If you think you’re seeing more goldendoodles, Labradoodles and other doodle-y dogs these days—it’s not your imagination. There are indeed oodles of doodles in the world today, and their numbers have been steadily climbing.
“Veterinary practices have definitely been noticing how many more doodles they were seeing, and since we track purebreds, crossbreds and mixed-breeds in our policy data, we thought it would be interesting to see just how strong the trend is,” said Dr. Jules Benson, Nationwide’s chief veterinary officer.
He continues, “The results were surprising, even to us, with goldendoodles and Labradoodles showing a strong increase in popularity, and all poodle crosses more prevalent across Nationwide policies today than just a few years ago.”
Did you know? Insured poodle crosses are up 160% from 2013 to 2021, including:
Over 200% increase in metro areas like Chicago, New York and Denver
Over 300% increase in metro areas like Los Angeles
Over 450% increase in metro areas like Miami and Houston
What makes these increasingly common crossbreeds so pup-ular? Let’s dig into the data.
What is a “doodle”?
A “doodle” is any crossbreed that combines a poodle with another purebred dog breed.
The first doodle was a Labradoodle, bred by Wally Conron while working for the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia. His objective was to provide an allergy-free guide dog for a vision-impaired woman whose husband was allergic to dog hair. From there, the idea took off and the first doodle became a popular “designer dog.”
Doodles vary in size, shape, color and coat texture depending on their breed mix. For example, a Westiepoo (West Highland white terrier and poodle) may weigh roughly 20 to 30 pounds, while a Newfypoo (Newfoundland and poodle) can easily clock in at more than 100 pounds.
The truth behind “hypoallergenic” dogs
Poodles have a different coat texture than most other dogs. As a result, they’re commonly thought to be “hypoallergenic”—better for people who are allergic to dogs. It’s also widely understood that poodle crossbreeds don’t shed.
The truth is that doodles do shed—although most typically drop less hair than other dogs—and they aren't truly hypoallergenic. In fact, there's no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog or cat—allergens are carried in pet dander, saliva and urine, so they're impossible to completely escape.
Many doodle crossbreeds will produce fewer allergens than other dogs, but different doodles have different coat textures. No two doodle crossbreeds will be the same, so the only way to know for sure is to be around them.
People absolutely love the iconic curly "teddy bear" look of doodles, but it's not a look that's easily acquired or maintained.
Predicting what a doodle’s coat will look like is next to impossible. Being a mixed breed dog, there’s a lot of variety in the hair textures and heft of doodle pups—even within the same litter. A lot of doodles have extra curly hair that requires regular brushing, trimming and care, and for this reason doodles have something of a bad reputation with groomers (they’re often only brought in for a cut when badly matted).
Not taking care of your doodle’s hair can lead to uncomfortable itching, allergies and irritation. In more extreme tangling situations, doodles may experience limited movement and parasite problems that can only be solved by closely clipping away the hair (in other words, a complete crew cut).
Health and wellness
Poodle health issues are doodle health issues. The most common health concern in both standard poodles and doodles is Addison’s disease, which affects their ability to produce adrenal gland hormones under stress. If your doodle experiences recurring bouts of sudden lethargy, diarrhea and vomiting, increased thirst and urination or other non-specific illness, consult your veterinarian. Unfortunately, signs of Addison’s disease often don't show up until a dog is very sick.
Smaller doodle breeds—especially those mixed with toy or miniature poodles—commonly experience patellar luxation or Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Doodles may also inherit health issues related to the breed the poodle is mixed with, though crossbreeds like doodles are typically healthier than purebred dogs.
Load up on doodle data
Did you know? Nationwide insures over 48,000 doodles as of October 2021
Most common doodle names:
Wackiest doodle names:
Major Puffy Combs
Monsieur Parfait Effel
Scooby Doodle Doo
Most common health conditions for doodles*
Skin allergies: $106
Ear infection: $129
Hot spots: $98
Most expensive claims for doodles*
Urethral trauma surgery: $7,651
Foreign body surgery: $5,763
Elbow dysplasia surgery: $5,128
*Averages based on 2020 Nationwide claims data.
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