The result of crossbreeding between a labrador retriever and a poodle, these high-energy dogs are playful and incredibly loving with children. The Labradoodle’s intelligence levels are high thanks to their labrador retriever and poodle genes.
Also, due to this unique mix of DNA, the Labradoodle has a coat that comes in a variety of textures. Some coats are curlier than others, with these loveable dogs being either average shedders or not shedding at all, with excessive shedding in this breed being reported rarely.
Origin and History
The first person to ever successfully cross-breed a labrador retriever and poodle was Wally Conron in 1989. In charge of the Australian Royal Guide Dog Association at the time, he bred the Labradoodle with the hopes of creating a breed with the perfect mix of sharp intelligence, loyal nature, and friendly personality, and hypoallergenic coat perfect for a hypoallergenic guide dog.
Sultan, bred by Conron, was the first of his kind. He was later shipped off to Hawaii to serve as a guide dog to a woman, and he proved to be highly effective and capable at his job.
The Australian Labradoodle Association and the International Australian Labradoodle Association are now trying to achieve a registered breed status for this popular designer breed, and have now begun multigenerational breeding, which they hope will result in a truly recognizable, unique, and highly sustainable Labradoodle breed.
Personality and Temperament
The Labradoodle, in many ways, is the perfect family pet. These high-energy dogs have the perfect levels of intelligence as well as a temperament that is truly loving and gentle, making them a delight to have around the house as part of your family. This breed has the perfect temperament for a living situation involving children and has a loyal nature, allowing them to become best friends with anyone easily, given they receive proper love and attention.
Since the Labradoodle was trained not to be aggressive, this breed will be either incredibly excitable and joyful or relatively more easygoing. A key factor in shaping the Labradoodle’s temperament is socialization, and a puppy that has been exposed to a variety of social stimuli, as well as various sights and sounds, is naturally expected to grow into a dog that can be considered very well-rounded when it comes to personality later in life.
However, genetics also play a major role in predicting the Labradoodle’s personality, and so it is advised to spend time around either the parents or older siblings of the Labradoodle puppy that you wish to take home to understand much more clearly the temperament your Labradoodle may grow into in the future.
The Labradoodle size depends on the size of the poodle parent, due to their varying sizes compared to the relatively constant size of the labrador retriever.
There are three main types of Labradoodles with reference to size, categorized as either standard, medium, or miniature.
A standard Labradoodle female is approximately 21 to 23 inches in height, with the male being around 22 to 24 inches. Their weight can range from 50-60 pounds. The medium Labradoodle female stands at around 17 to 19 inches tall, with male medium varieties standing around 1 to 2 inches taller. On average, they weigh about 30 to 45 pounds. The miniature Labradoodle is the tiniest of the bunch, with a weight of about 15 to 25 pounds and standing at the height of 14 to 16 inches only.
The Labradoodle, while being on average a healthy dog, is more prone to certain illnesses than others. While the dog doesn’t need to get any of these diseases or only these diseases, it is important to be alert to know what illnesses to look out for, ultimately allowing you to care for your labradoodle in the best way possible. The list is as follows:
- Ear Infections
- Hip Dysplasia bred
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Care and Training
A generally adaptive breed, there isn’t much that will deter the Labradoodle from living their best life. However, it is best to understand that they may not be the best fit for people living in an apartment due to their highly energetic and playful nature.
These dogs generally require about an hour or thirty minutes of exercise and, for this purpose, are best suited to living in a location that has access to open spaces such as yards. It is important to allow this breed to release all their pent-up energy and alleviate boredom through play or exercise to maintain a harmonious environment at home and avoid displays of destructive behavior.
Once again, it is important to have your Labradoodle socialize with other dogs at a young age, for which the best course of action may be to enroll them in a puppy kindergarten to make sure they don’t find themselves in unwanted situations with other dogs as adults.
