Poodle and Doodle: What Is The Difference?

Poodle and Doodle: What Is The Difference?

  • Poodles are known for being brainy lap dogs, and it isn’t hard to see why the breed is so popular. Their popularity has seen the rise of an entirely new breed known as the Doodle, which leaves many people confused about the differences between the two.
  • What is the difference between a poodle and a doodle? Poodles have been recognized by the American Kennel Club as being its own distinct breed of dog. Doodles are off-spring of Poodles and other dog species, hybrids, which means Doodles are not their own independent breed. The differences between the two can vary from weight to allergies.
  • The differences don’t stop there, and we’ll go into further details in the article. You’ll learn the history of the poodle and when the first Doodle was bred. Topics such as temperament and health risks will be brought up to help you learn everything there is to know about one of the smartest breeds.
A Guide to Poodle Mixes and Doodle Dogs
A Guide to Poodle Mixes and Doodle Dogs

History Of The Doodle

  • The very first Doodle bred was a labradoodle in the early 1980s. The man responsible, Wally Conron was a puppy-breeding manager for the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia. His goal was to breed an allergy-free service dog for a visually impaired woman who suffered from allergies relating to dog dander. It took Wally two years and 33 attempts to successfully breed a Standard Poodle and a Labrador.
  • Although it wasn’t an overnight hit, the breed started to see a rise in popularity in the following years. Unfortunately, the popularity only helped enable the overbreeding that followed it. It wasn’t very long before many puppy mills were breeding the dogs and marketing them as “hypo-allergenic” to make cash.
  • Depending on the cross-breeding, the Doodle can have a variety of hairstyles, or even be born with multiple at the same time. Because of this, Doodles often times are high maintenance in their appearance and may make you visit a groomer every eight weeks.

Doodle LifeSpan

Doodle Dogs: Why Poodle Mixes Are Not The Family Dogs You Think They Are
Doodle Dogs: Why Poodle Mixes Are Not The Family Dogs You Think They Are

The average lifespan of a Golden Doodle lies anywhere from 10-15 years which is great for a medium to large size dog. Both the Golden Retriever and Poodle are healthy breeds, and it makes sense that many of the healthy genes between the two would get coupled for the off-spring. This was thought to be standard with the breeds very laid-back attitude, which helped it avoid many stress-related illnesses.

Health Risks

  • Golden Doodles are going to be prone to many hip-related diseases such as hip dysplasia and can even suffer from various eye disorders. If you notice anything seems off about your dog, then get them to the vet for consultation. Golden Doodles run the risk of having health problems from
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a very apparent condition that is able to be seen in young puppies. This condition is when the joints do not develop properly and can cause future problems from arthritis to possible lameness
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: If you notice that your Goldendoodle is bumping into things more often than usual, then it may be a symptom of this disease. This begins as night blindness slowly gets worse and can leave your pet blind completely.
  • Atopic Dermatitis: Though we said that you won’t see as many shedding issues with a Doodle as you would with any other breed, they still share many of the same skin allergies. This condition will leave your pet’s skin dry and inflamed, which may cause pain if anyone were to touch them. The solution to this problem could be as simple as changing their diet.
  • While you can certainly get the best of both genes by mixing up these two breeds, the same can be said about the health conditions. When breeding these two, you are essentially leaving the outcome to chance. Yes, you could see a very relaxed and smart family pet that will love you for many years to come, but you could also breed a Doodle that has many health problems impeding on its quality of life.
  • Keep in mind that there is also no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Allergens are going to be carried by dander and saliva. This means that there isn’t a single breed of dog that is void of this condition. Everyone who is allergic acts differently around dogs and the same can be said about dogs who posses certain allergen levels. There is really no way of knowing how allergic to the dog you are going to be prior to meeting.

