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1st November 2010

It's a Cocka-what?

Petplan sees an 80% increase in new breeds

As Britain gets more and more obsessed with celebrity culture, it would appear that not only do our favourite stars influence our fashion styles and haircuts, but they also seem to be influencing our decisions when choosing a new puppy.

Animal lovers are now seeking out new and unusual breeds of dogs, leading to, the UK’s largest pet insurance company, Petplan, insuring as many as 10 ‘new’ breeds of dog this year alone.

Pet owners are discovering that new breeds, such as a Labradoodle, aren’t just fabulously chic, but they can also be a pet which has the best characteristics of each traditional breed of dog. The most popular breeds seem to be the Maltipoo, which is a mix of a Maltese and a Poodle; then the Puggle, a cross-breed of a Pug and a Beagle.

With big name celebrities such as Rihanna, Mischa Barton and Carmen Electra all known for owning an unusual breed of dog, UK pet owners are picking up on the trend for unique pooches. Other top celebrity owners and their new breed pooches include:

Puggle - Sylvester Stallone, Jake Gyllenhaal, James Gandolfini, Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore
Goldendoodle - Perez Hilton
Labradoodle - Tiger Woods
Maltipoo - Ellen Degeneres, Ashley Tisdale, Blake Lively, Miley Cyrus, Carmen Electra, Vanessa Hudgens, Rihanna
Shih-pom - Mischa Barton
Schnoodle - Claire Danes
Cockapoo - Ashley Judd

However, it is not just the craze to copy celebrities that has caused a rise in new breeds; there are a number of benefits to owning a cross breed pet. Petplan’s Vet of the Year, Brian Faulkner comments: "The poodle hybrids such as Labradoodles, Springerdoodles and Poochons can be more suited to allergy sufferers, whilst the Puggle combines the intelligence of a beagle with the playfulness of a pug to make them ideal family pets."

Famously, President Barack Obama picked a Portuguese water dog as their family pet because this specific breed of dog wouldn’t affect his daughter’s allergies.

Alison Andrew, Petplan Marketing Manager, commented: "We’ve seen an increase of almost 80% in terms of insurance take-up of unusual breeds over the last few months. Although it might appear that breeders are trying to find the most unusual dogs, there are actually many benefits to cross-breeding."

Alison added: "In today’s world, consumers love to have something special and this is now becoming the same with their choice of pets."

Clair Graham, owner of a home boarding company, Barker & Bone House in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, breeds Cockapoos and mini Labradoodles. She explains why: "When the business was new I bought a Labradoodle called Peg. She has such a fantastic temperament - definitely the best natured dog I have ever encountered – that’s why I decided she should be allowed to breed."

The ten new breeds that Petplan is now insuring are:

  1. Springerpoo,
  2. Springador,
  3. Cairnoodle,
  4. Goldendoodle,
  5. Springerdoodle,
  6. Puggle,
  7. Poochon,
  8. Cavapoo,
  9. Labradoodle,
  10. Cockapoo.

Notes to editors

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more information about Petplan cat insurance, please visit:

For more information about Petplan dog insurance, please visit: