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The Ultimate Breed Comparison: Goldendoodle vs Labradoodle vs Poodle

Poodles are fantastic family dogs to own. In fact, thousands of families in America pick these dogs every single year to own. However, are they better than the sociable Goldendoodle? Or how about the loving yet gentle Labradoodle?

Despite sharing many similarities, these three wonderful doodle dog breeds still have their unique yet fascinating personality traits, physical characteristics, and requirements that may make one better suited for your family.

In this article, we’ll compare all the most important doodle factors so that you can make the best choice in deciding on the perfect doodle. And stick around to the end, where I reveal which breed is best, well, at least in my opinion.

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1. The doodle differences in shedding.

Poodles are almost always going to be low-shedding, hypoallergenic dogs. In other words, they don’t usually produce a lot of allergens from shedding their coats. This trait, of course, ensures fewer allergic reactions if you’re sensitive to dogs.

Instead of shedding fur like most dogs, they simply lose strands of hair like with us humans. However, this isn’t always the case with the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle, despite both hybrids inheriting the signature doodle coat.

Let me explain. Take the Goldendoodle, for example. These dogs aren’t as simple as breeding a Poodle and a Golden Retriever together. Rather, there are 4 possible generations of this hybrid.

The first is called the F1, which is a Goldendoodle with a Golden Retriever and Poodle parent. The F1B doodles have a Goldendoodle and Poodle parent. F2 doodles have two F1 Goldendoodle parents. And finally, F2B doodles have two F1B Goldendoodle parents.

Don’t feel too overwhelmed, it’s not that complicated. I’m going to simplify this for you. The heaviest shedding of the 4 generations is always going to be the F1 Goldendoodle. These doodles have a Golden Retriever and Poodle parent.

On the other hand, the F1B Goldendoodle, with a Goldendoodle and Poodle parent, is going to shed the least. The same would apply for Labradoodles.

So if you’re not excited about the shedding or simply too sensitive to dog allergens, I would try to look for F1B Goldendoodle or Labradoodle (that is, if you want a doodle mix). However, the lowest shedding will always be the purebred Poodle.

2. Grooming requirements will not be the same.

Poodles will have tightly curled hair. Labradoodles have a slightly coarser, thicker hair follicle. And then there’s the Goldendoodles – the doodles that still retain the curls, but always have a fluffier, wavy feel to them.

So because of these slight differences of the coats, grooming requirements will vary between the three breeds. In addition, the approaches to these 3 doodles will slightly differ as well.

Regular brushing is essential for Labradoodles. And when it’s time for a coat trim, you must try to think strategically – especially around the face, where hair can easily block their eyes. A long blade should be used for trimming the bulk of the coat.

However, be careful as to not trim too much fur off the legs. After all, Labradoodles are meant to have full-looking legs.

However, Goldendoodles require more upkeep because their thin, fast-growing hair can tangle much easier. And without regular grooming, all the best physical features of your dog will quickly be obscured by long fur.

The easiest solution for most owners is to cut their fur short with the exception of the feet, face and tail.  Not only will this keep them cool, but also reduce the frequency for brushing. 

However, Poodles are a bit different. They need regular brushing as well, but their curly coats may be a bit easier to manage than the two other hybrids, that is, unless you’re going for a “continental cut” or “saddle trim.”

3. Comparing the intelligence of the doodles.

Make no mistake, the Poodle, Goldendoodle and Labradoodle are all highly intelligent dogs that respond well to obedience training. In fact, the Poodle is ranked the 2nd smartest purebred dog – only behind the Border Collie.

So does that automatically make the Poodle the most intelligent of the three doodles? Well, not always. In fact, Golden Retrievers are the 4th most intelligent dog breed, while Labradors are the 7th smartest purebred. So both hybrid doodles have intelligent parents as well. 

However, training methods may slightly differ. For Labradoodles, you’ll want to initially focus your efforts on the relationship with the dog because they’re the most eager to please of the 3. Once they realize that you’re the pack leader and someone they can trust, they’ll obey your every word.

Goldendoodles, however, respond much better to structure and consistency. When they don’t know or understand what’s going on, they can become more anxious and stressed. You must remember that consistency is key with Goldendoodles.

However, Poodles are just workaholics. They genuinely enjoy being active, engaged, and having tasks to perform – even if it’s obedience training. Poodles also have the strongest work ethic, meaning they might be the easiest to train of the three. 

4. The exercise needs and requirements.

All three dog breeds require a lot of exercise, because all three are energetic, active dogs. If I had to rank them based on exercise needs, it would probably be the Poodle, followed by the Labradoodle and then the Goldendoodle.

However, it’s best that all three breeds get roughly 1 hour of exercise each day. And because all doodles have the retriever genes in them, playing fetch with a tennis ball is probably the most ideal activity. Or at the least, it’s going to be what they excel at.

5. The differences in doodle temperaments.

The temperament of these three dogs will be affected by their genetics, training, socialization, individual personalities, and environmental factors. Nonetheless, there will be some temperament traits that’ll be consistent with each breed.

For example, Poodles will be active, energetic, and fun-loving dogs. Though they love to work their super intelligent minds, they have a mischievous side that comes out when they’re playing.

On the other hand, Goldendoodles are the most sociable and outgoing of the three. That said, these doodles require extra socialization training for them to be happy or content.

Goldendoodles have a contagious cheerful vibe and a strong enthusiasm for life. In fact, these dogs will love nothing more than to play with friendly people or dogs.

Labradoodles are similar, though they may be the most gentle and calmest of the 3 doodles. However, Labradoodles might actually be the most loyal. They have a strong desire to spend time with family, and you’ll definitely get along with their easy-going nature.

