Labradoodle Dog Breed

Silver Labradoodle
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  • Other names:
  • American Labradoodle
Overview

The Labradoodle is a hybrid dog crossbred from a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. In most cases, Labradoodles are large dogs due to Standard Poodles being used in the cross-breeding, but there are more and more breeders using Miniature and Toy Poodles to produce ever-smaller 'Doodles. Although there is a very wide range of coat colors and a variety of coat styles, most Labradoodles have a curly and relatively non-shedding.

Because Labradoodles were originally produced as guide dogs that were meant to be as allergen-free as possible, they make great companions. They also make good watch dogs and can be remarkable rescue animals, but because they are so friendly, they tend to not make good guard dogs. Labradoodles need only a moderate amount of grooming, but they require a lot of daily exercise lest they acquire bad habits.

Labradoodle Breed Details

Breed Specs
TypeLifespanHeightWeight
Hybrid10-15 yrs.21-24 in.45-65 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

Although the Labradoodle comes from two breeds that are in the Sporting and Non-sporting groups (as recognized by the American Kennel Club), this hybrid tends to be more of a companion in the United States despite the original intent of producing a hypoallergenic guide dog which would have put the Labradoodle in the Working group.

Unlike most designer dogs and recent hybrids, the Labradoodle was distinctly bred to serve a relatively singular purpose. Still, there tends to be some confusion regarding Labradoodle facts even as this hybrid has a very well-known conception and history: there is the Australian Labradoodle — which is said to be a purebred — and the American Labradoodle, which is a hybrid but is essentially an exported Australian Labradoodle line. These highly trainable, excellent guide dogs are good for those who are getting their first dog, but it should be noted that patience is required to train them well.

PROS

  • Very low to non-shedding
  • Highly trainable
  • Extremely friendly
  • Makes a great watchdog
  • Great with kids
  • Superb family and companion pet


CONS

  • Requires lots of daily exercise
  • Needs outdoor space
  • Doesn't do well as a guard dog
  • Coat needs constant and frequent brushing and trimming
  • Can develop separation anxiety and destructive behavior if not exercised frequently and regularly
  • Prone to food allergies


Labradoodle Breed Description

The Labradoodle, while not the granddaddy of Poodle mixes, is the hybrid that prompted a craze that has yet to die down. Produced from cross-breeding a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle (almost always a Standard Poodle, but Toy and Miniature Labradoodles are becoming popular and as such, Toy and Mini Poodles are being used), your 'Doodle pup may have more Lab than Poodle or vice-versa, or she may be a perfect mix of both. Even within the same litter, Labradoodle puppies can vary in their inherited characteristics. It's best to learn about both parent breeds and as much qualified Labradoodle information as you can find if you plan on adopting a Labradoodle.

Labradoodles are generally very headstrong as they come from two highly trainable and very intelligent parent breeds. As such, a fair amount of patience is required when training and socializing them, and this must be done early and consistently. Proof of their intelligence is found in the hybrid dog's conception: a breeder with the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia sought to produce a hypoallergenic guide dog for blind people.

Although Labradoodles make great family pets, they must be made aware that you are the leader of the pack. They come from parent breeds that work in packs (Labradors) and have a long history of being used in war (Poodles), and they are instinctively inclined to shoot like a pistol through the family's "weaker links" and commandeer the household. It may be as subtle as being pushy during playtime or as obvious as begging and barking for food, but it can be greatly mitigated with early training and daily exercise. While 'Doodles are loyal and will follow you all around (that's the Poodle in them), they want what they want, and they should be taught early to work with all family members.

Under that oft-curly coat, there is a Labradoodle that needs to stretch his legs and will be happy to spend hours running around the yard, going on long walks and playing at the dog park. To not oblige this will prompt that energy to be released in unpleasant ways such as incessant barking, chewing on things other than toys, and developing various bad behaviors. There are many Search & Rescue units that use Labradoodles, and the flip-side is that, as a family pet, they have that energy, strength and stamina in reserve and as such, need to burn it off every day.

