Photo by Greg Westfall / CC BY

Where it all began . . .

Although the Cockapoo has been around the United States since the 1950’s, being of accidental origin, the real start of the global revolution and recognition of Poodle mixes came with the Labradoodle.

As we all know the Labrador is a much loved breed not just because of its famously good temperament but because, combined with that and the ability to easily train them, the Labrador has become the top breed for guide dogs. Unfortunately however the Labrador has one small problem; its fur is constantly moulting. This too is true for other breeds used as guide dogs - take the German shepherd for example. It meant that people who were blind and allergic to dogs didn't have the option of having a guide dog.

That was until someone had the idea of cross breeding the Labrador with the Poodle. The poodle on its own wasn’t a successful breed for training as an assistant dog but it is perfect for someone allergic to dogs – it’s coat doesn’t shed like other dogs rather, when the its single coat moults, the loose hair gets caught in the surrounding hair. So combine the Poodle with the Labrador and you’ve created the perfect hypoallergenic guide dog.

Unlike most cross-breeds, the Poodle/Labrador mix was given its own name; the Labradoodle. Thus, like the Lurcher, they were seen more as their own breed, rather than a designed mongrel. And because of this, any poodle mix created started to gain its own recognised name: Cavapoo, Cockerpoo, Jack-a-poo, Goldendoodle, Schnoodle and so on . .

You can see why the cross-breeds are such a success; their fantastic temperament is already making them famous – the poodle is an incredibly intelligent (one of the most intelligent breeds in fact) yet loving, they are absolutely perfect for families and they are unbelievably cute. Also, since the Poodle comes in three recognised sizes, people who didn’t want something a big as a Labradoodle could cross the toy Poodle with a smaller breed such as the Cavalier King Charles thus making the Cavapoo. Besides who can really resist a puppy that looks exactly like a Teddy-bear?

The poodle seems to have the ability to turn any breed into the teddy-bear version of itself.

 However, along with the pros of the coat there is a distinct con. Because of the Poodles single coat, and the fact the moulting fur gets caught in the surrounding fur, the coat very easily matts. In fact if you left a poodles coat un-brushed it would eventually turn into cords, similar to human dreadlocks. And for a breed so set up to be a family dog, there may be a busy household with children who forget to brush. And their bushy, soft hair doesn’t always highlight the matting to be as bad as it actually is.

These breeds do need to be groomed regularly, even if it is a just a professional brush every 2 weeks.* It is always good to remember that matting is actually harmful to the dog as the skin is unable to breath and starts to get irritated.

 Poodles have created a revolution in crossbreeds; creating one of the biggest dog trends in modern history.

*All our branches offer professional grooming services, along with advice from the groomer about maintaining a good coat.

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