Labradoodle Owners - advice needed please?

(119 Posts)
onoffon Wed 26-Jan-11 15:12:35

I posted similar questions under a different topic but someone suggested reposting with 'labradoodle' in the title!

Have spent hours reading all the wise MNetters advice about puppies/dogs etc as DH and I have decided to get a dog later this year; but I just have a couple of questions.

We can't get one straight away because we're waiting to move from London out to the countryside (Sussex), but when should we start looking? and how do you find a good breeder?

And should I just wait until we're ready and then look for adverts of recent litters, or should I identify a good breeder now, visit them to see previous litters so then I can get first pick of a later litter?

Can anyone recommend a good breeder?

Thanks

OP’s posts: |
MothershipG Wed 26-Jan-11 15:51:06

Do you mind if I ask you why it is you want this cross? Just because you shouldn't believe any promises any breeder makes about them being non-shedding and as you won't be able to tell until they are about 6 months old it would be very sad if you suddenly found that you were allergic to the dog you'd come to love!

As for finding a good breeder you need to find out what the health checks for Labs and Poodles are, which you'll find on their respective breed clubs. You certainly need to start looking around now, visiting breeders, seeing their dogs' health check certificates.

Any decent breeder will not have loads of litters, so you should be prepared to wait, they will not be insisting on neutering at 8 weeks and will have a contract that states that they will take the dog back at any point in it's life for whatever reason. A good breeder makes a lifelong commitment to every dog they bring into the world.

There are quite a few labradoodles I see regularly and they are all very different in size, colouring and temperament. Remember you could get the worst of both breeds, not the best!

Good luck with your search.

NaomiPaula Wed 26-Jan-11 18:41:04

We have a labradoodle - he is great, fab with the kids, very good natured , very chilled! Does moult (not to labardor extent but enough to have to hoover every day!!!!)
He is big (s poodle size) and so can knock youngest dd over when ecited but she is used to it now! But have seen some that are mad!!!! Completely bonkers! there is one in the park that leap frogs mine!

Definately talk to some breeders - look at labradoodle association uk that is where we found our breeder. Did visit a couple of litters before we found this breeder and weren't happy with things they said etc..

Good luck!

jonicomelately Wed 26-Jan-11 18:49:45

I've posted on your other thread but I'll reply here too.

We have a doodle. They get a lot of unfair flak on here. Ours barely sheds and DP who is allergic to labs doesn't have a problem with her but this isn't true of all doodles. Our breeder has very few litters and was fine. Decent doodle breeders do actually exist.

PersonalClown Wed 26-Jan-11 18:50:10

Oh mine is completely insane and thick as shit!!
He is quite hyper, stupid, will only work for food and sheds like there is no tomorrow.

Compared to the rest of the litter (Misdee has 2, LisaD123 has one, the breeder has one plus the parents and a nurse at my vet practice has one) mine is one of the smaller sized ones.

30andMerkin Wed 26-Jan-11 18:55:47

Right. This is going to be a biggy, get sitting comfortably!

We have a 6 month old labradoodle puppy, and I'm very pleased with him. I'm not going to talk about which breeder I got him from here, but if anyone can explain PMing to me I can do it that way.

I would start looking immediately. I think I first contacted our breeders a year before we were ready to get one, and although they took the piss a bit, I'm glad we had all that time. Even with all that time, there were only 2 dogs in the litter left for us to choose from.

Even if you're not ready yet, you can speak to breeders and see if they've sold any in your area who you might be able to meet, and also contact the Labradoodle Org site to see if anyone has a doodle nearby you could meet. There are 100s of people who call themselves labradoodle breeders, but to be honest only a handful of them are worth considering, and pretty quickly the same names will start coming up.

First of all it would definitely be good to know why you want a doodle? If you want a gentle, biddable, hypoallergenic, non-shedding dog, er, think again!

The coat question comes up again and again. One of the reasons we got one is because my husband is slightly allergic, although nothing life threatening. I always maintained (And still do), that if the pup develops a coat that makes him sneeze, he'll just have to take a lot of antihystamine. Be VERY CAUTIOUS of any breeder who tells you their dogs are allergen free. They might be, they might not be. UNtil they have their adult coat you may not know, and its a very irresponsible way to sell a dog. Ours is not the beautiful fleecy type, but a scuffier coat. He seems to be hypoallergenic to my DH at least, but he is currently moulting, quite a lot.

The temperament thing was a big one for us - I know breed generalisations only work so far, but I wanted a reasonably large, athletic, intelligent dog. I don't like the heavy, show breed style labradors as much as working stock, so ours comes from a working lab line. In fact the breeder works their doodles as well. That means they are HYPER intelligent, and do need a lot of training, possibly more than I'm giving at the moment.

