In recent years, purebred Poodles and Poodle mixes have become incredibly popular. This is largely down to the fact that Poodles and Poodle mixes tend to shed very little and are generally classed as hypoallergenic dogs, which means purebred dog fur is far less likely to trigger allergies in humans than you find with other types of dogs.
Given that the Goldendoodle is the most popular Poodle mix out there, we’re offering a straightforward guide to help the prospective dog owner decide whether a purebred Poodle or a Goldendoodle is the right pooch for them!
Poodle vs. Goldendoodle – Histories, Characteristics, and Profile
What is a Poodle?
As mentioned, a Poodle, or Standard Poodle as they are also known, is a recognized dog breed. While there is some confusion about where the dog breed actually originates from, it is strongly believed that they first emerged in Germany and France in the 17th century.
Given that the name Poodle is derived from the old German word “pudel,” which means “to splash,” it is reasoned that Poodles were originally bred to retrieve arrows and downed game birds from rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.
Thanks to their thick and tight curly coat, Poodles can easily swim in chilly water, while their powerful back legs can help propel them against tough currents. Webbed toes also help ensure this breed has exceptional swimming skills.
Poodles are also known to be incredibly intelligent and obedient, which also helps support the theory that they were originally bred to be hunting companions. It also helps explain why Poodle mixes have become so popular over the past few decades. Today, purebred Poodles can be found all over the world and, thanks to their athleticism, iconic appearance, and intelligence, they regularly appear at and win dog shows.
What is a Goldendoodle?
Unlike the Poodle, the Goldendoodle is not considered to be a recognized and distinct breed. Instead, Goldendoodles are classed as a mixed-breed dog; however, thanks to their popularity and distinct appearance, many people class this mixed breed dog as a “designer mix,” which is really just a fancy name for a cross-bred dog.
The Goldendoodle is actually a cross between a Standard Poodle and a Golden Retriever. As such, they tend to take some of the best qualities from either breed, which means they usually have the intelligence and hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle, as well as the friendly and affectionate nature of a Golden Retriever. As you can imagine, this has made them an incredibly desirable and popular mix.
With that being said, mixed-breed dogs tend to have far less predictable temperaments and personalities than purebred dogs, as it depends on which of the two parent breeds has the most dominant genes. While some Goldendoodles behave just like Golden Retrievers, meaning they are affectionate, playful, and friendly, others tend to have more of a Poodle-like temperament, which means they can be more stubborn and serious.
Physical Size and Weight
Poodles tend to be bred in four distinct sizes – Standard, Moyen (medium), Mini, and Toy. While Standard Poodles tend to be roughly the same size as a Golden Retriever (50 to 70 lbs), Toy Poodles are amongst the smallest and most dainty breeds (roughly 10 lbs).
Naturally, the size of the Poodle being bred with a Golden Retriever will play a major role in determining the physical size of the resulting Goldendoodle. With that being said, most Goldendoodles result from mixing a Standard Poodle with a Golden Retriever, so they are often the same height and weight as a Golden Retriever.
In recent years, the miniature Goldendoodle has become increasingly popular. In most cases, this result comes from mixing a Moyen or miniature Poodle with a Golden Retriever. Again, this isn’t a distinct dog breed, but they usually weigh around 30 lbs and are noticeably shorter than a typical Goldendoodle.
Poodles have tight curls and usually have a solid-colored coat. The coat needs to be brushed often, as it has a tendency to matt. They are one of the more recognizable breeds, as they have a deep chest and a very unique coat.
Goldendoodles vary in appearance depending on whether their Poodle or Golden Retriever genes were more dominant. In most cases, they have a tan coat that is more wavy than curly. Like Poodles, they must be brushed often, as their coat is also very susceptible to matting, especially when it gets wet.
Goldendoodles are a little bit stockier than Poodles, which is thanks to their Golden Retriever side.
Don’t miss our article on the Best Dog Brush for a Goldendoodle.
Poodle vs. Goldendoodle – Personality Traits and Temperaments
As mentioned above, Poodles are incredibly intelligent, which means they are usually rather easy to train. With that being said, it also means that they need plenty of mental stimulation, otherwise they can become anxious and even somewhat destructive.
They tend to be extremely loyal to one or two people, which can actually lead to some problems in larger families. Some people even affectionately refer to the purebred Poodle dog as a “Velcro dog,” as they tend to stick by their owner’s side at all times.
