Goldendoodle vs. Poodle Comparing Temperament, Size, and Maintenance

Choosing between Goldendoodle vs Poodle can be challenging because these hounds have so much in common. However, there are some crucial distinctions too. Here we take a good look at both the similarities and the differences between these two excellent dogs in the hopes of helping you decide which one would be best for you.

Adopting a dog – any dog – is one of the best things in the world (in our admittedly biased opinion). Yet picking just the right one can be a tricky business. Narrowing down the selection by breed can certainly help you find the right companion to suit your home and your lifestyle. 

goldendoodle vs poodle

All About Poodles

Most often associated with France, Poodles actually originated in Germany. This is where they received their name from the German word ‘pudel,’ which means to splash in the water. Those who don’t really know all that much about Poodles may think of them as nothing more than fancy show dogs. However, the truth is that not only are Poodles one of the most recognizable dog types, they are also one of the oldest. 

Standard Poodles have been purposefully bred for more than 400 years as hunting dogs and water retrievers. They would collect waterfowl shot down by their hunter owners. In fact, those iconic Poodle cuts, which seem so elaborate and impractical, were actually designed for ultimate efficiency in freezing European lakes and ponds. They provided enhanced motion, buoyancy, protection, and warmth. 

As the Poodle’s popularity as a companion pup became established among the French aristocracy, owners began breeding them specifically to create a smaller, more manageable-sized dog. The hunters, however, retained the Standard size. This is how we came to find ourselves with the three* distinct sizes we have today. 

*In Europe, four sizes are recognized including medium which sits between Standard and Miniature.

All About Goldendoodles

Arguably the most popular of all the Doodles, the Goldendoodle is also one of the oldest, purposefully bred for the first time in the 1960s. The aim was to combine the friendly and gentle nature of the Golden Retriever (not to mention their mild temper and gorgeous golden coat) with the ‘hypoallergenic’ Poodle and their high level of intelligence and trainability.

Despite being an older type of dog in Doodle terms, experts have yet to establish breed standards for these pups. So, we must look to the parent dogs to get an idea of what to expect. We have already covered Poodles above, so let’s take a little look at Golden Retrievers:

Like the Poodle, Golden Retrievers were bred to be hunter helpers. Yet they were also created to be loyal, faithful, and attention companion dogs. These desirable qualities are present in spades in today’s version of these pups – and Goldendoodles too! It’s really no wonder that they have long been (and will very likely continue to be) one of the most popular breeds in the States. Moreover, both Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles are commonly trained as guide dogs, therapy animals and aid with search and rescue too.

Goldendoodle vs Poodle: Size

As Poodles are such an old and established breed, we know a little more about their height and weight standards than those of the more recent Goldendoodles. These dogs also tend to be a little more difficult to predict because they are the result of two dogs that can have substantial size differences (as in the case of the Golden Retriever and Toy Poodle). 

Poodles come in three distinct types and so too do their Doodle offspring as follows:

 GoldendoodlePoodle
Tiny/Toy Weight: 10-25 pounds
Height: 15 inches or less
Weight: 4-12 pounds
Height: 10 inches or less
Miniature/MediumWeight: 25-50 pounds
Height: 15-20 inches
Weight: 10-20 pounds
Height: 10-15 inches
StandardWeight: 50-90 pounds
Height: 20-26 inches
Weight: 38-70 pounds
Height: 24-27 inches
*Height is measured to the shoulder

As can be seen from the table, while Standard Poodles can be taller than the largest Goldendoodles, the latter tend to be a little more heavyset. Poodles are generally more delicately built overall with longer legs and more sparing frames.

Goldendoodle vs Poodle: Temperament

Goldendoodles are incredibly social dogs. They adore anybody and everybody and won’t hesitate to make that very apparent. Early socialization can help them adjust to meeting new people without needing to fawn all over them. Although, you are probably not going to be able to stop them from wanting to say hello to everyone while out and about on their walkies.

Poodles, on the other hand, have a reputation for strutting around in a regal manner. However, the truth is these dogs can be real clowns. Playful and goofy, they delight in the attention of their owners, which only adds to their trainability (see below). While they can be a little more reserved than their Goldendoodle offspring, they still quite obviously adore their family – they just may not get on quite well with those they don’t know. 

