our decision making. I'm not sure if the data I have is accurate or whether I miss some important point. I hope to learn more from PF members who have actual experience owning this breed.

Mini's Pros:

More sturdy, less risk of physical injury (stepped on, fall off furniture, etc...)
Less hereditary health risk
Less expensive
More available

Mini's Cons:

Less portable (bigger to carry when going to places, can't bring as carry on on airplane?)
More hair = more dander = more allergen
More active

Toy's Pros:

More portable
Less active
Less hair = less allergen

Toy's Cons

Fragile
More Yappy
More hereditary health risk
More expensive (50-100% more)
I don't really know anything about Mini's, but our toy is extremely active. He's either asleep or going 100% for the most part. There's not much in between. He's not really yippy, I don't think. He barks at the door, but otherwise he's eerily quiet, even when playing aggressively. Prices probaby vary but we got outs from a breeder for $550.
 

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There should not be any price difference between any size of poodle. And I am a recent shopper, in helping friends find dogs. You should expect to pay $2,000 - $3,000 for a show breeder puppy from health tested parents with a show record.

Also, minis are definitely less available than toys. Check out www.poodlebreeders.com to get an idea of good breeders of both sizes, as a starting point.

As for a toy being less allergenic, there is absolutely no difference in the sizes when it comes to allergies. I am deathly allergic to a rat, but not to a standard poodle. You either are allergic or not, imho.

I would agree with all of your other points, except not all toys are yappy.






We are trying to choose between the toy or mini for our first poodle pup. So I've gathered all the pros and cons between the two to help us in our decision making. I'm not sure if the data I have is accurate or whether I miss some important point. I hope to learn more from PF members who have actual experience owning this breed.

Mini's Pros:

More sturdy, less risk of physical injury (stepped on, fall off furniture, etc...)
Less hereditary health risk
Less expensive
More available

Mini's Cons:

Less portable (bigger to carry when going to places, can't bring as carry on on airplane?)
More hair = more dander = more allergen
More active

Toy's Pros:

More portable
Less active
Less hair = less allergen

Toy's Cons

Fragile
More Yappy
More hereditary health risk
More expensive (50-100% more)
 

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I have always thought minis are harder to find. I know it was like finding a unicorn before I got milo.

I think risk of injury is very real for both when it comes to high surfaces. My mini jumps up and down the couch, but I won’t let him jump from my quite high bed to my laminate flooring due to slippage. My mini eliminates outside in all weather conditions. I am not sure if i could deal with an indoor potty patch, which is why I won’t get a cat either.

Minis are the most active amongst the 3, but I find mine is “just nice”. Active with an off switch. You can train for this. My mini hasn’t had a decent walk in weeks since it’s been stupid cold. Just lots of indoor training and brain games and he isn’t destroying my house, never has actually.

My mini is 13” at the withers, he travels under the cabin seat just fine. He is quite a pro when it comes to flying, he has flown at least a dozen times.
 

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My 2 toys are 100% housebroken and reliable, except when sick, like any other dog. They go outside exclusively. No pipi pads, I have allergies amd can’t tolerate the smell.

In my case, the bigger the dog, the more allergens it carries and the more allergies I will have. I do have mild allergies to my toys, but they don’t trigger asthma. I don’t think I could live with a standard poodle.

As for health problems, I think if you buy from a good breeder, it shouldn’t be a problem. I hear a lot of people complaining about patella issues with their toys, but none of my two have those problems. My female has a sensitive stomach and seems to be more prone to mild problems, but other than that, nothing.

I’ve had lots of toys, a few yorkies, a chihuahua and toy poodles and I find that the poodles are really sensitive compared to the others. You can’t raise your voice to them, or show anger, really. It’s too much for them.

Also, you need to be careful with their long legs. But other than that, they’re sturdy dogs.

