THERE’S the labradoodle, groodle, caboodle, moodle and if you search hard enough you’ll probably even find yourself a schnoodle.
Animal experts say that it is the golden era* for the domestic “oodle” with the family-friendly dogs becoming increasingly popular in backyards and apartment blocks all over the country.
Also known as “designer dogs”, breeders are able to take the best qualities from a poodle to mix with the specific* look of a golden retriever, king charlies cavalier, maltese, cocker spaniel or schnauzer.
The crossbreeds are often highly sought after because they do not shed a lot of hair and can often be more suitable for people with allergies.
Veterinarian* and University of Sydney lecturer Dr Anne Fawcett said the ”oodles” were becoming hugely popular as family pets mainly because they took on all the good attributes* of a poodle — intelligent, loyal and affectionate — and were a beautiful-looking dog.
But Dr Fawcett said their increasing popularity also made them a target for cruel “puppy farms,” where they were bred intensely and often in squalid* conditions.
She recommends anyone looking at buying these particular types of crossbreeds to look for a registered breeder and make sure the dogs are microchipped and vaccinated*.
Pet owners can also download the university’s Doglogbook app to ensure their canine pals are well looked after throughout their entire lives.
“If people are going to buy them they need to be smart about where they get them from — they need to meet the parents,” Dr Fawcett said.
The crossbreeds are becoming so popular they can now cost more than the price of a purebred poodle, more than $3000.
Susie Campbell bought her family’s much-loved labradoodle, O’Malley, with her husband when he was a puppy nine years ago.
Ms Campbell said she was allergic to most dogs, cats and other pets so never thought she would ever be able to take on a family pet — until she came across the popular crossbreed.
Now their nine-year-old “big bounding bear” is just as much part of the family as sons Thomas, 7, and Patrick, 3.
“He has been amazing with the kids,” she said.
golden era: when something is at it’s best or most popular
specific: clearly defined
squalid: extremely dirty and unpleasant
vaccinated: protected against disease with medicines
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
Activity 1: Designer Poodles.
Complete the following activities after reading or listening to the article.
1) Use one or two sentences to summarise this article.
2) Re-read the first sentence of the article. Why do you think the author began like this?
3) Who is Dr Fawcett?
4) What advice does she have for people considering buying a designer breed?
5) Why did Ms Campbell buy a labradoodle?
Extension: Draw up a chart and list the pros and cons of designer breeds of dogs. Some are listed in the article. You may think of others yourself.
Read your list and decide if you think you would buy a ‘designer dog’ Write a paragraph outlining your point of view and your reasons for it.
Time: allow about 30 minutes to complete this task
Curriculum links: English, Ethical Capabilities
‘Designer dogs’ or crossbreeds take the best qualities from one breed of dog and combine it with the best qualities from another breed of dog. Imagine it was possible to do that with different types of animals. Create your own crossbred animal. You could combine any of the following or think of your own to combine.
lion, crocodile, spider, seagull, horse, kangaroo, monkey, giraffe, dolphin, ant
Decide on a name for your animal. Write a sentence that highlights its positive attributes. Use this sentence to create an advertisement. In the ‘fine print’ list one not very desirable feature of this combination.
– e.g. Crocoroo (Crocodile and Kangaroo)
A bouncing marsupial that can swim through rivers.
Might have to pay the dentist danger money though.
Extension: Draw, paint or make a model or collage of your animal.
Extra resources: Optional – Paint, model or collage materials
Time: allow at least 40 minutes to complete this task
Curriculum links: English
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)
Activity: Oodles of Poodles Poem
Some words are really fun to say and rhyme with. They just seem to roll off your tongue or make you smile. ‘Oodles of Poodles’ are some of those fun words to say out loud.
Make a list of all the rhyming words you can think of, and borrow the other ‘oodle’ dog breeds from the article to put together into a fun poem or song about the ‘oodle’ rage.
Extension: List all the mixed dog breeds mentioned in the story and see if you can break them apart to figure out what other breed the Poodle (oodle) is being crossed with.
Time: allow at least 15 minutes to complete the task
Curriculum Links: English, Big Write, VCOP
Activity provided by Andrell Education www.andrelleducation.com.au
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