Best Types Of Designer Dog Breeds

Written by Kellianne Matthews
Updated: June 14, 2023
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Adopting a new canine companion can be a bit overwhelming — there are so many fabulous dogs out there to choose from! From purebred dogs to mixed breeds, it’s hard to know where to start. The latest trends in the canine world, however, are “designer dog” breeds. As crossbreeds of two different purebred parents, the goal of these designer dogs is to combine the best characteristics of both breeds. Let’s take a look at some of the best types of designer dog breeds and explore what makes them so special! 

The goal of a designer dog breed is to create puppies with the best characteristics of each parent.


What Is A Designer Dog Breed?

In the fascinating world of canine breeds, there are two distinct categories: purebred and mixed-breed dogs. Mixed breeds are marvelous and mysterious, as their genetic makeup comes from several different dog breeds. Most of the time, we don’t know the heritage of these dogs and they don’t have valid documentation.

Purebred dogs, on the other hand — especially those with legitimate registration — have a well-documented lineage that can be traced back for generations. These dogs are bred intentionally to produce puppies with consistent traits. 

However, recently “designer dog breeds” have become popular. Registered purebreds are carefully selected and a dog is then intentionally crossbred from these two purebred dogs to create designer breeds. The goal is to create puppies with the best characteristics of each parent. We can’t entirely control genetics though, so each crossbred designer dog is a unique combination of traits that are not always consistent. 

Now that you know what a “designer dog” is, let’s take a look at 15 of the best types of designer dog breeds! 

1. Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever and Poodle)

One of the most popular designer dog breeds today is the goldendoodle, a cross of a golden retriever and a poodle. Goldendoodles come in many shapes and sizes, usually depending on the genetics of their poodle parent. There are small goldendoodles that are only 15 pounds, as well as larger ones that weigh up to 100 pounds! In addition, not every goldendoodle is actually golden. Like their poodle parents, goldendoodles come in a wide range of colors from gold to light tan, chocolate, black, and apricot. Most goldendoodles have shaggy or curly fur coats, but again, it depends on their personal genetics. In fact, some goldendoodles have completely straight hair without any curls at all!

Goldendoodles were originally bred as guide dogs in the United States, but many breeders began to market them as the “perfect family dog”. These dogs often do not shed very much, so a goldendoodle can be great for someone who suffers from allergies (although it depends on each individual dog). In addition, goldendoodles are very friendly and affectionate dogs, which is why they make such wonderful therapy dogs. They are intelligent and fast learners who love to be around their humans. However, they also need plenty of daily exercise, otherwise, their intelligence can get them into trouble. 

Goldendoodle Puppy in a Basket

As the name suggests, goldendoodles are golden in color.

© Sendra

2. Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever and Poodle)

Another extremely popular doodle designer dog is the labradoodle, the mix of a Labrador retriever and a poodle. Like the goldendoodle, many labradoodles shed less than their parents and can be great for those with allergies. However, it depends on the dog and which genes they inherited from their parents. Their fur comes in a wide variety of different textures. It can be curly, wavy, straight, silky, soft, or wiry. Some dogs will even have flat coats across most of their body, and yet have curly hair in various places such as around their legs or their tail. These dogs also come in many different sizes depending on the size of their poodle parent. 

Labradoodles are usually friendly and intelligent, just like their parent breeds. However, these dogs hate being cooped up or left alone for long periods of time. They are very high-energy dogs that absolutely love to play, but their enthusiasm can sometimes be a problem if you have small children. Labradoodles are extremely friendly and make great family dogs and therapy dogs — but they are very poor watchdogs and would rather play with an intruder rather than attack them. 


Labradoodles are very high-energy dogs that absolutely love to play.


3. Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel and Poodle)

You may notice that many popular designer dog breeds have a poodle parent. This is because poodles have more hypoallergenic hair and tend to shed less. The cockapoo is another one of these wonderful doodle designer dogs, a crossbreed of a cocker spaniel and a poodle parent (usually a miniature poodle). This unique parentage produces many unique cockapoo puppies. Some cockapoos might weigh as little as just 6 pounds, while others could be closer to 20 pounds. In addition, their coats can be solid or have various markings. Some Cockapoos inherit the long and soft coats of their cocker spaniel parent. Other cockapoos have scruffy fur coats with tighter curls.

