Skip to Content

What is a Moyen Poodle? Get to Know This Rare Breed

Updated: 03/13/2024 – Have you heard about the Moyen Poodle? This mid-sized dog is a relatively lesser-known gem, often overshadowed by its popular relatives, the standard poodle and the miniature poodle.

While sometimes mistaken for the more common Standard Poodle due to their similar appearance, the Moyen Poodle holds its own charm and distinctive features that set it apart. This medium-sized variant, though not officially recognized as a separate dog breed at the American Kennel Club (AKC) has steadily been gaining admirers for its size, adaptability, and intelligence.

But how does it differ from the likes of the Standard Poodle? And what makes it a popular choice for many poodle enthusiasts?

Join us as we dive deeper into the world of Moyen Poodles, shedding light on their origins, temperament, and the unique place they hold in the tapestry of dog breeds.

What is a Moyen Poodle? Get to Know This Rare Breed - Title pick with small poodle puppy

What is a Moyen Poodle?

A Moyen poodle is a medium sized poodle. Since the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not have a category for the medium sized poodles, they are generally classified as either a small standard poodle or sometimes they are a large mini poodle here in the USA.

But at the World Canine Organization known as the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) they are considered to be one of the four sizes of poodle. In fact, the only Kennel club that recognizes the medium sized poodle is the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

What is a Moyen Poodle vs a Klein Poodle

Both the Moyen and Klein poodles are medium sized poodles. The only difference between the two is the country the term is used in.

In Germany, medium size poodles are called Kleinpudel, which translates to small poodle. This term was then Americanized in the United States to Klein Poodle.

Moyen is the French term for medium or average. In France, a medium sized poodle is called Cancihe Moyen, which translates to medium poodle. Both the Klein and Moyen poodles are the same size.

Here in the United States you will hear the term Moyen more often than Kleinpudel or Klein Poodle.

Although neither the Moyen nor the Klein are recognized as a separate size category here in the USA. Keep reading to find out why.

Three sizes of Poodle dogs that all look alike

How big does a Moyen (medium) poodle get?

A Moyen poodle falls between the Miniature Poodle and the Standard Poodle. This medium size poodle usually stands at about 16 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder.

International Poodle Sizes

Standard Poodle45 cm up to 60 cm (18″ to 24″)
Moyen PoodleOver 35 cm up to 45 cm (14″ to 18″)
Mini Poodle26 cm up to 35cm (10″ to 14″)
Poodle Sizes based on the Fédération Cynologique Internationale – Poodle Breed Standard.

If you look at the AKC’s poodle breed standard for the standard poodle it states “The Standard Poodle is over 15 inches at the highest point of shoulders.” Anything shorter than 15 inches is considered to be a mini poodle and poodles under 10″ are toy poodles. But that wasn’t always the case. Before 2020 the Standard Poodle’s minimum height was stated as 20″. So in the USA the medium size poodle tends to be a little bigger than its European counterparts.

How much do Moyens weigh?

Medium poodles can weigh in at around 18 to 40 pounds, though individual weight can vary based on factors like diet, exercise, and genetics. A Poodle’s weight should be in proportion to their height. Poodles are supposed to be slender and square in their build. post pin
Pin me for later!

How are Moyen Poodles bred?

In the 1700s, owners bred Standard Poodles down to a smaller size, creating the Miniature and Toy Poodles we have today. In Europe they also used this process to breed medium sized poodles. The process of breeding down a dog in size takes several generations of breeding smaller pups together.

Because medium sized poodles were not bred in the USA, to get one they need to be imported from Europe. Since European Kleinpudel were created years ago, they have a standardized size that is passed down to their off-spring.

Intervariety Poodle Breeding

Some breeders that are looking to get into selling medium sized poodles are creating their own smaller size by breeding a standard with a mini. This is a quicker way to breed down the size.

But there are possible issues when breeding different sized dogs even when they are the same breed. A poodle is supposed to have a balanced look. Meaning their height at the top of their shoulder is close to the length of their body.

When you breed two different sized poodles like the mini and the standard they can become off balanced. A common example will be a dog with a long body and short legs. You can also end up with a larger dog with fine-bones or small dogs with big heads.

The other issue with breeding a mini to a standard poodle is the unknown, which is the same issue with F1 doodles. Breeding a large dog to a small one does not guarantee you will end up with medium sized dogs.

Also the mini poodle’s temperament is different from a standard poodle. While the Standard is gentler, a mini can be high strung. When combining the two you won’t know what personality you get until they are grown.

It’s best to get a true Moyen puppy from a long line of Klein poodles that originated in Europe or opt for a smaller standard. That way you will have a better chance of the dog being the size and temperament you expect.