Labradoodle Breed History

Most designer dogs and hybrids have little history about their conception and development — but not the Labradoodle. This dog was credited to Wally Conran, a trainer with the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia. In the late 1970's, Conran started cross-breeding dogs to produce a hypoallergenic guide dog for people with sight impairments. (In particular, it was a blind woman in Hawaii who, because of Australia's strict quarantine laws and Hawaii's then-recently relaxed laws, allowed a dog bred and raised in Australia to arrive and deplane in Hawaii without being quarantined.) Other breeders — such as Beverly Manners — claim it was a man named Don Evans. Both men lived in the Australian province of Victoria, as did (and does) Manners.

Conran used the term "Labradoodle" for a TV interview that was meant to help find temporary homes for unassigned guide dogs, and the gimmick worked: soon the phones were ringing off the hook as the 'Doodle became a national fad. (Although Conran was credited with conceiving the name, the term "labradoodle" — with a lower-case "l" — had been coined 33 years earlier in a 1955 book titled "Into the Water Barrier" by Donald Campbell and Alan W. Mitchell wherein was a "labradoodle" named Maxie.) A year later, in 1989, Manners made the hybrid dog an international trend when she exported Labradoodles to the United States. (Since then, Manners has become infamous for alleged neglect and mismanagement of her dogs, and Conran has publicly apologized for having produced the Labradoodle as he felt responsible for the aftermath of unlicensed breeders seeking quick profits at the expense of dogs and people alike.)

In any case, the Labradoodle was successfully produced in 1988 after years of attempts that led to crossing a Labrador Retriever with a Standard Poodle. Many claim that the Australian Labradoodle is a pure breed, and yet the American Labradoodle comes directly from the Aussie 'Doodle but is not recognized as a purebred by the American Kennel Association (AKC).

Labradoodle Appearance

Labradoodles were originally bred to possess the Poodle's relatively hypoallergenic coat and the hard-working and highly trainable aptitude of the Labrador Retriever, but they were quickly bred more for their looks and, for the most part, remain so.

Although the parent breeds are very different-looking, most 'Doodles tend to have the coat of the Poodle with the tall, slim and athletic build of the Lab. They often appear to have a large head due to the big hair and large ears. The snout is usually somewhat large and long, and the medium-length tail should curl upward slightly. Except for the Mini- and Medium-Labradoodles (which continue to grow in popularity), the legs will be long, the paws medium-sized and there should be no dewclaws on the rear feet. (Dewclaws on the front is fine and there is no need to remove those!)

There are many Labradoodle coat types, but the most common is the very Poodle-esque one of silky, curly ringlets.

Labradoodle Coloring

Labradoodles come in a wide range of colors, but perhaps the most popular color is the chocolate Labradoodle (which is a more colorfully named brown Labradoodle!), and the black Labradoodle is also very popular. There are, however, many other colors, and they include red, cream, white, silver, apricot, chalk, caramel and parchment. They also come in a vast array of patterns: sable, parti, multi, brindle and phantom are just a few. Unlike many hybrids that tend to be limited in coat color and pattern (either deliberately or because of their parents' genes), the Labradoodle seems to practically invent new colors and patterns every few years!

Labradoodle Size

Labradoodles originally came in one size due to the use of only Standard Poodles with the Labrador Retriever, but as this hybrid's popularity exploded, Miniature and Toy Poodles have been crossbred with Labs to produce Medium and Mini-Labradoodles. Still, the most common Labradoodle size is the Standard, and they tend to stand 21 to 24 inches high and weigh 45-65 pounds — or even more!

Some people may ask, How big do Labradoodles get? While it is uncommon, it is not unusual if your Labradoodle reaches upward of 100 pounds.

Average Adult Height

21-24 in
*Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs.

Average Adult Weight

45-65 lbs

Labradoodle Variations

As most designer dogs tend to have four basic variations, so too does the Labradoodle: F1, F1B, F2 and F3. There is also the F2B Labradoodle, which many consider basically an F2.

