Labradoodles — How Do the Mom and Dad Affect Appearance?

The other day I was having a conversation with a pet parent who was convinced that her Labradoodle looked more like a Poodle than a Labrador because the mother was a Poodle.  She maintained that if the mother had been a Labrador that the puppies would have all looked more like Labradors than Poodles.  Frankly, I had never heard this argument before.  When I asked why this would be the case, she adamantly maintained that it had to do with the dominant gene in the mother – but why would this be the case?  A gene can be dominant or recessive in either the mother or the father.  So I did what every curious person does these days… I looked it up online.

According to the folks at (yup it’s a real website – can’t make this up):

“None of the physical characteristics relating to appearance are sex linked; it makes no difference which parent is which breed. There is no physical attribute…height, build, color, coat, nothing…that is always inherited from the mother or the father. It is a genetic crap-shoot. … It is just like people; there are people who look just like their mother, there are people who look just like their father, and there are people who are a combination. The same with dogs. There are doodles who look just like labs, and doodles who look just like poodles. Most are a combination. For each characteristic, every being has a pair of genes…one gene from their mother and one from their father. What gene the father or mother contributes is a spin of the genetic roulette wheel. Which gene in each pair has dominance is also a spin of the wheel, and that’s what determines the characteristic that shows up. Generally, when breeding two different breeds together, it is better for the mother to be the bigger dog…so it is more common for the retriever to be the female parent and the poodle to be the male. But that has absolutely no effect on which characteristics the offspring inherit.”

Now this makes sense to me — but what about you?  Do you think it matters if the mom or the dad of a Labradoodle is the Poodle or the Labrador?  What if you’re making a cock-a-poo or some other mix?  Or for that matter humans?

Thanks for reading!