Ever wonder about all those “poo” and “oodle” dogs….?
Designer dogs are really hybrid or cross-breed dogs that have been developed to try and gain some positive characteristics or lose some negative characteristics from the founding pure-bred
dog breeds. "Poo" hybrid dogs where the Poodle is crossed with a number of breeds such as the Labrador Retriever (Labradoodle), Golden Retriever (Goldendoodle), Maltese (Maltipoo) Cocker Spaniel (Cockapoo), Bichon Frise (Bich-poo), Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkipoo) and the Schnauzer (Schnoodle) are very popular. This is because the Poodle is a very intelligent breed with a non- or low-shedding odorless coat which is said to be hypoallergenic. While there is no guarantee as to what characteristics will be passed on to the first generation puppies from the breeding parents, the Poodles non-shedding coat seems to be a dominant characteristic which is often passed on to the first generation of puppies, accounting for the popularity of the "poo" hybrids. I guess if you wanted to ensure a hypoallergenic and non-shedding coat, then you should acquire a Maltipoo, Schnoodle or a Bich-poo where both parents have non-shedding coats. It should be noted that there are really two types of Labradoodles. The first is the unofficial mixed Poodle/Labrador designer breed described above and the second is the Australian Labradoodle which has resulted from an exhaustive Australian breeding program involving 6 different parent breeds: Poodle, Labrador Retriever; Irish Water Spaniel; Curly Coat Retriever; American Cocker Spaniel; and English Cocker Spaniel.
Most of the Poodle hybrids are quite attractive with beautiful coats. Colors range from whites and creams to apricot, brown, chocolate, silver, gray, black and multi-colored. Their coats are low to non-shedding and will need combing, brushing and clipping on a regular basis. Poodles are very intelligent and most "poo" hybrids should be fairly easy to train. Since there are three sizes of pure-bred Poodles (Toy, Miniature and Standard), you can have many different sizes of "poo" hybrids. Through the wonders of artificial insemination, the smaller Toy and Miniature Poodles can be bred with larger breeds such as the Labrador or the Golden Retriever to produce smaller designer dogs. While a Poodle could be either the dam or sire in most pairings, in this situation the Labrador or Golden Retriever would be the dam. One of the most popular designer dogs today is the Cockapoo which can take many forms. The Cockapoo Club of America recognizes two main types of Cockapoos - the American Cockapoo (Poodle/American Cocker Spaniel cross) and the English Cockapoo (Poodle/ English Cocker Spaniel cross). Four sizes of Cockapoo are designated. These are the: Teacup Toy (under 6 pounds grown weight); the Toy (7 - 12 pounds); Miniature (13 -18 pounds); and Maxi (over 19 pounds). Information on "poo" hybrids such as Cockapoos, Goldendoodles and Labradoodles can be found at www.dog-breed-facts.com .
Many designer dog breeders insist that the first generation hybrid puppies will be healthier and have fewer genetic health problems than the founding breeds. They say that this is due to a phenomenon called hybrid vigor. Some breeders will even breed a first generation "-poo" hybrid back to another Poodle to try and ensure a non-shedding coat. The resulting back-cross will be 3/4 Poodle and 1/4 other founding breed. Other experienced hybrid breeders tend to focus on producing a multi-generational line of hybrid puppies with standardized characteristics by breeding non-related hybrids with the desired characteristics. It is really up to you as to which type of designer dog hybrid - first generation, back-cross or multi-generation - that you
purchase. However since the founding breeds are always pure-bred with potential genetic problems, purchasers should always ask to see the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) certificates for both parents. This combination of genetic testing and cross-breed vigor should help to ensure you acquire a healthy
About The Author: Mike Mathews is an editor and contributor for the popular http://www.dog-breed-facts.com information site and has developed articles on 3 "poo" hybrid designer dogs – the Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle and the Cockapoo – which can be found at http://www.dog-breed-facts.com/cockapoo.html
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