Doodle Temperament

  • Doodles are known for their temperaments, and like the Poodle, it is reflected by their intelligence. The breed that we have been referencing throughout the article as an example known as the Golden Doodle is one that really gives truth to the claim. Both the Poodle and Golden Retrievers are known for being fiercely loyal to their families.
  • Any breed of Doodle is going to want to join in on family activities, and it makes great for a family pet. They have a necessity to be where people are, and their energy levels can go from non-existent to everywhere in a short amount of time. They are known for being easy to train and one of the more obedient breeds.
  • Doodles won’t make excellent guard dogs. They will notify you of an intruder, but if your house were to be broken into while you’re away then your Doodle is more likely to ask for belly rubs than it is to scare them away. They have been described as lazy, thought eager to please showcasing the uniqueness of their personalities.

History Of The Poodle

Poodles are believed to have originated from Germany, where they developed for hunting waterfowl in France. The true origin of the Poodle is highly debated. Due to the proof that poodles were around during Ancient Greek and Egyptian artwork, many believe that the breed was a result of breeding European water dogs. These poodles were categorized according to their size, which was labeled as:

  • Miniature
  • Toy
  • Standard

Their name in German, ‘Pudel,’ means “Splash of Water.” This references the Poodle’s innate water-hunting characteristics. The poodle is ranked second out of most intelligent dog breeds, with the Border Collie being the first.

Doodle vs Poodle: Is There a Difference?
Doodle vs Poodle: Is There a Difference?

The Standard Poodle is the largest size of the three and acted as a retriever for duck hunters and bird hunting that took place more upland. It has been used in the US and Canada since the early 1990s as fowl hunters. Their use in this declined many years later, where they began to grow popular for circus performances and used as a status symbol amongst the wealthy.

Their reintroduction to hunting sports is something that has begun to see another rise in popularity. It is reported that more and more Poodles are finding their ways out on the hunting fields after 30 years of breeding to refine the hunting genome.

Poodle LifeSpan

  • The lifespan of the Poodle is quite long, averaging at 12-15 years. Poodles are susceptible to many forms of eye disease that take the form of cataracts or Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Cancer is another risk that runs high among the breed, with additional worries being tumors.
  • Check out this article I recently wrote on cancer in poodles. In it, you’ll learn which cancers are most common in poodles and the symptoms that may suggest the onset of cancer.

Additional Health Risks

One of the many perks of owning a poodle is not having to worry about dander as often as you would with many other breeds. This means that whenever they do start to shed more than usual it could be caused by many underlying problems. Keep your eye out of things such as ringworm and if your dog is experiencing allergic reactions.

Do Toy Poodles Have Separation Anxiety?

  • Toy Poodles require a lot of human attention, especially at a very young age. If you’ve come home and seen your toy poodle has wrecked the place, it wasn’t out of contempt. The poodle was simply scared about being away from its pact and destroyed small objects around the room when they were no longer able to control it.
  • This is a very common issue amongst rescue dogs and won’t show as often for dogs that have only known one family their entire life. Toy Poodles can simply start to freak out when left alone if they’ve been abandoned before out of fear of it happening again, or even if another pet that you had is no longer around.
  • Thankfully the toy poodle is one of the most trainable breeds alive. They are also very high energy making a simple walk before you leave a very effective way to tire them out. Leave your dog alone for five-minute intervals at a time before slowly increasing the amount of time you are gone. This can help you get your poodle used to your absence, and since they know you’ll be back, they won’t destroy everything.
  • I recently wrote this article on how to stop separation anxiety in poodles. In it, you’ll learn how to identify this anxious behavior and fifteen ways to help fix it.
  • If you are noticing that nothing is helping your poodle with separation anxiety, then it is a wise idea to branch off to other methods. You can use supplements such as Ultra-Calm that will relieve your dog’s anxiety for up to two hours. For longer amounts of time, there is always the option of using a pheromone plug-in that is used to help with anxiety stop stress-related behaviors such as chewing up pillows.
  • If your poodle is going through separation anxiety, then it is a bad idea to punish them for being destructive. It’s irritating to have to replace and clean up your home, but taking corrective in the form of punishments can only worsen the symptoms. Poodles, specifically Toy Poodles, were bred for their loyalty and companionship.
  • A great behavioral training course can really help your poodle deal with separation anxiety. I found a fantastic video training system called Brain Training for Dogs. With this training, I was able to discover my dog’s fears and use the training system to help eliminate the triggers that caused his anxiety. This is an awesome program and crazy inexpensive!

