Let’s start at the foundation of this breed that I must say I have come to love. Unlike the maltipoo, shihpoo, cockapoo, ausiedoodle etc, the labradoodle was bred for a purpose or more so by request. The hybrid was first named in 1955, gaining some recognition then publicity in 1988 after the Royal Guide Dogs of Australia’s Mr. Wally Cochran had been asked to produce a dog for a blind woman, Mrs. Pat Blum, who happened to have a husband with allergies. Cochran has made public claims as “regretting” the introduction and says it “has done a LOT of damage” and caused “a lot of problems” and you will find one good one from a lot of crazy ones. (Thankfully I get the good ones!!). The Australian company’s revenue is upwards to 10 mill!! They are into all areas of care and providing for the blind. This is what intrigued me. Some very intelligent people produced a hybrid dog and gave it a “crazy” name instead of a more professional “acceptable name”. That would be my opinion as to why it is so hard for us as pet stylists to agree or decide on a standard style or trim, leaving you the owner of these dogs with no clue either. It is a joke among many worldwide when receiving picture diagrams from clients of google images that are of non-groomed puppies half the time. We were /are uneducated on the origins and the purpose of the trim for the dog since pure breds all come with written instructions and obviously the same for the most part coat types. I have begun since last year to throw my own game changer on this breed and I have a friend in Orlando who is doing the same trim, all but two of my clients get this style. I was pleased to see some similar type styles on a grooming thread a few months ago.
To me the breed is more similar to a poodle than a golden. As sorry as that makes doodle owners feel, it’s what I see and I see A LOT every Week! They are aloof for 15 seconds then accept you, or plow down people to get to you. The crazy cat antics, the hopping and jumping, the hugs without kisses (poodles don’t kiss, they hug). Then you have the very serious ones who stand as if they are in shows, quiet and gentle. Among other attributes to the Poodle they have THREE size variations. It all points to poodle. The curly wavy tight beautiful coats with an array of temperaments. Even the name suggests poodle one D (golDen) the pOODLE, there is even more poodle in the name. I have never had a client schedule a GOLDEN doodle they only say DOODLE so do not try that about the name example now.
F1B doodle+poodle = less dander stronger “doodle” gene
F2 doodle+doodle = ? crap shoot or pure bred doodle??
It is not impossible but hard to get grips on a cross or mix as a professional because we are almost all in some fancy of a breed, show or rescue etc. My question for Cochran was and will always be why did he not choose the Bouvier or the Giant schnauzer instead of playing makeup artist? They are hypoallergenic dogs with militant abilities and family friendly. The poodle possesses the same protective instinct as them so why not??. I think honestly if the name would have been something other than doodle it would have had the chance of being recognized. Since I have found my own personal love in styling these dogs I had to educate myself in what in god’s name the owners were desiring and today I’m still confused at times.
The first issue is from my views on social media alone are many doodles are continual annual shop dogs who get a shave down and never at the fancy of the owner. Leaving both the stylist and client in a rage of uncertainty and annoyance. They never seem to find equal ground because of the want and needs of each side.
The doodle owner wants you to NEVER make it look like a POODLE
The doodle owner wants you to perform magic mat removing.
The doodle owner wants you to give it a doodle style but look natural and shaggy.
The doodle owner wants you to love their doodle who is mouthing your arm as you groom it.
They would also like a discount or a better price at the end of the 6 hour ordeal.
I am the first to speak when a new client walks in so, I will say FIRST I specialize in styling and the history of your doodle hybrid, being so I’m aware on the type of look that will please you. Now you have a few options, if it’s a puppy I ask F1,F1b, or F2 so I can try and determine a pattern for coat type, head, shag or poof? Round or blend? Body two style types, the modi lamb, or blended legs. For the body, the “natural look”? Tail, again shag or natural flag? I do not do the doodle dance with clients and I feel this is why they come through my door every week, I can say at least 60% of my clients are doodles.
We joke with some clients about our “rules” 3 hour turn around! Pick up the dog or I transform into the telecommunication operator from a place you hang up on. I keep my heavy coated styled breeds on a 4 week schedule at a high price 60 being lowest 90 being the highest. I do not have magic mat removal problems because my clients are happy with the style so they will spend the money. Even at my beginning when I was giving away sample styles as I like to put it, I NEVER had low prices on this breed. I have magic doodle spritzer “water” for the Natural look after a groom and the reactions I get are happy ones. My hybrid clients give me the least grief because I know what I’m doing!
I go to a Dominican hair stylist because I believe she specializes in making my curly kinky hair like silk. I chose her because she is educated in my “type” of hair. She happens to have many people with my “type” of hair and I don’t mind spending 60+ dollars on a cut and dry because I know what the results will be. So why expect anything less from any pet stylist on your breed. All breed dog grooming YES but I specialize or cater to the few breeds I dug deep into the history of.
When asking yourself to get a doodle or not, think about constant grooming and coat care , the origins you don’t want like the “poodle” because it’s in there tenfold,. And please remember not all doodles are hypo because the dash of golden comes through when these dogs blow that first coat. I do not believe in mixing breeds to sell for thousands of dollars but there are some good doodle breeders who check for health issues prior to breeding out there. The Cochran doodle is nothing more than repeating a session of bred dogs like he did. Do not be fooled by that “line” there are doodles at your local shelters and pounds just keep an open eye!