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Doodle Dogs, Everything You Need to Know

Introduction

You’ve probably heard more and more pet parents talking about doodle dog breeds. Although this trend started back in the 1980s, the popularity of owning a doodle, an “oodle,” or a “poo” has skyrocketed. Let’s find out exactly what a doodle dog is, where they came from, and what you should keep in mind if you're interested in adopting one of these mixed breeds.

What Is a Doodle Dog?

A doodle dog is the result of a Miniature Poodle, Standard Poodle, or Toy Poodle being mixed with another dog breed. Some people consider doodle dogs to be designer dog breeds, while others consider them mixed-breed dogs. The term “designer” is used when a breeder mixes two purebred dogs, hoping to get the best traits from each breed in the new puppy—in this case, a family dog that’s intelligent and good-natured with a low-shedding coat.

However, it’s not that clear-cut when it comes to genetics. When you take the genes of two breeds, there is no guarantee on what traits the puppy will have. You risk not only losing the desirable traits of each breed but also inheriting health issues and undesirable traits. While cross-breeding two dogs may counteract some of the typical hereditary diseases from each parent dog, there’s still no guarantee about which genes your pup will inherit. You could end up with any combination of these conditions.

Doodle vs. Oodle vs. Poo

Doodle mixes come with all sorts of crazy names. They all have some part of “Poodle” name by ending in doodle, oodle, or poo and starting with part of the other breed's name. Some doodle mixes easily give away what the Poodle breed is mixed with, while others aren’t so obvious. And although it seems that the large dog breeds mixed with a Poodle have the doodle or oodle ending, and small dog breeds use the poo ending, that’s not true 100% of the time.

What Are F1, F1B, F2, and F3 Doodles?

You may have seen the terms F1, F1B, F2, or F3 doodles in your search for a new doodle puppy. These terms help define the type of designer dog breeding that has happened. As the trend gains popularity, the doodle mixes become their own new breeds that are sometimes bred together. Below are examples of the parent dog mixtures that would result in each category of a Labradoodle.

  • Labrador Retriever + Poodle = F1 Labradoodle

  • F1 Labradoodle + Poodle = F1B Labradoodle

  • F1 Labradoodle + F1 Labradoodle = F2 Labradoodle

  • F2 Labradoodle + F2 Labradoodle = F3 Labradoodle

Where Did Doodle Dogs Come From?

Although some doodle breeds were rumored to have been bred for the first time back in the 1960s, the first Labradoodle created was documented in 1989. Wally Conron spent two years and conducted over 30 trials to create what he saw as the perfect mix of a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle. This concept instantly became popular because so many people wanted or needed hypoallergenic dogs, as many people believe Poodles to be, but they liked the personality or look of other dog breeds more.

Are All Doodle Dogs Hypoallergenic?

This is a widely believed myth. Actually, there are two myths at play here. First, every doodle dog is not necessarily hypoallergenic. And secondly, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog.

Let’s start with the first myth. When mixing the genetics of two dog breeds, you can’t control how much of which genes come through in the puppy. This is why doodle puppies who “look the part” and are supposedly hypoallergenic cost quite a bit more than doodle puppies who still shed some or have nontraditional-looking fur. And although the non-shedding, curly fur from the Poodle parent is the preferred end result of a doodle mix, keep in mind that this fur will require more frequent grooming and maintenance because it easily gets matted.

If you decide to purchase or adopt a doodle mix whose fur isn’t as curly, you may appreciate the middle-ground result—less shedding than normal, and less matting than a Poodle. Now let’s talk about the second myth of “hypoallergenic” dogs. Allergens are carried in dander (dead skin cells), saliva, and urine, so they are impossible to fully avoid. Some dogs produce fewer allergens or shed less than others, but no dog is completely free of allergens. Allergy sensitivities also vary from person to person, and dogs vary individually in their levels of allergens, so you never truly know if, or how badly, you will react to a certain dog.

Health Considerations for Doodle Dogs

When considering a doodle dog, it is crucial to understand the potential health issues they may face. Each doodle mix can inherit health problems from both parent breeds. Here are some common health concerns:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a common issue in many larger breeds, including Poodles and Labradors. It involves the abnormal development of the hip joint, which can lead to arthritis and pain.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a group of genetic diseases seen in certain breeds, including Poodles, that cause the retina to deteriorate over time, leading to blindness.

