Everything You Need To Know About Labradoodle – A New Dog Owner’s Guide

Golden Labradoodle dog outside in fall season

Being created as hybrid dogs between two completely separate dog breeds: miniature Poodle and Labrador Retriever, Labradoodle dogs are endowed with such diverse and unique appearances. For that reason, it comes as no wonder why this breed is growing in popularity and sought after by many dog lovers.

In today’s article, we will provide you with every essential information about this particular dog breed. Hopefully it will solidify your background knowledge about Labradoodle dogs and make the adoption process simpler to handle.

A Brief Breeding History Of Labradoodle

The Labradoodle breed was a creation of an Australian breeder named in 1955 and eventually made a name for itself in 1988. Originally, the name “Labradoodle” was given to this breed by a dog breeder called Wally Conron in 1989.

They were the hybrid type, which means they were not purebred dogs but were originally bred through the mating of two different dog breeds. The early Labradoodle generations was the mixture between the Labrador Retriever and the miniature standard Poodle breeds.

(Fun fact: Many people still confuse Labradoodles for goldendoodles, which are the offspring of a poodle mixed with English golden retriever. In reality, they can be the furthest thing from each other despite the fact that at first glance, one pretty much resembles another)

The Labradoodle creator bred them using a cross-breeding method with the goal in mind to combine the most outstanding properties of both parental dogs. However, due to the nature of cross-breeding, the variation of this breed’s physical characteristics were widely significant, especially in the early generations.

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A chocolate-coloured Labradoodle

For instance, the offspring of the first few generations were not in possession of many predictable characteristics. Despite some certain shared traits which were limited by the gene pool, each Labradoodle puppy would likely inherit a few selective traits from its parental breeds to create their distinctive qualities. For instance, one Labradoodle might shed a lot or cause rashes for people with allergies while the other was hypoallergenic and didn’t shed at all.

Compared to the early Labradoodle breed, the characteristics of the later generations are much more predictable, mainly because the mating process between the two Labradoodles provides better consistency in the physical and mental patterns of the offspring.

The selective breeding between hybrid Labradoodles and Labrador-poodle began showing stable results after the fourth generations, producing the newer offspring with more anticipated physical patterns. Any Labradoodle born after the fourth cross will be considered multigenerational.

Physical Characteristic

Nowadays, thanks to the better cross-breeding control, the typical physical features of Labradoodle dogs have been mapped out to give you a wider, more specific variety of options, helping you choose a Labradoodle puppy that is in line with your wishes.

The Coat Types

First of all, Labradoodles can be classified into three main types based on the coat style they have: wool, fleece or hair.

To be more specific, Labradoodle dogs with wool coats will catch people’s eyes with their tight, curly, Poodle-like skin. However, the Labradoodle’s curl will have a much softer texture compared to that of a Poodle.

On the other hand, fleece coats are mostly found in Australian Labradoodles. The texture gives the dog’s fur a fluffy, free-flowing feel and a slightly curly, wavy appearance, which remarkably resembles the loose curls of Black Golden Retrievers’ coats.

The last type of Labradoodle dogs that you usually come across are those with hairy coats. Labradoodles with hairy fur have a wavy hair texture that remarkably resembles the coats of the Labrador breed.

The Hair Colors

Since the breed is the cross between Labradors and poodles, Labradoodle dogs can have any hair color that the original Labradors or poodles have. Specifically, they will have a wide variety of colors such as light brown, tan brown, deep cream, black, apricot, gray, red, parchment, etc.

Besides the common one-colored hair pattern, the coat can also be white-marked, parti-colored, tri-colored or phantom. However, Labradoodles whose mixed-colored coats will require a larger amount of money for adoption, for they are much rarer compared to dogs with monochromatic furs.

The Size

Depending on the mixing of the original breeds, the sizes of the reproduced Labradoodles will vary from one to another. The one with the smallest size will be called miniature and weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. Medium dogs are about 30 to 40 pounds and those that weigh over 40 pounds will be considered a standard Labradoodle.

The Breed Health

Despite inheriting the best characteristics from the mixed breed dogs, the possibility of developing genetic health problems in later generations is still inevitable, especially when the parents are diagnosed with health-related defects.

Therefore, before getting a Labradoodle, it is essential for you to be informed about any particular disease that the breed dogs can have. A well-timed test can predict future genetic problems and make sure the puppy is tested negative to all of the health problems usually developing at an early age.

However, it might be hard to detect inherited conditions in a growing puppy that hasn’t shown any physical manifestation of the disease yet. For that reason, it is highly suggested that you contact a reputable breeder or breeding programs to keep close track of the parents’ health and potential diseases before adopting the puppy.

Potential Health Issues

Now, we are going to inform you of some common health diseases found in Labradoodle dogs that have been discovered by the Australian Labradoodle Association. They are all genetic so with careful research before adoption, you can prevent most of this disease from developing and make sure you have healthy dogs.

Hip dysplasia  is the condition when the dog’s thigh bone is not in alignment with the hip joints. This syndrome can develop during the age of week one to five if the growth happens too rapidly and abruptly for the bone structure to handle. Besides hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is another common joint misalignment disease in Labradoodles.

Also, a proper overall screening of the parental breeds should be conducted to make sure they don’t have this condition in the early stages of their life.

Congenital eye diseases can lead to the destruction of the retinal area, possibly leading to blindness if not treated properly. According to some studies, American Labradoodles have a higher chance of contracting this disease than the other breed. To be diagnosed for this disease, the dog needs to be DNA-tested instead of a simple screening.

Trainability

Fortunately, the majority of Labradoodles are extremely easy to train and have a natural ability to learn quickly. When it comes to the training process, just like the growth of human beings requires language, behavioral learning from a very young age, the training of dogs is completely the same.

