Vader the Labradoodle

A Poodle is known for it’s wild curly hair,
A smooth coat lab looks more debonair
Mixing the two gives a new canine brew.
Designer dogs make us all stare

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At our North Highlands clinic, we were treated to the sight of what has become known as a ‘Designer Dog’ which means that it is a dog of specific mixed breeding but is itself not a recognized breed. Vader happens to be a Labradoodle and more specifically he’s the only black one out of a litter of Goldendoodles! This, of course, is a cross between the Labrador and Poodle. The first crossing dates to 1950s Australia and not only can any size poodle be used, but the resultant puppies may resemble either parent and be quite variable in coat and temperament. The Lab parent may impart a straight coat called a ‘hair’ coat while the Poodle parent may impart a wavy coat called ‘fleece’ or a curly coat called ‘wool’. The temperament was intended to include the calmness and caring of the Lab with the intelligence and trainability of the Poodle but this is not always a predictable outcome. Vader, however has a nearly perfect calm and caring personality and that is what the breed is supposed to be all about. These dogs were originally intended as guide and service dogs with a hypoallergenic coat and are periodically still bred for that purpose. One predictable trait is affinity for, and agility in water as that is characteristic of both parent breeds. Some breeders are breeding Labradoodles back to Labradoodles in an effort to establish standards which may some day lead to official breed recognition.

– Geoffrey Antipa

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