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By now many of you have listened to The Doodle Kisses Podcast episode featuring a rep from the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA).  I though it might be helpful to discuss in this thread.  What did you learn?  What are you still unsure about?  What questions do you want answered in our follow-up interview?  If we make our questions, concerns, wishes, known (in a mutually respectful way) I am crossing my fingers we can make progress and start to help potential doodle owners raise their standards and in turn (since much in the doodle world is consumer driven) raise the standards of doodle breeding and reduce poor quality doodle breeding.  That's my hope, anyway: education to improve the world of doodles.

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  • I have one! 
    My ALD was neutered at 7 weeks before I got him. Why? What is the purpose? Many people think that is too early. It's part of the ALD Assiciation rules. I don't think this was touched on during the podcast. 

    • Most of the time, the ALD breeders will say that studies show no difference between neutering/spaying at 7 weeks or 7 months; that the studies only show the differences between dogs who were spayed/neutered before or after one year of age.
      However, there has been new studies done and widely publicized that do show big health differences between dogs who were spayed/neutered before 6 months of age and after 6 months of age. So that old "one year" thing won't fly anymore. 
      It will be inbteresting to hear the new justifications for it, if there are any. 

      • My theory was that they don't want the pups to become victim to a backyard breeder or muddy up the line. But actually that doesn't fly when considering AKC pure bred pups are not treated the same way. 

        Also she talked about going through the litter to identify pups that would or would not "add to the line". My guy is dark chocolate. As he has grown he has a few stray white hairs on his back and a white patch on his tail. The father was chocolate and white Parti, the mother was dark chocolate. My guy, with his random white hairs would not "add to the line". I found that interesting. 

        With the proliferation of breeders and the popularity of doodles I felt more confident with the ALD Association rules and reg's that I would end up with the characteristics and temperment that I wanted. So far so good :)

         

        • You're right, it doesn't fly. Nor does the comment about needing to have more than one or two litters a year to "advance the breed." 
          My Jasper comes from some pretty famous Poodle lines. His sire is a multiple "Best In Show" Grand Champion and Top Producer, and was #13 top ranked Miniature Poodle in the U.S. in 2013. His paternal grandmother was the first silver Miniature in the history of the breed to win at Westminster, where she went Best of Opposite Sex in 2010. On his mother's side, maternal grandmother has an Obedience title in addition to her conformation championship. Maternal grandfather has multiple performance titles in obedience, rally, and agility in addition to his conformation title. One of his maternal great-grandfathers was the #7 ranked Miniature Poodle in the country in 2007, and the other great-grandfather has 16 performance titles (in addition to his conformation championships) including a VCD4, which means he earned a championship in obedience, agility, and tracking 4 times.I don't know of another dog of any breed who has done that.
          I'm not telling you all this to brag, lol. I'm telling you because if any breeder ever had good reason to "protect her lines" (as the ALD breeders say), it would be Jasper's breeder, and the owners of his sire and his grandparents. Yet, my breeder recommends waiting until the pups are at least 18 months old to spay/neuter, so that the growth plates are closed and the hormones have their chance to do their thing. She also has only 2 litters a year, as do the owners of his sire, grandparents, etc. 
          I'd say those breeders have done a pretty darned good job of "advancing" their breed, lol. 

        • I think that when someone is making their living selling puppies, they obvious have to have a lot of litters. And when you have a lot of litters, it must be hard to keep track of your pups, especially if you sell to anybody and his uncle. I think the ESN is in part because some ALD breeders don't want to be bothered screening buyers carefully and then keeping records and tracking the pups as to proof of spay and neuter down the line. 
          I personally don't think that anybody should be dependent on the sale of puppies to pay their mortgage or feed their kids. I think that when a breeder isn't depending on income from puppy sales (i.e. those who only have 1 or 2 litters a year), it is easier for her to make decisions based solely on what is best for the puppies, and easier to be honest about what she is selling. 

          • I also feel like it has to be virtually impossible to determine breeding quality on a 7 week old puppy. There may be some obvious faults at that age, but to say yes, this is my next breeding dog when they have so much maturing to do. You can't tell anything about their bite or conformation or joint health. So what are they basing that opinion on? Color? And how many of them wait two years for the dog to mature and do all the health testing and then turn and say, this dog isn't quite what I hoped and spay/neuter and place in a pet home? That is what I want to see in a breeder. Someone who isn't afraid to make the hard choices. Someone who isn't afraid to cut into their "profits" to do what is right for the dogs.

            • Most purebred breeders do choose their keepers when the pups are younger than 10 weeks old. There are some things they can see if they know their stuff, both structurally and temperament wise. But yes, sometimes the pup's teeth don;t come in right or a testicle doesn't descend, and then, as you have seen with some of the Poodle breeders in the last year, those pups are offered to pet homes. And when the health testing is done, others may be offered to pet homes. In the past few months, I've seen two sporting breed pups from very good purebred breeders offered as "pet only" because structurally the dogs had some issue that made them not good prospects for agility or field work. Fine as pets, no actual health problem, just not of the right structure to compete in performance events at the kind of level these breeders aim for. 

              • That's exactly it. The really good breeders aren't afraid to pull a dog from their breeding program if it doesn't work out. I think some of the doodle breeders, and probably some less than scrupulous purebred breeders too - I don't just want to throw doodle breeders under the bus, will breed them anyway. They're invested at that point. I really respect the breeders who are doing their best to breed only the highest quality dogs. That's the way to preserve and improve the breed, instead of just having puppies to have puppies. 

                • You are absolutely right that it isn't just doodle breeders, there are lots of purebred breeders who have less than stellar scruples, lol. 

    • It's not the ALAA's rules because there are ALAA breeders who do ESN and those who don't do ESN.  Maybe it was the ALCA?

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