I once lived in a share house with a miniature poodle named Gus. Gus was black, curly and completely gorgeous. He was also very attached to his owner Amy. Poodles are a particularly smart breed and when necessary can use this intelligence to their advantage. In Gus's case, whenever he sensed Amy was about to leave, he would feign a limp. Yep, he would seriously limp down the hall. As you can imagine, when this first happened Amy was really concerned. She dutifully took little Gus to the Vet. After some initial testing which found nothing, Gus was sent off for an x-ray. Guess what - x-ray clear - and no physical evidence of an injury. Amy was told to just monitor Gus and if it kept happening, the likelihood of Gus faking it for attention was on the cards. Needless to say the limping continued until the attention stopped and then a whole new set of attention seeking behaviours began. Ahh, the psychology of dogs!
It's no wonder poodles have been crossed with other breeds. Not only are they super smart but they also have a great wool rather than shedding fur coat. This is a particularly popular trait. So what sort of oodles are there? Let's take a look at 4 of the more popular breeds.
The Maltese and Toy Poodle are independently recognised breeds but the Maltipoo is not. Both breeds are particularly popular making the combination very attractive. The characteristics of each breed combine well resulting in an intelligent, caring, fun loving pet. They certainly score a 10 for cuteness and are recognised as great companions. These little balls of energy have a lifespan of 10-15 years and as a mixed breed are a little sturdier health wise.
The Labradoodle is a crossbreed Labrador retriever and Poodle. The breeds popularity has increased over the last 20 years or so. Their fur can be hypoallergenic making them a popular choice for allergy and asthmas sufferers. They are great family dogs and are suitable for all types of living arrangements. Originally bred as guide dogs in Australia, they are easily trained and they love the water, so beach visits are a must. The Labradoodle comes in 3 sizes similar to the poodle - the miniature, standard and medium.
The Schnoodle is a cross between a poodle and a schnauzer. Like the Maltipoo, they are not recognized as a breed in and of themselves. Depending on the weight of genetics, Schnoodles can have rough wirey hair (schnauzer) or soft curly hair (poodle). They are smart, adorable and fun loving. Schnoodles love to run and are very active thus highly suitable for training. They are wonderful companion dogs and prefer the indoors rather than the backyard. They do need regular grooming given their coats so maintenance is a must.
The Sheepadoodle is a cross between an Old English Sheepdog with a Poodle. This light shedding breed is not recognised as a breed but has grown in popularity since the early 1990s. Bred in England, the combination of the highly intelligent poodle and the relaxed natured Sheepdog has resulted in a very attractive breed. Very family orientated, they play well with children and enjoy being the centre of attention. The breed is not terribly fond of being left alone for any length of time. They are great candidates for training given their level of intelligence and are great guard dogs when required.
Although we've only touched the surface of the oodle world, we hope you've enjoyed learning a little bit about the Maltipoo, Labradoodle, Schnoodle and Sheepadoodle.
All opinions, advice and observations are my own and based on my work as a teacher, facilitator, community development manager and owner and friend to Pixie, Sulu, Woody, Max and Daphne over a lifetime.