• Reagan Hart

We Don't Regret Our Labradoodle One Bit!

When news broke that the creator of the Labradoodle regrets his creation, at least six people sent my husband and me the article. We have a Multi-Generation Labradoodle named Doobie, who is a year and a half old. He is the sweetest, smartest, cuddliest, most obnoxious dog you have ever met. When you walk through the door, he will wrap both paws around your thighs and hug you. He may jump up super high to give you a kiss on your face if he is that excited to see or meet you. After the initial excitement, he'll calm down and continue with his business of devouring a bone or holding a hair tie hostage. He may just pass out and use your feet as a pillow.

We decided to get a Labradoodle because I am super allergic to dogs. Hell, I'm super allergic to anything with fur-- bunnies, gerbils, cats, you name it! One day my husband and I were walking by Petco, and they were having a pet adoption day. I picked up a little white puppy, and he clung to my chest. When I could finally remove him, I had a HUGE red rash on my neck. I left the store in tears because the people from the adoption agency wouldn't let me have him because of my allergy. I was hysterical, that puppy wanted me, and I wanted him SOO bad. My husband immediately started googling a solution to my issue, seeing that I was ready to have a "fur" baby in our lives.

Finding a hypo-allergenic dog is hard all. First off, there is no "perfect" allergy-free dog. I am allergic to dog saliva, dander, and sebum. Through some research, we learned that Labradoodles produce less saliva and dander than other breeds. They also don't shed. *Is Doobie, the perfect allergy-free dog? I do get hives if he licks me but, I'm not allergic to his sebum, so hugging him and petting him are okay. It also helps that he doesn't generate much dust in the house because he doesn't shed.

Getting a Labradoodle is no small feat, they are expensive, and there are MONTH LONG WAITING LISTS. We finally found a fantastic breeder, I will name drop because if you're in the Bay Area, Brasken Labradoodles is just a short drive away. Kristen and Brandon do an AMAZING job of breeding their pups. We had quite a hard time finding a breeder who would answer our e-mails and wasn't a puppy mill. One breeder wanted to meet us at a gas station, hand us a pup and drive off. NEVER go this route. With Brasken, we went to select our baby when he was six weeks old. We got to meet his mom and see the farm where the adult-guardian dogs get busy and birth the babies. It was VERY sanitary, and no funny business was going on here, like with the gas station people.

Kristen and Brandon want to make sure that these dogs will have a forever home, and care so much about the welfare of the puppies. Doobie picked us during our first meeting, we really had little say in the matter. He climbed in my lap for a cuddle, and I knew he was it. He was also willing to fetch with my husband, a pretty big deal for such a tiny tike. Waiting two weeks for him to wean off of his mom was killer. Thank the good Lord that Kristen and Brandon have an amazing photographer. They sent us plenty of pictures of our little boy while we waited to pick him up.

Doobie has been a true blessing in our lives since the day we brought him home. He has added so much joy and happiness. Is he crazy, HECK YES! I would not lie to you all about that. Have we kind of let him be a spoiled only baby boy? Yes. He is super smart and is very food driven, so I know we could train him not to be so nuts. Honestly, we like that he keeps us on our toes. We also knew what we were getting into given his Labrador and Poodle genes. These are not timid breeds, but they're loyal as heck, intelligent, and active. I have also noticed that he is much more cuddly with me and crazy playful with my husband. Maybe it's a boy thing?

One of the things that surprised us about Doobie is how territorial he is, of our house, and of us. When my husband takes him to the dog park, he won't let my husband pet any other dogs. He's not aggressive with the other dogs by any means, but he will place his body between my husband and other dogs. He does the same thing with me if we encounter other dogs on our daily walks. I work from home, and if anyone comes to the front door, he goes CRAZY. I don't really mind because it provides an extra sense of security. He sounds like a HUGE dog if you can't see him, one of our neighbors asked if we also have a Rottweiler, because she heard Doobie barking from our house and the blinds were closed.

As much as I love my labradoodle, I understand that not every breed is for everyone. Labradoodles are quite active. Of course, this depends on the specific dog's temperament, but overall they do like to run, walk, fetch, and play. Also, not every breeder is created equal. These are expensive dogs (honestly, ALL dogs are costly if you spoil them enough ;-)), and some folks have decided to exploit these beasts and make a quick buck. Quite despicable. A responsible breeder will breed based on health and temperament. Labradoodles are pre-disposed to hip & elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and von Willebrand's. Many of these genetic diseases can be prevented with proper breeding. Ask your breeder for proof of genetic testing to make sure.

It saddens me that the original Labradoodle breeder regrets his "creation." Our boy has provided us with so much unconventional love that it makes my heart burst. He comes from generations of good health and is just generally pleasant to be around. I haven't regretted him on the days where it's cold and rainy, when we get a big vet bill, or he gets my floor muddy. He's my furever baby.

For those wondering, Doobie means teddy bear in Hebrew. We may live in California, but we wouldn't name a dog after a joint.

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