1. Is it true that Doodles don't shed?
Some doodles are non-shedding, others shed slightly and still others shed quite a bit. Generally, multigenerational labradoodles (labradoodle x labradoodle) and F1B's (25% lab and 75% poodle) are much less likely to shed because there is a higher percentage of poodle in the mix. But if you are considering adding a labradoodle to your family it's important to realize that any labradoodle may shed. As hybrids, labradoodles can have non-shedding coats like the poodle side of the family, and others can have shedding coats like their lab relatives. It's important to note that there isn't necessarily a correlation between whether a dog sheds and whether he/she will be allergy friendly. (See "Coats, Colors and Sizes")

2. Is a Labradoodle for everyone?
No. These dogs require a lot of mental stimulation and challenge. They are extremely smart and need to feel challenged or they will get bored. And boredom can result in a variety of undesirable behaviors (barking, chewing. digging). Doodles are extremely social animals who thrive on companionship. They will not do well if they are delegated to the position of "outside dog" They need to feel that they are part of their "pack" (your family). Doodles require moderate exercise.

3. Are Labradoodles good with children?
Labradoodles by their nature are friendly, non-aggressive, loyal and loving. They make wonderful family pets. But it is important to note that as puppies, doodles exhibit all of the behaviors that you might expect from any young, un-trained dog: puppy nipping, jumping and excitability. If you watch puppies at play with each other, you will see them wrestling and biting on each other's ears. This is fine with the other puppies, but may not go over well with a little human baby. When I had small children and a puppy at the same time, I had to break this "puppy biting" quickly. I found that the labradoodle is a very sensitive breed of dog (they get flustered and scared if your tone is the least bit harsh with them). Every time the puppy bit me (or one of the children that was old enough to train her) we let out a high pitched "yip", just like the sound a hurt puppy makes and withdraw your hand from play for a little while. This is puppy-language for "that hurts". This worked very quickly to stop this behavior, but it did require a few training sessions. Even though the puppy learned not to play bite, I still do not recommend leaving a baby or toddler with any breed of puppy without an adult in the room until you are very sure that they would both be safe. It is also important that children be taught how to interact with puppies/dogs to insure the safety of both child and puppy. After you pass that puppy stage of development and invest the time in basic training, Labradoodles are absolutely wonderful with children. Our labradoodles have been amazingly gentle and patient with our seven children.

4. Which make better pets...males or females?
I am a retired NICU/OB Nurse and I love the pregnancy, birthing and puppy raising of my dogs. So, I had never owned a male dog. Because of my lack of experience in this area, I asked the owners of both male AND female dogs, if there is a difference in temperament. The answer has been "no". "Males are just as sweet, gentle and cuddly as the females are". A small family breeder told me that "there is no difference". I then I further asked about "marking" (when a dog pees to mark his territory), she said that her male that was neutered at age 4½ months has no problem with this at all. Her fertile male stud, however, does mark when there is a female that is in heat around the house and he is not allowed to breed with her. I was also told that inappropriate "humping" is not a problem with either dog. (I have seen this frequently in the movies, so I had to ask).

I have since purchased male dogs and they are wonderful. I agree that there has been no difference in temperament. My boy dogs are just as adorable, attentive and cuddly as my girls are(even more so!). In my fertile males, their brains do "short circuit" a bit when the girls come into season. They do not "mark" in the house at all or mount anything (except girl dogs). I'm sure that if I had them neutered at 4 1/2 months (and didn't use them as breeding studs), this would not be an issue. I have been very pleasantly surprised with my sweet boys. They get a really bad rap (that is completely inaccurate) in the movies.

Please note: Dogs mounting each other is not always related to mating, it is more commonly a show of dominance to another dog (even females will mount other females to show dominance).

There is one other thing that I have found that is a bonus with boy dogs. They don't "burn the grass" as much as girl-dogs do. The urine is no different. It is the nitrogen in the urine that burns grass, in more dilute concentrations, it is good for your grass (That is why you will see a ring of green grass around the "burnt" area). Female squat to pee, which puts a higher concentration of urine in a smaller area. Boys lift their legs, which spreads out the urine over a larger area.

I love my boy-dogs and highly recommend a male dog as a wonderful family pet!

5. What is the difference between an Australian Labradoodle and an American Labradoodle? Australian Labradoodles are multi breeds, including the Cocker Spaniel and the soft coated Wheaten Terrier.The cross started between the Lab and Poodle, but these other breeds were added in to make the coat more consistantly non-shedding. The percentage of Lab in the Australian Doodle is low. The wooley coat is a wonderful, non-shedding coat, but it tends to mat if it is not well maintained and groomed.

American Labradoodles are a lab and poodle mix only (no spaniel or terrier added) The first generation ,F1, has a range of coat types, from straighter and shaggy-looking (like a "Bengie" coat) to a loose curl. These coat types are easier to maintain (not the same problem with matting), but has a higher chance of shedding because of being 50% lab. An F1B, which is 75% Poodle & 25% lab) or multi-generational (Doodle x Doodle) American Labradoodles also can have the "wooley" or fleece coat and are much less likely to shed, but may not be quite as consistant (There is commonly a straight-coated pup in an F1B litter.) These usually contain more lab in the mix than the Australian Doodle.

I prefer to keep more of the lab temperament in the mix My labs have been incredibly gentle and easy-going and the way that labs interact with children is amazing. For me, the possibility of shedding is an acceptable trade-in for getting the temperament that I absolutely love. It all comes down to personal preference and the needs of a specific family.

6. Why is there such a large range in pricing for a labradoodle?
I feel that it is very important to test my breeding dogs for the most common problems found in the specific breeds that are brought into the mix. In labs these include tests for hip dysplasia (OFA or PennHip), eyes (CERF),and PRA (a genetic eye disease). Poodle testing adds much more: Hips (OFA or PennHip), Eyes (annual CERF), Von Willebrands (vWd) (bleeding disorder), Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) Skin Disorder, and sometimes Thyroid malfunctions.
A breeder has to -purchase a breeding dog (This is commonly 4x the "pet price", or can be up to $10,000-$12,000 for a dog with "breeding rights"), -do all of the necessary tests for their specific dog ($1,200-$2,500 at least, and an incredible amount of time), and then -determine if the dog is fit to breed. If any of the testing is failed, the dog is then spayed or neutered (extra expence) and retired (complete loss of all that has been invested). If the testing is passed, the dog can be bred. This is an expensive process that makes it much more likely that you will get healthy puppies. If a breeder doesn't test, there is less cost/less risk to the breeder and more risk for the puppy owner. I have spoken to many people that have endured the emotional pain and incredibly high financial expense of having a dog with one of these disorders. It is
not worth it.
"Extras", that come with a puppy, are also not free for the breeder. High quality foods, training books, vaccinations, dewclaw removal, toys, microchips, web sites, pictures; these all put a large dent in a breeder's budget.
If a breeder has done things right, it is a very expensive, time-consuming process and the price of the puppy will reflect that. It will save you a lot money and heart-ache later, if you choose your puppy well from the start.

7. Why doesn't Labradoodledoo sell pups that have been spayed/neutered as very young puppies? I do not do early spay-neuter, because I strongly feel that a puppy needs the hormones for proper bone, urinary tract, and other health development. I feel that they need to be more physically mature before the procedure is done (spaying/neutering between 7 and 9 weeks, would be like giving a toddler a hysterectomy). My background is NICU and Pediatric Nursing and I just can't bring myself to do it. This means more hassle/debates with fellow breeders, extra paperwork with a spay/neut. contract, more follow-up and even more trust in those families that I sell my puppies to. Most vets recommend spaying a female around 6 months of age and neutering a male between 4.5 to 6 months of age (those vets that will do early spay/neuter are few and far between). I sell my puppies on a spay/neuter contract and require that all new puppy owners send me proof of spay/neuter by 7 months of age. If a puppy is sold as a pet, ALAA has record that the pup was sold on spay/neuter contract (so none of it's off-spring could be registered as an ALAA breeding dog). ALAA registrations papers for puppies are not sent out to the new owners until proof of spay/neuter has been received and verified. I do follow up and keep a file on every puppy.