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Pibble Mom vs Doodle Mom?

Updated: Apr 27

What do Pibble moms and Doodle moms have in common? They are both extreme advocates of their “breed“.

I put breed within quotations because “breeds” are just human constructs of selection for phenotypic traits. Phenotype, being the qualities we can see and measure, has a genotype attached to it. That genotype is a set of genes with two alleles. I loved simple Mendelian genetics and drawing Punnett squares when I was younger. If you carry two alleles, you could have one allele be expressed and the other not expressed. Or even more fun is having different expression of each gene in different areas of the body - like those of a calico cat.

The truth being is that genetic traits are not so simply expressed or passed on to the next generation. When a "breeder" stands by their "breed" touting that they are protecting the "breed standard" - who determined this breed standard? Humans.

The original LabraDoodle was created to serve a purpose, as a 'hypoallergenic' or non-shedding guide dog. One of the three puppies fit the job in the 1980's. Now anyone who is looking for a non-shedding dog is breeding a poodle with anything.

On my schedule I have a new pet parent bringing in a Golden Doodle, and in walks a shaggy black dog that isn't a foot high at the shoulders. I don't drive 10 feet in my neighbourhood now without see either a Bernedoodle or AussieDoodle. People will pay over $10k for a trained designer puppy these days. I guess if you have the money to do it, you do you.

You know what the Pibbles and the Doodles have in common? Both "breeds" can cause severe bites to young children.

Why do you even care? Why would you want to know? Genetics is hard and the phenotype that we as humans has selected for can have dire consequences. You know when the pitbull momma stands there and says, well, the pitbull was not bred to be human aggressive, only dog-aggressive or other animal-aggressive - those people know nothing about modal action patterns within the predation sequence of wild canids that is partially inherited and partially selected for by people.

It is that predatory sequence that humans have manipulated in breeds such as the Border Collie - who has an extreme eye->stalk and an inhibited grab-bite/kill-bite. People who chose to have a dog to herd their sheep would cull any dog that would harm the sheep, essentially outbreeding that instinct to kill a prey animal. You know who does not have an inhibited grab-bite/kill-bite? The dogs that were selected for by people for entertainment by pitting one dog against another.

Last year a group of researchers published an article on the genetics of dogs, the relationship between breed and the genetics, as well as heritability of certain traits such as the ability of a breed to respond to human direction (aka biddability). You know what that means? To help us determine which dogs are best suited to live a life among human children is not what the breed looks like, but what genetic influence is on how the dog behaves.

It is the fool that sits there are tells you that their pitbull is 'friendly' and would never hurt a child. Before you get all uppity, understand that until we know what that genetic releasing mechanism is that says 'chase that erratic moving small mammal' - no dog should be trusted with any erratically moving small child, which if you have children, you know what they look like bouncing around. If you ask yourself, is the life of my child worth it? Only you can answer that.

Defenders of the "breed" jump in and say, well, Goldens or Labrador Retrievers are the most reported bites. It does depend on the area in which you live in, and which study you are reading. I said this on a TikTok post, that in order for us to point blame to a particular breed, we need to know what is the popularity of that breed in that geographically area. According to Morrill et al, 2022, the largest genetic representation was with the pitbull terrier.

In other words, if pitbull bites are the largest number of bites to children that end up in the emergency hospitals in Philadelphia, what is the percentage of pitbulls to other dog breeds in the city of Philadelphia?

I will say it again... I am not for breed legislation or breed bans, just as I am not for banning of aversive equipment, but those that decide to own these breeds should have respect for the weapon that they bring into their home. Responsible dog ownership is similar to responsible gun ownership: Never leave a weapon around your children, unless you want someone to get hurt.

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