January 14th, 2009
06:10 PM ET

#%$& you and the Labradoodle you rode in on

Anderson Cooper & Erica Hill challenge Jack to explain his issue with Labradoodles.
Anderson Cooper & Erica Hill challenge Jack to explain his issue with Labradoodles.

Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer 

It was only a matter of time.  I finally made the mistake of sharing my thoughts on Labradoodles with one Mr. Anderson Cooper.  Yes, Anderson “Did you just make eye contact with me? For your sake I really hope you didn’t just make eye contact with me” Cooper, that’s him.

Next thing I know he’s telling Erica Hill that I have a collection of them stuffed and mounted over my mantle.

So allow me to set the record straight: I don’t have a “pathological disdain” for Labradoodles as Mr. Cooper alleges.  All I’m saying is that – as far as I can tell – “hypoallergenic” actually means “pistol-wielding thug.”

I remember the first Labradoodle my dog Sammy and I ever encountered.  He was bouncy, curly-haired and answered to the name Charles Manson.  Without fail every time we passed this dog he would try to chew Sammy’s face off.  Without stopping, the dog’s owner would mutter an apology, burp and continue on his way to the Art Garfunkel look-alike contest.

The Labradoodle is, as you probably know, in the news because it is one of the two breeds being considered by the Obamas.  The other being the Portuguese Water Dog, the breed favored by Senator Ted Kennedy.

Now, I’m not advocating one breed over another, I’m just saying that if the Obamas choose a Labradoodle let’s hope for their sake they don’t get a descendent of the particularly amorous fellow who each morning at the dog park approaches Sammy with a snifter of cognac and a Barry White album.  There’s nothing quite like starting your day by watching a four-legged arthritis sufferer named Harvey try to canoodle with your dog.  It’s the Folger’s Crystals commercial from hell.

In fact, every Labradoodle Sammy and I have ever encountered has tried to either murder her or engage in public romance.  I know, if only Nancy Grace had a pet segment.

It must be said, of course, that all dogs have their flaws.  And my dog is far from perfect. She is known to enjoy a carton or seven of Virginia Slims.  And, yes, it’s true that at the stroke of noon she wobbles on over to the liquor cabinet saying “well, it’s 5:00 somewhere.”

But she’s not all bad.  I mean, in her defense, why would that guy have left the keys in his Audi if he didn’t want her to take it?  And, sure, she spends her free time soliciting foreign donations for the Clinton Foundation but, dammit, she’s passionate about climate change.

So despite Anderson Cooper’s campaign to paint us as Labradoodle-hating elitists, Sammy and I want to make it clear:  Our anecdotal experiences notwithstanding, we think highly of them and understand from our friends that Labradoodles do indeed make great pets.  And if one is lucky enough to move into The White House, we wish him or her well.

Just keep your grubby paws off of Air Force One.

Post by:
Filed under: 360° Radar • Jack Gray
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Andrea

    Greetings. This whole labradoodle thing is stemming from the hilarious dog debate that Anderson Cooper moderated. By the way, I like labradoodles, and the show.

    January 15, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  2. sonomasoil

    It's quite alright to like labradoodles! It's also nice to have an assortment of all kinds of breeds so everyone is happy. Anderson was yokin' wicha! He loves animals. The question is what breed wil the new President get for his two girls? It's alright – doesn't really matter does it???

    January 15, 2009 at 12:26 am |
  3. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    PS: I love Anderson's new 'middle name'! It sounds very Anderson! 🙂

    January 14, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  4. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    So allow me to set the record straight: I don’t have a “pathological disdain” for Labradoodles as Mr. Cooper alleges. All I’m saying is that – as far as I can tell – “hypoallergenic” actually means “pistol-wielding thug.”

    Oh my Jack, you are treading on shaky ground. I'm not thinking it's such a good strategy to pick a fight with the boss man but if Anderson were to look you in the eye and tell you to "bring it on", then my guess is you're toast!

    Since I'm partial to poodles and think labradors are the sweetest dogs on earth, the labradoodle combo is a match made in heaven!

    Curious on what your thoughts would be if Sammy were to fall for a poodle? Sometimes you just "Can't Get Enough" as Barry White would put it..... 🙂

    Thanks for the laughs today!

