Monday, February 2, 2009


We have avoided this subject, partly because it smacks of the kind of Lindsay Lohan/American Idol/TMZ journalism we try to avoid and partly because it is way too close to political discourse which is anathema to a peaceful doggy dialogue, but hey, a scoop of this scope is not to be taken lightly.

CH Pouch Cove's Monkey See Monkey Do
Number One Portuguese Water Dog 2008

We have heard from a reliable source that the Obama children will soon be the proud parents of a purebred, AKC registered, Portuguese Water Dog. You may have read that the pick for Presidential Pooch had been narrowed to the PWD and something called a “Labradoodle” (excuse me, but that was my gag reflex). Our new President was trying to be PC in his choice for First Dog and had expressed a desire to get a shelter dog, but apparently someone did their homework and decided that the only reliable way to get a suitable pet for daughters Sasha and Malia was to buy a purebred dog from a reputable breeder. Exit Labra-whatever.

We suspect that the same influence that decided to eschew DC public schools decided that selecting a purebred dog was the best way to ensure a healthy pet of sound temperament for the daughters. Whatever your politics, it’s one decision all dog fanciers can agree with.


  1. Thank god they didn't get a "Labradoodle" ::gagging while typing:: "Labradoodles" are half Lab and half Poodle- a crap shoot for people with allergies.

    I'm excited for the girls. I was in my twenties when I was finally able to get my first dog and it was so special. They must be so excited!

  2. B.L Ochman wrote at February 5, 2009 1:18 PM

    "Hey - stop dissing Labradoodles!

    My dog, Benny Bix Ochman Labradoodle Puppy (mascot of is a 6th generation Australian Labradoodle from an entirely reputable breeder, of which there are many.

    Porty or not - and they're great dogs too - there is no such thing as a non-allergic dog. Even when a dog has no dander (like Benny) people can be allergic to the saliva - as my nephew is.

    Can you teach a dog not to kiss? Yeah, probably, but why would you?"

    I've deleted the original comment and reposted it, in its entirety, in this manner, because the commenter linked the comment to an advertising site and Homey don't play that, but we do want to offer everyone a chance to share thier point of view. As to the substance of Ochman's comment, we are sure that Benny is a wonderful animal and a treasured member of their family, but we hope they stay with us long enough to figure out why "reputable Labradoodle breeders" is an oxymoron.

  3. B.L. Ochman said...

    an advertising site? what are you talking about?
    and who's Bill Wheeler?
    B.L. Ochman
    February 5, 2009 9:58 PM

  4. For some reason, your name links to a site advertising Tee shirts with a pet motif. I don't allow advertising other than the Google Adsense on my site and, yes, I, Billy Wheeler, own this site. My bio is on the right hand side bar. I encourage free speech here and you are welcome to leave comments, but I don't put in all this hard work to give you or anyone else free advertising.

    So enjoy the blog and feel free to comment, but use one of the comment options below that doesn't link to advertising.

  5. Billy, sadly for a self-proclaimed dog expert you really better educate yourself or you’re going to get left behind, just like the rest of the dog show snobs. You do know that your purebreds came from mixes not so long ago too….right? Please stop the bashing. I am sure you don’t like it in your personal life so there really is no need to project your childhood trauma on to a poor, defenseless and well loved dog by it’s owners as the doodle. You sound like some pathetic “Yahoo answer’s queen” with you “gag reflex”. Give me a break!
    I personally do not what to see the Obama’s pick a Labradoodle either. They have a very strong popularity already and I do not want to see more puppy mills sprouting up than there already are. There are VERY reputable breeders out there but we all know what happens when a dog becomes bigger than life. I feel sorry for the PWD, knowing full well what will happen to them too with the huge popularity of whatever the Obama’s do. They are terrific dogs as are the Doodles.

  6. Unfortunately if you define "reputable breeder" as one whose goals line up with the AKC...labradoodle breeders will not meet your definition. But the AKC is not the end all and be all. It is a CLUB for people who prefer a certain type of dog. Dogs are dogs and it is mere elitist snobbery to value a pure breed over any other kind. Nobody is mixing species here to make labradoodles. No poodles or labs are inherintly harmed. The poodle sire (or dam) continues to REMAIN a poodle after breeding. The labrador also remains a labrador after breeding.

    So where is the problem other than bias?

    If it is not unethical to breed at all...then it cannot be inherintly unethical to breed one's preference (be it a dog whose lineage is all the exact same kind or one whose lineage has some variation). Seriously, by what scientific measure can anyone say breeding ONE type of dog is superior to another...outside of sheer preference?

    There are dozens and dozens of labradoodle breeders who do essentially the same work as poodle and lab breeders of high caliber. They check pedigrees, they do health testing (OFA/PennHIP, PRA, heart, thyroid, von willebrands, etc), they give solid health guarantees that they back up with monetary reimbursement. They take back pups/dogs if an owner cannot/will not keep their dog for whatever reason (to prevent the puppies they are responsible for creating from ending up in shelters). Many provide Early Spay/Neuter before sending pups to new homes to prevent poor/accidental breeding. They carefully choose dam and sire based on their breeding program's goals. They care for their dogs and give them love and attention. They screen buyers carefully.

    The only thing missing is the lack of value given to 'championships' that are based on some ridiculous and conservative idea of what constitutes the "ideal" dog of that breed.

    Their breed standard has flexibility (within reason) and the standard has more to do selecting breeding stock based on health and temperament than a cookie cutter outcome created by someone else who thinks he/she knows what the 'ideal dog' looks like.

    Is the Australian shepherd LESS of a dog because it doesn't fit the labrador standard? No! Yet they are both dogs. Why should breeder A's labradoodles have to be exact replicas of Breeder B's if they are both identifiable as labradoodles by any labradoodle enthusiast? Why should a narrow definition of a 'breed' rule?

    It's fine to love pure breeds. There are some pure breeds I find to be fabulous. Others I think are ridiculous. But I don't go around telling others they their dog is stupid, ugly, or anything of that nature.

    I happen to have two labradoodles and LOVE this mix. You should know that there are different types of these dogs based on their generation. There are enthusiasts for all types. PLUS the Australian labradoodle is a few decades into the game and not too far from breed status.

    You can keep your pure breed snobbery, I like variety =)

  7. Amen to that Penelope!! Cna't we just get along and appreciate the differences in all dogs?

  8. Penelope...I couldn't have said it better. Essentially all registered breeds were mixed at one point. Furthermore, as previously stated, reputable breeders do not have to breed specifically registered dogs. There are PLENTY of reputable labradoodle breeders, get over the snob tendencies already and appreciate all dogs! No labradoodle is going to discriminate against you based on your lineage (they love you no matter what!), so return the favor.

  9. I'm looking for the person who sold a friend of mine a female shitzuh and the name of the breeder is Bill Wheeler. I'd like to contact him. I have the dog, her AKC papers and she is alright. But if Bill Wheeler is the same person, please contact me at I just want to have another dog from the same line as my beautiful dog!
    Thanks, blessings!