I am a proud labradoodle owner and I love sharing advice with other potential owners.
The labradoodle is a cross between a labrador and a poodle.
There are many variations out there. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on my own labradoodle, which is a cross between a miniature poodle and a labrador.
The labradoodle is one of the best family friendly dog breeds around, with the intelligence of a poodle and the loving retriever nature of the labrador in equal measures.
These dogs are generally extremely friendly both to other dogs and people, including young children. They are driven by food and always hungry, so training them can be easily achieved (they will do anything for a treat and once they have grasped the fact that a certain behaviour results in a treat, they will quickly catch on and memorise this).
Recall is very easy to establish, especially if trained while they are still in the puppy months (between one and six months old).
I'm not sure if this is the same for all labradoodles, but ours is super mischievous. At any given moment, he will have his head in places he shouldn't, eat things he shouldn't and investigate absolutely everything!
You may have heard of the expression 'he/she has the wind up his/her tail'. With the labradoodle, I like to refer to this as the 'Doodle Dash'. Every now and then, our labradoodle will literally go crazy and pelt around the front room. This usually happens just before 'walkies' time and is hugely entertaining, although it never agrees with a leather sofa as the video below demonstrates!
Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on May 15, 2016:
These are adorable Dodgers, I would love to have one! We already have to rescue dogs and a grand dog! Love your article, very imformative!
Enjoying strong popularity in short order, this "designer" hybrid became well known quickly. Bred to be a hypoallergenic service dog, the Labradoodle went on to prove that they could also be a versatile family and therapy dog as well.
A Labradoodle is happiest when they're with the people they love, and they'll shower their family with affection and devotion. With the energy of the Labrador Retriever and the work ethic of both the Lab and the Poodle, they're a joy. They may soon end up as one of the most popular mixed breeds around.
A Labradoodle approaches life head-on at breakneck speed, and they approach every new friend with the same enthusiasm. With training, however, you can teach your Labradoodle proper doggy etiquette. A Labradoodle is generally easy to train, since they're intelligent and eager to please.
They usually do well with other dogs and pets in the household, and they're generally good with children--but they can be exuberant and may unintentionally injure a young child through sheer boisterousness. Overall, however, they make an excellent pet for a first-time dog owner.
They can be calm and quiet while curled up on your feet, but they're also ready to jump up and play a game of fetch with only a moment's notice. They're not an ideal guard dog although they will alert bark, they're more likely to invite an intruder in for tea on the good china.
While most aspects of Labradoodles are wonderful, many of the dogs are nowhere near what the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia intended, nor what the Association would consider using for a guide dog. The biggest problem with Labradoodles at this time is that there isn't enough consistency in offspring, no matter whether Poodles are bred to Labs or Labradoodles are bred to Labradoodles.
Among purebreds, there are certain characteristics that all of the dogs have in common, even accounting for individual personalities. For example, you know that a Border Collie is going to herd something, anything. But so far, even with multigenerational Labradoodles, that consistency is lacking. The hybrid's popularity has unfortunately added to the problem, because it has encouraged some careless or unethical breeding, particularly from irresponsible breeders who are not familiar with sound breeding practices.
Some Labradoodles are more like Poodles: smart, reserved, and quiet with a fine, high-maintenance coat that needs to be trimmed regularly. Poodles are excellent watchdogs, and some--but not all--Labradoodles are, as well. Other Labradoodles are more like Labs: rowdy, slow to mature, and prone to shed as often as they breathe.
The coat is where one of this hybrid's greatest discrepancies turns up. The Labradoodle was meant to be low-shedding, like the Poodle, but it's still common to have more than one coat type, as well as variation in puppy sizes, within one litter. Some people with allergies have had to give up their Labradoodles because of the shedding, which is what they were trying to avoid in the first place.
Others end up taking care of a finely-textured Poodle coat, though they had bypassed a purebred Poodle to begin with because they didn't want to have to consistently trim, comb, and take care of that fine coat, with its tendency to mat and tangle.
If you're allergic to dogs, you'll still most likely be allergic to Labradoodles, or any of the Doodle mixes. Most people who have allergic reactions aren't allergic to the coat so much as to the dander, the bits of skin that come off the dog with the shed hair. The less shedding, the less dander that you can react to but it's really an individual situation, particularly with the Labradoodle, where there's a variety of coat types. If this is a foremost concern for you, make sure you spend some time with the mixed breed before you adopt.
