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All about the miniature Poodle breed standard

Could that dog in the shelter be a Miniature Poodle? Recognizing a
Poodle type dog is a lot more than just looking at what clip their coat
is in. Most Miniature Poodles in shelters or breed rescues are not in
the fancy show clips. But there are still ways to recognize a Miniature
Poodle.

The Humane League of the United States estimates that twenty-five
percent of all abandoned animals are purebreds. So, the odds of that
shelter dog being a purebred Miniature Poodle are pretty high.

The miniature Poodle is between eleven and fifteen inches high at the
withers (highest point of the shoulder) and is only about fifteen to
seventeen pounds. In comparison, a Standard Poodle is at least fifteen
inches in height and weighs an average of fifty pounds.

Miniature Poodles have the same body types and facial expressions and
attitudes of their larger Poodle brothers and sisters. They possess
lean and athletic bodies underneath the enormous coats. They are built
more like small hounds, with a pointed nose, a profile officially
described as chiseled, a rounder forehead than regular hounds and
floppy rounded ears that naturally seem to hug the head. Their eyes are
usually dark, but lighter colored eyes do occur, although not in show
quality Miniature Poodles. They have a scissors bite, which is used
just on food and toys.

Their long and strong bodies have a level spine (called a topline in
the dog show world), although some pet-quality Miniature Poodles will
have a topline that slopes down to their hindquarters. The tail and
head are naturally held high. The feet are oval in shape, although
pet-quality Miniature Poodles will have splayed feet. The overall look
of the dog is that all of the body parts should be in proportion to
each other.

The Miniature Poodle does not naturally grow the outrageous coats seen
in the show ring. Their coats do need to be clipped every six to eight
weeks or else they take on an evil life of their own. Many owners of
pet Miniature Poodles choose the puppy clip, which mimics how the coat
looked as a two month old puppy.

All coats of Poodle types are long and curly and are actually hair and
not fur. Most Miniature Poodles fall short of their breed standard in
many areas, but still can be purebred Miniature Poodles.

Common faults that would disqualify them from a show ring include too
large and protruding eyes, an ewe neck, splayed paws instead of oval
shaped paws, more than one color on the coat, the tail held too low,
the tail curled over the back or the spine sloping downwards to the
hindquarters. They still make wonderful pets.

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