Doodles. Dogs with a parent of poodle and a parent of other breed – classics include cocker spaniels, labs, golden retrievers, Australian Shepherds & Bernese Mountain dogs. They are the mecca of hypoallergenic (though no dog truly is!). Rising aggressively in popularity in the modern years, the first labradoodle arrived in the 1980s, while the cockapoo has been in society since the 1960s.
There are 3 reasons I have a dislike for doodles and wouldn’t own one.
Reason #1 for dislike for doodles: they are homogenized – as in they all look the same!
Looking at those cute pups above you notice how much uniformity they have. Long hair, moderate grooming, with most of the notation of their founding breeds seen in coat color & size. Sure doodles have a cute, fuzzy bear factor to them, but there isn’t much that makes them stand out from one another.
Would you be able to find the labradoodles? (#1 Stella & #9 Bailey). Could you tell who was a goldendoodle? (#8 Ruby) Can you tell each which mix each of the others are? (#2 aussiedoodle, #3 cockapoo, #4 double doodle, #5 bernedoodle, #6 bernedoodle, #7 maltipoo)
With doodles each mixture tends to look heavily poodle, which means you lose the diversity of the different breeds that are the base parent for each. Below, each is a different type of doodle. Notice how similar they look overall.
Whereas look at the diversity from breed to breed from the non poodle parent. Different head shapes, ear shapes, tails shapes & lengths plus lengths of fur. Unique from breed to breed.
I really prefer the diversity of each different breed. Plus with mutts I love the uniqueness they can gain from their parents. Doodles, a bit too uniform for my taste.
Reason #2 dislike for doodles: they need a TON of grooming.
Sure they don’t hardly shed, and their dander stays at a low level, but those lovely poodle genetics request that they are groomed every 6 to 10 weeks (6-8 weeks for longer hair, 8-10 weeks for shorter hair). If not groomed in that timespan a doodles coat can become matted. Sure you could cord it (like doggie dreadlocks) though corded hair may need the same amount of maintenance. (Poodle hair never stops growing!)
In the lifespan of 10 years your doodle will make 52 to 86 trips to the groomer! With an average of $100+ per groom, you’re looking at a solid investment ($5200+ to $8600+) over your dog’s life. And grooms can be a bit intensive – pending size of your doodle, it can take 2-3+ hours for a groom, plus time can be added if your doodle is matted or a wild child (add even more time if both is true!). Don’t forget you need to also brush & comb your doodle frequently throughout the week to prevent mats.
(This is a great article in regards of doodle grooming from Patriotic Pet Care.)
Whereas many non doodles may not need to visit a groomer as frequently or even at all depending on the dog breed and their coat. A pittie like Bender could bypass the groomer completely. A cocker spaniel and old English sheepdog may need more grooming, while a lab or golden is good weekly brushing.
Groomers are awesome people, a dog that needs to visit them frequently just isn’t my style.
Reson #3 dislike for doodles: they are expensive mutts
Mutts??? But…. Yes doodles are mutts. They are a pairing of two breeds but never are purebred as they don’t breed true – which is the characteristic of being able to predict how the puppies will turn out. And occasionally they are a collection of breeds in one parent (ie lab + poodle) that is bred to another doodle (ie lab + poodle) for a “double doodle”. Or its one doodle parent and one purebred parent (in researching I saw a bernadoodle + Australian shepherd = 3 different breeds in a pup!)
A golden will always look like a golden, a lab a lab, so on and so forth. Doodles will always be variable – perhaps they look a little more poodle, perhaps they look more like the other founding breed. Coat colors are highly variable, with buff, red and black being the most frequently found. Size can vary as well, especially within minis. Health & temperament can vary greatly as well.
Not only are doodles mutts, but they are expensive in comparison to other mutts found at humane societies and shelters. Sometimes doodles are even more expensive than their founding purebred parents.
Another concern with doodles is they don’t go through the same health standards (eyes, ears, hips & elbows etc) as purebred dogs do which lends to poorly bred doodles at a high price.
Here are a few comparisons of pricing of doodle & parent breed breeders:
(I don’t know these breeders personally, please do your research if you are planning on adding a puppy to your family.)
Doodle breeders in Minnesota:
Timber Rock Doodles / $3500 per puppy, goldendoodles (they do health & genetic testing)
Brook Marie’s Goldendoodle Love / $2500 goldendoodles & $3500 for bernadoodles
Stone Ridge Doodles / $2800 – $3000 goldendoodles & $3600-4500 for bernadoodles
Poodle breeders in Minnesota:
Poodles Around / $1250 – $1500 per puppy
Bunne Poodles / $1500 – $2000 per puppy
Prairiestorm Poodles / $2000 per puppy
*if you opt for a poodle, make sure they aren’t breeding doodles too!
Pricing for Bernese puppies is very hard to find from Minnesota breeders as well as other breeders in the US (most have very long waiting lists) but they seem to range from $2500 – $3500+.
Now, I do understand that reputable breeders put a TON into the health & wellness of their females as well as into the puppies so cost is justified. But for a dog that is a mixed breed mutt (sometimes even with 3+ breeds mixed in) the cost seems out of place.
I’d rather adopt a mutt than opt for a designed expensive mutt like a doodle. Or opt for a purebred dog at the same cost!
3 dislikes for doodles – they look the same, the need a TON of grooming and they are expensive “mutts”. All reasons why a doodle of any sort would be the “breed” for me. (I’ll still photograph the heck out of your doodle though!)
What are your thoughts on doodles?