The miniature poodle is a breed of dog known for its small size and soft hair-like fur. Miniature poodles are known to be both friendly and intelligent, as well as easily trained. Healthy adult miniature poodles usually weigh between 15 and 17 lbs. and measure about 11 to 15 inches in length.
Because of their small size, miniature poodle puppies should be fed small amounts of food three to four times a day. An adult miniature poodle can be fed larger portions two times a day. Miniature poodles need fresh water available to them at all times. There are several different types of food available to feed miniature poodles. Ask your veterinarian what kinds of food are recommended. Sometimes, wet dog food can be too rich for miniature poodles and cause digestive distress. Dry dog food can aid in the removal of plaque and tartar buildup on miniature poodles' teeth. Miniature poodles should not be fed scraps of human food as it can cause digestive distress. Foods such as turkey, pork, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, onions and grapes can be especially harmful to miniature poodles.
Miniature poodles require regular grooming because their fur does not shed like most other dog breeds. Miniature poodles should have their fur trimmed every six weeks to two months. Their ears should be checked regularly for mites and wax buildup.
It is important to give miniature poodles plenty of exercise. Because of their small size, they can live comfortably in apartments or small houses and do not need a large yard. However, miniature poodles still need time for walking and playing. If miniature poodles do not get proper exercise, they can develop behavioral problems and become high-strung. A miniature poodle should be walked at least once a day. Miniature poodles are known to enjoy water, making swimming a good source of exercise.
It is important to train miniature poodles so that they know what they are and are not allowed to do. Miniature poodles can bark a lot if not trained properly. They can also become aggressive or snappy with children and other animals if not socialized from a young age. As with other small breeds, miniature poodles can develop "small dog syndrome" in which they believe they are higher in the pack hierarchy than their human owner. It is important to train them to understand that the human owner is the pack leader.
Miniature poodles are known to have some health problems and should be monitored closely for them and treated by a veterinarian if necessary. The most common health issues for the breed include eye problems such as cataracts and retinal atrophy, diabetes, skin allergies, runny eyes and ears, epilepsy, heart disease and immune mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA).