Creative breeders and puppy mills have created all kinds of combinations of dogs and marketed them to the public as “hypoallergenic,” that is, they do not create an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to dogs. Most of these dogs are Poodle-somethings:
Labrador Retriever and Poodle = Labradoodle
Golden Retriever and Poodle = Golden Doodle (although I can’t figure out how someone got this name; shouldn’t it be Goldoodle?)
Maltese and Poodle = Malti-poo
Yorkshire Terrier and Poodle = Yorki-poo
And so on. You get the idea. But are these dogs truly hypoallergenic?
If anyone took genetics in high school, you’ll remember that when you combine genes from two individuals, you may get characteristics of one person or the other in the offspring. So when you combine a dog who sheds and has a great deal of dander (Labrador, for example) with a dog who does not shed and has very little dander (Poodle), there is no guarantee that the offspring will have the attributes of the Poodle. There is an equal chance that the offspring will have the characteristics of the Lab.
The breeders of these so-called hypoallergenic dogs have been pulling the proverbial wool over the public’s eyes. They cannot be sure that the Labradoodle puppy they sold you will be hypoallergenic. It could have the attributes of the Labrador parent instead of the Poodle parent and not at all hypoallergenic.
And speaking of hypoallergenic, a recent study published by Science Daily shows that households with so-called hypoallergenic dogs do not have less allergens than households with dogs who are not hypoallergenic. In other words, dogs who are marketed as hypoallergenic are producing just as much dander as other dogs.
This is not to say that there are Poodle mixes who have the attributes of the Poodle and don’t shed or have dander. You may be one of the lucky ones if you have such a dog!
Marketing is a very powerful tool and the breeders of these dogs have done a remarkable job in fooling the public. Or maybe they didn’t study genetics! This issue is just one of many reasons not to buy dogs from pet stores and puppy mills. The dogs may not be what you think.