Three varieties of the breed exist as follows:
The Standard, (photo right), is 15 inches or more in height at the shoulder and weighs 20 pounds or more. With his stylish demeaner, clean habits, non-shedding coat and desire to please, the Poodle makes a superior house pet for town or country. The Standard's needs are best suited to living in the house with plenty of outdoor exercise and play time.
The Moyen, or Klein, means medium in French and German. It's size falls in between the Miniature and Standard Poodles. Kleins tend to be in the 16-20 inch tall and 20-35 pound range, or the size of a small Standard Poodle. The Klein is an intelligent, joyful, companion dog. They are easy to train and catch on quickly; they are very willing and happy to please their handler. They has a large amount of energy, a very playful attitude and love to be around their owner. Life expectancy is 12-15 years.
The Miniature, (photo left), is between 10 to 15 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 12 to 20 pounds. The coat, colors, care and general conformation of the Miniature are identical, except for size. For this reason, the Miniature Poodle is an ideal size for city living and their charming manners make them a welcomed member of the family circle.
The Toy, (photo below) is 10 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders. The tiniest member of the Poodle family, the Toy Poodle can be an ideal companion for the less active and those with limited living space. The Toy Poodle makes a fine little watch dog. They are protective of their home, but not a dog that barks at every thing that moves. For those who need or want a little dog to pamper, the Toy Poodle seems to be perfect. It is not fragile, but neither is it robust enough to be considered suitable as a small child's pet. Poodles and children do fine together, but both need to be taught with patience how to treat the other. They need to know for certain what is and is not allowed.
All three types have a moderately peaked skull; a long, straight muzzle; dark, oval-shaped eyes; ears that are set low and hang close to the head; a strong neck; a deep chest; straight forelegs and muscular hind legs; and a tail that is carried high. The dog has a woolly undercoat and a topcoat that consists either of wiry, curled hair, or long, silky hair hanging in cords. The dog may be of any solid color.
Each size matures at a different rate; the Toy at 7 months, the Miniature at 12 months and the Standard at 18 to 24 Months.
Poodles are a sturdy dog with a long life span. Depending on the lines in the poodles pedigree, life expectancies average between 10 to 18 years. It has been documented that some poodles (all three sizes) have lived up to 21 years.