Playful, friendly, great with kids, plenty of brains, plus that curly coat that doesn’t leave hair everywhere or bring on a case of the sneezes: That’s why we love the Poodle. When we combine traits of the beloved Poodle with traits of other breeds, do we get the best of both worlds? In many cases, yes. Poodle blends, or Doodles, often make happy, people-oriented companion dogs that sport a puffy coat that everyone loves to pet.
What is a Doodle?
A Doodle is sometimes called a “designer dog,” which is a companion dog (versus a working dog) that comes from two purebreds. Some say designer dogs are bred solely for their looks. And when you consider the Doodle’s touchable fluffy coat and happy-go-lucky face, they may have a point. There are few things in this world cuter than a Doodle puppy!
But there is more to the Doodle than appearance. Though they’re mixed with many breeds of dogs, they share common traits from their Poodle lineage. Many Doodles are bred with an eye toward a poodle’s hypoallergenic qualities in particular.
Doodles are described as enthusiastic, joyful doggos with a contagious zest for life that shows as they bound happily to greet the day, visitors, the kids, the dog park — you name it.
Are Doodles hypoallergenic?
We love the look and feel of the Doodle’s coat, which is soft, sometimes puffy, sometimes curly.
Unlike most other dog breeds, Poodles actually have hair instead of fur. That means they have a single-layer coat that doesn’t shed. Doodles are often touted as hypoallergenic, thanks to many inheriting those soft, wiry, non-shedding coats from their Poodle parent.
But there’s a caveat. The characteristics of their coat will depend on their genes, and which parent breed ends up being the dominant one. While many of these breeds are friendly to those who live with allergies, it’s also important to understand there’s no guarantee.
Read up on Hypoallergenic dogs: Which breeds are best?
It’s also important to note that if a dog does have a hair coat, that hair can be vulnerable to hormonal changes in the body. Just like human hair is.
Why shouldn’t you get a Doodle?
If you’re looking for a low-key couch potato, a Doodle breed probably isn’t the dog for you. While there is a lot of variability depending on the mix, generally speaking:
- Doodles aren’t well suited for busy families that are away from home for hours at a time. They can get separation anxiety, resulting in destructive behavior.
- These energetic dogs can be a handful unless you make training a priority. Excess barking, leash reactivity and jumping are some problem behaviors that come naturally. But the good news is, Doodles aim to please their pet parents. So unlike more independent-minded dogs, their smarts will work in your favor.
- Many, though not all, Doodle breeds thrive on a higher-than-average amount of exercise and activities. Running, hiking, fetching and swimming are some of the activities they love best. Given their people-centric, trainable ways, they’re great on the agility course.
- Because these breeds often have hair and not fur, their coats can get matted easily when they get wet. This can make grooming challenging, or even make trips to a professional groomer necessary.
But don’t let the potential challenges scare you off
Doodles definitely aren’t ALL action. Doodles are extremely tuned in to their peeps, and love meeting new people. Once you understand each other, they’re great pets to have by your side.
Also, Doodles tend to be quite smart. If they’re gentle and have good listening skills, they can make fantastic therapy dogs.
What kind of Poodle mix dogs are there?
In the following, we’ll cover the top Doodle breeds. If you’re curious about a mix we don’t cover, check out this list for more varieties. Our list is ordered by largest to smallest, but keep in mind that the size of the Poodle parent can lead to varied outcomes.
Don’t forget that Doodle mixes are common at rescues and shelters as well. Consider looking for an adoptable dog first before turning to a breeder.
Hybrid of the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle
Breed size: Large, 90-100 pounds
Fluffy, floppy, happy dogs. They tend to be pricier than other Doodles because they are high-demand designer dogs. Well known as a good companion dog, they’re great with kids and families. They can be high-energy, willful puppies that will grow up to be big, willful dogs. Training should be a priority, but their intelligence will make easy work of it.
