Doodle dogs: Popular breeds and do they make good pets?

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Doodle dogs — just saying that name conjures up images of cuteness in our minds! A cross between a poodle and another breed, doodles are bred to inherit the most desirable traits of both their parents.

Hugely playful and energetic (you'll want to stock up on the best dog toys if you plan on welcoming a doodle into your home!), these dogs tend to have friendly temperaments and make wonderful family companions.

While there are a lot of reasons to adopt a dog, it's important to choose your breed carefully. Doodles have soared in popularity in recent years, but that doesn't mean they're the right pup for everyone. In some cases, this surge in appeal has also led to poor breeding practices, so if you have your heart set on a doodle, be sure to do your research.  

To help you figure out if a doodle dog is right for you (and which one to choose!) we've popped some of the most well known breeds below. Plus, we spoke to expert vet Dr. Hannah Godfrey to find out which doodle is the calmest, how friendly they are, and whether they shed less than other dogs. 

Dr. Hannah Godfrey BVetMed MRCVS
Dr. Hannah Godfrey

Dr Hannah Godfrey studied Veterinary Medicine at the Royal Veterinary College London. After graduating in 2011, Dr Godfrey went on to become a vet surgeon, conducting surgery consultations on a range of animals at a small independent practice in Cardiff, South Wales, UK. Dr Godfrey has a strong interest in soft tissue surgery. When she’s not helping animals back on their feet, Dr Godfrey writes a number of veterinary and animal-focused articles.

What kind of dog is a doodle?

"A ‘doodle’ dog refers to any dog that is part Poodle," explains Godfrey. "Common examples of doodle dogs include golden doodles, labradoodles, and cockapoos, but any mixed breed that is part poodle can be affectionately called a doodle."

Pros of doodle dogs

The main reason that doodle breeds have become so popular is that poodles themselves have low-shedding, hypoallergenic, water-resistant coats. That makes them potentially more suitable for households with allergies. 

Add to that the fact that most of these crossbreeds look adorable, with cute button eyes and fluffy coats, and most people are sold immediately! 

As poodles themselves come in three sizes (toy, miniature and standard), you can find a doodle dog to suit you whether you want a small, medium or large dog.

Cons of doodle dogs

There are some disadvantages, though. As with all crossbreeds, you can never tell which genetic traits the pups are going to inherit. Out of a litter, only one or two might have true hypoallergenic coats, so if that’s your main motivator you might be better considering a purebred Poodle. 

Also, ‘low shedding’ doesn’t mean ‘low maintenance’. Poodle crosses often require a lot of grooming as they can grow a long, dense coat. As crossbreeds, no doodle dog breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club but they can be registered with the AKC Canine Partners program.  

Poodles were originally bred to be working dogs and are energetic. If your pup has a poodle for one parent and another working breed such as a springer spaniel for the other, you’re going to end up with a very lively dog!

Make sure you have the time and commitment to provide sufficient exercise and entertainment before you commit. 

If you'd prefer a pup with a laidback personality, be sure to visit our guide to calm dog breeds, but be aware that there are many factors that influence a dog's personality and behavior, including those carried out by the owner themselves: good handling, plenty of exercise and training is key. 

Most popular doodle dog breeds

With over 40 different mixes to choose from, choosing a doodle dog breed can be time consuming! Here are a few of the most popular:

1. Sproodle


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A cross between a springer spaniel and a poodle, sproodles differ widely in appearance depending on the physical characteristics of the parents. 

Mini sproodles are a cross between miniature poodles and smaller spaniels, while standard sproodles are a mix between standard poodles and larger spaniels. They tend to be obedient (when properly trained), sociable and friendly and make good ‘people dogs’. 

2. Cockapoo 


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Cockapoos are believed to be the breed that started it all! Breeders in the States in the 1960s were trying to create the perfect family dog that potentially wouldn’t suffer from the health problems of the parents. 

As with sproodles they can come in a variety of sizes but are most commonly medium sized dogs, the result of a miniature poodle and a cocker spaniel. They’re friendly, affectionate, cheerful dogs whose main fault tends to be an over-active sense of humor! 

