What's up with Labradoodles? Is it a Roll of the Dice?

Discussion in 'Dog Breeds' started by milissa, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. milissa New Member

    I'm training a very smart 8 month old Labradoodle to be a Service Dog, but he seems not to meet any but the most basic of the 'breed standards'--- he's got a fantastic temperament, and learns new behaviors as fast as I can come up with them-- but he doesn't LOOK like a doodle.:doghuh: He looks like a fluffy Flat Coated Retriever; solid black, short, 'Lab-type' coat on his face, head, and lower legs, medium length, straight coat on chest, belly, and upper legs, and big, fluffy, curly, long-ish coat down his topline. That's a link to one of my groups, so there are other dogs pictured there, but you'll KNOW Jet when you see him!:dogrolleyes:

    My question is, however: Just what can one expect from a hybrid breed? Jet is an LO2, meaning that his parents were both doodles, but his grandparents were Labs and Poodles... I think.
    Is it normal to have this great a variation in a breed that comes from two such well-established breeds? (Most doodles that I've seen are very scruffy-looking all over).

  2. CollieMan Experienced Member

    This is, forgive me for saying, the price you pay for selecting a breed that is still very much a "work in progress". There is a reason that the Labradoodle isn't recognised as a pure-bred dog, (and thus isn't recognised by the KC), and that is because the pups give such inconsistent behaviour and appearance results.

    Labradoodle FAQ
  3. milissa New Member

  4. chrisntolly New Member

    Thank you for bringing this up, I have wondered about the same thing myself. I have a blk and wt Portuguese Water Dog with a wavy coat. People are always asking if she's a doodle-dog. She is actually much shorter than the doodles I've seen. I feel like wearing a shirt that says something like, "No, it's not a doodle, it's a PWD.
  5. yoyopoodle Well-Known Member

    That's kind of weird that Jet's coat is like that.... the curly/harsh Poodle coat should be dominant over other genes, so a doodle to another doodle should have even curlier/wirey hair - more Lab/Golden/whatever needs to be added to future generations to get anything near a consistent coat texture... meaning the ratio of each breed can't stay the same, meaning they can never be recognized as purebred. This seems to be true for any/all of the Poodle mixes.

    The guide dog people in Australia who originally decided to cross the breeds realized that what they were getting wasn't better than either breed by itself, and there was too much inconsistency in looks (and therefore maintenance), and temperaments. They decided the idea didn't work, and stopped doing it so heavily... but not before backyard breeders and puppy mills heard that Labradoodles were the perfect guide dog, and therfore the perfect pet dog, and they became a designer breed :(
    What also strikes me as weird is that guide dogs and service dogs need to have a very different temperament... guide dogs generally have higher drive, initiative, intelligent disobedience - they are in charge. Service dogs should be soft and mellow, fading into the background until they are working... having a dog that takes initiative or has any strong drives can become fatal to someone who is paralyzed or has weak balance, or can only whisper commands.

    Since I love Poodles so much as they are, I am certainly biased, lol. I also really like Labs, Goldens, Cockers, etc even though they aren't breeds that I feel would be right for me to own long term. I have met a couple of nice doodles, but most of them have been off the wall hyper and some have been aggressive (granted many of the ones I've met were impulse purchases by people who wanted in on this new fad, so obviously the dogs were not raised in ways that may have helped bring out a nicer temperament). But the ones I've met are nothing like Poodles, and nothing like Labs/Goldens/etc --- so who doesn't like the temperaments of the purebreds enough to get a Poodle or Golden, but instead decides to get a mix of both breeds? :msniwonder:

    Obviously Jet's coat isn't as high maintenance as a Poodle's but he seems to be an exception rather than the norm... a Poodle with a correct coat doesn't mat quickly, and some lines the hair grows very slowly (I know a Standard who's owner has been trying to grow a show coat for over 3 years and the longest part is only about 5"... this is using supplements, lot's of banding/wrapping, keeping it clean, and tipping the ends!). Most of the doodles I've met require more grooming up-keep than Poodles, and they look strange if you shave their face and feet, so food and mud is always getting stuck, making them really stink...

    On top of all of that, their risk for inherited diseases expands to include both breeds. The recessive traits won't show up in the first generation, but they can appear in the second, third, fourth. Unfortunately, many of the doodles are bred for money, so $$$ isn't spent on testing the parents, and often the parents are from breeders who also don't really care, otherwise they'd have screened buyers more thoroughly.
    'Hybrid vigor' is something that occurs when parents are from different species - all dogs are the same species, just different breeds. Dog to wolf/coyote/jackal, or lion/tiger, or horse/donkey are hybrids. There is also usually a price to pay... some hybrids may be stronger and bigger, but have much shorter lives. Others live longer but may be very hard to train/control. Most are infertile...

