Breeding is a delicate art. It’s about balancing desirable traits while minimizing less desirable ones. Some breeders are looking for certain color profiles or the shape of a tail. The way genes are grouped on strands means that when you breed some things in, you breed other things out.
I love to point out the story of the scientists that Stalin exiled into Siberia. They were tasked with breeding foxes for fur production. They couldn’t help but tinker with the breeding, and wondered if they could breed for temperament and get tame foxes. Unexpectedly, after several generations of breeding sweet and gentle foxes, they started seeing dog-like coloring in the fox population, even foxes with spots. It turns out that docile temperaments were woven into the gene expression for spots! Well, our dogs do not have the darkest and robust colors as you might find somewhere else. They are not the shiniest, because the very proteins that make a dog coat gleam are the proteins that we are allergic to! Our colors fade from dark chocolate brown at birth to butterscotch layers at three years old. We’re not just aiming for a dog that doesn’t shed, like many doodle breeders. We are aiming for a very low protein count, so that there is very little dander, so that we can enjoy their companionship without breathing issues and sinus infections, and so that we can bring them places where other people might also be vulnerable to these issues. As a bonus, they don’t smell much like dogs!
What we do aim for is rock-solid temperament. We want a calm and intelligent dog who can be trusted with our grandchildren and won’t knock us over.
Furthermore, we feel a special responsibility, because we brought these dogs into the world, to make sure that they don’t live their lives with chronic pain. The radiological measurements of their parents’ hips are very important to us in choosing breeding animals, because it means that their progeny are comfortable and strong. Also, we have their eyes evaluated every eighteen months to have confidence that they won’t transmit the eye problems that poodles are notorious for. Our dogs are all tested with PennHIP, OFA elbows, CAER eyes, and a full genetic panel, securing Golden Paw status with the AALA. This is our commitment to the quality of life for our puppies’ future.
Additionally, because owning our dogs is expensive, financially and emotionally, we feel responsible to do what we can to see that they will live a long life. We genetically test them so that we can be confident that they are not carrying for the big five dog killing disorders. We know that you will fall in love with this dog, and your children will. In our breeding choices, we don’t set you up for probable heartbreak.
Hypoallergenic, trainable, calm, healthy! Those are our targets!