Designer dog breeding is like selling illegal knockoffs. It’s all about profit. People who engage in breeding and selling “designer” puppies with no regard to the lives they destroy are not reputable breeders. Let’s call them greeders.

Greeders don’t care about dogs or the innocent people who fall for their shtick. For the love of God! Who thought it was a good idea to call a live puppy “designer”?

FYI if you breed dogs for sale and my beliefs offend you, you may be a greeder. Feel free to contact me to question my opinion: willowdogwisdom@gmail.com. I’m open-minded to reasonable, polite criticism.

Maybe you’re convinced breeding dogs professionally is wrong. If you don’t respect intentional breeding, don’t get a doodle. Go to the shelter and get the greatest mature dog you’ll ever know. Embrace their creative parentage and an adult temperament you can see. Make up a fun “breed” name for your new friend. That’s what the “creator” of doodles did!

I personally rescue poodles and their mixes. There are greeder-bred doodles in the shelter who deserve a loving home. Large numbers of adoptable big dogs die in our region for lack of good homes every day. Save them.

What if you already have a doodle?

What if you already have a doodle or other poodle cross you love as a member of your family? Great! No matter what, finding the right dog is success. I know many amazing dogs who share a poodle parentage.

Uh-Oh. You bought a pup from a greeder and your family is miserable. Please don’t suffer in silence. Find a *LIMA trainer for help asap. Visit APDT.com where they’re developing a list of LIMA trainers. Or just ask me.

Are you excited about getting your favorite breed with the infamous poodle “no shed/no allergy” coat*? You’re out of luck unless your favorite breed is a poodle. Read about the mythical poodle coat in the next post.

Tri color Australian shepherd on the couch with a pillow at Red Rover Pet Services LLC, Nashville TN.

Koda, Aussie, grabs a pillow.

If you enjoy golden retrievers, Labradors, Australian shepherds, Bernese mountain dogs, etc. you probably know hyperactivity and fearfulness aren’t their breed traits. Those aren’t breed traits of poodles either. Troubling temperaments, characteristics and aspects of behavior at birth, typically come from breeding parents who do not have ideal traits to pass on to their puppies.

What is a greeder?

When a “breeder” tells you they have the greatest cross of these breeds and you can have a puppy for just $1,000! or $2,000!! maybe $3,000!!! Run away… fast.

Greeders do not have access to the best parents in the breeds of dogs they’re mixing. They won’t waste money paying for the best dogs. Responsible breeders won’t sell stud service to greeders. “Doodle this/that”, as greeders call their pups, often suffer through life with hyper or easily frightened temperaments, poor health, and coats that mat too easily. 

For greeders how the dog looks: pretty fur, pretty face, super tiny, super huge, etc. can bring more profit than spending the time and money to learn about breeds and pay for parents with optimal health and based upon how well they represent a breed.

Reputable breeders are different.

Did you know responsible breeders usually neuter unusually tiny/huge specimens of their breed because those individuals frequently have physical problems and significantly shorter, painful lives? Passing on those infirmities to puppies is irresponsible.

Physically and mentally unhealthy lines of dogs come from people who have no interest in breeding dogs who are the best they can be. That’s not “designer” or “doodle this/that”, it’s greed.

Apricot standard podle and lagotta Romagnolo on the couch at Red Rover Pet Services LLC, Nashville TN.

Willowrose, standard poodle, and friend, lagotta Romagnolo

Not convinced poodles rock? Take a look at the Portuguese water dog, briard, bouvier de Flandres, lagotta Romagnolo, and countless other breeds developed over decades, and often, centuries. Many look startling like “doodles”. If you prefer one of these breeds for their traits and can give them what they need, many need a job, get one of them. Other breeds can have low shed coats too!

What can you do instead?

Here’s a safe idea: get a poodle the size you want, tell the breeder not to dock the tail, and groom the dog fluffier. Tell misinformed people who ask if it’s a doodle how great your poodle is. You’ll have a great dog if you do your homework, socialize and train, and get the dog from a reputable poodle breeder. You’ll save money and a life if you rescue one from someone like me.

Apricot, miniature poodle drives a pink convertible Mini Cooper at Red Rover Pet Services Dog Daycare and Boarding

Leo drives a Mini.

If I had a dollar for everyone who thought my 12 year old, miniature poodle was a doodle puppy… Leo drank up the love and did other dogs and poodles proud. He was surrendered at 4 years of age and became the best dog ever for our family.

Leo was the closest dog to bulletproof with our young, at the time, child. I’ve never seen another dog, big or little, like him for patience. Don’t get me wrong. I rarely place dogs in homes with young children but he was a better friend to Svea than any Lab I’ve ever known!

Greedy people who take advantage of people’s misconceptions about poodle temperament and lack of knowledge about genetics to make a quick buck will tell you I’m a snob. I am not. I appreciate all animals, especially dogs. Breed never determines how I treat a dog. I enjoy dogs of all breeds and mixes. For my family members and foster dogs though, poodles are my favorite.

Heidi Dixner, Willow Dog Wisdom, Dog Behavior/Training

*LIMA trainers use least intrusive/minimally aversive methods to train and modify behavior in our companion animals. First Do No Harm. Can I get an AMEN for that? https://apdt.com/about/position-statements/ 
The Australian man who coined the name and started the original cross – from a Labrador and poodle foundation – realized he created a monster. His premise for doing so was flawed from the beginning. He gave up. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/201404/designer-dog-maker-regrets-his-creation