18 Poodle Mixes and Doodle Dogs to Melt Your Heart and Stifle Your Sniffles
Some things just go better together: peanut butter and jelly. Sidewalks and chalk. People and pets. With two purebred parents and a strong lineage on each side, poodle mixes and doodle dogs are no exception. Poodle mix dog breeds are hybrids between—you guessed it—poodles of various sizes and other purebreds, each of which adds their own characteristics to the poodle's looks and personality to distinguish themselves.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently doesn't recognize poodle mix breeds, but that hasn't discouraged devoted pet parents from loving their doodle dogs. While every poodle mix is different depending on the breed crossed with the poodle, Jeffrey Powers, DVM, owner of Veterinary Clinics North in Michigan and board member of the Independent Veterinary Practitioners Association, says many doodle dog breeds share similarities because of their poodle parentage.
"All 'doodle' breeds are highly intelligent, seeing as the poodle itself is one of the more intelligent dog breeds," Powers says. "The lack or lessened shedding present in all doodle breeds reduces the allergic nature of the breed to its owners."
With many doodles donning the curly coats of the poodle, doodle dogs, while not entirely hypoallergenic, are allergen-friendly pets with minimal shedding to maintain. This highly coveted quality, along with the family-friendly nature of the poodle, makes them one of the most popular dog breeds. It's no wonder poodle mixes and doodle dogs are emerging in popularity as well—the doodles below in particular stand out as favored family pets.
One of the more recognized poodle mix dog breeds—the "golden child" if you will—gets its luxurious locks from poodle and golden retriever lineage. Though, goldendoodles will sometimes inherit the coloring of the poodle parent, with black, white, and even red coats possible.
Both the poodle and the golden retriever rank in the top five smartest dog breeds, according to the Goldendoodle Association of North America, so pairing the two's brain power results in a highly trainable, eager-to-please pup. The friendly nature inherited from their retriever relative also makes them a great family companion for humans and other furry friends alike.
The active Aussiedoodle keeps breeders on their toes, in more ways than one. Because Australian shepherds and poodles can range so much in appearance, the mix of the two can vary greatly in size, texture, and color. One thing Aussiedoodles have in common?
"Aussiedoodles are considered to be 'Einsteins,' with both parents being highly intelligent," Powers says.
Because their parents are both high in smarts and stamina, Aussiedoodle owners should ensure plenty of exercise and socialization to keep their pups happy and healthy.
Following in their esteemed parents' paw prints (the Labrador retriever has topped the AKC's list of most popular dog breeds for more than 30 years), the loving Labradoodle is one of the most distinguished doodles to emerge on the scene as a beloved, well-recognized family pet. These pups were originally bred to serve as allergen-friendly guide dogs, and many still thrive as service and support animals.
"Labradoodles were the first popular 'doodle' hybrid and are [still] extremely popular," Powers says. "I have personally found them to be wonderful dogs, highly intelligent, affectionate to their owners, and for the most part calmer than some other doodle breeds."
These petite pups claim parentage from the miniature or toy poodle and the Yorkshire terrier. What they lack in size, they make up for in spirit—Yorkie-poos like to make their presence known and aren't afraid to bark back. Luckily, the Yorkie-poo has a penchant for her people and takes well to positive reinforcement training at an early age.
Looking for a lap dog to love on? The shih-poo—a cross between a shih tzu and toy poodle—is a small doodle breed with loads of love to spare. In fact, the shih tzu has a long history of gracing the laps of Chinese royalty, and these poodle mixes adore being pampered.
"These small dogs are amongst the most loving of all dog breeds, looking for their owner to sit down so they can quickly occupy their laps," Powers says.
No, poodles are not bred with teddy bears, but the cockapoo—a cross with a cocker spaniel—sure looks like one. With their floppy ears and curly coats, a look from those puppy dog eyes is liable to melt any heart in sight.
Cockapoos are known to shadow their owners, tailing them from room to room, and to shamelessly seek attention—you shouldn't plan to leave them alone for long periods of time. They are lovable companions who adore praise and are well-suited to people of all ages and lifestyles, so long as those people have endless adoration to give.
"[Sheepadoodles are] amongst the largest of the doodle crosses [and are] very energetic and loving," Powers says. "This 'doodle' needs room to roam, as they need long walks and lots of owner time to keep them fulfilled."
These black-and-white beauties get their panda-like appearance from the poodle and Old English sheepdog, and they typically weigh up to 85 pounds. The sheepadoodle, while larger than many other doodle dog breeds, is just as gentle—if not more so. Easygoing, goofy, and floofy, these family-friendly dogs enjoy the companionship of both humans and other dogs.
