E. Katie Gammill, TheDogPlace.org AKC Judge/Exhibition Editor
Bring your money to the table because these cross-bred mutts are as genuine as a stuffed toy but cost a whole lot more as do their unpredictable problems.
Questionable breeders bilk buyers out of thousands of dollars for Labradoodles (Labrador-Poodle cross), Goldendoodles (Golden and Poodle), Shockers (Shiba-Cocker Spaniel), Yorkipoos (Yorkshire Terrier-Poodle), Maltipoo (Maltese-Poodle) etc. because they cannot guarantee ANY desired genes will surface, nor can they predict a dog’s coat, size, temperament, or adaptability.
NO ethical breeder allows ANY purebred dog to become part of a cross breeding program. How do these people convince the public that by combining two distinct breeds, they will produce a dog with genes that eliminate shedding and allergy problems? Any Poodle breeder will tell you Poodles are NOT “fixers!” They will speak of upkeep and hyper-activity. Health documentation is not available by those who cross breed. Inevitably, shelters become the recipients of unwise decisions.
Buying from a purebred breeder assures temperament, type, proper socialization and health attention. At maturity, your dog is the size and type you initially selected. Purebred dog breeders sell pets on spay and neuter contracts to control pet over-population. Documenting and addressing breed problems, they furnish AKC registration papers (the oldest and most prestigious organization) and encourage sport involvement.
Internet breeders accept no accountability. They simply accept your money! Why do purebred breeders get the “bad rap?”
Breed-specific organizations rescue purebred dogs, and ANY dog appearing to be so. They temperament test each animal, inoculate, spay or neuter, and find suitable homes. The adoption fee is insignificant compared to $2000.00 for a “Doodle-poo.” Upon adoption, one signs a contract stating if this animal does not fit into your home, it must be returned to the rescue group whereupon, after another evaluation, the dog is relocated to a more suitable environment. (Sorry, sniff, sniff, Ellen Degeneres, YOU ARE WRONG!)
Frankly, Peke-a-poos and Malti-poos are lovable and easily contained. They are charming and if you desire to own one, go for it. However, do not expect support regarding problems. Prospective owners should research breed specific genetic problems, play techniques, and original purpose.
Dogs are nippers, pouncers, slammers, and diggers. Buying a Labra-doodle may saddle you with a thirty-inch uncontrollable animal in a limited space. It may have three times your strength and require four walks a day. A Labrador and Poodle cross doubles on “retrievers” which are full of excess energy, attracted to water, and relish any quagmire.
The wrong dog quickly destroys family camaraderie, causes emotional turmoil, and takes a “bite” out of the budget. Puppies interact daily with your family. Search www.akc.org to find each breed’s temperament, size, coat, health profile, and expected upkeep.
Designer Dog breeders elude responsibility by breeding two breeds of totally opposite or unknown traits together and “guarantee” magical offspring combining the best of both worlds.
Here is a test! Take the offspring of two outstanding specimens (you and your spouse). The small child reflects the “best of you both.” Right? As your child matures, who adjusts? Can you control your own child’s growth, behavioral characteristics, and appearance?
Dogs do not “reason.” Their actions neither consider your desires, nor understand consequences. They do what feels good! It may be digging, killing a bunny, or chasing a car. There is NO shame or regret regarding muddy paw prints and hairballs. Flat ears and a tucked tail are NOT an apology for taking up most of your bed.
The first mistake is buying a dog over the Internet. The second is crediting dogs with human emotions. Let’s face it! When it comes to scams, your dog is the ultimate “con-artist”. If you truly want a “Labradoodle”, contact your local shelter. Welcome it into your “pack”. How tough can it be?
Remember, all breeds are “wired” differently. Crossing adverse breeds short circuit presumed results and produce faulty connections. Kennel visits, encouraged by reputable breeders, are a starting point. Then, weighing your options, buy your dog of choice.
Dogs offer unconditional love and devotion. We in turn must attempt to become as nice a person as our dogs think we are.