Moyen Poodle | Complete Breed Guide & FAQ! (2024)

A silver Moyen Poodle dashing across a horizontal beam on an agility course.

Poodles have held a firm position for years in the top 10 most popular dog breeds, and most people are familiar with the three common size variations of Standard, Miniature, and Toy. 

Many fans of the breed have heard of the tiny Teacup version as well. However, an additional variety is not nearly as well known or commonplace: the Moyen Poodle.

Moyen Poodle Characteristics


What is a Moyen Poodle? A Moyen Poodle is a Poodle variety that falls in between Standards and Miniatures. They stand 15 – 20 inches tall, weigh 20 – 35 pounds, and cost between $2,000 and $3,000. Their temperament, energy, grooming needs, and health is comparable to other Poodle varieties.

Moyen Poodles are delightful dogs and have been popular pets across Europe for a long time.

When raised correctly, they are ideal companions for singles and are perfect as family pets. 

If you love the idea of owning a Poodle but don’t want a tiny dog or an extremely large one either, then the Moyen just may be the answer.

What Is a Moyen Poodle? 

Moyen Poodles have been around for longer than you may have realized as they only recently have begun to gain popularity outside of Europe.

Moyens are a size variety in between a Standard Poodle and a Miniature Poodle created by downsizing the Standard. 

The term Moyen is used in France, though in other parts of Europe they are called Klein Poodles.

Medium Poodle is another name often used to refer to this size category.

Though they are mainly bred as companion pets, Moyens are sometimes used in the downsizing of Poodle crosses such as the Goldendoodle, Labradoodle, and Irish Doodle.

They are perfectly capable of performing other roles in which the more common Poodle varieties excel, such as therapy work and assistant dogs.

Moyen Poodle Facts 

Origin Germany and France
Size Smaller than Standard, bigger than Miniature
Height 15 – 20 inches
Weight 20 – 35 pounds
Purpose Companion pet
Colors Multiple 
Coat Dense, tight curls
Temperament Affectionate, playful, eager to please 
Aggressive? No
Energy Level Fairly high
Exercise needs Two 30 minute sessions daily
Intelligence Very high
Good family dog? Yes
Good with other pets? Yes
Good for first-time owners? Yes
Good hunting dog? Potentially
Good apartment dogs? Yes – when socialized and exercised properly
Cost $2,000 – $3,000
Trainability Very easy to train
Shedding Very low
Hypoallergenic? Yes
Grooming requirements Moderate
Health issues Same as other Poodle varieties, though generally healthy
Life expectancy 12 – 18 years

Moyen Poodle Characteristics

A black Poodle with shaggy hair on a white background.

Moyen Poodle Size

Moyens are the perfect compromise between Standard and Miniature Poodles

Many Poodle lovers consider Moyens to be an ideal size as they do not require the large space and big meal portions that Standards do but are larger than the Miniature variety, which some think to be too small.

Moyen Poodle Height 

The majority of Moyen Poodles will reach 15 to 20 inches tall (at the highest point of the shoulder) by adulthood.

There may be a slight variation to this range depending on the breeder, but these figures are considered the norm.

Ideally, a height closer to the 15 inch mark is desirable, as taller Moyens may bear a stronger resemblance to Standard Poodles.

Moyen Poodle Weight 

In peak form, adult Moyen Poodles can be expected to weigh between 20 and 35 pounds.

Of course, males will usually be a bit heavier and sturdier than females and obesity can lead to a weight well beyond the average, but generally, most Moyens will fall within these specifications.

Moyen Poodle Growth Rate 

Moyen Poodles tend to grow at a slightly faster pace than Standard Poodles but a little slower than Miniatures. 

As you will see in the following charts for growth rate, there is a rapid period of growth from the time your puppy comes home until the 9-month mark, at which time both height and weight growth slow considerably.

Note that the rates given are mere averages, and growth can be accelerated or slowed due to factors such as genetics, diet, and exercise.