Sadly, the hybrid's rapid popularity has already caused Labradoodles to show up in puppy mills and among irresponsible breeders. Puppy mills tend to sell sickly puppies with iffy temperaments. Irresponsible breeders hopping on the designer-dog bandwagon usually don't produce good puppies because they think breeding is just about simply finding two dogs of the same breed, when it's far more complicated than that.
Efforts have begun to curb this disturbing trend several organizations now offer breeder referrals and are striving to promote multigenerational breeding. Just be aware that if you're going to pay the high purchase price of a Labradoodle, which is typically more than you'd pay for either a Poodle or a Lab, you may not get the dog you expect.
The Labradoodle was originally developed in Australia to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. In 1989, Wally Conron, who was in charge of the breeding program for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia, conducted the first purposeful crossbreeding between a Standard Poodle and Labrador Retriever.
This first cross of Conron's produced a dog called Sultan, who not only had the hypoallergenic coat but also had the aptitude, intelligence, and personality to be an effective guide dog. Sultan went on to work with a woman in Hawaii and was a successful at his work. At that point, other breeders saw the merit of crossing these two breeds.
Like the Labrador Retriever parent, the Labradoodle quickly rose in popularity and has become one of the most sought-after "Doodle breeds." These dogs are often produced by crossing a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle, but multigenerational breeding has begun in an attempt to produce a viable and recognizable breed.
Both the Australian Labradoodle Association and the International Australian Labradoodle Association are taking steps in this direction, and they hope to move this designer breed into registered breed status in the next few years. These groups have made great efforts to bring breeders together so that they're working to achieve the same standards through multigenerational breeding.
The Labradoodle comes in three size variations, depending on the size of the Poodle used for the first-generation breeding. The three sizes are Standard, Medium, and Miniature.
All of that said, there is a lot of variation in Labradoodle sizes. Some can be smaller or larger than expected.
The Labradoodle is an intelligent dog who can make the ideal family pet if properly trained. They are friendly and accept and treat everyone like their best friend. They're devoted to their family and enjoy life as an energetic companion.
They can be gentle, but they can also be joyful, showing their happiness through exuberant jumping and playing. They also tend to be easygoing, since the Labradoodle was bred not to be aggressive. As is the case with any breed, some aren't all that friendly, but a well-trained Labradoodle with a characteristic temperament is a true joy.
Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up their littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner.
Always meet the dog you're interested in before bringing them home to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings, parents, or other relatives of the dog is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when they grow up.
Like every dog, the Labradoodle needs early socialization--exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences--when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Labradoodle puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
Enrolling them in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking them to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help them polish their social skills.
Labradoodles are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Labradoodles will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this mixed breed.
Here are a few conditions to watch out for:
Labradoodles can adapt to just about any setting, but they're not recommended for apartments. They require about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day and would do better with a fenced yard in which to expel some energy. Some Labradoodles, especially in the first generation, can require even more exercise.
The Labradoodle makes an excellent jogging companion but also needs some time off-leash to burn off steam. In addition, they need to be intellectually stimulated they're smart and energetic, so if they become bored, they can become a destruction machine.
The Labradoodle is an intelligent and eager-to-please dog. Training should be easy as long as consistency and positive reinforcement are the methods. They can make a good companion for first-time dog owners since they don't need an overly firm hand. Socialize them from puppyhood, since they tend to hurl themselves headlong into canine situations without regard to the feelings of other dogs. This can lead to some problems if the unknown dog is aggressive.
Despite their activity levels, a Labradoodle can adjust to living in suburban or city environments and can do well in rural settings. Although they are used for various working roles, they're a companion dog through and through, and they should live inside the house, not out in the yard. They're happiest living in the comforts of home, sleeping soundly on your feet or in a bed next to yours.
Crate training benefits every dog and is a kind way to ensure that your Labradoodle doesn't have accidents in the house or get into things they shouldn't. A crate is also a place where they can retreat for a nap. Crate training at a young age will help your Labradoodle accept confinement if they ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized.
Never stick your Labradoodle in a crate all day long, however. It's not a jail, and they shouldn't spend more than a few hours at a time in it except when they're sleeping at night. Labradoodles are people dogs, and they aren't meant to spend their lives locked up in a crate or kennel.
Recommended daily amount: 1 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on their size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference--the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.
Keep your Labradoodle in good shape by measuring their food and feeding them twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether they're overweight, give them the eye test and the hands-on test.
First, look down at them. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on their back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see their ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, they need less food and more exercise.
Dividing your Labradoodle's food into two or more meals per day instead of a big bowl once a day can also lower their risk of gastric torsion, also known as bloat. The Labrador Retriever can suffer from this condition, and it's a trait that can be easily passed on to any Labradoodle offspring.
For more on feeding your Labradoodle, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.
Although a Labradoodle can have one of a range of coat types, the desired length is four to six inches. They have a single coat with hair ranging from straight to loose curls. The curls shouldn't be tight and the coat shouldn't be thick or fluffy.
There are three types of texture:
Labradoodles are considered to be non- to low shedders, especially those with a Fleece or Wool coat. Hair coats tend to shed just as they do in other breeds, ranging from very low to average shedding.
The Labradoodle comes in a wide variety of colors. These can be gold, apricot, caramel, chalk (a chalky white), black, red, café, cream, silver, chocolate, parchment, and blue. They can also have parti-colored coats, which consist of brindles, phantom, patched, or sable colors.
Grooming requirements vary depending on the length and type of coat the dog has. Generally speaking, you can expect to brush a Labradoodle about once or twice per week. Some can be clipped or trimmed every six to eight weeks to keep the coat easy to maintain. A Labradoodle should only be bathed when necessary--which isn't often, as many of the coats don't have a noticeable doggy odor.
Like Labs, Labradoodles can be prone to ear infections, so take a little extra time caring for their ears. Dry and clean them after a swim, and check them once a week for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. Then wipe them out weekly with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to prevent problems.
Brush your Labradoodle's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.
Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding--and your dog may not cooperate the next time they see the nail clippers come out. So, if you're not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.
Begin accustoming your Labradoodle to being brushed and examined when they're a puppy. Handle their paws frequently--dogs are touchy about their feet--and look inside their mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when they're an adult.
As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.
The Labradoodle does well with children and can be an affectionate and gentle companion for any child. They can also be exuberant and might knock down smaller children, but they will love them with all their heart.
As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while they're eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Labradoodles usually get along well with other dogs and pets. Like most dogs, they need training and socialization for optimum success at living with and visiting other animals.
Labradoodles are often brought home without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. Many end up in the care of shelters or rescues because of this.
It may be hard to find a breed-specific rescue for Labradoodles because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Labrador Retriever or Poodle breed-specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:
You can also try DogTime's adoption page that lets you search for adoptable dogs by breed and zip code!
DogTime participates in the NomNomNow affiliate program to earn fees for linking to products on NomNomNow.
If your not already familiar with exactly what a Labradoodle is, get ready because chances are there’s already one living on your street or there soon will be!
This is because…
Australian Labradoodles are among the cutest dogs you’ll see, and because of their parental heritage, they also make great family pets! But is owning a Labradoodle going to be the right move for you?
The real question and the one that we hope to help answer here in our article all about the Labradoodle dog breed. After all, the last thing that we would want to see happen if for you to choose to adopt one of these great dogs only to find our a few weeks later that it isn’t a good fit.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Australian Labradoodle Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Australia
Original Purpose: Companion animal
Height: 14 to 24 inches at the shoulders
Weight: Standard, 45 to more than 100 pounds Medium, 30 to 45 pounds Miniature, 15 to 30 pounds.
Dog Breed Classification: Not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC)
Life Span: 10 to 15 years
History and Origin of the Labradoodle
Unlike many “ancient” dog breeds where the true origin of the breed is often in dispute, the origins of the Labradoodle dog breed is well documented.
Not only do we know where they were created, who created them and when they were first created, we also know the name of the actual first Labradoodle… Sultan.
The Labradoodle is an example of what is now commonly referred to as a “designer dog” or a “hybrid dog”. And while some folks may disagree with their creation, the truth is, in many cases creating a “designer dog” actually helps improve the overall health of the individual puppy as well as the different dog breeds that were used to create it.
When we look at the Labradoodle specially, we see that these guys were first created in Austrailia by Wally Conron of the Royal Guide Dogs Association in 1989, and was created by cross breeding a Labrador Retriever with a Standard Poodle resulting in a dog named Sultan.
Sultan then went…
On to be the standard for all Labradoodles. He had a hypoallergenic coat, which made him the perfect choice for dog owners with allergies, and was believed to be less susceptible to many of the genetic medical issues common with both parent breeds.
Also very smart, had a lovely personality, was engaging and friendly. He was the first of the many Labradoodle puppies that were bred by the newly formed Australian Labradoodle Association.