Regarding barking, my females barks, my male doesn’t, or very little (and only because SHE does, lol).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Chinchillafuzzy, PJR202, ZooeysMom, and Asuk.

From my own experience, toys seem more rare because each litter's size is smaller (1-2 puppies) whereas minis's is bigger (4+ puppies).

I found toys' price to be on average 50% higher than minis'. If the toy pup is not local, then you would also need to factor in the cost to travel to pick the pup up (airplane ticket for you and the pup (about $100 for pup), hotel, car rental, etc...). Therefore, if you buy a toy pup from long distance, it can end up costing you twice as much as getting a mini locally.

It's good to hear that some minis can travel as carry-on as well. I thought it might be too big to fit under the seat. We would like to travel with our dog sometimes, but we would not want to send it to the cargo area.

Assuming that I get a pup from health-tested parents, what can I expect for the pup's health. Are minis generally more healthy than toys? That's what my Google search tells me. I wish some PF members who have raised both can chime it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
In my case, the bigger the dog, the more allergens it carries and the more allergies I will have. I do have mild allergies to my toys, but they don’t trigger asthma. I don’t think I could live with a standard poodle.

As for health problems, I think if you buy from a good breeder, it shouldn’t be a problem. I hear a lot of people complaining about patella issues with their toys, but none of my two have those problems. My female has a sensitive stomach and seems to be more prone to mild problems, but other than that, nothing.

Regarding barking, my females barks, my male doesn’t, or very little (and only because SHE does, lol).
Thanks, for sharing, Dechi. I also figure that the smaller the dog, the less allergy risk. Perhaps for some, the size don't matter. It's good to hear that your toys are pretty healthy. We definitely want a girl, so we might expect more barking? :)
 

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I am in the UK, but I think the answers to some of your questions are universal. Health is very much a matter of breeding two healthy, not too closely related dogs and careful management of the pregnancy and neonates, so the important thing is to ensure the breeder knows the history of the parents (and of the grandparents, great grandparents, previous litters, etc), regardless of the size of the poodle. Any litter may throw up a puppy with problems (liver shunt, for example), but an experienced breeder will recognise the symptoms. Check with your country's kennel club and breed clubs for the recommended health tests, and expect the breeder to be up front about sharing this information. In the UK there is no central register for luxating patellas, but dogs should have written certification from a qualified vet that they are clear before being bred.

On price, there can be a big difference between a show quality pup bred by a respected show breeder and a pup from a pair of local pet dogs - that is not to say that the latter may not make a delightful pet, but it is going to be far more of a gamble. Do your research, know what to look for in terms of health testing, conformation, temperament, etc, and do not go near a litter unless you know you have the self control to walk away if there are warning flags - puppies are designed by nature to press every oxytocin button in the human heart, and the temptation to "rescue" them from poor conditions can be overwhelming. And take out insurance before even bringing the puppy home, just in case!

On size, a large toy is nearly as robust as a small mini, and yappiness is largely down to how you raise them - I have known silent toys and minis that never stop barking. Energy levels are pretty variable, too, but exercise is good for you as well as your dog - I speak as one who chose a papillon as a breed described as needing minimal walking, and found Sophy has not read the books - 3 miles is her idea of a decent walk, and she would happily do that at least twice a day!
 

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Don't think there is a price difference with WELL bred toys or minis - with minis being much harder to find and much rarer with some colors. I think the litter sizes are about the same. Mine was one of 3. My mini is very active but has an off switch. He displays quite a high level of separation anxiety and plays favorites among people. He LOVES men - but is obviously very attached to me. I was very lucky to happen to come across a litter on the ground that was not what the breeder needed at that point (too many youngsters already entering shows) and I wanted a boy. I think bitches are harder to find.
Coming from large dogs all we did in our first two weeks is step on the poor little guy - he was really tiny for us personally.
He thinks he is a Standard and gages his leaps off furniture accordingly so we have to heavily patrol that. He can also jump straight up on my shoulder from standing.
They have highly sensitive temperaments according to their environment - they pick up on stress or disagreements and can be slightly hysterical in a loud household.
Our Louie is very much a diva and a bit of a drama queen (like me? haha), but a really great and also tough dog nonetheless.
 