Moyen Poodle Growth Rate Chart for Height


Moyen Poodle Growth Rate Chart for Weight

When Do Moyen Poodles Stop Growing?

Most Moyen Poodles will reach their full height sometime between the ages of 9 and 12 months old.

However, they will continue to gain muscle mass and fill out up until 18 months old or so. Mental maturity is another matter entirely.

Although a Moyen may look like an adult by his first birthday, he likely will still display at least some puppy behavior for another year or so. 

Miniature Vs. Moyen 

Moyen Poodles are actually closer in size to Mini Poodles than they are to Standards, at least in terms of weight, though they are often referred to as small Standards. 

According to the American Kennel Club, a Miniature Poodle is to stand between 10 and 15 inches tall at the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and weigh between 10 and 15 pounds.

This standard applies equally to both males and females.

This is just shy of the average height and weight for Moyen Poodles, so you can expect a Moyen to be just a bit larger than a registered Miniature Poodle.

Moyen Poodle Vs. Standard Poodle 

The breed standard for AKC Standard Poodles dictates that males and females should be over 15 inches tall.

Males are to weigh between 60 and 70 pounds and females should be between 40 and 50 pounds. 

While Moyen Poodles share roughly the same height as smaller Standard Poodles, you can see that there is a fairly large difference in weights with these two varieties. 

Standards: 50 – 70 pounds

Moyens: 20 – 35 pounds

Most Standard Poodles are actually much taller than 15 inches, with some growing as tall as 23 inches.

So there really is quite a difference in overall size between Standards and Moyens when you consider how tall and heavy most Standard Poodles are.

Moyen Poodle History 

Poodles were originally developed in Germany sometime in the 1600s, most likely through the breeding of the Barbet (a recently recognized AKC breed) with other water-retrieving breeds of Europe popular at the time.

In France, this skilled hunting dog quickly gained favor and further improvements to the breed were made.

The Poodle is referred to in France as the Caniche or Chien Canard, which translate roughly to “duck dog” and is now proudly known as the national dog of the country. 

Over time, the Poodle coat developed into a low-shedding, curly, dense form of protection that was groomed deliberately to provide the joints, vital organs, and tip of the tail with adequate coverage without impeding the dog’s ability to move freely in the field and in water.

With 10 standard colors, color combinations, and various parti-colors available today, many people are surprised to learn that the earliest Poodles were either solid black, solid white, or black and white.

A white Poodle with a continental cut and tiny bow in the top knot.

From the beginning, Poodles were intentionally bred to have a superior intelligence, which enabled them to think for themselves when working at a distance from their owner – a great asset in any hunting dog.

Eventually, the large, original Poodles, who are now called Standards, were bred down into smaller sizes.

It is likely that Moyens were created roughly around the same time as the more popular Miniature and Toy sizes were, though no one knows for certain.

The American Kennel Club gave official recognition to the breed in 1887 and later allowed for distinctions in sizes, though each variety adheres to the same set of standards.

However, while Standard, Miniature, and Toy varieties are AKC recognized, the Moyen variety is not. 

Several European breed clubs, such as the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, do recognize this variety, but some owners chose to register their Moyen with the AKC as either a Standard or Miniature, depending on the dog’s size.

Moyen Poodle Colors

Moyen Poodles can be found in the same standard colors as other Poodle varieties:

  • Apricot
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Café au lait
  • Cream
  • Gray
  • Red
  • Silver
  • Silver beige
  • White

Combinations of these colors, various shades of these colors, and parti colors (a white base coat and a secondary color) are common too.

Moyen Poodle Temperament 

Moyen Poodles are affectionate, playful, eager to please, quick to learn, loyal, and entertaining.

At times they can be quite dignified, as they were bred to be, but come playtime, they’ll give themselves over to joyful abandon, and clownish behavior is often seen. 

Known for being quite alert, Moyens can function well as watch dogs and won’t hesitate to sound the alarm when someone approaches the house.

