Since humans started domesticating dogs several thousand years ago, humans have been selecting certain breeds due to their propensity to do certain tasks or due to how they fit instinctively into certain roles. The initial need was for dogs for hunting or for guarding. The uses of dogs have expanded ever since.
Dogs have been bred and trained for various tasks, including:
- Guiding blind people;
- Herding sheep;
- Guarding life and property;
- Keeping wild animals away from livestock;
- Indicating the presence of hunted animals; or even in
- Promoting literacy.
Dogs are even cross bred to get the desired qualities for certain tasks. An example of which is the Labradoodle.
The Australian Labradoodle was initially bred as a cross breed between a Labrador Retriever and a poodle to combine the boisterous and joyful exuberance, loyalty, lovability, and trainability of a Labrador with the aloof nature, delicate frame, intelligence, non-shedding characteristics of a Poodle to be a guide dog for a blind woman who is allergic to dog dander and hair. There were initial successes that prompted the popularity of the Labradoodle. It was not just the temperament and hypoallergenic qualities that caught the fancy of the public, as well. The adorability of the wavy hair, wide eyes and charisma of the Labradoodle further fuelled the demand frenzy.
The significant increase in demand for the Labradoodle is party attributed to the fact that it is a “designer dog,” dogs that make people look better or more valuable when seen with. It is considered by some more as an accessory or a status symbol, a trend that the moneyed do. They match their pets to their lifestyle.
The sudden increase in demand for Australian Labradoodle puppies has spurred the proliferation of puppy mills and irresponsible breeders wanting to get a quick buck. Labradoodle dogs are bought for as high as $2,500 per puppy. Those who want to get an Australian Labradoodle should do so from the reputable breeder.
But, as a designer dog, the Labradoodle might lose its place as other hybrids are filling up its niche. There are new cross breeds gaining popularity now more for being designer dogs, the Cockapoo, Yorkipoo, and Schnoodle, among others.
But beyond being just a designer dog, Labradoodle dogs will continue to be popular for its other qualities. They are loved more for their friendly, lovable, patient, energetic nature that makes them perfect for families with small children. Their intelligence and high trainability make them perfect guide dogs.
There is still that ongoing quest to make the cross breeding of Labradors and Poodles or intergenerational Labradoodle dogs a science so that new Labradoodle puppies will have consistent characteristics every time. New Labradoodle dogs in Australia are being thoroughly tested and studied and their genetic make-up and health records carefully archived and referred to every time a new cross breeding is to in order to refine the breeding process. In this way, they can already predetermine the coat, size, color, and temperament of the puppies.