    January 14, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  5. Philoan Tran - Houston

    That is too funny! But as a dog owner, I must say that the dogs do take on personalities of their owners after a while. Maybe Jack and Sammy just have bad experiences with Labradoodle because the other dog owners were also equally weird or something about Jack or Sammy attract the unusually weird.

    Both Labradoodle and Portugese water dog look cute to me!

    January 14, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  6. Pati Mc

    Ha ha ha ha. I agree with EJ – Anderson IS an instigator. Gotta admit, I love that about him. heh heh....

    Mary, Ireland – Anderdoodle Cooper! On wow, how about Anderson Cooperdoodle? You really made me laugh with that one.

    Oh Lordy, he is gonna be mad. Yikes!

    January 14, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  7. Kelly, Garden Grove,CA

    Very funny, Jack!! Sammie with the cigs and another blogger's dog grabbing a pack of cigs reminded me of a Schipperke I used to have named Scarlett. She ate everything, including cigarettes!! She also ate any and all kinds of paper ugh. Because our other Schip, Sheba, liked being an only dog, we had to give Scarlet away. Her new owner said she scarfed down a pair of diamond earrings once.

    Dh and I have a 5 year old Schipperke named Taz and a nearly 3 year old Siberian Husky named Jake. Jake's antics make us laugh a lot. We got Taz a week after Sheba died.

    January 14, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  8. Ratna, New York, NY

    AAAAAAAWWWWW!!!!!! Jack, I would like to see a pic of Sammy! She must be very cute!!!

    Technically, Labradoodle is a mud as well!

    By the way, I luuuuv muds!

    I had better experiences with the Labradoodle. They are very family and kid friendly. Potty training can be a challenge, especially if you deal with an puppy with an alpha personality. (I have)

    January 14, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  9. Heidi

    I LOVE the title of your post..... too good!

    January 14, 2009 at 8:56 pm |
  10. Lori from IL

    Jack -

    Great post today. I could really use the laugh today. I agree with Sammy on the labradoodle issue. Sorry - but I don't think anything should be crossed with a poodle. I have had several dogs over the years - a collie, border collie, chihuahua and german shepherd. (Not to mention several cats.) I'm an equal opportunity pet lover. I must say that the most loving and loyal of all the dogs was the border collie - but with the long hair, I'm sure it wouldn't work for the Obama's.

    Sammy must be quite a looker with all the offers of "public romance." Hopefully, Sammy has better taste in drink than "boxed wine."

    Don't let Anderson intimidate you or Sammy. We love your blogs - and look forward to your book one of these days!

    January 14, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  11. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Ahh Jack, I would have thought that you would have known better than to express your distaste of something with Anderson...because it was inevitable that he tell Erica and then it ends up on the webcast! 🙂

    I'm voting for the Portuguese Water Dog myself! I am partial to the Labrador as I had a Chocolate Lab, Snickers, for 10 years before he passed away. But once you mix a Poodle with a Labrador the breed loses some of that Labrador wonderfulness!

    January 14, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  12. Annie Kate


    Another great post and such reasoning.....you and Sammie must have been watching Matlock or Law and Order lately.

    Anderson should have never spread such scurrilous rumors about you and Sammie. We all know that both of you are stand up people who enjoy life and share a "live and let live but somewhere else" philosophy. If Sammie hadn't been traumatized by her encounters with labradoodles she probably would be more willing to consider them as a breed worthy of her attention. And those "flaws" you write of on Sammie – those aren't flaws, they are eccentricities – much more interesting than a common flaw. If it helps I still think of Sammie as the "Mercedes" of dogs. A labradoodle has nothing on Sammie.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    January 14, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  13. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Hellooo Jack!!!!
    Very funny blog!!!! LOL!!!! I agree with you... I know Anderson and Erica talked about cute dogs!!!!! I think maybe Anderson had keep them honest right now.... I love many different dogs.... I had 2 dogs in my life, both died.... That one is poodle and other dog I love labradoodle....... I played so lot with them........ I never forget them in my life and I would remember both my dogs! Thanks for sharing me and post........ I know that Anderson have his dog too! See you soon!!!

    January 14, 2009 at 7:45 pm |
  14. Kay

    Hey, Jack, why don't you give Anderson a cat? I think he hates cats.

    So, give him a cat, name it Rover, put a harness on it, train it to walk along like a dog, and.......VOILA! a dog he has. Loose the doodle.

