If you’ve recently been to a dog park or an area where dogs roam, chances are you’ve seen a kind of “doodle” dog, with that goofy expression and carefree attitude.
What is a doodle dog?
Doodle dogs are a mix of a dog breed with a purebred poodle. This creates a dog with the characteristic curly hair of a poodle entangled with characteristics that come with the other chosen breed.
In 2021, Rover.com shared a report that the number of people owning doodles has doubled in the United States since 2016.
Different dog breeds have been in vogue over the years. After the release of the first “Lassie” movie in 1943, the popularity of border collies skyrocketed, with a 40% increase in border collie ownership, according to Smithsonian Magazine.
But there isn’t necessarily a popular movie or TV show that features a moppy-headed doodle. It’s possible the popularity came from social media, according to The Cut.
When Makyla Washington decided she wanted a dog, her research led her to Instagram, specifically goldendoodles — a mix between a purebred poodle and a golden retriever, she told Deseret News. She found a breeder in Florida she loved, and now she has a dog that comes from the same breeder as NBA player Steph Curry’s goldendoodle, according to the breeder’s Instagram account.
What makes people interested in having doodle dogs?
Shortly after Washington got Bailey, his mother, Melody Markus, picked up a mini Aussiedoodle (a mix of Australian Shepherd and Poodle). And later, his sister, Whitney Strausberg, brought home a Labradoodle (a mix of black Labrador and poodle).
Doodle dogs are notoriously cute, and interest in mixes is obviously growing. It’s common for many doodle owners to grow up with the other half of what is mixed with the poodle, reports Spirit Dog Training. Whitney Strausberg grew up with a black lab, and now she has Charlie, a black lab and poodle mix.
Many doodle owners also like the idea of having less dog hair and dander that can activate sensitive allergies.
But are doodle dogs hypoallergenic?
A truly hypoallergenic dog does not exist. New York veterinarian Jodi Novak told The Cut that “all dogs of all breeds have dander and saliva, both of which contain the protein that can cause allergies.”
Although Poodles don’t necessarily shed or drool, their dander is more likely to get trapped on their skin, so they’re less likely to wreak havoc on someone with an allergy, but it’s not impossible.
How much do doodle dogs cost?
Designer dogs can come at a high price. TMZ reported that Curry paid $3,800 for the goldendoodle pup.
The price dog owners are willing to pay reflects another aspect of changing attitudes towards pet ownership.
According to Seattle Magazine, there are now more dogs than children living in the Seattle metro area where Washington and Bailey reside.
The irony of the expensive price tag for designer dogs is that doodle mixes are still just that – a mix. The American Kennel Club does not have doodle dogs on its registry for purebreds. Thus, doodle dogs are not shown at dog shows and cannot claim purebred status for breeding.
Which celebrities have doodle dogs?
President Biden has a Labradoodle named Brother. Jennifer Aniston, Kenny Chesney and Usher have goldendoodles. Rihanna, Blake Lively and Miley Cyrus have Maltipoo dogs (a cross between a Maltese terrier and a poodle), according to Populardoodle.com.
Why does the inventor of doodle dogs say he regrets it?
Wally Conron, the inventor of the labradoodle, said he regretted creating the mixed-breed dog.
“I find the vast majority are either crazy or have a hereditary problem,” Conron said on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Sum of All Parts” podcast.
He originally bred the dog for a blind woman and her dog-allergic husband. One of his biggest concerns is that unethical breeders are creating more problems by breeding dogs that may have instability and behavioral issues, according to The Associated Press.
Still, many doodle owners don’t regret their decision. Doodle fan pages span Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites with doodle owners excited to share their experiences with doodles.
“Doodles are not ‘different’ than other dogs. They bark, they poop, a lot of them shed, they have health issues like their pedigree parents, and they need training,” Adina Pearson, host of the Doodle Kisses podcast, told The Cut.
As with any dog, doodles require specific, specialized attention and care depending on the dog.
Whitney Strausberg started baking dog treats for her dog, Charlie, which inspired her to start a bakery with homemade dog treats that wouldn’t make him sick. She wouldn’t trade her decision to have Charlie for anything.
“Charlie has the softest curly coat and he’s a goofy dog. I love him,” Washington said.