In the show ring, miniature poodles don a characteristic haircut, which sets them apart from other breeds. As most owners don't regularly groom their poodles in this style, it can be difficult to discern miniature poodles from other small, fluffy dogs such as bichons and Malteses, or from toy poodles. Measuring your dog and comparing it to miniature poodle standards can help determine its breed.
Measure the dog from the highest point of its shoulders to the ground. Miniature poodles are 11 to 15 inches tall. Shorter poodles are toys, while taller poodles are standard.
Weigh the dog. Miniature poodles have an ideal weight of 15 to 17 pounds.
Examine the coat. Miniature poodles typically have dense, curly or corded fur. Fur color may be creamy white, blue-gray, gray, silver, brown, tan or apricot. Miniature poodles may also have variegated coats, but this coloration is not accepted by the American Kennel Club's breed standards.
Examine the facial features. Miniature poodles should have dark black or brown, wide-set, oval eyes. Their long ears typically sit close to the head and begin at or close to eye level. The poodle's snout is long, straight and fine.
Examine the body. The breed has a level backbone, a deep, wide chest and muscled shoulders. Miniature poodles carry their tails high. Some poodles have docked tails.
Observe the dog's demeanor. Miniature poodles are typically active, proud, friendly and non-aggressive.
Items You Will Need
- Measuring tape
- George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images