When you decide to adopt a dog, you often wind up considering some of the most popular breeds, including Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and more. But have you thought about getting a designer dog like a Labradoodle?
After first appearing in 1955, Labradoodles quickly became a popular dog breed for their adorable appearance. This mixed breed can become fantastic therapy dogs as they are always happy. Labradoodles make excellent family members.
So, if you want to adopt this designer breed, stick with us to learn everything you need to know about Labradoodles.
Combining the best of Labrador Retrievers and Poodles
The Labradoodle, also known as a doodle, is one of the best designer dogs. It is a mix of Labrador Retriever and a purebred Poodle like a Toy Poodle or Standard Miniature Poodle.
Wally Conron, the head breeder for the Australian Guide Association, was the first to breed Labradoodles in 1989 deliberately.
While Labradoodles mix Labrador Retrievers and Poodles, the Australian Labradoodle is a crossbreed combing Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Labrador Retrievers.
Although bred to be service dogs, they quickly became popular family dogs due to their intelligence and versatility.
When considering whether to get a Labradoodle, first consider the strengths of the parent breeds.
The Poodle is a German breed and comes in different sizes, from tiny to standard. Beware, poodles bark a lot.
What makes Labradoodles great?
This breed has the energy and work ethic of a Labrador Retriever combined with the hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle. For first-time dog owners, this breed is an excellent choice.
Since this adorable dog breed combines two different breeds, it can be expensive. But the price is worth it because the dogs are playful, loyal, and easy to train. If you decide to buy one, be sure to work with a reputable breeder.
Physical features and personality
Labradoodles look gorgeous with their curly coats and floppy ears. They get their fleecy coats from their Poodle parent breed. Doodles typically get their size and coloring from their Labrador Retriever parent breed.
Although Doodles don’t have a typically shedding coat, some of them do shed occasionally. Because they shed less, the dogs are a good choice for allergy sufferers.
The dogs also need regular grooming. Plan to brush your dog a few times per week and take it to be professionally groomed and trimmed every three to four months. If you don’t get your Doodle trimmed every few months, your dog will wind up with hair covering its eyes.
Doodles come in different sizes and typically stand 14 to 24 inches tall. Their size depends on the Poodle parent. The dogs come in multiple colors: blue, silver, black, cream, gold, caramel, chalk, apricot, red, parchment, and chocolate. Under certain circumstances, this designer breed also has particolored coats.
A standard Labradoodle weighs 50 to 65 pounds. A medium dog typically weighs 30 to 45 pounds. In comparison, a miniature dog weighs 15 to 20 pounds.
Can Labradoodles swim?
The dogs love water and are great swimmers. That’s because this dog is the offspring of two water-loving dog breeds. But be sure to provide training before making your Doodle swim.
Labradoodles are affectionate dogs. They are playful and like to be around people, just like the Labrador Retriever.
The dogs are intelligent and eager to learn. So, if they don’t have a challenge, they will likely get bored. You can challenge your dog by providing regular training or by giving the dog puzzle toys.
The dogs also need regular exercise. If you don’t have time to give your dog daily walks, you may need to hire dog walkers to help keep your dog healthy.
Are Labradoodles good with kids?
Labradoodles are surprisingly good with kids and adults. They are naturally affectionate and gentle, which makes them a perfect companion for kids.
Are Labradoodles good with other dogs?
Unlike other dogs, the Labradoodle rarely causes confrontations with other dogs. Doodles are playful and like to interact with other dogs.
Do Labradoodles get angry?
Dogs rarely get angry unless provoked. Since the dogs are a friendly dog breed, it’s more likely to jump on guests than bark or growl. The dogs always aim to please others. They also are empathetic and seem to understand humans easily.
Research on Labradoodles shows that mature dogs are more sociable, friendly, and gentle if adequately trained and socialized. That’s why they make excellent therapy dogs.
This breed is brilliant and friendly. It likes to be around adults and children. Labradoodles are almost always energetic and ready to play. They have a natural desire to please people and have a calm, friendly nature.
Be aware that not all Labradoodles behave the same way. Some dogs, like people, can be outgoing, while others are shy or reserved. Most of the dogs are intelligent and easy to train. Some can become excellent guide dogs.
Some Labradoodles can be slower to mature, and some tend to make more noise.
Why do Labradoodles need more food?
Because Labradoodles are active dogs that spend their time playing and roaming around, they burn more energy and need more food. Therefore, it’s essential to feed puppies a carb-rich and protein-rich food.
But be cautious about how much you feed your dog as they age. Like the Labrador Retriever parent breed, these dogs can be prone to obesity and other weight-related diseases.
Labradoodle puppies need to eat food formulated for puppies at least until they are one year. Because they are growing and still have smaller stomachs, puppies need to be fed small meals three times per day from 8 weeks to five months.
After five months, you can begin feeding the dogs two meals per day.
Talk with your vet about when to switch your Doodle to adult food. Some dogs need until they are 16 months old before you change them from puppy food. Once your dog reaches maturity, you can feed it once per day.
Know this dog’s life expectancy is typically 12 to 14 years if you consider getting a Labradoodle.
If your dog is a mix of a standard poodle, you should expect a shorter lifespan. However, if it’s a cross of miniature or toy poodle with a Labrador Retriever, then you can expect your dog to live longer.
Proper care and feeding will give your dog a longer, healthier life.
Common health issues
In general, Labradoodles are healthy dogs even into old age.
The dogs are prone to a few common health problems, including ear infections, epilepsy, allergies, Addison disease, and hip and elbow dysplasia.
Among these issues, hip dysplasia is the most common.
Take your Doodle in for regular veterinary exams so you can quickly address any health issues that develop.
Climate and environmental conditions
If you live in a colder climate, your dog may need a jacket. That’s because no matter how healthy your dog is or how dense its coat is, it needs protection in freezing temperatures. On cold nights, consider giving your dog a warm blanket.
When the weather gets too hot, your dog needs shade and plenty of water to prevent dehydration and heatstroke.
Bottom line: Should you get a Labradoodle puppy?
Labradoodles are calm and friendly. They also are intelligent and athletic. The dogs make excellent pets and are easy to train, so they are a good choice for first-time dog owners.
Starting with a puppy gives you the chance to help shape your dog’s personality.
Providing early socialization helps your puppy become more playful and energetic.
If you’re ready to add a dog to the family, a Labradoodle is an ideal choice.
Sara B. Hansen has spent 20-plus years as a professional editor and writer. She’s also the author of The Complete Guide to Cocker Spaniels. She decided to create her dream job by launching DogsBestLife.com in 2011. Sara grew up with family dogs, and since she bought her first house, she’s had a furry companion or two to help make it a home. She shares her heart and home with Nutmeg, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Her previous dogs: Sydney (September 2008-April 2020), Finley (November 1993-January 2008), and Browning (May 1993-November 2007). You can reach Sara @ firstname.lastname@example.org.