Labradoodle breed features
- Labradoodles shed little hair, although some shed more than others
- They are highly intelligent and learn things quickly
- They have kind and affectionate natures being very biddable by nature
- They are a great choice for first time owners
- They love taking part in all sorts of canine sports
- They are very playful and remain so well into their senior years
Points to consider
- They are high maintenance on the grooming front
- They can be mischievous at times thanks to them being so smart
- Labradoodles are high energy and need lots of attention and exercise
- A well-bred Labradoodle is expensive to buy
- They can suffer from some of the health issues that affect their parent breeds
The Labradoodle is the result of crossing a Labrador Retriever with either a Standard or Miniature Poodle and they first appeared on the scene back in the mid-1950's. They are high energy dogs with some of them having low shedding coats. As such they are often seen being used as assistance dogs for people who suffer from allergies. Labradoodles have become one of the most popular recent designer cross breeds to have appeared on the scene and for good reason because not only are they adorable looking, but they are intelligent charming dogs that are a pleasure to have around too.
Labradoodles should not be described as "designer dogs" because they have been around for a long time and therefore they have become well-established in the world of working dogs having been bred to have a biddable nature. They should be thought of as a "cross breed" and one that has made their mark on the world and today the Labradoodle is among one of the most popular breeds in Ireland.
Where did Labradoodles originate?
Labradoodles were first bred to be assistance dogs and more especially for people who suffered from pet related allergies. It was in the 1980's that these dogs were first considered as being the perfect choice for a vision impaired lady who lived in Hawaii and whose husband had always suffered from allergies. The first puppy from a litter of three pups proved to have a hypoallergenic coat and so the name "Labradoodle" was given to the breed.
After this breeding centres were set up with an end goal being to create dogs with hypoallergenic coats and to establish consistency in a Labradoodle's breeding. The first litters to be born proved to have very low to no shedding coats whereas other litters from crosses between Poodles and Retrievers produced puppies that shed a lot more. However, the results were positive enough for breeding programmes to continue after which time, Labradoodles became a familiar sight in many homes throughout the world.
Although Guide Dogs Victoria, the first organisation to breed Doodles no longer breeds them, lots of other guide dog organisations now have breeding programmes in place. As such Labradoodles are still used all over the world as guide, assistance and therapy dogs thanks to their naturally friendly, outgoing and highly trainable personalities.
Labradoodles are not yet a Kennel Club recognised breed and as such no breed standard has been set. They can be the result of crossing a Labrador with a Poodle whether the father is a Lab or a Poodle or the mother is a Lab or a Poodle. They can also be the result of crossing two Labradoodles together or even by crossing a Labradoodle with a Poodle or a Labrador.
The Labradoodle Club in the UK (UKLA) believes that by not being Kennel Club registered allows for a healthier diversity in the Labradoodle's bloodlines, while at the same time it allows less reputable breeders from taking advantage of the situation. As such, all Labradoodle breeders can register their dogs and litters with the UKLA free of charge with an end goal being to maintain good breeding practices in Labradoodles.
Did you know.....
- Is the Labradoodle a vulnerable breed? They are among the most popular dogs not only in Ireland, but elsewhere in the world too thanks to their kind and biddable temperaments
- Labradoodles have proved themselves to be valuable and reliable therapy dogs thanks to their kind and biddable temperaments
- Labradoodles love being in and around water being true “water dogs” by nature
- They come in a variety of coat colours and textures depending on which of their parent breeds they have thrown to
- Labradoodles are very popular with celebrities
- They have very keen noses and therefore, Labradoodles are brilliant trackers
What should a Labradoodle look like?
- Height at the withers: Males 30 - 71 cm, Females 30 - 71 cm
- Average Weight: Males 10 - 40 kg, Females 10 - 40 kg
Labradoodles come in a lot of sizes, shapes and colours with 3 sizes being on the scene as well as multiple generations and around 8 different colours as well as 3 coat types to add to the mix. Although Doodles can look very different which includes puppies in the same litter, they do tend to inherit their parent breed's traits both in physical looks and characteristics. However, it really is luck of the draw as to how a puppy will turn out as it depends on which of the parent breeds a puppy throws to and it also depends on whether they are first, second or third generation puppies.
Responsible breeders only use stud dogs that have been carefully screened for any hereditary or congenital health issues to reduce the chances of puppies developing any of the disorders their parent breeds are known to suffer from. However, they also breed Doodles to have a certain type of coat and they always choose dogs that boast having kind, affectionate and reliable natures.
Doodles generally have charming heads that seem larger thanks to all the loose hair that grows in abundance around their faces. They can be small, medium or large sized dogs as there are 3 different sizes which are as follows:
- Standard – height: 53.34 – 60.96 cm - weight 22.67 – 29.48 kg
- Medium – height: 43.18 – 50.80 cm - weight 13.60 – 18.14 kg
- Miniature – height: 35.56 – 40.64 cm - weight 7.25 – 11.33 kg
All three sizes tend to be nicely proportioned and well-balanced dogs that boast having an athletic look about them while at the same time being graceful which is enhanced by their soft, ringlet-type coat. They have moderately long muzzles and nice, alert eyes which are covered in soft curls with Doodles often having quite a mischievous look about their eyes. Their ears are set well on a dog's head being well back and dropping forward which adds to a dog's endearing appeal. The Doodle has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones.
When it comes to their coat, most Labradoodles have the following coat types:
A long fleece coat that can be slightly wavy to extremely wavy with a lovely soft texture that hangs loosely in charming ringlets and which is low shedding
A wool coat that consists of tight curls that's more reminiscent of the Poodle and which is considered hypoallergenic because dogs with this type of coat don’t shed
A "hair coat" which first generation Doodles often have and which are more like the coat of the Labrador Retriever which means they tend to shed profusely throughout the year
A Doodle's coat can be various colours and colour combinations which are referred to as "parti or phantom". The most commonly seen colours are as follows:
- Labradoodles are nicely balanced dogs when they move which they do with free-moving albeit sometimes bouncy gait.
Any exaggeration whether it is a dog’s size or their conformation should be avoided at all costs for the welfare of a Labradoodle.
What are F1, F2 Labradoodle codes?
Quite a few breeders use a code method to explain how they breed their puppies and which shows which cross generation their parent dogs happen to be. Although a good idea, this method is not always that reliable. With this said a Labradoodle with an F1 code would be a first generation crossing and an F2 would be a second generation crossing and so forth, but all potential owners should ask breeders about a puppy’s parent dogs and to see evidence of their “pedigree” which can be checked through the PetBond system.
Do Labradoodles have a good Temperament?
Not only do well bred Labradoodles inherit many of their parent breed's adorable looks, but they also inherit their intelligence and their friendly natures too. Doodles make such wonderful companions and family pets because of their intuitive and loving personalities which makes sharing a home with one of them such a pleasure whether they are first or multi-generation Doodles.
They are highly intelligent and love to please which means they are a great choice for first time owners, providing they have all the time needed to dedicate to a high energy canine companion. Doodles need to be given a minimum of 2 hour's exercise a day and more if possible for them to be truly happy, well-rounded, obedient dogs. They also need to be given a ton of mental stimulation or boredom would soon set in which could see dogs finding new and innovative ways of amusing themselves. A bored Doodle could be quite destructive around the home.
They are a good choice for families where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out of the house so they are never left to their own devices for too long at any given time. Because they love being in and around water, Doodles do tend to get a bit mucky and as such they are not the best choice for anyone who is very house proud. It also means care has to be taken whenever a Doodle is allowed to run off their leads anywhere near more dangerous water courses just in case they decide to leap in.
Early socialisation is a must with Labradoodles and it should involve introducing them to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated so they grow up to be more relaxed, well balanced mature dogs. Their training must start as soon as a puppy arrives in their new home starting with the basics and then beginning their education in earnest when dogs have had all their jabs. Enrolling dogs into puppy classes is the best way to begin their training because not only does a puppy get to meet lots of other dogs and people, but their training starts in a safe and controlled environment too.
