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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning all,

We are looking to get our first furbaby and are beyond excited. My son has dog allergies so we've been looking at "hypoallergenic" breeds. I know no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic but he's been around a friend's goldendoodle and seems fine. We've looked at the following breeds:
  • Goldendoodle
  • Cavapoo
  • Poodle
  • Yorkiepoo
I've narrowed our search down to F1B's (for the mixed breeds). We fell in love with a F1B Cavapoo but he has a pretty straight coat. Is it possible for the hypoallergenic qualities of a puppy to vary within the litter if they're all F1B? His brother has a more curly coat.

Do I have to go with a pure poodle to increase the hypo qualities?

We are so confused and I don't want to be irresponsible and just get a dog without doing everything I can to ensure we are able to keep it.

Thank you in advance,
Tammy
 

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By nature, mixed breeds are going to be more variable in their coat type, which absolutely can include how much they set off a person's allergies. There are very few of the popular poodle mixes who have been breed over several generations until they produce a consistent look (including coat type) and temperament, and by definition those are not F1B crosses, which are only two generations deep (produced when a 50/50 cross bred back to a purebred of one of the parent breeds). F1B also doesn't refer only to a litter where a 50/50 parent is bred to a pure poodle - it can also be that the 50/50 parent was bred back to the other breed in the mix (like Cavalier or golden retriever, for example).

So while it's true that the more poodle a mix like this has, the more likely it is to have a poodle-like coat, it's much harder to predict how an allergic person will react to that coat than with a purebred. And since each puppy inherits different genes from its parents, you can get pretty extreme differences within the same litter.

Another thing to consider is that, whether mixed or pure, a responsible breeder needs to be running genetic health tests on their breeding stock to avoid - or at least significantly reduce the risk of - producing puppies who have heritable illnesses or disorders. While some breeders of mixed breeds are doing this, it's much rarer than it should be, and without that testing you're really gambling over whether you're getting a puppy who could develop a serious medical problem that could have been avoided if the breeder was doing their due diligence. If you do go for a mixed breed, research the testing each breed should go through

Here is what the Poodle Club of America suggests testing all breeding poodles for, depending on size, at the very minimum: Health Testing in Poodles. Mixing a poodle with another breed doesn't eliminate these genetic issues, especially when you're breeding back to more poodles. Pretty much all of these conditions exist in other breeds, so breeding, for example, a toy poodle with bad knees (luxating patellas) to a Yorkie with bad knees (also a breed prone to luxating patellas), you get mixed breed puppies very, very likely to have bad knees.

But I'm just using poodles as an example, every breed has genetic conditions that need to be tested for and considered carefully when breeding. It's important to point out that golden retrievers have serious problems with cancer, and almost every Cavalier has a terminal, genetic heart disease. Half of all Cavaliers show symptoms of this by only five years old - almost all are suffering symptoms by ten. I'm not saying these are bad dogs, just trying to emphasize how important it is to find a breeder who cares about health and is doing everything they can to make sure their puppies are as genetically healthy as possible.
 

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wow. Thank you so much for the information. So much to consider. so if I understand correctly, when picking from a litter, I should avoid the smoother coats and opt for their curly haired siblings? Alternatively, maybe go for a purebread poodle?
 

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There's a chance the curlier mixed dogs may still set off allergies - some poodle mixes have both a curly outer coat and a shedding undercoat. It's very hard to be sure with a mixed puppy what coat you're actually getting, or how you'll react to that dog as an adult. Purebred dogs are more predictable - if you don't react to adults of that breed, you'll probably be fine with any puppy. Especially if you can meet the breeder's dogs (which a good breeder should allow for... under normal circumstances, Covid-19 has made everything trickier) and be sure that your allergies aren't bothered by that puppy's closest adult relatives.

Some people do seem to find that they adjust to the individual dogs they live with and stop being as allergic to them, but others never find they improve with exposure. So it's going to depend some on the severity of the allergies in question and the risks you're willing to take, personally.
 

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wow. Thank you so much for the information. So much to consider. so if I understand correctly, when picking from a litter, I should avoid the smoother coats and opt for their curly haired siblings? Alternatively, maybe go for a purebread poodle?
A curly coated dog doesn't necessarily mean that the dog has a poodle coat, and as I understand it, there's no way of knowing what type of coat a puppy/dog is going to have until it's about a year old.

And just remember, if your son is allergic to dogs, it could be the dander that's shed from the skin that he's allergic to, which has nothing to do with the hair/fur type.
 

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wow. Thank you so much for the information. So much to consider. so if I understand correctly, when picking from a litter, I should avoid the smoother coats and opt for their curly haired siblings? Alternatively, maybe go for a purebread poodle?
I'll have to admit I'm one of those who has no understanding why anyone breeds or pays high prices for a mixed breed. The advantages of a purebred that make them worth the price are a known pedigree with history of health testing, often back several generations; knowledge of the particular health problems in that breed, many of which can be tested for in breeding stock and which are tested for by good breeders; known tendencies of the breed as to temperament, activity level, etc. For those who don't find those things compelling, there are a lot of lovely mixes needing homes (although I understand a lot less in these Covid times).

If I had a child with allergy problems who was able to manage around poodle-like dogs, I'd be looking for a well bred poodle of whatever variety (size) fit my family.
 

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I'll have to admit I'm one of those who has no understanding why anyone breeds or pays high prices for a mixed breed. The advantages of a purebred that make them worth the price are a known pedigree with history of health testing, often back several generations; knowledge of the particular health problems in that breed, many of which can be tested for in breeding stock and which are tested for by good breeders; known tendencies of the breed as to temperament, activity level, etc. For those who don't find those things compelling, there are a lot of lovely mixes needing homes (although I understand a lot less in these Covid times).

