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Golden Labradoodles are puppies from a Golden retriever X Labrador Retreiver mother and a poodle father. This cross has even greater “heterosis” that a first cross and takes advantage of the complementarity between three breeds.
Three breed crosses are the most popular in agricultural cross breeding – the classic example is the production of fat lambs in Australia. A Merino X Border Leicester mother (known throughout the sheep industry simply as a ‘First Cross Ewe” ) is crossed with a Dorset ram. The ewes are bred in western NSW – first cross lambs are stronger and faster growing than merino lambs and the females are very fertile, have strong maternal behaviour and produce a lot of milk.. They are bought by farmers from more reliable country (if such country exists any more) and bred to Dorset rams (a meat breed) to produce a fast growing muscular meat lamb which is the basis of the Australian fat lamb industry.
The logic of our three breed cross is that the first cross mother benefits from hybrid vigour and so is more fertile and a better mum. Physically she combines the long softer coat of the Golden Retriever with the coarse Lab coat – these girls have short, soft coats and this when combined with the poodle coat produces more puppies with the longer, soft, lower shedding coats that people like. Temperamentally she combines the softer gentler, somewhat shyer, Golden retriever temperament with the more exuberant Labrador and so the golden Labradoodles are just a bit gentler and more laid back – at least that is the theory and it seems to be working in practice.
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