10 November 2008

THE FIRST PET - The Obamas are considering a Labradoodle Dog

So now that Barack Obama is going to be the President, there is pressure on the Obama family to have a "First Pet." All presidents must have pets. It's an unwritten law. There is discussion on what kind of pet they should get. It gets complicated when you factor in First Daughter Malia's allergies.

Dogs and cats are the most popular pets, especially for First Families. There are several breeds that don't bother people with allergies. Rule out the bald-looking cats and dogs - too ugly! That omits cats completely. Bummer. (I'm a cat person).

What's left are the few breeds of dogs with minimal shedding and dander. None is even better. Poodles fit the bill. They're very intelligent and highly trainable, too. They come in lots of sizes and colors.

Unfortunatly one thing about pure bred dogs is that genetic problems abound because of inbreeding. Another argument against getting a pure-bred dog is that there are so many homeless dogs in shelters that need adopting.

I have always felt a mixed breed is better. The more mix, the better, I say. Mixed dogs have more genetic diversity and tend to be healthier and less high-strung. Obama even said he'd like to get a mutt, "just like (me)."

The only problem with a mutt is that the First Family needs that strong poodle gene to accomodate Malia's allergies and, with a mutt, you just don't know what you're getting.

Solution - a Doodle Dog! This is any dog mixed with a poodle - a 50/50 dog. I did a little research to do this article. I learned quite a lot. It's a very comprehensive and informative website.

This is what I learned:

Labradoodle Dogs were the first Doodle Dog. An Australian man named Wally Conron back in 1989 was trying for a cross-breed of dog that would be great as a guide dog for owners who were allergic. Specifically a Labradoodle is a cross between a Standard Poodle and a Labradore Retriever. They come about two ways: some breeders use a pure Poodle and pure Lab to keep the genetics diverse so as to keep out genetic problems. Other breeders want to breed Labradoodles with Labradoodles - but that just invites the genetic problems common to inbreeding.

Labradoodles come in so many different looks. They can have straight or curly/wavy hair. They come in every color you can imagine because of their parents' breeds. You don't know what you're going to get until it's here. Even then a puppy's hair texture can change as it matures into an adult dog.

The Obama Labradoodle...a kind, loving, highly-intelligent dog that won't send Malia away sneezing. That's the goal.

President-elect Obama said the First Family will probably check out rescues in search of their Labradoodle. If that doesn't work out after a period of time the Obama's will have to find a reputable Labradoodle breeder and ask lots of questions about the parents' lineage, living conditions, as well as inspect the place to make sure it's not a puppy mill. That website http://www.labradoodle-dogs.net/ also has a listing of breeders that could be checked out.

Wonder what color they'll pick?

What's a good name? How about "Yankee" or "Dandy" (as in Yankee Doodle Dandy)

Male or female? (Barak could use another guy in the house but eventually the doggy will have to get neutered).

Good luck to the Obamas and to the Obama Labradoodle!

My resources for this article- my friend Jen who owns a Golden Doodle, my experience working in the grooming salon at PetSmart, Wikipedia's page on Labradoodles, and the website www.labradoodle-dogs.net/.

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