They are not aggressive though, so they won’t make good guard dogs.

However, they can also be somewhat sensitive and shy at times. Some may be a tad stubborn in certain situations, though this can be overcome through training.

Moyens are very people-oriented, and as such, may develop a tendency to be rather clingy. Crate training from an early age can help prevent this behavior from occurring. 

Moyen Poodle Energy Level 

This variety of Poodle is usually quite energetic, though not excessively so.

Two 20 – 30 minute walks per day and plenty of playtime is enough to satisfy most Moyens’ exercise needs.

They do love to run and play, so a securely fenced yard is ideal, though a few trips per week to the local dog park will work if a yard isn’t an option.

Provide a variety of balls, ropes, chew toys, and snugly toys (exactly what you find in this bargain-priced variety pack) to keep your Moyen entertained and out of trouble when indoors.

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Other forms of activity your Moyen may enjoy include:

  • Swimming
  • Jogging
  • Fetch
  • Frisbee
  • Canine sports, such as dock diving or agility
  • Hiking
  • Homemade obstacle courses
  • Tug-of-war

Moyen Poodle Intelligence 

Poodles are considered to be extremely intelligent, and the same is true of the Moyen variety.

They are clever and bright and are capable of learning an incredible 250 words, according to Stanley Coren, PhD.

Moyen Poodles will have no trouble understanding what is being asked of them and will enjoy frequent opportunities to prove their intelligence through independent problem solving. 

Providing Moyens with plenty of mentally stimulating activities will decrease the chances of boredom leading to destructive behavior. 

Teaching new tricks, playing hide-and-seek with a favorite toy, going for a walk in a new area, agility training, and providing puzzle toys, such as this hidden treat puzzle with sliding tiles are all ways to keep your Poodle’s mind engaged and stimulated.

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Moyen Poodle Litter Size

For this Poodle variety, anywhere from three to six puppies per litter is considered normal, though smaller and larger litters are certainly possible.

Breeders will typically have the expectant mothers x-rayed during gestation so they will know exactly how many puppies to expect.

Are Moyen Poodles Good Family Dogs? 

Moyens make wonderful family pets and will form strong, lasting bonds with every member of the family.

They will delight in playing with the kids outside just as much as they will snuggling up on the couch for storytime at night. 

Of course, for the safety of both the children and dog, it’s important that little ones are always supervised when interacting with the dog.

Moyens do not have a reputation for being nippy, but every dog has his limits, so children should be taught to always treat the family pet with gentleness and kindness.

Some Moyens may tend to naturally gravitate to one family member in particular. 

To prevent the family dog from becoming a one-person pet, make sure that each person in the family takes an active role in daily dog chores (not just playtime).

Rotate chores routinely, especially feeding, so that the dog learns to value and will bond with each family member.


Are Moyen Poodles Good With Other Dogs? 

Generally speaking, Moyen Poodles do get along well with other dogs, especially those that reside in the same household. 

When meeting strange dogs for the first time, Moyens may be a bit timid or hesitant to make friends or may put on a brave front and bark repeatedly, but aggression is not common.

Are Moyen Poodles Good for First-Time Owners? 

Because this breed is a manageable size, eager to please, and an affectionate companion, a Moyen Poodle can be an excellent choice for first-time dog owners.

With consistency on the owner’s part, housebreaking and basic training can be easily accomplished.

The grooming tasks and required exercise time may take some getting used to at first but will soon become routine and will prove to be a perfect bonding opportunity.

Are Moyen Poodles Good Hunting Dogs? 

Although Moyens are considerably smaller than Standard Poodles, Labradors, and other popular water retrievers, with proper training, it is possible that a Moyen Poodle could excel as a hunting dog. 

Care must be taken, however, to ensure the safety of the dog as he may have a harder time navigating various conditions in the fields and rough water as opposed to larger breeds.

Are Moyen Poodles Good Apartment Dogs?

