Deciding whether you should get a Labradoodle vs Poodle can be quite a challenge. These two pups share many similarities. After all, they share half of the same lineage! But there are also key differences that set these two breeds apart.

Hopefully, by the end of this guide you’ll know which one is the best choice for you, as we’ll be discussing all about the Labradoodle vs Poodle key similarities and differences regarding their looks, temperament, health, grooming, and much more. Let’s get started!

labradoodle vs poodle

About Poodles: History & Key Characteristics

The Poodle is a purebred dog that’s been a popular choice amongst millions of dog lovers for hundreds of years now. It’s thought that Poodles originate from Germany and they were bred for hunting waterfowl. Their high energy levels can certainly attest to that!

Originally, Poodles came in just one size – the large Standard-sized Poodle. However, in the 1900s, smaller Miniature Poodles were introduced into the mix, and later on, Toy Poodles. Today, all Poodle sizes follow the same breed standards.

Poodles are well known for their distinctive looks and many elaborate haircuts. But did you know that the Poodle cut isn’t just about their looks? In their early days, the Poodle haircut was created to make them more efficient swimmers while keeping them warm on the upper torso and joints. 

About Labradoodles: History & Key Characteristics

What is the difference between a Poodle and a Labradoodle? The Labradoodle is a hybrid cross between the Labrador Retriever and Poodle. These pups were first created to achieve a hypoallergenic guide dog with many of the same qualities and traits as the Labrador Retriever, minus the shedding coat. As a result, we get the most adorable, teddy bear looking pup with a gentle personality. 

Labradoodles were first created in 1955, but they became more popular in 1989. As of today, the Labradoodle has become one of the most popular Doodle breeds. Thanks to their allergy-friendly coats, high levels of intelligence, and a friendly disposition, Labradoodles make great family companions, therapy, and service dogs. 

As the Labradoodle is a mix of two different purebred dogs, they’ll also combine the best traits from both of the parent pups. Labradoodles get their smarts and extreme loyalty from both of the parent dogs. From the Labrador Retriever parent they’ve inherited an affectionate, outgoing, and kind nature, whereas Poodles are known to be goofy and playful. 

Labradoodle vs Poodle: Size

Are Standard Poodles bigger than Labradoodles? How big are Miniature Poodles compared to Mini Labradoodles?

Both Poodles and Labradoodles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. In the US, the AKC has categorized the Poodle into three sizes – Toy, Miniature, and Standard. On the other hand, Labradoodles come in the Mini and Standard size. 

In fact, Labrador Retrievers and Labradoodles are almost always crossed with either Standard or Miniature Poodles, as the Labrador Retriever is a medium to large-sized breed with a strong, stocky build. If a Miniature Poodle is used in the mix, we get a Mini Labradoodle. Similarly, a Standard Labradoodle is achieved with a Standard Poodle used in the mix. 

Let’s now take a closer look at the sizes of the Labradoodle vs Poodle:

Toy N/AWeight: 4-12 pounds
Height: up to 10 inches
MiniatureWeight: 15-50 pounds
Height: 13-20 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
* A dog’s height is measured from the highest part of their shoulder blades, also known as withers.

When comparing the Standard Poodle vs Labradoodle, we can see that Standard Labradoodles can grow up to 20 pounds heavier. Meanwhile, Poodles tend to be slightly taller. And thanks to the Labrador Retriever genes, Labradoodles tend to have a more muscular, sturdier build than Poodles. 

In contrast, both Mini Labradoodles and Poodles can be of similar height and weight. However, it’s not uncommon for some Mini Labradoodles to be considerably heavier and taller than Miniature Poodles. 

Labradoodle vs Poodle: Temperament

Are Labradoodles calmer than Poodles? In terms of the Labradoodle vs Poodle temperament, both pups have high intelligence levels, which makes them both very easy to train. They’re also super energetic and playful pups, so daily exercise and mental stimulation is an absolute must for both of these dogs. 

On the other hand, Labradoodles can be somewhat calmer and more laid-back compared to Poodles. However, this also depends on your puppy’s unique personality and which traits they have inherited from their parent pups. 

