Let’s start with what an Oodle dog is. An Oodle dog is a mix of a purebred dog and a Poodle. These dogs are best known for their teddy bear look. This look is due to mixing the Poodle genes with a non curly breed. The best known oodle dogs are Doodles. But not all Poodle mixes go by that name. Some Poodles mixes are poos or they add oodle to the end of the other breed name. Regardless of the name the demand for these dogs has grown over the years resulting in high prices and poor breeding practices. Join us as we go over why they make great companions, what to watch for when choosing one and also why you may want to keep looking at other dogs.
How the Oodle Dog Craze Started
The first Labradoodle was bred 1989 for the Royal Guide Dog Association in Australia. At the time they were trying to create an allergy free guide dog for a woman whose husband was allergic to dogs. Since Poodles are believed to be hypoallergenic, they crossed a Poodle with one of the association’s Labrador Retrievers. The first litter resulted in three puppies. Samples of the puppy’s fur were sent to the husband for a sniff test. One of the puppies proved to be a good match for the husband.
The rest of the puppies needed to be placed in a home, but no one wanted a crossbreed as a guide dog. It wasn’t until they started to call the puppies Labradoodles, that people were willing to take a chance. In the weeks that followed the association was inundated with calls from other guide-dog centers, vision-impaired people and people allergic to dog hair. They all wanted to know more about this “wonder dog” and how they could get one. This opened the door to countless breeders across the globe all wanting to get in on the action and profit.
Today you can find an assortment of breeders who have mixed their preferred pedigree with a poodle. There is even the unlikely combination of a Rottweiler and a Poodle called Rottles or Rottie-poos. To learn more about how the first doodle was created read our post on Doodles: How it All Began
What’s in a name?
As I mentioned above, oodles are poodles mixed with another breed. Based on the breeders preference poodles have been bred with a number of other purebred dogs. At this point you may be wondering what is the difference between an Oodle dog and a mutt. The difference is an Oodle dog is mixed on purpose and is two known breeds. This is where the designer breed label comes from. A mutt is created by accident and can be many unknown breeds.
Oodle dogs get their name by mashing oodle, doodle or poo with the non poodle breed name. As an example we have an adopted Roodle, which is a Rat Terrier and Poodle mix. Roodle’s are also known as a Rattle, Ratpoo, Ratdoodle or a Radle Terrier. You can find a poodle mixed with just about any other breed. Here is a short list of the more common oodle dogs.
Oodle Dog Types
|Oodle Dogs||Breed that is mixed with a poodle|
|Akipoo||Akita Inu / Poodle Mix|
|Aussiedoodle||Australian Shepherd / Poodle Mix|
|Bernedoodle||Bernese Mountain / Dog Poodle Mix|
|Cavoodle||Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Poodle Mix|
|Chipoo||Chihuahua / Poodle Mix|
|Cockapoo||Cocker Spaniel / Poodle Mix|
|Goldendoodle||Golden Retriever / Poodle Mix|
|Irish Doodle||Irish Setter / Poodle Mix|
|Labradoodle||Labrador Retriever / Poodle Mix|
|Malipoo||Maltese / Poodle Mix|
|Peekapoo||Pekingese / Poodle Mix|
|Poochon||Bichon Frise / Poodle Mix|
|Poogle||Beagle / Poodle Mix|
|Rattle, Roodle or RatDoodle||Rat Terrier / Poodle Mix|
|Schoodle||Schnauzer / Poodle Mix|
|Sheepadoodle||Old English Sheep Dog / Poodle Mix|
|Shih-Poo||Shih Tzu / Poodle Mix|
|Whoodle||Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier / Poodle Mix|
|Yorkipoo||Yorkshire Terrier / Poodle Mix|
10 Key Facts to Know about the Oodle Dog
Regardless of which poodle mix you fall in love with, here are 10 key facts you need to know before deciding to bring one home.
1 Oodle Dog’s Unknown Traits
You may have heard that Oodle dogs are like a surprise present. You never know what you get until you open it up. In reality when you get an Oodle puppy you don’t know what you get until they grow up. Due to the popularity of these dogs it’s common to give a deposit to a breeder before the puppies are born. So you are basing your decision to buy on the parents, not on the puppy you will bring home.
When we were looking for our current pup we found that breeders were taking deposits for puppies months before they were born. In some cases the puppies weren’t even conceived yet and you didn’t know which litter you would pick from.
Unlike a purebred dog where years of breeding results in a standard look and temperament, an oodle is a mix of two breeds. This means you don’t know which genetic traits they will have. This is especially true for first generation Oodles. Take a look at these pictures.