    Ultimately, I have nothing against the dogs themselves (unless they have individually earned it through displaying an inappropriate temperament), but rather the people who breed them for money or just because "they are such nice dogs"... enough shelter dogs (including many doodles! :msncry: ) are put to sleep every week that I have trouble appreciating any breedings that aren't done with a specific purpose intended for each litter. IMO, 'bettering the breed' isn't good enough by itself.
  6. Agree with CollieMan...we get alot of Labradoodles through work (pet groomer) and some are crazy and the most frustrating dogs to do anything with but yet a few are lovely, calm dogs who are a joy to handle. You just never know!
  7. Liz New Member

    I just have to break in here - there is a MASSIVE difference between the Australian Labradoodle and American Labradoodle.

    The original creator of the (Australian) Labradoodle used Labradors, Poodles... and other breeds in his mix to produce a dog that would work consistently for customers with allergies.As a whole the examples I've seen of Australian Labradoodles (all but one were imported directly from Australia) were very fixed in conformation, temperament and coat type. They were truly curly coated, and had no shedding that I could see.

    The American bred version is typically F1- F2 or occasionally F3. The range in temperament, hair type and size is staggering! Many of them shed a small amount, too.

    To the OP - I don't consider this a "breed" by any means ... being a well established breed (sadly) has nothing to do with the outcome of the cross.
  8. wenryder Active Member

    IMO a Labradoodle is a mutt like any other two breeds bred together, it is not recognised as a breed in and of itself. Same goes for goldendoodles and cockapoos. It became a 'designer' dog and now they are everywhere. There is nothing wrong with mutts! The only thing wrong with the whole picture is the BYBs who market their dogs as 'purebred labradoodles" etc.

    An interesting article on the guy who invented the Labradoodle, and how he regrets it:

    But, of course, both Labs and Poodles are extremely smart, so I imagine Labradoodles would be equally as smart?

    (ps: the original picture won't load for me)
  9. Ina Well-Known Member

    Even before they became fashionable I preferred mixed breeds. But today it's important to have a fancy name.

    20 years ago we got a Doberman/Rottweiler mix - this was a fantastic dog. She looked more like a Rottie, but slimer than the pure breed Rottweiler. Luckily she also had all the best traits of both breeds.
    The other one was a Labrador/Doberman mix. He was cheeky as anything.
    And the third of our big dog family was a pure Rhodesian Ridgeback - oh my god, this dog was so stupid. EVERY morning he tripped down the 3 steps at the front door and when he barked inside he got so excited that he forgot that there was a wall at the end of the window. All legs, no brain we used to say ;)

    Nowadays if I meet a dog in the park I just ask "What kind of a doodle is this" :whistle:
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  10. kmocek1 New Member

    Well from my pic you can tell we have a doodle at this time. Harley is a Goldendoodle and we have found him to be a very quick learner in all commands except struggle with his hyperness when greating new people. He is still a puppy and is a work in progress. All my past dogs have been purebred dogs (GSD, Beagle, St. Bernard), but decided on this cross due to daughter having Asthma and I have allergies. Our first choice was a Portuguese Water dog then an Australian Labradoodle (completely agree with Liz) but pricing put these dogs out of our reach. Unfortunately, the popularity of these "mutts" have created a lot of greed and the buyer must be extremely on guard as to what they are getting and who they are buying from.
  11. sara Moderator

    Unfortunately for you, Doodles dont always get the non shedding coat that's better with allergies. I've met a couple of dozen "Goldendoodles" and less than half have been allergy friendly, One shed way worse than a Golden should ever shed... it was atrocious!

    I hope you got one that doesn't shed, and you and your daughter will be fine with him as he matures (you wont always know until the dog loses his puppy coat). Though even a purebred that's supposed to be hypoallergenic (St. Poodle) will bother my allergies, from time to time. My advice, keep him clean. the cleaner my dogs are the less I have a reaction. I bathe all my dogs at least once a month (except Oliver, who doesn't bother me in the slightest... and he sheds like a maniac! but the wire coat doesn't bother me at all), just to keep my allergies at bay. My long haired dogs bother me less if they're kept clipped fairly short, but they are allowed to grow out coat in the winter, as it's too flippin' cold here for them to have short hair!

    Harley sure is cute though! And I'm sure You'll have alot of fun teaching him tricks!
  12. running_dog Honored Member

    I'd guess that as with lurchers (basically a historic hybrid) the benefits of a Labrador poodle cross can be best predicted in the first cross, and after that (unless the breeding is specifically to fix "good" traits by back crossing as in the Australian Labradoodles) the F2 is basically a mongrel and you lose many of the benefits and predictability of hybridisation. Any recessive genes may be expressed in the offspring (allergy plus:().