An F1 Labradoodle is crossbred from a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle, both purebred. F1 Labradoodle puppies may turn out in many different ways, colors and coat styles.

An F1B Labradoodle is an F1 bred back to a Poodle — which makes the F1B 25% Lab and 75% Poodle. The reason that Poodles — rather than Labs — are used when breeding back an F1 is to make the coat more hypoallergenic as well as less-shedding.

An F2 Labradoodle is produced when two F1 Labradoodles are crossbred, and it has been remarked by many breeders and Labradoodle-lovers that F2s offer very little difference in shedding, health concerns, etc., from the F1. The F2B is an F2 bred back to an F1B.

An F3 Labradoodle, which is also the first generation that can be called a multi-generational (or multi-gen), comes from crossing two F2s. At this stage of cross-breeding, experienced, knowledgeable breeders can begin to control the multi-gen hybrids' personalities, coat styles, hair colors and more.

Labradoodle Temperament

Labradoodles make great pets for families seeking a dog for the first time, but due to their easy excitability, high intelligence and preference for control (i.e., they will be "leader of the pack" if allowed), they must be trained and socialized very early and with patience, persistence and gentleness. Still, they are eager to please and always ready for action.

Exercise is mandatory for your Labradoodle, and she'll need a lot of it every day. If not exercised frequently and regularly, she will quickly develop bad habits to burn off all that energy that otherwise makes her a great guide dog or part of a search-and-rescue unit. It's best to have a securely fenced yard in which she can run.

Labradoodles love to play, and they will appreciate children so long as the kids know how to play and aren't so small as to be bowled over by accident if your 'Doodle gets excited. While they make good watchdogs, they usually don't make good guard dogs because they would prefer to meet new people. Getting along with other dogs is one aspect of the Labradoodle personality that can be appreciated too.

Labradoodle and Children

As Labradoodles are highly excitable and have lots of energy, they can be fun for older kids when the 'Doodle is mature. As a pup, however, your baby Labradoodle needs to be trained to not nip or bite, and she needs to be socialized as well as allowed to develop in her own space (meaning: free of young children whose curiosity may be invasive to her when she's very young); likewise, children should be taught to play carefully with your Labradoodle. Mature Labradoodles should not be left unsupervised with toddlers or very young (or small) children, as injury may accidentally occur during playtime.

Ultimately, Labradoodles are good with children and they make great family pets, especially for the family looking to adopt their first dog!

Labradoodle and Other Pets

Your Labradoodle comes from two parent breeds who have long histories of working with other dogs: Poodles worked with Dachshunds to hunt and find truffles, and Labrador Retrievers have long worked in small packs to hunt and retrieve game. As such, you can expect your Labradoodle to get along well with other animals — for the most part. They should be supervised around very small animals, as their hunting instinct may be triggered by them. Also, just as they may want to merely play with smaller animals who don't want to take a chance to find out if it's a game or if they are the game, Labradoodles and cats should not be left unsupervised until they are very well acquainted.

Labradoodle and Strangers

Labradoodles tend to be very stranger-friendly. While they make good watch dogs, they rarely make good guard dogs as they are far more interested in making new friends than fending off fiends. Still, they can be somewhat cautious or even shy around people they don't know, so don't be surprised if they aren't always panting to be petted by someone they may have just met. Although 'Doodles are usually predisposed to being very friendly with people, early socialization is the key to making them be friendly without being too excited as well as simply being friendly around strangers and new friends.

Labradoodle Photos

Below are pictures and photos of the Labradoodle.

Apricot Labradoodle
Chocolate Labradoodle
Apricot Labradoodle
Happy Labradoodle
Running Black Labradoodle Puppy
Chocolate Labradoodle
Red Labradoodle
Silver Labradoodle
Cream Labradoodle
Black Labradoodle Puppy

Labradoodle Maintenance

The Labradoodle is a medium-maintenance hybrid that can be a bit high-maintenance depending on her personality and perhaps even her coat. They are good dogs for first-time families so long as the younger children understand the responsibilities such as daily exercise, careful brushing and easy excitability.

