The Labradoodle is a relatively new breed of dog known for its variety of colors, thick curly fur, intelligence, and loving personality. The standard Labradoodle, as denoted by its name, is a hybrid of a Poodle and Labrador Retriever. (Australian Labradoodles, on the other hand, are bred Labradoodle to Labradoodle and often include other breeds in their ancestry, for instance, spaniels).
In the 1980s, Australian breeders desired a guide dog (Labrador) that didn’t shed severely or cause severe allergic reactions (Poodle). And since both breeds are extremely intelligent, combining them can turn out a breed that serves as great guide dogs for the blind and/or therapy dogs.
Early generation Labradoodle coats comprised three categories: wool, fleece, or hair. They vary quite a bit as the generations progress. For the most part, Labradoodles favor the Poodle coloring and run the gamut from chocolate to apricot to silver and many more. They may also have distinct markings.
1. Since the Labradoodle is considered a medium-sized dog, it’s good for a large apartment or a house with a yard. Labradors usually stand about 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder. An adult Labradoodle ranges between 15 to 24 inches tall. Weight-wise, Labradoodles are between 60-80 pounds.
2. Labradoodles may inherit the Labrador’s short double-coat or the Poodle’s long curly coat. It can also have a true mixture, what some call fleece-like.
3. Labradoodles show a low occurrence of shedding. It’s a commonly held belief that all Labradoodles are hypoallergenic (non-shedding) or low-shedding. Keep in mind, some people respond to dander and may be allergic to the Labradoodle no matter how short the hair.
4. Because Poodles are extremely intelligent, they are easy to train. In addition, they are eager to please and athletic. So, they make up one half of a great mix in the Labradoodle.
5. Labrador Retrievers are athletic, loving, and fun. They adore spending time with their family, and will play fetch, swim to their heart’s delight, and enjoy frequent walks. They make up the other half of a great mix in the Labradoodle.
6. Labradoodles are a cross breed, which means they tend to have fewer health issues than a pure-bred dog. That doesn’t mean they will have no problems, but it does stack the deck in your favor for a long life with your dog.
7. Typically, a Labradoodle can have the cautious nature of a Poodle or the outgoing personality of the Labrador. Overall, you will end up with a good family dog that will please most everyone.
When you select any puppy, please choose a responsible, ethical breeder. Since Labradoodles are a relatively new breed, there can be breeders who only care about making a fast buck. When in doubt, trust your gut and/or check with your veterinarian if you have questions.
The Labradoodle being a cross breed can produce a litter of adorable puppies with very little predictability when it comes to appearance and behavior. Basically, the initial mix of a Poodle with a Labrador will produce an array of differences in siz, coat, color, and disposition. As the generations of cross breeds continue, these inconsistencies tend to diminish. Experts say after four or more generations, you can expect more consistency in the aforementioned traits.
Labradoodles are known for their high energy and easy-going nature. Keep in mind, however, as with any dog, every Labradoodle is an individual with his or her own personality and idiosyncrasies.