Buying a Puppy, particularly an Oodle (Poodle mix) puppy is a big decision that you should not enter into lightly. You need to be aware of their different coat types, temperaments, sizes, training, exercise, and grooming needs. You must also choose the right breeder to buy your Oodle from since not all breeders are the same.
This guide will help you make an informed choice about all of this and ensure that your Oodle buying/adoption process goes smoothly.
Table of Contents – Buying a Puppy
- Buying a Puppy Oodle (Poodle Mix) – Important Things You Should Know
- Buying a Puppy – Buy your Oodle from a Reputable Breeder
- Health Checks/Tests
Buying a Puppy Oodle (Poodle Mix) – Important Things You Should Know
It can be hard to predict the size of your adult Oodle. Its size depends on the Poodle’s size, and Poodles are available in three sizes.
Usually, the poodle parent will be the stud dog, but not always. It’s common to cross toy or mini poodle studs with breeds such as Golden retrievers and Labradors to produce mini doodle puppies. Unless you have a large backyard, you should focus on buying a puppy that is classed as a ‘mini doodle’ or ‘toy doodle’. Oodle mixes like the Cavoodle, Spoodle, Moodle and Bichoodle are popular for apartment living. Most Oodle dogs are also available in toy, small, medium, or large sizes. The size of your adult Oodle will also depend on the other dog breeds in the cross.
It can be hard to predict the temperament of your Oodle puppy. For example, if you choose a Groodle (Golden Retriever + Poodle) from a reputable breeder, you should expect a playful, and friendly dog. If you cross a German shepherd with a Poodle (Shepadoodle), you should get a smart, highly energetic dog with herding instincts. Likewise, if you choose an Akipoo (Akita + Poodle), you could get an aloof, independent dog.
When buying a puppy, if you have small children, keep in mind that you will want to meet both parents of the puppy you’re interested in. Genetics and puppy raising play a huge role in the temperament that your dog develops. Puppies raised in puppy farms are known to have a shorter lifespan and develop behaviour problems such as fear and aggression.
Depending on the breeds used in the cross, the texture, coat type, colour, and shedding can be difficult to predict when buying a puppy, particularly something as genetically diverse as a Doodle.
For example, a cross between a Standard Poodle and a Labrador Retriever could produce an Oodle puppy with a coat that is a hybrid of the two and needs extensive grooming. In the case of a first-generation cross (purebred Poodle with a purebred Labrador Retriever), the Oodle puppy could even shed significantly. This is definitely something to consider when buying a puppy, if you have a family member with pet allergies.
When buying a puppy that requires regular grooming, factor this into the cost and overall level of maintenance the dog requires to stay healthy. Many Poodle mixes require trimming every few months. Typically, you need to shave or trim the hair from your Oodle’s face to prevent it from going inside its eyes. Some Oodles even benefit from a full-body trim a few times a year to prevent mats, knots, and tangles and maintain a neat and tidy appearance. Poodle mixes also require deep and thorough brushing and combing every 3 days or so to prevent knots.
Socialising and Puppy Training Needs
There is little doubt that all puppies need plenty of training and early socialisation, irrespective of their breed.
However, your mixed Oodle pooch might combine the stubbornness of a Husky or indulge in the territorial barking of a Chihuahua or a Yorkie. You would need to train such dogs consistently and patiently, and you may even need to tweak the training to suit their brightness and stubbornness levels.
As part of determining whether or not a dog is low or high maintenance, consider its exercise needs. All dogs need exercise to prevent obesity, maintain muscle mass, and keep their joints healthy. However, with your mixed breed Oodle, it could be tough to determine exactly how much activity your pet needs. For example, if your Oodle has a terrier, herder, or sporting dog breed in its DNA, then it will need plenty of activity to prevent destructive behaviours.
Likewise, an Oodle with a working dog breed or sight/scent hound DNA will need plenty of high-intensity workouts with proper handling to prevent their instincts of chasing, herding, etc.
On the other hand, a toy-sized Oodle like a Toy Cavoodle may be satisfied with a couple of indoor sessions of fetch and a short walk around the block. When buying a puppy you need to determine if you can meet their mental and physical stimulation requirements.
Failing to meet these requirements can lead to common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, chewing, digging, aggression and abnormal repetitive behaviours.
Experts recommend different dog foods for different dog breeds. The exact nutritional needs of any dog are mainly determined by its age, activity levels, and overall health.
For example, a 22kg (50-lb.) Bordoodle (Border Collie and Poodle mix) will need more calories compared to a 22kg (50-lb.) Bassetoodle (Basset Hound and Poodle mix).
Be prepared to research the best dog food for your Oodle and always discuss your dog’s diet with a breeder or your vet from time to time.
