10 Best Mixed-Breed/Hybrid Dogs for First-Time Owners


If you are looking to adopt a hybrid or mixed-breed dog as a first-time dog owner, you've come to the right place. A mixed-breed or hybrid dog can be an excellent choice for a first-time owner. These dogs often possess a blend of characteristics from their various parent breeds, resulting in a well-rounded and adaptable canine companion. The Labrador Retriever-Golden Retriever mix, commonly known as the Goldador, for instance, is particularly recommended due to its friendly nature and intelligence. To aid in this search, I have compiled a list of the 10 best mixed-breed/hybrid dogs for first-time owners based on temperament, trainability, and overall compatibility.

A collage of mixed-breed dogs for first-time owners

1. Goldendoodle

A Goldendoodle in a car

  • Height: 17 to 20 inches tall
  • Weight: 40 to 50 pounds
  • Price: $500 to $8,000
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 15 years
The Goldendoodle is a crossbreed dog that results from breeding a Golden Retriever with a Poodle. Known for its hypoallergenic and non-shedding coat, the Goldendoodle has gained popularity as a family pet and therapy dog. Its temperament combines the friendly and loyal nature of the Golden Retriever with the intelligence and trainability of the Poodle. Goldendoodles are often described as affectionate, gentle, and easy-going, making them excellent companions for individuals or families of all ages.

However, like any other breed, Goldendoodles may be prone to certain health issues including hip dysplasia, allergies, ear infections, and eye problems. Regular vet check-ups and a balanced diet are crucial in maintaining their overall well-being. Additionally, as a potential owner, you should ensure you select reputable breeders who prioritize genetic testing to minimize these health risks. With proper care and attention to their physical well-being, the Goldendoodle can live a long and happy life as part of your family.

2. Labradoodle

A Labradoodle

  • Height: 22 to 24 inches
  • Weight: 50 to 65 pounds
  • Price: $1,500 to $2,500
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years
The Labradoodle, a crossbreed between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle, is known for its friendly and affectionate temperament. This breed is highly intelligent, trainable, and has an innate desire to please its owners. Labradoodles are often curious and love to be involved in family activities, making them excellent companions for first-time owners and households with children or other pets. Additionally, they tend to have low levels of aggression and are generally good-natured and patient. 

However, Labradoodles may be prone to certain health issues as with any dog breed. These potential health concerns include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), allergies, and various genetic disorders inherited from both parent breeds. It is crucial for potential owners to research reputable breeders who prioritize health testing and select their breeding pairs accordingly to minimize the risk of these conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups, exercise routines that avoid excessive strain on joints, proper grooming practices, and a balanced diet can contribute to the well-being of a Labradoodle throughout its life span.

3. Cavachon

A Cavachon

  • Height: 12 to 13 inches
  • Weight: 15 to 20 pounds
  • Price: $400 to $2,000
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 15 years
The Cavachon is a small, designer breed that results from crossing the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise breeds. Known for its charming personality and friendly disposition, the Cavachon makes an ideal companion for families and individuals alike. This crossbreed inherits the gentle nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the playful energy of the Bichon Frise, making it an adaptable and affectionate dog. With early socialization and training, they can exhibit excellent manners and interact well with other pets or children.

However, like any mixed-breed dog, Cavachons may be prone to certain health issues inherited from their parent breeds, including mitral valve disease, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, allergies, ear infections, and dental problems. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, routine vet check-ups, preventive care measures such as vaccinations and parasite control are vital for maintaining their overall wellbeing throughout their 10 to 15-year lifespan.

4. Bernedoodle

A Bernedoodle

  • Height: 23 to 29 inches (Standard)
  • Weight: 70 to 90 pounds (Standard)
  • Price: $2,000 to $5,000
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 18 years
The Bernedoodle, a crossbreed between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle, possesses a wonderful temperament that is generally calm, affectionate, and intelligent. Known for their playful nature and high energy levels, they thrive in an active family environment. Bernedoodles are often described as being highly trainable due to their intelligence and eagerness to please. They make excellent companions and are particularly gentle with children, making them ideal pets for first-time owners.

In terms of health issues, while the hybrid vigor from crossbreeding tends to minimize some hereditary problems commonly found in purebreds, there are still potential health concerns that need consideration. Potential health issues for Bernedoodles include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye diseases like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), skin allergies or irritations, and various heart conditions such as subaortic stenosis (SAS) or mitral valve disease (MVD). Therefore, it is vital for owners to seek reputable breeders who focus on extensive health testing and genetic screening to ensure healthier generations of Bernedoodles moving forward.

