Breeds

7 Best Poodle Mixes for Families (with Photos)

best poodle mix dogs for families
What are the best Poodle mix dogs for families?

Suppose you are pondering expanding your family by bringing a new dog into your household. In that case, the decisions around breed, size, personality, and lifespan can be ruff.  

Getting a new dog requires a big commitment, so it’s essential to do some homework and find the perfect fit for your family.

You and your family need not look any further than the poodle mix family.  Poodle mixes make exceptional family dogs.  

They are smart dogs that learn quickly and are more manageable to train than other breeds.  Intelligent dogs like poodle mixes have advanced memory skills.  They can learn to understand voice commands and can read and react to your body language.

But which breeds are the best Poodle mixes for families?

Most poodle mixes shed less than other types of dogs, which is significant if someone in your family has allergies or asthma.  Poodle mixes are sometimes labeled as hypoallergenic since they have low-shedding coats.  While they do shed some and produce some dander, they leave far fewer allergens in their environment than most breeds.

Poodle mixes are loving, affectionate companions, making them great dogs for families. Let’s dig into the seven best poodle mixes for families to see which is the best match for you.  Keep in mind that all dogs need love and affection, physical exercise, and training to reach their full potential.

One – Labradoodle

Both Labrador Retrievers and Poodles are adorable, so you can imagine the cross between them yields a delightful teddybear-like fur baby.  Labradoodles love nothing more than being with you, their humans.  They are loving and affectionate and energetic.

curly cream labradoodle sitting

They will keep you on the move.  Labradoodles require lots of walks and plenty of room to romp and roam.  The larger Labradoodles really need a large yard, so they don’t do very well in apartments with limited outdoor space.  Smart and playful, they need stimulation and lots of interaction.  

Mini Labradoodles can weigh as little as 15 pounds.  A standard Labradoodle can weigh as much as 65 pounds, so there is a size suitable for every family.  They come in different colors, too, depending on the coloring of their parents.

Labradoodles do not make good watchdogs because their social skills extend to total strangers and beloved family members.  Their intelligence makes them easy to train.  They are warm, affectionate, and loyal, making them ideal therapy dogs and guide dogs for the blind.

Perfect for families of all compositions, they are gentle, making them a right choice for families with babies, sturdy, making them great with kids of all ages, and energetic enough to keep all the humans in the home active.

Two – Goldendoodle

A Goldendoodle, the offspring of a Poodle and a Golden Retriever, is custom made for very active and adventurous families.  Goldendoodles are playful and need many opportunities to engage in games like playing fetch with a frisbee or ball.  They are described as athletic dogs and love to swim, hike, and run with their humans.  

mini goldendoodle licking everything

Your new playmate will enjoy days at the beach, jogs through the neighborhood, and exploring new hiking trails. They can weigh between 50-100 pounds and can have curly, wavy, or straight coats.

Even though they are energetic and playful, they also have a calm demeanor. Despite this some Goldendoodles do bark a lot.  Luckily it is possible to train the whipsmart Goldendoodle to give up the noisy barking habit. Your neighbors will appreciate that.

As with all very friendly dogs, don’t count on a Goldendoodle for sounding the alarm if the doorbell rings or someone unknown pulls into your driveway.

Three – Bernedoodle

The Bernedoodle is the gentle giant of the poodle mix family.  A cross between a poodle and Bernese mountain dog, this one is an excellent choice if you want an affectionate cuddle buddy.  The Bernedoodle loves to snuggle up with their humans on the couch and go hiking with them with equal enthusiasm.  

bernedoodle review breed guide
Cuddly, soft and GIANT – the Bernedoodle is an amazing Poodle Mix breed.

The standard Bernedoodle can weigh up to 90 pounds, but you can find minis bred from toy poodles that only weigh in at around 10-20 pounds.  They need lots of room and opportunity for movement every day, so the larger the Bernedoodle, the more space you need.  

Intelligent like other poodle mixes, this dog’s temperament can cause them to be perceived as a bit goofy because of their joyful abandon when they play.  They don’t like it when you leave them alone for long periods.

They can be sensitive, maybe even skittish, around strangers.  They adore their humans and are fiercely loyal and protective over those they love.  They have a thick coat that makes them well suited to colder temperatures, and they love to play in the snow.  

Four – Cavapoo

When you breed a Poodle with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you’ll get a Cavapoo, a little dog with a reasonably big personality.  They are among the smaller Poodle mixes, weighing in between 9-25 pounds.  They can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for several hours at a time.

cavapoo puppy toys
A Cavapoo puppy playing with a soft toy. Photo Mia Anderson/Unsplash

Cavapoos are sometimes barkers and will bark anytime they want attention.  Since they don’t like being alone, you can expect them to bark a lot if they feel they’ve been left on their own too long.  Barking is something to consider if you have close neighbors.  While their smaller size is an advantage if you live in an apartment, their fondness for barking might be a disadvantage.

