Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Red Toy Poodle: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

red toy poodle

Small in size but hosting a massive heart, the Toy Poodle is a favorite companion for city-dwelling dog owners. Like their larger counterparts, they often have simple coat colors, like apricot, brown, or white. In 1980, however, a new red coloring was introduced. Since then, it’s become one of the most loved fur colors for Poodles, no matter how big or small they are.

Red Toy Poodles might be rare, but they share the same traits as other Poodles. This guide will teach you more about these unique dogs and what makes them so popular.

Divider-Dog Paw and Bone- New

The Earliest Records of Red Toy Poodles in History

The Poodle is one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world. Originally bred for water retrieval, they’ve been around for centuries. While they started as hunting dogs, their personalities quickly endeared them to the general public.

Although the French worked to develop the Miniature Poodle from the Standard when the breed gained favor with the French nobility, the Toy Poodle wasn’t introduced until the early 20th century in the U.S.A. They shared the same coat colors as their larger counterparts.

Compared to the long history of the breed, the red coat coloring is much newer. It started to become standardized in 1980 by Ilse Konig from Shangri-La Kennel. She crossed an apricot Miniature Poodle with a Red Standard Poodle, creating more Red Poodles that could be bred.

Continued breeding practices have led to the coloring being found in all three Poodle varieties, including the Toy Poodle.

How the Red Toy Poodle Gained Popularity

Red Toy Poodles benefit from both the popularity of the Toy Poodle breed and their unique coloring. Since they’re small enough for city apartments, Toy Poodles are more common than Standard Poodles. They share the same intelligence, though, and are easy-going pets that get along with everyone.

With their popularity already firmly in place, the introduction of the red color only made the Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodles more desirable. The color originates through a recessive “Rufus gene” that darkens natural apricot or brown coat colors, so the red shade isn’t a frequent sight on many Poodles.

While breeders have been working on properly developing the color, the initial rarity and the increased demand for red-colored Poodles make them highly sought after.

Formal Recognition of the Red Toy Poodle

Poodles have been around for centuries, and as a result, all three varieties were recognized by the AKC in 1887. The original colors recognized were brown, apricot, white, and black.

Despite how highly desired Red Toy Poodles are now, the red coloring of their fur wasn’t one of the first colors for this dog breed. Red Poodles weren’t developed until recently, and it wasn’t until 1980 that they were recognized at all. The red coloring of their fur can range from a dark, auburn red to a bright copper shade.

Officially, Red Poodles, including the Toy variety, are black pointed, with a black nose, gums, and paws and dark eyes. Unlike with other Poodle colors, liver-pointed markings aren’t as preferred with the red color.

Top 4 Unique Facts About the Red Toy Poodle

1. Red Toy Poodles Can Cost $2,000 or More

Toy Poodles aren’t one of the most expensive dog breeds available, but if you’re looking specifically for a Red Toy Poodle, the price that breeders ask for will be quite high.

It’s not only the cost that you have to take into account, however. Due to the high demand for Red Toy Poodles in the U.S.A., many breeders cut corners when breeding these dogs. You need to find a reputable, trusted breeder with plenty of experience.

2. The Red Coloring Can Fade

Where other fur colors stay more or less the same throughout a dog’s lifetime, the red coloring can fade as your dog grows. While your puppy might be a bright red color when they’re born, they might become a much lighter, less eye-catching shade when they’re an adult.

That said, a Toy Poodle puppy might surprise you. Some puppies might look like another color until they grow into a more obvious red.

3. They’re High Maintenance

The Poodle is a relatively high-maintenance breed. They require regular grooming sessions — both with a brush and regular haircuts — to prevent their fur from matting. Toy Poodles, despite their size, share the same maintenance requirements.

Whether their fur is red or a more common color, Toy Poodles are still prone to suffering from tangled fur. You also need to remember to clean their ears and teeth, along with trimming their claws.

4. Red Toy Poodles Are Full of Energy

When it comes to Poodle varieties, smaller does not mean less active. Red Toy Poodles are just as high energy as the Standard or Miniature.

They might be small enough to easily fit into your tiny apartment and don’t need a yard to run around in, but they still benefit from regular exercise. What they lack in size, they make up for in exuberance.

Does the Red Toy Poodle Make a Good Pet?

Despite their rare coloring, Red Toy Poodles are still purebred Poodles. They share the same temperament as Standard, Miniature, and more common colors of Toy Poodles. The breed is affectionately known as “Velcro” pets because they prefer to spend their time with their family members. Being so family oriented, they’re highly sought after as companion dogs.

Red Toy Poodles were originally bred for Poodle lovers who resided in cities, to suit the limited space available in most apartments. Along with being loyal to a fault, these dogs are friendly and eager to please. They get along well with singles, couples, and families with children.

The size of the Toy Poodle can make them prone to injury during vigorous play sessions. You should ensure that young children are supervised around your Red Toy Poodle and make sure they know to respect the animal.

Divider 5


Although their unique coat color is considered one of the rarest colors available for Poodles, Red Toy Poodles are the same as the rest of the breed. The coloring was introduced in 1980 and has been a highly desirable breed characteristic ever since.

Red Toy Poodles are absolutely adored by Poodle lovers. Their rarity, intelligence, suitability for city life, and eagerness to please make them perfect companions.

Featured Image Credit: PxHere

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database