tiny dog/toy poodle questions!

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.


Did somebody say- car ride?!?!
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 5:30pm PST 
Hey all! So I work at an animal shelter and through a hoarding case we got a bunch of toy poodles in. I'm seriously considering adopting one but I do have some concerns that I would love to be addressed. I have just started researching the breed but decided to see if I could get more information on this site.

First off these dogs are TINY! The one I'm considering is 3.5lbs, female and is about 3 years old. Can anyone give me tips on owning such a small dog? I've heard that they are prone to more health issues but I've also heard about healthy small dogs too. Have you introduced yours to bigger dogs? Also since the person had so many dogs none of them are housebroken. This will be my first dog that isn't so if anyone could give me tips on that as well. Lastly, I just want general information on the breed. Health risks, grooming, what do you feed yours, anything you want to share for a (possible) first time poodle owner!

Thanks in advance!

Edited by author Fri Feb 1, '13 5:41pm PST


Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 5:52am PST 
According to Floppy's profile she is DA. What is your plan to keep her and the new dog apart? It also says you got Floppy after having to give up another dog. Why did you have to give up your first dog? Could that happen again with this poodle? There is no judgement behind these questions, I just think you should think carefully about them before deciding to adopt the poodle.

In terms of health issues I can't specifically talk about poodles, but any dog from a hoarding situation is a lot more likely to have expensive health needs (and to perhaps require a behaviorist etc)

Looking for my- forever home!
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 5:52am PST 
First, the potty training:

Corky is from a hoarding situation, and conditions were pretty filthy, but they were not confined to crates. He's adapted very well to being expected to potty outside. So yes, you'd be doing potty training, but you won't necessarily be dealing with "dirty dog" syndrome, which is common in puppy mill rescues.

As for the health issues: It's true that small breed dogs tend to be healthier and longer-lived, but under-sized or "teacup" small breed dogs are often so small because of underlying health problems and/or really crappy breeding. In a hoarding situation, you can pretty much count on really crappy breeding.

Blindness, due to progressive retinal atrophy, is a significant risk in poodles. If she's affected, she would eventually, probably around age five to six, go blind. It would be gradual and painless and doesn't have to limit her life. Corky is blind, born blind, and he gets around just fine. An older Crested in the home of the breeder Addy and Dora came from, the lady's first Crested, went blind from PRA and lived to be eighteen, happy and secure, and getting around her home and her yard just fine.

Other health problems in poodles, especially toy poodles--many of them would have shown themselves by age three. Embrace Pet Insurance has decent rundown on health issues in poodles.

I had, for a few years, a "teacup" cat, the runt of her litter--less than half the size of her littermates. She was healthy and happy and a joy to have in my life for four years, and then she died. Massive organ failure. Her organs were under-sized even for such a tiny kitty, and not up to the task of maintaining. The organs compensated for as long as they could, and then they failed. And I would adopt her again in a heartbeat. I seriously would not regard concern about this possibility as a reason not to adopt your little hoarder rescue.

Depending on what the hoarding situation was, exactly, she may well be, as Corky is, very confident with other dogs. The thing about hoarding is that there are always other animals around, and socializing with other dogs is not a big problem.

Obviously, with a dog that tiny, you do need to be careful of how the other dogs react. I see that Floppy is a chihuahua mix, so you probably have some experience with this already. However, with such a tiny one, you will find yourself picking her up for her own safety, sometimes, because she can get stepped on or mistaken for a toy or prey by a bigger dog who isn't at all "dog aggressive." So it's not just a matter of her probably quite decent dog socialization; it's also a matter of being aware of what the other dog might be thinking.

One of my other dogs, Dora, is just eight and a half pounds, not as small as this little girl, but pretty small. She enjoys her walks, and does fine with other dogs, though I'm careful around very big dogs whom we don't know.

