umm… doodle musings


On the odd occasion we have people come to us and say, “well we don’t know whether or not we should get a doodle or a Portuguese Water Dog.

ah ok, I say, what interests you in a doodle?

And 90% of people say, “Well, they say, they are non-shedding.”

Ah… no they aren’t.  You can’t take a dominant gene such as shedding hair, and breed it to a non shedding dog, and magically produce non shedding pups.  A very small percentage may be non shedding, but more often than not there are is a very diverse range of coat types, often a buyer’s and groomer’s nightmare.  Tip:  if you’re thinking of buying a doodle, often grooming prices can be twice as much as a purebred dog, as groomers battle the awful coat types, leading to most groomers needing to completely shave the coat off.

And this is all the more tragic when people have bought a dog because they are supposedly non shedding and they find that when they get the pup home, within a very short period of time, their child has allergies to the pup and the pup then is taken away from the child.  What a horrible thing to happen, as you’ll agree.

At this point, I will warn you there are some doodle breeders who will say “your dog will never need to be groomed.”  This is someone you don’t just want to walk away from, but you want to run away from as quickly as possible.

There will be some doodles that won’t shed, because genetically they are 95% poodle/bichon/some other non shedding breed.  This means, that you’re buying a cross bred dog, without any of the backups, when you should have just bought a poodle.  Or a bichon.  Or a maltese.  Etc.  From a registered breeder.  And no registered breeder in Australia can breed cross bred dogs (sure there is the occasional accident, and all those pups will be sold desexed, and come with health guarantees and life time breeder support too) because we’re not allowed to under our code of ethics.

You will often find that people breeding the cross breeds are far more interested in the cash then they are in talking to you about the pup and what possible impacts this may have on your life, and very few provide ongoing support.  This means because they won’t say to potential buyers “this isn’t going to work” because the money is more important than the pup.

Often when these purchases are made there can be a short time period between making into someone’s home and ending up dumped at the RSPCA.

How much?

I recently saw poodle cross cavalier king charles spaniels advertised for $5500   whoops they have just increased the price to $7000, at a location about 2 hours north of me. You can’t make this stuff up. This is absolutely ridiculous.  It’s as if this is a competition to see how stupid potential purchasers are.  But there is a line up of people who appear happy to put their money into that, rather than their mortgages or kids’ education, so they can have when they initially think is a fantastic purchase.  I’ve met some of these people years later, and had their dogs boarding with me, and every single one has regretted the purchase.  Some comment, “I didn’t realise at the time they were a puppy farmer.”  People, put your thinking caps on, and if you want some independent advice, contact me!

Pure bred poodles and pure bred cavalier king charles spaniels can be bought from good breeders, with papers, with health guarantees, with life time breeder support – and the requirements for ethical breeding from the canine associations, for around $1500-$2000.  If you are looking for great breeders of any pure bred dogs, and you need help, ring me or email me and I will be able to put you in contact with some.

Is it really the haircut you don’t like?

And you know if you don’t want a poodle because you don’t like the poodle hair cut – get your groomer to have fun and put it in another trim!  And right now, stop and use google to find a hundred different groovy haircuts you can put your poodle in.

Here’s some examples of some great cute haircuts, and some lovely amazing grooming competition dogs that are really fun.  And how fun if you can help your kids learn to become their own dog’s personal groomer:

poodle2 poodle1

poodle3 poodle5 poodle4 poodle6

The buying consciousness

We know the general public wants puppy farming to stop, but it can only stop when people stop buying from them and from pet stores.  You need to be able to visit the breeder’s home.  If they won’t let you, don’t buy from them.

As a society we are becoming so conscious of how we buy things and where we buy them from, and it really is time we stopped being sucked in to buying little puppies with big brown eyes and cute fringes without looking at the story behind them.

Are doodles bad dogs?

Well you’ll find some lovely ones, and some horrible ones.  Do your research and avoid any breeder that has a paypal button or similar on their website.

So should you get a doodle?

Look at the end of the day this is up to you.  I would encourage you to do a lot of research, and cross reference anything you are told.  And if you’re buying a pup that is 2-3 times what an excellent pure bred dog would cost you, then you should expect 2-3 times the value.  Anything less would be foolish.  You should be demanding life time breeder support, exceptional health guarantee, constant phone access to help with grooming and behavioural issues, and training advice, plus, plus, plus, and probably a free diamond ring of at least a carrot given what you’re paying.  And don’t buy a pup from a pet store ever.

But honestly, as a qualified judge of purebred dogs, I am aghast at some of the construction issues on doodles.  We call it “conformation”.  And this means how well it conforms to the standard.  ie:  a long list of attributes you’re looking for in a certain breed.

I have clients with all sorts of doodles, and I see these dogs that people have paid $7k-$12k with “east west fronts”, low on pasterns, horrible top lines, hocks that are talking to each other, etc, and some with dreadful temperaments.  And that’s before we get on to the coat issues.

When you can pay $3k for a purebred dog from a registered breeder, I continue to be confused by the thousands of people paying for poorly bred doodles from puppy farms paying at least twice the price.  And they certainly don’t get the ongoing support that purebred registered breeders will give.

I guess if you prefer a click and collect mentality, then you can easily get that with a doodle.


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