They seem to also tend to be very very friendly dogs, to the point where I currently have absolutely no idea how to stop mine going beserk wanting to play with any other dogs or people he sees. Treats and toys just don't cut it!

On the plus side, ours is quite mellow in the house, affectionate, and not remotely defensive or aggressive. I can happily take bones away from him, pick up bits of kibble from his food bowl while he's eating without any more reaction than a wagging tail, he's never really barked at people coming in (crap guard dog!), and has never ever shown any aggression to another person or dog. We socialiased the arse of him, and he took it all in his stride - cities, public transport, shops, pubs, crowds, you name it.

Other things I wasn't aware of before getting our doodle - they are big dogs, and over exercise is a major cause of joint problems. I don't think we were quite prepared for how long their walking is heavily restricted. They are also very 'lab' like in their eating everything, so think about what's in your garden etc. Are you prepared to fish another dog's poo out of your puppy's mouth? Because you'll probably have to!

When looking for a breeder: get recommendations, don't be frightened of breeders asking you lots of questions or recommending pre-puppy classes, make sure you can see definitely mum with pups, ideally sire as well (but sometimes not possible if stud dogs used). Definitely see the original copies of hip & eye certificates.

Think about other issues that aren't so black and white: some breeders ask for deposits for viewings - I personally disagree with this as I think it puts pressure on to buy, others use it to prevent time wasters. Some breeders keep the dogs in the house, ours didn't, as I planned to have quite an 'outside' dog I was happy with that. It possibly lengthened toilet training slightly, but not significantly. (And the dog is now fully installed on our sofa...!)

Some breeders ask you to sign something that says you won't breed from them - again ours didn't. Do NOT get a neuteured young pup (they're big dogs that take a while to mature, our breeder recommended hanging on til 12-18 mnths before getting the snip). Obviously check they're all up to date on the jabs and worming.

Hope that all helps, there's probably loads more I havent thought of yet.. but that's plenty for now!

hatwoman Wed 26-Jan-11 18:56:57

my dog's best friend is a labradoodle and she's ace. she's second generation. doesn't shed (her owner is allergic) lovely nature, pretty intelligent.she may, at some stage have pups, but half the village want them (including us) so there won;t be any spare grin

I think it might be hard to find the right breeder - so I would definetly look for a breeder, rather than a pup, iyswim. and then wait for a litter to come along than to

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CalamityKate Wed 26-Jan-11 18:57:29

Decent 'Doodle breeders certainly exist.

However, a LOT tend to over-sell the hypoallergenic aspect, to the extent of downright lying. Also, they often charge EXHORBITANT prices for what is, essentially a crossbreed.

And before anyone jumps on me - I've got two crossbreeds so it's not the crossing I object to - it's the motives of the breeder and the way it's gone about that I think is often wrong.

jonicomelately Wed 26-Jan-11 19:01:39

I don't disagree with that Calamity but it's like many other things where you have to use your common sense. Our breeder never once mentioned hypoallergy except to say there were no guarantees. We met our dog's mum and grandma and loved their personalities. I also liked how the breeder didn't have another litter until over eighteen months after ours and that was with another bitch.

midori1999 Wed 26-Jan-11 19:12:00

Would you consider a rescue? There are loads of them in rescue, puppies and older puppies too.

I don't like the breeding of labradoodles purely because they are a 'fad', hence so many in rescues, and there is already a breed to suit everyone, so why deliberately breed crossbreeds? I can't see what th emotivation is other than money I'm afraid. That said, I have nothing against the dogs themselves, (they can be absolutely gorgeous!)but they do vary hugely in looks and temprement and like any crossbreed litter, even within the same litter there will be variations.

Lots of bad breeders out there, so you need to vet them carefully. Parents must be eye tested and hip scored and preferably elbow scored too. The breeder should breed rarely (once a year is the absolute maximum, every 3 year sor less is ideal) and really they should only breed if they want a puppy to keep themselves. (again, otherwise, why are they breeding?)

Litters, IMO, should be reared and housed indoors with access to a garden. Mum should have unlimited access to the litter and it's desirable the litter are not left unsupervised at all, especially in the younger days. (lots of very good breeders sleep next to the litter for several weeks). Puppies should be weaned onto good quality food. Mum should have been wormed daily during pregnancy from day 42 to prevent roundworm burden in the puppies, and the puppies should be wormed regularly until weaning, either bi weekly or at 3 and 7 weeks, depending on the wormer used.

