Labradoodles

 
Filed under Dog Breed Index

At a glance
A labradoodle is the hybrid result of crossbreeding a poodle with a Labrador retriever.  However, this definition is currently being defined by the fact that there are three different types of Labradoodles currently being bred: the Australian Labradoodle based and bred in Australia, the Australian Labradoodle bred in the USA and the American Labradoodle.

Summary

  • Names – Groodle, Curly Golden, Goldenpoo, Doodle, Poodle-Cross
  • Group – not recognized
  • Size – medium
  • Life expectancy – average of 12 years; range of 9 – 15 years
  • Cost of ownership – low
  • Ease of ownership – high
  • Aggressive tendency - low
  • Amount of Exercise – medium
  • Amount of Grooming – medium
  • Ease of Training – high
  • Obedience level - high
  • Suitable for Children – high
  • Amount of Care Required - medium
  • Susceptibility to Health Problems – low

Appearance
Due to the multi-parent breed infusions, Labradoodles all over the world are incredibly diverse. Doodles can be a combination of 3 sizes, of multiple generations, of 8 colors and of 3 coat types. Crosses are usually the largest in size (Standard). It is only with Multi-Generation Labradoodles that all three sizes occur; these latter ones should have a softer, longer coat which is usually lower shedding.

Weight

  • bitch: (Standard) 40 to 60 lbs, or 18 – 27 kilos (and as high as 80 pounds, or 36 kilos)
  • bitch: (Medium) 30 to 40 lbs, or 13 – 18 kilos
  • bitch: (Mini) 25 to 30 lbs, or 11 – 13 kilos
  • dog: (Standard) 40 to 60 lbs, or 18 – 27 kilos (and as high as 80 pounds, or 36 kilos)
  • dog: (Medium) 30 to 40 lbs, or 13 – 18 kilos
  • dog: (Mini) 25 to 30 lbs, or 11 – 13 kilos

Height

  • bitch: (Standard) 21 to 23″ (53 cm to 58 cm)
  • bitch: (Medium)17 to 19″ (43 cm to 48 cm)
  • bitch: (Mini) less than 17″ (43 cm)
  • dog: (Standard) 22 to 24″ (56 cm to 61 cm)
  • dog: (Medium) 18 to 20″ (46 cm to 51 cm)
  • dog: (Mini) less than 17″ (43 cm)

Coat

  • Color – Labradoodle coats occur in a variety of solid colors – black, chocolate/café au lait, cream, chalk, white, blue, red, apricot, apricot cream and silver. Harlequin and Parti-colored Labradoodles are bred but not recognized within the ILA Breed Standard.
  • Coat – Their coats can be as short as a Labrador. Wool/fleece coats are long and soft with the feel of an angora goat. The texture of the coat ranges from hair in the early generations to curly coats and finally to the perfect silky fleece of a pure Multi-Generational Labradoodle.
  • Shedding – low
  • Allergies – low
  • Causes Allergies – low

Character
Since Labradoodles are still considered a breed under development, their behavior cannot be fully predicted nor their temperament identified. That said, they commonly display a confident, joyful, vivacious, clown-like, sociable, friendly, non-aggressive, clever and extremely intuitive disposition. With such characteristics, it is no surprise this relatively new breed makes a very capable Therapy Dog, Assistance Dog, Hearing or Seizure Alert Dog and Guide Dog.

  • Separation Anxiety – medium
  • Barking tendency - low
  • Aggressive tendency – low
  • Compatibility with other animals – high
  • Suitable for Children – high
  • Watchdog suitability - low

Temperament
The Labradoodle is at ease with children and will want to join games; furthermore, they get alone well with other dogs. They can be easily taught sign and verbal commands and have pleasantly surprising wit, intuition and charm.

If not firmly disciplined when young, they can become overly dominant, bold and willful and attempt to take the upper hand over their owner. Like most breeds, the best way to maintain control over the dog is through positive training methods. The Doddle is a natural swimmer and retriever; just the same, somebody needs to keep the playing dog in sight. Though energetic and athletic when off leash, he mellows and calms down when given affection by humans. He is faithful and devoted to his family.

Training
The Labradoodle is a thinking dog, the result of blending the equally trainable Poodle and Lab. They excel at agility sports, are quick learners and highly intelligent. Training techniques can and should be changed regularly to make training fun and to keep this dog’s attention. Housebreaking the Labradoodle shouldn’t be difficult as long as training is consistent.

  • Obedience – high

Exercise required
Doodles love the outdoors but are happiest when they are with their family and will adjust to whatever exercise routine their owners provide. Owners need to take care and not over-exercise a puppy in their first year or let them recklessly romp up and/down hills or on stairs, because this can affect proper bone, muscle and joint development. These dogs are equally happy to walk alongside you or play off the lead. Miniature Labradoodles need less exercise compared to the Medium/and Standard sizes.

  • Energy – medium
  • Amount required - 40 – 60 minutes per day.

Care
Dogs with flat and wavy coats need the least amount of grooming. Curly coats require regular grooming. The Labradoodle’s coat is moisture and dirt resistant, so baths are only needed when necessary.

Spaying or neutering a Labradoodle will actually help them live a longer, healthier life. Spaying your female before her first heat will reduce the risk of breast cancer and omit the possibility of uterine infections. Neutering your male before age 4 will prevent testicular cancer, lessen the danger of prostate problems and help control aggression.

Food
When feeding kibble, you should not provide him with food that has more than 21% protein. Those who would like to add some natural food to their Doodle’s diet can consider giving raw meat twice or three times a week. Many dogs will also want to eat small portions of fresh fruit. Thus, the next time  you are enjoying strawberries, watermelon, banana, apple, pear, plum, mandarin or cantaloupe pieces, try offering your dog a small piece or two.

