Mini Poodle vs Mini Goldendoodle: Which is the Best Companion Dog?

You want a midsize, adorable pup with minimal shedding. But should you stick with the age-old original, the Miniature Poodle, or should you mix it up with the hybrid that’s all the craze, the Miniature Goldendoodle?

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Mini Poodle vs Mini Goldendoodle

Poodles are purebred, with a lineage going back many years, while the hybrid Goldendodle is a newer craze. Miniature Poodles have consistent traits regarding size, coat type, and color, while Mini Goldendoodles vary more. Poodles are nearly hypoallergenic with a curly coat that traps dander, while Goldendoodles’ hypoallergenic qualities and shedding can differ. In temperament, Miniature Poodles are intellectual and sensitive, while Mini Goldendoodles are generally sunnier and friendlier, depending on how much they inherit from the Golden Retriever.

Here’s a breakdown of these two breeds to enable you to choose, from health and temperament to color and coat type. I’ll even go over how these dogs require different exercise and training.

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Feature/AspectMiniature PoodlesMiniature Goldendoodles
SizePredictable size: 10-15 inches tall, 10-15 pounds. Consistent due to generations of breeding.Variable size: Petite Mini: Below 14 inches, ≤25 pounds. Mini: 14-17 inches, 26-35 pounds.
Hypoallergenic QualitiesClose to 100% hypoallergenic. Curly coat traps dander. Less dander in the environment.Varies based on coat type. Curlier coats more hypoallergenic. Presence of Golden Retriever genes affects this.
ColorWide array of colors and patterns. Predictable due to consistent breeding.Unpredictable due to mixed breed. Often bred for golden hue.
Health and LifespanProne to specific health conditions. Lifespan: 12-15 years.Benefit from “hybrid vigor”. Lifespan: 10-15 years.
TemperamentIntellectual, sensitive, reserved with strangers, affectionate & loyal.Affable, easy-going, laid-back, can inherit Poodle’s reserved nature.
TrainingHighly intelligent, requires gentle touch in training.Trainability varies, generally requires more patience.
ExerciseCrave human interaction, love swimming, might prefer quieter settings.Social, love swimming, thrive in group settings.
GroomingConsistent curly coat, less prone to matting, requires daily brushing.Varied coat, prone to matting, requires daily brushing.
PriceCost varies, best-bred options can exceed $3,000. AKC-registered dogs often more expensive.Cost varies, best-bred options can exceed $3,000. No “show quality” classification.
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Miniature Poodles have a more predictable size. Thanks to generations of consistent breeding, good breeders have honed their expertise. They typically stand between 10 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds.

Now, let’s shift gears to Mini Goldendoodles. These pups are a mix of the larger Golden Retriever and the smaller Miniature Poodle. Their size standards, as per the Goldendoodle Association of North America, are as follows:

  1. Petite Mini: Below 14 inches in height, typically weighing 25 pounds or less.
  2. Mini: Over 14 inches but under 17 inches in height, typically weighing between 26-35 pounds.

Because of this blend, Mini Goldendoodles tend to be a tad bigger than Miniature Poodles. But here’s the catch: their size can be a bit of a wild card.

Since a doodle is a mix, predicting their adult size isn’t as straightforward.

So, if you’re looking for predictability in size, the Miniature Poodle might be your go-to. But if you’re open to a bit of surprise and potentially a slightly larger pup, the Mini Goldendoodle could be a perfect match.

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When you mix the curly coat of a Poodle with the flat coat fur of a Retriever, you get the unique wavy coat of a Goldendoodle. The combination of different hair textures and the fact that Goldendoodles often shed means that their shed hair can get trapped in their coat. What’s the result? Mats. And lots of them.

Poodles, on the other hand, have a consistent curly coat. This consistency means they’re less prone to matting. But don’t be fooled into thinking they’re low maintenance. Both breeds demand attention when it comes to grooming.

Here’s the deal: Whether you have a Goldendoodle or a Poodle, daily brushing is a must. It prevents those pesky mats and keeps their coat looking its best. And don’t forget about monthly grooming sessions. Whether a short or long clip, it needs to be maintained. Bring your dog to the groomer to get rid of tangles and file nails, or prepare to spend some time grooming.

Now, let’s talk ears. Those adorable floppy ears both breeds sport? They’re a magnet for ear infections. Regular cleaning is essential, and sometimes, plucking might be necessary to ensure good airflow and reduce moisture.

Is the Miniature Poodle or Miniature Goldendoodle More Hypoallergenic?

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that no dog breed is truly 100% hypoallergenic. However, Poodles come close for several reasons. Their distinct curly coat acts as a natural trap for dander, the common allergen found in dogs.

Instead of the dander being released into the environment, it gets caught in the tight curls of the Poodle’s coat. This means less dander in the air and, consequently, fewer allergy triggers for sensitive individuals.

Goldendoodles, being a mix of Golden Retrievers and Poodles, inherit traits from both parent breeds. The curlier a Goldendoodle’s coat, the more it resembles the Poodle’s hypoallergenic qualities. This means that Goldendoodles with tighter, curlier coats are likely to be better for allergy sufferers.

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However, it’s crucial to note that all Goldendoodles do shed to some degree. Even with a curly coat, they won’t match the hypoallergenic level of a purebred Poodle. The presence of the Golden Retriever genes means there’s always a possibility of more dander and shedding, making them less hypoallergenic overall.

If hypoallergenic qualities are a top priority, Poodles are the safer bet. Their curly coat naturally traps dander, reducing allergens in the environment. Goldendoodles, while endearing and often suitable for those with mild allergies, can’t guarantee the same hypoallergenic consistency as Poodles.

It’s always a good idea to spend time with the breed or specific dog you’re considering to see how your allergies react. After all, individual reactions can vary, and what works for one person might not work for another.


Miniature Poodles

Miniature Poodles come in a wide array of colors and patterns. Some of the recognized colors include:

  • Black
  • White
  • Apricot
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Cream
  • Gray
  • Red
  • Silver

In addition to solid colors, Poodles can also have various patterns such as:

  • Tuxedo (two-toned color)
  • Parti (primarily white with patches of another color)
  • Phantom (similar to a Doberman’s markings)
  • Brindle (tiger striped)
  • Sable (each hair has multiple colors)

Breeders have spent years perfecting their lines to produce specific colors and patterns. So, if you have a particular look in mind, chances are, you can find a breeder who specializes in that color or pattern.

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Mini Goldendoodles

When it comes to Mini Goldendoodles, the color palette is a bit more unpredictable. This is because they’re a mix of the Golden Retriever and the Miniature Poodle. While any of the Poodle’s colors or patterns might appear in a Goldendoodle, it’s not always guaranteed. The genes responsible for colors and patterns can sometimes produce unexpected results in mixed breeds.

However, most Mini Goldendoodles are bred from apricot or red Poodle parents. Why? To achieve that rich, golden hue that many Goldendoodle enthusiasts adore. This golden shade closely resembles the classic color of the Golden Retriever.

In essence, while Miniature Poodles offer a diverse range of predictable colors and patterns, Mini Goldendoodles bring a touch of unpredictability to the mix. Yet, this unpredictability is part of the charm for many Goldendoodle lovers.

Health and Lifespan

Miniature Poodles

Miniature Poodles, like all breeds, can be prone to certain health conditions. Responsible breeders will test their breeding dogs for common inherited health issues to ensure healthier puppies. Some of the health problems Miniature Poodles are prone to include:

  1. Hip Dysplasia: A malformation of the hip joint, leading to arthritis.
  2. Eye Disorders: Various conditions can affect their eyesight.
  3. Epilepsy: A neurological condition that can cause seizures.
  4. Sebaceous Adenitis: A skin condition where sebaceous glands become inflamed.
  5. Von Willebrand’s Disease: A blood clotting disorder.
  6. Legg-Calve-Perthes: A hip condition that can lead to arthritis.
  7. Luxating Patellas: Where the kneecaps can easily move out of place.
  8. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat): A life-threatening twisting of the stomach.

Generally, smaller dog breeds tend to have longer lifespans than their larger counterparts. Miniature Poodles, being a small to medium-sized breed, typically have a lifespan ranging from 12 to 15 years.


Goldendoodles, being a mix of Golden Retrievers and Poodles, benefit from what’s known as “hybrid vigor” in their first generation (F1). This means they’re generally healthier and less likely to inherit genetic diseases.

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However, as you move to further generations like F1b and beyond, the chances of genetic diseases appearing can increase. Goldendoodles are most likely to inherit diseases that are common to both Golden Retrievers and Poodles. Some of these include:

  1. Hip Dysplasia: Just like in Poodles, this malformation of the hip joint can lead to arthritis.
  2. Eye Disorders: Various conditions can affect their eyesight.
  3. Von Willebrand’s Disease: A blood clotting disorder.

It’s worth noting that while hybrid vigor can offer some protection against inherited diseases, it doesn’t guarantee a Goldendoodle will be free from health issues. Always work with reputable breeders who test for and are transparent about potential health issues in their breeding dogs.

