Scribbles are everywhere – and rightly so. In fact, poodle mixes are the most popular “designer dog” in the world today. They’re fluffy, intelligent, happy dogs that don’t show off and are hypoallergenic. At least most of the time. You see, Doodle dogs are hybrids, or more simply mutts.
Wally Conron created the first Doodle: the Labradoodle. As a puppy breeder with the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia, he set out to create a guide dog for a woman in Hawaii whose husband was allergic to dogs. He bred a standard poodle with a Labrador retriever. The litter produced more than one puppy. Unfortunately, no one on her waiting list wanted a puppy. So he was given the name Labradoodle, a new hypoallergenic miracle dog. And it worked. Labradors were a success that was quickly followed by other breeds of Doodle.
But because they’re hybrids, there’s no standard for appearance or temperament. This may be true to some extent for all pure breeds, but for Doodles this is more the rule than the exception. As Vet Street says: “Opening your heart and home to a half-breed is like opening a beautifully wrapped package on his birthday: it’s exciting, but you never know what’s inside.
So when you go to a breeder, pay attention to the behaviour and temperament of the parents, especially the mother, because she has the most influence on the behaviour of her puppies. If you need a dog that does not cause allergies, ask if the puppies have been tested, as not all Doodle dogs are hypoallergenic or non-allergenic.
But the word “hypoallergenic” as well as “odorless” are the attributes that make so many people familiar with Doodle breeds. They like the idea of having a “low maintenance” dog, but this is not the case. Like all dogs on this planet, Doodles need time, care, energy and patience.
If you are considering introducing a Doodle into your life, you should do your research. Make sure you don’t buy from a puppy mill. This means not buying your Doodle from a pet store (no matter what the owner says) or buying your new furry friend online. Serious Doodle breeders want to meet with potential owners to make sure they are a good match for one of their dogs. Also keep in mind that with the explosion of Doodle breeds, many are unfortunately abandoned in shelters (puppies and adults).
Need a little help choosing the right Doodle mix for you? Here are some of the world’s largest Doodle breeds.
This Doodle is a mix of poodle and Australian shepherd. The size is usually determined by the poodle, which is usually a standard or miniature poodle. An Aussie is a sheepdog, and sheepdogs protect themselves by bumping and pinching their ankles. So, if your Aussie shows herding behaviour with your young children, for example, it is not aggressive. However, you still need to train it not to do this for a while before it gets out of control. Fortunately, Aussiedoodles are very smart and very easy to train. Australian shepherds are at the top of the list for dog IQ, as are poodles. They have medium to high energy levels and need daily exercise. They are also good at dog sports, such as agility and flyball.