Breeds

Poodle vs Goldendoodle – [Best Breed Comparison]

Adopting a new dog can be both exciting and daunting. There are simply many things to consider!

The classic Poodle breed and more recent Goldendoodle hybrid (a cross between the Poodle and Golden Retriever) both make excellent choices for a family pet, with merely minor differences in appearance and temperament. 

But how do you know which one is right for you? Who wins the Poodle Vs Goldendoodle showdown?

poodle vs goldendoodle
Poodle vs Goldendoodle – it is a puppy showdown!

Before jumping in and getting the first pup that tugs at your heartstrings, a little research into the breed history, health concerns, and grooming ahead of time may just save you from future frustration. Let’s compare.

Breed History

We all have preconceived notions about specific dog breeds. When I think of a Poodle, I can’t help but envision it with its posh owner (wearing a pencil skirt) from the original 101 Dalmatians movie! 

Well, it goes without saying that Poodle, Golden Retriever, and Goldendoodle have their unique history and many positive attributes, apart from their stereotypes, and we’ll see that shortly.

History of the Poodle

a gray poodle in the grass outside
A Miniature gray Poodle enjoying the outdoors.

The Poodle’s rich history spans many generations. The Poodle is France’s national dog and used in Germany for duck hunting; in fact, the Poodle’s traditional clip was meant for practical reasons and not just show. 

Hunters shaved much of a Poodle’s body so it could freely move in the water. However, the haircut also protected vital areas from the cold and elements thanks to the remaining furry pompons (yes, that spelling is correct).

Because of the Poodle’s elegance and intelligence, aristocrats throughout Europe began keeping Standard and Miniature Poodles as pets. They commanded attention and were easy to train. Over time they were also used in the circus and even to sniff out highly sought-after truffles.

In the early 20th century, the Toy Poodle was bred in America and became a wonderful companion dog for many.

History of the Golden Retriever

golden retriever tongue out
An American Goldendoodle (not English Goldendoodle) hanging out with its tongue out

The Golden Retriever was developed by Dudley Marjoribanks (Lord Tweedmouth) in the Scottish Highlands during the 1800s. Originally a cross between the Yellow Retriever and Tweed Water Spaniel, the new breed also included a bit of Irish Setter and Bloodhound. The Golden Retriever was originally designed to help with hunting.

Appearing in its first British dog show in 1908, the sweet and hard-working Golden Retriever was well-received and soon began appearing in Canada and the United States. Hunters appreciated its usefulness, while dog show participants loved its beauty and gentle nature.

In the 1970s, the Golden Retriever really grew in popularity in North America because of President Gerald Ford’s beloved Retriever, “Liberty.” As of 2019, the Golden Retriever is the third most popular dog breed in the United States.

History of the Goldendoodle

goldendoodle looking cute in the stars

With such famous and intelligent parentage, it’s only natural that the Goldendoodle is a highly desired hybrid. It first came on the scene in the late 1990s (the original breeder is unknown) and was inspired by the Labradoodle’s success (a cross between a Poodle and Labrador Retriever).

Because Goldendoodles were well-received by the general public, breeders started to receive requests for different sized Goldendoodles, and today there are four common sizes (Petite, Miniature, Medium, and Standard). 

Goldendoodle Generations

There are several varieties of dogs considered to be Goldendoodles. The Goldendoodle Association of North America uses the following grading system when determining what makes an official Goldendoodle:

  1. F1 refers to a Golden Retriever/Poodle cross.
  2. F1B Goldendoodle refers to an F1 Goldendoodle/Poodle cross
  3. F2 refers to an F1 Goldendoodle and F1 Goldendoodle cross.
  4. Multigen refers to two Goldendoodle parents with one parent being an F1B Goldendoodle OR multigen (a Poodle bred to a multigen is also considered a multigen)

Whether your Goldendoodle is from a breeder or is a rescue, it can help to know as much as possible about its breed and health history.

Appearance

When it comes to Poodles and Goldendoodles, there are various colors, coats, and sizes at play within each breed. Whether you prefer a small, medium, or large-sized dog, a solid or mixed color coat, tight curls, or soft waves, there is an option for you!

