Is the Labradoodle a Mutt, or a Superdog?

LIFE magazine Labradoodle coverThere are dozens of websites dedicated to what was once an ‘unknown’ oddity from Australia. A lot of breeders will tell you that Labradoodles are hypoallergenic superdogs which make ideal family pets. Your neighbor tells you that they’re overpriced mutts sold by greedy ‘puppymills’.  Who is right? Who can you trust? Why should you give this website anymore weight than the next guy down the road?

To begin with, I don’t have a dog in this fight (so to speak). I’m not a Labradoodle owner, and I’m not a breeder. Actually, I own two dogs, both Labs. However, I’ve watched the growing fascination with Labradoodles since the early 2000’s when they first broke into the scene on the cover of LIFE (Sunday insert).

My parents own a Labradoodle, and he is one great dog. I know not all Labradoodles are ideal family pets, but they may be a dog you should consider. And you shouldn’t automatically rule them out as being undesirable crossbreeds. Here’s why.

All Breeds Began As ‘Crossbreeds’

Unless you have a wolf for a pet (which I don’t recommend). Your dog is a result of thousands of years of selective breeding. Owners would take wild dogs, domesticate them, and then breed in (or breed out) the characteristics they wanted.  Some were bred for ‘work’, others were bred for play.

Over time, the breeds we have now were developed, standardized, and recognized by organizations (started by breeders and owners) to ‘define’ what makes the ideal dog, according to their breed.

Today, we recognize that the Labradoodle may be a fad, or it may be a new breed which is currently in-development. Only time will tell.

However, since a lot of Labradoodles are still F1 – First generation dogs which are a direct mix of a Lab and a Poodle (usually a standard poodle), there are some advantages to this setup.  The first advantage is hybrid vigor. We’ll discuss other benefits of this later, but as you’ll come to see, these dogs are very intelligent and easy to train common commands such as sit, stay, and at more advanced commands such as leash training, and “staying”.

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