The Miniature Poodle
The Miniature Poodle is the middle size of the British three sizes - the toy which should be under 11 inches in height at the shoulder when fully grown, the miniature over 11" but under 15", and the standard - over 15". Poodles can live for a very long time - just do not let them get over-weight. I know of one toy poodle to be 21 years of age!
The Miniature Poodle is a good size for a family dog, you can take him on long walks, he is easy to train and faithful beyond belief. In my opinion it does not make any difference whether you choose a dog or a bitch as a pet. Both are equal in faithfullness and temperament, depending on the breeding and how he is trained from the start! To own any poodle there must be enough time on your hands to groom him regularly. The coat is such which needs regular washing and grooming to make sure he does not get the coat tangled. A great deal of people with asthmatic problems buy poodles, as they do not shed hair like other dogs. If you cannot trim and scissor your own poodle, then you have to find a good groomer and book him up approximately every 6 weeks to be beautified, including having his ears cleaned, and his toe nails trimmed, etc. Nothing looks more beautiful, in my opinion, than a poodle who walks out of the hairdressers - and being quite a vain creature - he certainly knows it!
I always advise anyone to buy their puppy from a reputable breeder, who cares about breeding. There are genetic and inherent diseases in miniature poodles, one of them being PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) (eventual blindness) and I would always advise a buyer to ask to see the up to date PRA Certificate passes of the parents and possibly generations going back further. There are other diseases, i.e. Perthes, where it is not yet proved whether this is hereditary, and also digestive problems. It is always good to see the mother of the pup and make sure the puppy is assertive, bright eyed, and comes to you wagging his tail. Look also for a good, firm body and ask about the worming programme, and injections.
If you wish to buy a poodle to show I always advise anyone to go around the shows first of all to see them in action, to speak to breeders, get advice, and watch how they are shown, how they are trimmed - as the trimming fashion changes a good deal. More and more poodles are now shown in an adult type puppy trim (a large topknot, a shaped mane, and legs like cowboys trousers) which in my opinion looks far more attractive, especially when walking them out around your area where you live. This is only my personal opinion. (Of course, if your have just bought your poodle as a pet/companion only, then he looks so smart in lamb trim (shorn short like a lamb) and this is so easy to keep up.) Also you yourself need a great deal of training perhaps and I advise here to look up your local show dog training centre where you can learn how to show your dog, as well as socialising your dog with other breeds.
Poodles come in a variety of colours - black, silver, apricot, white, cream and blue.
Traditional Lion Trim
Puppy Lion Trim
Whatever you decide to do - if you have a miniature poodle, I am sure you will become addicted as I have!