Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cross-Breeding: Labrador + Poodle = Labradoodle

Poodle

Labradoodle

Although this cross-breeding has been taking place for some
Labrador
time, the intentional breeding of Labradors and Poodles has become increasing popular.


Sometimes bred to try and achieve a lower shedding service dog the Labradoodle is also an increasingly popular mix for a family companion.






The goal with a Labradoodle is to achieve an intelligent, trainable dog that is steady natured while shedding less than the Labrador does. If you've ever lived with a Lab then you might understand the desire to have many of their good personality traits without the regular loss of hair in your home.






The main concern I have with the current Labradoodle mania is that the puppies are being sold for increasingly unreasonable prices ($1500 - $2500) while the incident of health concerns are also on the rise.  These are cute pups but they are not necessarily being produced for good reasons by reputable people. Some are, but many are not.

The same is true for any dog that can be bred and sold for a tidy sum of cash - people will be attracted to producing the dogs for money, including those who run puppy-mills.

If a person is determined to buy a Labradoodle  - just as in buying any dog - do research. I would suggest looking for a breeder who has actively working dogs (obedience, service, agility or similar); the breeder should have done health testing on any adults they're breeding - particularly hip, joint, and eye certification; they should offer at least a two year health guarantee on their pups against genetic defects.



The other thing to remember is that dogs shed. Some are very low shedding (like the Poodle and some Labradoodles). But just as people shed varying amounts of hair - all dogs loose some hair. If low-shedding is important to you in a canine companion then make sure the person you buy a Labradoodle from can tell you if the pup you're buying has inherited the lower shedding or higher shedding coat found among Labradoodles.




The breeder should also be able to supply testimonial from a number of satisfied customers and contact information so you can talk to several buyers yourself.  Do so. Find out if the breeder was accurate in telling other buyers how much their dog would shed. Ask if the buyer has encountered any health problems with their dog.




People who are allergic to dogs (which can be an allergy to dander, fur, or saliva) may still react to some or all Labradoodles. Spend time inside with the breed to see if you react to members of the breed, particularly the individual dog you intend to buy, if allergies are a concern.








 Labradoodles can have a fun, playful, and trainable nature. Unfortunately, they can also inherit health concerns from both sides of their heritage. Eye problems in particular are becoming common enough that those who are trying to responsibly breed Labradoodles are starting to participate in research of their own bloodlines. There are also Labradoodles in shelters and rescue groups in increasing numbers; if you want a Labradoodle consider starting your search with your local shelters.

*************************************************



Ironically after I had written this post and was looking for one last Labradoodle picture, I came upon a recent interview with the man credited with starting the Labradoodle craze - Wally Conron - retired from the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia. I've read Conron interviews in the past and this is the first time I've found him sounding so unhappy with the outcome of his work:
Breeding blunder: Labradoodle creator laments designer dog craze.








23 comments:

  1. It's such a shame that all of Wally Conron's hard work is being undone by humans greed of money not to mention the health problems through poor breeding, I saw him on the TV a while ago he said he was starting to have regrets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is unfortunate whenever greed does harm to animals; this happens far too often.
      The best thing that could happen to Labradoodles would be for their popularity to wane so that they no longer are the focus of so much greed.

      Delete
  2. It must be sad for Conron to be known for something that he regrets doing. His idea to breed a guide dog that didn't cause allergies was an excellent one, But when they became a fad it seemed that anyone who owned a Poodle and had access to an intact Lab wanted to make thousands without regard to what they were doing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, some people are only interested in money. It makes things much harder for those who would like to continue Conron's work breeding low-shedding guide dogs.

      Delete
  3. I used to be rather dismissive of the labradoodle as I thought it was just another designer dog. I agree that many are and I am concerned about the growing poplarity of the breed. However, I met one imported from Australia who worked as a therapy dog. He was an amazing dog and absolutely did not shed at all

    retro rover

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is important I think to recognize that unlike some 'designer dogs' which are crossed for entirely money-making reasons, the Labradoodle can in fact fill a niche that is not currently filled. Finding a low-shedding service dog of this size and physical substance (when the mix is Standard Poodle to Labradoodle) that is also this trainable and - when
      bred carefully - this calm and willing to work is otherwise almost impossible.

