The words "Standard" (+15 inches), "Miniature" (10 to 15 inches), and "Toy" (-10 inches) are the official words used to denote the size of the poodle. All of these are one breed. The measurement is taken from the ground to the top of the shoulderblades.
Most breeds don't come in 3 sizes as the poodle does. So many people break down these sizes even further to give a more accurate idea of what size dog is being referred to. Some use the nickname "Royal Standard" to refer to an XL Standard Poodle.
The terms, "Teacup Poodle" and "Tiny Toy" are also nicknames that refer to the smallest Toy Poodles. These nicknames are not official varieties with the AKC but are just terms that describe sizes. Using or refusing to use these nicknames does not make a breeder reputable.
At Abounding Poodles we define a Toy Poodle as a "Teacup" if he / she is 4 lbs or less as an adult. "Tiny Toy" is a Toy Poodle that is from 4 to 6 lbs full grown. An "Oversized Toy Poodle" is one who was born from Toy Poodle parents, but inherited the genetics to be tall and will end up being taller than 10 inches... in our lines, that is usually around 9-12 lbs as an adult.
"Teacup Poodles" are known for their health concerns. The problem stems largely from the practice of INBREEDING, since the breeding of close relatives (siblings or parent-child) will reduce the size of the offspring. Most "teacup poodles" in the market have obvious defects such as buldging, bugged-out eyes, little bitty stubby legs on a big round torso, crooked legs, and the list goes on. Here at Abounding Poodles, our teacups are the result of total OUTCROSSES where the parents are not related at all.
However, it is possible to produce beautiful and healthy "teacup poodles" that actually end up looking like little miniature show dogs. They have the square body, almond-shaped eyes... beautiful conformation and great health. Just as in a human family with 3 children, you may have one that is very tall, and one that is very short. The smallest sibling may be sickly or may be a healthy human with the genetics to be short.
Even the healthiest "Teacup Poodles" do require some special attention, however. For example, as a puppy it has no fear and may try to jump from the couch... This could result in injury, a broken leg, etc. They must be watched around children because these little poodles are small and frail. Some of them may require to have their kibble broken in little bitty pieces. As puppies, they will be more prone to having issues with their sugar dropping too low, so they must eat often (this is the reason why our puppies can only be adopted after age 8 weeks AND weighing more than 2 lbs, see "Note" below). Having said all this, "Teacup Poodles" can be a lot of fun because they are so portable and can go anywhere with you in a purse.
Please keep in mind that when buying a puppy that the estimated size is an educated opinion based on the history of those lines and what they have produced in the past. At Abounding Poodles, we weigh and measure our puppies often and compare those weights with that of their past relatives. However, the final size of a dog can only be known for a fact after he / she is full grown at age 8-9 months. Note: when buying a Teacup Poodle puppy, please make sure the puppy eats often to maintain their blood sugar level even. If the puppy starts to sleep a lot or starts to walk very slow or like it is "drunk," that means that the sugar is low. Please place some peanut butter or karo in their mouth, then feed him / her some dog food mixed with chicken to make it appetizing. A new puppy sometimes gets so enthralled with its new environment that it "forgets" to eat. Please make sure the puppy is eating regularly while growing up if it's a teacup.
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