Poodle Temperament

  • Poodles are beloved for their wholesome nature and necessity to spread it around. Their temperament is a direct reflection of their I.Q. They act as loyal companions for children, although, like most dogs, it is recommended to never leave them alone in the same room for an extended amount of time.
  • They love the water from their evolutionary history of hunting waterfowl, such as ducks. Because of this, they make for proficient swimmers. Evolutionary features such as the fur on their ears help keep the water out of them
  • Poodles are generally okay with apartment living, even though their intelligence will often lead them to boredom. They favor hotter climates over colder ones, as their fur isn’t thick enough for their body to be properly acclimated.

Why are Doodles so popular?

  • The two main factors that draw people to Doodles is their low-shedding, often hypoallergenic coat as well as their goofy and adorable looks and personality.
  • When it comes to a Doodle’s coat, you need to know that it is impossible to predict how exactly it will end up. Being a mixed-breed, there is a lot of variety among Doodles, even from the same litter!
  • If you have severe allergies you need to spend time around Doodles before deciding whether or not they will be the right fit for you and your family. Many Doodles get rehomed because their owners believed that they would not have an allergic reaction towards them, only to find out that this was not the case.
  • If you want a Doodle because you do not like dog hair in your home, you are good to go: Doodles are indeed very popular because they shed very little or not at all.

Doodle Puppy

  • Your Doodle can behave like a puppy for a very, very long time. Typical puppy behaviors such as strong desire to chew, high excitement when meeting any new person or dog and a generally slightly shorter attention span can be seen far into adulthood. I have met 5 year old Doodles that were indistinguishable in their behavior from a 1 year old.
  • For busy families that need a dog to grow up quickly and settle into an easy routine, Doodles are not the right choice. They will keep on surprising you with their ideas and inventiveness. I met a Doodle who at 2 years old just suddenly ate the owner’s iPhone (he had never before shown any kind of interest in that – but I guess it just looked extra tasty that day!).
  • Doodles won’t leave the puppy stage behind them and suddenly become a serious, laid-back adult dog who sleeps the day away, can be taken anywhere without a leash and will never jump up on your visitors again. In fact, they will probably never become quite serious!

Best Doodle Breeds

Some Doodle breeds are more popular than others. Here are the most common and loved Doodle breeds in North America:

  • Goldendoodle: The cousin of the Labradoodle is a cross of Golden Retriever and Poodle.
  • Labradoodle: This is outgoing cross between a Labrador and a Poodle comes to mind for most people when they hear of a “Doodle”.

Reasons To Own A Poodle Or Doodle

There are many reasons to adopt one of the best breeds on the planet, but below we will list just the top few reasons you should get one yourself!

They Rarely Shed

This is a win-over for many. While they will shed from time to time, it’s nowhere near the cleaning commitment that you would find with any other breed. Those with allergies may not see very severe symptoms because of this. Poodles and doodles have a very curly coat of hair that is very similar to humans, and though it requires some routine maintenance the coat won’t leave clumps of hair everywhere.

There’s A Style To Match

Poodles are known for having some funky and iconic looks about them. This goes double for the poodles we’ve seen used as wealthy status symbols. The poodle hairstyle in the crossbreeds is something that rarely ever looks out of place. It manages to utilize a sense of fashion that would look plain weird on other breeds and keep their shedding to an all-time low.

There’s A Size For Everyone

As stated earlier in the article, there are three different sizes for poodles that encompass both purebreds and crossbreds. Standard Poodles are for those that like a medium to large size dog while the Toy Poodle can be lugged around in your purse. Miniature Poodles are great for those that can’t decide between the other two and give the best of both worlds.