The Labradoodle is still not recognized as a full-fledged breed by any of the international kennel clubs, including the American Kennel Club. The International Australian Labradoodle Association wants to move the Labradoodle to full-breed status soon, but so far they have failed to find much success with the AKC.
Physical Characteristics of the Labradoodle
As we’ve already mentioned, the Labradoodle is considered a “designer dog”. He is a cross-breed developed from the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle and gives you the best of both worlds. He can come in many different sizes.
Labradoodles varied from each other in appearance, personality and temperament. But the new, multi-generational Labradoodles are more similar to each other, mainly because they have been bred from other Australian Labradoodles.
That said however…
It should be pointed out that some Labradoodles look very much like a poodle, while others look pretty much the same as a Labrador Retriever.
But regardless of…
Which parental breed a Labradoodle resembles most, there is no question that these dogs are very attractive. They have a soft coat type, and don’t shed much. Their double coat is hypoallergenic, which means it is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in humans.
Instantly recognize a Labradoodle from its long muzzle, small, brown eyes covered by soft curls, and droopy, furry ears.
Personality and Temperament
The Labradoodle is playful, intelligent dog that makes for a perfect family pet. He is very friendly, even with strangers. He’s also a very charming, exuberant dog that brings joy wherever he goes. Kids love him and he loves them back.
For a perfect playmate for children. He is very active, always jumping or running and up to something.
He has such a lovely temperament.
He is never aggressive or angry. In fact, he has been bred NOT to be angry or aggressive, so it’s just not in his nature to be so. So you can count him out for being a great guard dog, but he can still make a great “watchdog” especially considering how very curious these guys are about the world around him.
We should point out though…
That Labradoodles don’t like to be ignored. He is often like a cute little child that wants her mom and dad to be with her all the time. So, if you’re looking for a dog that isn’t going to mind being “cooped” up all day, then this might not be the “right” dog for you!
Labradoodle Health Issues
Labradoodles are generally considered to be relatively health at least compared to their parent breeds, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely out of the “woods” when it comes to potential health issues.
This is whyr
You should only choose to work with a reputable Labradoodle breeder who can give you a complete medical history of the parents of the puppy you are considering adoption. You should also be very pro-active in your search and be sure to ask about any family history of the following conditions:
Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.
This is why…
We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.
Did you know the first Labradoodle litter was born in Australia?
The Labradoodle of today is one of America’s most favorite family dogs, but like many of his canine counterparts, the Labradoodle was originally created for working purposes.
It was in Australia in 1989 when a guide dog trainer by the name of Wally Conron came across a woman whose husband was blind and needed the assistance of a seeing eye dog. The only problem? The woman’s husband suffered seriously from dog allergies.
Wally Conron worked with Labradors and Golden Retrievers, and while these two breeds are famous for their intelligence and knack for servitude, they are also known to shed heavily.
In an effort to help this family in need, Mr. Conron went to work with Standard Poodles in hopes that he would find one with the necessary traits to be trained as a guide dog. Unfortunately, no Poodle he came across passed the test.
Eventually, and under the pressures of his boss, Mr. Conron turned to crossbreeding. He bred one of his Labradors with a Standard Poodle, and shortly thereafter a litter of hybrid puppies was born.
Out of the litter, only one puppy was able to be successfully considered hypoallergenic. Best of all, that hypoallergenic puppy also had the necessary traits to be trained as a guide dog.
Wally and his team began working and perfecting the Lab and Poodle mixes right away, however, they did hit a roadblock with clients who were wary of taking service dogs that weren’t purebred. Wally’s solution? He called up the media with fabulous news about this wonderful new dog breed he had created. And alas, the Labradoodle exploded onto the scene!
Once the Labradoodle began being seen as his own breed, he was quickly accepted by those in need of hypoallergenic dog breeds, socialization homes, and dog training facilities near and far.
Three decades have passed since then and although the fame of the Labradoodle simmered for a bit, his name is back in the spotlight as of late for being one of the United States most popular companion pets.
Of course, as we learn more about our canine counterparts, many of us now realize that just because someone says they have created a new dog breed doesn’t really mean they have created a purebred.
In fact, and even though thirty years have come and gone, most Kennel Clubs still don’t recognize the Labradoodle as a purebred and instead see him as a crossbreed.
Does this matter? Actually, when breed standard, temperament, health, and appearance come into play when comparing purebreds and crossbreeds, it does.
Let’s talk more about the crossbreed controversy.