Grooming Requirements

Your Labradoodle will require moderate grooming due to a coat that for the most part doesn't shed. Although you won't be vacuuming up much hair, you will need to brush your 'Doodle's coat a few times a week to get out the dead hair and to keep it from matting. You will also need to have his coat trimmed a few times annually as it will most likely grow continuously, shed little and need to be kept out of his eyes, ears and elsewhere. It is best to get a professional groomer to do the hair-trimming and perhaps even the nail-clipping.

Exercise Requirements

Labradoodles come from two very active parent breeds and as such, they require a lot of exercise lest they become destructive and learn bad behaviors (like chewing on shoes and barking constantly). Long daily walks, several weekly visits to the dog park and a well-fenced yard in which to run and play is ideal. Still, if you love to jog or run, so too will your Labradoodle love the same while beside you. Both parent breeds have long histories as working/hunting dogs used to chase and retrieve game from water, and swimming will come naturally to your Labradoodle.. Early training to prevent poor personality traits — such as attention-seeking behaviors and striving to be the "leader of the pack" — will help to curb unnecessary energy.

Living Requirements

Living with a Labradoodle requires a fair amount of work but they are good dogs for first-time families. They are relatively easy to train as well as highly trainable, shed very little and are very friendly. They shouldn't bark much, either, but if they do, that means that there is an issue that needs to be attended (and it is rarely a difficult one). First-time families should be aware that the excitement of having a puppy for the first time should not overshadow the new pet's needs; time alone is perhaps most important so that separation anxiety is not invited. Spending every waking and sleeping moment with the new family member can induce separation anxiety later when she is left alone after the excitement fades and everyone is away for several hours every day for school, work, etc. It's best to get her accustomed to "alone time" in the beginning so she'll be used to it as she matures.

The ideal home for a Labradoodle is a big house with a large, well-fenced yard. As 'Doodles come from parent breeds that are herders and hunters, they love to run and roam. Although they may have the urge to chase smaller animals (outside and in, if there are other pets), this can be curbed with early socialization and training. In any case, small, stuffy apartments are definitely not good for Labradoodles.

Many people looking to adopt a puppy may ask, Is the Labradoodle hypoallergenic? The answer is: Basically, yes. (It should be noted that no dog is technically hypoallergenic, as all dogs shed to some degree — but 'Doodles shed very little.) Labradoodles are good dogs for those who have allergies. They do need, however, a great amount of grooming to keep their coats from matting because the coat basically doesn't shed, and you should expect to get their coat trimmed frequently to keep the hair from getting too long.

Labradoodle Health

Despite a lot of publicity claiming Labradoodles are practically disease-free dogs, you should be aware that that is not the case. It is easy, however, to find good breeders who will provide the health histories of the parents so you can be aware of any possible concerns. The most common issues are hip and other joint dysplasias that can provoke arthritis; eye problems and ear infections (which can be prevented if their eyes and ears are kept clean and dry — especially after swimming, which they usually love to do!); food allergies; Von Willebrand's disease; and the relatively rare but increasingly possible Addison's disease.

Nevertheless, if you keep your Labradoodle well-exercised, healthy and happy, you should expect his life span to be about 12 to 15 years.

  • Addison's Disease
  • Bloat
  • Cataracts
  • Ear Infections
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • View all 8...

Labradoodle Breed Recognition

The following dog breed registries and organizations recognize the Labradoodle as a dog breed:

  • American Canine Hybrid Club
  • Designer Breed Registry
  • Designer Dogs Kennel Club
  • Dog Registry of America Inc.
  • International Designer Canine Registry
  • American Canine Association, Inc.
  • View all 6...

Labradoodle Breeders

Interested in the Labradoodle? Contact a breeder below:

Breeder Name
linderlabradoodles.com
Apple Creek Doodles
All breeders with 'Quality Breeder' recognition have met our Quality Breeder Requirements.
* Please note - we are not endorsed or affiliated with any of the breeders listed above. However, we do our best to only list reputable and established breeders.
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