All three puppies are sisters. Their mom was a Rat Terrier and their dad a Mini Poodle. As can see two inherited the long, fluffy hair of a poodle but one has short, straight hair like a Rat Terrier. The one in the middle is our Bella when she was just 8 weeks old.
Now Bella is a rescue dog. We don’t know much about how she came to be. We believe she was either the result of a backyard breeder trying to make a buck or an unwanted litter. She ended up in a shelter at 3 weeks old after three of the puppies in the litter died.
Since getting her I have seen many Oodles dogs on Petfinder.com looking for a home. The reasons that are given are; they didn’t have the desired look; they shed; or they were not hypoallergenic.
Changes from puppy to adult
Even when you pick your puppy from a litter, they may still look and feel different by the time they grow up. This is Bella today. See doesn’t look anything like what she did as a puppy. The black fur has faded to light gray. The only parts of her that are still black are her ears and tail.
I belong to a few doodle groups. It is common for people to talk about how their doodles fur has changed. Sometimes it’s just the color, other times it is the texture that changes when they lose their puppy fur.
2. Understanding Doodle Generations:
Breeders use codes to describe how doodles are bred. Let me explain. The first Labradoodle was created by combining a Poodle with a Labrador Retriever. This crossbreeding resulted in a F1 Doodle. This means that they are the first generation from two different purebred dogs. Like my Rat Terrier Poodle mix example above, these puppies had a mixed bag of traits with some of the puppies favoring one parent’s traits over the other.
While this was not an issue for the Foundation, breeders wanted a more consistent look. So they started experimenting with crossing different generations of doodles to see what combination would give them the desired look that was in demand. These combinations have been classified so people understand the dog’s lineage.
In the list below it shows the percentage of each dog that remains after breeding. But the reality is that genetics is not that simple. There is no way to guarantee that a F1B Doodle is truly 75% poodle and 25% retriever. This is because we don’t know which genes are handed down each time they are bred.
Doodle Generation Classification
|Classification||Combination||% of mix|
|F1 Doodle =||Retriever X Poodle||50% Poodle / 50% Retriever|
|F1B Doodle =||F1 Doodle X Poodle||75% Poodle / 25% Retriever|
|F2 Doodle =||F1 Doodle X F1 Doodle||50% Retriever / 50% Poodle|
|F2B Doodle =||F1 Doodle X F1B Doodle||62.5% Poodle / 37.5% Ret|
F3 Consists of these combinations:
|F3 Doodle =||F1B Doodle X F1B Doodle||75% Poodle / 25% Ret|
|F3 Doodle =||F2B Doodle X F2B Doodle||62.5% Poodle / 37.5% Ret|
|F3 Doodle =||F2B Doodle X F2 Doodle||45% Poodle / 55% Ret|
If you buy from a doodle breeder, they should be able to tell you about your dog’s lineage. If they can’t, you look for another breeder.
The temperament of an Oodle dog is based on their lineage with part of their personality coming from the parents and part from their bred. Doodles that are part retriever make good family dogs. They will want to be by your side at all times.
While this can be a great trait in a family dog it can result in separation anxiety. You need to make sure the puppy is properly socialized and trained to be home alone. To learn more about preventing separation anxiety read our post How to Prevent Separation Anxiety in Dogs.
Their temperament is also based on how they are raised by you. If you provide a loving home and you properly socialize them you, will end up with a happy, affectionate dog. To learn more about puppy socialization read How to Socialize A Puppy – Made Easy
Poodles are considered smart dogs that are easy to train; therefore most Doodles will also be easy to train. We were able to housetrain our Rat Terrier Poodle mix in less than two weeks. To learn more about puppy training read our post on The Secrets of Easy Puppy Training
Energy levels will be based on the breed’s mix. Labradoodles, Goldendoodles and Aussiedoodles will all have a high energy level.
Some breeders claim that their Oodle dogs are low maintenance. This is generally not the case. Most Doodles require regular grooming. This includes daily brushing and line combing, plus, regularly scheduled trips to the groomers to maintain the long fluffy coat. We keep our Ratdoodle’s fur on the short side to minimize the daily brushing. But to keep her mat free she sees the groomer every 7 weeks.
Cost to Groom a Doodle
The cost to have your Doodle professionally groomed varies based on where you live and the size of your dog. Urban areas are generally more expensive then rural areas. For a full sized doodle the average cost starts at $65 and goes up from there. In some places it can cost $180 or more to groom a full sized doodle. These prices do not include a tip. I strongly encourage you to look into the cost to groom a doodle in your area before you get a dog.