    January 14, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  15. mary, dublin, ireland

    I'm concerned about this. The office of First Pup is a high profile position and will it really be taken seriously by America's average Joe-dogs if it's filled by a breed of dog with such a ridiculous sounding name as "Labradoodle"?

    I mean, I'm not sure if I could take the news seriously if it was being read by Anderdoodle Cooper... 🙂

    January 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  16. Sarah in FL

    So....what are your thoughts on Welsh Springer Spaniels?

    January 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  17. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    Dearest Jack,

    I believe there is a hint of jealousy from Anderson over all the marvelous attention we give to you. Hmmm...perhaps he doesn't like the competition. lol

    If you need help with your punishment that he doles out to you, just let me know, I will be glad to assist, as it is worth it for the laughs.

    I adore you and Sammy, have a good one.

    January 14, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  18. Don, WA

    Another good read. I think Labradoodles belong in B-rated horror flicks myself.

    January 14, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  19. EJ (USA)

    Anderson is always causing trouble.

    January 14, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  20. Carol B., Virginia

    Hmm. We call it a cat fight when women hash it out. So how long has this dog fight been going on with you and A.C.? Anyhow, when I was younger, my family had a great, frisbee playing at the beach- type labradoodle. At other times over the years, my folks had cairn terriers and poodles. They were ALL nice dogs except the poodles did seem to yap from dawn to dusk and had a 'tude (as we all do sometimes) more than the others. L. Barry really nailed it when she wrote her famous cartoon about the grudge-bearing poodle in her cartoon,"Poodle With a Mowhawk." "He knew what people thought of his kind: "High strung." "Spoiled rotten." "French."

    January 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  21. Yumi

    Oh god.
    When the Jack Russell craze hit North America because of the adorable doggie on "Frasier", people ran out and got one right away but they weren't prepared on the mass amount of energy these little dogs have...

    Oh no- will it really become a "dog-eat-dog" world if the Labradoodles win?

    Run Lassie, run for your life!

    January 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  22. Tammy, Berwick. LA

    I'm sort of with you on this one. I personally don't get these designer mixes. There are too many perfectly lovable dogs of all breeds who are in shelters or have been rescued that need loving homes. And while I'm not sure about the homicidal tendencies of Labradoodles, I was almost mauled by a Chow Chow at my godfather and aunt's house as a kid. I still am pretty leery of that breed. Maybe Anderson is just miffed because the Obamas rethought taking him in as their pet after the puppy debate.

    January 14, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  23. Jayme

    Long-time reader, first-time poster!
    Seriously Jack, you're posts crack me up and are really the highlight of my days..every other at least...during the week. Anyway, I think Labradoodles are totally overrated, as I am also the proud owner of a feisty black lab named Lucky. Coincidentally, she loves to steal my mom's packs of Capri Menthol 120's.

    Keep up the good work Jack!

    Jayme, Detroit

    January 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  24. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Good Wednesday Jack. I must admit, I'm starting to overdose on all the Prez, puppy of the moments, and the frenzy of the world's excitement for it. However, I won't be a scrooge about it... But Pick a Pup, for crying out loud, before we hit the next century!
    After all is said and done, who could compete with Sammy . She's a labradoodle magnet, Happy Hour Champ, who always has an extra smoke to lend a fellow bar stool warmer. That's a Top Dog, a Tip Topper Top dog. Obama pooch..Your not All That!

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    January 14, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  25. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    LOL .....As you may know since I've posted this before. Woody is my Quite handsom English Black Lab and I have to admit it sure would be fgreat if the First Dog were a Black Lab... but at least Labradoodles has some Black Lab in their blood. I have to admit, however, that right wingers of the Rush Limbaugh variety might not like the French Poodle blood flowing in the Labradoodles veins but you can't please ALL the people ALL the time I guess :-).

    January 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  26. Fay - CA

    What is it with dogs and Barry White? My dearly-departed Black Lab never paid attention to the t.v. Then one day, we had the channel turned to VH-1and Barry came on.