Descending from the poodle and Bernese mountain dog, these calm canines join their doodle brethren as dogs well-suited for families and are especially great with children. Luckily for these doting families, the Bernedoodle can live up to 18 years, long past the typical lifespan of the Bernese mountain dog, who typically only live around seven years.
"[Bernedoodles] have become more common recently," Powers says. "This cross helps minimize some of the inherent health issues that are common in the Bernese."
Similar to their cockapoo cousin, the cavapoo is the less common mix of a miniature or toy poodle and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, though Powers says this breed is gaining popularity. Their long, curlicue coats must be maintained through consistent weekly grooming, as well as a trip to a professional groomer around every six weeks.
Though low-shedding like their poodle and doodle counterparts, the cavapoo does shed seasonally, or "blow coat," in the spring and fall, so an allergic reaction is not entirely out of the question for super-sensitive owners.
The schnoodle can thank the poodle and miniature schnauzer crossover for his adorable name as well as his handsome looks. Though loyal and friendly, the schnoodle does best in a home with older children and adults and is not typically a natural with young children like his fellow doodle dogs. However, even the most shy of schnoodles can adapt to family life just fine if socialized as a puppy.
Weighing as little as 5 pounds and no more than 20, these couch potatoes and lap loungers originating from the toy poodle and Maltese don't require a lot of stimulation, making them well-suited to apartment living. Their cream-colored, curly coats require daily grooming, so be sure to break out the brush often.
Though they are gentle and good with children, it's recommended Maltipoo owners supervise any interaction between small children and their pup—the Maltipoo is so small, she may be harmed accidentally by a child during playtime, no matter how well-intentioned.
A cross between the poodle and a wheaten terrier, these go-getters enjoy an active lifestyle and are best matched with experienced dog owners with plenty of time and energy to devote to their beloved doodle.
"A less common doodle cross, [whoodles are] a little more strong-willed than some of its doodle cousins," Powers says. "They are energetic and make great family pets with plenty of long walks and play to keep up with their energy levels."
These adorable little pups have a spunky Pomeranian coparent. Pomapoos tend to be small, but they have a big presence and are highly affectionate. They love their families so much, in fact, that they can face some separation anxiety if left alone too long. Eager and energetic, they're also easy to train and usually get along well with kids and other pets when socialized in puppydom.
Westiepoos, also known as Wee-poos or Westiedoodles, boast terrific characteristics from both the West Highland white terrier and poodle. A true diplomat, they ensure good relations with practically every member of the household: children, seniors and retirees, other dogs—you name it! However, their natural terrier prey drive means they'll first need proper introductions to smaller pets such as cats and hamsters.
As a compact companion, these social pooches love their people and thrive in a busy family environment where there's always someone to play fetch with or teach them new tricks.
RELATED: 10 Dogs That Make Great Family Pets
When it comes to charming star power, the poochon shines bright! Influenced by the loving and intelligent natures of their bichon frise and poodle parents, your poochon is sure to steal the hearts of everyone. Filling the role of best furry friend comes easy, as bichons are known to be exceptional lap dogs.
However, no pooch achieves such photogenic good looks without dedicated maintenance. Research top groomers and choose one to help keep this sweet pup picture perfect.
They're pretty smart cookies, too, so keep them mentally sharp with consistent positive reinforcement training. Your cues will also help control barking when they're trying to determine who's at the door, in the yard, or down the street.
On the cuteness scale from 1–10, Jack-a-poos are an 11! With Jack Russell terrier genes, also expect boundless energy and keen wits from this poodle mix. Keep them active with indoor games as well as outdoor toys that encourage them to run, leap, and generally scamper about until it's cuddle time.
If you're adopting a dog for the first time, a Jack-a-poo might have to be your second dog, as they expect a lot from their pet parents. But without a doubt, they'll be worth the wait.
These striking dogs have a mellow temperament and are loving, calm family pets. But, as you might imagine, their Great Pyrenees heritage means Pyredoodles aren't exactly pocket pups—they could possibly weigh up to 100 pounds when fully grown.
While they don't need a lot of exercise, Pyredoodles appreciate having room to spread out and wander. Woodland strolls and roaming the backyard are totally their speed, with just a smidgen of adventure (like swimming, for example). After all, poodle in German is pudel, which translates "to splash in the water."
For the Healthiest Poodle Mix, Research Breeders Carefully
Unfortunately, poodle mixes and doodle dogs are commonly sold by puppy mills and unscrupulous breeders. Potential owners should do everything in their power to ensure they're avoiding online puppy scams and buying from safe, reputable breeders who put the dogs' well-being first and foremost.
"Prospective buyers should use the same principles that they would use in purchasing any puppy," Powers says. "Determine the parents of the puppy and ask for complete information and hopefully to visit the breeder to assess firsthand the temperament and health of the parent dogs, especially the female parent."