It all began in Australia with the breeding of a Labrador and a Poodle (Labradoodle) to create a low allergy guide dog for the Guide Dogs Association. Since then others have gone on to cross breed Poodles with many other breeds such as Pug, Golden Retriever, Spaniel, Cavi, and even Chihuahua. Unfortunately, the rise in popularity of these cross breeds has resulted in many owners having a dog with challenging behavioural and grooming needs.
Doodle and Poo Basics
Doodles and Poos are purebred Poodles that have been crossbred with another purebred dog. Doodles cross-breed types include Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Bordoole, Scodoole, Woodle, Springerdooldle, Schnoodle and even Double Doodle. Poo Cross-breed types are plentiful and include Cavapoo, Pugapoo, Cockapoo, Jack-A-Poo, Malti-Poo, Papi-Poo, Pekepoo and Poogle. Most of these dogs are chosen by new owners for the non-Poodle part of the breed i.e. people are drawn to the Labrador, Pug or Golden Retriever breed so opt for the Doodle/ Poo mix for the hypoallergenic benefits or because of the breeds looks. Most overlook the Poodle breed temperament and grooming requirements which in themselves have very specific needs.
Poodles were originally bred in Germany as a type of water dog. They are intelligent dogs that are used in many dog sports and perform well in tracking, agility, marking, and hunting. They are classified as a high energy dog and need daily exercise to expend this energy. If not enough exercise is given, like all dogs, Poodles will become frustrated, bored, mischievous, (and unhealthy), all leading to perceived behavioural problems.
A Poodles coat is classified as a wool coat, it is soft and dense, and when the dog is mature (between 9-16 months old) it becomes curly. It is composed of hair that does not stop growing, similar to our hair, and because of this requires daily maintenance to avoid matting. When Poodles shed the loose hair tends to become entangled in their coats which cause some to mistakenly think that Poodles don’t shed. When choosing a Doodle/ Poo mix always consider the temperament, exercise, and grooming requirements of both of the breeds crossbred to ensure you can provide the attention and maintenance required to have a happy, healthy dog.
Doodle and Poo hair
These dogs are mostly chosen by owners due their ‘hypoallergenic’ tendencies because they are perceived as not shedding a lot of hair. However, this does not mean the dog is a low maintenance breed. As these dogs, hair grows and grows it needs regular thorough brushing and professional grooming to prevent the dog becoming matted. See our article Mat Matters which discusses the importance of preventing mats. The texture of the Doodle/ Poo hair will be influenced by both of the breeds used to crossbreed. Therefore Doodle and Poos’ hair fall into several categories including
- Wool – dense curly coat similar to that of a lamb.
- Cotton wool – dense curly-straight coat, softer that the original wool coat, it resembles a cotton ball when groomed.
- Fleece – wavy or loose spiralling coat.
- Microfine Fleece – very soft and fine wavy or spiralling coat.
- Straight Hair – not very common, this hair type is very easy to maintain
Specialist grooming requirements
The majority of grooming requirements will be based on the dogs coat type. As curly hair continues to grow regular professional grooming is required, typically every 4-6 weeks. A groomer should not only trim the dog’s hair but also create a ‘look’ for the Doodle/Poo. As there is no one standard cut for these dogs they are often styled in a teddy bear or puppy cut. However, a good groomer will also take the dog’s personality and lifestyle into consideration when deciding on the best style. The coat should be brushed daily by the owner; without this, the coat will tangle and matt. A lot of matted Doodle/Poos owners want to maintain the longer or fluffy coat look however this becomes increasingly difficult if a good home grooming routine is maintained.
At pooch Dog Spa we understand the special grooming needs of Doodles and Poos. Depending on the hair type we will use one of the several methods of washing, conditioning, drying, clipping and scissoring to ensure the dogs coat is treated according to its type and specific requirements. With new breeds comes new requirements in grooming and at our Spa, we continue to stay ahead of these requirements through ongoing research into grooming methods and products.
If you are the proud owner of a Doodle or a Poo please feel free to get into contact to discuss how we can assist you with your grooming requirements.