Best Designer Dog Breeds for Your Family

Mira Gibson

“Designer dog breeds” include any breed of dog that is a hybrid of two pure breeds. A “pure breed” also known as “purebred dog” is a dog with two parents of the same breed. The American Kennel Club lists all of the purebred dog breeds, which total about 190. 

Breeding two different dog breeds is nothing new and has been done historically. In recent decades, new hybrid dog breeds have emerged on the scene. Though hybrids are never listed with the American Kennel Club because they are no longer “purebred,” they are commonly referred to as “designer dogs,” which speaks to their status and popularity.

Designer dogs have specifically grown in popularity with families. This speaks highly to the temperaments and gentle nature of certain hybrids. After all, who would ever think that a hybrid dog could outrank the beloved and purebred Golden Retriever?

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the best designer dogs for families. They all have one thing in common. Can you guess what that might be? Read to the very end, and you’ll know!  


A Goldendoodle is a hybrid mix of two purebred dogs, the Golden Retriever and the Poodle. Above and beyond all of the designer breeds, the Goldendoodle is by far the most popular among families. This shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise, since for nearly 100 years, the Golden Retriever has hailed as the most popular dog breed for families. What differentiates a Goldendoodle from a Golden Retriever? The two main differences are intelligence and attitude towards “new people and strangers.” 

Though Golden Retrievers are smart, Poodles are in fact more intelligent, which contributes to the Goldendoodle being smarter than your average Retriever. Poodles also have a tendency to be more standoffish towards “new people,” and nervous when exposed to large groups of strangers. Also, because Poodles are a large breed, Goldendoodles will weigh more and stand taller than their parent Golden Retriever.

All told, the Goldendoodle is a highly loyal and affectionate “teddy bear” dog who behaves gently towards children.  


What do you get when you cross a Poodle with a Maltese? The adorable Maltipoo! Maltese are small purebred dogs. Given the tall stature of the Standard Poodle, we can’t help but be impressed with whoever was the first person to successfully mate these disparate breeds. Maltipoos are considered small to medium-sized dogs. 

Thanks to the cheerful disposition and trusting attitude of their Maltese parent, the Maltipoo has a perky, playful temperament, and enjoys snuggling up with its family. Their Poodle parent passes down traits of intelligence, as well as hypoallergenic hair! This makes the Maltipoo a great choice for families that live in smaller homes with children that have sensitivities to dog fur and pet dander.

If adding a Maltipoo to your family has a downside, it’s that Maltipoos tend to grow anxious if they’re left alone for very long stretches of time. With a propensity for separation anxiety, a truly worried Maltipoo could turn to destructive behaviors and damage the home when left alone. But this is what makes them better for families and a worse choice for single people who live by themselves. That being said, if you’re planning a family vacation, you’ll need to either bring your Maltipoo along or have a family friend (or hire a professional dog sitter) to stay with your dog while you’re gone. 


Can you guess what two purebred dog breeds make a Labradoodle? We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’ve guessed the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle! Since Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers share many personality traits and characteristics, one could conclude that the Labradoodle is basically a Goldendoodle, but this isn’t the case. Labradoodles are actually bigger in size than Goldendoodles, and they have a lot more energy. A Labradoodle is more likely to be selected to work as a service dog, whereas a Goldendoodle is more likely to be used as a therapy dog. 

We’ll be honest, both the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle are great family dogs. And like twins, you might be hard pressed to tell them apart if they stood side-by-side. That being said, if your home has a little more space and your family tends to be a little more active, a Labradoodle could be a better choice for you and your kids. 

One caveat to bear in mind with Labradoodles is that they require attention concerning their health and grooming. Due to their floppy ears, they need regular ear cleanings or else they will be at a higher risk for ear infections. 


Aussiedoodles are a mix between Australian Shepherds and… drum roll, please… Poodles! Aussiedoodles are among the smartest hybrid dogs. In fact, they’re often referred to as the “Einsteins of the canine world”! This is not a surprise because Poodles are highly intelligent dogs. Australian Shepherds are no less intelligent. Australian Shepherds were originally bred to herd cattle and work on large ranches and farms in Australia. Another great upside to having an Aussiedoodle in your family is that this hybrid is also emotionally intelligent! 

This designer dog breed is also outgoing, sweet, patient, and devoted to their family, making them a great member of a household with children and other pets. The Aussiedoodle loves spending time with his family, even if just lounging around the house. Though the Australian Shepherd aspect of this dog has bounding energy to help him accomplish all of his “working breed” duties on the farm, thanks to the Golden Retriever qualities of the Aussiedoodle, this hybrid is mellow around the house and energetic when outside for his daily exercise.


By now, you probably noticed a major theme in all these designer dogs. They’re all part Poodle! Poodles are purebred dogs known for their high intelligence and eagerness to be of service. Many people don’t know that Poodles are often used as service dogs, just like Golden Retrievers. All of the designer breeds we introduced you to within this article possess the intelligence and compassionate characteristics of the Poodle.

When you take home a Goldendoodle, Maltipoo, Labradoodle, Cavapoo, or Aussiedoodle to start a new life with your family, you can count on having an easy-to-train furry friend who will love, protect, and serve each member of your family, including you!
We’re so glad you now know about the best designer dogs for families. If you’d like to meet these wonderful hybrids in person, stop by PuppyBuddy in Boca Raton, FL, or visit our available puppies page to see our new designer doggy arrivals. We hope to see you soon!