Is the Moyen Poodle A Purebred?

In the USA the medium sized poodle is considered a small purebred standard poodle, if they are born from purebred parents.

Medium Sized Poodle: Get to Know This Rare Pup - Cream colored poodle in snow

What is the temperament of a Moyen Poodle?

Moyen Poodles are intelligent, quick learners who relish mental activities and are often easy to train. They’re deeply affectionate, forming tight bonds with families, making them suitable for various households, from singles to seniors.

They are social creatures, coexisting well with children and other pets, especially when socialized early. Their alert nature makes them attentive watch dogs, yet they’re not typically aggressive. These poodles are active, adaptable, and have a strong desire to please, excelling in activities like agility.

However, individual temperaments can differ, with upbringing and environment being influential factors.

What colors are Moyen poodles?

Moyen Poodles come in a wide variety of colors, similar to other Poodle sizes. Some of the most common colors and combinations include:

  1. Solid Colors:
    • Black
    • White
    • Blue
    • Gray
    • Silver
    • Cream
    • Apricot
    • Red
    • Brown
  2. Multi-colored Patterns: These can include combinations of the above colors in patterns such as:
    • Parti (primarily white with patches of another color)
    • Tuxedo (specific white markings on a dark background)
    • Phantom (similar to the markings of a Doberman or Rottweiler)
Poodle colors - Apricot, white and black poodles

Moyen Poodle Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Moyen Poodle is about 13-16 years. This is in between the average lifespan of a Standard poodle at 12 and 15 years old and the mini poodle at closer to 14-16 with some minis living to 18 years old.

What is the difference between a Standard Poodle and a Moyen Poodle?

The main difference between the Standard and the Moyen is their size and personality. The Moyen is smaller than the standard size.

They may also exhibit a different personality depending on their breeding. Smaller poodles tend to be a bit more high-strung than the Standard poodle. However these behaviors can be managed through proper training, socialization and daily activities.

Brown and black - Parti Puppy
Parti Poodle puppy

Do Moyen Poodles Shed?

While all dogs shed to a degree, poodles are known for their low shed coats. Their curly coat traps the loose hairs, making it appear as if they don’t shed. Regular grooming is essential to prevent their hair from becoming tangled and matted, and during grooming sessions, the loose hair is typically removed.

Are Moyen Poodles High maintenance?

The Moyen is considered a high maintenance dog due to their grooming needs. Regular brushing is required to keep their fur mat free. In addition, they will need regular grooming either with a professional groomer or you can do it yourself at home.

Do Moyen Poodles bark a lot?

Standard poodles are not known to be excessive barkers, but just like any dog they will bark when they want to alert you to something.

They are however talkers, both the standard and the toy poodle landed in the top 12 of the VetStreet Readers survey for the most talkative dog breed.

Of course barking can be a sign of boredom in all dogs, so if your pup starts to bark at everyone that goes by, it’s time to take out the toys or go for a walk. poodles colors - Apricot puppy

Are Poodles easy to train?

Poodles are both highly intelligent and very sensitive. This means that they are not only quick learners, but they also understand when you are not happy with their behavior.

Since poodles are bred to first work alongside people in the fields and eventually evolve into becoming a companion dog they have a natural instinct to want to please you. But they need to be trained in a positive way. Praise and affection will go further than yelling. Harsh training will backfire with this breed.

How Much Daily Exercise Does a Moyen Poodle Need?

Moyen Poodles are known for their intelligence, agility, and energetic nature. They thrive on regular physical activity and mental stimulation. Here’s a breakdown of the exercise requirements for a Moyen Poodle:

  1. Daily Walks: Moyen Poodles should have at least one long daily walk, lasting around 30 minutes to an hour. These walks not only provide the necessary physical exercise but also opportunities for them to explore and socialize.
  2. Playtime: These dogs love to play. Engage them in games like fetch, tug-of-war, or even hide and seek. They enjoy interactive toys that challenge their minds as well.
  3. Mental Stimulation: Poodles, in general, are highly intelligent and benefit greatly from activities that challenge their brains. Training sessions, puzzle toys, and agility courses can be a great way to provide this mental workout.
  4. Off-leash Activities: If you have a secure area where your Moyen Poodle can run freely, they’ll love the chance to sprint and play without the constraints of a leash.
  5. Socialization: Social interactions are a form of mental and emotional exercise. Regularly exposing your Moyen Poodle to different environments, people, and other dogs will keep them well-rounded and mentally stimulated.

But remember all dogs are different and may require more or less exercise then what is stated here.

What does a Moyen Cost?

A moyen poodle will cost around $3,000 to $ 4,000 for a pup that has genetic health tested parents and are raised from quality breeders. Though you can find poodles that are not well bred or properly health tested for less. Just beware, the cheap price might cost you more in medical bills and training later.