They enjoy people of all ages, and if trained and socialized, they also get on well with other dogs and even cats.  They like a lot of attention, though, and can suffer from jealousy if they aren’t the only animal in your family or your life.  

They are highly intelligent and have a high energy level.  The Cavapoo will need both mental and physical exercise every day to be well-rounded and obedient. 

Five – Cockapoo

The Cockapoo is a Poodle-Cocker Spaniel mix. It’s a small dog, weighing in at around 15 pounds.  Some people call them lapdogs because they are small enough to curl up on their human’s lap and are quite content to cuddle there for a while.

cockapoo puppy dog door
A Cockapoo puppy sits patiently near a front door.

They are easy to potty train and do well in apartments, so long as their humans give them at least 15 minutes or so of exercise per day.  A couple of quick walks around the block or time to run and play in the neighborhood park will work well.

Cockapoos tend to have a moderate amount of energy.  They are spirited and bouncy, and since they love attention and are intelligent, they pick up tricks quickly and easily.  If you have a family with older children that want to help train a dog, a Cockapoo will be a great choice.

Six – Maltipoo

A cross between a Poodle and Maltese, this little charmer weighs between 5-20 pounds, so it’s easy to pick up and well suited to apartment living.  Maltipoo come in many different colors, are very intelligent and easy to train, and are good choices for first-time dog parents.

white maltipoo dog sitting on couch
A white adult Maltipoo sitting on a couch. Photo by Mitchell /CC BY

The Maltipoo is gentle and affectionate.  They like to play fetch and go for walks, but they also delight in cuddling up with you while you read a book, watch television or nap.  They aren’t aggressive dogs but will bark at suspicious sounds or activities.

Unlike so many other breeds and mixes, the Maltipoo doesn’t necessarily need much of a yard because many don’t especially love being outdoors. They will still need regular exercise to run off any excess energy, but not as much as some of the more high energy breeds.

They tend to get along well with animals and humans, so they do well in homes packed to the rafters with two and four-legged family members.  They do equally well in single-person homes with no other pets or people, making them versatile enough to fit into any family.

Seven – Sheepadoodle

The Sheepadoodle is a rare Poodle mix.  A mix of Old English Sheepdog and Poodle, these dogs make wonderful family pets, even if you are a family of only one.  They are known for being sensitive to human emotions and are intuitive about offering comfort.  That makes them top picks for therapy and emotional support dogs.

They have moderate energy levels and can weigh between 60-80 pounds.  They are expressive, gentle, kind, and calm.  Their owners don’t always describe them as snuggly, but they do like to be near you, so they won’t hesitate to squeeze between you and someone else to be close to you.

Sheepadoodles need a lot of mental stimulation and both time and space to run.  Your goal should be about an hour of exercise a day, either in one block of time or a few short daily walks.  They are smart, obedient, and easy to train since they love pleasing their human family members so much.  They are sweet and friendly and love unconditionally.  

Choosing the Best Poodle Mixes for Families Can Be Ruff

Though it can be ruff to choose between the seven best Poodle mixes for families, rest assured that you’re not barking up the wrong tree if you’re looking at any Poodle mix. Using what you’ve learned about each variety here, make the right choice for your family, then have a ball with your new family member.

Remember that all mixed breed dogs are slightly different, as they will inherit both parents’ characteristics.  Naturally, they can and will favor one more than the other, giving them uniquely distinct features and attributes.  

While they are different in many ways, they have several things in common.  They all need love, attention, commitment, and care to be the best versions of themselves.  And they will all need some level of training.  Minimally, they need to be potty trained and conditioned to respect some essential boundaries associated with living with a family.  

Suppose your family wants to teach your dog tricks, or indoor dog games, and conditioned responses to prompts. In that case, Poodle mixes are all intelligent and responsive enough to learn.  Since they love to play, they will enjoy this training just as much, if not more, than you will. 

puppy at the vet

While their coats can vary greatly, they all will need some maintenance and care.  These breeds are better choices for family members with asthma and allergies than dogs that shed more hair and allergens into their environments. That’s a big bonus point for Poodle mixes.

They are generally sturdy and healthy, but be aware of any known health concerns of both breeds your dog comes from so you can be proactive in prevention and care.  Poodle mixes’ lifespan can range from 10-15 years (Goldendoodles and Maltipoo) to 12-18 years (Miniature Labradoodle), with a general average of about 15 years. Others like the giant Bernedoodle will not live that long, more likely 6-10 years.  

Considering the dog’s average lifespan and the ages of your family’s children, you can expect to have many meaningful years of love, joy, and adventure with your dog.