OK, this is going to be a rant. Doodles or "Doods" as they are sometimes called is not a breed. It's a mixed-breed. Calling it a "Designer Dog" or an "Exotic Breed" or a 'Hybrid" is a blatant misdirection to try and hide the fact that Doodles are mutts.
There's nothing wrong with owning a mixed-breed or getting a rescue dog as the family pet. They're all loveable critters. Just don't get ripped off paying for hype. Also, there are real health and temperament issues you should consider before deciding on a Doodle (or any other mixed-breed).
We're only going to talk about Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever & Poodle mix) and Goldendoodles (Golden Retriever & Poodle mix). Just so you know, there are currently eighty-one (81) varieties of poodle-mixed breeds. Doods are not special! See the list: Poodle-mix. Somebody even came up with the idea of a "Double Doodle". That's a Labradoodle bred to a Goldendoodle. Yikes!
The original idea behind mixing two breeds to create the Doodle, had merit. Goldens and Labs make excellent companions, service dogs and theraphy dogs. They are particularly good with children. Unfortunately many people have allergies to dog fur/dander. It's really the skin, not the coat, but let's not drill down into the science in this rant.
A few breeds (Poodles, Bichon Frise and others) have a coat referered to as non-allergenic.
The goal was to produce non-allergenic therapy and service dogs with the size, temperamment and conformation of a Golden or Lab. The "Designer" of the Labradoodle who started all this is Wally Conron from Austrailia. Read his story here: Wally's Story. Wally says "Today I am internationally credited as the first person to breed the labradoodle, but I wonder, in my retirement, whether we bred a designer dog – or a disaster!".
As the Doodle gained notariety and popularity, the non-reputable ("Backyard") breeders and commercial breeders ("Puppy Mills") saw an opportunity to make serious money.
They promoted the Doodles as the perfect dog. Fact is, a "good" Doodle breeder will tell you that only a very few Doodle pups will possess the qualities the opriginal breeders hoped to achieve. And, it requires the breeder to do proper DNA testing, temperament analysis, etc. on every puppy to find out which puppies (if any) in the litter live up to the advertising of non-allergenic or "Perfect Pet".
If you really want a Doodle, try to find a Breeder dedicated to Doods rather than profit. Ideally the parents will be 1st Generation. In other words, breeding a purebred Golden and a purebred Poodle that have all of their health clearances and sound pedigrees. In some cases 2nd generation may be OK. But that's it!
Breeding a Doodle with another Doodle or back to the Poodle or Golden is not likely to produce a good dog.
The odds of getting a correct ("perfect") Doodle from a backyard breeder or puppy mill are slim and none! More likely you'll get the worst of both breeds resulting in a big dog that makes your allergies flare and has temperament issues. Skin allergies, seperation anxiety, nurotic behavior, hip displaysia, eye problems, etc. are very likely in Doods bred for profit or by amateurs. There are many ailments common to both the Poodle and the Golden. If both parents carry the disorder in their lines the resulting pups are at high risk of having lots of problems that will cost plenty to treat at the Vet.
Sure, the same is true of purebred dogs. So the biggest problem with Doods is the breeder. Most Dood breeders are in it for the money. The terms "reputable breeders" and mixed-breed are mutually exclusive. Doodles were created in the 1990's. Goldens were recognized by the AKC in 1925 and their origin goes back to the 1800's giving the purebred Golden Breeder a standard to adhere to and a long history to draw upon.
If you like Poodles, buy one from a reputable Poodle breeder. If your preference is a Lab or Golden find a reputable Lab or Golden Breeder. If you have to have a non-allergenic pet, consider purebred Poodles or Bichon Frise, etc.
Paying more for your dog doesn't mean you get a better dog. Best to consider the total cost of ownership over time. Don't take our word for it. Do the research before you buy any dog. As example, Embrace Pet Insurance charges higher premiums to insure Doodles that other mixed-breed or purebred dogs. What does that tell you? See their coments: Embrace.
There is no such thing as the perfect dog.
Thanks for listening to the rant.
The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) has taken a position on the GoldenDoodle. See: http://grca.org/allabout/a_doodle-white.html#doodle
A Doodle Breeder took exception and wrote to the GRCA . You might also be interested in reading the GRCA's response at: http://grca.org/allabout/goldendoodle_response.html