Designer Dogs: The Pros and Cons 12/22/2012

labradoodle (not my dog)

labradoodle (not my dog)


 The labradoodle in the photos below is bathed and groomed about once each month. It takes (one) groomer 6-8 hours to bathe and groom two dogs. The owner of these labradoodles prefers her dogs with the shaggy look thus it takes the groomer much longer to comb through a LOT OF HAIR. It is said that the labradoodle was first mentioned in a book by Sir Donald Campbell in 1955.  Certainly his dog was not the first “mutt” that resulted from the combination of poodle and labrador. However, it seems that Sir Campbell was most likely the first person to coin the word labradoodle.  
 Further down the road and many miles away, The Royal Guide Dog Association in Australia, received a request from a woman in Hawaii who was asking for an allergy free guide dog because her husband was allergic to dogs. A Mr. Wally Conron was in charge of the breeding program for guide dogs and the job of producing or finding an allergy free dog became “his baby.” After receiving the assignment Mr. Conron thought it would be quite easy to produce an allergy free dog. Initially he decided to breed standard poodle to standard poodle. He reasoned that the poodle would be the right size as a guide dog, it had superior intelligence and trainability and its coat was tightly woven and shedding was virtually non existent. Many litters later and there were still no allergy free dogs. After that experiment failed he decided on another strategy. The second idea was to use the two smartest breeds- the labrador and a standard poodle ( these are the largest of the poodles). With this mix he hoped to get an allergy free dog. The first cross produced only three puppies. A hair sample of each puppy was sent to the woman in Hawaii and viola, one sample proved to be a winner.  Puppies that are bred to be service dogs are farmed out ( fostered)  with people who want to help raise, socialize, and teach basic commands to these dogs which are then returned to the association to complete their training as guide dogs. It seems that when it was time to “farm” the puppies out, no one wanted to foster the puppies because these were crosses and people considered them to be mutts. Mr Conron became desperate as time began running out for foster placement. Thus he reasoned that if he gave these cross bred puppies a name, then people would be more likely to want to foster. The ploy worked and numerous people wanted to foster puppies after they were given the name labradoodle. Media attention ensued and the labradoodle became the new rage as sort of a miracle dog. However, for Mr. Conron the challenge was just beginning. Reproducing more dogs was not that easy and there were quite a few dogs bred in order to get more numbers that were actually allergy free. He continued to breed these two breeds and he was able to produce a total of 31 dogs that were  “winners” meaning allergy free.  The breeding continued for a number of years but currently The Royal Guide Dog Association no longer conducts a cross breeding program. There are some other guide dog associations, however, that continue  to produce labradoodles.     
Word about this great dog spread like wild fire and became international within a very short time. Soon back yard breeders saw the potential for making quick money and there arose a plethora of just about any kind of “doodle” because, to put it simply, it had become the new craze- fad- must have, kind of dog. There were snoodles, shoodles, and groodles, to name a few. But the craze for a designer dog did not end there. Backyard breeders began crossing the miniature poodles with smaller breed dogs as well. Today, designer dogs remain popular but none of these cross breed dogs has gained admission into the American Kennel Club.  One of the biggest draw backs is the fact that the labradoodle and other poodle mixes do not breed “true.” This means that within any litter, size, coat, and body type varies. And out of any litter only one puppy to no puppy will have an allergen free coat.  Mr. Conron is now in his early eighties- retired of course and enjoying life breeding and training horses which happen to be his first love. He has never owned a labradoodle but his two dogs are purebred labrador retrievers. He has stated that he regrets that he was responsible for creating the labradoodle because people jumped at the chance to breed what they considered, a dog that is unique. Here in the states, this cross bred dog most likely, will never gain acceptance into the American Kennel Club. The mixing of these two breeds just can not produce puppies that all look alike. But there are many fans of this cross bred dog. People love the gentle disposition, cuteness, and intelligence of this mixed breed dog. The fact remains that individuals do not care if the dog has AKC papers or not. What matters is that the labradoodle is a good all around family dog and there is no denying that this gentle mutt is easy to love.   The pics in this post is one dog among four labradoodles that one family owns.  I can say with assurance after seeing these dogs up close and personal that they ARE CUTE and VERY SMART.  

 A Labradoodle that is bathed and groomed each month.

A Labradoodle that is bathed and groomed each month.


 Post and photograph – Yvonne 

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15 thoughts on “Designer Dogs: The Pros and Cons 12/22/2012

  1. When I was young, these new designer dogs would have been called “mutts.”

    • Russell you read a bunch on the blog. Thanks for all of the comments. Same thing with me and those crosses. Most of the crosses now days are coming from backyard or puppy mill breeders which is a sad thing for so many people do not know aobut puppy mills and think that they are getting one hell of a dog. I wish we had stricker laws that prohibit all dog and cat sales by pet stores. And make it illegal to sell from shopping center parking lots.

  2. morgansophia says:

    Hey! Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. I’ve fixed up the about page, and hope that you will now follow. Thanks!

  3. chatou11 says:

    Merry Christman Yvonne with a lot of joy and I would like that all pets in the world find a good family to love them

    • And a merry christmas to you. Thanks for becoming a follower/subscriber. I wish for mercy and caring for all the cats,dogs, pet birds,etc, of the world, as well, but I know that will no happen until we have peace amomg nations and love for our fellow man.

  4. exiledprospero says:

    Nice looking dog, but quite high maintenance. Naturally, I’m opposed to any kind of fad in the dog world–people simply can’t be trusted to do the right thing..

    • I agree with you. I don’t see why the woman of the house insists on keeping the hair long on these labradoodles. I think the dogs would look so much better with the coat clipped at least medium short. Now every dog and his flea is breeding a poodle with some other breed. It is the small breeds that are being produed. Crosses have been made with the beagle, chihuahua, shiz tzu, schnauzer, and all kinds of terriers. If people would not buy these dogs there would be no breeding. There are idiots that are paying over a thousand for some of these cross bred dogs. I call it insane and the need to have the latest.

  5. I have always been irked by the designer dog craze. I fully understand the reason for the original hybridization of the Labradoodle and the need for non-allergenic dogs, there are plenty of special dogs just waiting for homes as you are well aware and a great example of providing home and love to several.
    That said, there are two very attractive dogs you have pictured.

    I am not getting email notifications of your posts, Yvonne. I am following your entries and have checked off that I wish to receive the emails but it isn’t happening. You are in my list of followed blogs but something is awry.

    • Steve, I agree with you. I wish that I had made a stronger point about backyard breeders that are making all sorts of doodle dogs. There is even one that is bred as a poodle and beagle cross. That should really make youro head hurt. People are cruel and callous and do not value the life of an animal. Most of those backyard breeders make their money by breeding dogs and our so callled authorities are doing nothing about all of the cruelty.

      I have to see what in the world is wrong with subscribers not getting my email notices about new posts. I almost feel that someone has hacked my account. You are not the only one that is not getting a notice.

      I am so glad that you let me know. And thanks for commenting.

  6. Northern Narratives says:

    Very interesting post. Happy holidays 🙂

  7. chatou11 says:

    What a lot of hair.. I have never seen this kind of dog, he is really elegant.. very fluffy!
    have a nice week end Yvonne

    • Thank you fro commenting, It seems americans like anything that is different and these actually are good family dogs. Very smart and good natured as a rule. I have seen these two dogs who are litter mates up close and personal. They are calm and sweet. I just don’t understand creating more dogs breeds however these were created with a purpose in mind. It is just that too many back yard breeders jumped on the bandwagon and there is no regulation of breeding in most towns and cities.

      Best regards,

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