Everything you need to know about Labradoodles
Labradoodles are a crossbreed between poodles and Labrador retrievers. They were originally developed to be hypoallergenic guide dogs and were commissioned by the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia in 1989.
The two breeds were selected due to their desirable characteristics. Poodles are known to have a low shedding coat while labradors are affectionate, intelligent and make good working dogs. They also make excellent family and therapy dogs.
Since Labradoodles are not considered a dog breed, a lot of inconsistencies exist in their physical characteristics as well as temperament.
Labradoodles come in three sizes: standard, medium, and miniature.
The standard weighs between 50 to 65 pounds. The male stands at a height of approximately 22 to 24 inches while the females stand at 21 to 23 inches in height
The medium Labradoodles males stand at a height of approximately 18 to 20 inches while the females stand at a height of 17 to 19 inches. They weigh between 30 to 45 pounds.
The miniature lastly stands at a height of between 14 to 16 inches and 15 to 25 pounds in weight.
However, these dimensions may vary depending on the size of the dogs bred as well as the dominance of the poodle and Labrador genes in the DNA.
They also come in a variety of colors including blonde, chocolate brown, black, charcoal, cream, red, silver, chalk, and apricot. The hair coat also comes in a variety of textures; wavy, soft, flat or curly similar to the poodle.
Character and Temperament
Labradoodles are known for their affectionate, friendly and enthusiastic temperaments. They get along well with children, strangers and animals alike. This has grown their popularity as the majority keep them as family and companion dogs.
They are also very devoted, hardworking and intelligent making them excellent working and therapy dogs.
They live to please their owers making them easy to train.
Labradoodles are also excellent swimmers thanks to their Labradors parents. Their industrious personality can also be traced back to both their poodle and Labrador parents.
As mentioned above there exist a lot of inconsistencies when it comes to the temperament of these animals. Some puppies may be more reserved and quiet like poodles as opposed to being high energy and playful like Labradors.
Just like all breeds of dogs, early socialization is essential for them to grow as all-rounded dogs. Exposure to different people, animals, sights, and sounds helps them to coexist well with humans and animals alike.
Due to the outgoing nature of these dogs, apartment living may not be the best environment for them to thrive. They require regular physical and mental stimulation to avoid being destructive and grow as healthy dogs.
Though friendly with children, playtime should be supervised to avoid accidents as they are prone to knocking over small kids.
Though they may back at strangers, these dogs don’t make good guard dogs. This is probably due to their gentle and friendly demeanor.
Labradoodles also have a propensity to separation anxiety and do not do well when left alone for long periods of time. Prospective owners should plan ahead either to enroll them in a doggy day care or crate train in case they have a busy lifestyle.
Labradoodles live to please their masters and are therefore easy to train. This however heavily depends on repetition and consistency just like in other breeds. Enrolling them early to obedience classes is also advisable as they are more impressionable while young.
Training sessions, should be fun, short and done daily. This helps strengthen the human-dog bond which is essential for smooth training sessions.
Early exposure to different sights and sounds, people and animals also play a big role in them growing to be well-rounded dogs.
Labradoodles have three types of hair textures as mentioned above. They have a single coat with hair ranging from straight to curly.
- The fleece coat is usually silky and ranges from straight to wavy.
- The hair coat mimics fur found in shedding breeds. This makes it quite unpopular due to frequent shedding and the dog odor that comes with it.
- The wool coat is similar to a lambswool. It has loose curls and not dense. It has no dog odor and does not shed making popular among breeders and owners alike.
These dogs have low to no shedding especially those with fleece and wool coat. They shed periodically just like other dogs twice a year for a new coat to grow.
When it comes to grooming it solely depends on the type of hair coat. Generally, Labradoodles should be brushed once or twice a week to prevent matting. The coat should also be clipped every 6 to 8 weeks for easier maintenance.
Frequent bathing is not necessary as the majority lack the doggy odor.
Labradoodles are prone to ear infections just like Labradors. Always remember to keep their ears clean and dry to prevent bacterial infections. This mostly applies after swimming. Always use a Ph balanced ear cleaner and a cotton ball to clean and dry them up.
Discharge, itching, redness, and odor is indicative of infection.
Also remember to brush their teeth at least once every fortnight to prevent gum disease, plaque, and tartar.
Their nails should also be trimmed at least once or twice a month to prevent injuries. A clicking sound while walking is usually indicative that it is time for them to be clipped.
Health and Nutrition
When it comes to feeding, portions depend entirely on the size, age, and level of physical activity of the dog.
High protein food is important especially during puppyhood due to the high growth rate they experience at this stage.
Labradoodles are also prone to various health conditions most of which they inherit from their parents. These include but not limited to:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Ear infections
- Eye infections
- Addisons disease
Labradoodles have gained popularity among breeders and pet owners due to their friendly and charming personality. They are also low shedders making them a favorite especially to people with allergies.
They make excellent family and working dogs. They also get along with children and strangers alike.
They are however best suited for homes with a compound as they require daily physical and mental stimulation to keep them from being destructive.
They are also prone to separation anxiety.
When it comes to grooming, these dogs are easy to manage. They have minimal shedding and don’t require regular baths as they don’t have the doggy odor.
They are also easy to train.
They should be fed high-quality food at least twice a day depending on their age, size, and level of activity.