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I don't really know anything about Mini's, but our toy is extremely active. He's either asleep or going 100% for the most part. There's not much in between. He's not really yippy, I don't think. He barks at the door, but otherwise he's eerily quiet, even when playing aggressively. Prices probaby vary but we got outs from a breeder for $550.
That was an excellent price, here the cheapest for puppies is 1800 to 3500 and a really small one 2 to 3.5 pounds as much as 5500
 

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I have had 8 toys and all healthy except Bella who has an eye disease. All go outside to potty including the one I have trained for the potty patch she does both. All of the toys I had always walked behind me or beside of me not in front of me. Todate and pray it never happens I have never stepped on one or fell over one. I now have 3 - 3.5 lb, 5 lb, and 6.5lb. Toys are my preference as easy to handle, they bark when someone is at the door.
 

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Thanks, for sharing, Dechi. I also figure that the smaller the dog, the less allergy risk. Perhaps for some, the size don't matter. It's good to hear that your toys are pretty healthy. We definitely want a girl, so we might expect more barking? :)
I wouldn’t say that. I think it’s more a personality thing. I have the barking pretty much under control for minor stuff. She knows she’s not supposed to and will stop if asked.

I let her bark a little more for major stuff because I don’t want to have a neverending battle on my hands. And also because I do want her to bark if soemone is at the door or around the house. To me those are circumstances when it’s permitted to bark.
 

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We are trying to choose between the toy or mini for our first poodle pup. So I've gathered all the pros and cons between the two to help us in our decision making. I'm not sure if the data I have is accurate or whether I miss some important point. I hope to learn more from PF members who have actual experience owning this breed.

Mini's Pros:

More sturdy, less risk of physical injury (stepped on, fall off furniture, etc...)
Less hereditary health risk
Less expensive
More available

Mini's Cons:

Less portable (bigger to carry when going to places, can't bring as carry on on airplane?)
More hair = more dander = more allergen
More active

Toy's Pros:

More portable
Less active
Less hair = less allergen

Toy's Cons

Fragile
More Yappy
More hereditary health risk
More expensive (50-100% more)
i had a tpoo for almost 20 years and now have a minipoo. I definitely had a much harder time finding a minipoo. In fact I probably would have started to look for a small spoo if I hadn’t found my minipoo to open up more options.

The prices seem to be about the same. If you are paying for marketing terms like teacup or royal and even Moyen you can expect to pay more for a dog that was carelessly bred with the sole goal of earning money - avoid those breeders and stick with those concerned with breeding healthy poodles.

While I do think my minipoo is more robust than my tpoo because of size, I still have concerns about her jumping on furniture. Where we have wood floors I have bath mats strategically placed for safe take off and landing zones. When my tpoo was in her teens she jumped down and knocked her ligament temporarily out of position so we took her to a vet who showed us how to pop it back in. From that time forward she was not allowed to jump on and off furniture, we picked her up and she learned quickly. We never had any more problems until her last year when arthritis set in. When she was young this tpoo went with my girls to the park to play, one daughter taught her circus tricks to walk on a ball etc. so she was quite active. My tpoo was average size, not a teacup and not oversized. My minipoo partipates in many dog sports including agility. If I had a tpoo I’d do the same dog sports (I wouldn’t buy a teacup tpoo).

My minipoo is slightly oversized so I don’t think she would fit well under an airplane seat, but minipoos on the smaller side do. My dog weighs 16 pounds so she’s easy to pick up and carry when necessary. She also takes up one seat in the car when driving. If I had a tpoo I’d also need one seat for a dog carrier.

