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Understanding Doodle Generations - F1 vs F2 vs F1B etc.

Written by Ella White


Cavapoo looking back through the bluebells

Doodle breeds, from Goldendoodles to Labradoodles and Cockapoos, have become increasingly popular pets in recent years. The friendly personality, intelligence and fast learning, and hypoallergenic coats make Poodle cross-breeds a great choice for families looking for a furry friend who will fit right into their lifestyle. Though not officially recognized by Kennel Clubs, there is still a lot you can learn about Doodle breeds before you select one as your new companion. 

When it comes to finding the perfect Doodle there are typically two areas you’ll want to consider before you commit:

  1. What’s your Poodle crossed with to make your Doodle? Whilst Poodles are known for their intelligence and ability to learn, it’s also important you understand the typical breed traits of the crossed breed as well as the physical characteristics like coat and size. For example a Cockapoo could combine the energy and enthusiasm of a Cocker Spaniel with the intelligence of the Poodle. Whereas the Labradoodle might be a bit more laid back owing to the more easy going temperament often found in the Labrador. 
  2. The second area you’ll want to consider is the generating of your Doodle - this doesn’t mean knowing if your pups parents are grandparents or great grandparents, it means knowing what mix Poodle and second breed they are. For example, was parent one a Poodle and parent two a pure breed? Or was parent one a Doodle or even the offspring of a Doodle. This is known as the F generation, the higher the number, the more Doodle the dog has, the lower the number, the more original Poodle and second breed the pup has. 

In this article, we’ll break down the characteristics of each Doodle generation, and the misconceptions you might have heard about them, so you can understand these distinctions before committing to a Doodle as your pet. 

Doodle Generations

Whether you're considering a first-generation cross or a multigenerational Doodle, grasping the characteristics of each generation is key to selecting a dog that matches well with your lifestyle and preferences.

F1 Generation (First Generation Crossbreed)

The F1 generation, or first-generation crossbreed, results from the mating of two purebred dogs from different breeds. In this case it is typically a Poodle and another breed like a Labrador or Golden Retriever. This initial cross creates a diverse mix of traits and is often celebrated for its versatility.

F2 Generation (Second Generation Crossbreed)

Moving to the F2 generation, these Doodles result from the mating of two F1 generation Doodles. This cross can deliver varied characteristics as the genetic makeup becomes more complex, showcasing a broader range of traits inherited from both parent breeds.

F1B Generation (Backcross with a Purebred)

The F1B generation involves crossing an F1 Doodle with a purebred Poodle. This backcross is designed to enhance Poodle traits, such as hypoallergenic coats, while maintaining desirable qualities from the initial cross, offering a balance of traits.

Multigenerational Doodles (F2B, F3, etc.)

Multigenerational Doodles, denoted as F2B, F3, and so forth, are produced by continuing the crossbreeding beyond the F1B stage. With each new generation, breeders aim for consistency in desired traits, providing options for owners seeking specific qualities in their Doodle companions. 

Characteristics of Each Generation

F1 Doodles

Stemming from the initial crossbreeding of Poodles and another breed, F1 Doodles boast diverse physical traits. Their coats may vary widely, combining characteristics from both parent breeds, offering a mix of textures, colors, and patterns. This generation often exhibits the best of both original breeds as it can inherit the most favorable traits from each parent.

F2 Doodles

Resulting from the mating of two F1 Doodles, F2 Doodles showcase a broader spectrum of behavioral traits. While they may maintain the friendly disposition of their F1 counterparts, the genetic diversity within the F2 generation can introduce more variable temperaments. Because of this unpredictability, owners need to be open to a range of behavioral characteristics, from increased energy to different sociability levels.

F1B Doodles

Backcrossing with a purebred Poodle leads to F1B Doodles that are often favored as they emphasize desirable Poodle traits. This generation is known for its hypoallergenic coats, making them more suitable for individuals with allergies. However, as the genetic influence of the non-Poodle parent diminishes, there's a greater likelihood that both their coat and temperament will become more uniform, which is considered a positive feature for owners seeking specific qualities.