3. Goldendoodle 

Close up of Goldendoodle looking at camera with tongue out

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Goldendoodles are also apparently one of the oldest ‘official’ doodle dogs. Monica Dickens, great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, is widely credited with breeding the first goldendoodle in 1969, but they weren’t widely bred until the 1990s. 

Originally created as service dogs, they tend to be affectionate, intelligent and very people orientated. 

4. Labradoodle

Labradoodle sat outside

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Labradoodles – a cross between labradors and poodles – were first bred by an Australian, Wally Conron, in 1988. Conron was attempting to create a guide dog that would be more suitable for people with allergies. 

They’re sociable, intelligent and very trainable – but they are energetic and need lots of attention. Labradoodles are one of the friendliest dog breeds out there, so don’t try and employ one as a guard dog!

5. Schnoodle


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The offspring of miniature poodles and miniature schnauzers, schnoodles are small-to-medium sized dogs with huge hearts and a cute appearance. 

They’re the nearest thing to a canine teddy bear you’ve ever seen, with a fluffy coat and melting eyes. As the result of two of the smartest dog breeds out there, schnoodles often excel at obedience sports such as agility and flyball. 

6. Whoodle


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Doesn’t this breed have the coolest name ever? It’s a cross between the soft-coated wheaten terrier and the poodle. Whoodles can come in almost any coat color but tend to favor the cream or ‘wheaten’ coat of their terrier parent. 

They’re playful but gentle, and can require less exercise than other doodle breeds making them great family dogs. 

7. Maltipoo


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A cross between the maltese and toy or miniature poodles, maltipoos tend to be one of the smaller doodle breeds. As such, they’re more suitable for smaller spaces and require less exercise. 

They do have a tendency to suffer from separation anxiety, so perhaps not an ideal choice if they have to spend much time on their own.

8. Cavapoo


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A cross between a cavalier King Charles spaniel and a Poodle, cavapoos are one of the cutest things on four legs. They’re playful, gentle, loyal and easy going, requiring only moderate exercise. They’re a great choice for a family pet as long as you’re planning to spend plenty of time with them. 

9. Bernedoodle


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Gentle, intelligent and highly trainable, the bernedoodle is a poodle crossed with a bernese mountain dog. Hugely popular, they have the best traits of both their parents, with sharp minds and loyal and devoted hearts. Quick studies who enjoy mental stimulation, they're also kind and affectionate, making them wonderful family companions. 

Which doodle is the calmest?

"Doodle dogs tend to be quite lively and playful, so they can be a lot to handle if you don’t have the time or ability to give them the exercise and mental stimulation that they need," explains Godfrey.

"Many popular doodle dogs are crossbreeds of poodles with other energetic breeds like springer and cocker spaniels, but choosing a poodle crossed with a more laid-back breed, like a schnauzer or cavalier King Charles spaniel might be best if you’re looking for a calmer doodle dog. Of course, it’s not all about breeds and genetics, so it’s best to be prepared for your doodle to be pretty active."

Don't worry though, because these clever ways to have more fun with your dog on walks will ensure things never get boring when you're out and about!

Are doodle dogs friendly?

"Doodle dogs tend to be friendly; however, aggressive behavior (due to fear, pain, or behavioral issues) is possible. The cockapoo, in particular, has increased in popularity as a pet in recent years, and the demand for pups may have led to less responsible breeding and dogs being bred despite having less-than-ideal traits and temperaments. Combined with the lack of socialization of dogs during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m noticing some behavior challenges with cockapoos, so definitely choose a responsible breeder if you're looking to adopt one," Godfrey advises.

Do doodles shed?

"Poodles are a low-shedding breed, so combining their genes with other breeds can create a dog who sheds less fur," Godfrey explains. "Doodle dogs generally shed less, but it’s certainly not guaranteed. Therefore, while owning a doodle dog might be better for people with allergies, they might still notice allergy symptoms."

Looking for more great canine content? Get your doodle started off on the right paw with these practical tips for training your dog on your own

Sara Walker

Sara is a freelance journalist and copywriter of many years’ experience with a lifelong love of animals. She’s written for a range of magazines and websites on subjects varying from pet care to travel. A horse rider since the age of five, she’s currently a full time pet slave to horse Blue and gorgeous, goofy English Springer Spaniel Olly. Adorable Olly has a huge sense of adventure and no sense of direction, keeping Sara on her toes. 

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