Poodle or Doodle: Which Breed is Right for You?

Poodles and crossbreeds of Poodles come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. From lap dogs to show dogs, there is seemingly no end to the versatility of the Poodle.

Poodles are athletic, intelligent, sociable, and eager. Not to mention non-shedding. These desirable traits have made them popular candidates for crossbreeding in the last few decades.

a poodle side by side with a doodle dog
Poodle or Doodle: Which breed is right for you?

With over seventy-five crossbreeds of Poodles available, it may feel like pet owners can hand-pick the traits of their dog. Are Poodle mixes the best of both worlds, or is there still a place for purebred Poodles in the world?

PoodleDoodle Dog
SizeToy, Miniature, StandardTeacup, Toy, Miniature, Medium, Standard
Coat typeCurly, thickCurly, wavy
SheddingLow to non-sheddingLow to moderate shedding
IntelligenceHighly intelligentHighly intelligent
Exercise needsModerate to highModerate to high
TrainabilityHighly trainableHighly trainable
Lifespan12-15 years8-17 years
Health concernsHip dysplasia, eye problems, bloatHip dysplasia, eye problems, bloat

Both Poodles and other Doodle dogs are intelligent, highly trainable breeds that require regular exercise and grooming. Overall, the decision between a Poodle and a Doodle will depend on the individual preferences and lifestyle of the owner.

Are Poodles or Doodles best?

At the end of the day, the best option for you and your loved ones will be as unique as the needs and wants of your family. Poodles and Doodles come in all shapes, colors, and sizes.

goldendoodle vs standard poodle puppy
Goldendoodle and Standard Poodle look up to their owners.

All options inherit the hypoallergenic properties of the Poodle, as well as the Poodle’s intelligence and athleticism. Some Doodle mixes have extra splashes of friendliness, sociability, or attention needs.

The best dog is one that makes you happy and one that enjoys living with you. No matter what, owning a Poodle or Doodle mix means committing to an intelligent, gentle dog that wants to prove its loyalty and devotion to you.

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All About Poodles

Poodles come in three categories, based on their height from shoulder to ground. Any Poodles over 15 inches tall in this dimension are considered Standard. Ten to fifteen inches constitutes a Mini Poodle.

Any Poodle under ten inches is considered a Toy Poodle.

Poodles of All Sizes

All sizes of Poodles are thought to be very effective as service and support animals. Poodles are considered wonderful companions to people with autism.

two Poodles in one frame
Poodles can be hyper especially when they are still young.

They are also great dogs for seniors, as they are intelligent and non-shedding. Poodles can also help people struggling with depression. Their sociable attitude and eagerness to cohabitate with humans help with feelings of loneliness and disconnect.

Poodles are nearly hypoallergenic. Their hair does not shed. However, this does mean they need regular grooming in a way other breeds do not.

Poodles love to exercise. Their breed originated as aids to humans hunting waterfowl. A great way to exercise Poodles is to take them for a swim.

They enjoy playing fetch and long walks or jogs.

Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle is a darling of the dog world. It consistently ranks among the top ten most beloved dogs.

adult parti Standard Poodle looks happy
The adult parti Standard Poodle looks happy. (Image: Instagram/@violet.the.parti.poodle)

Fast Facts for Standard Poodles

  • Height: 15 inches from the shoulder to the ground
  • Weight: 60-70 pounds male, 40-50 females
  • Life Expectancy: 18-20

Common Health Issues:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Severe Eye Disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Volvulus
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Liver Failure


Miniature Poodles make for incredible service dogs, especially for smaller people and children.

mini poodle growth

Fast Facts for Miniature Poodles

  • Height: 10-15 inches from the shoulder to the ground
  • Weight: 10-15 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

Common Health Issues:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Severe Eye Disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Orthopedic Complications

Toy Poodle

Known worldwide as a ‘trick dog,’ the Toy Poodle was once quite popular in France. It was the court favorite during the reign of Queen Anne and Louis XVI.

Toy Poodle us
A Toy Poodle puppy held by owner for the first time!