    Lurcher breeders/owners have thrashed out the hybrid versus mongrel argument for years before designer dogs became popular. For example in the UK, F1 Bedlington terrier X whippets and Bedlington/whippet X whippets are popular and hunters pay a premium for them, Bedlington/whippet X Bedlington/whippet are bought more cheaply as they may express the recessive hereditary condition of copper toxicosis from the Bedlington terrier.
  13. sara Moderator

    That works in the case of 2 breeds that do not share the same health problems. Poodles and labs and Goldens have all the same heredity health problems, so in this case, an F1 cross is not going to be healthier than the 2 parent breeds. But that does work in some crosses, eg Dalmatians were crossed with Pointers to help breed out a severe heredity health issue (something to do with the kidneys, I think... I'll have to look it up.
  14. J_Sinay Member

    Why get a mutt at all. Why not just get a std. poodle. They are very smart, definitely nonshedding, and an all around nice dog? I just don't get the point of making mutts on purpose. I guess you can say it's one of my pet peeves. I have nothing against mutts, I've had my share, but none of them were on purpose or bought!
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  15. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    As for intentionally creating a mutt:

    I think that Conran's original purpose was good. I do not think that he intended to assist in the madness that is the designer dog market.
    ALL breeds are a result of crossings of similar or completely different looking dogs waaaaay down the line. Every single one of them. The people who started the breeds we knew today had very specific purposes--they had specific needs for drive, coat, size, and so many other categories. There was certainly a reason behind creating the breeds we know and love today.

    With SOOO many established dog breeds today, anyone can find a dog that fits their needs. There are so many breeds that it is nearly impossible to NOT find a dog that meets your needs. MOST of the designer mixes are a result of nothing but pure curiousity and GREED.
    I firmly believe that whoever started marketing wolf hybrids is a total idiot and did a SEVERE disservice to a large number of dogs and families. It takes A LOT to handle a wolf hybrid, especially those with large percentages of wolf. This is not a dog that you can just "unleash"(pardon the pun) on even some of the most experienced of dog owners. Raising a wolf hybrid is a JOB. They require a LOT of work, and just about perfect consistency. It is so incredibly easy for someone to miss something along the way and create a very very large dog that has no respect and will walk all over any human. This is a dangerous creature. IN THE RIGHT HANDS, WITH THE RIGHT TRAINING, wolf hybrids can be great pets. But still, a lot of work. I can't even guess what percentage of dog owners is actually "qualified" to own a wolf hybrid. Very, very, very, very small I would imagine. But when greedy, inconsiderate idiots start marketing these creatures and breeding in large numbers, the fact is...there aren't enough owners out there that can handle these pups!

    That being said, I do think that BC/Aussies are some of the BEST mixes you could possibly have--IF you can meet their needs. There are combinations of breeds that I think would make phenomenal dogs, but I have no desire to feed this curiousity. You can't just have one pup of a mixture. When you're trying to develop a breed, you're going to have hundreds, eventually thousands, then MILLIONS of puppies--can you really provide QUALITY homes for ALL of these puppies??? Probably not. So it's not worth feeding the curiousity when there are millions of dogs in shelters and pounds already, some of which are there because of irresponsible people feeding their curiousity.

    Another example is the "Border Jack," a cross between JRTs and Border Collies. All negative thoughts aside, in my opinion, what a great dog! HIGH HIGH energy, but the size is between the two breeds. These guys are bred specifically for flyball. In flyball, the shortest dog on your team determines the height of your jumps. But you still want a speedy dog. So with this combination, you have two VERY high drive and high energy little speed demons, but you have a shorter dog. Truly a great mix for this sport. So far, it seems that the breeding of these dogs is fairly well under control, and a large percentage of the pups are used for flyball because that's exactly what they're bred for. But, this breed could also very easily become just like the doodles.

    If you want a mutt, then go to a pound. Don't spend hundreds of dollars supporting this ridiculous designer dog business that contributes to the number of dogs in shelters. There is no real reason for someone to breed a "Puggle" or a "Morkiepoo" or a "Labraweiler" or "Dalashepherd" or "Bullcrapasaurus" (whoops, lol) other than greed and trying to make a bunch of money selling a MUTT by making up some stupid name.

