You may have wondered why it's so popular to crossbreed Poodles with other breeds. Poodles have a curly coat that sheds very little. They are considered virtually hypoallergenic. When crossed with other breeds they often produce puppies that share this trait, or which shed less than the other parent breed. They are also very intelligent dogs and they can pass along their intelligence to their puppies. Poodles also come in three size varieties which makes them a good size match for many different breeds. There are an almost unlimited number of popular Poodle mixed breeds. Breeders can cross Poodles with just about any other breed to produce “hybrid” dogs and “doodles. But there are some things you should know about these mixes before you rush out to buy one.
Some of the mixes you might see advertised online or in your local newspaper include the Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel x Poodle), the Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever x Poodle), the Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever x Poodle), the Chi-Poo (Chihuahua x Poodle), the Malti-Poo (Maltese x Poodle), the Pekepoo (Pekingese x Poodle), the Pomapoo (Pomeranian x Poodle), the Schnoodle (Miniature Schnauzer x Poodle), the Shihpoo (Shih Tzu x Poodle), and the Yorkipoo (Yorkshire Terrier x Poodle).
Cockapoos were the first successful dogs produced by crossing Poodles with Cocker Spaniels. Breeders began crossing these dogs in the 1940s and '50s when Cocker Spaniels were so popular. This has actually been a very successful cross and breeders have continued to breed these dogs for decades. They have been trying to get the dogs to “breed true” so they can become a separate breed, but so far that hasn't happened.
Labradoodles are created by crossing Labrador Retrievers with Standard Poodles, the largest of the Poodle varieties. This was originally done in Australia in an attempt to breed dogs that could be guide dogs for the blind. However, the dogs soon became popular pets. These dogs can have puppies with several kinds of coats in their litters: curly, straight (like human hair), and wooly. Breeders in Australia are seeking kennel club status for Labradoodles there but they have worked hard to breed only Labradoodles to each other for several generations. Labradoodles in North America are different and are usually the produce of breeding Labs to Poodles.
Goldendoodles are the result of breeding Poodles to Golden Retrievers. Like Labradoodles, they can have different kinds of coat in their litters and they do not breed true.
Other Poodle mixes are usually bred to produce cute puppies and not for any other purpose.
With the exception of the Australian Labradoodle (and not the North American Labradoodles), Poodle hybrids and doodles are not purebred dogs and are not recognized by the American or Canadian Kennel Clubs or by the United Kennel Club. They are not purebred dogs. This is not because a kennel club doesn't recognize them. It's because the dogs don't “breed true.” This means that if you breed two Goldendoodles or two Yorkipoos together, you won't get Goldendoodles or Yorkipoos. You will get some puppies that look like Golden Retrievers and some that look like Poodles. And with the Yorkipoos you will get some puppies that look like Yorkshire Terriers and some that look like Poodles. The dogs are not purebreds that produce dogs like themselves when you mate two dogs together. If you breed two Golden Retrievers together, you always get Golden Retriever puppies. You don't get some other kind of puppy in the litter. That's because the breed is purebred.
It is possible to create breeds that breed true but it takes careful breeding and generations of work. Most hybrid dogs and Poodle mixes have only been around for a few years.
Despite the fact that these are mixed breed dogs, they often sell for high prices. Most of this is due to hype and the cuteness factor. Some of these Poodle mixes can cost more than a good show dog. The public is often fooled into thinking that a PugglyPoo is some wonderful and rare breed when, in fact, it's just a cross between a Pug and a Poodle. You can find great mixed breed dogs for $25 to $100 at your local shelter.
Breeders of Poodle mixes and hybrid dogs in general often try to tell people that their dogs benefit from “hybrid vigor.” This isn't really true in the case of hybrid dogs and Poodle mixes. Poodles are subject to a number of health issues such as progressive retinal atrophy, Addison's Disease, bloat, thyroid problems, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer. They can pass along any or all of these conditions to their puppies when bred to a dog of another breed. Some other breeds also have these health problems, which means the puppies produced could easily have serious health problems even though their parents are different breeds.
In some cases, compatible conformation is a problem. Crossing a Poodle with some breeds might produce physical deformities.
Poodle crosses are popular today and in some cases they can be great dogs. But you should know from the outset that you are buying a mixed breed dog. They cannot be guaranteed to be good for people with allergies or to be healthy from hybrid vigor. Check the breeder out carefully and ask questions about health and the price before you buy.