My minipoo loves to run and she is amazingly fast, but she has an off switch and when the weather is miserable she’s fine snoozing for several days on the couch if we can’t get out to do fun activities. Same with my tpoo.

My tpoo was a yapper - major annoyance. My minipoo rarely barks. I think it’s partly personality and maybe training can dull it down but I’m not sure. However I know people with minipoos that bark and tpoos that don’t. And there are major barking spoos too as well as quiet ones. There is a problem with small dog syndrome where people with small dogs don’t think their dogs need training to be well behaved because you can pick them up instead. that leads to many’s yapping badly behaving small dogs which feeds into the reputation of small dogs being yappy and snapping.

Yes less hair may mean less allergies but I think it’s probably not a significant difference. Dechi has two tpoos and perhaps if she had one dog she could tolerate a minipoo or spoo.

Health issues, I think the smaller the dog more risk for patella problem due to the smaller groove. The larger the dog the more risk of bloat, so spoos are more at risk here. Overall a properly bred poodle from a breeder who knows what they are doing breeding dogs that are fully tested helps avoid some health issues.
 

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I was really surprised to see the item that minis are less expensive than toys. I agree with the person who said that all well-bred dogs of any breed tend to cost $2000 or a bit more.

Minis are almost without exception the most active of the three varieties, but they are also probably the easiest to train. Our house was SO quiet while Zoe was in Houston with Betty! We always say that Zoe is the life of the party. She is busy, busy, busy all day long, but she crashes about 8pm. Blessedly her very favorite thing is playing with her tennis balls; she even will throw it for herself and chase it! That sure helps funnel her energy into an acceptable behavior. The only naughty thing she does is raid trash cans for paper to shred into teeny tiny pieces.

I have never tried to prevent her jumping on or off furniture, although I cringe every time she jumps from the back of the sofa to the hardwood floor. Maybe when she gets old, she will not be as elastic as she is now and will stop that behavior - hope so!

All that said, I think that when you are selecting a puppy, whether toy or mini, is to decide on the energy level you like and then talk to the breeder to determine which puppy best matches that energy level.
 

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There are some differences. Vet bills and training classes and most things will be the same costs. But food will be cheaper, not significantly but tpoos do eat less. I prepare home made food for my dog and I have to prepare larger batches of food for my minooo compared to my tpoo. If you plan to travel by plane the smaller the dog the easier it will be to fit them underneath.

For training however it’s harder to bend down training a small dog. There’s training tricks that you use with small dogs - trainers without a lot of experience in small dogs may not be aware of them. No matter what size dog you get, do plan on going to training classes. I highly recommend training and achieving the AKC CGC or similar. This is the class where you learn how to handle your dog out in public keeping it safe.

You will need to bend lower to put collars and coats on, to snap a leash on etc.

If you groom at home, a toy has less body to wash and clip and is cheaper at the professional groomer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks fjm, moni, glorybeecost, Skylar, Johanna, and Dechi. From all the responses, it seems that I can't really generalize health, energy level, and small-dog syndrome between the toys and the minis.

I'm on wait lists for both a toy and a mini. After hearing PF members' input, I'm leaning toward the toy for ease of travelling and grooming. But in the end, it might come down to which one is available first. I feel more comfortable now knowing that there are no significant differences between them.
 

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When I need to put on harnesses or coats on my two tpoos, I don't bend down and put the entire thing on. Bending over for too long hurts my back. I pick them up, so I just bend over for a second, put them up on the counter in the laundry room or some other high up place. That's easier. I do bend at my waist to give a treat. Or in Maurice's case he's allowed to stand up on his hind legs and meet me half way unless I specify to him to sit. He only weighs 4.7 lbs so I don't mind. Some people dab something on a long handled wooden spoon or just drop it near the dog.

I love how easy they are to pick up and carry if need be and convenient for traveling, grooming, feeding etc.

