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Labrador vs. Poodle

a picture of a yellow lab and a picture of a poodle meeting on the diagonal with the letters VS in the middle

Labrador is one of the most popular breeds in the US for the last three centuries. Similarly, poodles are ranked second when it comes to intellectual ability and are admired by canine lovers. Both these breeds are quite friendly and become good companions. However, they have some critical differences that can help you make a decision. Keep reading to get a detailed comparison between Labrador and Poodle.


Labradors were bred as water dogs especially to retrieve fish and ducks. They originated in Canada in the 1830s. They were great companions for retrievers or fishers and offered significant help to them. Later on, these canines became great companions for families due to their historical love for humans.

Labs have a straight double coat and come in three different colors (black, yellow, and chocolate). These pooches are quite intelligent and loyal to their companions. They are quite athletic and have a well-built physique. Labradors are easy to train and possess a lot of energy. This means that daily exercise is necessary to keep them happy, satisfied, and healthy.

Are Labrador Retrievers the same as a Labrador? Read our article “Labrador Retriever vs Labrador” to learn more.


poodle laying in grass

The name of this breed is derived from the German word “Pudel” which means splash in the water. Poodles were initially bred as hunting dogs but have also worked as water retrievers because they enjoy being in the water.

They have some vague history as some historians say these pooches originated in Germany over 400 years ago. On the other hand, others say that they originated in France. Anyway, the England Kennel Club registered the first poodle in 1874. This breed is gifted with many qualities but the hypoallergenic coat is the biggest among them.

Poodles have woolly undercoats and wiry topcoats. They come in diverse colors like black, white, silver, and grey. These pooches are one of the most intelligent canines and rank second in the world. Poodles are physically quite agile and can work as service dogs or guide dogs. They are also quite loving to humans.

Differences Between a Labrador and a Poodle

The following table shows some major differences between Labradors and Poodles.

OriginCanada and EnglandGermany and France
Height21 to 24 inches15 to 24 inches
Weight55 to 80 pounds45 to 70 pounds
Lifespan10 to 12 years12 to 15 years
CoatStraight Double CoatRough and wavy single or corded coats
Top Running Speed20 mph32 mph

Similarities Between a Labrador and a Poodle

Poodle licking the top of a black labs head while outdoors playing

The major similarities between these breeds are discussed below.

Purebred Both Labradors and Poodles are purebred.

Intelligence Both these breeds are quite intelligent. This is because of their hunting and retrieving habits. They can also serve as guides, service, and therapy dogs because of their high intelligence.

Energy Level Both are quite energetic and need daily exercise to burn their excessive energy. This is useful for them as this will keep them healthier and happier.

Temperament Both these canines are friendly and loving which makes them good temperament dogs. They enjoy playing with their owners because these breeds love to stay around their masters.

Ease of Training Both Labrador and Poodle are even-tempered dogs as well as keen to learn new things shows that they are easy to train.

Adaptability Both of these pooches are quite adaptable when it comes to living environments. As poodles love apartments as well as backyard living but Labradors can adapt to apartment living if the owner fulfills their exercise needs.

Family Dog Both are highly recommended family dogs as they can do quite well with their families, especially those who have kids. They also get friendly with strangers.

Labrador VS Dalmatian. Which is the better dog? Click here to learn more.

What is Better about a Labrador?

Portrait of a yellow lab outdoors

Labradors are even-tempered and quite intelligent dogs. They love to be in large places like yards and love to bark a lot. This makes them perfect guarding dogs for owners. But that does not mean they cannot survive in small places like apartments because they are quite adaptable when it comes to living environments. They are easy to groom which means they have less maintenance cost than the poodle. They are quite friendly with kids and strangers which makes them great family companions. Strength-wise Labradors are better than Poodles.

What is Better about a Poodle?

Portrait of a grey poodle outdoors

Poodles have one of the best intellectual levels among all canines. They are fast learners as they love to learn new tasks and tricks quickly. They are hypoallergenic which means they do not shed hair. Poodles can adapt quite well to any environment if owners provide them with the necessary mental and physical stimulation. Poodles can chase better than the Labradors due to their great running speed of around 32 mph.

Who Should Get a Labrador?

Yellow lab puppy running outdoors

As Labradors prefer the backyard so the owners who have one in their house should get them. Also, if someone is looking for a guard and a family dog then Labrador is the best. Apartment owners can also get Labradors but for that, it is necessary to care for their physical and mental needs like a daily walk, exercise, exercises, and playing time. Families who have kids should also adopt these pups. They are easy to train and can be ideal for both new and experienced owners.

Who Should Get a Poodle?

Poodle puppy standing in autumn leaves

Poodles have a pleasing and sociable nature that makes them stand out in a family gathering. So, the owners who have kids, and a lot of relatives should get poodles as they gel quite well with strangers too. Poodles are quite learners and can adapt to any environment. This makes them ideal companions for traveling trips. Toy poodles and miniature poodles are best for apartment owners.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.