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Be Cautious Of Doodles?

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

This might sound a bit hypocritical since I bred them once: our Border Collie to a Poodle. I will explain why some people, or most individuals that are interested in owning the doodle mix, should be cautious. Having one of my own, from our one and only “experiment” (I know this sounds unethical but it wasn’t), I wanted to find out for myself why I should continue to breed a doodle mix (Bordoodle), and as a professional dog trainer, I needed to educate myself on how easy/difficult it would be to train this breed. Also, I needed to find out about the breeds quirks and behavioral issues, if any.

Most breeders of doodles focus on the popularity of this dog breed. This is irresponsible. Brandon McMillan in his book, “Lucky Dog Lessons” (which I read) says, “there is an increasing number of Doodles that are being surrendered to the animal shelters specifically the Labradoodle.” This in my opinion is due to poor breeding practices.

Poodles: Are a sport breed that were genetically designed for retrieving water foul. Even though the Poodle of today is much more suited for companionship-keep in mind it still carries genes from its original, genetically designed purpose from days gone by.

Labrador/Labrador Retriever: Obviously these are two closely related breeds but the LR doesn’t need defining, its breeding purpose is in the name. There are a few differences, they were bred for water sports, same as the Poodle. When combining these 2 breeds without any consideration of the parentage or the qualifications of their breeder, you might find yourself with an unruly dog. It may chew excessively or bite without provocation. This is due to it having a soft mouth that is specific to these breed types that are used to carrying their owners prized duck/geese, etc. This is another reason why the “Labradors” are wonderful for service work. I have said this in a past post, but another reason this breed does well for this type of work is they need constant reminders and shouldn’t be left to his/her own devices. Granted, no two dogs of the same breed are created equal. I have owned two Labradors in my life and I found they weren’t the most intelligent but were loyal to the family.

Nicole Ellis, a certified dog trainer and pet expert with, says, “Less than 5 percent of dogs are cut out for service-dog work, and many ‘wash out’ during training.”

Wally Conron the man behind the first Labradoodle breed has gone on record stating he “regrets” his decision to breed this mix. His efforts were quite altruistic, and he painstakingly did extensive research to find the perfect female and male to breed for a service guide dog for a woman in Hawaii. To read about Wally Conron's interview please visit: www.theguardian.

So if you go with two similar breeds (sport, working etc..) you might get the dominant negative trait of the breed(s) for example, chewing, mouthing and chasing/running and jump, jump, jumping versus the obedient, loyal traits that are also common in both the Lab and Poodle breeds. The “negative” traits that we experience in one single breed might be exaggerated when two similar breeds are bred together.

In the future, I plan to write about my own experience owning a Bordoodle and share my thoughts with you.

If you have your heart set on getting a doodle please do your research, not just on the mix itself but the breeding parents and of course the breeder.

Happy Tails 🐾

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