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HomeBlogBreedersI’m Ready for a Puppy! — A Guide to Choosing the Right Doodle Breed

I’m Ready for a Puppy! — A Guide to Choosing the Right Doodle Breed

I’m Ready for a Puppy! — A Guide to Choosing the Right Doodle Breed

I’m Ready for a Puppy! — A Guide to Choosing the Right Doodle Breed

Curly or Wavy? Brown, Red, or Tri-colored? Mini, Small, or Standard? 

Oh, there are many questions that you will have when deciding on a doodle puppy! But one thing’s for sure, you will have a fun, lovable, energetic, and furry new member of your family when you get your Doodle!

Whether you are choosing a doodle puppy as an addition to your current “Doodle gang” or you’re a first-time fur parent, you must be well informed on what factors to consider. Since there are no “bad” dog breeds, no matter which puppy you decide to get, you and your family will surely have your hearts full when welcoming a new member. 
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What Are Doodles?

60CCBED3 4265 458E A1C8 D023ADEB0067 While different doodle breeds may have similarities, they also have distinct differences. Doodles result from cross-breeding a toy, miniature, or standard poodle with pure-bred dogs such as Golden Retrievers and Bernese Mountain Dogs. This combines the best traits of both breeds, producing a new breed with great qualities–and looks extremely cute! 

Often referred to as “poodle mix breeds,” the most common types of doodles are Goldendoodles, Bernedoodles, Sheepadoodles, and Cavapoos. Doodle breeds have become more popular in recent years because of their hypoallergenic and low-shedding furs, which are less likely to trigger allergies. 

This makes them great companions for those who want a fluffy dog but have allergies or don’t like cleaning shed fur. Families with children also like getting doodle puppies because of their playful, friendly, and affectionate characteristics. 

Where Did Doodles Come From?

Goldendoodles were said to have been first bred as early as 1969 by Monica Dickens, the great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens because she wanted to breed an intelligent dog with good-looking fur. But it was only in the late1980s and 1990s when dog breeders Ryan Harvey in the United States and Wally Conron in Australia seriously bred Doodles. 

Accordingly, a couple in Australia reached out to Conron since the blind wife needed a guide dog, but her husband was allergic to dog fur. After trying to train a poodle to no avail, Conron crossbred a labrador and a poodle to acquire the hypoallergenic trait of the poodle and trainability of a labrador. 

While doodles did not gain popularity right away since the demand was for pure breeds, people eventually became interested in doodles when they heard of the qualities and traits different Doodle breeds possess. As the popularity of the Doodle breeds grew, many organizations were formed to ensure responsible and ethical breeding was practiced. The top 3 existing today are the Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association (WALA), the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA), and the Goldendoodle Association of North America (GANA).

Read more on the History of the Doodle Breed here.

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Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting a Puppy

Before getting a doodle puppy–or any puppy– you should ask yourself a few questions. Doing this before jumping ahead and getting a puppy into your home allows you to assess your readiness for a new responsibility.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Can I dedicate time to raising and training my puppy?
  • What activities and hobbies do I like, and can I include my puppy?
  • Can a puppy fit into my daily routine?
  • Who in my family will help take care of the puppy? 
  • Can I afford a pet?
  • Do I have the finances for regular pet grooming and vet visits? 
  • Am I prepared for possible emergencies?
  • Is my house fit for the dog I want?
  • Is there anyone in my family who has allergies?  

Being a responsible puppy and dog owner means you are fully committed to raising and giving attention to your puppy. Knowing your lifestyle and where your puppy will fit will also allow you to decide what breed to get. For example, if you love to spend your extra time outdoors, you might want an Aussie doodle for its energetic behavior. On the other hand, if you are opting for a companion that is sweet and gentle, you can opt for a Shih Poo.

Furthermore, having a dog is not all rainbows and butterflies. You must be prepared for the costs that come with them–from regular vaccines, vet checkups, and pet emergencies–these are just some of the considerations in addition to their monthly needs like food and grooming essentials. If are prepared for all of this, good for you! You will surely be one great fur parent! 
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What are the Things to Consider When Getting Doodles?

Depending on what breed is crossbred with a poodle, you can have one who is highly smart and energetic or another who is laid back and relaxed. There are hundreds of dog breeds out there, with lists that record more than 60 Doodle breeds! So if you’re asking yourself, “Which Doodle breed should I get?” there is surely one for you!

