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Moyen Poodle: Get to Know This Rare Pup

Chances are, until recently, you have never heard of the Moyen Poodle.

That’s because these pups are not recognized by the American Kennel Club and until recently the term was not used in the USA.

In fact, the only Kennel club that recognizes the Moyen is the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

But there is a lot to love about the Moyen poodle, and people who are looking for a cute, lovable medium sized dog should consider getting one.

What is a Moyen Poodle?

A Moyen is a medium sized poodle. Since the 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 FCI they are considered to be one of the four sizes of poodle.

Moyen Poodle: Get to Know This Rare Pup title page - picture of light brown poodle

In Germany these poodles are called Kleinpudel, which translates to small poodle and in France they are called Cancihe Moyen, which translates to medium poodle. Here in the USA you will hear the term Moyen more often then Kleinpudel.

Although the Moyen is not recognized as a separate size category here in the USA, they should be. Keep reading to find out why.

Why get a Moyen Poodle?

When this question was asked to a group of Moyen owners the answer was the same for most people. They liked the temperament and look of the standard poodle, but did not want a big dog anymore.

Some of the other reasons mentioned were; the ease to pick them up, getting older and not being able to handle a large dog. Some wanted a travel companion that didn’t take up too much space and others wanted a dog that was big enough to go on outdoor adventures, but not too big. Yet others were looking for a family dog that was big enough to play with kids, not not too big that you had to worry about them accidentally hurting the kids.

These are many of the same reasons I first came across the medium sized poodle. I too was looking for an athletic dog that was sturdy enough to go hiking, but one that did not take over the car.

Three sizes of Poodle dogs that all look alike

How big does a Moyen (medium) poodle get?

Since there is no breed standard for the moyen when it comes to their size, the size range is up for interpretation here in the USA. But most people place it in the smaller size range of the standard poodle.

If you look at the AKC’s 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″.

This left a gap of 5 inches between the mini and the Standard poodle. Also keep in mind that a standard poodle can easily grow to 24 inches tall. Some have grown as tall as 28″. This makes the size range for a standard poodle to be between 15 to 24 inches. That’s a 9 inch difference in height.

This is where the Moyen comes in, since they fill the previous gap between 16 to 20 inches.

How much do Moyens weigh?

Medium poodles can weigh in at around 18 to 40 pounds. Anything smaller would be considered a mini or toy poodle. A Poodle’s weight should be in proportion to their height. Poodles are supposed to be slender and square in their build. post pin

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 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. Instead they could get a mix of sizes or they could be all big or all smaller.

Also the mini poodle’s temperament is very different from a standard poodle. While the Standard is more gentle, 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 small standard. That way you will have a better chance of the dog being the size and temperament you expect.

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

What is the temperament of a Moyen Poodle?

If a medium sized poodle is bred from small standards they should have the same good natured personality as the standard poodle. They are family oriented, highly intelligent, easily trained and gentle. All poodles enjoy the great outdoors and being active. These mid sized poodles also like to go on hikes, long walks or for a swim.  

Their high intelligence does require that they receive both mental and physical training to keep them happy. They would also prefer to have their people around them as often as possible.

Oh and did I mention that poodles like to cuddle? While they want to be active during the day, they will settle down nicely when the day is over.

Is the Moyen Poodle Purebred?

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

What colors are Moyen poodles?

Moyens come in the same colors and patterns that all poodles come in, but only some of the colors are recognized by the American Kennel Club.

AKC colors include; blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-aulaits, apricots, and creams. Poodles also come in various patterns like the popular Parti pattern, that is two colors with one of the colors being white.

Only solid colors are approved by the AKC but the non solid colors are often sought after by poodle fans.

Poodle colors - Apricot, white and black poodles

Moyen Poodle Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Standard poodle is between 12 and 15 years old. But some can die as young as 10. While the average lifespan of a mini poodle is closer to 15. Medium sized poodles may live to about 13-14 years old. But poodles have been known to live 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. The Moyen is a smaller sized standard.

But their personality can also be different. Large dogs tend to be more confident and less energetic than smaller dogs. This gives them a laid back vibe where a smaller dog might be more active and have fear issues. But these Characteristics 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. But this does not make the poodle a low maintenance pup.

In fact the poodle is a high maintenance dog that needs regular brushings and haircuts to keep their fur from becoming matted. While a medium or small poodle will take less time to groom, you still need to dedicate time every few days to brush your poodle.

Trust me if you take the time to maintain their coat you will be rewarded with less hassles when it comes time for a full groom and it will be cheaper for your wallet. Many groomers these days charge a dematting fee on top of the normal cost of a haircut.

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 breeds.

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. poodles colors - Apricot puppy

Are Poodles easy to train?

Poodles are both highly intelligent and very sensitive. This means that they not only pickup commands quicker than other breeds, 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.

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 than that. Just beware, the cheap price might cost you more in medical bills later.

Are Moyen Poodles High maintenance?

As with all poodles and poodle crossbreeds, they require regular brushing and combing to avoid the dog’s hair from getting matted. They also need to be active and require a lot of mental stimulation.

But if you are looking for a dedicated companion that is always up for adventure, this is your pup.

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 them from Europe.

Beware of a breeder that crossbred mini poodles to standards. These are not true Moyens. Carefully breeding dogs down in size takes time and careful planning to ensure the puppies are sound.

Another option is to look for a breeder that breeds smaller sized Standards. While the size will be close only the name is different.

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 watch the world go by type of vibe. Mini 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 hard working family dogs, its just the over the top haircuts that give them the fancy reputation. But a poodle can have the same teddy bear look 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 be allergic 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.

6. Super Soft Fur

Poodle fur is very soft to the touch. Petting the soft fur is very relaxing.

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.