Bailey Washington is a goldendoodle dog who loves to play, go on walks and spend time with her owner, Makyla Washington.
If you’ve gone to any dog park or space where dogs roam recently, it’s likely you’ve seen some sort of “doodle” dog, with that trademark goofy expression and happy-go-lucky attitude.
Doodle dogs are a mix of one breed of dog with a purebred poodle. This creates a dog with the signature curly hair of a poodle enmeshed with characteristics that come with the other chosen breed.
In 2021, Rover.com shared a report that the number of people who own doodles has doubled in the United States since 2016.
Different dog breeds have been trendy over the years. After the first “Lassie” movie came out in 1943, border collies skyrocketed in popularity, with a 40% increase in border collie ownership, according to Smithsonian Magazine.
But there isn’t necessarily a popular movie or television show that features a moppy-headed doodle. It’s possible that the popularity could stem from social media, according to The Cut.
Bailey Washington is a goldendoodle, or a poodle and golden retriever mix. She loves to play, snuggle and go on walks.
When Makyla Washington decided she wanted a dog, her research led her to Instagram, particularly to goldendoodles — a mix between a purebred poodle and a golden retriever, she told the Deseret News. She found a breeder in Florida that she liked, and now she has a dog who came from the same breeder as NBA player Steph Curry’s goldendoodle, according to the breeder’s Instagram account.
Soon after Washington got Bailey, her mom, Melody Markus, picked out a mini aussiedoodle (an Australian shepherd and poodle mix). And later, her sister, Whitney Strasburg, took home an Labradoodle (a black Labrador and poodle mix).
Aussiedoodle Millie and goldendoodle Bailey ride a paddle board in McCall, Idaho.
The doodle dogs are notoriously cute, and interest in the mixes is obviously growing. It’s common for many doodle owners to grow up with the other half of what is mixed with the poodle, Spirit Dog Training reports. Whitney Strasburg grew up with a black Lab, and now she has Charlie, a black Lab and poodle mix.
Labradoodle Charlie and goldendoodle Bailey like to play in the field together when their owners Whitney Strasburg and Makyla Washington take them on walks.
Many doodle owners also like the idea of less dog fur and dander that can activate sensitive allergies.
A truly hypoallergenic dog does not exist. New York veterinarian Jodi Novak told The Cut that “all dogs of every breed have dander and saliva, both of which contain the protein that can prompt allergies.”
While poodles don’t necessarily shed or drool, their dander is more likely to stay trapped on their skin, so they’re less likely to wreak havoc on someone with an allergy, but it’s not impossible.
The designer dogs can come with a hefty price tag. TMZ reported that Curry paid $3,800 for the goldendoodle puppy.
The price dog owners are willing to pay speaks to another part of shifts in attitudes around pet ownership.
According to Seattle Magazine, there are now more dogs than children living in the Seattle metropolitan area where Washington and Bailey reside.
Bailey Washington plays fetch at a dog park in Seattle, Washington.
The irony of the costly designer dog price tag is that the doodle mixes are still that — a mix. The American Kennel Club does not have any doodle dogs in its registry for purebreds. So doodle dogs are not featured in dog shows and cannot claim purebred status for breeding.
President Biden has a Labradoodle named Brother. Jennifer Aniston, Kenny Chesney and Usher have goldendoodles. Rihanna, Blake Lively and Miley Cyrus have Maltipoo dogs (a cross between a Maltese terrier and a poodle), according to Populardoodle.com.
Wally Conron, the inventor of the labradoodle, has said he regrets creating the mixed breed dog.
“I find that the biggest majority are either crazy or have a hereditary problem,” Conron said on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s podcast “Sum of All Parts.”
He originally bred the dog for a woman who is blind and her husband who is allergic to dog hair. One of his biggest concerns is that unethical breeders are creating more problems by breeding dogs that can have instability and behavior issues, according to The Associated Press.
Yet, many doodle owners do not regret their decision. Doodle fan pages span across Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites with doodle owners excited to share their experiences with doodles.
“Doodles aren’t ‘different’ than other dogs. They bark, they poop, many of them shed, they have health issues like their breed parents, and they need training,” Doodle Kisses podcast host Adina Pearson told The Cut.
Like with any dog, doodles require specific attention and care that is specialized according to the dog.
Labradoodle Charlie spends time walking through a pumpkin patch in Herriman, Utah.
Whitney Strasburg started baking dog treats for her dog, Charlie, which inspired her to start a bakery with homemade dog goodies that wouldn’t make him sick. She wouldn’t trade her decision to get Charlie for anything.
“Charlie has the softest curly coat and he’s a goofy dog. I love him,” Washington said.
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