I have to say I realize the Labradoodle and Australian Labradoodle are not considered Breeds by the definition of Breeds used by the AKC. Technically they are mixed breeds. One of the reasons I focused on the Australian Labradoodle starting in 2001 is the work of the “breed” as the family. I generally consider their “work” as service dog or family companion. To do this work, in my opinion, they need to be able to reflect the family profile. If the family is active they need to respond to change and an active lifestyle. If the family is retired and lives at a slow pace, the dog should respond. If there is an adult or child in need of a service or therapy dog the line of dogs needs to be able to control themselves at a young age, thus able to work within the first year of their lives. This is what the Australian Labradoodle, again in my opinion, is able to do IF bred correctly with careful selection of the parent dogs, selective temperament, coat, health and yes conformation. Many Labradoodles and even Australian Labradoodles are not breed for this work, but bred just to sell their puppies and sad to say just like any other breed these dogs do not suit their work. Currently we as breeders have the responsibility many purebred breeds had decades ago. Keeping health and temperament as a priority to maintain the breed for the work the dog was designed for. Yes all pure bred dogs were designed at some time. Breeders selected the traits they liked and bred only those dogs with these traits and eventually the dogs became distinct separate breeds. For example all originating from the same hunting and water dog lines the Lagotto Romagnolo is now suited for land work hunting truffles, the Portuguese Water Dog was designed through selecting generations of dogs with intense stamina for long distance and ocean water retrieval capabilities. And one other is the Poodle also a water retriever but selected for much shorter distances in lake and pond swimming plus they spent more time indoors with the family. Each of these dog breeds were designed by the breeders by selecting for specific traits that suited the work to be done. Now today they look fairly similar but their personalities are different and those distinct personalities are ideal for their work.
Thought the years the AKC has focused on conformation and the judges idea of what is an ideal conformation for each breed. The work moved aside and I believe the breeders went astray. Today thanks to the documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” the KC (UK Kennel Club) has been force to go back and rethink the focus and some incredible things are happening. I can only hope the AKC will follow suit and we will again see temperament and health trump a judges choice of the perfect dog.
Here is a recent article on http://www.dancingdogblog.com/2009/12/update-pedigree-dogs-exposed/ that I feel need repeating here and hope more people read and demand changes here in the US.
“Update: Pedigree Dogs Exposed Image via WikipediaThe UK Kennel Club, after a lot of strife and public opprobrium, has made some positive changes since the bombshell documentary ”Pedigree Dogs Exposed” aired. And it just begs for an equally hard look at what the AKC is up to, especially given their new discount registration papers program for puppy mill dogs. Any journalists left in this country or should we be calling our representatives to demand H1B visas to import some?
• The Kennel Club (KC) will no longer register the progeny of father/daughter; mother/son or full-sib matings (unless convinced of a strong scientific reason for doing so).
• The KC is running a prominent “fit for function, fit for life” campaign (http://www.fitforfunction.org.uk/)
• The KC has made changes to 78 breed standards in order to discourage/reverse exaggerations and has added the following clause to every breed standard: “A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.”
• The KC has commissioned an independent enquiry into dog-breeding that will report in January. Headed by Professor Sir Patrick Bateson it is expected to make strong recommendations regarding the need to preserve/improve genetic diversity.
• Two other independent enquiries – one from the RSPCA and one an all-party parliamentary group – have come to the same broad conclusions as the film – that there are serious welfare problems that need to be addressed urgently. Both have favored self-regulation rather than new legislation and also recognize that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The APGAW (Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare) report is downloadable from here: http://www.apgaw.org/reports.asp The RSPCA report is downloadable from here: http://www.rspca.org.uk/in-action/issuesindepth/pedigreedogs • The KC, as part of a ‘stakeholder’ group compromising veterinary and animal welfare organizations, has signed up to the following welfare principles: 1) every dog should be born with the best possible chance of living a healthy and happy life, well suited to its intended lifestyle 2) all those who breed dogs should prioritize health, welfare and temperament over appearance when choosing which animals to breed, in order to protect the welfare of both the parents and offspring 3) all those who benefit from dogs have a collective responsibility to work together to protect dog welfare More info: http://www.bva.co.uk/newsroom/1663.aspx
• The KC has announced that it is minded to allow the registration of Dalmatians crossed with a pointer (known as LUA or NUA Dalmatians) in order to alleviate the breed of a debilitating, sometimes fatal, condition caused by high uric acid levels. Objections from the UK breed clubs (requested by Dec 31 2009) can only be on the grounds of health and welfare (ie.not on the grounds of breed purity). Although the KC has allowed some limited out crossing in the past, it is being more proactive in this area. See also: http://www.bsdaofgb.co.uk/inter-variety_breeding.htm
• The KC has launched a new Canine Genetics Centre based at the Animal Health Trust (the main developer of DNA tests in the UK)
• The Animal Health Trust says it has had a “huge increase in breeders” wanting to help in the development of new DNA tests since the program.
• The KC has improved judge’s training inc that judges of gundog breeds must attend field trials before being allowed to judge at Ch show level. • Breed clubs’ Code of Ethics are no longer allowed to condone the culling of healthy puppies that don’t meet the breed standard.
• The KC has withdrawn the allocation of CCs from GSDs in 2012, demanding evidence that conformation problems in the breed are being tackled. ( http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/2791/23/5/3) • Many more cavaliers are being MRI scanned for syringomyelia. (A three-fold increase in the number of MRI-scanned dogs listed on the UK Club’s website)
• The KC has promised breed health plans for every breed. Part of this will be an assessment of the genetic diversity of every breed.
• The RSPCA is funding the University of Sydney to develop a veterinary-based disease-surveillance scheme. Progress has been made as Ryan O’Meara of K9 Magazine remarked at the conclusion of this list he published.”