The Labradoodle: Sweetest Dog You’ll Ever Meet!Reading Time: 5 minutes
Labradoodles are growing increasingly popular as pets, especially for first-time dog owners. But where does this breed come from, and why does it have such a funny name? Read on to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Labradoodle dog breed, from care to training, and more.
What is A Labradoodle?
Simply speaking, the Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. Although the name dates back to the 1950s, it first became widely used in the late 1980s, when an Australian breeder, Wally Conron, crossed a Lab with a Standard Poodle.
Her goal was to create a hypoallergenic service dog for the Royal Guide Dogs Associations of Australia in Victoria.
Conron’s thinking was that the Poodle’s intelligence and non-shedding coat would combine with the Labrador’s trainability and obedience.
So, to this day, a number of Labradoodles still work as guide dogs, often serving people with allergies to fur and dander.
Nowadays, Labradoodles make popular pets, as well as working dogs, and the cross-breed is growing in popularity year on year. They are now much more common as pets than as service dogs.
At the moment, the Labradoodle is not recognized as its own breed; however, a number of Labradoodle associations are working to unite Labradoodle dog breeders and create a breed standard. Watch this space!
Where Does the Australian Labradoodle Come From?
Labradoodle breed terminology differs, due to the lack of a breed standard, but some breeders refer to an Australian Labradoodle as one that is bred from two Labradoodle parents, rather than from a Lab and a Poodle.
Some Australian Labradoodles are also bred back with Poodles or with other breeds, such as Irish Water Spaniels and Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, in an attempt to make their coats more reliably allergy friendly.
Other people simply refer to any Labradoodle as an Australian Labradoodle, in honor of the breed’s origins.
Appearance and Personality
As the Labradoodle dog is not yet a recognized breed, and as such, there is no breed standard for these dogs, they can vary greatly in looks and temperament.
Labradoodle coats tend to come in three varieties:
- “Hair” coats, which are straight or wavy, and more similar in texture to those of Labradors. Hair coats tend to shed more than the other varieties.
- “Fleece” coats, which are soft, flowing, and kinked or wavy.
- “Wool” coats, which are tightly curled, similar that that of a Poodle, but often with a softer texture.
Although they were originally bred to be hypoallergenic, not all Labradoodles are, and this can even differ between puppies in the same litter. However, even those Labradoodles that do shed tend to give off less odor than other dog breeds.
These dogs have large, expressive eyes (perfect for getting away with mischief), a broad head and floppy ears. This breed is known for a slightly scruffy look, and should not appear overly groomed.
Labradoodles are generally well-natured, friendly, and good with children and other pets. Some dogs that have been bred with smaller poodles can be less well natured, and for this reason, some breeders choose to avoid breeding with Toy Poodles.
Most Labradoodles are high-energy dogs that need considerable exercise and training. These dogs are usually very friendly around strangers, though they remain loyal to their owners.
Given the friendliness and energy of these dogs, there is a risk that they may try to play boisterously with other dogs or children, which could lead to injuries. Training is recommended for young Labradoodles, especially the larger ones, to make sure that they can rein in their more exuberant urges.
Black Labradoodle to Chocolate Labradoodle: These Dogs Come In Different Colors
Labradoodles come in just about any color you could imagine, thanks to their Poodle genes. These dogs can have solid-colored coats in any shade including:
- Cream, and
They can also have patches of white or another color, and sable, brindle, or abstract markings. Labradoodle coats may bleach in the sun, which is natural for such an active breed.
How Big Do They Get? Labradoodle Size
As the Labradoodle is not a recognized breed, these dogs don’t have a fixed size. The size of a Labradoodle depends mostly on the size of the Poodles it descends from.
The larger the Poodle, the larger the Labradoodle, for the most part, though there can be considerable size differences even within the same litter.
Most Labradoodles will fit into three size categories, which correspond to the type of Poodle they are related to:
- Standard Labradoodle, descended from a Standard Poodle. These dogs are usually 22 to 24 in for a male, and 21 to 23 in for a female in height. Their weights range from 50 to 65 pounds.
- Medium Labradoodles descended from a Medium Poodle. Heights for these dogs are usually 18 to 20 inches for males and 17 to 19 in for females, and they weight 30 to 45 lb.
- Miniature Labradoodles descended from Miniature Poodles just like Mini Goldendoodles. These tiny dogs usually stand 14 to 16 inches tall and weigh around 25 lb.
6 Facts You Need to Know About these Fluffy Doodles!
- The Norwegian Crown Prince and Princess have a Labradoodle called Milly Kakao.
- Most Labradoodles love to swim, and will jump into the water at any chance they get! Just make sure you get out of the way once they start to shake themselves off.
- Labradoodles make great therapy dogs and emotional support dogs! Their gentle natures and trainability, as well as their adorable good looks, help these dogs to help people.