      The Bouvier tends not to be as amiable to changing situations and a flow of strangers; the Standard Poodle is a bit more high-strung and sensitive than is the Labradoodle - they also lack a bit of the heft that a Labradoodle has; this can be a critical difference when someone needs counter-balance because they live with a mobility impairment. I think I need to do a follow-up post about why the Labradoodle might just be necessary in some situations :-)

      Delete
    2. Sorry that should read "when the mix is Standard Poodle to Labrador".

      One of the reasons Labradoodle breeders who are trying to be responsible are running into health problems is because they starting trying to breed a "true" Labradoodle - Labradoodle to Labradoodle - too soon with too small a genetic pool to work with.

      Delete
  4. It is sad with any breed when the breeders are more concerned about money than the health of the pups. It's so important to find a reputable breeder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is sad. Hopefully the more educated people who buy puppies become, the less likely they are to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people selling dogs.

      Delete
  5. We have met some very nice Labradoodles in our travels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are some real sweeties out there!
      One of my co-workers has a Labradoodle because his daughter has a lot of allergies - they couldn't be happier with a dog :-)

      Delete
  6. I like the idea of a smaller doodle, like a bitch Lab with a miniature poodle sire, or the goldendoodles are rather nice as well. Met a jackapoo puppy the other day, very cute, but looked like a messy haired black poodle. The poodle gene does seem to dominate. A friend breeds Lhasapoos, and has many repeat customers due to being very happy with their first dog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm curious Cate - what are the unique characteristics of the Lhasapoo - I'm guessing they're cute, low-shedding, somewhat active and trainable - which characteristics of each breed seem to be coming through?

      Delete
    2. I can send you my friend's email and you can ask her. She lives in Illinois. I have only seen pictures of her puppies and yes, they are very cute.

      Delete
    3. Perfect. I'm the first to enjoy cute puppy pictures too :-)

      Delete
  7. Unfortunately too many puppy millers have jumped on the band wagon to crossbreed for $$$. And many folks do not understand how to find a responsible dog breeder. I admire Conron's goal of a guide dog, but it really is a sort of Pandora's box. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, as he admits - it has become a total Pandora's box. It's ironic that he couldn't convince people to take the pups when he called them Lab-Poodle mixes but that when he said, "A new breed - Labradoodle" people were all over it. There must be a sad comment on human nature in there....

      Delete
  8. I actually do like the idea of the labradoodle. Low shed is very appealing to me, and so is a stable temperament. So I think Mr Conron should be proud of what he did to try to help that couple that needed a guide dog in a family with allergy problems. That the world decides to take what he did and twist it around for their own gain is not his fault and he should not be blaming himself for what other people are doing.

    I had the pleasure of meeting a labradoodle once at the dog park. He was a shaggy one and wriggling around on his back on the grass... very laidback and bohemian looking dog. The maintenance would be a pain for the human though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You raise a good point - people sometimes overlook the fact that low-shed dogs need regular grooming :-) Haircuts, brushing,baths, all needed to keep them clean and comfortable.

      Delete
  9. He must have felt guilty for these Labradoodles.Since they can be sold at very expensive rates, many unprofessional breeders would want to get their dirty hands on this mixed breed business. He should have made the first release at a very reasonable price and released a detailed and unbiased research paper that contains detailed information regarding the Labrador- Poodle mixed breed if he ever conducted such research.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Not a big fan of labradoodles, or any doodle. If the breeders were really serious about this cross, they would be working toward making a breed standard. But there really is no standard and no way of knowing what you are going to get for your money.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You had me at Labradoodle! I mean the name itself brings a smile to my face. I kinda think the brown ones look like a dirty rag though, but I'm just loving the black ones they look so cuddly. I understand why some people don't like them at all, Labradoodles are not for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your post is really helpful. I am one of those who are interested to get a pet and I'm looking at these labradoodle puppies I've found. Those criteria you mentioned is really worth putting in considerations for breeders. Thanks for sharing and more power!

    ReplyDelete