The concept of “hybrid vigor” suggests that mixed-breed dogs, like the Goldendoodle, can often be healthier and, by extension, have longer lifespans than their purebred counterparts. Mini Goldendoodles, benefiting from this hybrid vigor and their smaller size, typically have a lifespan similar to Miniature Poodles, often ranging from 10 to 15 years.

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Miniature Poodles: Miniature Poodles are often described as the intellectuals of the dog world. They’re sharp, alert, and incredibly intuitive. Here’s a snapshot of their temperament:

  • Sensitive: They’re in tune with their surroundings and can pick up on the emotions of their owners. This sensitivity means they might not always react well to harsh training methods or loud environments.
  • Reserved: While they’re affectionate with their families, they can be a bit standoffish with strangers. It’s not that they’re unfriendly; they just like to assess the situation before warming up.
  • Affectionate & Loyal: Once a Mini Poodle bonds with you, you’ve got a friend for life. They’re deeply loyal and love spending time with their families.
  • Cautious of Outsiders: Their reserved nature can sometimes translate to caution or even suspicion of unfamiliar people.
  • Animal Relations: Generally, they get along well with other animals. However, they might display co-gender aggression or reactivity, meaning they might not always get along with dogs of the same gender.
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Mini Goldendoodles: A delightful blend of the Golden Retriever’s warmth and the Poodle’s intelligence, Mini Goldendoodles often showcase the best of both worlds. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Affable: One of the standout traits of the Golden Retriever is their universal friendliness, and many Goldendoodles inherit this. They’re often friendly with just about everyone, from kids to seniors.
  • Easy-going: Life’s a party for many Goldendoodles. They tend to take things in stride and are often quite adaptable to different situations.
  • Laid-back: While they’re energetic and love playtime, they also have a laid-back side and can be quite content just lounging around.
  • Poodle Traits: Remember, they’re still part Poodle. This means that some Mini Goldendoodles might showcase more of the Poodle’s reserved and sensitive nature.


Both Mini Goldendoodles and Poodles are descendants of gun dogs, which means they’re naturally inclined to be trainable.

But here’s where it gets interesting: Poodles rank as the second smartest dog breed. Impressive, right? This intelligence means they can grasp concepts quickly. On the other hand, Goldendoodles’ intelligence can vary. Some might inherit the sharp wit of the Poodle, while others lean more towards the smart (but not top-tier smart) Golden Retriever.

But intelligence isn’t everything. Poodles, despite their smarts, are sensitive souls. They might be a tad less stable than the more easy-going Goldendoodle. What does this mean for training?

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Well, you might find that training a Poodle goes faster, but you’ll need to tread lightly. They require a gentle touch. Goldendoodles? They might be a breeze to train, but you’ll need a bit more patience as it could take longer.

Here’s a tip: Both breeds thrive with positive reinforcement. But remember, Poodles, with their keen minds, might get bored. So, think about switching up their training routines to keep them engaged. Goldendoodles, on the other hand, might be perfectly happy with the same old routine.


Both Goldendoodles and Poodles crave human interaction. They’re not the type to be content with a solo romp in the backyard.

They want you by their side, whether it’s a game of fetch or a brisk walk. And speaking of fetch, did you know both breeds have a history as water retrievers? It’s no surprise they have a natural love for swimming. So, if you’re near water, don’t be shy to let them take a dip!

But here’s something to consider: Goldendoodles have a varied coat, which might not be as efficient at temperature regulation as the Poodle’s. What’s this mean for you? Keep a close eye on them during extreme temperatures. You wouldn’t want them getting too hot or too cold during exercise.

Now, let’s talk about socializing. Goldendoodles, with their bubbly personalities, often thrive in group settings. They might love a day at the dog park or joining a group run. They’re the life of the party! Poodles, while still friendly, can be a bit more reserved. They might prefer a quieter setting for their exercise.

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The cost of a Miniature Poodle can vary widely based on factors like lineage, breeder reputation, and other specifics. While you might find Miniature Poodles available for a lower price, the best-bred options can often cost upwards of $3,000.

Purchasing breeding rights, especially from the American Kennel Club (AKC), can be particularly expensive. This is because AKC-registered dogs often come from a lineage that adheres to strict breed standards.

Furthermore, Poodles that come from a lineage with a history of succeeding at dog shows will typically cost more. This is because show dogs often represent the pinnacle of breed standards and are highly sought after.

Similar to Miniature Poodles, the price of a Mini Goldendoodle can vary. However, the best-bred options will also often cost upwards of $3,000 or more.

Since Goldendoodles are a hybrid breed, they aren’t eligible for traditional breed show events. This means you won’t find a price hike associated with “show quality” Goldendoodles, simply because there’s no such classification for them.