Given that Poodles are classed as a high-energy breed, it is important that they get plenty of exercise, otherwise they can become quite a handful. For this reason, it is important that you are able to take your pooch on plenty of walks if you are planning to welcome a Poodle into your home, especially if you opt for one of the larger varieties, like a Standard Poodle. In an ideal situation, you would have a large, enclosed backyard where the Poodle would be able to spend a significant amount of time running around and playing between walks.
While Poodles can certainly make great family dogs, they can be quite a bit of work. It is important that they get plenty of exercise, or they can become a real hassle. You also need to make sure that the dog receives proper obedience training and socialization from a young age, especially if you have young children, as they can be somewhat aggressive towards anyone other than their owner if they are not trained the right way.
Since both parent breeds are considered highly energetic dogs, Goldendoodles are almost always full of energy. Like purebred Poodles, they can also become a bit destructive if they are not able to burn off that energy each day.
Fortunately, most Goldendoodles inherit the intelligence of their Poodle parent, as well as the friendly nature of their Golden Retriever parent. So, in many ways, they are the ultimate family dog. Since they are usually quite intelligent and eager to please, they are generally fairly easy to train, so they can make great first dogs for young families.
However, just like purebred Poodles, you need to make sure that you give your Goldendoodle plenty of mental and physical stimulation. At least two walks per day is important. A backyard also helps, as these friendly pups like to spend plenty of time outside.
In general, Goldendoodles are a little bit more easygoing than purebred Poodles. So, if you are looking for a goofier dog that enjoys playing games and socializing, a Goldendoodle could be a better fit than a Poodle.
Average Lifespans for Poodles and Goldendoodles
Fortunately, both purebred Poodles and Goldendoodles have fairly lengthy life expectancies, especially for larger dogs. Assuming your Poodle is properly cared for and was purchased from a reputable breeder, you can expect them to have a lifespan somewhere in the range of 11 to 15 years.
However, for your Poodle to live a long and healthy life, it is of vital importance that you offer them a healthy diet and an appropriate amount of daily exercise.
Goldendoodles have a similar average life expectancy, with most reaching somewhere between 10 and 15 years of age. This is thanks to the fact that both Poodles and Golden Retrievers tend to live relatively lengthy lives.
With all of that being said, the smaller varieties of both Poodles and Goldendoodles tend to live longer lives than their larger counterparts, which is partially due to the fact that larger dogs tend to suffer from cardiovascular problems and serious joint issues much faster than smaller dogs.
Potential Health Concerns for Poodles and Goldendoodles
Common Poodle Health Issues
While they have a relatively lengthy average lifespan, Poodles are susceptible to the following health concerns:
- Hip dysplasia – Like many larger breeds, Standard Poodles have a heightened susceptibility to hip dysplasia, which can lead to serious mobility issues. For this reason, it is a good idea to add glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to your Poodle’s diet.
- Thyroid disease – Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are common in Poodles, especially as they age. It can lead to a wide range of symptoms and have a significant impact on the dog’s quality of life.
- Epilepsy – Epilepsy can lead to serious seizures, and it is quite common in Poodles. One of the best ways to prevent and delay epilepsy in Poodles is a healthy diet and an appropriate amount of exercise.
- Gastric dilation volvulus (Bloat) – Gas gets trapped inside the dog’s digestive system, which can cause the stomach to twist, and pressure can build to life-threatening levels. It often requires surgical intervention and can be fatal if not treated in time.
Common Goldendoodle Health Issues
Given that half of their genetics comes from Poodles, Goldendoodles are susceptible to many of the same health concerns as purebred Poodles, including hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and various thyroid issues.
They are also susceptible to the following health issues:
- Degenerative eye conditions – Glaucoma can be common in Goldendoodles, which is an unfortunate genetic trait they take from their Golden Retriever side.
- Obesity – While they are not quite as bad as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers like to eat, which is why it is important that you follow a strict and healthy diet with your Goldendoodle. Obesity can lead to a wide range of devastating health issues, like cardiovascular problems and weight-related joint issues.
Both Poodles and Goldendoodles can make excellent pets, and both do well as family dogs. As long as you are willing to offer your pooch a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, proper training, and lots of love, you should have yourself a loyal and affectionate companion.
Put simply, the decision is largely down to personal preference, as both Poodles and Goldendoodles have plenty to offer.