    Sorry if I've offended anyone. Certainly did not intend to.
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  16. Ina Well-Known Member

    :ROFLMAO: Love it love it love it ! :ROFLMAO:

    Look at my neighbour... she has a female Maltese Poodle and when I brought home Smokey (Cavalier King Charles x Poodle) she said we should make them breed. Just like that .. not knowing anything about the background of those dogs. That's the typical scenario of disaster about to happen. Those cute looking pups would have ended up at some home with kids - once pup turns a year old nobody would be interested in the dog any more and the dogs would have ended up at the pound - just like their mother will be in 6 months time.
    Their dog is 6 months old, like mine. She hasn't been for a walk EVER. Is not allowed in the house and has now resorted to barking in the evenings. Nobody could be bothered with training her.
    I give the dog another 6 months - by that time puppy will have ruined the backyard out of boredom, will be barking constantly and eventually get a smack for that. Anyone looking for a fear driven, untrained and unsocialised Maltese in 6 months time, let me know ... :mad:

    BUT they would have happily run along with a plan to produce puppies <GROAN>

    ............ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffttt............. sorry, let of some steam here
  17. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    My boyfriend's pup was a result of irresponsible owners. (NOT him, but just some people we know.) They have a dog who they SWEAR is a registered Aussie. If she's purebred Aussie I'm 100% moose. She is very, VERY obviously a BC/Aussie mix, but there is no telling them. Anyway, they have TWO unneutered males, and two unspayed females. They have a male BC and a male GSD. BC/Aussie had pups with GSD. 6 I believe. Why? What in the world is the purpose of this? Why have any of these dogs unaltered? Especially the male GSD. His personality is incredibly unstable. He is a gorgeous dog, but has poor breeding and was raised poorly....which equals....neurotic, aggressive large dog. Why keep him unneutered so he can pass on this breeding???? WHY??? And the mother, she is incredibly timid, although not aggressive. She barely even approaches the people she lives with. Why in the hell would you leave these two dogs capable of breeding????

    Dixie is a very timid little girl. She has improved; she's 6 months old now and much friendlier, but she is still very much a scaredy cat. She's not aggressive at all, but has a lot of trouble trusting new people. Every pup in the little was either like Dixie, or had the potential to become much like its parents. I wouldn't be surprised if at least 3 of them turned out a lot like Dad, partly because of breeding, partly because of lack of early early socialization before leaving mom, and partly because I'm sure they didn't go to homes that had any idea how to help pups like this.

    So, there's 6 pups out there, most likely all extremely timid, with the possibility of 1-3 of them being slightly(or not slightly) neurotic in an unsafe way. Who knows if any of them(other than Dixie) will be altered so the breeding cannot continue.
  18. johnny1609 Active Member

    im afraid i have to disagree with that, the f1 of lurchers produces alot of 'litter wastage' . This is due to the genetics of dogs and shape difference. some breeds such as beddy/whippets its not so obvious due to the good shape of the bedlington and the only thing that would possibly be considered waist being a dog under say 17tts. however other breeds such as colliex and bullxs the wastage is obvious almost from birth as a dog to heavy or to light would be classed as wastage. however if you get a two f1s of a good racey shape and breed them together the wastage is dramatically increased to the point where it is nye on nil.

    this is the same with labradoodles, the 2 original breeds are drastically different there can be alot of litter wastage but should you breed two f1s together that are of what you require the genes they pass on will be further away from either original.

    as far as hybridisation is concerned, alot of dogs are referred to as hybrids but unfortunately true hybrids are produced from crossing two different species and are sterile.

  19. running_dog Honored Member

    "Hybrid" can be used in genetic and livestock breeding terms to simply mean the offspring of an outcross of different varieties (genetically dissimilar parents) not just as a species cross.

    It depends on how you measure the benefits, my comment was dealing primarily with the predictability aspect. I used the specific example of Bedlington/whippets as they have demonstrable benefits in the F1 and potential drawbacks in the F2 caused by simple dominant/recessive expression of genes

    Traits controlled additively by multiple genes at multiple sites on the chromosomes (height for instance) are fairly predictable by just looking at the appearance of a dog and you don't need to worry about whether the dog is F1 or F2 or bitza :ROFLMAO: . However the F1 is more predictable when we are looking at traits controlled by a few specific genes which have dominant and recessive alleles.

    For Example:

    If you breed two F1 labradoodles together the offspring may carry any combination of genes from the original breeds... So suppose a labrador carries the alleles that we designate "cc" and a poodle carries "CC" if you cross the two dogs the F1 will get one allele from each making all the pups carry the gene as "Cc". For the sake of argument the "C" allele might as well be dominant, so all the pups express the poodle gene but they all carry the labrador gene as well.

    if you cross two of the F1 labradoodles the pups may get the "C" or the "c" allele from either parent. So this gene in any one of the offspring may be CC, Cc, or cc (in the probability ratio of 1:2:1). This means that for this gene a few of the offspring may express the labrador gene although neither of the parents expressed it.
  20. johnny1609 Active Member

    Have you ever seen many bulXgreys running dog? Even though they are a cross breed they breed true to type be it halfX, 3/4 1/4 (both straight and reverse) and the same for 5/8 3/8.

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