    Back in the 70's whenever my beagle would hear "I'm Your Boogie Man" by KC and the Sunshine Band, she'd go nuts and start barking and running around the yard like a maniac – I'm guessing she didn't care much for disco, but she DID love Barry White – she was kind of high strung most of the time, but if we were playing some Barry White, she'd curl up and calm down.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  27. Paco - Tucson, AZ


    January 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  28. Lisa in CA

    I have the match made in Heaven for Sammy. His name is Hunter and he's a shepard/Border Collie cross. The only really issue I see would be who would be leading whom on these adventures as Hunter has been known to lead them ... then purposely leave the other ones behind, letting them fend and try to find their own way home. (And it worked once, the other dog never did make it back.) The other problem Hunter has is his eye for the ladies. Whoever catches it that day, well that's who he's off with. Sammy would have to work to keep his attention, but that sounds like it won't be any problem. Sammy could come here for the visit - I do have a pond she could play in and the weather is better. This way, Hunter could maintain his more or less day job - guarding the fenceline from potential unwanted intruders.

    BTW, my massage therapist has a Labradoodle and a Border Collie. Her house is in a perpetual state of neurosis and hyperactivity.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  29. Theresa, Nickerson Ks

    I like a big dog with a big dog bark, not the yippy dogs and their shrill, ear-bleeding barks that bark at everything that moves in a 5-mile radius...much like my two dogs...but then, to each his own.

    I'd take a dog like Sammy over anything with poodle in it any day!

    Love your stuff! Keep it up!

    January 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  30. Chris Sosa - Boston, MA

    "All I’m saying is that – as far as I can tell – “hypoallergenic” actually means 'pistol-wielding thug.'"

    If that doesn't display a not-so-latent pathological disdain for Labradoodles, what does? Next thing we know you're going to tell us that you and Sammy were attacked by a rabid Pekingese....

    January 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  31. Dee from CT

    I think Anderson is looking for a showdown.
    Stand your ground Jack. Stand your ground, no matter how many Silver Plaques or Bronze Telly’s you have to shine.

    I'm all for the PWD ... I just think they’re cuter as far as the two breeds, in question, go, besides if the Labradoodles are messing with Sammy, then disdain away ... no additional reason/explanation needed.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  32. Pati Mc

    Well Jack, it is still a free country and we are all entitled to our opinions. I certainly cannot fault you for feeling the way you do if this was the example of the breed you were presented with. Yikes. Poor Sammy. Glad she has you to protect her. That is just wrong. She sure has character though.

    You sure know how to make us laugh. Your descriptions of Anderson knock me out. Very funny. Dude sure has a good sense of humor, you have to give him that.

    We, your loyal fans, would never allow even Anderson to besmirch your name and/or reputation. Rest easy.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  33. Fay - CA

    Jack, this post just serves as another example why you should write a book – you are too funny and Sammy has to be the coolest dog on the planet.

    I'm with Lilibeth when it comes to pit bulls – they can be pretty intimidating and scary – I'm always a little nervous when I happen to encounter one, but it all comes down to how well they're treated by their owners and whether or not they've been abused. I will say that pit bull puppies are absolutely adorable.

    Thanks also for posting the video with Anderson and Erica – my lousy computer won't allow me to watch the webcast during the show, which usually means I'm sitting there consumed with jealousy whenever anyone happens to mention it on the live blog.

    Isn't it just fun to say "Labradoodle"?

    January 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  34. Julie San Diego, CA

    What is it with dogs and Barry White? My dearly-departed Black Lab never paid attention to the t.v. Then one day, we had the channel turned to VH-1and Barry came on.

    She was transfixed.

    So we got her some Barry White CD's. She was happy as a clam. When she passed on, we played Barry White at her Doggie Memorial Service (which had more mourners than my funeral will probably ever have – the house was full).

    Jack, get a passport, a bullet-proof vest, and a portable videocam and books some flights for you and Sammy the Wonder Dog.

    January 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  35. Dulcie

    I had to wait until after I cut payroll to read this but it was worth it!

    Personally, I'm just not fond of any of those curly-coated breeds. And to purposely cross-breed a poodle with anything just seems... wrong, when there are plenty of mixes available at the shelter.

    I totally LMAO through this whole thing. Hope Sammy has a Newport for me!