But no matter which doodle you end up picking, they’re all going to be extremely trainable, responsive and intelligent. All three breeds will be more than enough for what you need, especially if they’re just going to be a family companion.

6. Which doodle is the most compatible with families?

The good news is that all three doodles can potentially make wonderful family companions if given a lot of love, training and socialization. There isn’t a “wrong” choice to make here. It’s just about which of the 3 is better for your family.

Poodles, for instance, are excellent with active families that have older kids. But while they do make great family pets, Poodles might be better suited for families who appreciate their intelligence and are actively involved in their care and stimulation.

Labradoodles may be easier for most families. They’re the genius dogs that seem to have a built-in schedule tracker. In fact, they’re intelligent enough to sense when their owners are busy and when they actually have time to play.

Plus, Labradoodles have amazing situational awareness. It’s almost as if this if their “sixth sense.” With that said, Labradoodles are the most ideal for busy homes that get a lot of visitors coming in and out of the home.

However, the most family compatible dog may be the Goldendoodle. They’re just so friendly yet loving towards everyone. You won’t be able to find a single aggressive bone in these dogs. Furthermore, these doodles are famous for being great with kids and other dogs.

The only problem is that Goldendoodles may be the most susceptible to developing separation anxiety, so they’re not great for busy owners. But if you have a house full of kids and other pets, these dogs may be the best for you.

7. Apartment living with doodles.

The Poodle, Labradoodle and Goldendoodle are all better suited for a family home with a large backyard. They’ll be the happiest when they have plenty of space to roam and expend their energy. However, that doesn’t mean living in apartments with these dogs isn’t possible.

If you’re wondering which of the 3 is better suited for apartment living, it’s probably the Labradoodle. Labradoodles have a slightly calmer temperament, but they’re also more adaptable and better when it comes to adjusting to different environments.

That said, both the Poodle and Goldendoodle will have a more difficult time in apartments. But as long as you spend some time every day taking them out for physical exercise and socialization, they can all still thrive in apartments.

8. Which is the best watchdog?

First up, we have the Poodle! Elegant and alert, they’re like the undercover agents of the dog world. But despite the fancy hairdos, intruders won’t stand a chance due to their vigilant nature and a sixth sense for suspicious people.

Then, we have Labradoodles – the friendly neighborhood watchdogs. They might not be fierce, but with wagging tails and friendly vibes, they’re the social butterflies of the guard dog crew.

But when compared to the Goldendoodle, Labradoodles will be a little more cautious with strangers, and a bit more protective with family.

Goldendoodles are just like teddy bears. They’re not your typical watch dogs, as they’re more likely to shower intruders with kisses than barks. I’d like to think of Goldendoodles as the welcome committee, and not security.

9. Comparing the health issues of the 3 doodles.

Poodles, especially the Standard Poodles, are generally very healthy dogs, especially for a purebred. However, they may be prone to genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia, skin conditions, and even progressive retinal atrophy.

Regular vet check ups and a healthy diet will be essential to managing their well being. However, as long as you buy from a reputable breeder and meet their needs, they will have relatively few issues.

Labradoodles may inherit health issues from both the Labrador or Poodle parent. These common health concerns may include hip dysplasia and ear infections due to their floppy ears.

If you want your Labradoodle to maintain great health, regular exercise, preventive care, and consistent grooming, will be crucial for their overall health.

Similarly, Goldendoodles are prone to hip dysplasia, heart conditions and certain skin problems because of the Golden Retriever genetics. Make sure these dogs receive regular grooming, a balanced diet and regular vet visits to ensure their health and well being. 

But because mixed dogs are generally more healthy due to a more diverse genetic pool, your best bet with minimizing health issues may be from one of the hybrid doodles.

10. Which doodle has the longest lifespan?

All 3 of these doodles typically live a longer life than the 10 year average lifespan of large dogs. However, it really depends on a variety of things, including diet, exercise, veterinary care, lineage genetics, among other factors.

Poodles tend to live between 12 to 15 years if they’re properly taken care of. Likewise, Labradoodles generally live to be between 12 and 15 years old. Goldendoodles have the highest variance, with a life span of 10 to 15 years.

If you can remember to treat your doodle right, they should have no problems living out their full lives. Either way, take care of your doodle and you’ll get to enjoy a wonderful fulfilling life with them.

11. The cost and accessibility of these doodles.

Cost can vary quite significantly depending on whether you buy from a backyard breeder or adopt from a shelter. If you manage to find a doodle in an animal shelter, you can pay as low as $50 USD to adopt the dog. And of course, unprofessional breeders will be cheaper.

But if we’re strictly talking about buying from reputable breeders, then the Labradoodle may be the most expensive of the three. They have the highest average cost of between $2000 and $4000 USD. This is most likely because they’re the least common of the doodles.

The next most expensive doodle is the Goldendoodle. They’re one of the most popular designer dogs, so there’s a much bigger supply for them. From a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay between $1500 and $3500 for a healthy Goldendoodle.

Poodles, by far, are the most popular. They also have the largest supply because they’re an established purebred. In fact, as of 2022, the Poodle was the 5th most popular dog breed in America! You can buy a Standard Poodle puppy from a reputable breeder for 1000 to 2500 dollars.

However, it’s worth noting that prices will vary depending on geographical location, trends and personal preferences. The best idea is to call different breeders to get an estimate.

So which doodle is the best?

Personally, I think the Goldendoodle is best….at least for me. Given their friendly disposition, their low shedding coats, great compatibility and relatively low maintenance, they’re probably the most ideal for my family.

However, that really depends entirely on you and your family’s needs or requirements. The truth is, they’re all fantastic companions and can make wonderful family pets for years to come.

But I’d like to hear what you think. Leave a comment and let me know which doodle is best for you!

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