Poodle Appearance

Although the Poodle is thought of by some to be prissy, the Poodle is quite diverse. The Poodle comes in three different sizes (Standard, Miniature, and Toy) with many color variations (shades of brown, black, gray, apricot, white, and more) and curly, hypoallergenic non-shedding coats groomed to your preference. 

Poodle Sizes

 Height at ShoulderWeight
Standard PoodleOver 15”60-70lbs (M); 40-50lbs (F)
Miniature Poodle10-15”10-15lbs
Toy PoodleLess than 10”4-6lbs

Goldendoodle Appearance

goldendoodle is lethargic

Goldendoodle sizes and colors are primarily dependent on their Poodle and Retriever parents. Golden Retrievers are medium/large dogs that contribute shades of creams, reds, and apricot when bred. 

Goldendoodle coats can be curly, straight, or often a combination of the two and may or may not be hypoallergenic. Coats can be cream, apricot, red, chocolate, or black (or a pattern of these colors). “Parti” Goldendoodles are dogs with at least 50% white coloring.

Goldendoodle Sizes

 Height at ShoulderWeight
Petite/Toy GoldendoodleLess than 14”25lbs or less
Miniature Goldendoodle14-17”26-35lbs
Medium Goldendoodle17-21”36-50lbs
Standard GoldendoodleOver 21”51lbs or more

Temperament 

Temperament in dogs has a lot to do with training, socialization, and their home environment; however, there are traits common in certain breeds, including the Poodle, Golden Retriever, and subsequently Goldendoodles.

Poodle’s Temperament

The many positive characteristics of the Poodle make it a great family dog. Poodles are highly trainable, highly intelligent, and protective of their families (they may take a while to warm up to others). 

Although sometimes perceived as snobby dogs, Poodles are quite friendly and can even be goofy. Poodles like to be challenged and given work to do. That’s why obedience training is highly beneficial.

Poodles that are bored or lonely may cause destruction—they want to be with their families and are an excellent dog for active owners.

Pros of Poodles

  • Athletic and highly active
  • Proud
  • Very smart
  • Strong
  • Easy to train
  • Likes to retrieve
  • Aims to please

Cons of Poodles

  • High energy
  • Sometimes likes to assert dominance.
  • Can have separation anxiety

Golden Retriever’s Temperament

It’s a good idea to review the Golden Retriever’s temperament when considering a Goldendoodle because of its genetic contribution. Like the Poodle, the Golden Retriever is also an excellent family dog with generally consistent personality traits.

Playful, lovable, and gentle with children (adult dogs), the Retriever is very popular.

As puppies, Golden Retrievers can be a little overwhelming in their excitement, but it’s easy to train a Retriever. They are people pleasers, craving affection from both their families and strangers. Golden Retrievers are usually not big barkers, and they are not well-suited as guard dogs. They are often used as therapy dogs and guide dogs.

Pros of Golden Retrievers

  • Friendly
  • Intelligent 
  • Devoted
  • Great workers (hunting, guide dogs, search and rescue, etc.)
  • Responsive to training

Cons of Golden Retrievers

  • Needs lots of exercises
  • Can have separation anxiety

Goldendoodle’s Temperament

Goldendoodles most often exhibit the attributes of their combined breeds, including character traits. Generally speaking, Goldendoodles are friendly dogs, devoted to their families, and neither shy nor aggressive. 

Goldendoodles respond well to positive reinforcement and are rapid learners (early training and socialization are helpful). Goldendoodles are great with kids and are known to be gentle with babies and playful with other children.

Pros of Goldendoodles (Groodles)

  • Friendly
  • Reliable
  • Trustworthy
  • Good with children and the elderly

Cons or the Goldendoodle

  • High energy / needs lots of exercises
  • Can have separation anxiety

Care & Grooming for Poodles Vs Godlendoodle

mini goldendoodle licking everything

The care required of your Poodle and Doodle is very similar. Both breeds need lots of attention and exercise; your pet will love for you to play fetch with them, take them for long walks or hikes, and would be super excited for the occasional swim! 

