Allergic to Dogs and Allergies in Dogs Resource

Allergy Friendly Hybrid Dogs

Today’s purebreds are the outcome of a process of selective breeding over numerous generations which results in puppies that have consistent and predictable characteristics. Although new ‘designer’ dogs (the result of cross or mix breeding different purebreds) are not recognized as a distinct breed by breeding associations e.g. American Kennel Club, such hybrid dogs do have a growing contingent of aficionados and may enter certain organizations’ performance events.

The aim of controlled cross breeding is to produce an offspring with the best characteristics of both parental purebreds, and the name given to such dogs is usually derived from combining both parent breed names to form a new word i.e. a portmanteau. Labradoodle and Schnoodle are some of the more well-known examples of hybrid dogs created with allergy friendly characteristics in mind. Moreover, the allergy friendly attributes of using a poodle as one of the parents has given rise to many other hybrid varieties such as:

Bernedoodle Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle
Cavapoo Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Poodle
Cockapoo Cocker Spaniel Poodle
Goldendoodle Golden Retriever Poodle
Jack-A-Poo Jack Russell Terrier Poodle
Lhasa Poo Lhasa Apso Poodle
Maltepoo Maltese Poodle
ShihPoo Shih Tzu Poodle
Yorkipoo Yorkshire Terrier Poodle


Since hybrid dogs by nature are relatively new ‘breeds’, there are various pitfalls a potential buyer needs to be aware of when compared to buying a purebred:

  • The characteristics of the offspring are more unpredictable. Factors related to the parents, such as their age, size and weight, coat texture and color, temperaments and various other genetic traits, can all impact the offspring. Therefore, characteristics not only vary between litters from a breeding pair but also between puppies in a given litter; one of which includes the degree of allergy friendliness. You will therefore need to visit a breeder to find out about the traits of the parents as well as spend time with the puppies to try and ascertain how allergy friendly they are. Unfortunately, there are no absolutes when buying any dog, especially a hybrid, given the number of permutations and combinations possible. This is further complicated as no two dog allergy sufferers respond to a given stimuli (i.e. dog allergen) in exactly the same way.
  • It may be more difficult to locate a breeder. Fewer breeders mean less choice which is never good for the customer. Associations do exist for most hybrids, and you can usually find breeders that are certified or licensed by them on the internet.
  • Quality assurance. When compared to the official overseeing of purebreds by very established organizations and kennel clubs, there exists the potential for unregulated and unlicensed breeders with hybrid dogs. Puppy farms or mills spring up aiming to cash in and exploit the increase in popularity and demand for hybrid dogs and are usually associated with poor living conditions and a high percentage of sick dogs.
  • Hybrid dogs can be expensive and cost more than purebreds. Given that such ‘breeds’ are relatively new, extra consideration needs to be given to a purchase as there is no way of knowing how a dog will develop health wise over time.

The following looks at various traits and aspects of 2 hybrid allergen friendly dogs, namely the Labradoodle and Schnoodle: (Note: Figures quoted for hybrid dogs regarding height and weight vary considerably depending on their respective category but also on one’s source of data. Therefore, the information shown below should be considered as a general guide only)

Allergy Friendly Hybrid Dogs - White Labradoodle

Height: 14-24 in (35.6-61 cm)     Weight: 15-65 lb (6.8-29.5 kg)

The cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Miniature or Standard Poodle is known as Labradoodle … and not a Poodlelab or fortunately, a Labpoo or Poolab!

The origins of the term Labradoodle can be traced to 1955, when the British speed record breaker Sir Donald Campbell used it to describe his cross dog.

Labradoodles are now used as guide and therapy dogs worldwide and this is largely as a result of the efforts of Australian breeder, Wally Conron.

The aim of this particular cross is to produce an offspring with the following purebred parental attributes:

  • Labrador – Easy to train and even temperament.
  • Poodle – Allergy friendly low shedding and low dander.

At present there are two distinct Labradoodle breeding programs being undertaken because opinion is divided amongst breeders as to what approach is best. Some breeders opt for using only early generation dogs whilst others advocate crossing two Labradoodles (Multigenerational/Multigen and Australian Labradoodles).

Labradoodle traits and characteristics are more unpredictable than those observed with purebred dogs. However, they do tend to be intelligent, child friendly, trainable, energetic and water loving. Variable factors include:

  • Size – Miniature, Medium and Standard
  • Coat Texture– 3 categories based on similarity of offspring to purebred parents and can be: Hair (Labrador-like), Wool (Poodle-like but softer) and Fleece (Soft, kinked or wavy)
  • Coat Color – Ranges anywhere from off-white through to black

Although a hybrid dog such as a Labradoodle can take positive attributes from its purebred parents, it can also inherit certain negative health traits. Hip dysplasia and eye disorders are well-documented issues with both Labradors and Poodles and these can be passed on to their Labradoodle offspring. In order to minimize and control this problem, good practice dictates that potential parents should be tested for a variety of conditions before being considered for breeding.

Allergy Friendly Hybrid Dogs - Schnoodle

Height: 10-26+ in (25.4-66+ cm)     Weight: 7-80+ lb (3.2-36.3+ kg)

A Schnoodle is the term given to a cross between and Schnauzer and a Poodle and its origins can be dated to the 1980s. This cross aims to produce an offspring with the following purebred parental attributes:

  • Schnauzer – Intelligent and friendly.
  • Poodle – Obedient and active.

Both breeds are considered to have allergy friendly characteristics and the desired outcome for the Schnoodle offspring is that it has low shedding, low dander attributes.

Schnoodles are generally intelligent, friendly and sometime excitable. They tend to bond well with family members and enjoy companionship (preferring routine and not being left alone for long periods) and regular exercise. Variable factors include:

  • Size – No agreed classification at present. A Schnoodle size can vary depending on parents from Toy, Miniature, Standard to Giant.
  • Coat Texture – 3 types based on similarity of offspring to purebred parents and can be: Wiry (Schnauzer-like), Curly and Soft (Poodle-like) and Intermediate. Some dogs may have areas of hair representative of 2 or more types.
  • Coat Color – Where uniform, it tends to be white, apricot, brown, grey or black whereas multi-colored dogs tend to be black and white, parti or sable.

Bi-monthly grooming is recommended to prevent matting and associated skin problems, as well as to control excessive in-ear hair growth that can cause ear infections. Schnoodles have a lifespan of around twelve years and as they age, they may experience health issues such as arthritis, cataracts and tumors.

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