Temperament & Exercise Needs

Doodle dogs are usually good-natured, but some may be headstrong. Try to find a Doodle breed with a personality that matches yours so you two can easily gel together. Most of the time, you will see how owners and their pups have the same personalities–this works! You can’t have a very energetic dog who loves to go outdoors and socialize if you prefer staying at home and being cozy. 

Generally speaking, Doodles are high-energy dogs that need a lot of mental stimulation and exercise. They may not be a good fit for people who don’t have time or resources for regular exercise. For example, herder breeds like border collies, Australian Shepherds, and Old English Sheepdogs require very high energy. On the other hand, Golden Retrievers are also energetic but not as energetic as herding breeds. While Doodles are crossbreeds, they will retain these traits from their parents. 

Knowing a breed’s lineage and temperament is crucial because if you do not meet their exercise needs, you will have behavioral and temperament-induced issues with your puppy or dog. You and your dog will end up not meeting each other’s needs and end up disappointed in your setup. 

One thing to note is that even within the same litter, each puppy still has its own personality. Not only are they different, but what behavior you see in them as a puppy when they first meet you are the behaviors they won’t grow out of. This is one of the questions you should ask a breeder so you can get to know the character of the puppy and decide if that’s what you want to live with or if you want to train them. 

Check out ways how to help your pup get enough exercise here.

Size and Weight

A puppy breed’s weight and size are some of the things you should consider. A larger dog, such as a Standard Bernedoodle, may be suitable if you have ample outdoor space. On the other hand, if you reside in an apartment, a smaller breed like a Maltipoo would be more appropriate for your home. 

Depending on the breeder and the location, doodle breeds can be labeled as micro, mini, petite, medium, or standard. While this can be a bit confusing– especially since micro and mini mean small–what you can do is look at the estimated possible weight based on the parents’ weights. 

Another reason for knowing the weight and size of a doodle pup once it grows up to its adult size is that generally, the bigger the dog, the bigger the expenses. For example, bigger dogs would need to consume more food daily, need higher dosages of vaccines, and would be much more expensive to bring to the groomer. 

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Health 

Like all dog breeds, doodle puppies can be susceptible to specific health issues. There are no two dogs that have the same health conditions, which is why you should do your research on the possible health issues that a puppy can have based on its lineage. Since all Doodle breeds are a crossbreed of a poodle with other pure breeds, you can look at the most common health issues of the other breed:

  • Golden retrievers: Skin Allergies, Hip dysplasia, Eye problems, Heart Disease, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Bone & Joint problems
  • Labradors: Hip dysplasia, Ear and Eye Infections, Cancer, Limber Tail Syndrome
  • Bernese Mountain Dog: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Gastric torsion, Blood diseases, Canine degenerative myelopathy, Allergies 
  • Australian Shepherd: Hemangiosarcoma, Eye diseases, Multiple drug sensitivity, Elbow dysplasia, Autoimmune diseases
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Ear and Heart disease, Patella luxation, Hip dysplasia, Syringomyelia, Infections
  • Cocker Spaniel: Bone and joint problems, Hip dysplasia, heart disease, ear infections, allergies 
  • Schnauzer: Pancreatitis, Cancer, Myotonia, Bladder stones, Hypothyroidism
  • Wheaten Terrier: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Eye, thyroid, & kidney problems, Canine degenerative myelopathy, Allergies
  • Maltese: Luxated patellas, Dental problems, Hypoglycemia, Allergies  
  • Irish Setter: Hip Dysplasia, Eye problems, Hypothyroidism, Osteosarcoma, Epilepsy, Gastrointestinal Syndrome
  • Shih Tzu: Hip Dysplasia, Patellar luxation, ear and eye infections, Brachycephalic syndrome, or trouble breathing due to their flat faces 
  • Bichon Frise: Prone to allergies, diabetes, liver problems, urinary problems, and digestive disorders

While looking at these breed-specific health conditions may be intimidating, you don’t have to be discouraged against getting a Doodle puppy. When choosing a puppy, you can use this as a reference so you can ask your breeder questions about the health issues they have observed with the puppy’s parents. In doing so, you can be more informed and prepared for your puppy’s possible health concerns. 

