So-called “designer dog breeds” have become increasingly popular over the last few years. With names such as “Goldendoodle” or “Cockapoo”, these dogs are crossbred from existing breeds. The aim is to create a dog that has the best traits of its parents’ breeds, while avoiding some of the health issues associated with purebred dogs.
This crossbreeding is also a good way to introduce useful characteristics to a dog; for example, the Labradoodle (a hybrid of the Poodle and Labrador retriever) was bred to be an assistance dog (something that Labradors excel at) for those with allergies (thanks to the Poodles curly, low-shedding coat).
Though most major breed associations do not recognise “designer dogs” as legitimate breeds, that doesn’t dissuade the many admirers of these much beloved mixes, and we at NewDoggy are no exception. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the hybrids we’re most hyped for: our favourite designer dogs.
Originally created by crossbreeding Golden Retrievers with Poodles, the Golden
doodle comes in three sizes: Miniature, Small Standard, and Large Standard. They are not typically bred for show conformation but for their temperament, so Goldendoodles don’t have a very uniform appearance. The soft coat of the Goldendoodle can be wavy, straight, or curly. Most Goldendoodles are considered hypoallergenic, as they shed very little. The Goldendoodle is an intelligent and highly trainable dog, and they have been successfully used as guide dogs, therapy dogs, and assistance dogs. Adaptable and forgiving, the Goldendoodle is a good choice for novice owners, especially those with children looking for a sweet, clever family pet.
These dogs originated from crossing Labrador Retrievers with Poodles, with the aim of creating a hypoallergenic guide dog. Developed in Australia, the Labradoodle sheds much less than most dogs, and has a calm, kind character. They are incredibly playful, trainable and friendly, but need a fair amount of exercise to stay happy and fit. The Labradoodle is smart and sociable, and is very good with children and pets.
A hybrid of the Poodle and Brittany Spaniel, this medium sized breed is a born athlete. Their dense coat is wavy, and can be white, brown, black or silver. The Brittnepoo needs weekly brushing and regular trimming to avoid tangles and matted fur, especially if they are used for hunting. These sensitive dogs are keen to please their humans, and have a gentle, friendly nature. They respond well to training, but do need to be properly exercised, or they will become discontented and overly energetic.
The Maltipoo was created by cross-breeding the Maltese and the Poodle (Toy or Miniature size). The Maltipoo comes in many different colours, and like its parents is considered hypoallergenic thanks to its curly coat. The downside is that they do need regular combing to avoid matted hair. Friendly, intelligent, and sensitive, this is a wonderful dog for beginners as they are eager to please and listen to you. Maltipoos love to be with people; unfortunately they have been known to suffer from separation anxiety.
Produced by crossing a Pomeranian father with a Husky mother (using Artificial Insemination), the Pomsky is one of the newer canine crossbreeds. The Pomsky is a small to medium sized dog. As the breed is still fairly new, Pomskies do not yet have a standard appearance, but the preferred look is that of a miniature Husky. They look like tiny fuzzy wolves, and typical coat colours include black, grey, red, blue, and brown. Both Pomeranians and Siberian Huskies are intelligent breeds, and their hybrid has inherited this quality. Unfortunately, both breeds have a reputation for being quite wilful and stubborn, which is also true for the Pomsky. Although not the best dog for beginners, they respond well to positive reinforcement and are smart enough to learn. They are friendly and playful, but can be very vocal.
This energetic dog is a mix between the Yorkshire Terrier and the Miniature or Toy Poodle. This affectionate dog is confident and clever, with plenty of energy and a tireless spirit. The Yorkipoo’s fur is variable: it can be silky and straight like a Yorkshire Terrier, or more curly like a Poodle. Yorkipoos that resemble their Poodle parent will shed less, which can make them good dogs for those with allergies. The Yorkipoo is a good family pet, and is a good choice for older children that will play gently with the dog.
The bright and merry Cockapoo is what you get by crossbreeding a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel. These dogs can have curly or wav coats; the curlier dogs are better for someone with allergies as they shed less. Solid colours include black, chocolate, apricot, red, blonde, white, and “faded” variants of these colours. Cockapoos can also have patterned coats including tuxedo, phantom, tricolour, sable, parti, and roan. Cockapoos have the intelligence of a Poodle, combined with the sweetness and energy of a Cocker Spaniel. A well socialised Cockapoo is a brilliant companion animal, and their gentle, playful nature makes them good family pets.
The Cavapoo is a small to medium sized dog, created by cross-breeding Poodles with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Cavapoos have round faces, large almond-shaped eyes, and a somewhat flat-looking muzzle. The Cavapoo’s fur is typically curly or wavy, and they hardly shed. They come in many colours and patterns, including fawn, cream, gold, white, and chestnut. This breed is clever and eager to please, with a friendly, playful, and sweet personality. They do not need much exercise, and make good family pets. Keep in mind that, due to their relatively short muzzle, Cavapoos do not cope well with heat. During warm weather, keep your Cavapoo in the shade and provide plenty of water.