It's important for Doodles to know their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance otherwise they may take on the role of alpha dog in a household which could see them showing a more dominant and undesirable side to their character. They are confident, outgoing dogs by nature and this needs to be gently controlled right from the word go. If an owner allows a Doodle to get away with too much, they can become unruly and wilful which makes dogs harder to handle and live with, bearing in mind that Doodles are very smart and therefore just as quick to be mischievous and naughty as they are at being well-behaved and obedient.
Are they a good choice for first time owners?
Labradoodles are a great choice for first time dog owners because they are known to be so biddable by nature and being so intelligent, they are easy to train too. The downside to their intelligence is that Labradoodles are just as quick to pick up bad habits as they are the good. As such their education must start early and it should be consistent throughout a dog's life so they understand their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance.
What about prey drive?
Labradoodles do not have a high prey drive and are very social by nature. However, this does not mean they won't chase off the neighbour's cat if they ever get the chance to just for the fun of it. With this said, Doodles must be taught the “leave it” and “heel” commands from a young age which is the best way of keeping them under control when they are off their leads.
Is a Labradoodle playful?
Labradoodles love to please and enjoy playing interactive games with the people they love. They also excel at many canine sports and learn new things quickly, thoroughly enjoying the one to one contact they are given when trained and when they are taking part in competitions whether it’s agility, obedience or some other activity.
What about adaptability?
Labradoodles are known to be highly adaptable and providing they are given enough attention, mental stimulation and daily exercise are just as happy living in town as they would in the country. With this said, Labradoodles need to have enough space to express themselves as they should and enjoy nothing more than being to romp around in a secure back garden at every opportunity.
Will a Labradoodle Bark too much?
Providing a Labradoodle is taught that barking for no reason is not acceptable when they are young, they quickly understand the rules. However, all dogs when left on their own for longer periods of time or are ignored will bark excessively to show they are unhappy about the situation and to get attention.
Do Labradoodles like swimming?
Most Labradoodles adore playing around in water and care should always be taken when walking them anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a Labradoodle decides to leap in.
Are Labradoodles good watchdogs?
Labradoodles are not natural watchdogs, but they would be quick to let an owner know when something they don't like is going on in their environment or when there are strangers about. However, once a person has been introduced, they would be a Labradoodles best friend.
Is a Labradoodle easy to train?
Labradoodles are highly intelligent dogs and they love to please, enjoying nothing more than being around their owners and families. As such, in the right hands and environment, Doodles are easy to train and learn things extremely quickly. The downside to this is they are just as fast to learn bad habits and behaviours too which is why their training has to start early and it has to be consistent so dogs understand what is expected of them.
Labradoodles are the perfect candidates to work as Therapy Dogs and Assistance Dogs for the hard of hearing. They make wonderful Guide Dogs and are very good Seizure Alert Dogs too. In a home environment, Doodles excel at all sorts of canine sports which includes activities like flyball, agility and obedience trials.
They are sensitive by nature and as such they do not respond well to any sort of harsh correction or heavier handed training methods. They do answer very well to positive reinforcement which always brings the best out of these intelligent dogs. All too often a Doodle will outsmart their owner just for the fun of it.
A Doodle puppy should be taught the following commands as soon as they arrive in their new homes because it makes life easier for them simply because they understand the ground rules and limits which they might decide to test from time to time anyway:
- Leave it
Is a Labradoodle safe with Children and Other Pets?
Labradoodles are the perfect family pet thanks to the fact they are so gentle and affectionate around children of all ages. However, playtime can get a bit boisterous which means any interaction between smaller children and a dog should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure nobody gets knocked over albeit by accident. Children should be taught when to leave a dog alone and when it is safe to play with them too.
Doodles generally get on well with other dogs and animals, especially if they have been well socialised from a young enough age. If they grow up with a family cat in the home, they usually get on well together, but a Doodle would think nothing of chasing off any other cats they come across just for the fun of it. It’s always best to be careful when a Doodle is around smaller animals and pets, just in case.