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Hybrid Dogs

   

What is a hybrid dog? Is it the same thing as a mutt?

A hybrid dog is a cross between two purebred dogs of different breeds and is not the same thing as a mutt. A mutt is defined in Webster's dictionary as a mongrel dog. Mongrel is further defined as "anything produced by indiscriminate mixture." There's the difference. Doodles are not an indiscriminate mixture because careful selection is involved. We can't throw in a bit of Chihuahua and a bit of Bulldog and maybe some German Shepherd and cross that with a Doodle and get anything other than a "mutt."

In Webster's dictionary, the meaning of hybrid that applies in this case is as follows:

1: an offspring of two animals or plants of different races, breeds, varieties, species, or genera

You will probably run across some who are opposed to Hybrid dogs who will make the claim that "hybrid" applies only to the cross of different species, such as a horse and donkey producing a mule. As you can see in the definition above, a cross of two purebreds would definitely be a hybrid and not a "mutt" or "mongrel."

So what exactly is a Doodle? How is it a hybrid dog?

A Goldendoodle is a cross between one Poodle parent and one Golden Retriever parent.

A Labradoodle is a cross between one Poodle parent and one Labrador Retriever parent.

A Schnoodle is a cross between one Poodle parent and one Schnauzer parent.

A Whoodle is a cross between one Poodle parent and one Wheaten Terrier parent.

An Aussiedoodle is a cross between one Poodle parent and one Australian Shepherd parent.

There are many other types of hybrid crosses but since this is a Doodledawg website, we'll stop there. In our case, we will be breeding just Goldendoodles.

Isn't it unethical to cross two different purebreds to get a new type of dog?

How far back do you want to go? Dogs have been selectively bred ever since they have lived around humans. If it is wrong to cross different breeds, we would not have all the varieties of dogs that we have now. Every breed known was developed by crossbreeding for desirable traits.

Let's look at just the histories of the dogs used in the Goldendoodle combination.

 

The History of the Golden Retriever

A man in Inverness, Scotland, the first Lord Tweedmouth by the name of Sir Dudley Marjoriebanks, was a passionate hunter. During the 1850's he turned his attention to the retriever varieties of that time, which were combinations of setters and spaniels. Lord Tweedmouth was set on developing a golden variety. He crossed a yellow retriever variety with a liver colored Tweed Water Spaniel. This breeding resulted in four yellow pups which were the foundation stock from which both the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever eventually came forth. In 1876 a red setter was bred into the line of the Golden Retrievers. Some also claim that a sandy-colored bloodhound type dog was in the mix somewhere too, explaining the similar sad-faced appearance in the eyes of some Golden Retrievers as well as the folds of skin in the neck area.  Thus, as you can see, if no crossbreeding was ever to be done, we would have neither the Golden Retriever or the Labrador Retriever that we have today.

 

The History of the Standard Poodle

The history of the Poodle can be traced back at least to the 14th century A.D. and some claim they can be traced back to a 1st century A.D. crossbreeding of a Maltese type dog of the time with a Water Spaniel, resulting eventually in a poodle type retrieving water dog. Early paintings from the 15th century show the Poodle much the same as it appears now, and they were referred to then as "water-dogges." Since it has been a very stable breed for at least hundreds of years, possibly thousands, is it not fitting that the Poodle is the base for all the "Doodle" crosses?

 

In each case cited, the dogs were crossbred for a desired trait, be it retrieving ability, color, hunting, or whatever. What many people want today is a well-mannered, intelligent, easy to train and fun to have around, not to mention gorgeous, family dog. Here come the Doodles!

Are the results of crossbreeding for the Doodles consistent?

Yes, quite consistent, however since they are an FI Hybrid there will always be some amount of variation in coat types. One may have a curlier coat while a littermate may have a wavy coat. Some will be non-shedders, having more of a poodle type coat. This is why on our questionnaire we have the question about allergies. The curlier coated pups will be the choice for families with an allergy in the home. Some people like the wavy coats. Let us know when you fill out the application. We will do our best to match you with the dog that is perfect for your situation.

What color choices are there?

Since Poodles come in a great variety of colors, Doodles can also come in a variety of colors. When our litters are born we will always post pictures on the website and email additional pictures to those who have reserved a puppy.  This is one of the wonderful and fun parts of crossbreeding. Just as Lord Tweedmouth worked to develop the Golden Retriever as we know it today, breeders of Doodles have the opportunity to breed for specific traits that will make superior and outstanding family dogs for today's modern day lifestyles. Some breeders are developing Mini-Doodles, others are working to develop specific color options, such as my desire to get red Goldendoodles. Most important of all is breeding to eliminate some of the health problems that have developed in some of the purebred dogs. Thus, we are keeping for our program only those dogs who pass health clearances and breeding for hybrid vigor. It is a privilege and an exciting and wonderful experience to be a Doodle breeder. Our adoptive families can be a part of this exciting endeavor too, by sending us feedback and photos of your Doodledawgs to share on our website.

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