The area the puppies are in should obviously be clean, dry and warm enough. It is good practice not to allow viewing of litter suntil around 4 weeks to help protect puppies against infection brought in. You should also be asked to take off your shoes and wash your hands prior to handling the pups. Puppies should have free access to water and be on 3-4 meals a day by 4 weeks. It is highly desirable for the puppy to have been checked over by a vet before you take it home and the breeder should encourage you to take the pup to your ovwn vet within a few days of taking it home too. Ideally the puppy should already be microchipped, but not all breeders vaccinate their pups. (I don't unless the are staying with me past 8 weeks as I prefer them done at 9 weeks or over)

A good breeder will be available at any time you need them for advice once you take your puppy home, throughout the life of your dog. They should also be prepared to take the dog back at any time in it's life if you can no longer keep it. They should also ask you to sign a contract of sale.

It's quite a minefield as you can see. If all of the above are present, that is a good indication of a good breeder.

jonicomelately Wed 26-Jan-11 19:41:55

I really resent people saying my dog is a fad. She's a lovely, valued family pet who we thought long and hard about having. Dog breeds have always been prone to 'trends' think Afgan hounds in the seventies, and today staffies and bull breeds. Where I live I've even seen a huge trend in little fluffy dogs which I've dubbed the 'Paul O'Grady' effect. For some reason Labradoodles seem to attract more than their fair share of critisism confused

I also think the poster has in this, and the other thread she posted heard all of the arguments about rescues and had every bit of advice possible about breeders.

MadameCastafiore Wed 26-Jan-11 19:51:41

We have a fab labradoodle who we got from a local breeder we found on line.

I thought she would be non shedding but that is ballony - she drops hair to a horrific degree - furminator helps and getting her washed and clipped regularly.

But - she is ythe most fantastic pet, docile, happy, great with the kids - even when my friends 2 year old bit her nose she just whimpered and looked to me.

She does not go on the furnoture - we have stipulated that from when we first got her, she goes into her cage if the door bell goes and she will not take food off of anyone - even if you give her food you have to put it into her bowl or she will not eat it - she knows that she is not boss and I really think this is the way forward.

I literally have had loads of people saying if we ever don't want her they will have her just because she is so well natured.

She is incredibly clever too - she will not wee or poo in the garden after we trained her to only go in one place, after a while she just decided that she would on;y go when we took her out.

We do walk her a lot though - probably for 2 hours a day - 1 long walk of an hour and then 3 other short walks so she can relieve herself.

Do look into it on the net, go and visit the breeder, see what their house is like and the conditions they keep the dogs in, meet the parents of the dog and see all their hip and eye scores too.

Our labradoodle was I suppose a fad because we let the kids dictate what we would get and my hate of mess and hair but we would not do without her - she is as much a part of the family as the kids are - and sometimes a whole lot easier!! wink

midori1999 Wed 26-Jan-11 20:08:39

jonicomelately are you saying lots of irresponsible breeders didn't begin breeding labradoodles when they suddenly became popular, thinking only of the £ signs? Are you saying there weren't lots of impulse buys, plenty of which were based on their supposed 'non-shedding' and subsequently a crisis situation is rescues? I'd call that a fad...

No-one is saying anything about your dog in particular and I am not sure why you're so defensive about it?

onoffon Wed 26-Jan-11 21:34:58

Wow, so much really good advice here, thanks so much.

Am just posting quickly on my iPhone tonight but will have a proper read through and respond tomorrow.

Thanks so much

OP’s posts: |
jonicomelately Wed 26-Jan-11 22:05:18

I'm not being 'defensive' but I really don't like your tone midori. I find it rather patronising.

Avantia Wed 26-Jan-11 22:32:02

I have a pure labrador and on my walks with her etc the labradoodles I have seen are big ! Obviuosly crossed with the standard poddle not the minature !

I also am a bit hmm about labradoodles and tend to agree that they seem to be a bit of a fad . You are getting a cross bred where charactertistics are still unpredictable . Out of interest how much are people charging for a labradoodle pup ?

Now just because I say they are a fad , along with dogs that fit into hangbags , doesn't mean to say that are not a valuable part of the family - just not my cup of tea.

larahusky Wed 26-Jan-11 23:00:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CalamityKate Wed 26-Jan-11 23:59:05

Oh yeah - the silly names grin

I saw someone posting on another forum somewhere who is a vet nurse and she said some owners get VERY sniffy when she enters their dog's details as "Crossbreed" - "He ISN'T a crossbreed - he's a Jackadoodle" or whatever.

Gawd hmm

Avantia Thu 27-Jan-11 06:49:26

Even the UK Labradoodle Association refers to them as 'fashionable crossbreds'

here

Other websites are not so kind and refer to them as 'mutts' or 'mongrels'.

I wouldn't be too offended therefore at the term 'fad' .

