Labradoodles Are Not Non-Shedding Dogs?
This is a post I have wanted to write for a long time. It’s about the currently fashionable Labradoodle – a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. If you think the labradoodle is a non-shedding dog and safe for your allergy, think again!
Because here are the consequences:
I need serious help! Prior to getting my labradoodle i did my research on breeders and found a reputable breeder with supposedly hypo (allergenic) dogs. i even wrote on forums explaining my severity of allergies to regular dogs and heard great stories of people with similar allergies having no problems with their labradoodle. well after 4 weeks of her home with us i am only getting worse. i am relying daily on an emergency inhaler ( albuterol) i take a loratidine every morning. we have bathed her down in allerpet. i am apparently wheezing heavily all night and coughing. i am at my wits end and wondering how long my body can handle this. the worse was tonight as we went on a walk and in less than 3 blocks i was gasping ( i had forgotten my inhaler) and for the first time in my life scared i was going to stop breathing as i could not get my breath – Nic, Forum post, Labradoodle-dogs.net
Gorgeous Labradoodle Puppy F1. We bought Freddie 4 weeks ago and through no fault of his own we are having to rehome him as my little boy is allergic. Ally Davis, advert on website selling puppies.
Labradoodles were first bred by Wally Cochran in Australia in 1988. Wally had received a request from a blind woman in Hawaii who had a dog allergic husband. First they started with Poodles, which are normally good for dog allergies because they are non-shedding dogs. (Poodles can be trained as service dogs). However the lady’s husband was allergic to all 33 saliva and skin samples from 33 different Poodles! Wally then tried with crossing a Labrador (the usual service guide dog) with a poodle to see what happened.
There were 3 puppies in this ‘first cross’ litter. Only 1 of these was suitable for the lady’s husband. This means 2 were not – a 66% failure rate for dog allergies. However this was hailed as ‘the new breed of Guide Dog on Melbourne TV.
Wally then went on to refine the low allergy characteristics of the breed in Australia and had considerable success in making his dogs as non-shedding as possible.
However, this success could be your downfall. The combination of the Poodle’s grace and athletic ability, with the Labrador’s trainability and friendliness makes it a dog on many dog-allergic people’s wish lists. There’s so much hype surounding the Labradoodle that many people rush out and get one thinking it’s safe, when it isn’t.
That’s because there’s an army of breeders out there cashing in on your ignorance. People who get a labradoodle often don’t know the truth.
And the truth is that:
- Breeders have jumped on the bandwagon because it’s a popular cross they can make money from – not because they know what they are doing
- Many breeders of labradoodles are crossing any Labrador with any poodle without any regard to genetics, bloodline, or temperament
- The result is an unpredictable variety of puppies with different coats which are causing misery for many dog-allergic owners
- Breeders who advertise their dogs as hypoallergenic, or safe for people with dog allergies are being dishonest, because genetics are random. You could get all the low allergy genes in your dog, or you might get all the allergy-causing ones
- Many labradoodles DO shed their coat – a lot, and
- You can’t get a proper test for a reaction from puppies because they aren’t properly developed!
He’s a labradoodle. We got him because we were told they didn’t shed their coat. He sheds all the time. There’s another one in the town and when you rub your hand down its back you get a handful of yellow hair – Liz Dawson, Cumbria
I had someone come to look at my Poodles and they didn’t get an allergic reaction. Then they turned round and said ‘well that’s good then because we can get a Labradoodle because they’re non-shedding’. Nothing I could say would convince them. There are so many breeders advertising Labradoodles as safe that who can blame them? – Poodle breeder, UK (name withheld)
The Australian Labradoodle is the closest to being ‘non-shedding, but even so there are no guarantees.
The UK Labradoodle Trust is so worried about this that they have put this on their website:
You have seen an advert for labradoodle puppies saying that they are “allergy friendly and suitable for people with allergies”. Maybe this would be the right dog for you? The answer unfortunately is that the advert, in most cases, is simply wrong…… If you are allergic to dogs, DON’T GET A DOODLE.
Many of the thousands of Labradoodles being bred right now are not non-shedding dogs. You will have to be very careful with your allergy if this is the dog you’re determined to have.
There are many dogs far better suited to your dog allergy than a Labradoodle. Dogs that really are as close to non-shedding and low allergy as you can get. You really should think about these first. They are all listed in the Free Guide to non-shedding dogs you’ll find below this article.
If you really want a labradoodle
I’ve found the ideal solution. An e-book which could increase your chances of getting one which really is non-shedding and won’t trigger your dog allergy. And getting a labradoodle which is well bred, from someone who does know their stuff.
Remember there are no guarantees, but if you know what to look for you can avoid those breeders who just want your cash. Do it with The Definitive Guide to Labradoodles, by Edie MacKenzie
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