In addition to that, although both Poodles and Labradoodles are affectionate towards their owners, Poodles are known to be more reserved towards strangers compared to the insanely outgoing Labradoodle. 

Also, as both dogs are very social by nature, they’re best suited for people who don’t have to leave them alone for long periods of time. These dogs thrive on human interaction and leaving them alone for too long can lead to separation anxiety.

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Poodle vs Labradoodle: Appearance

As we mentioned earlier, one of the key differences in the Labradoodle vs Poodle appearance is their size. Labradoodles tend to be more muscular, whereas Poodles are leaner. 

In addition to their size and build, there are other differences that set these two dogs apart. For instance, almost anyone can recognize a Poodle by their distinctive, Poodle-y features. On the other hand, Labradoodles tend to have a signature teddy bear look. 

Poodles and Labradoodles also have different coat types. The Poodle comes with a thick, curly, and textured coat that is perfect for allergy sufferers. In contrast, Labradoodles come in three coat types – the curly Poodle-like coat, a straight Labrador Retriever coat, or a wavy combination coat. 

And even though the Labradoodle can also come with a curly coat, their curls are usually more wavy and relaxed compared to the original Poodle coat. Naturally, a Labradoodle’s coat type is determined by their genetics and generation

Then there are also the various colors and coat patterns that both pups can sport.

For Poodles, the most common colors and coat patterns include:

  • Apricot
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Cafe au lait
  • Cream
  • Gray
  • Silver
  • Red
  • White
  • Also, various bi-color and tri-color combinations

Labradoodles often come in colors such as:

  • Golden or apricot
  • Red
  • Black
  • Chocolate or brown
  • Cream or tan
  • Blue
  • Gray 
  • Silver 
  • And various patterns like tuxedo, parti, sable, merle, abstract, brindle, or phantom

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Labradoodle vs Poodle: Grooming & Maintenance

Both Poodles and Labradoodles are praised for their low-shedding coats. After all, that’s why Labrador Retrievers were first crossed with the Poodle – to achieve an allergy-friendly dog that doesn’t shed much. 

However, low-shedding does not mean low-maintenance. Regardless if you opt for a Labradoodle or a Poodle, both pups require regular brushing and grooming to maintain their coat health and fabulous looks. But, Labradoodles may be slightly lower-maintenance than Poodles, depending on their coat type.

When comparing the Poodle vs a Labradoodle with a curly coat, their grooming requirements are fairly similar. Curly-coated dogs are usually very low to non-shedding, but they’re also most prone to matting. As their textured hair can get tangled easily, you’ll have to brush it out on a daily basis. 

That being said, not all Labradoodles come with the hypoallergenic curly coat. As we mentioned earlier, Labradoodles can also have a shaggy, wavy combination coat or the Labrador straight coat. 

Wavy and straight coat Labradoodles are considered much easier to maintain, as their hair isn’t as prone to matting. Even so, even straight coat and wavy coat Labradoodles should be brushed at least a few times a week, preferably every day. 

On the other hand, wavy and straight coat Doods can shed considerably more than curly-haired pups, especially the straight coat Labradoodle. Nevertheless, even straight coat Labradoodles tend to shed much less than their purebred Labrador parents. 

Poodle vs Labradoodle: Health & Wellness

When it comes to the Labradoodle vs Poodle health debate, Labradoodles might have a slight advantage in this area. Crossbreeds like the Labradoodle often benefit from hybrid vigor, which means that they’re less likely to inherit the genetic conditions that are most prevalent in their purebred parents.

Having said that, this doesn’t mean that Labradoodles don’t have any health problems ever. The most common health issues in Labradoodles include hip dysplasia, eye diseases like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and retinal dysplasia, thyroid issues, bloat, Addison’s Disease, and cancer.

And since Labradoodles usually have at least 50% of Poodle genetics, they are prone to very similar health conditions. The most common Poodle health issues are joint problems like hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD), but also Addison’s disease, bloat and gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), and eye diseases. In addition to that, Poodles are also at a higher risk of thyroid problems, von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD), and epilepsy. 