Read more on Top Tips To Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy here.

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Grooming Needs

During a puppy’s first year of life, they should get to the groomer at least once a month to prevent their fur from tangling and matting. Your puppy will also have different grooming needs depending on their breed. For example, Bernedoodles have plusher coats that take more time to groom and cost more than a Goldendoodle of the same size. To put it simply, the bigger the dog, the more costly the grooming will be. Similarly, thicker and denser coats will also cost more money since it takes more time. 

Bringing your puppy to the groomer as early as possible would also benefit you and your pup since they can get used to the experience. They can get acclimatized to the sounds of the blower and the process of going in there alone, making it easier for them to be groomed in the future. After the first year, you can decide with your dog groomer how often the regular grooming for your dog is from anywhere between 4-8 weeks. 

Pro Tip: Visit different groomers and get a quote for different dog breeds and different ages so you can have an idea of how much you will spend on grooming services 

Check out our grooming essentials for puppies here.

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Socialization

Allowing your puppy to be socialized by exposing them to people, animals, and other types of environments is a great way to help them become well-adjusted and confident in whatever place they may be in the future. You can familiarize your puppy with the people around them and get accustomed to diverse sights and sounds, especially if your home is in a busy city. 

However, there is a huge misconception about what socialization is. The internet may tell you that for your puppy to be socialized, they would have to meet a hundred people. In reality, they need to be comfortable and confident in themselves to be around many people. If your puppy or dog is nervous and you force them to socialize even if they are not yet ready, this would create a negative experience for them. 

The breed also plays a role in how sociable a puppy may or may not be. For example, Sheepadoodles are great “workhorses” and love to be trained but don’t like to socialize with other people. On the contrary, Goldendoodles are very friendly and love people, so they are more open to meeting new faces. Lastly, while you can get a general idea of how sociable a puppy can be based on their breed’s general character, you must know that there are no two pups alike. Just like us, puppies and dogs have their personalities, and you can still find a Sheepadoodle that is very friendly or a Goldendoodle that is timid. 

Pro Tip: If your breeder allows in-house visits, try to visit the puppies so you can get to know your prospective puppy bit by bit. Even though they’re still very young, you will see some significant traits showing out. 

Read more on Why Is Puppy Socialization So Important?

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Trainability 

Doodle puppies are very intelligent and highly trainable, making them great companions for individual owners or families. While this is the case, it does not mean all Doodles can be trained easily. Some puppies can still be trained more easily than others based on their breed: 

  • Sheepadoodle: Easiest to train since they like to work so much, hardest to live with since they love to chew things and are naughtiest 
  • Bernedoodles:  Food motivated, resilient; when something bad happens, they bounce back from it, not as sensitive as other breeds
  • Cavapoo: Food motivated, naturally social with people; the biggest problem is that they are a little bit barky at times and don’t like being with other dogs and other people 
  • Labradoodle: multigenerational and bred multiple lines down, which makes it easier for them to identify their temperament
  • Goldendoodles: They tend to get scared, but the more Golden genes they have, which makes them love to eat, the more it is to use this as an incentive for training 
  • Poochon, Shih poo: Small breeds are hardest to train 
  • Maltipoo: Hard to potty train

Pro Tip: Get your Doodle puppy trained at Happy Pup Manor as soon as possible so we can help you and your puppy with the best training program! 

What  Are The Top Doodle Breeds?

Bernedoodle

Bernedoodles have become a popular breed because of their black and white coats. This is because they are the result of crossbreeding a Poodle and a Bernese Mountain Dog. They are very energetic and require a lot of exercise. While adult Bernedoodles can be a bit stubborn, ones that are given training while still a puppy can be very loyal and easily follow commands, making them perfect companions. 

Goldendoodle

One of the most popular Doodle breeds, Goldendoodles, is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. Coming from two intelligent breeds, Goldendoodles are highly intelligent and easily trainable. They are great companions for both adults and children due to their good temper and smart behavior. Goldendoodles commonly acquire the color of their Golden Retriever ancestor but may also come in white, red, or black coats and can weigh up to 90 lbs. 

