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Why Doodles are Unethical: A Critical Look at Designer Breeds

doodle dog

As a dog training business dedicated to the well-being of all dogs, it’s crucial to address some ethical concerns surrounding the breeding of doodles, such as Bernadoodles and Goldendoodles. These designer breeds have gained immense popularity, but their rise has been accompanied by significant ethical issues that potential dog owners should consider.

Before reading the below summary, a recent study by the National Library of Medicine shows the multiple of ethical and behavioral concerns for Doodles HERE.

Health Problems and Genetic Issues

Doodles often inherit health problems from both parent breeds, which can include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye abnormalities, and various genetic diseases. For example, Labradoodles can suffer from conditions like Addison's disease, epilepsy, and inflammatory bowel disease, which are common in both Poodles and Labradors​ ​. The lack of rigorous health screening by many breeders exacerbates these issues, leading to a higher likelihood of severe health problems in these dogs. UC Davis also put out a study in contrast to many doodle "breeders" websites that states that mixed breeds don't necessarily have an advantage when it comes to inherited canine disorders.

Breeding Practices

One of the most critical ethical concerns is the breeding practices associated with doodles. Many breeders prioritize profit over the health and welfare of the dogs. Unethical breeders a puppy mill breeders often do not conduct necessary health screenings or adhere to responsible breeding practices. How do we know most doodle breeders, again despite what they post on their website, are not doing necessary health tests? An easy OFA.ORG search will easily show any adopter/purchaser that the parents are not being health tested. This often results in puppies with severe health issues and poor temperaments​. The surge in demand for doodles has also led to an increase in backyard breeding, where breeders lack the expertise and resources to raise healthy, well-adjusted dogs​.

Each AKC registered breed has breed standards and contracts that do not allow for cross breeding. There are no ethical or sound breeders who would allow their dogs to be crossbred. This means that at it's very core, the breeding dogs used to create doodles are coming from backyard breeders and puppy mills. Breed health testing and standards are their for the benefit of both dog and human. They are purpose bred, not strictly appearance bred.

The Lie of "Hypoallergenic"

The concept of hypoallergenic dogs is largely a myth. Allergens primarily come from proteins in a dog's saliva, urine, and dander, not their fur. Therefore, all dogs, regardless of breed, produce allergens. While breeds like Poodles and their mixes (e.g., Labradoodles) shed less fur, which can reduce the spread of dander, it doesn't eliminate the allergens. Additionally, crossbreeds can have varying coat types even within the same litter, making it impossible to guarantee a hypoallergenic dog.

Moreover, allergic reactions to dogs can vary significantly among individuals. Some may not react to one dog but have severe reactions to another, even within the same breed. Managing allergies involves regular grooming, cleaning, using air purifiers, and creating dog-free zones, but these measures only reduce allergens, not eliminate them. Understanding these realities can help potential dog owners make informed decisions and set realistic expectations.

Behavioral Issues

Behavioral problems are another significant concern. Doodles are known for their energetic and oftentimes unpredictable nature. They are touted as great family pets by doodle breeders, but often come riddled with severe fear, aggression, reactivity and anxiety. While some may be excellent companions, others can develop severe behavioral issues if not properly trained and socialized. This variability is partly due to the inconsistent temperaments inherited from their parent breeds​.

Ethical Breeding and Responsibility

The original intent behind creating doodles was to combine the hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle with the friendly nature of other breeds like Labradors and Golden Retrievers. However, the reality has deviated significantly from this goal. Wally Conron, the creator of the Labradoodle, has expressed regret over his creation, citing the unethical breeding practices and health problems that have become associated with these dogs​.

As dog owners and enthusiasts, it's essential to support ethical breeding practices. This means choosing breeders who conduct thorough health screenings, provide proper care for their breeding dogs, and prioritize the long-term health and well-being of the puppies over profit. Additionally, prospective dog owners should consider adopting from shelters since doodles have overrun most rescues and humane leagues over the past 5 years due to the intense backyard breeders that doodles come from or choose an ethical breed and breeder.


While doodles can make loving pets, the ethical concerns surrounding their breeding practices cannot be ignored. By raising awareness about these issues, we can encourage more responsible breeding practices and help potential dog owners make informed decisions. Let's prioritize the health and happiness of our canine companions above trends and profits.

For more information on ethical dog breeding and responsible pet ownership, feel free to reach out or visit our website.

Owner & Behavior Consultant

Pack Leader Help LLC

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