North American Retrievers (Double Doodles) : The Next Logical Hybrid
People have been hydridizing dogs ever since specific breeds of dogs were created. Each breed of canine was created by crossing two, and usually three or more breeds in order to create a dog to fulfill a specific purpose.
Some breeds were created for herding, others for hunting, yet others for protection. North American Retrievers (Double Doodles) are one of the few dogs created specifically to be used as service dogs for the disabled. The North American Retriever, or Double Doodle, is a cross between a Labradoodle and a Goldendoodle.
Goldendoodles are a more recently produced hybrid, with the first litters produced, by all accounts, in the mid-1990’s. The intent was to produce a non-shed dog, smaller than a Golden Retriever, and similar to a Cockapoo. Breeders have continued the hybridization process of Goldendoodles as well, and some breeders are producing 3rd and 4th generation Goldendoodles.
Although the qualities of Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are similar, there are some differences between them in temperament. Labradoodles, retaining a personality quality common in Labradors, tend to have somewhat higher drive. Goldendoodles, retaining a quality often found in Golden Retrievers, are often gregarious. For years service organizations have intentionally crossed Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers in order to produce friendly, gregarious dogs that have enough drive for service work, so it is logical that Doodle Breeders would do the same. The same combination of traits that results in a tractable, friendly, trainable dog for service also results in a personality perfect for a family companion.
So part of the reasoning for a Labradoodle X Goldendoodle cross has to do with producing a particular temperament. The other reason is to produce low-shed, low-allergy coats. These coats can be produced in upper generation Labradoodles and upper generation Goldendoodles. This is often accomplished by breeding Labradoodles to Poodles. While this does produce the desired qualities in terms of coat, it also produces a dog with much finer ‘boning’, more similar to a Poodle. These desired qualities in the coat can be consisitently produced in the Labradoodle X Goldendoodle cross, and because two retrievers are ‘in the mix’, the more solid boning of those breeds can be more easily maintained.
The name ‘North American Retriver’ was coined by Helene Roussi of Westwood Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, and the first litter of North American Retrievers (abbreviated NAR) was produced by Lincoln Manor Labradoodles in late 2006.
Overall, the few breeders that are producing this hybrid have found that the desired types of temperament, coat quality, and conformation are present in the majority of first generation (Labradoodle X Goldendoodle) North American Retrievers. As higher generations are produced, it is likely that even more puppies in these generations will also possess the desired qualities.