Since grooming is a big part of owning an Oodle dog you need to find a great dog groomer. Or you could learn how to groom them yourself. If you choose to use a dog groomer make sure to pick one carefully. To learn what you should look for in a dog groomer check out our post What to Look for When Picking a Dog Groomer for Your Doodle.
Should You Tip a Groomer?
Should you tip your groomer is a common question. The overall response from both doodle owners and groomers is yes you should tip your groomer. This includes groomers who own their own salon.
How much to tip depends on your level of satisfaction. The scale is in line with tipping for other services like haircutters. The recommended tip is 20% of the cost if you are happy with the service, more if you are very happy or if you have a difficult dog to groom. Less if you are unhappy with the services.
Though if you are unhappy with the service try to let the groomer know why before you decide to switch places. Sometimes misunderstanding can be fixed by talking.
When to Start Professional Grooming for your Puppy?
This is a common question for Oodle puppy owners. It is important to get your Oodle dog use to being groomed early. You can start by teaching them to be comfortable being touched as soon as you bring them home. Start by brushing them daily with a soft puppy brush. Also make sure to handle their feet on a daily basis.
Ask your veterinarian when it is safe to bring your puppy to the groomers. For most puppies their first visit to the dog groomers is a couple of weeks after their last set of puppy vaccines. This is generally at about 4 1/2 months old. The typical first visit includes a bath, brush out, nails clipped, Sani-trim and hairs removed from around their eyes. However, some groomers might do it differently. Make sure to ask before you go. The first full groom is generally around 5-6months old.
If you choose to groom them yourself you can start once you feel the need.
Daily Home Grooming
If you want to keep a long, fluffy coat on your Doodle, they will need to be groomed every month. Daily at home brushing is also required to keep them mat free. Daily grooming includes first brushing them with a long pin slicker brush. Followed by line combing to make sure you removed all the mats. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that they are not brushing all the way through the coat. This results in deep mats that cannot be seen on the surface. Doodles that have deep mats often end up needing to be shaved.
The most recommended slicker brush for Doodles is the Chris Christensen Slicker brush. This brush was a game changer when it came to brushing our doodle. We started out with a less expensive slicker brush but our dog would not stay still to be brushed. Once we moved to the Chris Christensen Slicker brush we no longer have issues with her. In addition to the slicker brush we also purchased a Chris Christensen poodle comb. Both are well constructed and should last a long time.
Puppy Coat Change
Between 6 months and a year old a doodle will shed their puppy coat and grow in their adult coat. During this time they must be brushed daily or the falling hairs will get matted. It is not uncommon for a doodle to be shaved because of mats during this period. It is also possible that their coat will change texture at this time.
5. Doodle Sizes
Doodles come in a wide range of sizes based on the size of the parents. Sizes are classified as mini, medium and standard (large).
Most purebred dogs come in a standard size for the bred. The exception to this is poodles. Poodles come in four sizes. The sizes listed above and a sized called “toy”. So to create the different size doodles they breed a standard sized purebred with the desired sized poodle.
However this is not an exact science, which means the size your puppy grows to can be a bit of a surprise. Some doodles tend to grow much larger than their parents. Let’s take the Goldendoodle which is a golden retriever and a standard poodle. The average size of a male golden retriever is around 65-75 pounds and the same goes for a standard Poodle. But I have seen Goldendoodles that are much bigger than this. Some up to 130 pounds!
When choosing a doodle you may want to keep their possible size in mind. Ask the breeder to see the parents. Also ask the average size of past puppies when they are full grown.
6. Are Oodle Dogs Hypoallergenic?
No dogs are completely hypoallergenic. But for people with allergies some dogs are easier to live with than others. In the case of the first Labradoodles bred to be a guide dog, only one of the three puppies did not cause an allergic reaction. In the next litter only three out of ten puppies were considered to be allergy friendly.
There is a common believe that allergies are caused by a dog’s fur. So if a dog does not shed they will not be allergic to the dog. Unfortunately that is not the case. Allergens are actually carried in a dog’s dander (the dead skin cells a dog sheds), their saliva and urine. Some dog produce less allergen than others, but no dog is allergen free.
Also people suffer from different degrees of allergies. I have been allergic to dogs all my life, but I have lived with dogs all my life too. Some dogs we have had caused me more discomfort than others. I do ok with our Ratdoodle. I can pet and cuddle with her without any issues which is why we wanted to poodle mix. But there are no guarantees you will have the same experience.