Multigenerational Doodles

Represented by F2B, F3, and beyond, Multigenerational Doodles are usually carefully bred to achieve consistency in their traits. Special considerations involve the fine-tuning of characteristics to meet specific standards, which allows breeders to create Doodles with more predictable features. 

While this targeted approach addresses certain preferences, it's important for prospective owners to understand the commitment required in selecting a Doodle from a multigenerational background so they can make sure the dog aligns with their expectations and lifestyle.

Choosing the Right Doodle Generation For You

When choosing the right Doodle generation, there are various factors that should guide your decision. Energy levels, size, grooming requirements, and hypoallergenicity are all key features for some owners. But these features can vary widely across generations, with F1Bs and multigenerational Doodles often exhibiting stronger hypoallergenic traits, for example.

Matching a Doodle's traits with the owner's lifestyle is vital for a harmonious home life. If you want a predictable temperament and coat, a multigenerational Doodle may be suitable, while those who don’t mind a bit of variability might lean towards an F2 generation. 

As with any dog breed, the energy levels and sociability of your Doodle should align with your own activity level and preferences. It’s also of the utmost importance for prospective dog owners to research breeders/learn/dog-training/10-questions-to-ask-when-buying-a-puppy and their breeding practices. Responsible breeders/learn/dog-lifestyle/how-to-find-a-responsible-dog-breeder prioritize the health and wellbeing of their dogs, conduct necessary health screenings, and offer transparency about the lineage. 

Common Misconceptions About Doodle Generations

Because there are a number of common misconceptions that can circulate about Doodles, there is often confusion among prospective owners about what to expect from their pet.

One prevalent myth is that all Doodles, regardless of generation, will have consistent traits. In reality, each generation carries a range of possibilities, with factors like genetics and breeding practices having an influence on their variability.

Understanding the variability within each generation is essential to help dispel the idea that F1Bs or multigenerational Doodles are always identical. While these generations do aim for predictability, individual differences like behavioral traits, coat characteristics, and size can still emerge amongst each dog.

Debunking assumptions about hypoallergenic qualities is also of high importance, as not all Doodles are equally hypoallergenic. While F1Bs and multigenerational Doodles often have more consistently hypoallergenic coats, individual responses can vary. Factors like the specific mix of breeds, grooming practices, and the degree of crossbreeding influence the hypoallergenicity of each Doodle. So if you’re specifically seeking a dog that will not trigger allergic reactions in your household it’s important to do plenty of research into the right generational match for your needs. Most humans with pet allergies are allergic to either pet saliva and/or dander so it’s important to remember that no dog is a 100% hypoallergenic. 

Black labradoodle pup laying in the leaves

Nature vs nurture is a common debate but it’s widely accepted that both factors will contribute to the personality of a dog. You can buy the most amazingly bred dog with a family tree full of awards, prizes and credentials but you still have to put the hard work into your pup. Just because a breed has a proclivity for intelligence, it still needs training, consistency and care. 

Unfortunately, where you’ll find puppies for sale, you’ll find unscrupulous and immoral humans and Doodles are no exception. Whilst unethical puppy mills are becoming less common, there are still some people who see dog breeding as a way to make some quick cash. There are lots of ways to identify a sham breeder (or someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing) but if you can’t see the mum with her pups and you can’t see the pups in their home, always walk away. You’re not doing the puppy any favors or ‘rescuing’ it - you’re encouraging animal cruelty and committing yourself to possible 15 years of extra expense and heartache. 

As Doodles have exploded in popularity, so have the number that end up in shelters. There are charities dedicated to Doodles in most states and many are always desperate for fosterers. If you’re not sure about the long term feasibility of bringing a Doodle into your family, being a dog foster parent can be a great way to try before you buy. You can keep an innocent dog out of a kennel (or worse) and give them somewhere safe whilst the charity finds them a forever home. If you find you’ve just been introduced to your perfect pet, most reputable charities are happy they’ve got another dog settled in their new home. 

By addressing these misconceptions, prospective Doodle owners can develop a more accurate understanding of the potential traits associated with each generation, in turn holding more realistic expectations that will lead to a happy and harmonious relationship with their furry friend.