If I had a child with allergy problems who was able to manage around poodle-like dogs, I'd be looking for a well bred poodle of whatever variety (size) fit my family.
That's fair. I get it. I am also trying to satisfy the wishes of 3 kids who, as you can imagine, base their entire decision on the look of the dog.
 

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By nature, mixed breeds are going to be more variable in their coat type, which absolutely can include how much they set off a person's allergies. There are very few of the popular poodle mixes who have been breed over several generations until they produce a consistent look (including coat type) and temperament, and by definition those are not F1B crosses, which are only two generations deep (produced when a 50/50 cross bred back to a purebred of one of the parent breeds). F1B also doesn't refer only to a litter where a 50/50 parent is bred to a pure poodle - it can also be that the 50/50 parent was bred back to the other breed in the mix (like Cavalier or golden retriever, for example).

So while it's true that the more poodle a mix like this has, the more likely it is to have a poodle-like coat, it's much harder to predict how an allergic person will react to that coat than with a purebred. And since each puppy inherits different genes from its parents, you can get pretty extreme differences within the same litter.

Another thing to consider is that, whether mixed or pure, a responsible breeder needs to be running genetic health tests on their breeding stock to avoid - or at least significantly reduce the risk of - producing puppies who have heritable illnesses or disorders. While some breeders of mixed breeds are doing this, it's much rarer than it should be, and without that testing you're really gambling over whether you're getting a puppy who could develop a serious medical problem that could have been avoided if the breeder was doing their due diligence. If you do go for a mixed breed, research the testing each breed should go through

Here is what the Poodle Club of America suggests testing all breeding poodles for, depending on size, at the very minimum: Health Testing in Poodles. Mixing a poodle with another breed doesn't eliminate these genetic issues, especially when you're breeding back to more poodles. Pretty much all of these conditions exist in other breeds, so breeding, for example, a toy poodle with bad knees (luxating patellas) to a Yorkie with bad knees (also a breed prone to luxating patellas), you get mixed breed puppies very, very likely to have bad knees.

But I'm just using poodles as an example, every breed has genetic conditions that need to be tested for and considered carefully when breeding. It's important to point out that golden retrievers have serious problems with cancer, and almost every Cavalier has a terminal, genetic heart disease. Half of all Cavaliers show symptoms of this by only five years old - almost all are suffering symptoms by ten. I'm not saying these are bad dogs, just trying to emphasize how important it is to find a breeder who cares about health and is doing everything they can to make sure their puppies are as genetically healthy as possible.
Any thoughts on a mixed breed of two hypoallergenic breeds? Bichon/Poodle, ShihTzu/Poodle?
 

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That's fair. I get it. I am also trying to satisfy the wishes of 3 kids who, as you can imagine, base their entire decision on the look of the dog.
Okay, I understand that too, but just out of curiosity, what's more appealing looks-wise in the crosses than in an actual Poodle? I understand being put off by one all duded out for show, but when they're cut down into a regular pet cut, they're attractive dogs, come in all sizes and colors? For that matter, if it's the pointy muzzle that's not appealing, what's cuter than an actual Bichon?

Also just out of curiosity, since I'm beginning the long slog to get another purebred myself, is part of the appeal that the doodle people will sell a puppy without a fuss whereas the good breeders of purebreds are a fussy bunch?
 

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Okay, I understand that too, but just out of curiosity, what's more appealing looks-wise in the crosses than in an actual Poodle? I understand being put off by one all duded out for show, but when they're cut down into a regular pet cut, they're attractive dogs, come in all sizes and colors? For that matter, if it's the pointy muzzle that's not appealing, what's cuter than an actual Bichon?

Also just out of curiosity, since I'm beginning the long slog to get another purebred myself, is part of the appeal that the doodle people will sell a puppy without a fuss whereas the good breeders of purebreds are a fussy bunch?
I am actually considering a mini or toy poodle. Funny you mention the pointy muzzle, my little one is actually terrified of that.
 

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You'd probably have a more predictable coat if you picked a mix of two dogs with the same coat type, like poodle and bichon. I'd still urge you to make sure your son meets adults of both breeds before you spend the money and have to go through the stress and heartbreak of learning they don't agree with his allergies long-term, and you still have the difficult task of finding a mixed-breed breeder who is doing their due diligence when it comes to health testing (above and beyond 'my vet said they were both currently healthy'. A lot of purebred breeders neglect this as well, sadly, but it's easier to find the responsible ones by going through breed clubs or the American Kennel Club (AKC) or United Kennel Club (UKC). Breeders associated with those specific clubs and/or their breed clubs are more likely (though not guaranteed) to be responsible.

And you absolutely can keep a poodle in a 'teddy bear' cut! The shaved face is part of their traditional show and working clips, but not at all required. Bichons also have a shorter nosed, rounder face look, as do Havanese. Both are lovely companion breeds on the smaller side (but not as small and delicate as toy poodles - a bonus for households with children, in my opinion) and have coats that tend to agree better with allergies. But because allergies are so individual person to person, again, try to have your son meet adults before you make a final decision!

And whatever dog you get with this coat type, mixed or purebred, you're looking at professional grooming about every six weeks. I personally think this is a bonus when it comes to allergy management (so long as you're clear with your groomer not to use any 'dog cologne' or other heavily scented products to try to avoid irritating fragrances), but it is an expense. I definitely get more itchy and allergic handling my dogs if I've neglected a bath and trim for too long, because they trap both dog allergens like dander and environmental allergens like pollen or dust in their coat. Bonus: it's not flying around my living space on lots of little hairs like it would be with a shedding dog! But the dog's grooming routine is going to have to be part of your household allergy management plan.
 
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