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Poodle vs. Labradoodle: Breed Differences and Similarities

Comparing the Labradoodle vs. the Poodle for your next canine companion? In this article, we take a look at both dogs, and what you can expect from each.

Kelly Wilson

Last Updated: July 14, 2021 | 10 min read

Considering the Poodle vs. the Labradoodle for your next furry four-legged friend? Though their names may sound similar, the breeds are very different. Before looking into purchasing your furry companion, it’s essential to weigh the differences and similarities of the breeds you’re considering. You want to make sure you’re adopting the right dog that suits both you and your lifestyle.

Breed specifics can contribute to how much time and money you’ll have to put into raising the dog. You don’t want to choose a breed that doesn’t match your lifestyle. This wouldn’t be fair to you or the dog.

So, whether you’re looking for a new canine companion or you’re just curious about breed differences, we’ve got you covered. Here, we’ll list the key differences and similarities between Poodles and Labradoodles, to help you figure out which of these two dogs is better suited for you. Let’s jump in!

Breed Comparison

Poodle

  • Height 10-22 Inches
  • Weight 6-70 Pounds
  • Temperament Easy Going, Intelligent, Friendly
  • Energy High Energy
  • Health Above Average
  • Lifespan 12-15 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

Labradoodle

  • Height 22-24 Inches
  • Weight 30-60 Pounds
  • Temperament Affectionate, Intelligent, Friendly
  • Energy Intense
  • Health Above Average
  • Lifespan 12-16 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

Breed History

A dog’s breed history can play an essential role in the purchase of a dog. It’s important to understand why a dog was bred, and what purpose it’s traditionally been used for. Doing so can help you understand why the dog is the way it is, and make sure there aren’t any conflicts with your lifestyle. Let’s learn a bit more about both of these two popular dogs.

Poodle

Two Black Standard Poodles Outdoors
The breed originates in Germany, despite their popularity with the French.

Poodles have an ancient history. Most often, you’ll see Poodles depicted in ancient paintings proudly standing next to their owners. Although poodles are considered the national dog of France — likely due to the famous cartoon illustrations of a perfumed French poodle, they originated in Germany. The Poodle breed name comes from the German word “pudel” or “pudelin,” which translated means “to splash in the water.”

In the world of dogs and dog enthusiasts, Poodles are best known as the aristocracy. Despite the misconception that Poodles are weak and feeble, their athletic yet elegant figure makes them a popular choice for potential dog owners looking to adopt a proud and intelligent animal. They’re considered the seventh most popular dog breed in the U.S.

Poodles are also known as excellent show-dogs. However, they don’t seem to get enough credit for their intelligence. Poodles are one of the smartest dogs in the world. Poodles come in three different varieties: standard, toy, and miniature. Over the past few years, miniature poodles have gained outstanding popularity, specifically among families, for their active and playful nature.

Labradoodle

Brown Dog Outdoors in Grass
The Labradoodle is one half Lab, and one Half Poodle.

Labradoodles have a more recent history. They first originated in Australia in 1989 under the instruction of the Royal Guide Dog Association. The goal was to “create” a guide dog for a blind woman whose husband had allergies. When the Labrador, the banner guide dog breed, was bred with a Poodle, whose coat is considered hypoallergenic, the Labradoodle was born.

Labradoodle’s are a smart, sociable dog loved by many for their generally friendly nature. This Poodle hybrid dog combines all the best traits of both breeds. Like Labradors, they’re kind and loyal; like Poodles, they’re smart and defensive. Together, the combo results in an affectionate and loving dog. Labradoodles make great family dogs.

This hybrid has three different types, the F1, F1B, and the F2. F2 dogs tend to be the best for allergy sufferers. The dogs are classified as follows:

  • F1: 50% Lab, and 50% Poodle.
  • F1B: 75% poodle and 25% Labrador (One poodle parent and one F1 Labradoodle parent)
  • F2: 87% Poodle, and 13% Lab (One poodle parent and one F1B Labradoodle parent)

It’s worth noting that the Labradoodle is not an AKC approved breed. They are currently considered designer dogs, which means they aren’t able to be shown or entered into breed-specific AKC competitions. If you find this limiting, you are better off looking at a purebred Labrador or Poodle.

Appearance

Two Brown Dogs Outside in Fall
Both dogs carry similar looks, and can be quite similar in size depending on their parents.

In appearance, both dogs have many similarities. Both are known for their curly or wavy coat, which requires frequent grooming. Labradoodles’ signature colors include blonde, chocolate, black, charcoal, and apricot. While Poodles share a few of the same colors, their coats also come in white, blue, gray, silver, brown, café-au-lait, and cream.

