Are you confused by the oodles of doodles out there? Take any pup, mix it with a poodle, and you’ve got a new designer breed of dog with a new name. Schnoodle, cockapoo, yorkie poo, bichon poo, goldendoodle, labradoodle – it can be confusing!
These poodle mixes – and any regular mutt with poodle heritage – combine the intelligence and tractability of the lovable poodle with the traits of other dog breeds. Although they may not be able to compete in dog shows for purebred pups, these dogs have lots to offer. If you are getting a dog, a poodle mix could be the perfect match for you.
Of course, since these dogs cannot be classified as pure bred, the outcome of the breeding of a poodle and another dog always yields variable results. The goldendoodle you fall in love with may not have the exact same characteristics as a goldendoodle from a different litter. (Dog breeding is meant to make the characteristics of a given breed standard and predictable; thus, mixing two breeds yields uncertain but likely results.)
As with any new dog, adoption is strongly encouraged, and buying only from a responsible breeder is a must. Buying from casual backyard breeders – who, sadly, often jump on the bandwagon and breed these very types of popular poodle mixes in order to make money – is a terrible idea. You are encouraging cruel treatment of the animals in question, and you are taking risks with the health of the puppy you bring home.
First, let’s meet the one element that all these dogs have in common: the poodle. The poodle is an exceptionally intelligent breed of dog. These brains make the poodle especially skilled with training, from basic obedience to special tricks. There are three sizes of poodle: toy, miniature, and standard. The toy poodle stands less than ten inches high at the shoulders. The miniature poodle is slightly larger, and grows to a height of 15 inches at the shoulders. The standard poodle is the largest of those, and is the one size of the breed that stands larger than 15 inches.
Any size poodle should have dark eyes, ears that hang alongside the face, and a long and fine muzzle. Poodles come in a variety of colors – white, black, gray, and apricot – but they are always one solid color.
Poodles originated in Germany as water retrievers. The typical poodle haircut – with puffs of water-resistant fur at the ankles and shorn hair on the legs – helped the poodle swim more efficiently to bring hunting kills back to its master. The puffs of fur protect the body parts that need to remain warm in the “puddles” – hence the name of the breed – of water. The standard sized poodle is the oldest, given its hunting use. Miniature poodles have been used for hunting truffles, and toy poodles were popular in performances and circuses.
The poodle’s coat is curly and hypoallergenic. The poodle’s personality and its non-shedding fur are the reasons spurring its popularity as a mixture with other breeds. A regular Labrador might shed and make people sneeze. But the Labradoodle mixed breed retains great qualities of both Labradors and poodles, and oft has a hypoallergenic curly coat.
If you mix a poodle and a schanuzer you will find yourself with a schnoodle.
The schnoodle is typically a mix of the miniature schnauzer and the miniature poodle that weighs from seven to 16 pounds. A giant schnoodle is a mix of the standard poodle and the giant schnauzer and it can weigh somewhere between 65 to 85 pounds.
As a mix of two breeds, the schnoodle possesses traits of both its forbears. A schnoodle may have the schnauzer’s rougher fur and strong body. Or the schnoodle might retain more poodle characteristics with curly hair and a thinner body. The schnauzer is intelligent and can be stubborn, but it is also naturally protective and affectionate towards its family. As skilled jumpers, the schnoodle can learn tricks and is talented at agility courses. And like the schanuzer, whose name derives from the German word for moustache, the schnoodle can have handsome prominent whiskers.
Schnoodles’ coats tend to be hypoallergenic and non-shedding. Some of them may have coarser schanuzer-type hair in certain areas – most often along the back – mixed with the curls of the poodle. Their colors can range from solid to multi-colored, like black and white or brown and black.
The cockapoo is an adorable dog with a silly name. The beloved cocker spaniel is mixed with a miniature or toy poodle to get this fluffy companion dog. Cockapoos have coats of varying colors. Although the cocker spaniel is honey colored, the cockapoo can come in any of the colors that the poodle does.
Both the cocker spaniel and the poodle are lively and intelligent breeds, so you can train your cockapoo to sit, stay, or roll over in no time.