Cockapoos need regular exercise and can be easy to train. They are friendly and often well-socialized, but they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. These dogs can become destructive if they feel abandoned or alone for too long. Fortunately, this also means that they make great family dogs, as they are extremely loving companions who tend to get along well with other dogs in your home as well. 

tan cockapoo

Cockapoos are generally very low shedders.


4. Maltipoo (Maltese and Miniature Poodle)

This tiny designer dog is the adorable cross of a Maltese and a miniature poodle parent. Maltipoos have adorable and sweet puppy-like faces that make them look young no matter their age. Their fur is extremely soft, and they have really cute button eyes. They are very friendly and clever dogs with a goofy streak that will always make you smile. 

Because they are such fun-loving and friendly dogs, maltipoos don’t make good guard dogs. They are loving companions and can be fantastic therapy dogs, but they do tend to bark a lot. Maltipoos are one of the most popular designer dog crossbreeds today. 

Maltipoo standing in the grass

Depending on the bloodline, maltipoos can be better for someone with allergies.

©Rob Hainer/

5. Puggle (Pug and Beagle)

Who wouldn’t want to snuggle a puggle? These adorable designer dogs are the cross between a pug and a beagle. Fortunately, puggles usually do not inherent as many health issues as purebred pugs do (however, it is still possible of course, since we cannot fully control genetics). Some puggles have the iconic squishy face of a pug, while others have a longer snout like a beagle. Puggles are small dogs that love life and are a lot of fun. They are great family dogs who get along well with other dogs and children. 

However, puggles are very active dogs who need lots of playtime and plenty of exercise. They have the energy and athleticism of a beagle and love racing around the yard or up and down your hallways. However, they also have an affectionate and cuddly nature like a pug. Because they are so loving and friendly, puggles get lonely easily and can suffer from separation anxiety if you leave them alone for long periods of time. Puggles are also very smart dogs, although they can be quite stubborn. They also tend to bark a lot, especially if someone comes to your door. 

A Pug x Beagle mixed breed dog, also known as a "Puggle", wearing a red collar outdoors.

A Pug x Beagle mixed breed dog, also known as a “Puggle”, wearing a red collar outdoors.

©Mary Swift/

6. Schnoodle (Poodle and Schnauzer)

Since there are three different sizes of schnauzers and three different sizes of poodles, you never really know exactly what you are going to get with a schnoodle. These dogs come in just about any size. If you are looking for an athletic dog with a strong protective instinct, then you might like a schnoodle with giant schnauzer and standard poodle parents. However, if you want a loyal and talkative companion, a toy poodle and miniature schnauzer crossbreed mix is a better choice. Although these dogs are smaller, they are energetic balls of fluff that are always ready to play and love to be with their humans. 

Like their parents, schnoodles are intelligent and quick-witted dogs who typically have a joyous temperament. Their attentive nature makes them excellent watchdogs. Schnoodles are also extremely active dogs who need plenty of exercise and training

Schnoodle puppy standing in the leaves

Schnoodles don’t shed very much and can be a good choice for individuals with allergies.

©Rena Schild/

7. Cavachon (Bichon Frise and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel)

A very adaptable and undeniably adorable designer dog is the cavachon, the crossbreed of a bichon frise and a cavalier King Charles spaniel. These sweet dogs make excellent companions. They seem to somehow always be happy, whether they are living with a single human or a large family, or in a big house or an apartment. What cavachons want the most out of life is to spend as much quality time as they can with their beloved families. In fact, they can suffer from separation anxiety and hate being left alone for long periods of time. However, they often find comfort with another cat or dog companion at home with them. 

Even when a cavachon is fully grown, these perfect little dogs still look like young puppies with cute teddy bear faces. Their behavior also remains very puppy like and they love to play. Although they may give up after a short walk, a cavachon will almost never be too tired to play with you. However, they are tiny dogs so you need to handle them gently. Cavachons typically don’t shed much, and their hair comes in many different lengths, textures, and colors. 

A cute Cavachon dog standing in the park

Cavachons are adorable and charming mixed-breed dogs.


