We’ve all seen those ads in the paper. The perfect family dog. They must be amazing, practically magical, just look at how valuable they are. Doesn’t your family deserve one?
Retrievers are wonderful family dogs… unless you have allergies. Poodles are nice but they’re too frou frou looking. It sounds like a good idea. Mix these two great breeds together and you get a fabulous retriever that is hypoallergenic, right?
There simply is no guarantee which attributes the offspring will have. Some may have the perfect nonshedding, hypoallergenic coat, others may be a combination. Aside from the allergy issues, there are a myriad of health concerns that may come from one or both sides of the equation. Hip dysplasia and seizures are just two of the conditions the breeds share. Dogs from lines having such devastating health problems should not be bred, let alone crossed with another dog carrying the same genetic traits. Reputable breeders will replace a dog if genetic defects appear. They want and need to know so they can adjust their breeding program accordingly.
“Designer” mixes are on the rise. There are labradoodles, goldendoodles, newfydoodles, even saintberdoodles (huh?!), just oodles of doodles. Isn’t it interesting that what they have in common is the standard poodle? If the poodle is so special why not just get a Poodle? They are very smart and versatile. It’s possible to purchase a purebred, health tested poodle for less than a doodle.
If it’s the frou frou thing that has you bothered fuhgeddaboutit. There is no rule about how to keep the coat, unless you plan on showing. Your dog doesn’t need bracelets or poms or poufy top knots. In fact you can clip them short all over for a very low maintenance style.
Photo by Sherri Regalbuto.
So “doodle” if you must, but do your homework. Investigate the lineage of both sides of the equation. Make sure the dogs have been health tested. Ask about replacement if genetic problems arise down the road. If your breeder does not stand behind their puppies you need to know that before you fall in love with that cute little ball of fluff. Remember, today’s designer dog is yesterday’s mutt. (It’s not just poodles that are getting all mixed up. Click here for more on this topic.)
After you’ve found your perfect dog, don’t forget to have your favorite communicator help smooth out any bumps in your relationship. It can make all the difference.
Want to spread the word about doodles? Stumble It with the button below.