Monday, February 2, 2009

Why We Love Labradoodles by Carol Vinzant

Now that President-elect Obama is he's considering a labradoodle, everyone is taking a careful look at this upstart mixed breed, which has the Labrador retriever’s happy-go-lucky spirit and the poodle's smarts and hypoallergenic coat. Wally Cochran, who bred guide dogs for The Royal Guide Dogs in Victoria, Australia, started the breed in 1988 when a woman wanted a dog that wouldn’t upset her husband’s allergies. Since then, Labradoodles — sometimes called "doodles" for short -- leaped around the world as a new concept in dogs. They’re bred only for health and personality and not for the length of their ears or the precise color of their coat. Judy Hahn, owner of Gleneden Farm in Berryville, VA. used to breed horses and poodles, but feels better about breeding Labradoodles. "One of things we love about breeding doodles, we didn't have to have worry about a breed standard, we could concentrate on things that were more important to people that were buying a pet, like health and temperament," says Hahn. Labradoodles come in three sizes like the poodle. They have three coat types: fleece, wool curly and hair (which is not hypo-allergenic). Labradoodles come in just about every imaginable dog color: Black, Silver, Cream, Apricot Cream, Chalk, Gold, Red, Apricot, Chocolate, and even parti (multi-colored).Some day the Labradoodle may become a standard breed, but Labradoodle owner Greg Nelson, who got his dog Arbo from Gleneden and started a Web site to lobby Obama to pick a doodle, is in no rush. "A lot of purist are very snobby about the labradoodle," says Nelson. "I'm just passionate about responsible dog ownership … that benefits people’s overall lifestyle, community and happiness.”FAMOUS PARENTSBarbara Eden —J in-JinHenry Winkler — CharlotteRikki Lake -- JeffeyTiger Woods —Yogi Graham Norton -- Bailey Christie Brinkley-- Maple SugarBilly Bragg -- BusterJeremy Clarkson -- DodgerOliver Platt -- NoodleJennifer AnistonJeremy IronsBRED FORHypoallergenic guide dogs.KEEP IN MINDLabradoodles require grooming. Some labs have hip problems, which may be passed on if not bred out. Not all doodles are hypoallergenic—especially in the first generation.DOG BREED GROUPSRescue Breeding WHAT THEY LIKE TO DOLabradoodles get together for doodle romps, like this one on YouTube. They are water dogs on both sides of their family tree and like to swim.
Carol Vinzant

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