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Interesting choice. I understand wanting to breed in more size for mobility service dog work, but I'd think in other situations the shorter lifespan (and therefore shorter working career) of most giant breeds would be less desirable. It seems to be working for them, though! I'd be curious to know if they have differences in wash-out rates or anything like that compared to the SD breeding programs focusing solely on labs - basically if there's a measurable, objective benefit to taking this approach and outcrossing. Not because I think it's objectively bad - I have no qualms with a well-run breeding program with a clear goal and purpose, like this one - just because I'm curious from a behavior and genetic temperament perspective.

I do always feel a little dread that things like this are going to 'legitimize' breeders who slap two breeds together, give it a goofy name, and start pumping out puppies with no care to health or temperament so they can get as much money as possible for minimal effort. After all, the person who pioneered purpose-bred SD labradoodles says he deeply regrets popularizing the idea. But on the other hand, normalizing the idea that all breeding programs - purebred, crossbred, working/sporting crosses, landrace, etc. - should have clear goals (even if that goal is 'good companion animal'), breeding stock that's screened for health and temperament, and high standards for puppy raising isn't a bad thing. We're never going to stop people from breeding or wanting mixed breed dogs, but all dogs and dog owners deserve the advantages that come from ethical and responsible breeding, so my personal opinion is that we really need to be encouraging good breeding practices universally more than condemning anything that's not perfectly to-standard purebred breeding.
 

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I mean, Labradors have their origins in the fishermen's water dogs of Newfoundland, so they're no slouches when it comes to cold tolerance either, haha! Though admittedly it's not a trait most SD breeding programs likely focus on. But I do think it's a cool project! I would like to see some statistics because I'm a nerd like that, and wonder if this approach results in more of the puppy prospects becoming successful service dogs. That'd definitely be a huge boon to the service dog world at large - it's such a demanding job that it makes sense why even generations deep into SD breeding programs we still see high wash-out rates. It may never be feasible to improve on that in a significant way. But that's certainly doesn't mean it's not worth trying!
 
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