8. Goldador (Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever)

Golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are some of the most popular and well-loved dogs in the United States — so, a unique mix of both breeds certainly would be one of the best types of designer dogs out there! Like their parents, goldadors are typically large dogs that weigh between 60 to 80 pounds. They are very athletic and can be easily trained, making them great service dogs. Many goldadors excel as search and rescue dogs, guide dogs, and drug search or bomb detection dogs. Goldadors need plenty of exercise and play, but they make wonderful family dogs and will give you plenty of love and happy smiles.

Although goldadors are usually gold, reddish gold, or yellow, some might inherit black coloring from their Labrador lineage. Unfortunately, these dogs can be prone to things like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and diabetes. In addition, they are prone to overeating, which can cause obesity and joint problems.

yellow Goldador

Goldadors are extremely friendly pets to have around the house. They get along great with children and fit seamlessly into a busy household.


9. Peekapoo (Pekingese and Poodle)

These little companion dogs are the result of crossbreeding a Pekingese and a poodle (usually a toy or miniature poodle). They are quite small and make excellent lap dogs. Peekapoos are very sweet-natured companions who love to be with their humans. They are fairly adaptable dogs, and as long as they can stay by your side, they are happy. They suffer from separation anxiety if they’re left at home for too long, so it’s best to have someone to keep them company when you’re not around. 

Although peekapoos love to sit on your lap or snuggle by your side, they are also energetic and active dogs that need daily exercise and playtime. They can suffer from heat exhaustion though, so you will need to monitor them outside and make sure that they live in a cool environment with air conditioning. Peekapoos often inherit the more hypoallergenic coat from their poodle parents, which makes them good dogs for people with allergies. Their hair can be curly or wavy, but it is usually soft and luxurious like their Pekingese parent.


Peekapoos don’t shed and can be a good companion for a person with allergies.

©Perry Harmon/

10. Morkie (Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier)

Another adorable designer dog with a puppy-like face is the morkie, a cross between a Maltese and a Yorkshire terrier. Like their parents, these little teddy bear pups are very energetic and playful, with very affectionate and loving natures. Morkies are small (just 4 to 8 pounds or so) and quite fragile, but they have very big personalities. They get a lot of spunk and sass from their terrier parent, but they also love curling up in your lap for a cuddle. 

Morkies are highly social dogs so they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. Although they can live in apartments, they do tend to bark quite a bit. Morkies need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to burn off their excess energy, and they need both physical and mental stimulation to help prevent boredom. However, these tiny pups are quite fragile, so they require a harness instead of a collar when you go for walks. Children also need to be supervised and handle these dogs gently.

Sweet Morkie Puppy looking directly at the camera

Morkies need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.


11. Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle)

Cavapoos are small dogs, a cross between a cavalier King Charles spaniel and a poodle. They are quite adaptable and have easygoing personalities. Loving and affectionate, a cavapoo wants nothing more than to be by your side. They make excellent companions for many people and different types of lifestyles. Cavapoos are extremely loyal and eager to please. They are also intelligent and easily trained with positive reinforcement.

Cavapoos are energetic and have playful personalities, but when they’re not playing, these dogs are pretty calm and quiet. They don’t need rigorous exercise, and typically, a daily walk will suffice. Cavapoos are smaller dogs so they should be supervised when playing, especially with children, as they can get injured easily. These cute pups typically have curly or wavy hair that is soft. They don’t shed very much, but they do require regular brushing so that their hair doesn’t mat. 

Cavapoo laying on a wood floor

Housetraining a cavapoo will likely take a fair amount of time and patience.

©David Calvert/

12. Pomchi (Pomeranian and Chihuahua)

A cross between a Pomeranian and a Chihuahua, pomchis are very small dogs who usually weigh just 5 to 12 pounds. These small pups are very intelligent and alert. They are very sweet and affectionate dogs, but they’re not very laid back. Pomchis often have stubborn attitudes and very large personalities. They are very smart dogs and love to learn new things, and are always happy to be the center of attention. Pomchis do need some exercise and playtime, but they prefer to spend most of the day with their families at home. They really do not like to be left alone and can develop separation anxiety.

Pomchis can have short coats like Chihuahuas or longer coats like their Pomeranian parent. They need to be brushed every day so that their hair does not tangle. Pomchis are tiny and fragile dogs, so you need to be careful and supervise them so they do not get hurt. However, like their parents, pomchis usually don’t realize just how small they are. They can develop “small dog syndrome” and they often bark a lot. However, this also makes them great watchdogs.

Pomchi sitting in the garden.

Pomchis need to be brushed every day so that their hair does not tangle.


13. Bernedoodle (Bernese Mountain dog and poodle)

This designer dog is a cross of a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle and was originally bred to be the ultimate companion pup. Bernedoodles are very smart like their poodle parent, but also have the charm and fun-loving nature of their Burmese mountain dog parent. They love to spend time with their families, whether that means playtime or cuddle time. These dogs are typically very easy-going and tend to love everyone in their family. However, because they are such loving and affectionate dogs, bernedoodles hate being left alone for long periods of time and crave as much affection as they can get.

Bernedoodles may look more like their poodle parent, their Bernese parent, or a unique combination of both parents. They come in solid colors, as well as unique color combinations of black, brown, and white. In general, bernedoodles tend to be more hypoallergenic as well. They can have a lot of energy, so these dogs need at least moderate exercise. 

A big floppy ear Berndoodle standing near a brick wall

Bernedoodles love to cuddle, play, and run. They are great family pets.

©Maria Bell/

14. Yorkipoo (Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle)

If you’re looking for an energetic and playful designer dog with plenty of personality, then a yorkipoo might be the right dog for you. These dogs are a cross of a Yorkshire terrier and a miniature poodle, so they are typically small and weigh only 4 to 14 pounds. They are extremely intelligent dogs, but they can be stubborn and do best with positive reinforcement training. Yorkipoos are little furry and spirited firecrackers with lots of spunk and sass. However, they are also extremely affectionate and devoted dogs who love to be with their human companions

Like a Yorkie and a poodle, yorkipoos are feisty and may not always realize how small they are, so they need to be supervised during playtime. They often have the silky coat of a Yorkshire terrier, combined with the soft and curly hair of a poodle. Yorkipoos are very charismatic dogs who like to be the center of attention, so early socialization and training are a must. 


A yorkipoo is a Yorkie mixed with a poodle (usually a miniature poodle).


15. Malshi (Maltese and Shih Tzu)

These tiny furballs have big and beautiful personalities. Malshis are a cross between a Maltese and a shih tzu. They are lovable and charming pups that will quickly steal your heart and your lap. They don’t require much exercise, but they do have plenty of energy to burn and they love to play. Malshis are friendly and social dogs who love to be the center of attention. They need plenty of attention, affection, playtime, and daily brushings to maintain their luscious locks of hair. Malshis can suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone for too long. 

Malshis look like perfect little stuffed animals and make some of the best cuddle buddies ever. However, since they are so tiny, they’re not great for families with small children. They should be kept indoors and often struggle with respiratory issues.

Mal Shi Puppy

Mal-Shi puppies love being the center of attention, but that’s ok because they are so adorable!

©Master the moment/

Summary Of The Best Types Of Designer Dog Breeds

RankDog BreedParent Breeds
1GoldendoodleGolden Retriever and Poodle
2LabradoodleLabrador Retriever and Poodle
3Pekingese and PoodleCocker Spaniel and Poodle
4MaltipooMaltese and Miniature Poodle
5PugglePug and Beagle
6SchnoodlePoodle and Schnauzer
7CavachonBichon Frise and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
8GoldadorGolden Retriever and Labrador Retriever
9PeekapooPekingnese and Poodle
10MorkieMaltese and Yorkshire Terrier
11CavapooCavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle
12PomchiPomeranian and Chihuahua
13BernadoodleBernese Mountain dog and poodle
14YorkipooYorkshire Terrier and Poodle
15MalshiMaltese and Shih Tzu
Summary Table Of The Best Types Of Designer Dog Breeds

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Safelight Images/

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About the Author

Kellianne Matthews is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on anthrozoology, conservation, human-animal relationships, and animal behavior. Kellianne has been writing and researching animals for over ten years and has decades of hands-on experience working with a variety of different animals. She holds a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University, which she earned in 2017. A resident of Utah, Kellianne enjoys creating, exploring and learning new things, analyzing movies, caring for animals, and playing with her cats.

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