If you are looking for a dog and have known dog allergies try to spend time with the type of dog you are looking to get. Maybe try volunteering at a breeders home to see how you react before you commit to a lifetime with a dog.
7. Do Oodle Dogs Shed?
The only dogs that don’t shed are hairless, so yes Poodle mix dogs shed. But depending on the coat they can shed a lot less than your average dog and have less “dog odor”.
One of the reasons that Doodles seem to shed less is that are brushed daily. Plus they get regularly scheduled haircuts. This brushing and regular grooming pulls out the loose hair from the dog’s coat before it can fall on the floor. Chances are if you were to brush a golden retriever everyday it would also appear to shed less.
Doodles coats fall into three categories: “Hair”, “Fleece” or “Wool”:
- The hair coat is straight. It closely resembles the non poodle parent. These coats generally shed the most and are not allergy friendly.
- The fleece coat is wavy. This coat is a mix of the parent’s coats. They should shed less than a hair coat. They may be more allergy friendly than a hair coat too.
- The wool coat is curly like a poodle’s coat. This coat sheds the least and it the most hypoallergenic.
It is not uncommon for a dog to have multiple coat types. Our Rat Terrier Poodle mix has curly legs, wavy fur on her body and the fur on her head, ears and tail is straight.
Also a doodle puppy’s fur can change in texture or color as they grow up. The change occurs when they lose their puppy fur and grow in their adult coat, between 6 months and a 1 year old. The color changes are due to the poodle genes. In our case, Bella has the progressive graying gene, which is why she changed from black to gray. This gene can affect any color poodle. There are other color genes in poodles like the popular parti gene that gives Poodles a two tone look and the tuxedo gene that makes them look like they are wearing a coat. You can learn more about color changes in poodles at AllPoodleInfo.com
9. Cost of a Oodle Dog
A Poodle mix breed with parents that have been health checked can cost $2,700 and up. The cost of an Oodle dog varies based on location of the puppies, the size of the puppies, demand and who is breeding them. Puppies on either coast cost more than puppies in the mid or southern states.
The biggest difference in the cost of a Doodle is the breeder. Puppy mill puppies typically cost between $650 and $1000. These breeders breed dogs in volume and they don’t care about the health of the puppies or the breeding parents. If you see a Doodle puppy for sale on a website that is not the breeders direct site the chances are good that they are from a puppy mill. Puppy mill puppies are also commonly sold in puppy stores.
10. Genetic Health Conditions
You should choose a breeder that is committed to health testing. Health testing is a common practice among quality breeders. By looking at the dog’s health risk they are able to limit passing down genetic health conditions to future generations.
However some Doodle breeders claim that testing is not necessary due to Hybrid Vigor. Hybrid Vigor is the notion that mixed breed dogs are less prone to genetic health conditions. While it is true that mixed breed dogs are less likely to have an inherited condition, it doesn’t apply to Oodle dogs. Hybrid Vigor comes from mixing many different gene pools. Oodles dogs are typically a result of two purebred breeds. Many of these breeds share the same genetic health risks.
How to determine which genetic testing should be done for a doodle.
Before buying from a breeder learn about the health risks for the breeds that make up your desired Oodle. Then make sure your breeder does the proper health testing for those breeds. You should stay away from a breeder that does not have proof of genetic health testing. Buying from a breeder that does testing will cost more but you should have fewer issues in the long run. Of course you can always adopt a doodle.
Look for dog club associations to see if they have testing guidelines. You can find a list of dog clubs in the resource section of this post. You can also visit the American Kennel Club. They provide health testing recommendations for recognized breeds. Just make sure to find the testing requirements for both breeds.
|Poodle – Miniature||Labrador Retriever|
|Hip Evaluation||Hip Evaluation|
|PRA Optigen DNA Test||Elbow Evaluation|
|Patella Evaluation||EIC DNA Test|
|Ophthalmologist Evaluation||Ophthalmologist Evaluation|
Could an Oodle Dog be Right for You?
If you are looking for a fun, energetic dog that will always want to be by your side then an Oodle dog is right for you. However if you don’t have the financial means to pay for regular grooming or you don’t have the time for daily brushing you should look for another breed.
Currently, poodle mix breeds are not recognized by the American Kennel Club. However there are associations that are working towards standardization of the breed. Below you will find a list of associations. These groups may help you find a reputable breeder and also assist you with questions on a specific doodle type.
- Goldendoodle Association of North America
- Golden Retriever Club of America
- Australian Labradoodle Association of America
- Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association (WALA)