    January 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  36. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Great Golden Globes and Retrievers Jack!
    I am warning you, don't tick off the Coop. He'll have you on your knees scrubbing the baseboards in his office.
    I just hope that Obama selects a rescue pup to adopt. Is it asking too much for our President to NOT support puppy mills? Or to take in a homeless pup? I think not.
    Some of those homeless dogs have issues too. The last homeless dog I took in rolled a joint while I was at the market. Silly pup. He went to rehab. Problem is now he demands champange and caviar served in crystal while Frank Sinatra plays in the background. He is quite the crooner. No Barry White thank goodness but he is about to bankrupt me.
    Finally, the bottom line is all dogs have their faults. The biggest one being that they just don't live long enough, damn it. Ain't it the truth?
    You and Sammy take care and have fun with those baseboards!
    XO's (((hugs))) and tail wags!

    January 14, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  37. Lilibeth

    LOL Jack! I love dogs as much as the next person, but I have to say I’m a little scared of pitbulls. I know, I know, I shouldn’t feel this way, and I hope anyone reading this doesn’t think I hate pitbulls, but one tried to eat my face once. I was just walking on the street in my neighborhood with my husband, minding my own business, and this dog came out of nowhere with no leash, barking loudly and showing his teeth, and lunging as if threatening to attack us. We didn’t do anything to provoke it. I screamed like you’ve never heard anyone scream before (I didn’t know what else to do) and his owner finally came out of his house and called him. The next day, my husband gave me mace so I can carry it with me the next time we take a walk. It’s sad that I have to carry it to quell my fear of this dog. But, no, I don’t hate pitbulls. I heard they can be the most loving and gentle dogs. It’s just that everytime I see one, I remember my experience.

    So I understand how you feel about labradoodles, Jack. Tell Mr. Cooper that Lilibeth had a similar experience with a pitbull. And yes, you can look him in the eye when you say that. 😉

    Edmonds, Washington

    January 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  38. Isabel, RJ, Brazil

    Each with its each!

    The labradoodles are docile, active and happy. They love playing and have enough patience with children, letting them do what they want.

    But the best of the best know who is? My poodle 'Juju'. ‘She’s beautiful, happy, intelligent, joker, loyal, affectionate, active and a little (hum...) bystreet!

    Jack, the best is always our own puppy. But or why we Let's (hum...) 'detonate' with the others, right?

    Make a test: ask Anderson, which he thinks the best?
    Anderson, later, I want to know your response.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  39. Beth - NY

    Glad you've sorted that out Jack – they were some pretty hard accusations from anderson..

    January 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  40. Cindy

    Whoa Jack...you mean you actually looked Coop in the eyes and you're still here to tell about it!? OMG..the man must be sick or something. LOL Or just blinded by the shine off of your star that is rising.

    With a looker like Sammy no wonder those Labradoodles always are trying to get all fresh! I'm surprised though that she hasn't way laid one of them seeing that she always seems to be a few sheets to the wind before noon. LOL Next thing you know we'll be getting reports of you having to be bailed from the clinger by ye ole boss man for protecting Sammy's honor...OK..and of Sammy cussing the cops while they pin ya down. LOL That'd be a sight to see! LOL

    And the next time Sammy sees Coop...well if he allows her to look him in the eyes...she should give him a big ole wet one and then a little nip for trying to start trouble for her! That'll teach him how a "real" dog rolls! LOL


    January 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  41. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Jack,
    Funny post today! Of course, your opinion about the Labradoodles is based on actual experience, seems like sound advice to me, but what do I know? Hope your week is going well. How about this cold weather? ........brrrrrrrrr is all I can say. Been using the seat warmers in the car everyday. Man it's cold when you have to get out. Anyway, have a good day, talk to you later.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  42. Presley

    Oh, oh my, wow Jack.
    Methinks someone will be polishing Emmy's in the basement, in their "new" office janitors closet, decorated with Post Its.
    Hope you like your new Commodore64. Floppy disks and all.
    You know, I have been watching Dogs 101 on Animal Planet, any thoughts on Cavalier Kings? Does Sammy have puppeh fwends of that persuasion? They are little smoosh balls of love ya' know.

    Myself, I am Head of Staff for my Kitteh fwends, they just don't like all dogs, they are equal opportunity disdainers.

    XXO ♥

    January 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  43. CandacitaBonita

    There has just been an obscene amount of laughter emitting from cubicle.

    January 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  44. Pamina

    Hi Jack,
    I'm glad you helped "Keep Anderson Honest" with that blog. Of course you now realize this is war! Tell Sammy to keep her head up high and if she wants to quit, she can go to the website and monitor her progress with the help of other chain smokin' dogs!
    Have a good day.

    January 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm |