A Labradoodle is a crossbreed dog created by crossing a Labrador retriever with a standard poodle.
Labradoodles were first bred in Australia as Hypoallergic, smart and low shedding dogs to act as guide dogs for people with allergies to fur and dander.
The term “Labradoodle” was first used by Donald Campbell in his 1955 book, Into the Water Barrier, to describe his Labrador/Poodle cross, the term was not initially popular but caught on later.
Labradoodles are described as generally very healthy and with the high friendliness and trainability of labrador retrievers and low shedding coat and intelligence of poodles.
All these characteristics make the labradoodle a very popular pet choice in recent times.
Labradors are very loving, affectionate, and people-loving dogs which makes them perfect for any home.
On the other hand, they are also very energetic and love outdoor adventures.
Labradoodles were initially bred to be hypoallergenic dogs but are now also capable of working as good therapy dogs.
They do shed their hair but very little and rarely. They are mostly quiet dogs and do not bark or howl much.
They are happiest when they are around people they love and are familiar with and they’ll shower your family with affection and devotion.
Labradoodles are growing more and more popular in recent times lets get to know them a little.
Wally Conron of Australia takes credit for creating the Labradoodle in 1989 although there is some controversy surrounding his claim.
The combination was known in the United States in the 1950s and was even used in the entertainment industry as early as the 1960s.
However, the use of a Labradoodle as a guide/service dog was not common until 1989.
When Australian breeder Wally Conron introduced the cross-breed to the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia in Victoria.
The first cross of Conron’s produced a dog called Sultan who had all the characteristics of a perfect modern-day labradoodle.
He/she went on to work as a successful guide dog for a lady in Hawaii and served for 10 years.
The Labradoodle coats are divided into three categories namely: wool, fleece, and hair. Only early generations of Labradoodles have wool and hair coats.
The Australian Labradoodles predominantly have fleece coats. Labradoodles can have any color or pattern coat that poodles can have.
The most common colors of coats are chocolate, cafe, parchment, gold, apricot, cream, chalk, silver, black, red, gray, and lavender.
Labradoodles come in various sizes depending on the size of the sire and the dam used. The size highly depends on the size of the poodle used in first-generation breeding.
They are classified in three sizes: miniature, medium, and standard.
• Standard labradoodle – Average height of males is 22-24 inches and 22-23 inches for females, weight can range from 50-65 pounds for both.
• Medium Labradoodle- The average height of males is 18-20 inches and 17-19 inches high for a female, with both weighing from 30-45 pounds.
• Miniature Labradoodle- The average size for a Miniature Labradoodle is between 14-16 inches and 15-25 pounds.
Labradoodles do shed hair but the coat sheds very little and has less dog odor than a Labrador retriever.
Regular haircuts, bathing, and brushing are vital for maintaining a healthy coat.
Temperament and Personality
Labradoodles are very friendly by nature and very intelligent if properly trained they can be a perfect pet.
They are very easy to train and have high grasping power and are always ready to play with anybody.
Labradoodles need early exposure to a lot of things such as meeting various people, sounds, and sights so they grow up to be a well-rounded dog.
Labradoodles are highly social both with people and canines.
They are always willing to play with any people around them and always treat their fellow canines very well.
They can be calm and quiet while lying near you but will come at once being energetic as ever when you call them to play with you.
They are an ideal choice for first-time puppy owners because of their friendly nature.
Their friendly nature also has some disadvantages as they cannot be good guard dogs, an intruder might be quietly sipping tea in your house while playing with your dog.
Labradoodles have a certain liking for water and have high swimming ability.
They borrow a lot of traits from their parent breeds which are one of the smartest and most agile breeds.
Labradoodles are described as generally very healthy but they may suffer from health problems common in their parent breeds.
Take a look at these problems especially if you have a labradoodle or considering getting one.
• Joint dysplasia-Also known as elbow dysplasia is common in the parent breeds of Labradoodles.
This issue becomes more prevalent as a result of rapid growth during the puppy stage. Appropriate screening should be completed for this condition before breeding.
• Congenital eye diseases-It is an inherited eye disease which eventually causes blindness.
A proper eye check is necessary before breeding to avoid this disease.
• Ear infections-These can plague Labradoodles because of their floppy ears. The ears trap moisture and should be regularly checked.
• Epilepsy-It is a neurological disease and it is often inherited and its symptoms may include seizures, it is a serious condition and must be treated immediately.
• Addison’s disease-There is evidence of some occurrence of Addison’s disease in the Australian Labradoodle.
The Australian Labradoodle Association of America is currently conducting a study to try to determine how widespread the problem has become.
Labradoodles need at least 30-60 minutes of exercise every day to expel some energy and stay fit some Labradoodles may require even more exercise especially the first generation ones.
