Hybrid or "designer" dogs are a cross between two purebreds. The purpose is to reproduce the best traits of each dog. Poodles are often crossbred because they don't shed. However, there's no guarantee that the hybrid won't shed just because one of its parents doesn't.
If you want a hybrid dog that doesn't shed, choose a combination of dogs that don't shed. A labradoodle is a popular hybrid pet with a great disposition, but if the dog takes on the characteristics of the Labrador retriever, he will shed some. Breeders often cross hybrid dogs over generations. First-generation or F1 puppies are the combination of two purebreds. Backcross or F1b puppies have one purebred parent and one parent who is a hybrid of the same breed with another breed: a labradoodle crossed with a poodle will produce backcross puppies. Other hybrid breeding combinations are possible, but F1b puppies may be less likely to shed than other hybrids. Ask the breeder to explain the crossbreeding that created the litter you are considering.
A shih-poo is a cross between a shih tzu and a poodle. Because the shih tzu sheds little, the shih-poo hybrid should shed little. Shih tzus and toy poodles are both small dogs with energetic personalities. Grooming is imperative. Both poodles and shih tzus have a coat that grows quickly. The shih-poo coat is usually wavy, a combination of the straight hair of the shih tzu and the curly hair of the poodle. Plan to take your shih-poo to the groomer every two months. The upside is little dog hair on your couch and clothes.
The schnoodle is a cross between the schnauzer and the poodle. Because the schnauzer has a wiry outer coat and soft undercoat that sheds little, the schnoodle hybrid will shed little. The schnauzer has an outgoing personality; combine it with the poodle's adaptable personality, and you have a dog who adjusts well to most situations. The schnoodle requires weekly brushing and clipping every six to eight weeks. His coat is usually grows long and wavy.
The yorkipoo, yorkiepoo, yorkiedoodle or yo-yopoo is a cross between a Yorkshire terrier and a poodle. Because the Yorkshire terrier sheds little, the yorkipoo will shed little. The coat is soft and silky and may be wavy, curly or straight. Because the hair mats easily, brushing is necessary. Your yorkipoo requires regular grooming. The yorkipoo is a friendly, loyal, and energetic dog. He is a good watchdog and tends to think he is a big dog.
The maltipoo, moodle, malt-a-poo or maltipoodle is a cross between a Maltese and a poodle. The coat is soft and fluffy. It may have a slight wave or curl. They are available in a number of coat colors. To keep the coat from tangling and matting, daily brushing is necessary. Clipping is also needed. They usually get along with other dogs and have an outgoing personality. They are barkers, but they are also loving and gentle.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.