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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody!
I‘m curious to what everybody here thinks about designer breeds (specifically doodles), as me and my family has been planning on purchasing one once we move to a bigger house with a backyard. I know that it’s really hard to find a reputable breeder for these mixes, but we’re up for a challenge! Basically, I’m just wondering if these mixed breeds are worthwhile, if you’re willing to put in the effort of finding a good breeder for them.
Thank you for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First, pretty much every purebred dog association has a code of ethics that forbids deliberate crossbreds. Therefore, the purebred dog clubs would say there is no such thing as an ethical doodle breeder. The question, then, becomes what flavor of bad you consider acceptable.

One thing to consider is whether the breeders health test their breed stock. Every dog breed has issues. Crossing two breeds doesn't guarantee hybrid vigor, despite the claims of unscrupulous breeders, and in fact might give you the health problems of both parent breeds. Therefore, it is extremely important for the breeder to do health screenings appropriate to both breeds before pairing the dogs. You want to see those results. Not, "Oh yeah, we took them to the vet and they passed everything with flying colors." No, you want to see the actual genetic (from a company such as Embark) and orthopedic (OFA.org, Pennhip, etc.) results.

Another thing is whether the pairing of the two breeds actually makes sense. Look at the purpose for which the parent breeds were developed. Standard poodles were originally bird hunting dogs. Their purpose was to go out in the field, wait patiently until told to go flush a pheasant or duck, then find the downed bird and bring it back. They needed to be smart, good tempered, and trainable to do their job. Miniature poodles were used for a similar purpose and were also used to locate truffles underground. If you are going to cross poodles to another breed, it makes sense to cross them to another breed that was used for a similar purpose. Labradors, Goldens, Cockers, were also bird hunting dogs. They have somewhat similar drives. Chances are the cross of an excellent poodle with an excellent Labrador or excellent Cocker will at least give you a good tempered and biddable dog.

However, these days a lot of doodle breeders are crossing breeds with completely unrelated origins. Yorkshire terriers were originally ratters. Unlike bird dogs, they were bred to work independently without input or direction from their masters. Sheep dogs were bred to work closely with their masters, but they were also bred to tirelessly push livestock around. Crossing in a terrier has the potential to dilute the biddability of the poodle, and crossing in a sheepdog has the potential to dilute the patience of the poodle. Therefore, I can't see the point of creating Yorkiepoos, sheepadoodles, bernedoodles, and all the other weird crosses happening today.

Unfortunately, yet another factor to consider in getting a doodle is whether the parents were excellent examples of their breed. In many cases they aren't. Right now I have a really nice tempered poodle and one who is a bit anxious. Of course, the anxious one is the one with the pretty color. If I were breeding to make money he is the one I would breed, because his pups would look great posed in a cute little basket on my web page. His offspring would also stand a high chance of having poor temperaments.
Hello Curls, and thank you for replying to my post!
One thing I’d like to point out is that a lot of the things you pointed out could also apply to purebreds. For example, if I were to get a purebred Golden Retriever, I’d still want those certified documents proving that they passed their health screenings. I’d also want the parents to be the best ones possible. Of course, these things apply especially for designer dogs, since most of the sources that will sell puppies are either puppy mills or backyard breeders. However, I still definitely agree with the things you said, at least everything except the first paragraph. That confused me a little.
Of course purebred breed clubs wouldn’t want their breed mixed with, since they want their breed staying as intact as humanly possible. Saying “The question, then, becomes what flavor of bad you consider acceptable“ makes me think that you stand by this opinion. I want to clarify one thing: I’m not criticizing you or anybody else who shares your opinion, I’m just a little lost to where your intentions where for this paragraph.
Thank you so much for your extremely in-depth response to my question, and thanks again for replying in the first place!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello! Thanks for the replies :)

The replies above explain very well why you will struggle to find an ethical breeder.

But what do you think one of these crosses will offer you that you can't find in a well bred poodle, or maltese, or cocker? What is it that draws you to them? If it is the look, a poodle left in a shaggy clip is indistinguishable from some of the crosses (I say some, as a crossbreed dog's coat is unpredictable).

If you can tell us what you are looking for in a dog we may be able to make suggestions.
To answer this, I’m looking for a dog that‘s…
  • Relatively allergy-friendly, as two somebody in the home have mild to medium dog allergies
  • Flexible about exercise; probably will receive a 15-30 min walk most days with lots of indoor and outdoor playtime!
  • Content with chilling out on your lap after getting some exercise
  • Not too difficult to train
  • Doesn’t bark too much (we‘re okay with a little to medium barking, but not anything crazy!)
  • Is good with older children (ages 11 and 13)
If I remember anything else, I’ll add it! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I would look into adult rescue dogs if cuddling is important and you are only able to walk 15 to 30 minutes a day. Poodle and poodle cross puppies tend to be very high energy for the first year or two. They have two modes: play and sleep. Cuddling tends to be something they grow into later.

There are some Cobberdog breeders I would consider buying a puppy from. They are trying to stabilize the cross into a registrable breed, so some of them are putting quite a bit of thought and health testing into their programs.
It probably is pretty low for most dogs, honestly. However, I believe we would have 30 mins+ of playtime, outdoors or indoors depending on weather. So, long story short, it isn’t just that! And for the cuddling, although it would be nice, we’re mostly just expecting the dog to be okay with some pets once the dog’s tuckered out. After all, how can you resist petting an adorable puppy??
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh, I forgot: size! My ideal dog would be from 10 to 20 inches tall, or from Bichon Frise height to roughly the height of a Portuguese Water Dog. For example, both a Maltese and a Yorkie would be too small, and a standard labradoodle would be too big :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think we could adapt and change for the dog; for example, I could do a 30 min walk daily instead of a 15 minute dog. Do you think a Bichon would work for us? It’s a little on the lower end of the size range, but with their sweet temperaments, I don’t think anybody in our household would mind :)
 
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