- Many people mistakenly think that Barack Obama’s famous dogs Bo and Sunny were Labradoodles—but they were actually Portuguese Water Dogs.
- The board game Monopoly replaced the famous Scotty Dog playing piece with a Labradoodle for the game’s “Here and Now” edition.
- The word “Labradoodle” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in March 2006. We can recommend it as a good way to use up spare vowels in a game of Scrabble.
Labradoodle vs Goldendoodle: Here’s the Difference!
Both of these cross-breeds share a common relative, the Poodle, but whereas the Labradoodle is a Labrador-Poodle cross, the Goldendoodle is a Golden Retriever-Poodle Cross.
In terms of temperament, the two mixes are very similar, though Goldendoodles have less of a reputation for manic energy that Labradoodles.
Other popular “doodles” include Cockapoos (also known as Spoodles), which are a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, as well as the Maltipoo (a Poodle-Maltese cross), and the Schnoodle (a Poodle-Schnauzer cross).
Are these Dogs Healthy?
Labradoodles are generally healthy dogs, with a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. That being said, they can inherit health conditions from either parent breed. These can include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, Addison’s disease, and eye disorders including progressive retinal atrophy.
Inherited conditions are especially prevalent in irresponsibly bred Labradoodles.
A reputable Labradoodle breeder will make sure to carry out health screening on both parents to make sure they are not passing down any hereditary health conditions.
Labradoodles are not a low-maintenance dog by any means. Firstly, these dogs will need regular grooming to care for their thick coats, including weekly brushing and frequent trimming. Their ears need to be cleaned and their nails trimmed, too.
Labradoodles also need plenty of exercise and space to run around.
For this reason, they usually do better in houses with gardens than in apartments. They need a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of high-intensity exercise every day, as well as mental stimulation such as puzzles or training exercises.
A bored Labradoodle is very likely to exhibit destructive behavior.
Labradoodles are intelligent and eager to please, and so, for the most part, this mixed breed is easy to train. Many Labradoodles have worked as service dogs, which is a testament to their trainability, loyalty and hard-working nature.
Labradoodles also do well at obedience training, agility training, and obstacle courses.
However, given the hybrid’s unpredictability, there are other Labradoodles that, though intelligent, display a stubborn streak that no amount of training can quite get rid of.
Meeting a puppy’s mother, siblings and other relatives can be a good way of judging what the pup’s future character will be like. Proper socialization from an early age is also just as important as training.
Labradoodles for Sale!
Labradoodles are increasingly popular as family pets, and unfortunately, this has led to irresponsible breeding, puppy farming and worse.
When looking for a Labradoodle puppy for sale, always ask to see where it was born and raised, as well as meeting the parents wherever possible. Don’t buy Labradoodles, or any other puppies for that matter, from pet stores that keep them in cages, or from breeders that will not show you where the dogs were born.
Labradoodle Puppy Price
Australian Labradoodle puppies from reputable breeders don’t come cheap! Expect to pay upwards of $2,750 per puppy.
Mini Labradoodle puppies may cost even more. Often this price will include microchipping, a health guarantee, veterinary certificates, and more. Above all, you’ll be paying for the peace of mind that your puppy was bred responsibly and has had the best possible start in life.
If you’re looking to adopt an adult Labradoodle, a specialist Labradoodle rescue is definitely the place to start. Plenty of healthy, loving dogs end up in shelters through no fault of their own, and they are all looking for a forever home.
Try IDOG Rescue, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing Goldendoodles and Labradoodles.
To find a reputable Labradoodle breeder, we recommend going through the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA), which keeps a carefully-monitored directory of active breeders.
5 Tips for Pet Owners with Labradoodle Puppies!
- Labradoodles can make excellent dogs for first-time owners—just remember that any puppy will be hard work and will require training and socialization.
- These dogs make great family dogs and are usually good around children. Make sure you don’t leave your dog unsupervised with younger children, however. Labradoodles can be boisterous, and may accidentally hurt young children by trying to play too roughly.
- The kind of coat your Labradoodle has will have a huge effect on how much cleaning you’ll have to do, and whether on not it will trigger allergies. Work closely with the breeder or rescue center to ensure that you’re getting a suitable pet.
- Many breeders recommend crate training Labradoodles, both as a way to contain them and to give them a space to retreat to. This can also help them to adapt if they need to spend time in kennels or in hospital.
- Labradoodles are people dogs and should live in the house, not out in the yard. They’re happiest when around their families, and if not properly trained they can get separation anxiety when left alone.
Common Questions About Labradoodles
What breeds make up a Labradoodle?
Are they a recognized breed?
How big will these doggos grow?
How much does a Labradoodle puppy cost?
How much exercise does a they need?
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