A close look at the "doodle" dog and what it really is

What are “doodle” dogs?

I’ll give you a hint. What well-known dog breed rhymes with doodle?

That’s easy, poodle!

So-called “doodle” dogs are mixed breeds that have been crossed with poodles. They are some of the most popular dogs currently for sale on the market and they fetch a high price for the fact that they are mixed breeds, compared to the other common crosses that are often seen. Perhaps it’s because buyers are convinced that their doodle will not shed, although some of them do, according to the breed they were crossed with.

Doodles are most often crossed with Labradors Retrievers, hence Labradoodles, Golden Retrievers, (Goldendoodles), Cocker Spaniels (Cockapoos), Shih Tzus (Shihpoos), Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkipoos), and Maltese Terriers (Maltipoos).

A Bernedoodle: cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle

The original idea in bringing about Doodle dogs was to cross Labradors with poodles in order to create a guide dog that would be perfect for people with allergies.

But, Labradoodles can shed if they have not inherited the curly poodle coat.Even some of them that look like they have poodle type fur can still lose their fur, as Labradors shed quite a bit.

There are three types of fur in Labradoodles, which include wool, hair, or fleece coats. The colors vary and can be any color that a poodle can have: apricot, cream, particolored, grey or black, and chocolate among other colors.

The fact that doodle dogs are essentially mixed breeds means that there is no way to properly predict tendencies;not just in appearance, but also in behavior and health predispositions.

These Labradoodles don’t have a uniform appearance.

The size also varies according to the type of dog used in the crosses. There are miniature medium, and large doodle dogs and there is no way to standardize them unless the cross becomes a breed.

This is being attempted by a group in Australia, who have crossed Labradoodles within a minimum of four generations in order to establish reliable appearance, character, and genetic backgrounds to their dogs. These doodles actually have a name, and they are called Multigenerational Australian Labradoodles.

Australian Labradoodle

They have their own clubs and associations, but they have not yet been accepted in any of the major kennel clubs of the world, nor have they been given accreditation for the breed.

Doodle dogs are part of a disturbing trend called “designer dogs”, in which two purebreds from different breeds are purposefully mated together to create an ideal version of both dogs.

However, the ideal version usually only exists in theory, as all the negative characteristics of either breed can appear in the mixed breed offspring.

The tendency for these kinds of dogs to cost more than their purebred counterparts forms part of the trend. Breeders of these kinds of dogs sell the idea that their mixed breed is rare, usually because the mixed breeds are from the toy group of dogs, which don’t tend to have many pups in a litter.

Doodle dogs usually require heavy grooming and can be costly to own due to this fact. Poodle fur grows at around ½ inch to 1 inch per month and does not stop growing. This trait is often passed on to mixed breed puppies; the puppies often have a faster rate of hair growth than the adults and require constant grooming.

A Goldendoodle in need of a groom.Doodle dogs should be groomed at least once every month and a half to keep their coats in top condition.

In terms of health, although more mixed breeds tend to be healthier than the purebreds they were mixed with, doodles have been known to suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, Addison’s disease, and various eye diseases among a whole bunch of other problems.

Fun fact: the breeder who first came up with the idea to cross the Labrador with the Poodle, Wally Conron from Australia, says he created a monster. He says that this is because of the wide range of health issues that plague these dogs.

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