A growing devotion to the doodle mix

Luna is a four-month-old Labradoodle owned by of Canyon Country. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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Because of its fluffy coat, affectionate personality and intelligence, doodle mixes have become the latest crossbreed craze. 

Doodle mixes are a cross between the traditional poodle and another breed, such as golden retriever, bernese mountain dog or cocker spaniel. Dog owners are known for a special bond with their pets, and the SCV’s doodle owners are obviously no exception. 

This shared passion has even led to a Facebook group for networking opportunities, with a name nearly as adorable as these furry friends: SCV Oodles of Doodles.

Luna is a four-month-old Labradoodle of Canyon Country. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Maintenance 

For doodle breeds, regular grooming is essential for maintaining their coats. Longer coats are harder to manage compared to shorter coats, but both should exercise regular grooming and brushing.

Doodle’s coats come in three forms: fur, fleece and hair. Curls are fur, which is the toughest coat to manage, according to Bri Ludden, a local doodle owner. 

“Hair and fleece are easier, but hair will shed, and fleece will not,” said Ludden. “Fleece is insanely soft and it feels like petting a silky cloud.” 

Dog groomer Colie Spagolie, suggests that doodles be groomed at least once a month to avoid matting. Grooming pricing generally starts in the neighborhood of $90. In addition to grooming, owners should also brush their dogs daily from head to tail.

When brushing, it’s important to brush down to the skin to ensure that all knots are cleared. 

According to Carrie Brewster, a dog groomer, poodles grow thick hair inside their ears that lock in moisture. If water enters the ear, the water is unlikely to exit, which could lead to an ear infection. 

“It’s important to pluck the hair out on a regular basis to prevent infection,” said Brewster. 

Pricey 

Most doodle mixes are bought through breeders opposed to being adopted through rescues. They usually range between $2,500 and $4,000 depending on the breed its crossed with, and its size, Ludden said. 

“If you find a breeder with a significantly lower price, ask questions,” said the Trending Breeds website. “The goal is happy and healthy puppies. Be careful of breeders who might be cutting corners.” 

In numerous interviews, Wally Conron, who is credited for creating the Labradoodle, has expressed his regret over his role in creating this marketplace, because of how its spawned “backyard breeders.” 

“They’re not going into the backgrounds of the parents of the dogs,” said Conron, in an interview with Psychology Today. “There are so many poodle crosses having problems.” 

Conron admits there are ethical breeders, but not as many as there should be. 

“High-quality breeders will routinely test their dogs for hereditary conditions in order to produce the healthiest puppies possible,” according to Trending Breeds. “The costs of these tests quickly add up and are reflected in the puppies’ price.”

Pet therapy

Doodle-mixes are generally known for their sweet demeanor and never ending desire to be pet. 

For the past decade, Ginny Mills and her goldendoodle Baylee have traveled to different high schools and hospitals in southern California, providing pet therapy. The duo also splits their time at the LAX airport. 

Baylee, the Goldendoodle, is a pet therapy dog at UCLA Health, Northridge Hospital and LAX airport. Courtesy

“Baylee is calm and loves everyone,” said Mills. “She will actually go up to people so they will pet her.” 

When Baylee was a puppy, Mills enrolled her in dog training, which Mills believes is what made Baylee such an obedient pet therapy dog. Baylle follows commands on first listen, according to Mills. 

Doodles are intuitive and are known to recognize if something is off about an individual early on. If they detect stress, they stick to the patient like glue, according to Mills. 

Following the Saugus High School shooting, Baylee visited Saugus to provide relief to the students. The duo also visit other schools in the area to provide stress relieving services. 

Doodle mixes are curious, attentive dogs that observe the environment around them, a crucial skill in a therapy dog, according to dog experts. 

“Goldendoodles are clown-like and are so funny,” said Mills. “Baylee loves what she does for others.” 

Engaging personality

Keeping doodle mixes constantly engaged is a must when it comes to owning one. These fluffy mixes love to be engaged whether that means with company or physical activity. 

For Holly Thompson, who owns Moxie the bernedoodle, she’s learned first hand how demanding the breed could be; however, their sweet and funny personality makes it worth it to her. A bernedoodle is a cross between a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle.

Moxie the bernedoodle has a sweet and funny personality. Courtesy.

“If we leave her alone, she goes berserk,” said Thompson. “Potential owners need to take into consideration that they need a lot of company.”  When she is gone for long periods of time, she hires a babysitter.

Because of Moxie’s size and energy level, Thompson takes her on at least one walk a day. Since Moxie is so big, she exhibits a lot of strength.

Understanding the breed’s strength is something all potential owners should know, according to Thompson. 

“The strength thing could be an issue,” said Thompson. “She’s a big leash-puller and I don’t know how I would take her on a walk if I wasn’t as strong as I am now.”

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