Mix two fantastic things, and you can get the best of both worlds. Dog crossbreeds are, at the same time, uniquely their own and fabulous reflections of their parent breeds.
Many times, crossbreeds are hypoallergenic and minimize the health problems of their parents while letting their best traits shine through. Popular crossbreeds are cavapoos, chiweenies, Labradoodles, springadors, cockapoos, and sprocker spaniels, among others.
Cavapoos are a mix of Cavalier King Charles spaniels and poodles. Both cavapoo puppies and adults are excellent family pets, being adaptable, friendly, and affectionate. Their size and coloration vary, depending on their parents, but cavapoos are small to medium-sized. They typically weigh from 10 to 25 pounds.
One notable thing: Cavapoos do not shed much, which is good news for people who are allergic to dogs. These animals still need regular brushing, though. Once a week should suffice.
Cavapoos do not make great guard dogs because they are so friendly. They also do not do well being left home alone for long stretches of time.
Chiweenies’ parents are Chihuahuas and dachshunds. Chiweenies pack a lot of personality and attitude into small packages.
They are excellent watchdogs and generally weigh from 5 to 12 pounds. They have high needs for socialization and affection but moderate exercise requirements. Thirty minutes a day of walking time should do them. They like to dig somewhat.
Perhaps the biggest pro of chiweenies is that they don’t have the same risk of back problems dachshunds do. There is risk, to be sure, just somewhat less. Chiweenies make good apartment dogs, but many need early training to minimize excessive barking.
Labradoodles are Labrador retriever and poodle crosses. They make great service dogs. In fact, the first intentionally bred Labradoodle seems to have been brought into existence for that purpose. A woman in Hawaii who was blind needed a service dog. Her husband had allergies, but the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia had ideas to help.
Wally Conron with the association tried breeding Labradoodles, and they indeed turned out great dogs for people with allergies due to their low level of shedding and hypo-allergenic fur.
Labradoodles are great pets as well as service dogs. They’re social, energetic, and affectionate. If you like to exercise, you’ll get that with a Labradoodle. These dogs can vary greatly in size depending on the characteristics of their poodle parent.
Springadors have one Labrador retriever parent and one springer spaniel parent. This could be the right crossbreed for you if you are all about exercise. Most adult springadors need at least 90 minutes of exercise daily, and the more exercise they get, the merrier.
Walks are good forms of exercise, but you can get creative, too. Adult Springadors are agile, so have fun with running, weaving, and jumping tricks if you want.
Cockapoos, a cross between cocker spaniels and poodles, are among the first “designer dogs.” That is, dogs crossbred on purpose to meet people’s needs as far as looks and temperament.
Cockapoos are happy-go-lucky, friendly, and intelligent. They also have hypoallergenic coats. Adults can range in weight from 12 pounds to 65 pounds depending on the poodle parent. Exercise requirements are relatively moderate, with at least 15 minutes a day recommended.
Sprocker spaniels come from English springer spaniels and show/worker English cocker spaniels. Sprocker spaniels are hugely intelligent and easy to train. They are great family pets and loyal. They are also low shedders.
However, their trainable nature does set them up to develop bad habits. These habits can be hard to break. Dog experts don’t recommend sprocker spaniels for first-time dog owners for this reason. Sprocker spaniels require tremendous amounts of exercise and physical and mental stimulation. That is a pro for some people and a con for others.
This cross between pugs and beagles features fun, loving personalities. Puggles can be prone to barking quite a bit and are not always the easiest to train. However, they are overall great for new owners and for apartment living. They are great with kids and other dogs and won’t get over-affectionate with you like some other dogs might.
Puggles are susceptible to the same health problems that pugs and beagles are, although at lower rates. The tendency for puggles to easily gain weight is one common health issue, as are spinal problems and hip dysplasia. Be extremely careful with breeder selection if you look for a puggle. Many ethical breeders won’t breed these dogs, but a few good ones do.
If you like dogs, chances are there is a crossbreed for you. A good number of crossbreeds involve one poodle parent. The characteristics of that parent play a large role in the size, coloration, and temperament of the resulting dog. As always, do your research on the crossbreed, both parents, the dog’s background, and the breeder, if there is one. You can find wonderful crossbreeds through rescue organizations and shelters, too.
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