Who is Lucy?

IMG_0460Welcome to my blog about Lucy.
Lucy is a Labradoodle puppy. The truth is that we have not met her yet. We’re just getting over the loss of our last dog, Maggie.

Our last dog was a beautiful, little, timid Cocker Spaniel named Maggie. Maggie was very shy and fearful, therefore she never adjusted to our busy, noisy lifestyle. We adopted her as a pup, and over time she became very nervous and anxious. We tried everything to help her cope. We sought the help of two dog behaviorists, and we tried a variety of antidepressants.

Maggie might have been a great dog for an older settled couple who did not have any children, but she did not thrive in our home. We have a large multigenerational family. Our family dynamic includes one great-grandma, two grandparents, one mom and four children (currently ranging in ages from 11 – 6). At around nine months of age, Maggie began to bite and snap at the kids for no apparent reason. After she started biting, our family rule was that children do not touch Maggie. Ever! Maggie and the children were able to co-exist and live peacefully until she became ill. As they were never allowed to pet her or play with her, the children have learned a heathy respect for dogs. Too healthy! They are scared to touch any dog now, which is understandable. We want a pup with a great temperament, and who will fit into our large, busy family of eight.

We have always owned a dog. I can’t imagine life without one. When Maggie became terminally ill, we started to research dog breeds with the hope of finding a good kid-friendly breed of dog. A couple of the breeds we liked were Beagles and Pugs. Beagles are good with kids, but they climb fences. Pugs are good with kids, but they shed non-stop.

One thing, I loved about Maggie was that she did not shed much. It was nice not to have to sweep up mounds and mounds of dog hair every day. A good dog for us would be a non-shedding, allergy friendly dog, who likes kids and is not scared of a noisy, busy house.

I decided to investigate Labradoodles because I have seen them at dog parks and at the groomer and I have been impressed with their very gentle easy going nature.

Before I began my research, I did not know that there were many different kinds of Labradoodles. My research began by googling Labradoodle. When I googled Labradoodles, up popped many different breeders and descriptions of Labradoodles. I found F1’s, F1B’s, and multigenerational Labradoodles. I questioned “What the heck is an F1?” And, I wondered which kind of Labradoodle was better. I did a lot of reading.

This is what I ultimately discovered — the short version:

Labradoodles were originally bred in Australia for the purpose of providing a hypo-allergenic dog to be a service dog for people with allergies. The founders in Australia improved on the breed by using selective genetics, infusing other dog breeds to improve the quality of the Australian Labradoodle. I learned that there is a club of breeders in the United States dedicated to preserving the Australian Labradoodle breed. The club, the Australian Labradoodle Club of America, is very concerned with protecting the integrity of the breed. Breeders must undergo health testing for their dames and sires. Also, breeders must have a pedigree lineage for their dogs back to the original Australian Labradoodles. I learned that all Australian Labradoodles are multigenerational, and the American Labradoodles are “F1” and “F1B”. As we were interested in the Australian Labradoodles, the others became irrelevant in my research.

Good Australian Labradoodle breeders say that the pups are bred for good temperament and health! My kind of dog. However they are very pricey. The Australian Labradoodles cost anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000. My family thinks $2,800 for a dog is too much money. But to me, it is an investment. I hope it’s a good investment. I am excited about getting a new dog, and I am apprehensive as well. I have looked for blogs about people actually living with a Labradoodle, and I have not found any. So, I decided to write a blog about living with our new four-legged friend. Currently, the pups we are interested in are two weeks old. The breeder has a live puppy cam so that we can watch the pups grow. I am amazed how much they have grown in such a short amount of time!


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