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Oodles of Poodle

Australian labradoodles are mostly poodles, according to a new genetic analysis. 

As the Guardian reports, the name "labradoodle" was coined in 1989 by Wally Conron when he bred a Labrador with a poodle in a bid to develop guide dogs for people with allergies. This, it adds, sparked many other designer dog crosses, as well as regrets from Conron.

To examine how new dog breeds are developed, researchers led by the US National Human Genome Research Institute's Elaine Ostrander analyzed the genomes of Australian labradoodles. As they report in PLOS Genetics, Ostrander and her colleagues compared Australian labradoodles' genomes to those of first-generation Labrador-poodle mixes, various types of poodles, Labradors, and different spaniels. They found while the first-generation labrador-poodle mixes are indeed 50-50 mixes, the multi-generational Australian labradoodles are largely poodles, with little Labrador thrown in.

"The thing that we didn't expect to such a degree was that the Australian labradoodle retains a huge amount of poodle genome and doesn't retain a lot of the Labrador retriever genome," Ostrander tells the Guardian. She adds that this could be due to more poodles being introduced into the labradoodle line as the poodle coat is more desired for its lower allergenicity.