Good or Bad?
Many breeders are offering doodles labeled "multigen." Are they good, bad, better or worse than the F1 and F1b that are so common? Some breeders claim, accurately, that the multigen doodles display more consistent traits. When you breed a pure bred Bernese Mountain Dog of 80 pounds with a pure bred toy or miniature poodle of 10 to 20 pounds, you can produce puppies as small as 10 pounds and as large as 80 or more. However, if you select and then breed successive generations of 30 pound mini bernedoodles to 30 pound mini bernedoodles, you can eventually produce more consistent weights. Likewise, when you repeatedly breed non-shedding curly goldendoodles to non-shedding curly goldendoodles, you can eventually predict that your puppies will not shed. The claims that multigen doodles have more consistent traits are accurate. Does that mean that multigen doodles are a good idea?
Many doodles are bred from dog breeds that are known to have short life spans and high incidence of serious diseases, like kidney failure and cancer. "Doodling" has produced hybrids with twice the life span because "bad," recessive genes have less opportunity to become matched with identical flawed genes. However, when a goldendoodle is bred to a goldendoodle, Golden Retriever DNA is being combined with Golden Retriever DNA, and the possibility of doubling up on the negative recessive genes increases. When
bernedoodles are bred to bernedoodles, the bad DNA that was "split up" by the hybrid cross, has the opportunity to be re-united with other bad DNA, and the incidence of cancer and kidney disease increases. Multigens do have more consistent traits as regards size, shedding and temperament. However, to this breeder, the improved health of the hybrids is one of the main reasons that the creating of doodles is a good idea. The chances of increased cancer and shorter life span make multigen breeding a bad idea.
Please note, F1b crosses present an entirely different scenario regarding the health of a doodle. Golden Retrievers and Bernese Mountain dogs are known to be "cancer machines." Poodles, on the other hand, do not have that claim to fame, so an F1b that involves breeding a doodle back to a poodle does not present the dangers inherent in the multigens. Even so, F1 continues to be the most healthy generation of doodle.