Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle

Written by August Buck
Published: April 1, 2022
© Lim Tiaw Leong/Shutterstock.com
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Key Points

  • Miniature poodles are the largest of the poodle breeds, they are noted for their intelligence which makes them easy to train.
  • Next in size come toy poodles, a variety that once earned their keep as circus performers; they are noted for their cleverness and friendliness.
  • Teacup poodles are the smallest of all. They are particularly delicate and require meticulous care.

Did you know that there are three different poodle varieties known as the toy poodle vs miniature poodle vs teacup poodle? Are there any differences between these three dogs, and what might they have in common besides the fact that they are all poodle breeds? If you have always wanted to learn more about poodles, you’re in the right place!

In this article, we will compare and contrast toy poodles, miniature poodles, and teacup poodles so that you can learn everything there is to know about these individual dogs. We will discuss their ancestries, appearances, and behavioral differences so that you can fully understand them. Let’s get started and talk all about poodles now! 

Comparing Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle
The toy poodle weighs 5-9 pounds, the miniature poodle weighs 14-17 pounds, and the teacup poodle weighs 2-4 pounds.

©A-Z-Animals.com

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Toy PoodleMiniature PoodleTeacup Poodle
Size9-11 inches; 5-9 pounds11-15 inches; 14-17 pounds5-8 inches; 2-4 pounds
AppearanceIn between miniature and teacup sizesThe largest of the poodle varietiesThe smallest of the poodle varieties
AncestryUnknown, but used in a variety of jobs including circus performingBred shortly after the standard poodle gained popularityA recent breed, made to be an even smaller variety of toy poodle for designer purposes
BehaviorFriendly and smart; ideal for some families and situationsIntelligent and easy to train; ideal performer and family companionSmall and sweet, but extremely delicate; not ideal for many families or busy households
Lifespan11-14 years12-15 years10-13 years

Key Differences Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle
Miniature poodles are the largest poodles, with toy poodles next, followed up by teacup poodles as the smallest. 

©Jagodka/Shutterstock.com

There are a few key differences between toy poodles, miniature poodles, and teacup poodles. While all of these poodles are technically the same breed, just different sizes, they were all bred and created for different reasons in the first place. There are also differences in the life spans and behaviors of the toy poodle, miniature poodle, and tea cup poodle. 

Let’s take a look at all these differences in detail now. 

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle: Size

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle
Teacup poodles differ from both toy poodles and miniature poodles in that they are simply designer dogs that have been recently created.

©Dulova Olga/Shutterstock.com

One of the most obvious distinctions that you can make between all three of these poodles is their sizes. The toy poodle weighs 5-9 pounds, the miniature poodle weighs 14-17 pounds, and the teacup poodle weighs 2-4 pounds. As you can no doubt tell, the height differences and weight differences between these three dogs is what separates them primarily. 

For example, toy poodles measure 9 to 11 inches tall, miniature poodles measure 11 to 15 inches tall, and tea cup poodles measure 5 to 8 inches tall, given that they are the smallest poodle variety in existence. However, it may be difficult to tell what variety you have upon first glance and without weighing them properly. 

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle: Appearance

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle
Toy poodles were thought to be royal lap dogs, while miniature poodles were used primarily for entertainment.

©Jagodka/Shutterstock.com

There are very few differences in the appearance of a toy poodle versus the appearance of a miniature poodle, and even less of a difference when looking at a teacup poodle. However, when looking at these three poodles side by side, you can tell that they are different based on their sizes alone. 

Given that all three of these dogs are the same breed, they are all found in the same fur type, coloring, and general body shape. There are no extreme differences in appearance between toy poodles, miniature poodles, and teacup poodles besides their relative size differences. Miniature poodles are the largest poodles, with toy poodles next, followed up by tea cup poodles as the smallest. 

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle: Ancestry and Breeding

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle
Miniature poodles are extremely intelligent and ideal for a variety of families, while toy poodles and teacup poodles are better suited for families without young children.

©Lim Tiaw Leong/Shutterstock.com

One of the primary differences between all of these poodle varieties has to do with their ancestry and why they were bred in the first place. For example, miniature poodles exist because of the popularity of standard poodles. However, standard poodles were too large to take on the road in circus acts and other situations, so miniature poodles were born. 

The same can be said for toy poodles as well, though toy poodles were thought to be royal lap dogs, while miniature poodles were used primarily for entertainment. Teacup poodles differ from both toy poodles and miniature poodles in that they are simply designer dogs, recently created and bred to be as small as possible. 

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle: Behavior

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle
The miniature poodle has the longest lifespan out of all three of these poodles, with the toy poodle second and the teacup poodle third.

©Aarontphotography/Shutterstock.com

There are a few behavioral differences between toy poodles, miniature poodles, and teacup poodles. Miniature poodles are extremely intelligent and ideal for a variety of families, while toy poodles and teacup poodles are better suited for families without young children. However, this is less a matter of the dog’s behavior and more a matter of the size of the dog. 

Given how small the tea cup poodle and miniature poodle are, they are less suited for busy families or young children. Most toy dog breeds suffer from physical trauma or moments of getting stepped on based on their size. Miniature poodles are best for active households. 

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle: Lifespan

Toy Poodle vs Miniature Poodle vs Teacup Poodle
Physical trauma and other accidents are typically causes of death for the toy poodle and teacup poodle, while miniature poodles are larger and sturdier overall.

©Rin Seiko/Shutterstock.com

The final difference between toy poodles, miniature poodles, and teacup poodles is their lifespans. The miniature poodle has the longest lifespan out of all three of these poodles, with the toy poodle second and the teacup poodle third. But why might this be, especially when you consider the fact that most small dogs live longer than larger dogs? 

Given the fact that the toy poodle and teacup poodle are extraordinarily small, their lifespans are shorter than the miniature poodle. Physical trauma and other accidents are typically causes of death for the toy poodle and teacup poodle. Miniature poodles are larger and sturdier overall.

best dog food for poodles
Poodles are prized for their appearance but can be delicate

©Dulova Olga/Shutterstock.com

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The Featured Image

Smallest Dogs: Toy Poodle
The Toy Poodle dates all the way back to the 17th century.
© Lim Tiaw Leong/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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