Are Moyen Poodles Good Pets?

Moyen Poodles make excellent pets due to their friendly temperament, manageable size, and intelligence. They’re adaptable to various living situations, shed minimally, and are good for many mild allergy sufferers. Regular grooming is essential, and they’re known for being social and loyal companions. Proper care and training ensure they fit well in most households.

Moyen poodles one black and one white

Where to find a Moyen Poodle?

Finding a medium sized poodle in the USA is still difficult although more breeders are getting into business. As I mentioned above, medium sized poodles were not commonly bred here. So finding one means finding a breeder that imported breeding dogs from Europe.

However, some breeders are starting to breed intervariety Moyens. This is where a miniature poodle is bred to a standard poodle hopefully creating a smaller sized standard that fits into the medium size range. This is not true Moyens.

You can also look for one at a Poodle Rescue

Red poodle puppy in flowers

6 Reasons to Get a Medium Sized Poodle

1. They are the Goldilocks of the dog world

Standard sized poodles can be big, too big for some people, but they do have a laid-back way of watching the world go by type of vibe. Miniature poodles on the other hand at only 15 pounds can be small. Although they are still athletic, they can be too small for busy households with young kids. Plus they tend to be high strung and have that little dog complex.

But the medium sized poodle is the perfect blend of size and attitude.

2. You can doodle your poodle

There are a few reasons why people chose to get a doodle instead of a poodle. One of them is the frilly image they have of the poodle. But poodles are hardworking family dogs, it’s just the over the top haircuts that give them the fancy reputation. But a poodle can have the same teddy bear haircut as a doodle.

3. Allergy Friendly

There is a reason why there are so many poodle crossbreeds. This is because poodles have an allergy friendly coat. Now allergy friendly does not mean you cannot have allergic reactions to the breed, just that there is less of a chance that you will be allergic.

It’s believed that pet allergies are caused by proteins that are found in a dog’s skin cells, saliva or urine. When a dog sheds, that dander (skin cells) are released into the air causing people who are sensitive to the protein to have an allergic reaction when they inhale the dander.

But since the poodle doesn’t shed much there is less dander into the air, making poodles an option for people with allergies.

If you have dog allergies make sure to spend time around poodles before committing to getting one. But nothing is guaranteed. All dogs are different and you may be allergic to one poodle and not the other.

4. Low shedding

Maybe allergies are not an issue but you just don’t like to find dog fur all over the house. Then a poodle is a great choice since they are naturally a low shed dog.  No crossbreeding necessary.

5. Smart and people oriented

Poodles are not only super smart but they also want to please their people. This combination of traits makes them easier to train. Plus, they make great family pets.

6. Super Soft Fur

Poodle fur is very soft to the touch. Petting them can be akin to a therapy session for many people.

Why you shouldn’t get a poodle

  • Their high intelligence means they can get bored easily. This can turn into excessive barking or other destructive behavior. If you don’t have the time to spend with a dog, a poodle is not the right fit.
  • They can suffer from separation anxiety. Poodles are a social breed that needs to be around their people. Too much alone time is not good for them.
  • Poodles tend to be a bit standoffish to strangers. If you are looking for a friendly pup that will greet everyone they meet, this is not the right breed. Try a mini Goldendoodle instead.


Monday 14th of August 2023

Very helpful information for us as we plan to search for a dog in the next year.We lost our beloved Black Labrador, Maggie to cancer in June. It is too soon now for a new dog, her memories are so overwhelming, but know we will be getting another dog in the future. We are weighing the pros and cons of another dog that sheds as much as a lab. Thank you for your informative article.


Saturday 23rd of September 2023

@Carrie, I to loss my 14yr old all American who was a rescue, I said no more dog's, I thought I was to old and didn't want to go Through the sadness of losing another pup. Well that didn't last long, I brought a 12wk old medium goldendoodle into my home and after he got through puppy hood he is a great guy, loveable and cuddly. He gets me out walking which is a good thing. Anyways, dogs are the best and by the way, Doodles don't shed ! Best of luck in your new adventure.


Tuesday 15th of August 2023

Hi Carrie,

Sorry for your loss. We also lost our Golden Retriever to cancer at a younger age many years back. It was very sudden. It's a difficult time to go through.

To cope we started looking at other dogs. Much like you we planned to wait a year before getting another dog but wanted to see what types of dogs there were.

But fate had other plans for us and we ended up with a 16 week old English Springer Spaniel puppy 4 months after our Golden died. We weren't really looking for a dog but her time was running out. No one wanted her because she was VERY hyper. She was a great dog that just needed a family.

Wishing you the best Bonnie