The popularity of Goldendoodles has unfortunately led to a surge in irresponsible breeders and puppy mills looking to capitalize on the trend. These operations often prioritize profit over the well-being of the dogs.

General Advice: Regardless of whether you’re considering a Miniature Poodle or a Mini Goldendoodle, it’s essential to do your due diligence. Irresponsible breeders exist for both breeds.

Always visit the place where the puppies are raised to get a sense of their environment. Ask for health and genetic testing records to ensure you’re getting a healthy puppy. Remember, a higher price doesn’t always guarantee quality, but cutting corners to save money can lead to heartache down the line.

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Is the Mini Poodle or Mini Goldendoodle Best for You?

Best Family for a Goldendoodle

Goldendoodles often exude a sunny disposition, making them particularly well-suited for families. Their easy-going and laid-back nature means they can adapt well to the hustle and bustle of family life, from the laughter of children to the comings and goings of various family members.

However, with the charm of a mixed breed comes a touch of unpredictability. If you have a specific size, coat type, or other characteristic in mind, the Goldendoodle might throw you a curveball.

While they inherit the Poodle’s low-shedding genes, they can still shed somewhat, especially if they lean more towards the Golden Retriever side.

When it comes to exercise, Goldendoodles are relatively easy to please. A spirited game of fetch or a brisk jog can often keep them content. But remember, they still need consistent training to be well-behaved companions.

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A Poodle’s Perfect Person

Poodles, with their sharp intellect and keen senses, are often the choice for those seeking a specific performance or task from their canine companion. Their high trainability means they excel in various dog sports and activities, from agility to obedience competitions.

However, their intelligence comes with a caveat: they have a sensitive side. Poodles thrive on positive reinforcement and can become anxious or timid if handled roughly.

They’re virtually non-shedding, making them a popular choice for allergy sufferers. But don’t mistake their elegant appearance for laziness. Poodles have an active mind that constantly seeks stimulation.

While physical exercise is essential, they also need mental challenges to keep them engaged. Puzzle toys, advanced training sessions, and interactive games are often a hit with this breed.

In Conclusion: If you’re seeking a cheerful, adaptable companion that’s great for family life, the Goldendoodle might be your match. But if you’re looking for a dog with precision, intelligence, and a flair for performance, the Poodle could be your ideal partner. Both breeds bring joy, love, and unique characteristics to the table. The key is to assess your lifestyle, needs, and preferences to find the perfect fit. So, which one feels like the right companion for your journey?

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between Mini Poodle and Mini Goldendoodle temperaments?

Mini Poodles are sensitive, reserved, and loyal to their families but can be cautious of outsiders. They may also display co-gender aggression or reactivity. Mini Goldendoodles, on the other hand, often showcase a friendly, easy-going, and laid-back demeanor, being affable with almost everyone.

How do Mini Poodle and Mini Goldendoodle haircuts differ?

Mini Poodles often sport precise, styled cuts like the “poodle clip” which can be tailored for show or easier maintenance. Mini Goldendoodles typically have more relaxed, shaggy cuts that highlight their wavy to curly hair, often resembling a “teddy bear” look.

What are the pros and cons of Mini Goldendoodles compared to Mini Poodles?

Pros of Mini Goldendoodles: Friendly demeanor, hybrid vigor leading to potential health benefits, and a more relaxed grooming routine for some.
Cons of Mini Goldendoodles: Less predictability in temperament, appearance, and hypoallergenic qualities.
Pros of Mini Poodles: Consistent hypoallergenic qualities, high trainability, and a well-established breed standard.
Cons of Mini Poodles: Can be sensitive and require careful handling, and may need more intricate grooming.

Which is a better fit for my lifestyle: Mini Poodle or Mini Goldendoodle?

This depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you want a predictable temperament and hypoallergenic qualities, a Mini Poodle might be better. If you’re looking for a friendly, easy-going companion and are flexible with grooming and appearance, a Mini Goldendoodle could be a fit.

What are the common health issues for Mini Poodles and Mini Goldendoodles?

Mini Poodles can face hip dysplasia, eye disorders, epilepsy, and more. Mini Goldendoodles, being a mix, might inherit health issues common to both Golden Retrievers and Poodles, such as hip dysplasia and eye disorders. However, the first generation (F1) might benefit from hybrid vigor, potentially reducing some inherited health risks.

What are the size differences between Mini Poodles and Mini Goldendoodles?

Mini Poodles have a more consistent size, with breeders often predicting their adult size accurately. Mini Goldendoodles, being a mix of the larger Golden Retriever and the smaller Mini Poodle, tend to be slightly larger and have more variability in size.

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