The Labradoodle is a combination of the most popular dog breed in the the United States, the Labrador Retriever, and the number 7 most popular, the Poodle . Labradoodles were not the first designer dog (that was the Cockapoo), but it is the one that made designer dogs famous.
These dogs are not only adorable, they are also an amazing addition to any family with children and other animals. They are also extremely loyal. What’s not to love about this amazing dog combination?
Labradoodles are not considered a breed by the AKC or other major kennel club associations.
For those looking for a new furry best friend, the Labradoodle will probably check all of your boxes. However, there are some important facts and background information about this dog breed that you should know before getting one. This will help you decide whether or not the Labradoodle is a good fit for you.
What Is A Labradoodle?
Who actually had the first idea to breed a Lab with a Poodle is unclear. The name and dog mix was around in the 1950s, but did not catch on. However, an Australian, Wally Conron, is often given credit for making this hybrid dog popular when he produced a Labradoodle the early 1990s. He wanted a guide dog that was also hypoallergenic.
Conron wanted to breed a dog for a blind woman whose husband also had severe dog allergies. To solve both of the couple’s needs, he used a Labrador Retriever, which is often used as a guide dog, was bred with the Poodle, that is a breed known to work well with those who have allergies.
People quickly fell in love with this new dog mix. Unfortunately, breeders began thoughtlessly crossing any type of Labrador with any type of Poodle. Consequently, some of the earlier generations of Labradoodles were very unpredictable when it came to physical characteristics and coat types. Many Labradoodles ended up shedding too much and were not all that great for people with allergies.
Nowadays, breeders (most, anyway) pay closer attention to this issue, and Labradoodles are rarely bred with shedding coats. Labradoodles are still commonly used as guide dogs and therapy dogs, as well as for other types of assistance and service dogs. They are also chosen as just a family dog and are a very popular choice for those who like large dog breeds.
Labradoodles are generally very high energy dogs who need lots of playtime and stimulation to stay happy. Additionally, the Labradoodle are very sociable animals and are likely to always want to be with their owners.
Since this breed is also a popular therapy and assistance dog, it is no surprise that they are also extremely devoted and affectionate with their owners, and possess an innate desire and eagerness to please.
They are also great with children and other animals and are typically viewed as a great first dog for those who have never owned a dog before.
The Labradoodle breed are also great swimmers and love being in the water so bonus points if you can provide a pool or nearby lake for your new furry friend to play around in. On top of that, Labradoodles are generally pretty easy dogs to train as long as their owners stay consistent since they are so eager to please their owners.
What Do Labradoodles Look Like?
How your Labradoodle will grow up to look largely depends on its genetics. That is, how dominant the Poodle or Labrador genes are in your dog’s DNA. Because of this randomness, Labradoodles can look vastly different from one another. Some Labradoodles are blonde in color, while others are chocolate, black, apricot, and even red. The coat on the Labradoodle also depends on the genetics and can either be soft and wavy (Lab dominates) or curly (Poodle dominates).
The size of Labradoodles also can vary. Labradoodles come in three size variations, and the sizes largely depend on the Poodle that was used for the first-generation breeding. The sizes are Standard which range from 21-24 inches and 50 to 65 pounds, Medium which ranges from 17-20 inches and 30 to 45 pounds, and Miniature which ranges from 14 to 16 inches and will only ever grow to be about 15 to 25 pounds.
This is not to say that all Standard, Medium, and Miniature Labradoodles will adhere to these measurements. There can still be some deviations within each size group, with some Labradoodles ending up being significantly larger or smaller than anticipated.
Potential Problems With Labradoodles
Labradoodles are generally pretty healthy dogs with a lifespan of 12 or more years. But, they can also be predisposed to certain health conditions. Some of these health conditions include ear infections, hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and allergies. Routine visits to the vet will work to ensure that any of these potential health issues are closely monitored and kept under control.
The fact that Labradoodles are very friendly, energetic, and sociable dogs may be enticing for many, but potential owners should also be cautious of the fact that these dogs are better suited to live in a home, not an apartment. This is because Labradoodles requires loads of exercise and outdoor time, and are likely to adapt better if they are placed in an environment that offers a fenced-in yard that they can run around in.
Also, it is wise to keep in mind that since Labradoodles are so intelligent, they will need pretty much constant stimulation. For those who are extremely busy and work a lot, they may not be the dog for you. Without proper stimulation, Labradoodles are likely to become very bored and may cause destruction within the home just for something to do.
Additionally, potential owners should keep in mind that some Labradoodle coats will require continual maintenance. Some of the longer coats will require having to brush your Labradoodle multiple times a week, and will also require having to take your dog in to get groomed every six weeks or so.
Where Can You Purchase a Labradoodle?
For those who decide they would love to welcome a Labradoodle into their home, the best bet is to find a breed-specific rescue for Labradoodles. Since this can often prove to be difficult since the Labradoodle is a mixed breed, it can also be advantageous to try to find Labrador or Poodle breed-specific rescues, since these are likely to care for mixes as well.
Future of Labradoodles
A first-generation Labradoodle is from a purebred Lab and a purebred Poodle. If you want more of one breed or the other, you might breed a first generation Labradoodle with either another purebred Lab or Poodle. These subsequent generations are sometimes numbered, such as F1, F1B, F2, F2B, & F3, etc. For information on what goes into these dogs, visit We Love Doodles. The Australian Labradoodle Association of America provides guidance and information about the breed.
Establishing a new breed takes a long time. Only time will tell whether the labradoodle will become a recognized dog breed. But, the Labradoodle is a fantastic dog for a number of reasons. They are loyal, devoted, affectionate, and easy to train, which makes them a perfect fit for nearly any family. For those who desire a new adorable dog with lots of amazing benefits, the Labradoodle could just be a perfect fit for you!