Is that a Labradoodle?

Most Curly Coated Retriever owners have or will hear this at some time. And.... NO! they are not a Labradoodle. The Curly Coated Retriever is a pure bred sporting dog that has been around for hundreds of years. Although, Labradoodles fall in another category that has also been around for hundreds of years.... Mutts.

Labradoodles are a mix of two pure bred parents. (Lab and Poodle) They do not all look alike! You never know what you are going to get.

Don't get me wrong, people that own these mixed breeds absolutely love them. I think adopting a dog from a shelter is a wonderful idea. Just when you see the countless adds for Pekepoos, Chi-Poos and other mixed breeds in the newspaper with hefty price tags, remember that you can in a lot of cases find those same mixed breeds at your local shelter, or contact an all breed rescue organization and adopt a dog in need.

Here is a great site on Labradore Retriever Rescue. They occasionally have lab mixes available.
Labrador Retriever Rescue, Inc

The Central Poodle Rescue Page

A Labradoodle is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle.

Originally bred to try to produce a non shedding service dog, labrador Retriever breeders around the world took hold of the idea of this mixed breed with great gusto. As Labradoodle breeders appeared, the results of the crosses were not very consistent. Litters were produced with some having the double-coat of the Labrador and some having the single coat of the Poodle.

With their popularity soaring, Labradoodles have become the "Breed du Jour" and pet stores, puppy mills and backyard breeders are capitalizing on it's fame, selling fluffy puppies of dubious parentage and breeding to an unsuspecting public world-wide.

There are some breeders who are trying to keep a tight reign on how Labradoodles are bred. Some are doing health screening for HD, Cardiac and eye problems. But many are just trying to capitalize on a new fad breed, saying that because it is a cross it has the best qualities of both parents, wrapped up in a package that has hybrid vigor and no health problems. Any time you bring two living breathing creatures together, be they pure bred or Heinz 57 variety, you get a combination of both parents. You can get all the bad things from both parents just as easily.

Here is a good link to some Poodle health issues:
Poodle Health Problems

Here is a link about Labrador Retriever Potential Health Problems
Labrador Retriever Dog - Health Problems

Genetic diseases in purebred dogs

Lately, in the press, purebred dogs have been described as “genetic nightmares”. It is true that purebred dogs have many geneticly linked traits ranging from those that are innocuous unacceptable colors or coats in some breeds, for example) or easy to repair (entropion, the turning in of the eyelid) to those that are crippling or life-threatening, such as (HD) hip dysplasia or (PRA) progressive retinal atrophy.

It is not true that mixed breed dogs are free of genetic diseases due to “hybrid vigor." Dr. George Padgett, a leading canine geneticist, wrote in Dog World in January 1997 that mixed breed dogs can have the same genetic diseases as the original parent breeds.. Padgett said that his files include information on 102 genetic defects identified in mongrel dogs, more than double the number identified in the Cocker Spaniel, one of the country’s most popular breeds.

If you breed a Cocker Spanial to a Poodle and cross it with a Doberman you get a

Labrador Retriever + Standard Poodle = Mutt

Have you noticed that a lot of dogs lately seem to sport adorable names like labradoodle, peke-a-poo and cockapoo?

Poodles are popular dogs with which to mix breeds. They are friendly, very intelligent and possess a rare and wonderful asset: they are low-shed. So it stands to reason that the labradoodle, peke-a-poo and cockapoo are also low-shedding, smart and lovable dogs.

They are not purebreds as defined by the American Kennel Club. These breeds are registered as “miscellaneous” under the Continental Kennel Club, which promotes and encourages crossbreeding. (essentially, they encourage the deliberate production of Mutts!) With so many animals in shelters, where millions must be put sleep for lack of good homes, it’s irresponsible to breed more animals for their “chic mutt” value.Breeders may say, for marketing purposes, that a pup is a purebred labradoodle, but this is just salesmanship.

They are not allergy-free dogs. All dogs shed; some shed more than others. The labradoodle, cockapoo and other crossbreeds may have less dander and require less coat maintenance than their purebred parents. But don't be fooled by claims of “no-shed” dogs.

If you have allergies, and are looking for a dog:

Allergies are associated with the dander produced by the dog and not the dog himself or the dog hair. Dander is the dry skin that flakes off, floats through the air and induces the classics signs of allergy. A low dander dog is what you should be looking for. The best thing you can do is choose a breed, and spend some time with one for a day, and see how it affects your allergies.

The 1998 AKC allergy info page lists the Poodle, Bichon Frise, Bedlington Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Kerry Blue Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Maltese, Portuguese Water Dog, Italian Greyhound, Basenji and the Chinese Crested.

"Oodles of Doodles"and "Lhasa Poo"

These are some other mixed breeds that people saddled with catchy names, to make you think they are an actual breed, and dupe you into paying big bucks! You can find them all at your local animal shelter!

Goldendoodles (Golden Retriever mixed with a Poodle)
Cockapoos (Cocker Spanial mixed with a Poodle)
Schnoodles (Schnauzer and Poodle)
Bich-poo (Bichon Frise, and Poodle)
Peek-A-Pom (Pekingese mixed with a Pomeranian)
Pekepoo (Pekingese mixed with a Poodle)
Pomapoo (Pomeranian/Poodle mix)
Malti-Poo (Maltese/Poodle cross)
Chi-Poo (Chihuahua/Poodle cross)
Shepadoodle (German Shepherd/Standard Poodle mutt)
English Boodle (English Bulldog/Poodle)
Pugapoo (Pug/Poodle mixed breed)

Some people do not seem to understand what exactly it means for a dog to be named a pure breed. There are constantly breeders popping up claiming to have just invented a new breed by simply crossing two already established breeds.

Many people will have you believe that these dogs and others are in fact “rare” purebreds and therefore worth a substantial amount of money. It is up to you as the consumer to know exactly what it is that you are paying for, if it is simply a mixed breed then why not just go to the pound and get a dog, you will probably find the same “breed” that is in desperate need of a home.

Labradoodle Rescue Page

GoldenDoodle Rescue Page

Much Ado About Poo
Are Cock-a-poo's, Peke-a-poo's, Labradoodles and the other poo dogs real breeds?

Canis Major Publicationsz

“Rare!” “Exotic!” “One of a Kind!” “Luxury on a Leash!” proclaim the ads in the Sunday pet classifieds. “Get the best of both worlds!” “Registered New Breed!” “Special Price - this week only - $599!”

Read this great article by Canis Major Publications
Much Ado About Poo

History of the Curly Coated Retriever:

A collection of different articles trying to explain the History of the Curly Coated Retriever. (You may notice they don't all agree)

The Curly Coated Retriever is the oldest of the retriever breeds. The breed received recognition from the Kennel Club (UK) in 1854 and have been exhibited in Australia since 1879. Traditionally, Curly Coated Retrievers were gamekeepers dogs and the matt rather than glossy texture of their coat was considered less likely to be detected in moonlight when catching poachers.

Curlies nearly died out during World War I and again in World War II when food was scarce. A handful of breeders in England assured their survival through these rough times and brought about a resurgence of the breed after the wars.

The first Curly came to the US in 1907, and the first Curly was registered in the AKC Stud book in 1924. Curlies were popular gundogs in the 1920s and 1930s due to their legendary adaptability to various hunting situations. However, by the 1950s, many hunting kennels began breeding faster-maturing and flashier retrievers, and owners of Curlies were unable to replace their old hunting companions.(1) Today the Curly population worldwide is estimated at 5000, with less than 2000 in the United States. AKC statistics indicate that 199 Curlies and 25 litters were registered in 1999, compared to 150 dogs and 31 litters in 1998.

Written accounts of similar dogs date back to 1803. The Curly is likely to have been the first breed used for serious retrieving work in England. He was shown for the first time in 1860. A breed club was founded in 1896, and the standard was established in 1913. In the mid-nineteenth century in England, he was more popular as a pet than as a hunting dog. Today, the breed is very limited in number except in a few countries, including New Zealand.


There were no records of breeding kept before the late 1800’s, the Kennel Club then began to keep records, and we can see the development of the breed from these records.

The First World War saw a dramatic drop in the curly population, mostly because of the lack of food. A few people, however, helped to keep the breed alive even in those very rough times.

In the 1930s, we see the beginnings of the modern kennel prefixes but again England was thrust into another war. Dogs were shipped to potentially safe places to await the end of the war, yet the breed almost died out for the second time in 30 years.

In the 1940s, there was a resurgence of breeding stock, with the breeding of dogs that were to become the beginning of the present-day pedigrees

During the 1950’s and 60’s there was some very active breeding being done, and the number of Curlies in England grew. We began to see the exporting of Curlies to Australia, Scandinavia, and the USA.

The growth of the breed continued into the '70s and '80s with some well-known prefixes coming to the front.

Eng Ch. Darelyn Rifleman began his historic show career in the early 1980’s, with best in show wins against dog entries of 16,315 and 23,627 at England’s biggest shows. He became an important producer and his offspring are in many pedigrees throughout England, Europe, and Australia today.

Many breeders, using these early pedigrees, have developed the modern curly and have influenced the development of the breed worldwide.


Records indicate that the curly was an established breed in Australia by 1880. The first recorded information goes back to the early 1800s and there is reason to believe that the curly existed in Australia even before then. The modern-day curly in Australia and New Zealand was developed from early Australian, New Zealander, and English imports.

The early part of the 20th century relied on importation from England

Importation from England slowed after the war, but those that were brought in are prominent in today's pedigrees.

The '70s marked the beginning of the importation of New Zealand Curlies.

Many dogs today carry New Zealand bloodlines

Australia began exporting Curlies to America during the '70s, as well as to Germany, New Guinea, and New Zealand and continues to do so to today.

They are now becoming a part of breed history outside of Australia.

The Curly is a fine water retriever with a gentle mouth, particularly ideal for duck and quail. He is an excellent hunting companion and gun dog, and his gentle temperament also makes him an outstanding family companion. The Curly-Coated Retriever is quite popular in Australia and New Zealand, but is not well-known in the United States, though the breed was recognized by the AKC in 1924. The first exports to America were in 1907. Even popularity of the Curly in England waned during the 1900's. One theory about its fall in popularity is that several atypical Curlies gave the breed an undeserved reputation as a hard-mouthed retriever, causing newer hunters to choose other retrievers. Those bred are actually quite soft-mouthed. This breed may take some effort to find. Some of the Curly's talents are hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdogging, guarding, agility, and competitive obedience.

The curly is an active dog, with a great sense of fun. They are well balanced and slightly longer than tall. They are also distinguished from all the other retrievers both in temperament, being slightly more aloof with strangers, although a protective and loyal family dog, to their distinctive tightly curled, dull coat, which is impenetrable to water. The face and front of legs remains straight haired.They are the tallest of the retrievers ideally being 27” for a male and 25” for a female. They are slow to mature and this needs to be taken into account when any training is given. They are highly intelligent dogs and their brains need to be used to the full. Although their coat is so distinctive it is virtually trouble free, no daily/ weekly brushing or combing is required (although this can be helpful when they do moult) Damp the coat down once a week, massaging it with the fingers and patting flat is all that is required. Grooming the Curly Coated Retriever

Self-confident, steadfast and proud, this active, intelligent dog is a charming and gentle family companion and a determined, durable hunter. The Curly is alert, biddable and responsive to family and friends, whether at home or in the field. Of independent nature and discerning intelligence, a Curly sometimes appears aloof or self-willed, and, as such, is often less demonstrative, particularly toward strangers, than the other retriever breeds. The Curly's independence and poise should not be confused with shyness or a lack of willingness to please. In the show ring, a correctly-tempered Curly will steadily stand his ground, submit easily to examination, and might or might not wag his tail when doing so. In the field, the Curly is eager, persistent and inherently courageous. At home, he is calm and affectionate. Shyness is a fault and any dog who shies away from show ring examination should be penalized. Minor allowances can be made for puppies who misbehave in the show ring due to overexuberance or lack of training or experience.

General Appearance:
This smartly upstanding, multi-purpose hunting retriever is recognized by most canine historians as one of the oldest of the retrieving breeds. Developed in England, the Curly was long a favorite of English gamekeepers. Prized for innate field ability, courage and indomitable perseverance, a correctly built and tempered Curly will work as long as there is work to be done, retrieving both fur and feather in the heaviest of cover and the iciest of waters. To work all day a Curly must be balanced and sound, strong and robust, and quick and agile. Outline, carriage and attitude all combine for a grace and elegance somewhat uncommon among the other retriever breeds, providing the unique, upstanding quality desired in the breed. In outline, the Curly is moderately angulated front and rear and, when comparing height to length, gives the impression of being higher on leg than the other retriever breeds. In carriage, the Curly is an erect, alert, self-confident dog. In motion, all parts blend into a smooth, powerful, harmonious symmetry. The coat, a hallmark of the breed, is of great importance for all curlies, whether companion, hunting or show dogs. The perfect coat is a dense mass of small, tight, distinct, crisp curls. The Curly is wickedly smart and highly trainable and, as such, is cherished as much for his role as loyal companion at home as he is in the field.

When is a Curly not a Curly?

Curly-Coated Retriever Information

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