I have one that's yappy. That's the smaller one, Maurice. He's got bionic hearing and sounds the alarm often and easily. Matisse seems to be smarter that way and realizes that certain sounds that alarm Maurice are normal and nothing to make a fuss over. So he just barks at the usual things dogs bark about and looks at Maurice like he's really being ridiculous. And they both stop when asked.

Luxating patella is often times something that a breeder can't guarantee because although the parents may not have had a problem, (my poodles' parents did not)...it is what's known as polygenetic and it can be that a dog wayyyy back in the lines had it and it pops up now and again. AND...very important: It can be brought on from trauma...an injury. That was the case with Matisse. The predisposition is there in toy breeds. Their sockets tend to be pretty shallow. He hurt his leg running and he slipped in the wet grass going around a corner and his knee got ripped out of place and it never got better on it's own...had to have surgery. My other little one, Maurice has what the vet says are a little bit loose. They don't slip out of the groove or fall out of the socket. But there's a wee bit of free play. It's completely unnoticeable and he has zero problems. The vet says it's good that he's kept lean and he gets lots of exercise. This keeps him from having any trouble. Anyhow, most dogs get along fine with this or they have surgery if need be.

If you're young and strong, a mini might be great. Me...I'm getting up there and I like the lighter weight toys in case I would have to carry them or hold them for an extended period of time for some reason. They can go anywhere with me pretty much. I am very into hiking. And they make terrific hiking buddies even if they are small, just as my Chihuahuas did some years back. They go and go and go longer than I want to. LOL. I don't pamper them too much. They're still treated like dogs. They're capable, sturdy for their size and you just get use to being careful with them...not to sit on them because they burrow in the blanket on the couch. (watch out for that) You learn to look down for a split of a second before you move and it becomes 2nd nature...you don't even think. You just glance down. Plus, they learn very well to watch you and your movements and they get out of the way. But they have to learn so when you have a new pup, watch out. Put them in a crate when people come over until everyone knows to watch out. Or hold them at first. Be careful around big dogs. Pick them up until you know how the big dog is. Some have grown up with tiny dogs and know how to be careful. But you also need to know that the dog is gentle and not going to snap at your dog because all it takes is one little nip from a bigger dog and that's it....a broken neck. So yes, they're fragile but it all works out. Watch out for birds of prey out in the opened. Another thing. Anyhow, it all becomes 2nd nature.

They're individuals and their temperament will vary more due to that than their breed tendencies probably. For instance, Matisse is my goof ball, a clown, a major sense of humor...looking for a game or a trick to play on me, stealing my sock and racing around. But he doesn't wreck it and drops it or brings it to me as requested. lol. He's just too cute so I don't mind. He picks up a piece of stick or something outside and throws it for himself to fetch and then brings it back to the starting point over and over. He can entertain himself and he gets onto new behaviors...things I teach him in double time. He is very playful, but not hyper active. (was as a pup) He has a fantastic off switch and will match my mood. Maurice is much more quiet. (not vocally) He is sweet and endearing, laid back and just sort of subtle in all he does. He is happy to sit on someone's lap for an eternity. Both are extraordinarily affectionate and love to cuddle. Matisse, when I pick him up, presses his head into the crook of my neck...trying to get closer than is physically possible. It's so cute. But I hear that some are more reserved than mine.

Anyhow, this is too long. I wish you the best in your search and whatever type you get.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks, Poodlebeguiled. I'm not that old but also getting up there :) So a smaller size would be more convenient for sure. But I'm wondering if the toys can safely go up/down the stairs.
 

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I never had a problem with my small dogs (toy poodles, chihuahuas, Italian greyhounds) going up and down stairs or with jumping on/off furniture. The only accident ever was when an Italian greyhound wiggled out of my hands and jumped from the grooming table to a concrete floor. That was an awful night! He did recover, but always had a bump on the leg that broke. From then on I used a grooming noose on small dogs rather than trying to hold them with my hand.
 
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