I have met people with very tiny Yorkies, dogs so tiny you would think that dog can't walk outside--and they do absolutely fine, as long as their people are aware of things that might be a risk to them but not to other dogs, and are ready to pick them up when necessary for their safety.

So, yeah, there may be some increased health concerns, but if you like this little girl, there's no reason she shouldn't be a wonderful new family member for you.

I hope at least some of this is helpful.


Did somebody say- car ride?!?!
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 11:08am PST 
Thanks for the information so far! Corky, you have been incredibly helpful!

Ezra, I apologize for not mentioning before but the animals listed are my mom's pets so the toy poodle will not be interacting with them. Also I never gave up a dog. My old husky had brain damage and had to be put down. I haven't set up my own dogster account just yet since I'm not 100% I'm going to be getting the new dog. Again, sorry for the confusion!!

Thanks again!!

Edited by author Sat Feb 2, '13 11:13am PST

Princesse- Lily CGN

I am RoyalChi!
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 11:41am PST 
As usual, I can not add anything to Corky's awesome postway to go Just want to restate what they said about having to worry about *other* dogs. A dog that small will need a delicate balance between letting them be a dog and protecting them. I am here to tell you it can be donesmile Princesse is a bit bigger than the dog you are considering, but she is a tiny dog as well at 5.5 pounds. It still amazes me to watch her 'be a dog" big grin I let her interact with other dogs , but am ready to scoop her up if need be. Jumping off of furniture is something to be careful of as well. Not something I am good at preventingred face but Princesse seems to be pretty darn tough smile

Lady's Man
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 10:28pm PST 
General Info about Poodles:
The AKC recognized sizes for Poodles are: Toy (up to 10 inches at the withers), Miniature (up to 15 inches at the withers), and the Standard or the original size (up to 27 inches at the withers).

"Teacup" is a marketing term for overly small sized dogs...these dwarf toys more commonly have exaggerated health and anatomical problems. Which is why they are not recognized by AKC.

Likewise, "Royal" Standard is also a marketing term for overly large sized Poodles...again, health issues become much more difficult to guarantee and is not recognized by AKC for that reason.

The littlest guy in the Poodle family (Toy) isn't that much different from his bigger siblings except size. They are active, playful, and loving and bonds very closely with their people. They aren't made for roughhousing.

Toy Poodles very trainable as they are typically very smart...(sometimes too smart wink ), adaptable, and capable. Poodles are not for ignoring or people who are gone a lot.

Health issues can be: Patella Luxation, cataracts, PRA, epilepsy, and hypoglycemia (so feeding small amounts throughout the day is beneficial). The little ones also tend to have runny eyes...which can stain the hair under their eyes...it can get infected and cause sores if not cared for.

Grooming: They need groomed every 4 to 8 weeks depending on the style of clip you choose. I tend to keep my crew's hair longer in the colder months and very short in summer. Just think of their coat as topiary gardens for groomers laugh out loudbig laugh You can groom them to look pretty much how you want.

You may want to learn to groom your poodle yourself. Be careful... grooming sheers are Extremely sharp and you can cut skin easily. eek

I found the power of the pack worked best to potty train Sumo...and being on top of his every move until I felt sure he was totally house-trained.

Let me know if you have any other questions hug

Did somebody say- car ride?!?!
Barked: Fri Feb 8, '13 4:57pm PST 
Just wanted to post a quick update..I ended up deciding it was best to adopt her! dancing She officially became mine this morning and I will soon be creating a new account for her on Dogster.

Also we ended up getting medical records on most of the dogs. Turns out she about 2 instead of 3, has already been spayed, is updated on all vaccinations and the only concern the vet had was for her teeth. Despite her coming from a bad situation the previous owner actually put some money & care into the dogs which make me feel a lot better. I'm truly blessed and will be setting up a veterinary appointment to get some dental work done.

Again, thanks so much for the help everyone! I truly appreciate it. hug

Looking for my- forever home!
Barked: Fri Feb 8, '13 8:09pm PST 
Great news! Congratulations!