Poodle Size Mixing: Is it okay?

General, Poodles | 5 comments

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Since the Poodle’s inception, the breed has been one of the most distinguished and highly-desired breeds in the world. Often a sign of regalness and sophistication, pet lovers everywhere have pined for a Poodle in their own home. And, while there are established sizes, poodle size mixing is completely okay, if it is not too big of a difference.

A passion for Poodles has brought many breeders a desire to create different types of breed mixes – some of which are perfect matches while others have a host of problems of their own. However, the real allure of a Poodle is its high intelligence, hypoallergenic coat, and extreme athleticism. That doesn’t mean Poodles don’t come with their own set of health concerns and careful considerations to keep in mind when breeding them.

Consider the Consequences

When breeding any type of animal, it is important to keep in mind that there are ethical and moral responsibilities that owners must uphold. In order to do just that, a pet owner must educate themselves on the breeding process and the possible consequences specific breed mixes can come with.

Sadly, puppy mills across the world love to use Poodles as some of their favorite canines to breed. In fact, some puppy mills will go extreme lengths to achieve extremely small Poodle sizes. Most of these decisions are made purely based on how to make more profit rather than what it is best for the breed itself.

The good news is there is a way to ethically and healthily breed Poodles so that you get the best of both worlds! It’s important to keep in mind that certain Poodle sizes shouldn’t be mixed with other breeds, and some Poodle sizes shouldn’t be mixed with each other.

Have no fear! We’re here to help you find the right mix and match so that you can have a healthy and happy Poodle for many years!

Let’s get Historical!

As you probably already know, Poodles have been around for a very long time. Their history goes as far back as hundreds of years B.C. For the more modern Poodle that you know of today, the roots of the breed date back to 1400 A.D. in Germany. These canines were originally bred to work as retrievers, much like labrador retrievers.

Since it’s breed origin, the Poodle has seen three standard sizes appear and stick around in the breed world: standard, miniature, and toy. For the smaller sized Poodles, they are bred from the standard sized Poodle as a breed mix. French hunters like to use smaller Poodles to help them hunt truffles, but the toy-sized Poodles were often used as simply companion dogs. Royal courts liked the toy Poodle breed, too, and they quickly became the favorite canine breed across gypsy and circus cultures! They were easy to carry around and fun to show off for their miniature size!

The United States was slow to jump on the Poodle bandwagon, but it eventually came around! With recognition from the esteemed Kennel Club and the AKC, Poodles quickly became known for the intelligence and ability to train, which most pet owners were (and still are) looking for in a canine companion.

Kurumi’s size is small, but her soul is huge – from @kurumitaan

Size Them Up

There are three very distinct sizes of Poodles – standard, miniature, and toy. The miniature and toy Poodles are derived from a breed mix with a Standard Poodle. Each of these different sizes of Poodles come with their own health concerns and personalities. It is extremely vital that breeders understand know the pros and cons of breeding different sizes of Poodles together before embarking on the challenge.

If a Poodle mix is bred that doesn’t have desired or healthy outcomes, the breed could potentially create an unhealthy sub-breed that could cause problems for years to come.

Poodle Size Health Concerns Life Expectancy Best Known For
Standard Poodle Hip and elbow dysplasia, femoral bone disease, Addison’s disease, sebaceous adenitis, the leading cause of death is cancer 12-15 years Family-friendly, athletic, intelligent, easy to train
Miniature Poodle Chondrodysplasia, heart abnormalities, arthritis, joint pain, and the curvature of the spine 13-15 years Agile, highly intelligent, most popular breed, need quiet environments
Toy Poodle Canine dwarfism possible, skin tumors, leading cause of death is cancer 15 years Companion dog, favorites with royal families, intellectual, athletic, easy to train, eager to please


Can you breed different Poodle sizes?

As with any type of breeding, understanding the health concerns that come with each type of breed in the potential mix is important. Every dog is different and will come with its own health concerns, which is why screening your Poodle for health problems before breeding is crucial.

Poodle breeders are responsible for getting their Poodles screened by a veterinarian to ensure that they are in the best health possible. If something is missed and Poodles are bred with underlying health issues, the potential to spread the disease or mutation is multiplied and much more likely to spread.

There is nothing that has been proven that breeding different sizes of Poodles are dangerous to the mixed puppy’s health, but breeding two different types of canines is always worthy of caution. Keep in mind that what might be true for one breed set won’t necessarily be true for another. That is why getting your Poodles’ health screened before starting the breeding process is so important.

Poodle Cross-Breeds

Some of the more common breeds you will find are cross-breeds with Poodles. Labradoodles and Cockapoos are two of the common cross-breeds you will find with Poodles. Breeders and owners alike find these cross-breeds desirable for many reasons, but some particularly like the hypoallergenic coat that Poodles bring to the breeding table. Labradoodles are known for being great for people with allergies to canines because their coat doesn’t carry the same dander that causes canine allergies.

As always, screen the health of all canines involved in the breeding process before proceeding. Each breed comes with their own set of health concerns and potential problems, which means knowing those beforehand will save you thousands of dollars and lots of headaches.

It’s quite hard to say how long these cross-breeds and Poodle breeds will stick around in the canine world. But one thing is for certain – Poodles make great family dogs and lifelong companions. You really can never go wrong with a Poodle of any kind in your home!

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  1. Aslı

    I was wondering if breeding different size of poodles disapproved by fci pr akc? For example medium size bitch and toy size stud?

    • Chyrle Bonk, DVM

      Hi Asli,

      The major issues with breeding different sized dogs are the physical limitations of each and the breeding health of both the stud and the bitch. Pre-breeding screenings, such as OFA’s, should be performed before any two poodles are mated. As far as the size goes, poodles are poodles no matter what size they are. Their stature doesn’t keep them from being considered part of the breed. However, offspring of different sized poodles might have more trouble being classified as one of the 3 (or 4) sizes.

      Dr. Chyrle Bonk, Poodled Vet 🙂

  2. Dar

    Can I breed a miniature poodle with a toy poodle safe and sound and AKC register?
    Will there be any health issues if they’re both cleared from all diseases?

  3. Mica

    Could you mix a standard poodle with a miniature poodle?

  4. Carrie G

    I think my Standard size Goldendoodle may have impregnated my miniature schnoodle. Is there a health risk for the size difference?


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