Buying a Puppy – Buy your Oodle from a Reputable Breeder
Once you have zeroed in on the best Oodle dog breed that is right for you, you can begin looking for a reputable breeder. Talk to several dog breeders.
Look for breeders registered with Dog Australia, as they are bound by a code of ethics, and generally have a reputation for breeding for the dogs’ welfare and health. Here are some steps to help you decide on a breeder:
Visit The Facility when Buying a Puppy
By visiting the breeder’s facility, you can take a look at the adult dogs to assess your potential Oodle’s temperament. The living quarters should be clean, and the dogs should look happy and healthy.
Ideally. the puppies will be raised in a family home around children and the mother dog will not be stressed. Any stress that the mother endures during pregnancy, the puppies will also be exposed to. This can lead to increased fear and aggressive behaviour in the puppies as they mature.
When buying a puppy consider pups that are raised inside the breeder’s home, where they get exposed to children, adults, other dogs/house pets, loud noises, etc. This early enrichment is important and can go a long way in determining your Oodle’s personality.
The mother or dam of the puppies should look healthy and have a sound temperament. If the stud or the father is not on site, ask for his photos, health testing documents, videos and the oodle stud dog owner’s website.
Ask Questions when Buying a Puppy
Good breeders will answer all your questions patiently and will also allow you to handle the dogs. They should be forthcoming about the vaccination and deworming status of their puppies. Here are some questions to ask your breeder:
- Can we visit before buying a puppy?
- Can we meet the puppy’s parents?
- Are you a registered breeder with a recognised organisation?
- When were/are the pups wormed and vaccinated?
- What are the hereditary diseases in the breeds we need to be aware of?
- If there are hereditary conditions and tests available for them, can we see the results? (See the section below for details.)
- Can we return the puppy if it develops any health issues or if there are some unforeseen circumstances?
- What health guarantee do you provide with your puppies?
Waiting Time – Waitlists when buying a puppy
Good breeders won’t separate the Oodle puppy from its dam and littermates until it is at least 8 weeks old. Therefore, they should have wait lists and not seem too eager to sell a puppy. Ideally, the breeders should only have limited (1 to 4) litters each year, which should further increase the wait time for the pups.
Many canine health issues are genetically inherited. Therefore, good breeders only breed healthy dogs so that the chances of passing good genetics on to the offspring are higher. If you have decided on the Oodle breed you want, please check the genetic health issues in the parent breeds (Poodle and other breeds) by researching Doodle breed information.
In general, common canine health tests available include:
- Hip and elbow scoring – This test can determine if the dog is prone to hip or elbow dysplasia. The score is a number between 0-106 and dogs that score low have good hips/elbows and are fit for breeding. Dog breeds prone to hip dysplasia are Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, and German Shepherds.
- Eye screening – This test can determine if the dog is susceptible to eye issues. Breeds prone to genetic eye problems are Cocker Spaniels, Pugs, and Border Collies.
- Patella checks – luxating patella is a common health issue observed in small poodle mix breeds. Luxating patella can be flagged in puppies as young as 6 weeks of age by experienced vets. They are graded from 1 to 4, with grade 4 being the most severe and often requiring surgery to correct. The cost of surgery to correct a luxating patella is about $1800-$2000 for one knee. Surgery should be performed by a qualified orthopaedic vet.
- Respiratory screening – This test gives a result between 0-3 where 0 stands for no signs of breathing difficulty and three stands for severely affected breathing and not fit for breeding. Examples include brachycephalic dog breeds like Pugs, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers.
- DNA testing – The best dog breeders DNA test their breeding dogs for diseases and coat traits. Oodle puppy breeders make use of the genetic information associated with furnishings, shedding, curl and fleece coat traits to determine the level of shedding in their Doodle puppies.
How do I choose a Doodle (Oodle) breed?
When choosing an Oodle, consider its adult size, grooming needs, exercise needs/energy levels, and training needs. Some Oodles are definitely more energetic, and some have extensive grooming needs.
Which Doodle mix is the calmest?
Doodles like Maltipoos or Moodles, Cockapoos, and Bernedoodles are supposed to be laid back and calm. Some poodle mix breeds are quieter than others but certain oodles such as Cavoodles are known to be barkers.
Are doodles good for first-time owners?
Yes, Oodles or Doodles are good dogs for first-time dog owners, since they are intelligent, eager to please, and fairly easy to train.
Any dog breed has the potential to have great variation in traits, particularly temperament as there are many factors that influence whether or not a dog will develop behaviour problems. Buying a puppy from a reputable breeder and meeting the parents to observe their temperaments will be invaluable in determining the traits of your puppy.