Are Miniature Poodles As Smart As Standard Poodles?

Miniature poodle laying in grass

Poodles, whether miniature or standard, are a popular breed for good reason. They are affectionate, intelligent, easy to train, non-shedding, enthusiastic pups with a distinctive curly coat. They have a long life span and become easily integrated into the family.

Poodles are also among the smartest dog breeds in the world. This makes them even more loveable and easy to train and work with.

This dog breed comes in several types; the AKC categorizes them into three major groups, the Giant, Standard, and Miniature Poodles. If you’ve ever owned a Standard and a Miniature Poodle, you can probably agree that they have a few differences in temperament, personality, size, and trainability.

In this article, we’re going to compare the standard and miniature breeds. Although they are distinct, they share a lot in common.

First and foremost, let’s answer the question of whether Miniature Poodles are as smart as Standard Poodles?

Generally, Miniature Poodles are just as smart as Standard Poodles. Although different in size, the Standard Poodle and Miniature Poodle have a lot in common. They are intelligent, easy to train, good companions, and suitable for families with children.

How Intelligent Are Miniature Poodles?

miniature poodle standing by water

Regardless of the size, Poodles are extremely intelligent dogs. They are quick in assessing your mood and responding accordingly. They are curious and observant by nature. They thrive on attention and need a large amount of it throughout the day. They are also quick to learn and pick up on commands and training methods quite easily.

Throughout their lives, poodles will amaze you with their intellectual capabilities.

It can be quite surprising how smart this dog breed is. Even Poodle mixes often inherit a high level of intelligence from the breed. I see this in my Mini Goldendoodle. She is about 75% Miniature Poodle and she is smart as a whip!

I grew up with a Miniature Poodle and she was very intelligent as well. Even as a young kid, I could tell that she was smarter than some of the other dog breeds that I often encountered at friends’ houses.

Are Miniature Poodles Easy To Train?

These two breeds are extremely intelligent and easy to train. Standard and Miniature Poodles are eager and sharp. They aim to please their owner so they excel in most training situations. Poodles often make great pets for a first-time dog owner. Someone who has never had a dog before will find training a Miniature Poodle to be easy and enjoyable.

The same can be said with the standard breed. Because of this, Standard Poodles are one of the few large dog breeds that work well with first-time dog owners.

You’ll achieve the best training with these breeds if you combine fun, positive motivation, and short sessions.

Simple commands such as sit, stay, heel, and fetch are easy for a Miniature Poodle to pick up on. I was able to teach my Miniature Goldendoodle these commands and others fairly quick and easy. I attribute this quick success to her intelligence which she inherited from the mixture of Poodle and Golden Retriever genes.

What Is The Difference Between A Miniature Poodle And A Standard Poodle?

standard poodle standing by lake

Both Standard and Miniature Poodles share a common history that dates back to about six centuries ago. Although some individuals believe the Standard Poodles were the first, miniaturization of dogs has been present for centuries. It’s most probable, these two evolved in the same period.

In the early days, Standard Poodles were used as working and hunting dogs, while the miniature breeds were mainly used as companion dogs.

Some individuals believe Standard Poodles originated from Germany since the name poodle is similar to the German name “pudel” which means splashing water. Others consider this breed to have originated from France as a descendant of the French Barbet.

Regardless of the history of these breeds, they are found in dog paintings in Europe dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. In the 18th century, Standard Poodles were the primary pet dogs in Spain. In the same period, toy Poodles were the main pet dogs among royal households in France.

Weight And Size

The obvious difference between the standard and the mini is the size of the dogs. On average, Standard Poodles are about 24 inches tall. A Poodle has to be at least 15 inches to be classified as a standard breed. This breed weighs between 48 to 68 pounds.

On the other hand, the Miniature Poodle weighs about 15lbs which is less than half the average weight of the standard breed. They are 11-15 inches in height on average.

Small breeds like the Miniature Poodle make great lap dogs and are especially good for those who live in small spaces. Apartment dwellers may find the miniature version of this breed to be the perfect companion.


Standard sized Poodles will need more exercise than the miniature version will. Since they are larger dogs and have more energy to expend, they will need someone who is willing to walk and exercise with them regularly.

Miniature Poodles also have high energy but will not need quite as much physical exercise as the larger breed. Both types are active dog breeds and are ideal for both country homes and apartments. Both breeds enjoy long walks.

Besides exercise, these breeds require adequate mental stimulation.

You can achieve this by providing mind-stimulating toys to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated. Playing, training, and regular interaction with your poodle is essential. Teaching them new tricks or commands should be a lifelong goal since they have a high intellectual capacity and need to use it.


Typically, large dogs have a shorter lifespan compared to the smaller breeds, this applies to Poodles too. The standard breed has a lifespan of 11-13 years while the miniature’s live longer; 12-14 years on average.

Common Qualities Of Standard and Miniature Poodles

Although Standard Poodles are more active and larger than the miniature, both breeds are ideal for families with kids. To avoid any conflicts with these pets, it’s essential to train your kids on how to live with the poodles. For example, they should not bother them when they are sleeping or eating.

They Are Great Companion Dogs

Both standard and mini Poodles are excellent companion dogs. They are suitable for individuals who spend adequate time with pets. If you’re at work most of the time, your Poodle will remain bored and lonely. These breeds need the utmost affection, care, and attention.

I see this behavior in my mini Goldendoodle. She doesn’t like to be alone and wants to be by your side all the time. She is irritable and anxious when you leave for work or your other daily routines.

Poodles reciprocate attention with companionship and unconditional love.


When purchasing a Poodle puppy, avoid sourcing from puppy mills since they normally produce puppies with physical and temperament issues. Generally, all Poodles are curious and non-aggressive and have an active temperament.

Standard and mini Poodles produce excellent results in obedience and agility training. Since they are extremely intelligent, they require lots of mental stimulation such as active outings, playtime, and frequent interactions with family members.

Miniature Poodles are highly emotionally sensitive. For example, if you come home bored, your Poodle will probably follow suit. These dogs also don’t respond well to loud noises. In extreme cases, they may get irritable. They may be easily frightened by noises.


Although Poodles are known to be fairly healthy breeds, miniature dogs often have a healthier life than larger dogs do. They are both susceptible to some common issues with eyes and hips. They may also be at a higher risk for von Willebrand’s Disease which is a blood disorder.


Both breeds are fantastic family pets for an active family who can stand the grooming needs required for this breed. Although these breeds are low-shedding, they’re demanding when it comes to grooming. They need regular brushing in addition to regular trimming of the coat.

If not taken care of, the hair of a Poodle can become matted or tangled making it more difficult to work with.

Some people choose to maintain a short coat for their Poodle since it’s more comfortable for them and easy to groom. This is most suitable during the warmer months. Our dog inherited the curly Poodle hair and we generally keep it short during the summer. You can always tell that she appreciates it and feels much better having it cut short.

Read more about how we keep our dog cool in the summer.


As you’ve seen in the above text, standard and mini Poodles have much in common although they also have a few differences, including size. They come in a variety of colors. Due to this, you have a wide selection to choose from.

Miniature Poodles are smart just like their larger counterparts are. Their intelligence, as well as their loving temperament, make them a popular dog breed for dog lovers all over the world. The only question is whether you prefer a small dog or a large one.

No matter which way you go with a Poodle, you are certain to have a dog with a high level of intelligence.

Dan Collins

Not only am I a dog or pet lover, but an animal lover. My Goldendoodle has opened my eyes to how special animals can be and I am proud to be her dad. I write about Doodles and share my knowledge and experience of owning a mini Goldendoodle for 16 years.

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