Updated: Oct 17, 2020
You might have read our recent blog post discussing the inherent differences between the different doodle breeds. Many people come to us simply wanting a non-shedding dog…but not all doodle breeds are created equal, so it is important to do you research beforehand. The same holds true for the different sizes among the doodle breeds.
All doodle breeds can come in a variety of sizes due to the fact that the poodle comes in a number of sizes (most often categorized as standard, moyen and miniature/toy). So depending on the size of the poodle(s) involved in the heritage of your pup, the size outcome can vary drastically.
In this post, we hope to offer a gauge of the different sizes and what the pros and cons are to each size but do be sure to clarify size categories with whichever breeder you are using as some breeders use different sizing categories than others. Also, be sure to ask your breeder about both parents’ sizes to gauge your pup’s estimated adult weight/height. The closer the two parents are in weight, the more reliable prediction you can make about your pup!
Let’s begin with explaining the temperament differences between the standard and miniature poodles. Obviously the Golden Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog and Old English Sheepdog are all large breed dogs, so it takes a number of generations and a strong dose of miniature poodle to achieve a mini size in a Goldendoodle, Bernedoodle or Sheepadoodle.
In order to breed any of these larger dog breeds down to a mini size, a Miniature Poodle is used. The Miniature Poodle and Standard Poodle have some similarities but are overall two different breeds.
The Standard Poodle was originally bred as a retrieving dog (specifically for the water!). So Standard Poodles are actually quite athletic, moderately active and extremely intelligent. Retrieving is a skill that requires dutiful obedience on the part of the dog, and the standard poodle is no exception. Poodles often excel in obedience competitions and agility exercises. They are also incredibly people-oriented and sensitive and a fairly common breed in the service dog industry.
The miniature/toy poodle was not bred for a sporting purpose, but rather came into existence once the standard poodle made its way into France where it was bred down to become a prized pet/companion of 18th-century European aristocracy. Bred specifically for its small size and companionship, the Miniature Poodle tends to be more demanding of attention and can be more excitable and less laidback than their standard counterparts.
When exploring the various size ranges, keep these the following pros and cons list in mind:
Toy/Micro/Petite-Mini Doodles: Weight range 7-15 lbs.
Pros: very portable, easy to travel with on a plane (can fit in carrier under the seat), however not as easy to travel with in the car…Mini doodles have a higher tendency of carsickness than their larger counterparts.
Cons: will not keep up well on activity- may tire easily on longer walks. May be too small/fragile for small kids/rough play. May exhibit the more “excitable” characteristics of the miniature poodle…most parents think that a smaller dog will be best for their child because of it being a less intimidating size, but this is untrue.
Mini doodles can be fairly impatient and can become disjointed with the unpredictable actions and movements of young children. Because children may not understand their warning signs, they have a higher likelihood of snapping at a child.
Mini Doodles: Weight Range 15-30 lbs.
Pros: These dogs are better equipped to keep up on walks and family activities and are very smart and devoted to their people.
Cons: They still possess a lot of miniature poodle traits (see above) so oftentimes these pups not the best fit for families with children and are also likely to exhibit car sickness. Minis tend to be high energy but lack the stamina for extended periods of exercise so may require more frequent attention throughout the day to meet their demands for mental stimulation.
Medium Doodles: Weight Range 30-45 lbs.
Pros: Often the medium size in these breeds have a parentage that includes both standard and miniature poodles so most have a blend of the mini and standard personalities. This can be a good fit for families who still want a manageable size when it comes to walking on a leash, traveling, etc. but also want more of the laidback qualities of the standard sized poodles.
Medium goldendoodles are our top car travel choice due to their intermediate size, as well as their higher centers of gravity that generally helps them be more comfortable in the car for short or long rides.
Cons: The pups will need an ESA letter to fly on an airplane as they are unable to fit easily in a carrier under the seat in front of you.
Standard Doodles: Weight Range 50+ lbs.
Pros: Standard Doodles are often the most gentle and laidback (particularly Standard Goldendoodles) as Standard Poodles tend to be a gentle, patient breed. Most are very tolerant of children.
They have the stamina to keep up with you on any type of exercise (for example they make excellent jogging and hiking partners), but they like to go hard for a while and then are usually content to snooze after so often do not need as much constant stimulation throughout the day as a miniature doodle who may require short bursts of more frequent activity throughout the day.
Cons: These pups take up a lot of space in both the car and plane (would need an extra seat and an ESA letter to be allowed to fly). Be advised that they may unintentionally knock over a child while playing simply because of their larger size.
They also do need space to “stretch their legs” - i.e. a good run in the backyard or daily walk. The smaller minis are high energy and also need exercise but can play in short bursts in a smaller area.
We hope all this information helps you make the doodle decision that is best for your family!
Jenna and the JLDD Team