True to their sporting dog category, Medium Poodles are athletic, smart, and eager-to-please. And like all Poodle varieties, they're also entertaining and elegant in everything they do.
Medium Poodle History
The Medium Poodle—known in some parts of the world as the Moyen Poodle or the Klein Poodle—is a smaller version of the Standard Poodle. So, unpacking the history of the Medium Poodle begins with the original Poodle breed.
Despite their strong association with the country, Poodles didn't originate in France. And no one really knows the full story behind the breed's origins. Poodles are likely related to the Portguese Water Dog and Irish Water Spaniel. Some experts believe they originated in Central Europe or Russia, while others think they got their start in Spain or Portugal. Another common theory is that German soldiers brought the Poodle to France during the 1400s.
Regardless of the breed's exact beginnings, everyone agrees that Poodles were bred for bird hunting and water retrieval. And their love of water is how they got their name. "Poodle" has its roots in an old German word meaning "to splash about."
What's the deal with the famous Poodle haircut? Hunters knew that Poodles would be more efficient swimmers if they had less hair. But less hair would leave them more vulnerable to the cold water. So, creative Poodle owners had an idea. They shaved most of the dog's body but strategically left puffs of hair to protect joints and vital organs from the cold. Problem solved.
Medium Poodle Traits
The Medium Poodle is an elegant, well-proportioned breed with a frizzy and curly coat.
Coat and Coloring
The Medium Poodle's dense coat can be curly (frizzy curls over the whole body) or corded (even cords that hang in varying lengths). Poodle owners often give their pups stylized haircuts or a "puppy clip" that trims hair to an even length over the whole body.
Medium Poodles come in a wide range of colors—including solid blacks, grays, silvers, browns, apricots, creams, and shading variations.
Distinctive Physical Traits
The Medium Poodle has dark, oval-shaped eyes that offer an alert, intelligent expression. Covered in long, wavy hair, the ears are long enough to reach the corner of the lip when pulled forward.
Medium Poodle Temperament
The Medium Poodle is an incredibly smart, playful, and athletic breed. Medium Poodles are usually friendly dogs that get along well with kids, dogs, and other pets. For anyone looking for all the benefits of a Standard Poodle—an active, family-oriented, non-shedding breed—in a slightly smaller package, the Medium Poodle fits the bill.
Medium Poodles love people and form tight bonds with their families. And because of their sensitive nature, they even pick up on the moods of people they're close to. The combination of this intuitive nature and their willingness to please makes Poodles great assistance and therapy dogs.
Medium Poodles may tend to bark or seem reserved around strangers. Early socialization can help prevent these behaviors.
Medium Poodle Care
Medium Poodles need a dog food formulated for their specific life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior). Diets developed specifically for Poodles are also a great option to explore.
To prevent your Medium Poodle from becoming overweight, keep a close eye on their food portions. And be sure to take treats into account when tracking their daily calorie intake. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog's calories.
Medium Poodles have hair instead of fur. That means—unlike fur coats that grow to a point and then shed—a Poodle's hair keeps growing. Similar to human hair, this breed's hair does still fall out. But it usually falls back into their coats (instead of all over the house). Because of this minimal shedding, Medium Poodles are an excellent breed for people with allergies.
Though Medium Poodles don't shed a lot, their coats still need regular grooming. To keep their hair free from mats and tangles, brush a few times a week. And because their hair grows continuously, plan on haircuts every month or so.
In addition to professional dental cleanings, Medium Poodles need an at-home dental care routine that includes regular teeth brushing.
Maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for the overall long-term health of all dogs.
The Medium Poodle is a very active breed that enjoys all the same activities as other dogs in the sporting group. Long walks, jogs, agility, retrieving, rally, and swimming are fun ways for a Poodle to burn off energy. Or for something a little different, try musical canine freestyle—a mix of obedience training, dance, and tricks.
Medium Poodles are very bright dogs, and therefore easy to train. Because they're so responsive and eager to please, reward-based training using treats or favorite toys is the best approach with these pups.
Medium Poodle Genetic Health Conditions
Osteochondrodysplasia is a disorder of bone and cartilage development resulting in stunted growth, misshapen limbs, and abnormal movement.
von Willebrand's Disease, type 1
von Willebrand's Disease (vWD) type 1 is a clotting disorder that usually causes mild bleeding tendencies in affected dogs though some may have more severe signs. The low level of von Willebrand's factor impacts the bloods clotting ability.
Knowing if your Medium Poodle is a carrier or at-risk for these conditions can help you and your veterinarian plan for your pup’s lifelong care. With Wisdom Panel™ Premium, you can get results for over 200 genetic health tests.
Reviewed July 26, 2020 by Annette Louviere, DVM