What Is a Moyen Poodle? [with photos]

The name “Moyen Poodle” is more European than American. Most Poodle enthusiasts and breeders in the United States don’t recognize the Moyen Poodle category. The word “Moyen” means “medium” in French, and this type of Poodle is medium-sized.

You may sometimes hear the Moyen called the Klein Poodle. Klein is a German word meaning low and small. 

what is a Moyen Poodle
What is a Moyen Poodle?

The Moyen Poodle is between the Standard and Miniature Poodles in size in places that recognize them. What else is there to know about this type of dog besides the name and size? Let’s learn all about what makes these dogs unique from other breeds so you can decide if they’re the right choice for you.

How Big Is a Moyen Poodle? 

This dog is a medium-sized breed that is smaller than the Standard Poodle and larger than the miniature variety. But this is where things get a bit confusing. 

In Europe, this type of dog fits in its own category. That means that only Poodles larger than them are considered a standard size. It’s different here in the United States, where many Moyens are large enough to be considered Standard Poodles under AKC (American Kennel Club) definitions. 

Most full-grown Moyens stand between 15 and 20 inches when measured at the withers. They generally weigh at least 20 pounds and go up to 30 pounds

Poodle in studio
A brown Poodle in a studio.

Moyen Poodle Compared to Other Poodle Varieties  

In places where this dog is recognized as a distinct variety, it’s always smaller than the Standard Poodle. However, in North America, we see some overlap between these medium-sized and Standard Poodles. As we talked about earlier, the AKC says that the typical variety is at least 15 inches at the withers.

Many Moyens measure that size and count as Standard Poodles in AKC categorization

The Standard Poodle 

Many Standard Poodles are quite a bit taller than Moyens. The minimum in the AKC requirements is 15 inches tall at the withers, but many exceed this substantially. The AKC says that a male Standard Poodle should weigh between 60 and 70 pounds, while a female ranges between 40 and 50 pounds. 

Medium-sized dogs are usually just as strong and capable for outdoor adventures, such as running and hiking. 

Poodle playing with a toy
Standard Poodle playing with a toy in the grass.

The Miniature Poodle

A Miniature Poodle is smaller than a Moyen, with height at the withers ranging from 10 to 14 inches. It usually weighs between 10 and 15 pounds. As a smaller dog, a miniature version won’t need quite as much exercise as a larger variety (such as the Moyen and Standard). 

While Miniature (and tinier Toy) Poodles are smaller than medium-sized dogs, they’re similar when it comes to personality and intelligence. Of course, Miniature and Toy Poodles cannot have the same physical capabilities as the larger Moyen and Standard Poodles. 

Other than physical size, the only significant difference between Medium-sized and Miniature Poodles is lifespan. Miniature Poodles tend to live a bit longer, with an average of 14 years. By contrast, 12 years is the average standard lifespan

What Organizations Recognize Moyen Poodles?

As we touched on earlier, the AKC doesn’t recognize the Moyen Poodle as a distinct category. For the AKC, any Poodle 15 inches or taller at the withers is considered the standard variety. As this is an average size for Moyens, these medium-sized dogs are classed as Standard Poodles by the AKC. 

There is one American dog organization that recognizes the Moyen as a distinct variety: the Dog Registry of America. This is a simple breed registry where you can register your Moyen Poodle and receive a certificate as proof of registration. 

The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognizes the Moyen as a distinct variety. Like other Poodle sizes, this one is available in many colors. These colors are fawn, brown, grey, white, and black. 

Moyen Poodle bright eyes
A Moyen Poodle with strong bright eyes. (Image: Instagram/@timber.the.moyen.poodle)

Moyen Poodle Breeding

There are two sources of Moyens in the United States. One is breeders crossing Standard Poodles with Miniature Poodles to create the Moyen’s medium size. The other is the direct importation of Moyen Poodles bred in Europe. 

No matter where you get your Moyen Poodle, make sure the breeder is reputable. Do your research and find out the dog’s parentage to ensure there hasn’t been any inbreeding that can lead to severe genetic issues and medical problems. 

two poodle puppies
Two cute Poodle puppies on a basket.

Moyen Poodles and Performance Sports 

If you’re looking for a Poodle that may be especially good at participating in performance sports, this variety may be an excellent pet. Being slightly smaller than many Standard Poodles can make them more agile and nimble during competitions. 

Some professional groomers stay away from large Standard Poodles. Instead, they bring medium-sized dogs to competitions. After all, with this smaller Poodle, grooming is quicker and easier. 

Is a Moyen Poodle a Good Choice for You? 

If you’ve always wanted a Standard Poodle but worry it may be a little too big, go with a medium-sized one. You may find medium-sized Poodles referred to as Moyen Poodles. If not, you can find a Standard
Poodle on the smaller end of the spectrum. 

Poodles Are Smart

Like all other varieties, the Moyen is extremely clever. Poodles are one of the most intelligent types of dogs on the planet. It comes in second, only after the notoriously brainy Border Collie

The Moyen’s intelligence means it’s usually easy to train. Learning is one of the Poodle’s favorite things to do. Compared to other breeds, Poodles are easy to train.

Poodles, including Moyen ones, are so intelligent that people often train them as service dogs. This medium-sized dog can be more convenient than Standard Poodles because of their size. 

Poodle lay on the floor
A smiling Poodle lying on the floor.

Poodles Are Friendly and Affectionate 

The Moyen Poodle is excellent if you want an affectionate and sweet-tempered dog. All Poodles love to spend time with their human companions, and they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. 

One of the many reasons these dogs make great pets is that their size makes them easier to cuddle. After all, it’s easier for a medium-sized dog to fit on the couch or your lap than a larger dog. 

poodle sitting on the lap
A super cute Poodle sitting on its owners lap.

Plenty of Grooming Required 

Poodle grooming is quite different from grooming most other kinds of dogs. If you want to make your pet a show dog, grooming will be intensive and time-consuming. Even if your Moyen will be a family pet, some grooming is still necessary.

And if you’re new to having a Poodle, it’ll take time to get used to.   

Moyens (and other kinds of Poodles) people use as show dogs are usually professionally groomed. There are complex grooming techniques and cuts that are necessary for the ring. You’ll need to hire a groomer to get things done right.

groomer holding poodle ears
A groomer holding the Poodle ears.

Give Your Poodle Plenty of Exercise 

Give your pet the chance to get ample exercise every day. If you don’t have time for this, you shouldn’t get a dog of this breed. Set aside time to give your Poodle about one hour of exercise daily.

This breed almost always loves playing fetch!  

The bigger your Poodle, the more exercise it will probably need. That means that a Moyen probably won’t need as much exercise as a large Standard Poodle. But that doesn’t mean you can neglect to give your dog enough exercise

Poodles playing at the park
Two Poodles are playing at the park.

Final Thoughts – What Is a Moyen Poodle? 

As we’ve learned, Moyen means “medium,” and the Moyen Poodle is medium-sized. By medium-sized, we mean it falls between a large Standard Poodle and a Miniature Poodle in size

Those of us in the United States will probably have trouble finding a Poodle specifically labeled as “Moyen” because the American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn’t recognize the Moyen as a distinct type. As long as a Moyen Poodle stands at least 15 inches at the withers, the AKC considers it a Standard Poodle. 

If you find a dog called a Moyen Poodle in the United States, it has either been imported from Europe or it’s simply a crossbreed between a Standard and a Miniature Poodle. They are excellent pets if you’re looking to buy or adopt a dog soon, so keep this breed in mind when comparing multiple options.