A guest article by Steffi Trott.
Which of the Doodle breeds is the best fit for busy families? Have you decided to add a Doodle to your family? They are loyal, fun-loving and intelligent dogs – not to mention they look adorable, too!
But which of the many Doodles is the best? There are over 70 different Doodle crosses out there, ranging from Bernedoodles over Schnoodles to Labradoodles and Sheepadoodles.
Today we will look at which Doodles are the best fit for busy families – and which you should stay away from.
Doodle Breeds – Genetics
All Doodles are a cross between a Poodle and another breed. The Poodle can be one of 3 sizes – Standard, Miniature or Toy Poodle. The most common Poodle crosses are Goldendoodles and Labradoodles, but there are many more out there!
When trying to decide on the right Doodle breed for you, keep in mind that genetics are strong and will determine your dog’s behavior and temperament to a large extent.
Standard Poodles – even though we know them as show dogs – were once bred as hardworking water retrievers. They are highly intelligent and require mental and physical stimulation every day.
If you cross a Standard Poodle with another working-bred dog such as a Golden Retriever or Labrador, the resulting puppies will be very energetic and need plenty of exercise and training.
They can be destructive if their activity needs are not met. For many families with kids who have time-consuming hobbies or parents who have full time jobs, it is impossible to exercise and train such a cross sufficiently.
When looking for a Doodle for a busy family, you should stay away from any kind of working dog crosses! Fortunately, there are smaller and less energetic Doodle crosses you can choose from.
Calm Doodle Breeds
Here are some Doodle breeds that tend to be calmer and more laid-back!
The Cavapoo is a cross of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Miniature Poodle. Cavapoos are very friendly and outgoing dogs that are perfect companions for kids. They do not need a lot of exercise past their puppy years.
Training them is rather easy – they tend to not be destructive or reactive and do not typically pull on a leash. For a busy family these little guys are perfect – they will be happy as long as they can be part of whatever their people do.
This cross of Basset Hound and Poodle will not be a high energy dog. Basset Hounds are famous for their round bodies that do not exactly fit the description of an athlete.
Bassetoodles do not require extensive exercise. After their puppyhood they often prefer to sleep in the sun over running around in the yard.
Bassetdoodles are not always easy to find – you may need to search for a breeder in your area. Do your due diligence when selecting your puppy’s breeder. Basset Hounds unfortunately can be prone to a variety of health conditions, so make sure that your breeder only pairs health-tested parents.
The Newfiedoodle is a cross of Standard Poodle and a Newfoundland. While these are technically working dogs, Newfoundlands are an extremely calm and laid back breed.
Originally bred to haul wood or drag fishing nets, nowadays they happily snooze away the day on the couch as pets.
Newfiedoodles should only be adopted by families who have plenty of space. These dogs grow very big. You should also not forget that having a Doodle of this size – Newfiedoodles can go up to 150 lbs in weight! – will mean you have to buy a lot of dog food.
If your family is looking for a large Doodle with little exercise needs however, you cannot make a better choice. Newfiedoodles also love to cuddle and will gladly be petted by your kids and their friends.
Doodle Breeds – The Bottom Line
Many Doodle breeds are not suitable for busy families. In particular, the well-known Goldendoodles and Labradoodles will probably require more training and exercise than you can provide on a daily basis. They tend to be destructive and difficult if their activity needs are not met.
For busy families who do not want to walk and train their dog for 2-3 hours every day, there are calmer Doodle breeds available. Our top choices are:
- The Cavapoo as a small Doodle mix,
- The Bassetoodle as a medium-sized Doodle, and
- The Newfiedoodle as a large Doodle cross.
As with every new dog, make sure that the entire family is on board. Do not commit to a Doodle without talking about responsibilities and chores to your kids and spouse. While calm Doodles are good family dogs, they still need to be fed, brushed and taken care of – every day.
Steffi Trott is the owner and founder of SpiritDog Training . Originally training dogs in-person, she added online training in 2018 to her business. Steffi strives to provide game-based, positive training solutions for owners and their dogs.