5. Bordoodle

A Bordoodle

  • Height: 22 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 60 pounds
  • Price: $800 to $1,600
  • Life expectancy: 11 to 16 years
The Bordoodle, also known as the Border Doodle or Borderpoo, is a hybrid dog breed that results from crossing a Border Collie with a Poodle. This crossbreed typically inherits the intelligence and agility of its parent breeds, making it an excellent choice for various activities such as herding, agility training, and obedience trials. The Bordoodle is widely regarded as a highly trainable and intelligent dog with a versatile temperament. It is often described as affectionate, loyal, and eager to please its owner. However, due to their high energy levels and need for mental stimulation, they may become anxious or bored if not provided with enough exercise and mental engagement.

Like most hybrid dogs, Bordoodles generally have fewer health issues compared to purebred dogs; nevertheless, potential health concerns can include hip dysplasia (a common issue in larger breeds), progressive retinal atrophy (an inherited eye disorder), epilepsy, and allergies. Responsible breeding practices along with regular veterinary check-ups can help mitigate these factors and ensure the overall well-being of this wonderful mixed breed option.

6. Cockapoo

A Cockapoo

  • Height: 15 to 18 inches (Standard)
  • Weight: 19 pounds (Standard)
  • Price: $800 to $2000
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years
The Cockapoo, a crossbreed between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, is known for its friendly and affectionate temperament. This breed tends to be intelligent, loyal, and easy to train, making them great companions for families and individuals alike. Their adaptable nature allows them to thrive in various living situations, from busy households to quieter environments. However, it's important to note that Cockapoos may exhibit tendencies of separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods. Regarding health issues, these dogs are generally considered healthy, benefiting from hybrid vigor that can reduce the likelihood of inherited disorders.

Nonetheless, like any dog breed, they may still be prone to certain conditions such as ear infections, hip dysplasia, or progressive retinal atrophy. Potential owners should conduct proper research while working closely with reputable breeders to ensure the health and well-being of their future Cockapoo companion.

7. Cavapoo

A Cavapoo

  • Height: 9 to 14 inches
  • Weight: 9 to 25 pounds
  • Price: $1,000 to $3,000
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 14 years
The Cavapoo, a crossbreed between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle, is a popular designer dog known for its friendly and affectionate temperament. These intelligent and playful dogs are great companions for individuals or families of all ages. They typically have the gentle nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel combined with the intelligence and trainability of the Poodle. The Cavapoo craves human interaction and bonds closely with their owners, making them great therapy or emotional support dogs.

8. Maltipoo

A Maltipoo

  • Height: 8 to 14 inches
  • Weight: 5 to 20 pounds
  • Price: $400 to $3,000
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 15 years
The Maltipoo is a small crossbreed dog that combines the traits of the Maltese and Toy Poodle breeds. Known for its friendly and affectionate nature, the Maltipoo has a temperament ideal for families and individuals seeking a loving companion for the first time. This breed is highly social and adaptable to various living conditions, making it suitable for both apartment dwellers and those with larger homes. Additionally, their intelligence and eagerness to please make them relatively easy to train.

However, potential owners must be aware of potential health issues associated with this breed, including patellar luxation, eye problems such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy, dental issues, and allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended to detect any hereditary conditions early on. Despite these possible health concerns, the Maltipoo's delightful personality and loyalty more than compensate for these challenges when provided with proper care and attention from responsible owners.

9. Shorkie

A Shorkie

  • Height: 6 to 11 inches
  • Weight: 5 to 12 pounds
  • Price: $350 to $2000
  • Life expectancy: 11 to 16 years
The Shorkie is a hybrid dog breed that is created by crossing a Shih Tzu and a Yorkshire Terrier. Known for their friendly and outgoing nature, the Shorkie has an amiable temperament which makes them excellent companions for first-time dog owners. They are highly affectionate and love spending time with their human family members, showing loyalty and devotion to their owners. Their adaptable nature makes them suitable for individuals living in apartments or small homes, as they do not require extensive exercise routines. With proper training and socialization from an early age, the Shorkie can be a well-behaved and obedient pet.

10. Aussiedoodle


  • Height: 14 to 25 inches
  • Weight: 25 to 75 pounds
  • Price: $750 to $3000
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 15 years
The Aussiedoodle is a crossbreed between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle, known for its charming personality and versatile temperament. With its intelligence and affectionate nature, this breed is well-suited for first-time dog owners who seek a loyal and easily trainable companion. Aussiedoodles are highly adaptable to various living environments, making them suitable for both urban apartments and suburban homes with yards.

With proper socialization from an early age, they tend to be friendly toward strangers, children, and other animals. Aussiedoodles thrive on human interaction and require regular mental stimulation through activities like puzzle toys or obedience training. Their low-shedding coats make them hypoallergenic and relatively easy to maintain, although regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting.


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