The lively little Miniature Poodle is a natural performer and has a long history of working in the circus.
Poodles come in a variety of sizes: Standard (the largest), Miniature (smaller) and Toy (smallest), although some countries also recognise a Medium-sized which sits between Standard and Miniature. They all have a generally square look, a long, straight muzzle and hanging ears. They do not shed but their curly coat is typically close cut and comes in a variety of solid colours. The coat can be corded but keeping it curly is more popular.
The original Standard Poodle was bred in Europe, as a water retrieval dog and the Miniature and Toy poodles have been bred down from that. The smaller types were sometimes used to hunt truffles but they have mainly found favour as performers and companions.
They are highly intelligent, alert, active and eager to please. They do well at active sports such as agility and are very good at learning tricks. With the right training they can be stranger, children and dog friendly as long as their cuteness doesn't encourage people to spoil them. They have plenty of energy and greatly enjoy being outside. They love water.
Poodles need their long ears checking and their coat clipping regularly. There are a variety of clips, but Miniature and Toy Poodles often just have a "puppy clip" - short all over. They are prone to eye problems, heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, ear infections and skin allergies.