- Breed group — Hybrid
- Height — 15-19 inches
- Weight — 20-70 pounds
- Coat length & texture — Hypoallergenic coat with wavy or curly fur
- Coat color — All colors are possible, but lighter shades are more probable because of the wheaten terrier
- Exercise needs — High
- Intelligence — High
- Barking — Vigilant
- Life span — 12-15 years
- Temperament — Active, playful, intelligent
- Hypoallergenic — Yes
- Origin — Unknown
Whoodle fun facts
- Like many hybrid dogs, whoodles are known by many names. Wheatendoodle, wheatenpoo, Sweatenpoo, and Sweatendoodle are just a few whimsical monikers that describe this precious puppy.
- They’re most likely to be wheaten colored. Poodles host a whole spectrum of colors in their genes, but wheaten terriers carry only one, which is, not surprisingly, the color of ripened wheat. Because of this, it’s technically possible for a whoodle to be virtually any color, but lighter ones are more common.
- Whoodles are double hypoallergenic. While no dog is allergen-free (more on that later), both parent breeds have low-shedding coats, which gives the whoodle a higher degree of a hypoallergenic coat than most other hybrids and breeds.
Whoodle temperament and characteristics
A medium sized dog with wavy or curly hair and long legs, the whoodle looks similar to a poodle but with a stockier body and a Schnauzer-esque beard. They may be different sizes depending on whether they’re mixed with a standard, miniature, or toy poodle. Standard and miniature poodle mixes are more common than toy sizes, but all whoodles weigh 20 pounds and up.
If you adopt a whoodle, you can expect a kit and caboodle of kisses and playful energy to last a lifetime. Both the poodle and the soft coated wheaten terrier rank high in energy and intelligence, and they bring these traits to the whoodle in full force. In fact, the poodle is considered to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds.
Because of their high energy levels, the whoodle is a good choice for someone with an active lifestyle. Whoodles are also super cuddly, so they’re likely to curl up on your lap when playtime is over. They do best in households where at least one person is home during the day to care for them.
Common whoodle health problems
Whoodles are generally healthy dogs, but every breed can carry some health conditions in their bloodline. These traits are sometimes found in one or both parent breeds, and they may or may not carry over to the whoodle. The good news is that mixed breeds like the whoodle may have a longer life expectancy than purebred dogs overall. This phenomenon is known as hybrid vigor and is due to their broadened gene pool.
- Addison’s disease. Also known as hypoadrenocorticism, Addison’s disease refers to adrenal insufficiency. While this is a relatively rare disease in dogs, it does run in poodles and soft wheaten terriers.
- Progressive retinal atrophy. This is an inherited disease that eventually results in blindness. Progressive retinal atrophy doesn’t present itself until adulthood and maybe even old age, but unfortunately, there’s no cure. Dogs with progressive retinal atrophy do adapt to their vision loss, however, and live normal happy lives as long as they have loving pet parents who are also willing to adapt to their needs.
- Renal dysplasia. Puppies may be born with underdeveloped kidneys. Prognosis is poor if both kidneys are affected, but dogs with mild cases of unilateral renal dysplasia are often able to live comfortably into their senior years.
- Skin and ear infections. While whoodles may not cause as many allergy problems in humans, they often suffer from allergies themselves. Talk to your vet if your pet frequently has itchy skin, chronic GI issues, or recurring ear infections. These are all signs that your dog might have seasonal or food allergies.
Cost of caring for a whoodle
In addition to receiving care for any genetically inherited health issues, all dogs need to go to the vet at least once a year for a wellness visit and to catch up on any vaccines. The first year of puppyhood is especially expensive since you need to make multiple trips for all of their rounds of puppy shots and schedule their spay/neuter surgery.
Enrolling your pup in health insurance may be a way to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Pet insurance works by allowing you to pay a low monthly fee in exchange for having up to 90% of your expenses reimbursed after you submit a claim and meet your deductible. Some pet insurance policies restrict coverage to dogs and cats who enroll before they reach their senior years, so be sure to sign them up early.
It also pays to shop around — not all insurance policies cover genetically inherited or congenital conditions. If pet insurance isn’t for you, you might consider opening a pet savings account instead to help with recurring and emergency expenses.
History of the whoodle
Designer dogs like the whoodle are relatively new. They have only been around since the 1950s. However, the poodle and soft wheaten terrier have all four paws ground in the past.
Despite their connotations as a French dog, the poodle is actually from Germany. Their name was derived from “pudel,” the German word for puddle. Since the first poodles were bred to retrieve waterfowl, it seems like a fitting name.