Whether you decide to adopt a Poodle or a Labradoodle, it’s crucial you choose an ethical breeder that does extensive health and genetic testing on their breeding dogs. Health screening can greatly reduce the risk of the puppies inheriting any genetic defects from their parents. 

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Poodle vs Labradoodle: Lifespan

Both Poodles and Labradoodles have a similar life expectancy of 12 to 15 years on average. Of course, you should feed your pup a healthy diet, provide them plenty of exercise, and lots of love and affection for them to live a long, healthy, and fulfilled life.

Additionally, smaller dogs tend to live longer than their larger counterparts. Therefore, we can expect Mini Labradoodles and Toy and Miniature Poodles to live longer than their standard-sized relatives. 

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Labradoodle vs Poodle: Training & Environment

As you may know by now, both Labradoodles and Poodles are extremely intelligent pups and they are relatively easy to train. In fact, the Poodle is praised as one of the most intelligent breeds. And it certainly rubs off on the Labradoodle! 

But despite their high levels of intelligence, both dogs require a good, consistent training routine that starts from the moment you bring your new puppy home. Fortunately, many breeders already introduce the puppies to early socialization, obedience training, potty training, and crate training

Now, this doesn’t mean that you’ll get a perfectly socialized and trained puppy from a breeder. Above all, it’s your responsibility to stay on track with socialization and training, as it’s the best way to raise a puppy into a well-behaved, well-rounded, and confident adult. 

In addition to that, the key to successfully raising these dogs is by providing them plenty of exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day. As both Poodles and Labradoodles are very intelligent, you’ll want to make sure that your pup has plenty of challenges to solve and fun games to play to stimulate their mind. 

Similarly, as both breeds are very high energy, they also need to exercise accordingly. After all, a tired pup is a happy pup. For both dogs, you should be prepared to set aside around one or two hours of exercise each day. 

Labradoodle vs Poodle: Cost

In terms of the Labradoodle vs Poodle cost, both dogs come in a similar price range. However, Labradoodles tend to be slightly more expensive than Poodles. In the US, ethical Poodle breeders charge anywhere between $2000 and $2500, whereas Labradoodles cost between $2500 and $3500 on average. 

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Of course, the price of a puppy also depends on your location, the breeder’s reputation and experience, health testing standards, breeding practices, and demand. 

Then you’ll also want to factor in the ongoing costs of owning a dog. Both Poodles and Labradoodles have similar requirements when you consider food, regular grooming, vet visits, toys, and other daily necessities. However, larger pups do need more food, so be prepared to splash out more cash on their bigger appetite.

Labradoodle vs Poodle: Are They Family Friendly?

Labradoodle vs Poodle – which is more family friendly? Both dogs are actually great family companions and they tend to get along well with children. They are both social, affectionate, and family-oriented pups. 

The crucial component here is understanding the differences between larger and smaller pups. For instance, young children can accidentally hurt small Poodles. Similarly, very large Labradoodles might be a bit too much to handle for small children. 

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Labradoodle vs Poodle: Which Is The Puppy For You?

Even though both dogs share many similarities, you should carefully consider which one works best with your lifestyle, family dynamics, and personal preferences. So, between the Labradoodle vs Poodle, which one should you choose? 

A Poodle is the right puppy for you if you:

  • Have a more severe dog dander allergy
  • Don’t mind brushing your pup every day
  • Have a smaller home, as you can opt for either a Toy or Miniature Poodle

Opt for a Labradoodle if you:

  • Prefer a lower-maintenance dog
  • Are looking for a slightly calmer and more laid-back pup
  • Have a more spacious home, preferably with a fenced backyard

Labradoodle vs Poodle: Final Thoughts

To sum it up, Poodles and Labradoodles share many of the same amazing qualities. They’re highly intelligent, loving, and active dogs who can bring a smile to anyone’s face. But even so, it’s crucial that you carefully consider all the pros and cons that come with dog ownership. After all, it’s a huge commitment, as you’ll be spending at least a decade with your new pup. Hopefully this article has managed to answer all of your questions about the Poodle vs Labradoodle breeds so you can choose the pup that’s right for you. 

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