Irish Doodle Generations - F1, F1B, F2B

When you start getting interested in buying a Doodle, one of the first things you will see on breeders' websites are the letters F1, F1B, F2, etc.,. These letters refer to the generation of breeding. Before you shop for your puppy, it's important to know the differences.

First Generation Cross - F1

When you breed or "cross" two different breeds (e.g., an Irish Setter and a Poodle), the mix is said to be a first generation cross. This is denoted by F1. Puppies that are the result of a first generation cross are 50% Poodle and 50% Setter. Because you are crossing two different breeds that have virtually no chance of inbreeding, the puppies are thought to have better genetics and have a higher fitness level, commonly referred to as hybrid vigor, than puppies from either of the original breeds or from the cross backs. These puppies may shed a little or they may be non-shed, and they are usually acceptable for people with mild allergies. Their coats tend to be wavy or have a slight curl, often straighter than that of F1B puppies.

Irish Doodle Puppy

First Generation Cross Back - F1B

Breeding a First Generation (F1) dog with one of the original breeds is referred to as an F1B. This is called a First Generation Cross Back because you are crossing an F1 (first generation) back to one of the breeds of origin. In Doodles, the primary reason to breed an F1B is to breed a dog that is non-shedding and has the highest allergy tolerance (both characteristics of the Poodle). Therefore, the cross back is nearly ALWAYS done with the Poodle. The resulting puppies are now 75% Poodle and 25% of the other parent's original breed. Their coat may be wavy or curly, similar to the F1, but it will normally continue to grow past the 3-5 inch mark.

Second Generation Cross - F2

A second generation (F2) puppy would be the result of breeding two F1 generation dogs. Because this generation has the greatest variance in genetic possibility, most breeders do not breed this generation. The coats can vary from straight to curly, they can be complete non-shedders to heavy shedders, and of course they are not recommended for people with allergies. Because they are so unpredictable, it is recommended that you stay away from this generation entirely as a Doodle buyer.

Second Generation Cross Back - F2B

Breeding an F1 with an F1B results in a second generation cross back or an F2B. These puppies benefit less from the hybrid vigor that we discussed previously, however, surprisingly, they are a much more stable cross than the F2. The puppies are much more predictable and typically have much the same characteristics as the F1B generation.