Hybrid of the Golden Retriever and Standard Poodle
Breed size: Large, 61-100 pounds
Two of America’s most popular dogs come together as one. And with their super fluffy coats and the people-pleasing stock, it’s no mystery why the Goldendoodle endures. These active and playful dogs would be a good fit with a family of older kids.
Hybrid of the Old English Sheep Dog and Poodle
Breed size: Large, 65-85 pounds
If you ever wanted a big cuddly Muppet-inspired creature in your house with a reputation for not shedding much, the Sheepadoodle is the one for you. They’ve grown in popularity and in demand in recent years because of their friendly, easygoing disposition. But like many Doodle breeds, they need a pet parent who enjoys getting out for lots of runs and walks.
Hybrid of Labrador Retriever and Poodle
Breed size: Comes in three sizes:
- Standard Labradoodle: 50-65 pounds
- Medium Labradoodle: 30-45 pounds
- Miniature Labradoodle (crossbred with a Miniature Poodle): 15-25 pounds
When America’s top dog, the Labrador Retriever combines with a Poodle, the outcome is a joyful ball of fluff that will win over your heart. And they’ll want nothing more from life than to hang out with you, especially if you enjoy being active. Swimming, long games of fetch and agility courses will be right up their alley.
Hybrid of the Australian Shepherd and the Standard or Miniature Poodle
Size: Medium to large, at 20-70 pounds
The Australian Shepherd and the Poodle are sometimes referred to as Einstein dogs, thanks to their keen wits and high intelligence. And that’s what you’ll get in your Aussiedoodle. Not only are they smart, but they’re also happiest when you’re on the go when they can be by your side.
Cavoodle (aka Cavapoo or Cavadoodle)
Hybrid of Mini or Toy Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Breed size: Small to medium, 8-25 pounds, depending on the size of their Poodle parent.
Bring this fluffy bundle of enthusiasm into your home, and you’ll gain a best friend and a social butterfly who loves soaking up the attention from his fans.
You’ll want to check out our Guide to Cavoodles: Friendly family pets
Hybrid of the Cocker Spaniel and Mini-Poodle
Breed size: The most common is the Mini-Cockapoo, which is a hybrid of Mini-Poodle with a Cocker Spaniel, weighing in at 13-25 pounds. Here are other sizes you might encounter:
- Standard Cockapoo (a hybrid of Standard Poodle with Cockapoo): 25-40 pounds
- Toy Cockapoo (a hybrid of a Toy Poodle with a Mini-Cockapoo): 7-12 pounds
- Teacup Cockapoo (a hybrid of the Toy Poodle with Toy Cockapoo): 7 pounds and under
Cockapoos have been around since the 1960s, these playful and amicable family pets set the stage for the so-called designer dog trend. They’re beloved because of their sweet natures that come from both sides of the lineage. A great option for families with kids, this dog is happiest when someone’s home, and by their side.
Hybrid of Maltese and Miniature or Toy Poodle
Breed size: Small, 4-20 pounds
Compared to other Doodles, the Maltipoo is a great option for apartment living and for pet parents who are new to living with dogs. They’re people pleasers that will happily greet your visitors (especially if you work on training early). They’re easy to train without needing a large amount of exercise — walks and playtime will suffice with a Maltipoo. Start training early to keep the barking under control. If you go on vacation, hiring a full-time dog-sitter would work best for their temperament.
Reward good behavior with NutriSource
Training goes a long way with Poodles and Doodles, giving them an outlet for all that energy and intelligence.
Keeping NutriSource Soft and Tender Treats on hand is a must.
- 3.5 calories apiece to reduce excess weight gain.
- Fortified with Carniking™, a trusted source of L-Carnitine to help your pet burn fat and maintain a healthy weight.
- Three delicious flavors: chicken, lamb and salmon. Available in two bag sizes, 6 oz. and 14 oz. for those big Doodle mixes.
Shop local, and pick up a pouch at an independent pet supply shop in your community.