As long as Moyens are given adequate outdoor exercise each day, they can be ideal apartment dogs.

However, extra care must be given when socializing these dogs to ensure that they are comfortable with various situations, a wide variety of people and pets, and the noises associated with apartment life. 

An under-socialized Moyen who is not actively exercised routinely may be prone to excessive barking.

We have an extensive socialization guide here to help ensure you’re exposing your pup to all the right things.

Moyen Poodle Price 

An adorable apricot Poodle puppy.

Breeders of Moyen Poodles are not nearly as common as those for the other three varieties, and thus, prices remain relatively high as the demand almost always outweighs the supply.

Some breeders may charge more for currently popular solid or parti colors, and others may ask more for females as they are typically the first choice of pet owners, though for some breeders the opposite is true.

How Much Does a Moyen Poodle Cost? 

Most Moyen Poodles are priced between $2,000 and $3,000, though you may find cheaper options as well as more expensive puppies, depending on the breeder, the puppies’ bloodlines, and the overall quality of the dogs.

Beware of extremely low prices as this may be a sign that the “breeder” is actually a puppy mill. A quality breeder will: 

  • Be knowledgeable about the breed and willing to answer questions.
  • Price the puppies fairly.
  • Carefully screen potential new owners.
  • Provide documentation of veterinary care and health testing performed.
  • Allow you to visit their home and meet the parent dogs as well as the litter.
  • Maintain clean, odor-free facilities.
  • Have healthy, friendly, well-trained dogs.
  • Present you with a puppy contract outlining your responsibilities. 

Moyen Poodle Training 

As a member of the second-highest ranking breed for intelligence, a Moyen Poodle is typically very easy to train, provided that the dog is sufficiently motivated and an effort is made to keep the sessions interesting. 

Because of their high mental capabilities, some occasional stubbornness may be seen but can be overcome with patience. 

Reward-based training can be used to successfully teach many commands and tricks and can be used in conjunction with clicker training.

It involves providing a positive reinforcement the instant the dog produces the desired behavior. 

Some dogs only need your verbal praise and loving touch as a reward, but many are food motivated and respond better when a tasty treat is on the line.

These training treats are ideal for this purpose as they are all-natural, flavorful, and just the right size morsel.

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Do Moyen Poodles Shed? 

Like other Poodle varieties, Moyen Poodles shed very, very little.

Any hairs that are lost tend to remain trapped within the coat, so frequent and thorough brushing is required to prevent the shed hair from tangling and forming painful mats.

Are Moyen Poodles Hypoallergenic?

Poodles are considered to be one of the best breeds in terms of hypoallergenic qualities, and the same is true for the Moyen size.

Know that no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic as it is actually the proteins found in the dog’s saliva, dander, and urine that trigger allergic responses, not necessarily shed hair.

Because the Moyen Poodle’s coat is so dense, the allergens that are present tend to remain within the coat instead of being broadcast throughout the home. 

Additionally, Poodles tend to produce lower amounts of dander than other breeds, do not drool, and are groomed and bathed frequently.

All these factors contribute to the breed’s reputation of being hypoallergenic and unlikely to cause problems in those suffering from allergies.

Some tips to further minimize the likelihood of allergic reactions include:

  • Washing your hands after touching the dog.
  • Brushing loose hairs from the coat often while outdoors.
  • Bathing your dog routinely to remove allergens from the coat.
  • Vacuuming and dusting your home regularly.
  • Discouraging doggy kisses.
  • Not permitting your dog to sleep in bed with you or get on the furniture.

How Do You Groom a Moyen Poodle? 

Moyen Poodles need to be brushed at least two or three times per week to remove loose hair and tangles, stimulate the skin, and distribute natural oils.

This is an ideal time to carefully check the entire body for signs of injury, infection, and pests.

When brushing is kept up with on schedule, mats should never be an issue, so be diligent in this area.

A sturdy slicker brush with rounded tips, like this auto-cleaning brush, is perfect for reaching through the coat down to the skin and is gentle enough for daily use.