I suppose the thing to be concerned about are the people who are breeding without checking any heredity problems that lab and poodle can have and potentially 'polluting' what in he long term and way way down the line could have been a new breed .

The demand or fad causes irresponsbile breeding and before any labrdoodle breeders jump down my throat - I am aware that not all breeders are irresponsible .

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 27-Jan-11 07:17:12

I'm quite careful about saying mine is a Labradoodle as I know it gets some people's backs up. Sometimes people recognise what she is and ask, if not I say she is a cossbreed, I can't be arsed to deal with people who have strong views on it. Thing is I don't give a monkeys, she is my dog who has a really lovely temperament, though can be a pickle. We have had several owners say if we ever want to rehome her they would like her as she gets on well with their dogs who don't ususally like other dogs. The training club wanted her as their mascot as she's so friendly they thought she'd be good to represent them at the various events they attend.

I've seen her Dad, Mum and Grandmother. She's hip scored and all the eye things. Sheds but needs minimal maintenance, her coat is quite wiry. We don't need a doorbell as she lets us know if someone is coming. Is going to start agility with DD which will keep them both busy and is worth every penny of the £450
we paid and we love her.

30andMerkin Thu 27-Jan-11 08:08:55

WEll, they are a fad, and in many way's that's a great shame. Like Wynken, personally I usually refer to mine as a lab cross, but I don't really like any implication that they're bought by ignorant people ONLY because they're fashionable.

Pretty much all dogs were originally bred to purpose - herding, hunting, guarding, whatever. Nowadays we have less call for dogs who'll keep your rats down, and more call for family friendly pets, so they are becoming more popular. Actually the breed originally evolved for very positive reasons - they were created as assistance dogs for people allergic to labradors.

I also think it does a disservice to they many very very good breeders out there to just call them mongrels, as many people in the community are working very hard to establish a sound breed, trying to breed OUT the inherent health problems associated with labs and poodles, and breed IN the fantastic temperament many doodles are associated with.

In fact our dog came from a former champion Lab breeder who had been breeding crosses before they become mega-fashionable, as they were getting disillusioned with the KC 'pure' breeding they saw in the Labradors and wanted to breed dogs for health and temperament reasons, rather than to meet an artificial cosmetic standard.

That's not to say there aren't utter shitesters jumping on the bandwagon, but that's the same with any breed, it's just the ££ that labradoodles cost that seems to attract the worst types.

If anyone can recommend me a working-type, low allergy, child-friendly breed I'll consider it for the next one?! Can't do spaniels, labs, retrievers for the coat issues. Weimaranas (sp?) and pointers I gather can be skittish with children. We considered a Wheaten terrier a few years ago, but then the damn breed went and won Crufts and also became mega trendy, and even the breed association says they're pretty much untrainable. I quite like boxers though... (oh, and before anyone says rescue a staffy, I'd love to, but my MIL has a proper shaking-and-vomiting-with-fear phobia of bull breeds, which would mean I'd lose my dogsitter).

30andMerkin Thu 27-Jan-11 08:13:02

Oh, and just one other thing... where are all these labradoodles in rescue? Do they end up finding homes very quickly so are never listed?

I spent quite a long time looking when I was thinking about getting our pup and, apart from the Labradoodle Trust, never saw any. Would definitely consider a rescue dood for No.2 (in a couple of years, obviously.... Shh, don't tell DH!)

labradoodleandproud Thu 27-Jan-11 08:13:28

we have a wonderful 1 yr old labradoodle - she has the fleecy coat and does not shed at all.

You need to go to a decent breeder - we put a deposit down before our pup was born !

Google Hampshire labradoodles for the breeder we used. They are fab - a bit OTT but they really love their dogs and we cannot fault our puppy.

NaomiPaula Thu 27-Jan-11 10:20:16

i wiah everyine would leave Doods alone!! All people get dogs for a certain reason - you generaly get for look, temp, size, good with children etc
I know you cannot guarantee coat/exact size with Doods but if you see parents etc then you will have a good idea! most breeds have problems with dodgy breeders you have just to be careful who you go to and make sure you ge health checks!
Not sure why people keep going on about worst traits in both dogs - poodles and labs are both known for having good temps!

Mine is a star and i would not have any other dog!!Everyone who meets him loves him and i would highly reccomend one provding you do research and don't get one thinking they will be allergy friendly!

ScaredOfCows Thu 27-Jan-11 10:34:25

30andMerkin - you asked for recommendations for working-type, low-allergy, child-friendly breeds. What about a standard poodle - low allergy as non-moulting, water-retrievers/hunters, very child friendly. If the coat is clipper to the same length all over and not shaved on the muzzle and feet, they look exactly the same as a typical poodle/lab cross.

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