Both dogs need plenty of people time, so leaving them alone for long periods is a big no-no. With Goldendoodles having other dogs or pets about the place might offer a happy compromise as they often get on with other animals as well as they do people. This likely won’t be the case with Poodles, though – especially the smaller varieties. These dogs could get a little anxious, especially around particularly high-energy pups.

Poodle vs Goldendoodle: Appearance

Even without one of their unique haircuts, Poodles are impressively elegant dogs. They carry themselves with a certain type of grace and aplomb that makes them really stand out from the crowd. Furthermore, Poodles come in a positive rainbow assortment of colors, everything from black to white to red and many hues in between. However, with strict breeding standards that go back many years, you know just what you’re getting with a Poodle puppy. 

Goldendoodles, on the other hand, are far more unpredictable. Not only are they a much younger type (not breed) of dog, but they are a combination of two quite distinct pups. You can’t be wholly sure about their final size or what type of coat they will end up with (see below). However, as their name implies, they are often found in various shades of gold, including cream, apricot, and red. Later generations may be even more colorful and have different coat patterns such as merle or phantom blends.

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Goldendoodle vs Poodle: Grooming & Maintenance

Hair is the entire reason the Doodle craze started in the first place. The fabulous Poodle coat is much in demand not only because it’s downright gorgeous but because it is single-layered and hence low shed. This makes it as close to hypoallergenic as it’s possible to get in the dog world. 

However – and this really is a BIG however – low shed definitely does not mean low maintenance. In fact, the Poodle curly coat is one of the most demanding care-wise that you can get in a dog. Those tight whorls are just perfect for forming knots, tangles, and matting that can be next to impossible to remove with a brush alone. Most Poodle owners will take their pooch in for professional grooming, which includes trims and cuts, on a regular basis to keep them in tip-top condition.

Later-generation Goldendoodles will, more often than not, inherit a Poodle coat. Yet first-generation dogs could just as easily take after their Golden Retriever parent. This breed is double-coated with a long, smooth outer coat and a short and fuzzy undercoat that acts as insulation. These hounds can and do shed – A LOT! 

There is also the possibility that your Goldie puppy could end up with what is considered to be the unique Doodle-type coat. Basically, this long, wavy hair sits somewhere between the two extremes and is the easiest to care for of the three. Whatever their coat type, Goldendoodles do still require regular brushing, and this can range from daily to twice weekly.

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Poodle vs Goldendoodle: Health & Wellness

Poodles are pedigree dogs meaning that they come from a long line of canines with pretty similar DNA. Sadly, this makes them more prone to inheriting various kinds of genetic conditions. These include Addison’s Disease, which impacts hormone production, bloat where the stomach becomes painfully distended, hip dysplasia, and various food intolerances.

Goldendoodles, though, are said to have something called hybrid vigor. This basically means that their more varied DNA makes them less likely to inherit such illnesses from their parents. Yet, they are not entirely immune and could have issues with Patellar Luxation – joint dislocations, ear infections, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) which impacts eyesight and the blood disorder Von Willebrand’s Disease.

However, most canine breeding programs are carefully controlled to reduce the risks of sick dogs being bred and passing on their diseases to offspring. Parent pups are often carefully tested for genetic health. Just make sure that you pick up your puppy from a reputable breeder, and you’re unlikely to have to deal with any of the above issues.

Poodle vs Goldendoodle: Lifespan

Poodles and Goldendoodles have relatively similar lifespans, with Poodles averaging 12-15 years and Goldendoodles 10-15. 

Smaller pups tend to outlive larger ones, so healthy Toy and Miniature versions have the advantage here. They will be on the higher end of the average than their Standard counterparts. 

Goldendoodle vs Poodle: Training & Environment

As touched upon already several times in this article, both dogs are incredibly trainable due to their extreme canine smarts. In fact, Poodles are numbered among the most intelligent dog breeds on the planet. They are also extremely obedient as their working background shaped them to be and will pick up new skills and tricks with ease. 

