Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Porties vs Doodles

On Sunday with George Stephanopoulous, Barak Obama answered the seminal question the nation has been wondering about. What kind of dog has the Obama family picked out? The question actually came from Sasha and Melia, who were visiting the Museum where the TV show is held. Man, I love those kids. Cute, smart, and what a sense of humor. What an improvement over the Bush twins!

Anyhow, Obama said that they had narrowed the search down to two types of dogs, a Labradoodle and a Portuguese Water Dog. Now, the Labradoodle is a designer breed and I'm not a big fan of ANY designer breed, although the Labradoodle is certainly one cute dog. If you happen to luck out and get one that looks like a curly coated sheepdog, of course. Not all of the Labradoodles I've come across are all that cute, however.

On the other hand, the Porty is one adorable dog. Equally curly coated, the Porty is a great water dog and I happen to just adore this breed.

This is a Porty that is the essense of the breed standard.

Senator Edward Kennedy has always had Portys, and he just got a new puppy fairly recently. Look at that face! I'm sorry, but could you ever in a million years not want to snuggle up to that puppy. His name is Captain Courageous and he joins Sunny and Splash at the Kennedy Compound.

Captain Courageous. Can you just die from that face?

Sunny and Splash Kennedy home from a sail.

Henry Winkler, aka the Fonz, had to weigh in and as a devoted Labradoodle owner, he begged to differ on the shedding issue. The issue is, Malia is allergic to dogs, and they're looking for a 'hypoallergenic' dog. Which is ridiculous since there is no dog that is hypoallergenic except maybe the bald Chinese Crested Hairless. But the Portie doesn't shed, and although it's said that the Labradoodle doesn't shed either, based on half of the Poodle genetics, but the other half is Labrador and they shed like crazy. There is no guarantee that your mixed breed dog is going to be free of shedding.

Additionally, when you go for a hybred dog instead of a pure breed, you might get a dog that looks nothing like what you had imagined you were getting. Look at the variance between these dogs, all Labradoodles.

The adorable curly haired Doodle you wanted.

The funny looking doodle you got.

The Doodle that screams "Mutt" not hybred dog.

Where's the Poodle? This doodle had a very strong Labrador gene, evidentally.

You might have surmised that I'm not a huge fan of the hybred dog. I do happen to think that many of the Poodle mixes are adorable, but there isn't any real breed standard yet, and because these designer breeds are so new, there is no guarantee of how that cute little puppy you pick out is going to end up. Plus, need I say anything about my absolute digust over backyard breeders that really don't know what they are doing and bring litter after litter of these hybred pups into the world with no regard for standards as well as decent health screenings.

The Obamas have said that they're going to look at shelters and rescue groups to find their new puppy. I find that delightfully admirable, but again, if you're looking for a hybred dog that is a rescue, lord only knows WHAT you're going to end up with.

For this reason I'm hoping that the family chooses the Portuguese Water Dog, which is wonderful with kids, smart and lively, and really a great family pet.

What's your view on the National Dog Search?

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Blogger bethany actually said...

As long as they get a dog that likes kids and isn't vicious! Otherwise, I have to say I'm partial to mutts. :-)

13/1/09 1:36 AM  
Blogger justmylife said...

I have always been partial to mutts. I must say it is odd how different one breed can look from dog to dog.

You have been tagged over at my place.

13/1/09 10:19 AM  
Blogger hschinske said...

I'm wondering if the water dogs live up to their name and can therefore stand to be bathed relatively often. I would think that might cut down on dog dander.

13/1/09 12:46 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Helen, My friend who has porties can't keep the OUT of the water. She lives at the beach with a salt marsh and river behind her house and they are constantly either in the ocean or in the marsh. They have webbed feet like ducks. They're real water dogs!

13/1/09 2:16 PM  
OpenID chloefieri said...

As long as they don't get an Australian Shepherd or a Border Collie I don't care. Whatever breed ends up in the White House is ruined forever (Eisenhower/cocker spaniels, Nixon/Irish Setters, Ford/Golden Retrievers, etc)because everyone wants one of that breed and irresponsible breeders will be churning out the current fad puppy for the next 8 years. So you might want to rethink your own choice. :)

13/1/09 4:22 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

If they find a rescue organization that specializes in the breed, they might find what they want. With the PR they're getting now, someone may contact the Obamas with just the dog!

13/1/09 8:19 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

Chloe, while I agree that backyard breeders tend to ruin breeds who are popular, the breeds do bounce back. As a former Irish Setter breeder and owner of a dual trial champion DURING the Nixon admin, American setters were wrecked until people started importing dogs from other countries. Mine came from Ireland. The imported dogs created new and substantially clear bloodlines and setters are back to being a gorgous, and healthy dog with a lot of tenacity and great hunting skills. It can be done!

13/1/09 11:29 PM  

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