Poodles are one of the most popular dog breeds to own for new dog owners, families, and experienced owners.
When it comes to the polls, they always come within the top 10 world's most intelligent dog breeds and are common favorites at dog shows. The Standard Poodle, especially, is a breed exhibited in major dog shows like the Westminster Dog Show and Crufts.
It's safe to say the Poodle is a perfect family pet and a great all-rounder when looking for a dog.
While they are a favorable dog breed, there are a few others out there that are equally as great to bring home! There are a bunch of dogs that look like Poodles. I'm confident they will be a source of great entertainment and provide lots of affection for you and your loved ones.
Ready to know? Keep on reading.
What Makes a Dog Look Like a Poodle?
Before delving straight into the different dog breeds, let's define the criteria.
For other dogs to look like a Poodle, they must have a:
- A dense curly or wavy single coat that sheds very little
- Be a similar size ranging from 10-15 inches in height
- Well-defined muscles contributing to an athletic physique
- Long neck
- Royal posture
- Dark round eyes
- A black nose
- Floppy long ears that hang to their cheekbones
- A long docked tail, which can be curled or cut short
While these are all unique qualities that contribute to a Poodle's appearance, you don't have to tick all the boxes for a dog to look like a Poodle. Only a few will suffice!
12 Beautiful Dog Breeds That Look Like Poodles
The Barbet is a medium-sized canine with a similar origin to the Poodle. They, too, were a water retrieving dog, originating from France in the 16th century. If you look at a Barbet, their hairstyle gives off a boho hippie vibe. Their curls are a bit more untamed and ruffled than the Poodle's tight ones.
Don't let the shaggy coat of a Barbet dog fool you! These lovable dogs shed very little. They're close to hypoallergenic and are water resistant, like their Poodle cousin. So, if you're a big-time allergy sufferer or a clean freak, then you're in luck with the Barbet.
The Barbet breed can come in many coat colors from brown, gray, white, and black and with markings too. The head of this medium-sized breed is broad with hanging ears to their cheeks and a cute button nose.
They're also affectionate dogs that are intelligent and you can easily train them. Their calm nature makes the Barbet a dog that anyone can live alongside!
The Labradoodle is actually not an official breed recognized by the AKC! Their parent breeds consist of a Standard Poodle and a Labrador Retriever. This immediately puts them into the category of designer dogs. The major similarity is the iconic curly coat that its Poodle parent has and that it's close to hypoallergenic and low shedding.
This dog breed also comes in three sizes, miniature, medium and standard. Their sizes range from 14-24 inches in height, all based on the type you choose.
Aside from their appearance, the Labradoodle is one of the most charming dogs you can come across. The Labradoodle is obedient, intelligent and loves to play with about anyone. The curious and affectionate nature makes the Labradoodle a fantastic pet for any home.
Note: Because the Labradoodle is intelligent and great with young kids, they're in high demand in the dog world. So, there may be a long waiting list to get a Labradoodle from your local breeder.
Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese water dog came from Portugal to herd fish into the nets, get lost tackle and broken nets, and serve as a courier. Today, you can find the Portuguese water dog taking a more laid-back approach. They're a great domestic pet that loves to be surrounded by family members, dogs, and even cats.
The main feature that holds the same resemblance to a Poodle is its tail. The Portuguese Water Dog has a tail that's often cut or docked. Like the Poodle, they can also have a wavy or curly single coat and hardly ever shed!
If you wish to own a Portuguese Water dog, then you must have a lot of time on your hands to dedicate to them. They're a needy dog breed that loves cuddles and playtime from their favorite humans.
They're the perfect companion for small children. Note, if you have a child in your home, supervise their play time, these dogs can be a little boisterous sometimes.
These dog breeds can't go wrong in any household; they're loveable, friendly, and patient. But I'll warn you that the Goldendoodle is not the best to own if you want a watchdog or guard dog. Their feeble and friendly nature makes them more likely to befriend strangers than scare them.
They are a hybrid of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, but they share some similarities. First of all, they have a tight curly low, shedding coat, just like Poodles. The Goldendoodle has similar coat colors, which are red, black, silver and white. Alongside this, they have button noses, oval eyes and floppy ears.
Their appearance isn't the only thing they have in common with a Poodle! The Goldendoodle is also highly versatile and adaptable like the Poodle. It's not uncommon to find the Goldendoodle as a service dog or trained for agility activities. Like Poodles and Golden Retrievers, they're also very affectionate and loving.
Being an offspring of a Maltese and a Poodle, the Maltipoo is a designer dog you might want to consider. This small dog grows between 8-14 inches tall and typically weighs between 5-20lbs. If you're living in a small space like an apartment, this is an ideal dog breed.
These small dogs have many characteristics which are the same as a Poodle. One significant commonality is their size; their small size is like a Toy Poodle. Maltipoos are also intelligent dogs being easy to train, manage and maintain.
About their looks, they also have a shaggy, wavy or curly coat that's low shedding and close to hypoallergenic. Most of the time, they have a snow white coat like the Maltese. But they are known to come in a few different variations of black, apricot, blue and chocolate.
