When I first heard the term “designer dog” I thought it was about the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard. Never one for labels or trends, to me these pups seemed to be nothing more than overpriced mutts. (In reality, mutts are dogs of unknown origin while designer dogs must have purebred parents.) In just the past few years, media and pop culture have led us to believe that hybrid dogs are the new thing – Puggles (Pug/Beagle), Cheweenies, (Chihuahua/Dachshund), Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel/Poodle). Are you kidding me?!?
…then I met a Labradoodle.
If you feel like you just started hearing about Labradoodles, it’s because they just burst onto the dog scene in 1988. Breeder Wally Conron created the hybrid so that people with allergies (Poodles have a hypoallerginic coat) could have guide dogs (Labradors are know for being easy to train.)
Because the Labradoodle is a designer dog and not a breed, no one can officially define their temperment or list their character traits. Let me tell you this, though – these dogs are AWESOME. They (they being all the “Doodles” I’ve ever come in contact with) are friendly and full of energy. They are playful and great with kids. They adapt easily to different environments and are smart.
…they are SUPER smart.
Poodles are know to be the brainiacs of the dog world. Labs are also known for their intelligence and their trainability. When those two breeds get together – you are pretty much guaranteed they are creating the smartest dog on the block. Yay! Great! But remember…this also means that you need to keep your super-smart dog’s mind stimulated. (That means a simple walk won’t do!)
So, you’re sold! You’ve got your keys in hand and you’re ready to go get your new companion from Labradoodles-R-Us. If only it were that easy! Unfortunately, the AKC does not recognize the Labradoodle as a breed and therefore no breed standards have been set. This means it is easy to get tricked into buying and adorably fluffy and sweet pup that is not an official Labradoodle. Luckily, the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA) and the Australian Labradoodle Association (ALA) can help you find repudable breeders. (Oh, and if you want to see Labradoodle puppy cuteness click here!)
I am lucky enough to walk a little Labradoodle pup every day, and let me tell you – his cuteness stops traffic on the daily! I can’t walk half a block without someone stopping to comment on his cuteness or pet his abundance of chocolate brown curls.
I’d love to hear from some Labradoodle parents out there!