Fast Facts for Toy Poodles

  • Height: Less than 10 inches from the shoulder to the ground
  • Weight: 4-6 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-18 years

Common Health Issues:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Severe Eye Disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Orthopedic Complications

Types of Poodle Crosses

There are dozens of types of Poodle crosses. Poodles are an excellent breed with many desirable traits that make Poodle crosses especially attractive to breeders, trainers, and owners alike.


Labradoodles originated from down under. That’s right. The first documented Labradoodle was born in the late 80s as the handiwork of breeder Wally Conron.

a cream labradoodle looks as the camera
A cream Labradoodle looks as the camera.

He intended to blend the temperament of a Labrador Retriever with the non-shedding coat of a Poodle. The ideal goal was to have a breed that could act as a guide dog for those with allergies.

The Labradoodle, of course, was a massive hit. This new blend kicked off a massive trend as breeders in North America, and Australia began to cross Poodles with other breeds.

Labradoodles are, like their predecessors, social and intelligent. They are also notorious for a mischievous streak. However, they are still easily trained with a firm yet playful hand.

Positive reinforcement keeps their love of learning alive.


The origin of Goldendoodles, a cross of Golden Retrievers and Poodles, has ties to classic literature. The first Goldendoodles were bred by a great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, Monica Dickens, in 1969.

Goldendoodle sitting on couch
A curly coat Goldendoodle dog resting on couch. This is a larger (standard size) dog.

Though Goldendoodles were bred before the creation of Labradoodles, they initially failed to catch on. It was only with the popularity of the Labradoodle and the subsequent interest in Poodle cross breeds that the Goldendoodle rose in popularity in the nineties.

The same traits that made Labradoodles great service animals were found in Goldendoodles, with an extra splash of family friendliness.

Though both were originally hunting breeds, it is hard to find a more social and gentle dog than a Goldendoodle. At an average weight of 45-70 pounds, there is a Goldendoodle of the ideal size for any family.

Goldendoodles experience very few health issues. However, owners are cautioned to be vigilant about ear hygiene, as the inheritance of Golden Retriever ears can make Goldendoodles prone to ear infections.

Double Doodle

The Double Doodle has many monikers. The Double Doodlepoo, the Golden Labradoodle, and the North American Retriever all describe the same mix. Double Doodles are a mix of three breeds; Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Poodles.

smiling Double Doodle puppy
A smiling Double Doodle puppy post for a photoshoot.

They are the product of the breeding between a Goldendoodle and a Labradoodle.

This hybridization makes them a variable breed in terms of appearance. Their nature as thoroughly hybrid animals drastically reduces the chances of inheriting the genetic conditions that afflict purebreds.

They stand anywhere from 20-29 inches tall and weigh anywhere between 50-80 pounds. They live 12-15 years, longer than the average lifespan of their purebred predecessors.

Double Doodles are intelligent and loving, with a great affinity for strangers and family alike. They make exceptional service animals due to their willingness to be around unfamiliar people and their devotion to their owners.

Double Doodles are energetic. Their desire for activity and their size mean they are not the best choice for those who lead busy lives and live in small spaces.


A Sheepadoodle is a Poodle cross with an Old English Sheepdog. In contrast to the playfulness of the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle mixes, the integration of the Sheepdog lends the Sheepadoodle a calm, sweet, and obedient temperament.

Sheepadoodle dog running happily
A Sheepadoodle dog running happily at the park.

The lifespan of Sheepdogs is 10 to 12 years. With Poodles living up to 18 years, a Sheepadoodle can often outlive its Sheepdog parent. Sheepadoodles range from 25-75 pounds.

Sheepadoodles can be relatively large dogs, but their quiet and calm temperament makes them ideal companions and service animals.

Shih Poo

The Shih Poo, or the teddy bear dog, is an adorable dog with a sweet temperament to match. A cross between a Shih Tzu and either a miniature or Toy Poodle, these tiny pups are beloved members of the Doodle family.

no shedding shih poo
A closeup shot of a cute adorable sad-looking domestic Shih-poo type of dog indoors

Though they are small, the Shih Poo comes with a cute and outgoing personality to match their appearance. While they are not ideal service animals for physical conditions, they are excellent emotional support animals. They have high attention needs and playful nature.

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