The Pumi was once a Hungarian sheepdog 300 years ago. Today they are a dog that is affectionate, loveable and easy going. They're medium-sized and known for their distinct square physique, growing up to 15-19 inches and weighing between 22-29lbs.
Appearance-wise, the two breeds have similar coats, curly or wiry. Like Poodles, Pumi's need a similar amount of grooming every 3-6 weeks, including coat curling and trimming. Apart from their coat, they don't hold many other physical similarities to a Poodle. Their ears are semi-erect, and their tail is circular.
They do, have the same energy requirements. On average they need 1 hour a day and mental stimulation to stop them from getting bored.
Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel is a dog breed that comes from the Spaniel Family and is the tallest. They're medium-sized dog breeds that weigh and reach heights like a Standard Poodle. They grow up to 21-24 inches and weigh between 20-30kg.
The main commonality between these two popular dogs is their curly coats. The Irish Water Spaniel tends to have a dense, curly coat and a texture like a Poodle. This means they also need a lot of grooming to keep their coat looking neat and clean.
On average, you should groom them every week. The Irish Water Spaniel is also prone to growing long nails like a Poodle. This means a groomer should trim them regularly to stop them from cracking.
Aside from the appearance of an Irish Water Spaniel, they share the same fondness for water as the Poodle. Both breeds were bred to work in water. If you live near a beach or a dog park with a lake, Portuguese Water dogs will for sure swim in the water. The Portuguese Water Dog has a similar intelligence level to a Poodle parent. This makes it easy to train from a young age, but they need a fair bit of mental stimulation.
The Lagotto Romagnolo can sometimes be mistaken for a Poodle as their appearance is similar! These make it into the dogs that look like a Poodle category due to the sole basis of their curly coat (that has similar colors to Poodles), being medium in size and low shedding.
The major distinction in the Lagotto Romagnolo lies in their temperament. Unlike a Poodle, this breed can be more aggressive and territorial. So you can't always guarantee they will be consistent, being friendly around children. On the contrary, the Lagotto Romagnolo is a versatile dog that can be trained for obedience, agility, and truffle hunting activities like the Poodle.
Coming from a small town in the North East of England is the Bedlington Terrier. The Bedlington Terrier is like a Poodle because they have tight curls, low-hanging ears, and a white coat.
The Bedlington Terrier is not ideal if you live in an apartment or semi-detached house. They are known to bark, unlike the Poodle. Apart from their above-average barking tendency, the Bedlington is a playful and loyal dog. They also have a gentle nature like Poodles, making them safe for children to play with. Bedlington Terriers are also popular dog breeds in shows being entered under agility. They're known for their speed.
Like Golden Retrievers, the curly-coated Retriever is a dog from England. Like a Poodle, they were used to hunt waterfowl and birds. Out of all the Retrievers you find today, these are the tallest.
As their name suggests, they have tight curls, floppy ears, and an athletic, muscular body. One of the main differences is that this stunning dog has a double coat that can shed quite a lot; it's not hypoallergenic.
Their coat becomes frizzy quite easily but requires less bathing than a Poodle. They only need a light trim once a month.
Kerry Blue Terrier
Originating from Ireland is the Kerry Blue Terrier. They have a dense, soft, and wavy coat that gets mistaken for a Poodle's! It mainly has a gray color coat and a muscular body below 20 inches in height. Due to them having a similar coat to the Poodle, they also share a similar grooming routine of around 4-6 weeks.
They hold some major differences from a Poodle, which is worth noting. The main difference lies in their temperament. The Kerrier is a more independent dog than the Poodle. In contrast, the Poodle is easy to train and highly affectionate.
If you're looking for a dog with a docked tail like the Poodle, you may want an Airedale Terrier. This classic breed can be easily spotted from afar due to its v-shaped ears and sturdy, muscular body.
Their main coat color is black and tan, and they have a wiry double coat. Because of this, they tend to shed between seasons. This makes them challenging to own for allergy sufferers. While they have a distinct coat, they do hold a slight similarity with their grooming routine. On average, they should be groomed around 4 times a year with a full clipping and stripping.
Just like a Poodle, they are intelligent dogs but have elements of stubbornness and independence in them. Yet, this can be eliminated if you train them while they're a puppy. This dog thrives off human companionship for them to be happy and are a joy to be around.
That's it, 12 cute and charming dogs that look like Poodles! Personally, I don't think I can rank the dog breeds from best to worse, as they're all great. Most of them make great family dogs and share similarities like Poodles. Some are their coat texture, grooming regime, body type and intelligence.
Before deciding whether you want to own one, you should consider your lifestyle, finances, and preference. Try visiting a breeder beforehand and looking up online further about each dog.
A dog is like a family member, you’ll have them around for a good chunk of your life.
Have you come across any of these dogs that look like Poodles? Let us know in the comments below.
Alex Wrigley is a professional writer and blogger who loves travel, technology and dogs. She is originally from the UK but currently lives in Nepal with her three dogs: two pugs and a golden retriever.