The fad of "designer dogs" has become popular nowadays, so much so people are paying top dollar for mixed breed dogs heavily advertised as unique and glamorous. Designer dogs are mixed breed dogs whose ancestry is known; these crosses are becoming more and more deliberate, with individuals trying to capitalize on the new trend by breeding and marketing interesting crosses. One of the breeds used most frequently to create these new designer dogs is the Poodle; their popularity mainly stems from the fact that Poodles do not shed and are very good pets for people who suffer from allergies, though the fact that they are intelligent and good family dogs also plays a role in their use. Some critics of the designer dog trend seem to think, though, that people just like the names of the cross breeds; a cockapoo or a labradoodle just sounds cute.
At first, there were only a few poodle hybrids; they skyrocketed in popularity and now there are quite a number of crosses. For example, there is the Cavapoo, a mix between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel; these dogs are often born with soft hair, similar to that of poodles. Owners report that the dog is intelligent, very friendly and enjoys humans. Cockapoos, instead, are crosses between a Poodle and an American Cocker Spaniel; these hybrids have been around since the 1960s and the parents of many Cockapoos today were Cockapoos themselves. Owners report a smaller number of health problems in Cockapoos when compared to either Poodles or Cocker Spaniels, though some genetic problems still exist.
Goldendoodles have become quite popular; these are mixes between a Poodle and a Golden Retriever. These were originally created as assistance dogs for individuals who were serious allergy sufferers or couldn't otherwise deal with shedding problems. These dogs tend to be intelligent, loving and very good with children; they are easy going and take well to training. Almost as popular as the Goldendoodle, the Labradoodle was also created to provide a hypoallergenic canine to those individuals who needed an assistance dog; some actors and sports figures own Labradoodles. The list of crosses goes on, with Maltepoos and Schnoodles among many others.
While these mixes are highly sought after by many, experts claim that crossbreeding purebreds in no way assures puppies with the desired characteristics of the parents; in other words, just because a puppy has one parent that's a Poodle doesn't mean that that puppy will not shed. Indeed, look at all the Poodle hybrids and you'll see a variety of coat types as well as coat lengths. That goes for any trait; genetics is too complex for a breeder to be able to state for sure what characteristics a mixed breed puppy will have. Also, the fact that these designer dogs have become so trendy does not bode well for the health of the puppies that are born as a result of the crosses; unscrupulous breeders who are merely interested in the dollar sign will give no consideration to the health of the parents used in the cross and this could mean unhealthy puppies and numerous expensive trips to the vet for mixed breed owners.