In addition to this, crate training is a surefire way to prevent your dog from having any accidents at home and also making sure the Labradoodle is comfortable in case they need to be kept in a confined space for either hospital visits or travel. However, it is best to allow your Labradoodle to be around people, for the most part, confining them to the crate only when necessary, since these dogs have a social nature and prefer to be around humans.
The best course of action when it comes to feeding is to divide around 1 to 2.5 cups of dry dog food and to serve these to your Labradoodle as two separate meals at different times of the day (preferably morning and evening). It’s best to not leave food out throughout the day, and instead, it is recommended to have fixed meal times that the Labradoodle can get used to.
Since the Labradoodle is predisposed to bloat, one big serving of food per day is not ideal since this feeding pattern may trigger the condition. Instead, two meals divided evenly work best, ensuring a happy, healthy, and well-fed dog.
For those of you who have doubts about your Labradoodle’s health and are concerned that your dog might be overweight, the best course of action is to perform the eye test as well as the hands-on test. For the eye test, their waist should be clearly visible when you look down at them. For the hands-on test, place your hands with your fingers facing downwards and thumbs along the spine and gently feel for the ribs. Do not apply too much pressure. If you are unable to feel the bone, the Labradoodle is overweight and requires exercise and a reduction in their daily feed.
Coat Color, Types, Shedding
The Labradoodle comes in a variety of solid colors such as gold, black, cream, silver, red, apricot, caramel, chocolate, clue, cafe, chalk, etc. They can also come in particolored varieties.
Their coats range from straight to loose curls, and the curls mustn’t become too tight, giving the coat an overall undesirable thick and fluffy feel.
The coats come in three types. The first of the three types is the hair coat. Mostly present only in first-generation Labradoodles, this coat is at the bottom end of the popularity chart when it comes to this breed, owing mainly to the fact that Labradoodles with a hair coat come with that characteristic and highly unpleasant dog smell, and their coats shed like most other regular dog breeds.
The second type is the wool coat, resembling in appearance to a lamb’s coat, hanging in loose, non-dense curls. This type of coat does not have a dog smell and usually does not shed.
Finally, the fleece coat has a luxurious and silky appearance, described by many as angora-like. This coat can be either lusciously wavy or completely straight, depending on the Labradoodle’s genetic makeup.
The type of grooming, as well as the frequency with which you’ll need to engage in it, will be highly dependent on the coat type of your Labradoodle. However, it is best to brush their coat about one or two times a week on average. It’s also a good idea to schedule a trim every six to eight weeks to ensure your Labradoodle is comfortable.
Labradoodles, especially wool and fleece varieties, do not need to be bathed frequently due to the lack of doggy odor, so it’s best to coax them into the bath only when necessary.
Labradoodles are prone to ear infections, so make sure to thoroughly examine and clean your dog’s ears, wiping them out with a cotton ball soaked in an ear cleaning solution. Get your Labradoodle’s nails trimmed once or twice a month by a professional, in case they do not wear away naturally, since it can be easy to hurt the Labradoodle due to the presence of blood vessels in their nails.
Try to make grooming a positive experience filled with play to minimize the stress that your dog feels when being subjected to it. It’s best to start grooming them young to socialize your Labradoodle into not resisting the clippers or soap and allow for a happy grooming experience.
Deciding on a Labradoodle
The Labradoodle is the right fit for you if:
- Your home has access to open spaces such as a yard and parks.
- You are looking for a family-friendly dog.
- You are looking for a dog that does not require very intense training.
The Labradoodle is not the right fit for you if:
- You live in an apartment or an area that does not have access to open space.
- You are looking for a low-maintenance pet.
- You do not wish to keep your dog indoors.
Getting a Labradoodle Puppy
Puppies for sale and cost
Labradoodle puppies are widely available in the USA due to their popularity. A base cost for a gray straight-coat male Labradoodle is around $1000 to $2000. The price escalates depending on coat features and gender.