French fancies did play a role in the breed’s ultimate reputation and creation, however. The miniature and toy poodle was developed in France during the 1800s to be a lapdog. As the aristocracy rode the historical waves of favor and disrepute, poodles found themselves sometimes snuggled by a bourgeois fireplace, other times waiting for rich scraps underneath mahogany tables of the extremely wealthy, and other times dancing in the streets or performing in circuses for food.
The soft-coated wheaten terrier has a folklore history much like many Irish legends. Rumor has it that a mysterious dog swam off one of the ships from the defeated Spanish Armada and found its home on Irish shores, breeding with the native dogs in their new country. What we do know for sure is that the soft-coated wheaten terrier has existed in Ireland since at least the 1700s. As terrier dogs, they served poor farmers as ratters and guard dogs. The soft-coated wheaten terrier was formally acknowledged by the American Kennel Club in 1973.
Caring for your whoodle
All dogs need extensive care, especially at first. For example, as soon as you bring them home, you’ll need to make your first trip to the vet and schedule your dog’s vaccinations. You’ll also need to puppy-proof your home and prepare for teething. Whoodle puppies are naturally curious creatures, so it’s a good idea to safeguard them with an identity collar like a free FidoAlert tag in case they accidentally get out.
Since they do not like to be left alone, you might consider sending them to doggie day care or hiring someone to walk your dog in the middle of the day if you work outside the home.
There’s nothing a whoodle likes more than romping through fields or running around the dog park. They’re a highly energetic breed that requires at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. A couple of thirty minute walks or a trip to the park should suffice. During hot weather, they might also like to swim. As long as their physical activity needs are met, they’re more likely to behave at home and snuggle down from a nap after their adventures. Daily exercise is essential to decrease the chance of developing health risks such as diabetes and obesity.
In addition to the routine things every dog needs, such as nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing, whoodles need to be brushed several times a week with a slicker brush to prevent tangling. Caring for a whoodle also involves frequent haircuts, usually every six to eight weeks due to their low-shedding, hypoallergenic coat.
No breed is truly hypoallergenic. Allergic reactions occur due to the protein found in a dog’s dander, hair, and saliva. Dogs that are considered hypoallergenic simply shed less, and thus have a smaller effect on those with dog allergies.
Diet and nutrition
As a medium-sized breed, a whoodle will eat between 1 and 3 cups of dry food depending on their age, activity level, and the specific formula. Keep in mind that inexpensive foods may appear budget-friendly up front but often require larger portions to meet your dog’s nutritional requirements. A well-balanced diet is critical to your dog’s health, so talk to your veterinarian about what type of food is best for your dog’s individual needs.
Training your whoodle
Whoodles are highly intelligent dogs, but that doesn’t mean they like to listen. They possess an independent streak and are likely to follow their own ideas, especially when off-leash. Whoodles should be trained in brief, consistent sessions while they’re still a puppy to establish the ground rules.
Due to their poodle ancestry, whoodles are prone to developing separation anxiety. While this behavior can be amended with training and proper exercise, whoodles still should not be left alone for most of the day. Not known to be aggressive, the whoodle will also most likely get along with other dogs and cats, especially with early socialization.
Breeds similar to the whoodle
Still wondering if a whoodle is right for you? Adopting a dog is a big decision, so it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds before making your final choice. Here are a few to get you started:
- Goldendoodle. Filled with a sunny attitude and always ready to play, the goldendoodle is one of the friendliest dogs you’ll ever meet.
- Labradoodle. The Labrador’s easy-go-lucky attitude, combined with the poodle’s intelligence, make this mixed breed a smart companion that’s eager to please.
- Sheepadoodle. The burly figure and fluffy coat of the Sheepdog resembles a teddy bear even more when mixed with the curly poodle. This adorable designer breed would make the perfect family dog.
Frequently asked questions
Are whoodles a good family dog?
Active and yet super cuddly, the whoodle is a good dog for families. They tend to form close bonds with their humans and don’t like to be left alone, so you should make sure you have plenty of time to spend with them daily before adopting.
Are whoodles hypoallergenic?
While no dog is allergen-free, whoodles are less likely to cause an allergic reaction than the average dog because they don’t shed. Humans are actually allergic to a protein found in dog dander, which is spread by fur.
Will a whoodle get along with other dogs and cats?
Whoodles are generally friendly towards people and other animals. Early socialization training teaches them to get along with others, which can help increase the likelihood of cohabiting with multiple pets. It’s also best to adopt a new dog or cat into the house as a puppy or kitten who isn’t yet set in their ways. If they grow up exposed to other animals, they’re less likely to act afraid or aggressive.
How big do whoodles get?
Whoodles are always medium-sized dogs that weigh between 20 and 70 pounds. Their exact size depends on whether they were bred with a standard, miniature, or toy poodle. The standard poodle and miniature poodle varieties are more common than the toy.