In the event your dog suffers from loose stools, feed him some cooked chicken with cooked brown rice and carrots. He should not be permitted to chew on bones and should instead be given chewing toys, such as Nylabones.

Grooming
A Labradoodle will appreciate the occasional clipping of the hair around the eyes and chin. When trimming nails make sure you cut at the curving point because you don’t want to cut the quick where their blood vessel is.

A Labradoodle needs a bath only when necessary (I.E. every 3-4 months). Frequent bathing can dry out the dog’s skin, which can lead to health problems. Ear infections can be avoided by clipping some of the hair out of their ears and regularly cleaning the outer area of the ear with a washcloth or cotton ball. If your Doodle has excessive ear wax, speak to your veterinarian who will likely provide you with a special ear solution for dogs.

  • Ease of grooming – medium
  • Amount of grooming – medium

Breeding
The process of developing a Labradoodle starts with the preliminary crossing of a Lab to a Poodle (known as “F1″ in breeding-speak). The resulting offspring is then bred back to a poodle, to help the poodle genetics to be more dominant in the cross (this second breeding in turn is known as “F1B”). This latest offspring is then bred to a Labradoodle. After several generations of Labradoodle-to-Labradoodle breeding, the offspring becomes the highly appreciated multi-generation Labradoodle. A multi-generation dog may then be bred back to a poodle (four out of every nine generations) to instill and strengthen the poodle traits.

The multi-generation Labradoodle is non-allergenic and is famous for seemingly not shedding at all. Early crosses usually cannot claim the same traits.

Two important varieties of the Doodle are the US-based Australian Labradoodle and the Aussie Australian Doodle. The former was, and still is, a simple cross between the Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle or Miniature Poodle. The Australian Labradoodle, on the other hand, currently has 6 different breeds linked to their origin. The known Parent Breeds of the Australian Labradoodle are the Poodle (Standard, Miniature, Toy), Labrador Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Curly Coat Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel and English Cocker Spaniel.

  • Litter size – average of 8; range of 4 to 10.
  • Puppy cost – Current high demand has contributed to astronomical prices for Labradoodle puppies, sometimes in excess of $2,000.

Health
Due to the fact that Labradoodles are hybrids they are a healthier dog with a superior genetic make-up.  Nevertheless, Doodles may suffer certain problems common to their parent breeds.

Both Poodles and Labrador Retrievers are susceptible to hip dysplasia, and require special tests to screen this problem prior to breeding. These purebreds can also suffer from a number of eye disorders, so an examination by a qualified veterinary eye specialist should be performed.

In recent years, some Australian Labradoodles have suffered from progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), a hereditary disease that can lead to blindness, and which happens in both Miniature Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. Australian Labradoodles will need DNA testing for PRA before being bred.

Another less-common disease among Mutigenerational and Australian Labradoodles is Addison’s Disease.

  • Life expectancy – average of 12 years; range of 9 to 15 years
  • Susceptibility to illness – low
  • Common health problems – hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and ear infections

Ownership
The Doodle makes an amazing and docile family pet but is a poor guard dog.  To ensure his beautiful temperament properly develops he requires socialization, training and sufficient exercise.

  • Living conditions – The Labradoodle will adapt to apartment life, but will require necessary outdoor exercise. They are moderately active indoors and are happiest when the can enjoy regular off leash freedom in a yard.
  • Good with Children – Doodles have immense patience especially with younger children.

History
Labradoodles started out in Australia during the 1980’s when dog breeder Wally Cochran started crossbreeding a Poodle with a Labrador retriever. The goal was to create an allergy-friendly breed of dog (I.E. a low shedding canine). The resulting puppies were a mix of the appealing traits of both breeds.  It didn’t take long for this designer dog to become famous all over the world.  Labradoodles have yet to be acknowledged by any major kennel clubs and are currently only recognized as a hybrid breed.

  • County or origin – Australia
  • AKA KC name and group: not recognized

Trivia
Did you know…

  • Some celebrities that have Labradoodles include:
  • Model Christie Brinkley (Maple Sugar).
  • Actress Barbara Eden (Djinn Djinn)
  • Actor and Director Henry Winkler of Happy Days (Charlotte)
  • Musical star Hugh Panaro (Soot)
  • Middlesbrough F.C. (UK) player Andrew Taylor (Sonny)
  • Tom Griswold of The Bob and Tom Show (Tazzie)
  • Blogger Perez Hilton (Teddy Hilton)
  • Legal thriller author David Baldacci (Finn)
  • Rodman Primack, chairman of the London auction house Phillips de Pury & Company (Theo)
  • LA Kings Star Forward Dustin Brown and his wife Nicole (Milo)
  • Author and activist Lynn Hoffman (Lola)
  • Philippines fashion designer Randy Ortiz (HV)
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark Gearan (Dublin)
  • PBS Television investment program MoneyTrack producer Pam Krueger (Chloe)
  • Novelist Susan Rebecca White (Raney)

Goldendoodles, another hybrid, are often confused with Labradoodles.

Comments

2 Responses to “Labradoodles”
  1. Jason says:

    Labradoodles are great dogs.

  2. Stacy says:

    My doodle Lily is the best dog I have ever owned. She belonged to our neighbor and we became very attached to her. After he died we adopted her. I couldn’t stand the thought of never seeing her again. At times she seems almost human. And I am not the kind of animal person who treats dogs like people so I find it odd to feel that way about her. She is just different. I would recommend the breed to anyone. She is a wonderful companion. I find it interesting that they don’t make good gaurd dogs. Even though she wouldn’t hurt a fly I guess because of her size she is intimidating to some people. I have seen people cross the street to avoid walking directly in front of our house when we have her loose outside. She is the best dog ever!

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