Both breeds are also prone to being overweight, so be sure to monitor food intake. And be careful not to dole out too many table scraps or treats!

Because the Poodle and Goldendoodle aim to please, basic training and learning new tricks are great ideas to do with your dog. 

Once your pet has lost all their puppy teeth, it’s good to brush their teeth daily (a more comfortable habit to implement when started at a young age).

As for grooming, it’s mostly dependent on your dog’s coat:

All Poodles have tight, wiry curls and require daily brushing and combing right to the skin to keep them mat-free. Because Poodles don’t shed, they also need regular trips to the groomer (about every 4-6 weeks) to be clipped. There are various clip styles to choose from, including the show-worthy continental clip and more common sporting clip. Some owners decide to cut their pets themselves (after learning how). Poodles are also known for eye seepage, so a quick wipe of their eyes (once a day) will prevent staining of the facial fur.

Grooming for a Goldendoodle is relative to your specific Doodle, depending on whether your pet’s coat is straight, wavy, or curly. Straight-haired Goldendoodle coats (low to moderate shedding) are almost identical to a Golden Retriever coat, requiring minimal brushing and baths. 

Wavy-haired dogs (low shedding) take a bit more attention and daily brushing. And if your Goldendoodle has curly hair, it requires the same attention as a Poodle with daily brushing to the skin and clipping.

Health & Lifespan

Longevity is always a sought-after trait in pets, but what about Poodle vs. Goldendoodle?

What is the lifespan of the Poodle?

The average lifespan of a Poodle is 10-18 years. The lifespan is the same for the Standard, Miniature, and Toy varieties.

What is the lifespan of the Goldendoodle?

The average lifespan of a Goldendoodle is 10-15 years. 

Poodle Health

Poodles can suffer from some health issues common to their breed, and some that are common to all dogs. If you are getting your Poodle from a breeder, it’s good to ask for a health screen. Concerns for Poodles may include:

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes
  • Atrial Septal Defects (Standard Poodles)
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Bloat
  • Chronic Active Hepatitis
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes
  • Neonatal Encephalopathy
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
  • Sebaceous Adenitis

Golden Retriever Health

Because the Golden Retriever contributes to the genetic makeup of Goldendoodles, it’s good to be aware of the following potential health issues in their Retriever parents:

  • Eye disorders
  • SubAortic Stenosis
  • Hip or Elbow Dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ear infections

Goldendoodle Health

puppy at the vet with owners one adult one child
A cute puppy enjoying a Vet visit

Your Goldendoodle’s health depends on its specific parents’ health and the parent breeds’ characteristics; but, the consensus is that mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds.

Many breeders consider the Goldendoodle to be a great example of hybrid vigor (enhanced health benefits of breeding two unique purebreds). It’s believed that Goldendoodles may, on average, even outlive both parent breeds, although scientists agree that further studies should take place.

Five health concerns to watch for in Goldendoodles include:

  1. Hip Dysplasia
  2. Sebaceous Adenitis
  3. SubAortic Stenosis
  4. Addison’s Disease
  5. Cataracts 

Breed Recap

Poodles are proud looking dogs with a strong breed history, even temperament, and devotion to their families. They require attention, training, and daily grooming, but in return, they offer friendly companionship, loyalty, and a reasonably long lifespan. 

Non-shedding, the Poodle is ideal for those with allergies. Whether you choose the Standard, Miniature or Toy variety, a Poodle is sure to bring joy (and maybe a few shenanigans) to your home.

The ragamuffin-looking Goldendoodle hybrid was an instant hit when it showed up on the dog scene. The Goldendoodle has a loving nature, adorable looks, and a low to no-shed coat.

Like the Poodle, the Goldendoodle requires lots of attention but aims to please its owners. Depending on the type of cross, grooming ranges from the daily requirement to occasional brushing. And like the Poodle, the Goldendoodle is an excellent addition to an active owner or family.

Final Thoughts on Poodle vs Goldendoodle

It’s safe to say there isn’t a definitive answer as to which dog is better in the Poodle vs. Goldendoodle debate, but hopefully, after weighing the pros and cons for each breed, you have a better understanding of which one is right for you.