12 Doodle Dogs to Melt Your Heart and Stifle Your Sniffles
GoldendoodleGoldendoodles are a highly affectionate crossbreed known for their intelligence and loyalty to their humans. Active and playful, doodles fit in well with families and are great for first-time dog owners. Smaller versions make good apartment dwellers, too.
LabradoodleA friendly, loving family dog who's easy on the allergies makes Labradoodles one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. These dogs love activity, just not as much as they’ll love you.
CockapooWith the intelligence of a poodle and the loving nature of a cocker spaniel, it’s no surprise the cockapoo is one of the most sought-after crossbreeds in the U.S. They are a low-shedding, easy-to-love dog that comes in a myriad of colors and sizes to please any family.
BernedoodleBernedoodles are goofy, charming dogs who love to play outdoors just as much as they love to cuddle up on the couch. They’re the perfect family dog and have a special fondness for children. Plus, they inherit a nearly hypoallergenic coat from their poodle parent.
MaltipooMaltipoos make the perfect companion for young families, empty nesters, and everyone in between. Highly devoted to their humans, they love to accompany them on walks (and on the couch, of course). Plus, they’re non-shedders and make great apartment dwellers.
Whoodle (Wheatendoodle)Whoodles are a smart and high-energy crossbreed that are happiest when with their humans. These medium-sized hybrids are known for their soft, curly coats that are silky to the touch.
Some things just go better together: peanut butter and jelly. Sidewalks and chalk. Man and man's best friend. With two purebred parents and a strong lineage on each side, doodle dogs are no exception. Doodle dog breeds are poodle mix breeds between—you guessed it—the poodle and another purebred, each of which adds their own characteristics to the poodle's looks and personality to distinguish themselves in their own right.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn't recognize doodle dog breeds currently, but that hasn't discouraged devoted pet parents from loving their doodle dogs nonetheless. 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 the poodle one of the most popular dog breeds, coming in at No. 6 on the AKC's most popular dog breeds of 2020. It's no wonder doodle dogs are emerging in popularity as well—these dozen doodles in particular are making a name for themselves as favored family pets.
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.
"Aussiedoodles are considered to be 'Einsteins,' with both parents being highly intelligent," Powers says.
Because their dogs are both high in both 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 tops the AKC's list of the most popular dog breeds in 2020), 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 pups love to be 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.
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 can 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 in the spring and fall, so an allergic reaction is not entirely out of the question for sensitive owners.
The schnoodle can thank the poodle and 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, no matter how well-intentioned.
"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."
In Parting, A Doodle Dog Don't…
"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."