  • Allergies: Some doodles may inherit skin and food allergies from their parents.

  • Epilepsy: Seizure disorders can be inherited from both Poodles and other breeds.

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: This is a blood clotting disorder that can be seen in Poodles and can be passed down to doodle puppies.

Temperament and Training

Doodle dogs are known for their friendly and intelligent nature. However, their temperament can vary based on the traits inherited from their parent breeds. Here are some general characteristics:

  • Friendly and Sociable: Doodles are generally very friendly and enjoy being around people. They are often good with children and other pets.

  • Intelligent: Thanks to their Poodle parent, doodles are usually very smart and can be easy to train. They excel in obedience and agility training.

  • Energetic: Many doodle breeds have a lot of energy and require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. This includes daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation.

  • Affectionate: Doodles are known for being affectionate and loving towards their families. They enjoy cuddling and being involved in family activities.

Grooming Needs

One of the reasons doodles are popular is their low-shedding coat, which is often inherited from the Poodle parent. However, their coats require regular grooming to prevent matting and keep them looking their best.

  • Brushing: Doodles should be brushed several times a week to prevent their fur from matting. The frequency of brushing depends on the type of coat they have inherited.

  • Bathing: Regular baths are essential to keep their coat clean and free of debris. The frequency of bathing depends on the dog's activity level and coat type.

  • Haircuts: Many doodles require regular haircuts to keep their fur manageable. This can be done by a professional groomer or at home with the right tools.

  • Ear Cleaning: Doodles are prone to ear infections due to their floppy ears, so regular ear cleaning is important to prevent infections.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Doodles are active dogs that need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Here are some ways to keep your doodle physically and mentally engaged:

  • Daily Walks: Regular walks are essential for keeping your doodle fit and burning off excess energy.

  • Playtime: Interactive playtime, such as fetch or tug-of-war, helps keep your doodle entertained and engaged.

  • Training: Obedience training and agility courses can provide both mental and physical stimulation.

  • Puzzle Toys: Providing puzzle toys that challenge your doodle's mind can help prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Diet and Nutrition

Feeding your doodle a balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Here are some tips for feeding your doodle:

  • High-Quality Food: Choose a high-quality dog food that meets the nutritional needs of your doodle's age, size, and activity level.

  • Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent obesity, which can lead to health issues like hip dysplasia and diabetes.

  • Regular Feeding Schedule: Establish a regular feeding schedule to maintain a healthy routine.

  • Treats in Moderation: Treats can be used for training and rewards, but should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain.

Choosing a Doodle Breeder

If you decide to get a doodle from a breeder, it is important to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs. Here are some tips for finding a responsible breeder:

  • Research: Do thorough research to find breeders with good reputations. Look for reviews and testimonials from previous buyers.

  • Visit the Breeder: Visit the breeder's facility to see how the dogs are raised and cared for. The environment should be clean and the dogs should be well-socialized.

  • Ask for Health Clearances: Reputable breeders should provide health clearances for the puppy's parents, showing they have been tested for common genetic conditions.

  • Meet the Parents: Meeting the puppy's parents can give you an idea of the temperament and appearance of your future doodle.

  • Be Prepared for Questions: A responsible breeder will ask you questions to ensure their puppies are going to good homes. They should be interested in your lifestyle and how you plan to care for the dog.

Adopting a Doodle from a Shelter

Many doodles end up in animal shelters and rescue organizations, so adopting is a great option. Here are some tips for adopting a doodle:

  • Visit Local Shelters: Check with local animal shelters and rescue groups to see if they have any doodles available for adoption.

  • Be Patient: It may take time to find the right doodle for your family, so be patient and keep checking back.

  • Consider a Senior Dog: Older doodles can make wonderful pets and are often overlooked in shelters.

  • Ask About Behavior and Health: Shelters should be able to provide information about the dog's behavior and any known health issues.

  • Be Prepared for Training: Adopted dogs may need additional training and patience as they adjust to their new home.

Conclusion

Doodle dogs are a popular choice for many pet parents due to their friendly nature, intelligence, and low-shedding coats. However, they require regular grooming, exercise, and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Whether you choose to get a doodle from a breeder or adopt one from a shelter, it is important to do your research and be prepared for the responsibilities of owning a doodle. With proper care and attention, doodle dogs can make wonderful and loving companions.



Doodle Dogs
Doodle Dogs

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