The cocker spaniel was the most popular dog in the United States throughout most of the 1940s and the 1980s. The Disney movie “Lady and The Tramp” – released in 1955 – helped keep their popularity sky high for years. Thus, the cockapoo is perhaps the oldest of the designer dog hybrids, and was first bred in the 1960s.
The cockapoo takes the sturdy size of the amiable cocker spaniel, a hunting dog, and tempers it with the cheery people-oriented attitude of the poodle.
The Yorkie Poo
The Yorkie Poo mixes a Yorkshire Terrier with the poodle.
The Yorkie has plenty of personality packed into a tiny body. The standard for this terrier caps his size at seven pounds. Originally bred to hunt rats, Yorkies now are popular companion dogs. They tend to be outgoing and active, and are not typically submissive lap dogs. (After all, their job was hunting down and killing rats! They can run, jump, and take orders.) They need activity and fare best in homes without small children.
The Yorkie tends to be more stubborn and independent than the poodle, so the temperament of the Yorkie Poo can vary depending on its parents. The Yorkie poo responds well to positive training, and his working genes suit him well to learning tricks. He typically, but not always, winds up with the brown and black hues of the Yorkie’s coat, but with poodle curls. The small size of the Yorkie poo makes him a great fit for apartment living, although he may have a tendency to bark.
The Bichon Poo
The bichon frise lives up to his name – it means “curly lap dog” in French! This adorable white ball of fluff is a lively and affectionate companion dog who loves people.
The bichon is actually a cousin to the poodle. He was originally bred by Spanish sailors, but his bubbly personality and adorable appearance made him popular everywhere from circuses to the royal court. The bichon frise has denser and firmer curls than the poodle does, and he must always be white in color. The bichon also only comes in one compact size, typically ranging from 10 to 20 pounds. He has a round face, and a tail that curls up over his back. Like his poodle cousin, the bichon frise is also non-shedding and mostly hypoallergenic.
Mixing the poodle and the bichon frise yields a loving and lovable companion dog. He is lively and trainable but does not need extensive exercise. However, he will yearn to be with his people at all time and does not do well at being left alone for long stretches of time. Colors other than white might appear in the coat, and the bichon poo’s curls tend towards the softer ones of the poodle.
Take the popular Golden Retriever and mix him with the curly cute poodle and you’ve got a goldendoodle. The Golden Retriever is a large hunting dog who was originally bred to retrieve shot fowl. They have a long silky coat that sheds plenty – a reminder of their outdoorsy past. The Golden Retriever is intelligent, trainable, and loyal, all of which contributes to his popularity not just as a pet but also as a guide dog for the blind, detection dog for law enforcement, and search and rescue dog for first responders.
The goldendoodle hybrid of a golden retriever and a poodle was first named in 1992. This designer dog was originally bred to create seeing eye dogs for those with allergies. However, there are plenty of other people also interested in combining the great traits of two breeds into one furry package, and the goldendoodle grew in popularity. The only concern is that poodles and golden retrievers can both be prone to hip dysplasia, so regular veterinary care is a must.
The goldendoodle might wind up with fur closer to the sleek golden or the curlier poodle side of things. But regardless of his coat, the goldendoodle is certain to be bright, affectionate, and trainable.
The Labrador retriever is currently the most popular dog breed in the United States and several other countries, and it is little surprise why.
This large dog, bred originally to aid hunters in bringing back their downed fowl, is gentle, outgoing, affectionate, and highly trainable. They have a keen sense of smell that leads to their use in drug and bomb detection and a sweet disposition that makes them equally popular with families around the world. Perhaps the only drawback is the Lab’s love for anything edible – or anything it thinks might be edible.
Mixed with the poodle, the Labrador yields a pup who is bright and lively with a mostly hypoallergenic coat of curly fur. The Labradoodle was first bred in 1988 in Australia; the goal was to create a non-allergenic guide dog, as with the goldendoodle. The result has been a popular family dog and service dog with a curly mop of hair and an easy-going nature.
With so many poodle options, you really can’t go wrong! Make the transition of bringing a new pet home a huge success and you will have a best friend for years to come.