Poodles come in three different sizes. Standard, Toy, and Miniature. This means they can range in both height and weight, depending on the type of Poodle they are, and how big their parents were.

Labradoodles typically come in two different sizes. They are either standard or miniature Labradoodles. Most dogs are of standard size. Miniature sized dogs require breeding a Lab with a Miniature Poodle. Breeding these pups can be quite difficult and costly. They are often compared to the Goldendoodle by potential dog owners, due to their common appearances.

Labradoodles’ hair tends to be soft and even flat in some spots, while Poodles have much more high maintenance hair; their coat has a unique texture. The coarse, dense, wiry hair can be cut, trimmed, clipped, or shaved into various styles.

If you’re looking for less grooming maintenance, Labradoodles are an excellent option. Their lower shedding coat means less grooming and lower pet dander in your household, which is great for allergen sensitive dog owners.

Temperament

White and Yellow Dogs Outdoors
Both dogs make excellent family companions and are great with children.

When choosing the right canine for your lifestyle, it usually comes down to breed temperament. Finding the right temperament to match your lifestyle is critical. Dogs that are high energy and not exercised enough will bring annoyance and destruction to your home. It’s important to understand this trait above all else.

People often described Poodles as intelligent, loving, loyal, and mischievous. The Poodle’s most notable trait is their regality, which leads many to deem them as a snobbish animal. However, while their up-standing dignity might catch the eyes of many, their intelligence makes them relatively easy to train.

Their proud nature makes them eager to please their owner and more than willing to obey. Starting at a young age, you can effectively teach a poodle all the proper canine manners. On the other hand, you can commonly see toy and miniature poodles as more hyperactive animals than standard poodles.

Labradoodles are less dignified and more fun-loving. Many describe their temperament level as moderate and very similar to their Labrador parent. While they’re active animals, they tend to be shy with strangers and prone to bark. But don’t be alarmed; their bark is a result of their protective nature. They also tend to enter into a state of unease or loneliness if left alone for too long.

Labradoodles are relatively adaptive to any living environment but do best in big spaces. If you live in a small house or apartment, a Labradoodle can still be perfectly content. They will just need regular exercise and playtime.

Exercise

Two Fluffy Dogs Running in Snow
Both dogs are well known for having higher exercise needs than other breeds.

Both dogs are very active animals that require plenty of exercise to keep them happy.

Labradoodles have a high energy level. If you decide to welcome one of these dogs into your home, make sure your schedule allows for plenty of activity. Labradoodles require anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day. They enjoy the occasional game of fetch and love brain-stimulating toys to engage their mental activity.

Poodles, likewise, have high energy levels and goofy-streaks, but also periods of calmness. It’s recommended that a Poodle gets an hour of exercise each day. Whether it’s a game of fetch or stroll in the park, any form of exercise works for Poodles.

If Poodles are kept cooped up in a particular living space for too long, they can develop the dog form of cabin fever. Without the regular release of pent-up energy, Poodles can become frustrated and act out with destructive behavior. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule will allow your Poodle to release tension healthily.

Training

White and Brown Dogs Outdoors Training
Both dogs are highly intelligent and are very easy to train.

Both dogs are are easy to train. They both have a highly intelligent and social nature that makes them eager to learn and bond with their owners.

For both dogs, training at an early age is vitally important. While Poodles are smart, this intelligence can lead to stubbornness. Likewise, Labradoodles contain traits from two different breeds, which can be a good thing and make them challenging to train as they get older. For example, Labrador is a highly energetic dog, so neglecting proper training can result in lousy behavior habits that are hard to break.

Labradoodles are also very pleasant and get along with both humans and dogs. But you want to ensure you’ve trained them on how to be sociable. In other words, exposure to other dogs at an early age is vital in developing their social skills.

In comparison, Poodles are also intelligent and very athletic, making them eager to run around and have some fun. But they also enjoy training and learning new tricks. Poodles prefer to be with people rather than just themselves, making the training process more manageable. This can make crate training more challenging, but we do still recommend training your Poodle with a properly sized dog crate.

Poodles are also quick learners, they may tend to get bored quickly, so make sure you make the training process fun and engaging.

Health

Two Older Healthy Dogs Outdoors
Both dogs are considered quite healthy and have longer lifespans compared to both other breeds and mixes.