To optimize the training process and give the dog the best foundation, you should focus on the dog’s exposure to the surrounding and its socialization with people or different animals as early as possible.

Lovely brown labradoodle looks stunning

Lovely brown labradoodle looks stunning

During the training sessions, it is highly suggested that you give your dog enough positive affirmation and tangible rewards to encourage them to learn much more efficiently.

Along with that, similar to the training of any other dog breeds, the training of Labradoodles requires consistency and repetition. A training schedule should be planned out in detail with short and daily sessions, for the dogs’ attention span is rather limited and a lengthy training session might be counter-effective and bore them out quickly.

As you might know, one of the most fundamental training for Labradoodles is crate training. However, many people still have some misconception and tend to use crate training more like a punishment than a safety shelter for the dog .

To prevent turning the place supposed to give the dog a sense of security into the jail cell, make sure you distribute the crate time and outside time evenly. Leaving your dog inside the crate all day and night without any off-leash activity and human interaction might cause anxiety, depression for your pet.

Normally, a grown Labradoodle shouldn’t be kept in the crate for more than a day and a Labradoodle puppy shouldn’t be left in the crate for more than four hour.

Temperament And Typical Behavior

The personality of a Labradoodles can be more interesting than you think

The personality of a Labradoodles can be more interesting than you think

The temperament of Labradoodles depends largely on these few factors: the genes that passed down from the previous generations, the exposure to the surroundings, the socialization with different animals and the training from a young age.

Though it is impossible to pin down exactly every dog behavior of a Labradoodle to guarantee its good nature, generally, they are energetic, highly affectionate with humans and sensitive to the surroundings. According to many researches, Labradooles only rank behind Border Collie in terms of intelligence.

They have the perfect balance between being a touchy-feely, family pet enjoys cuddling on the sofa with you and being an energetic animal that loves running around in the parks with children.

Moreover, thanks to the affection Labradoodles show towards humans, they are born to become a brilliant therapy dog. Like guide dogs, Labradoodles can be trained professionally to be the emotional supporters to people in hospital, retirement homes, nursing homes.

Labradoodle Dog and woman

Labradoodle Dog and woman

Since Labradoodles have a remarkably high level of energy, they will react negatively by scratching, chewing things or barking constantly  if not being physically and emotionally stimulated often. Therefore, you should make sure your dog has enough toys to play with and  bring them outside for daily exercises.

Last but not least, if you feel like your pets are badly-behaved and you want to improve their temperament and tone down the negative behaviors, putting them in a puppy kindergarten class might be the good option. However, your Labradoodles should be between 10 and 12 week old for the best training results.

Activity Level

Labradoodle is the breed with a high level of activity, meaning that they are energetic and always full of get-up-and-go. They have the ability to quickly familiarize themselves with any form of physical exercise, so you can opt for the activity that fits perfectly in your schedules while still giving your pet a charge. It can be a quick walk in the park, a short training session such as agility, flyball, rally during your morning jog.

In addition to that, Labradoodles usually have a natural inclination toward water since they have inherited an exceptional swimming ability from their parental breeds. For that reason, you can train your dog to swim as a form of physical release as well as prevention from possible water accidents.

When it comes to the training, to satisfy the need for physical simulation of the Labradoodles, the dog needs to be put to training daily. The ideal amount would be about one to one and a half hour each day, for only by exercising daily will the dog be able to stay in good physical condition and maintain the weight in the normal range.

As opposed to the dog friendly rural settings, raising a Labradoodle in the urban environment can limit the chances for physical activities, for the available playing grounds are considerably restricted. However, you still can make it work by optimizing the training time and letting the dog burn off as much steam as possible.

Grooming

Grooming can be quite beneficial to a Labradoodle

Grooming can be quite beneficial to a Labradoodle

The need for grooming can be variably different depending on the coat characteristic of a specific Labradoodle. Generally, the longer and thicker the coat is, the more frequent the requirements for grooming will be. For that reason, Labradoodles with hair coats will need the most care among the three coat styles.

A Labradoodle with an average hair length will need weekly washing and monthly trimming to keep the coat neat and functional. Also, as opposed to the common misconception of many dog owners, there is no need for daily baths, for once or twice per week are already sufficient to maintain the pleasant odour for your pet.

Alongside with the coat treatment, it is essential to pay equal attention to the other bodily parts of your pet, for they can be the main causes for common skin diseases often developed in unhygienic dogs. Here are some areas of the dog’s body that you should examine and keep clean:

The ears: Labradoodles are born with a higher tendency to get infections in the ear areas. Therefore, when giving bath to your pet, after carefully cleaning the nose, eyes and feet using damped cotton balls, don’t forget to check for any rash, inflammation, sore or unpleasant odors in the ear, for they might be the early signs of ear infections.

The nails: Long nails can cause accidental and painful tears, so you should trim the nails of your dog at least once a month to guarantee safety, especially when the dog has developed a strong interest in running.

Another thing to keep in mind is that since there are tons of blood vessels running inside the toenails, you should take extra time cutting the nails as carefully as possible to prevent bleeding.

The mouth: To prevent your dog from developing dangerous conditions such as gum disease, it is highly recommended that you brush his teeth once a day to get rid of all the built-up tartar and bad baterias.

Conclusion 

So our article about the Labradoodle has finally come to an end. We hope that it has shed some light on your confusion and brought you one step closer to the ultimate understanding of this dog breed.

When searching for a Labradoodle for dog adoption, we highly recommend you do a quick check to make sure the dog meets all the requirements for those criteria we listed above.

All in all, we wish you good luck and don’t forget to tune in again for more posts from us!

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