They Have Amazing Temperament

  • Poodles and doodles are rarely ever aggressive and are calm the majority of the time. If you are able to socialize them properly, then they will not have a single problem dealing with other dogs. They make great companions for children, though it is wise to never leave the two alone for an extended amount of time. No matter their size, your poodle or doodle is going to believe they’re a lap dog.
  • Even though having a calm dog can have its benefits, there may be situations where a breed that’s more authoritarian could help. Because of your dog’s high temperament, their first few actions won’t be going after an intruder that broke in but really act more as a host for the time they are there.

They Are Perfect For New Owners

Poodles and doodles are commended for being some of the easiest breeds to train, which works out well for owners that may not have any real experience caring for a pup. It’s best to train your puppy as soon as you get it to help it overcome problems like separation anxiety early and to help make crate training a breeze if their anxiety gets too them frequently.

They Are Extremely Intelligent

  • The intelligence of Poodles and doodles are what helps them stay so calm and receive training so quickly. They are very quick-witted dogs that rank only second to the Border Collies in intelligence, and their heritage often means they have a fond love for water.
  • Seeing how poodles are very friendly and not afraid of crowds, they have the potential of acting as a service dog for those that need extra assistance throughout the day. Their natural high intelligence makes it much easier to train them for the job, which will help them stay focused on the job throughout the day.

How do I keep my Doodle from matting?

  • Many Doodle owners are surprised at how badly their dogs mat unless brushed regularly or kept in a short cut.
  • These also are the only two options you have for keeping your Doodle from matting: very consistent brushing and giving him a short haircut. While the low-shedding qualities of Doodles’ coat are one of the big factors why many owners decide for a Doodle, they come with a draw-back: the coat is not low-maintenance.
  • You will probably end up spending an equal amount of time brushing and taking your Doodle to the groomer that an owner of a double-coated dog might spend vacuuming their home. Doodles actually have a very bad reputuation with many groomers, because they are often only brought in when they are badly matted. Do not join the ranks for the Doodle owners who wait until their dog’s coat is one solid, gross mess. As soon as you get a Doodle puppy you should make a monthly appointment with a groomer in your area.

Why Shouldn’t You Get A Doodle?

  • As you read above, Doodles are high-maintenance, high-energy dogs. They can and will become destructive if they are bored. How do you know if you should not get a Doodle?
  • Their exuberance can easily become hyper-arousal and reactivity if not addressed early in their life in training. You should not get a Doodle if you don’t have at least 2 hours to devote to your dog’s exercise and training – and that is 2 hours every day.
  • You don’t like to go outside when it’s cold or rainy? Don’t get a Doodle. You don’t want to potentially puppy-proof your home for years and teach your dog that he cannot chew your shoes over and over? Don’t get a Doodle.
  • You enjoy to Netflix and chill for three whole days on a long weekend? No Poodle mix for you. Do you have 12 hour workdays and just want to watch TV and eat a pizza at night? A Doodle is not for you.
  • And if you do not want to brush your dog several times a week and invest into monthly visits at a professional groomer … these dogs aren’t for you!

Family Doodle

  • Can Doodle be great family dogs? Absolutely! But only if the family is committed to exercising, socializing and training their Doodle, as well as providing daily enrichment for him.
  • In my work as a dog trainer I have been called to more Doodle homes than I can count. Usually these are larger Poodle crosses that a family acquired for their children. They are cute and fluffy puppies – until they are not. I usually meet the Doodles that are 5-10 months old and have become large and somewhat unruly. Nearly all adolescent Doodle owners struggle with leash pulling, intense jumping up and mouthing.
  • Nobody should underestimate the energy level of these dogs as well as their exuberance and extreme tendency to chew. Doodles are not the born, easy-going family dogs that they are made out to be. There is no such thing as a “beginner family Doodle”. (Just as there is no “beginner family German Shepherd” or “family Malinois”).
  • Remember: they are a cross of working breeds. Their ancestors’ energy and work ethic is still strong in the Doodle genetics.
  • If your family is busy – parents are working stressful jobs, kids have multiple hobbies already – do not get a Doodle. Chances are that you will not be able to provide the amount of interaction and training that he will need, and you will become frustrated with his behavior.
Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.