As with any breed, there are always health concerns to consider before purchasing a dog. In most cases, both Poodles and Labradors are considered healthy dogs; Labradoodles, however, are considered the healthier breed out of the two.

Labradoodles are commonly healthy dogs, much like their Labrador parent, but you should still get them checked by your vet regularly. The average life expectancy of a well-bred Labradoodle is 12 to 16 years.

Labradoodles are susceptible to diseases like ear infections, hip and elbow dysplasia, canine diabetes mellitus, allergies, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and hypothyroidism. All that probably sounds scary, but maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle can help prevent disease.

Poodles have a similar life expectancy timeline, ranging anywhere from 12 to 15 years. However, they’re prone to more diseases, including epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, thyroid issues, Addison’s disease, collapsed trachea, hypoglycemia, and bloat.

By providing your Poodle with the highest quality food and frequent exercise, you can ensure your dog lives their healthiest life possible.

Nutrition

Two Dogs With Light Colored Coats Eating Food
These pups both are well known for having sensitive stomachs, so stick to limited ingredient dog foods if possible.

Both dogs have specific food requirements. Even though both dogs are similar in size, Labradoodles burn more calories due to their extremely high-energy personality. The average daily food consumption for Poodles is 2 to 3 cups. The Labradoodles’ average daily food consumption is 3 to 4 cups of high-quality Labradoodle dog food.

Experts also suggest that both breeds consume high-quality dry food divided into two meals, especially Poodles. Poodles tend to have a more sensitive stomach. Keep that in mind when searching for the highest quality kibble for your dog. You may need to consider a dog food meant for sensitive stomachs. This may include a limited ingredient dog food, or formulas without peas and lentils, which some dogs have trouble digesting.

Grooming

Two Light Colored Dogs Walking on Beaches
Contrary to popular belief, both of these dogs do shed and will need consistent grooming.

Both dogs are known for their signature curly, furry coats. Labradoodles require average grooming effort, while Poodles are much higher maintenance in this area. Experts suggest you hire a professional groomer to maintain your Poodles’ coat. On the plus side, Poodles don’t shed very much, whereas Labradoodles shed more frequently, but still less than their Labrador parent.

A Poodle should receive professional grooming at least every three to six weeks. You should also be brushing a Poodle’s coat daily. Due to the high maintenance that comes with Poodle grooming, many owners choose to shave different styles with a pair of trimmers into their dog’s coat. This alternative can help cut back on grooming costs.

Labradoodles require basic grooming needs: bathing, brushing, hair trimming, and nail clipping. Depending on their personal preference, most owners have their Labradoodles hair clipped two to four times a year. You can maintain their coat by brushing weekly and grooming them every six to eight weeks.

In regards to bathing, both dogs should both be bathed every two to three weeks. However, Labradoodles can go up to four to five weeks without bathing, depending on the time of year and shedding habits. Since dogs tend to shed more in the fall and spring, your Labradoodle may require bathing more often.

We also suggest a gentle and soothing shampoo for both breeds. Poodles tend to have more sensitive skin, so look into organic and hypoallergenic shampoos.

Puppy Prices

Two Small Puppies Sitting
Expect to pay a minimum of $1,000 and up for a puppy of either dog.

When it comes to price differentials between these two dogs, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of each. Both breeds can be pricey, with Poodles coming from championship breeding lines being the most expensive.

The price of Poodles can start anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the bloodline. The size can also make a difference in price, but much less so than their bloodlines. Typical family pets will be closer to $1,200 to $1,500 on average. Poodle puppies from show quality lines will fetch a significantly higher price tag.

Labradoodles are cheaper, with the average cost ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. Again, because these dogs are not recognized by the AKC as a breed, they will not have actual papers. It’s recommended that you make sure both parent dogs have been health checked. This way you’ll ensure there are no genetic health issues with your puppy.

Final Thoughts

It’s essential to consider all the potential pros and cons of buying a dog, especially when it comes to more active pups. Poodles and Labradoodles have many similarities in their playful and energetic nature and many striking differences to consider.

A poodle is a purebred, whereas a Labradoodle is a mixed hybrid. Since Poodles carry a high pedigree and high maintenance dog, they’re more expensive. It’s also worth noting that it’s quite common for potential Labradoodle owners to compare them to their other parent breed, the Lab.

Mixed breeds naturally tend to be cheaper, but this doesn’t make the Labradoodle any less of a great dog. Regardless of their differing traits, both Poodles and Labradoodles make excellent, family-friendly pets. By weighing each’s similarities and differences, you can choose the best dog for you and your family.

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