While Goldendoodles are usually every bit as intelligent as their Poodle counterparts, the issue with these dogs is getting them to pay attention long enough to teach them something new. Goldies are exuberant, excitable hounds who thrive on games, walks, and fun. If you want them to do what you say, then you need to keep things fresh and interesting for them.  

Newbie owners can find valuable tips on training in our dedicated articles. We also recommend the Baxter and Bella Online Puppy School as another excellent resource. Here you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about training a dog and more besides.

Naturally, Poodles and Goldendoodles alike need plenty of exercise. You’re looking at somewhere between one and two hours a day, maybe more for a younger or more energetic dog. These dogs also love spending time in the water, whether it be the sea, lakes, rivers, or just puddles (funnily enough, not so much the bathtub!).

Canine sports may be a good option for both Poodles and Goldendoodles. Not only could this help them expend large amounts of energy, but it gives them something to focus on mentally. You are going to want to keep these clever hounds stimulated – a bored dog is often a destructive dog. Luckily there are plenty of toys designed for just this task.

Goldendoodle vs Poodle: Cost

Pedigree dogs can be notoriously expensive to buy depending on their specific features and their breeding stock. When it comes to Poodles, you could end up shelling out anything from $600 to $2000 for a purebred puppy.

What may come as a shock to you, though, is that, despite them being mixed breed dogs, Doodle puppies are generally even more expensive than that! This is likely due to their extreme popularity – which is pretty much at its peak right now. For a Goldendoodle puppy, you could be looking at somewhere between $1500 to $4000. The price will vary based on their generation, color and parents.

Beyond the initial purchase price, it’s a good idea to factor in ongoing costs when making a decision about a puppy. This includes food, accessories, vet bills, and more. Obviously, a larger dog is likely to put you more out of pocket than a little one on the price of food alone.

Then, unless you are a dab hand with a brush, scissors, and more, you will likely need to look into the prices of professional groomers in your neighborhood. Keep in mind that the Poodle curly coat needs much more care and attention than the Doodle wavy one or the Retriever straight one. If you do opt for a Poodle, numbers could tot up quickly.

However, if you have the time to learn, we have plenty of how-to articles and videos that could help you keep on top of your pet’s coat at home. This could help alleviate some of the financial burden of dog ownership, at least.

Goldendoodle vs Poodle: Family Friendliness

Doodle dogs are well known for their sweet and loving natures, which makes them ideally suited to families with even very young children. However, Goldendoodle’s excess energy could make them a little challenging for tiny children to handle. They will, though, love playing outdoor games with older kids and teenagers and will happily do so for hours and hours.

Poodles may not be quite so happy with this situation. While they can totally be fun dogs and excellent companions, the smaller ones especially can be a little more delicate. They may get a little snappy if they are feeling anxious or scared. For this reason, you are going to want to pay extra close attention to these pups around children – especially if they are meeting for the first time. 

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Goldendoodle vs Poodle: Which is the Puppy for You?

So, there you have it. While both Poodles and Goldendoodles are excellent dogs in the right situation, each type has their own distinct set of characteristics that need to be taken into careful consideration.

Opt for a Poodle if you:

  • are looking for an extremely smart, highly trainable dog.
  • have plenty of time to take care of that stunning Poodle coat.
  • generally prefer couch time to too much outdoor time.
  • are a little more limited on space – for instance, you live in an apartment.

A Goldendoodle is the one for you if you:

  • are very active and are looking for a companion that can easily keep up. 
  • have older, more energetic children.
  • don’t want to spend hours taking care of a high-maintenance coat. 
  • live in a house with plenty of space, including a yard for your dog to play in. 

Picking the perfect pup for your family is a crucial decision and one that you certainly don’t want to get wrong. While both Poodles and Goldendoodles make excellent pets, you should take their specific temperaments and requirements into consideration when deciding which might make the best dog for you. Ensure you do plenty of research before adopting to be sure that you know exactly what you are in for. Pet ownership can be tricky, time-consuming, and will very definitely have a big impact on your life – although, for us at least, it just serves to make it that much better.

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