Labradoodle 

A cross between Labradors and Poodles, Labradoodles are another popular breed that has a smart, sociable, friendly, and energetic character. Being very affectionate dogs, they are often referred to as “Cobberdogs” in Australia since “cobbers” is a term used to refer to a “friend.” Labradoodles were originally developed in Australia in the 1980s and can have curly, wavy, or straight furs. Since they are intelligent and quick to learn, Labradoodles are great as service and therapy dogs. 

Aussiedoodle

Aussiedoodles or Aussiepoos is a popular breed resulting from a cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle. They are friendly, intelligent, and playful but are also very trainable since they learn commands easily. Aussiedoodles are often described as being very affectionate and love to please their owners, making them great companions for activities and sports. 

Cavapoo

A mix between a Poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cavapoos are known for their gorgeous curls and playful traits. Since Cavapoos have a curly coat, they must be regularly groomed to avoid having matted fur. They also shed their furs in the spring and fall, so they need an owner with the time and patience to constantly brush their fur and clean their sheddings. 

Cockapoo

A cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, Cockapoos are smart, intelligent, and highly trainable. Since they have a charming and affectionate nature, they are great for owners looking for a friendly companion pet. While they are highly adaptive in living in different environments, they tend to have separation anxiety when left for long periods, resulting in destructive behavior such as chewing, digging, and barking. 

Irish Doodle

Irish Doodles result from crossbreeding Irish Setters with a Poodle. Known for their reddish or chestnut coats, Irish Doodles are charming, athletic, energetic, and playful due to the traits they receive from their Irish Setter lineage, known as “bird dogs.” Typically medium-sized, they can be as small as 15 pounds or as big as 70 pounds, depending on the parents. Since Irish doodles typically have long, wavy, or curly hair and floppy ears, they require daily brushing and regular grooming to keep their fur from getting tangled. 

Sheepadoodle 

Considered a rare breed, Sheapadoodles are bred by crossing an Old English Sheepdog and a poodle. Since sheepdogs are known for being shepherds’ best friends, Sheepadoodles have acquired the traits of good companions and are well-trainable. In addition, their Sheepdog lineage makes them one of the biggest Doodle breeds. They have a very gentle nature and can live well with other animals. Sheepadoodles typically have black and white coats but may have different fur coat colors depending on their parents. 

Poochon

A small dog resulting from a Poodle and a Bichon Frise, the Poochon or Bichpoo is a designer dog breed that is cheerful and highly intelligent. Typically weighing 5 to 15 pounds, Poochons also come in various fur colors and are known for their cute round eyes and button noses. Since they are gentle and cheerful, they are often trained to become therapy dogs for children and adults. 

Shih Poo

This small, affectionate, and charming dog breed is a result of the crossbreeding of a Shih Tzu and a Toy Poodle. One of the popular choices for families and owners living in smaller spaces, Shih Poos, has moderate energy levels and enjoys less strenuous activities and exercise. They love to snuggle with their owners and enjoy being around people. 

Maltipoo 

A cross between a Maltese and a poodle, these are small dogs that can be as little as 5 pounds. They have a relaxed temperament and are great for families with children. Since they are very small, they can be fragile and easily get hurt around bigger dogs and rowdy children. 

Whoodle

A very active and energetic breed, Whoodles have acquired this trait from their Wheaten Terrier lineage. Since Whoodles are very energized, they need a fur parent who can match this energy and have the patience to train them. They also need regular exercise to be greater companions for people who love the outdoors. 

Schnoodle

A cute result of cross-breeding a Poodle and a Schnauzer is that Schnoodles are quite small and have a wavy, light brown coat. This type of Doodle breed is quiet, shy, and not as energetic as other doodle breeds. Schnoodles are great indoor pets but may not be a great choice for families with children looking for an energetic dog to play with. 
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Have You Decided Which Doodle Puppy to Get?

No matter the Doodle breed you decide to get, know that your love and attention are what they need the most. Giving them the proper care to ensure that they are healthy and thriving is the most important thing you can do to have them grow into happy and confident dogs. 

You can check out our list of puppy essentials to make it easier for you to prepare for your pup’s homecoming! 

Get Your Puppy Trained!

At Happy Pup Manor, we are passionate about puppies and puppy training. We know that welcoming a new puppy into your home is a big commitment, which is why we want to help. To learn more about our training programs for puppies in Illinois, please reach out to us directly. You can contact us by phone or online at your convenience to get started. We also offer dog boarding services when you go on vacation and can’t bring your pup!

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