Labradoodles love challenges and like being intellectually stimulated they also make great jogging companions but also need some time for themselves off-leash to just sweat it out.
Labradoodles are very energetic but if not exercised enough they will find themselves ways to keep engaged which you may not like.
Keep them socialized from an early age as they tend to get involved in fights with other dogs and the other dog is aggressive then it may lead to some serious problems.
The Labradoodles easily adjust to any environments be it rural or urban despite their high energy levels but they are not recommended for apartment spaces.
The Labradoodles tend to be constantly near you this means that they may not be comfortable sleeping out in the yard.
They will have long naps near your feet or to the side of your bed.
Labradoodles maybe people dogs but they shouldn’t be near literally all the time that’s why starting crate training very early helps a lot.
The dog realizes that the crate is a safe space where they can relax or take naps whenever they want.
Although a Labradoodle can have only one of a range of coat types, the desired length of the hair is four to six inches.
They have a single coat with hair ranging from straight to lose curls. The curls shouldn’t be tight and the coat shouldn’t be thick or fluffy.
The grooming requirements of Labradoodle depends on the length, thickness, and the type of coat. Usually, the Labradoodles with fleece or wool coats shed very less.
Let’s take a look at types of coats and specific characteristics of these:
• Hair coat-Average shedding and has a general dog odor.
• Wool coat-Usually non-shedding coat and has no dog odor. Similar texture as wool, hence the name.
• Fleece coat-Almost no shedding and no dog odor has a silky soft texture.
Labradoodles must not be bathed very often, bathe them only when necessary as they do not have the characteristic dog odor and their coat should be trimmed every six to eight weeks.
Otherwise, Labradoodles do not require much grooming just brushing their coat about twice a week should keep them clean.
Clip their toenails twice a month if you notice the nails are making a click sound when the dog walks then its time to trim them.
Also, Labradoodles have sensitive ears so one has to keep checking their ears for any signs of infection and clean them regularly.
You also need to brush their teeth at least twice or thrice a week to avoid tartar and harmful bacteria.
Daily brushing is even better to remove bad breath and to reduce the chances of gum disease.
Taking your pet to a vet is also very necessary to maintain proper hygiene standards and health.
The recommended amount to feed daily is 1-2.5 cups of dry food split into two regularly timed meals.
Dividing the meal into two times a day instead of only one big bowl a day will decrease the risk of gastric torsion or bloat which is a serious medical condition in which a dog’s stomach becomes overstretched and twisted due to excessive gas content.
Use a good quality dog food which gives overall balanced nutritional meal and often check if your dog is overweight, regular vet visits are also crucial to maintain the good health of your furry friend.
There are some drawbacks of Labradoodles but in a very small proportion as compared to their advantages, nevertheless, it is crucial to know their few snags before considering getting a labradoodle.
Let’s take a look at them:
• Labradoodles with low-quality fur shed as much as regular dogs and may not be suitable for people with allergies.
• Because of their rising popularity they have started showing up in puppy mills and among irresponsible breeders these breeders do not breed good dogs and don’t understand the process.
• Puppies in early generations don’t have consistent characteristics the first cross results in variation in size, coat, and temperament.
Once a Labrador-poodle cross has been selectively bred to other Labradoodles for 4 generations or more, then there is much greater consistency for all the selected aspects.
• They are not good guard dogs and tend to bark very less and especially not on people.
• They are very affectionate towards children but may unintentionally injure younger kids because of their desire to play.
• Labradoodles are not considered a breed by the AKC and other major kennel club associations in North America because they are technically a hybrid of two pure breeds rather than a new breed.
The Labradoodles are not considered as a breed in any major kennel club and also Guide dogs victoria no longer breeds Labradoodles.
However, there are reputable organizations breeders can join if they qualify and follow the breed standard, regulations, and ethical requirements.
The Association for the blind of Western Australia has introduced Labradoodles in their training program and organizations
Such as the International Australian Labradoodle Association, along with the Australian Labradoodle Association and the Australian Labradoodle Association of America.
Taking steps to create a breed standard and unite breeders across the world to create more consistency inbreeding which may grant the Labradoodle a recognized breed status.
Labradoodles are a great choice for first-time dog owners as they are highly adaptable and also have high trainability and easy to train.
Labradoodles cause almost no domestic small scale problems and are very well behaved and friendly.
But they may have some major health or temperament problems if not bred properly.
You should always get any dog from a verified breeder and seller, and make sure to spend some quality time with the dog.
And get to know him before considering bringing him home.
Labradoodles are now serving around the world as guides, assistance, or therapy dogs because of their inherent friendly, active.
And joyful nature they will be very sweet companions for anyone who wants a dog.