While there's no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic canine, poodles might come closer than any other dog. That's the reason "doodles," or other breeds crossed with poodles, are so common. Of course, not all poodle crosses are doodles. Some are poos or oodles -- cockapoo, Shihpoos, Yorkiepoos and schnoodles, among others. The goal is creating a hybrid dog with a nonshedding, poodle-type coat. Theoretically, you could cross just about any breed with a poodle, but certain mixes have caught on with the public.
Labradoodle and Goldendoodle
Two of the best-known "doodle" dogs feature crosses with two of the country's favorite breeds, based on American Kennel Club registrations. The cross with the Labrador or golden retriever usually involves a standard poodle, although a breeder can cross a miniature or toy to create a smaller Labradoodle or goldendoodle. The result should be friendly, smart, easily trained dogs -- characteristics of all three breeds. While Labs appear in three colors -- black, chocolate or yellow -- and golden retrievers are named for their coat color, poodles come in a variety of shades. That means a Labradoodle or goldendoodle can be almost any color.
Just as poodles come in three different sizes -- toy, miniature and standard -- so do schnauzers. In their case, it's giant, standard and miniature; the American Kennel Club considers them three different breeds. While the majority of schnoodles are miniature or standard schnauzers crossed with toy or miniature poodles, a large cross is created by mating the standard poodle and the giant schnauzer. Poodles and schnauzers are both smart and trainable, and schnauzers are excellent watchdogs. You should end up with a nonshedding canine companion who loves your company and lets you know if anyone gets near your home.
The cockapoo is one of the oldest poodle crosses; this mix of poodle and cocker spaniel tends to breed true. That means that cockapoos bred to each other, as opposed to a cockapoo or poodle mating, turns out puppies who look like cockapoos. In a first generation mating, or one between a cocker spaniel and a poodle, the mother is generally an American or English cocker spaniel and the sire is a poodle, according to the Cockapoo Club of America. The cockapoo is a bright, nonshedding, friendly, sturdy dog, who makes an especially good companion for children.
Other Poodle Crosses
Name the breed, and someone has crossed a poodle with it. Large size crosses include the Irishdoodle, Irish setter and poodle; the Great Pyredoodle, the Great Pyrenees and poodle; and the Saint Berdoodle -- yes, a poodle and a Saint Bernard. Medium sized poodle crosses include the springerdoodle, poodle and English springer spaniel; the Eskapoo, poodle and American Eskimo; and the sheltiepoo, a poodle and sheltie blend. Miniature or toy poodles are mated with other breeds to produce small crosses. Well-known small crosses include the Yorkiepoo, Yorkshire terrier and poodle; the Maltipoo, Maltese and poodle; the Pekepoo, Pekingese and poodle; and the Shihpoo, or poodle and Shih Tzu cross.