A stainless steel, dual-sided comb is good to have on hand too to comb the legs, tail, and facial area.

When left untrimmed, a Moyen Poodle’s coat will continue to grow until it becomes quite long and forms clumps of matter fur or cords, which are similar to dreadlocks and will require manipulation to grow properly.

A trip to the groomer’s for a professional trim will be needed every four to six weeks or so, depending on your personal preferences and the clip style you choose.

Some owners prefer to trim their Poodle themselves, but certain supplies will be needed first (see our Grooming Supply List).

Note that it’s wise to introduce your puppy to this experience while he is still young, preferably between 3 and 4 months old, so it will become a normal routine quickly.

Other basic grooming rituals include clipping the nails, cleaning the ears, and removing inner ear hair (either by plucking or trimming) every four weeks or so and brushing the teeth at least three times per week with a dog-safe toothpaste. 

(This dental kit is perfect as it contains canine toothpaste, an easy-reach brush, and a finger brush.)

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Moyen Poodle Haircuts 

A white Poodle standing on green grass sporting a lamb clip.

The options for Moyen Poodle hairstyles are nearly endless thanks to all that hair.

You could choose to go with fancy options seen in the show ring, like the continental clip or the English saddle clip.

These are both rather difficult to maintain, and most owners opt for simpler styles.

  • Puppy cut – The hair is trimmed to the same length (as specified by the owner) all over the body. 
  • Lamb cut – This style is similar to the puppy cut, but hair on the legs is left slightly longer, giving the dog a blocky-legged appearance.
  • Kennel cut – This refers to another uniform-length haircut, but it is much shorter than a puppy cut. 
  • Town and country cut – The hair on the face, neck, feet, ribcage, belly, and along the back is shaved or trimmed short while the remaining hair is left fairly long.
  • Sporting clip – The hair on the feet, face, neck and base of tail is shaved and the rest of the body is trimmed to less than an inch long. A pompon is left at the tail’s end.
  • Bikini clip – Also known as a Miami clip or summer cut, the hair is cut short all over the body, but pompons are left on the tail, on top of the head, and just above each foot.

These are just some of the possibilities. There are tons of other unique cuts and creative variations on each of the above for you to experiment with.

Moyen Poodle Health Issues

Unfortunately, Moyen Poodles can be plagued by any of the conditions known to affect Poodles.

Eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts appear in the breed as do structural conditions like hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes, and patellar luxation. 

Von Willebrand’s disease, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, Addison’s disease, heart disease and defects, and epilepsy are possible as well.

Understand that these conditions are merely possible, not probable.

Moyen Poodle Lifespan 

As with people, a dog’s life expectancy can be influenced either positively or negatively by lifestyle factors.

Moyen Poodles who receive quality veterinary care routinely, enjoy plenty of daily exercise, are fed a wholesome diet free from unnecessary ingredients, and live in top-quality conditions can be expected to live longer than those lacking health care, routine activity, good diets, and adequate living quarters.

How Long Do Moyen Poodles Live? 

Like the other Poodle varieties, Moyen Poodles typically live between 10 – 18 years. Moyens who are healthy and well cared for often live well into their teens.

Where Can I Find a Moyen Poodle Rescue to Adopt?

Unfortunately, because Moyen Poodles aren’t very common, the odds of finding one in need of adoption may be pretty low – bad news for you, but good news for Moyens. 

Your best bet will be to check with rescue groups specifically for Poodles. Here are a few to get you started:

Related Question:

What Size Crate Is Best for a Moyen Poodle?

The crate should be large enough for your dog to sit up, lie down, and turn around comfortably but not so big as to provide enough room for a potty area. 

A medium crate, like this one, measuring 36 inches wide by 24 inches long by 27 inches high will provide ample room. 

Keep in mind that the height stated for breeds is only the measurement of the shoulder height, and you will need to add at least 6 inches to that figure when determining crate height.

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