Golden Labradoodle in Red Checker Handkerchief

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While Labradoodles have earned a reputation as hypoallergenic guide dogs, there’s so much more to this intelligent dog breed. Depending on the individual pooch, they might not show any propensity towards being a service dog or have the right coat type for allergy sufferers. Nonetheless, they always make wonderful family pets because their gentle nature and high energy make them a great addition to active households with young children and other pets.

Read on to find out more about this mixed breed, including information about labradoodle puppy trainability, temperament, socialization and much more.

What Is a Labradoodle?

Labradoodles are designer dogs, which means they’re crossbreeds, sired by two thoroughbred parents: a poodle and Labrador retriever. They’re a relatively young breed of dog, with a kind and loving nature and tons of energy. Their adorable curly fur and expressive faces make you want to cuddle them — and these little guys love nothing more than a good squish. 

Children, other dogs and even cats are all friends with Doodles, provided they’re socialized early and trained well. When it comes to teaching them good behavior and tricks, they’re easy to train and love learning. Activity-loving families adore these dogs for their propensity towards sports, and anyone who prefers low-shedding pooch benefits from their wooly or fleecy fur. They’re so cute and come in such a wide range of colors that it makes choosing your new best friend super-hard!

History

The Labradoodle is an Australian dog breed, first introduced by breeder Wally Conron in 1989. While spearheading the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia breeding program, he conducted the crossbreeding of a standard poodle and Labrador retriever in view of it being a hypoallergenic option for blind people. The first example of this type of dog, called Sultan, went to live with a lady in Hawaii, where other breeders saw him as an inspiration. 

The Australian Labradoodle Association of America is working hard to incorporate more intergenerational breeding so they can register this type of dog as purebred. Its gentle, obedient and intelligent personality combined with a hypoallergenic coat make it ideal for family members with allergies, but it also makes an excellent service or therapy dog.

Parent Breeds

Standard Poodle

Poodles are aloof, athletic dogs with low-shedding coats that make them ideal for allergy sufferers. They’re one of the smartest pooch breeds, and they’re highly trainable — provided you use positive reinforcement. There are three varieties of poodle: miniature poodles, toy poodles and standard poodles.

Yellow Standard Poodle in the Sun Black and Yellow Labradors

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are some of the most popular dogs in the Western world, due to their playful, sweet and friendly natures and love of exercise. They’re outgoing and tend to love other dogs and children, and they’re safe around other pets with correct training. This type of dog is eager to please its owner and adores walking, running and swimming.

Temperature Preferences

The Labrador retriever’s lineage comes from Canadian working dogs, but the breed was first established in the United Kingdom. Poodles, on the other hand, come from Germany. As such, they tend to prefer cooler weather over hot weather — but they’re still one of the more adaptable dog breeds when it comes to temperature. 

Black and White LabradoodleIf your dog does appear to be overheating or struggling with cold weather, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure they’re comfortable. Make sure they have appropriate bedding, access to shade and shelter and the option to move between indoors and outdoors. Doodles love to swim, so taking them for a dip in the warmer months will bring them lots of joy and help them cool down.

How Long Have Labradoodles Been Around?

Labradoodles are over 30 years old, having been around since 1989. They’re fast gaining popularity, so expect to see more and more of this breed over the coming years.

Appearance

One of the most appealing things about this breed of dog is its adorable teddy bear-like appearance — which perfectly matches its loving temperament. Due to the fact that there isn’t yet a standard for this breed, characteristics such as coat length and color can vary significantly. They always have a single coat that ranges from straight to curly without a layer of dander.

Males and females are the same weight, usually somewhere between 22 and 90 pounds.

Height is also similar between genders, with most Labradoodles coming at between 12 and 28 inches.

There are three different textures you’ll observe in Doodle’s coats, and which one they have determines whether they’re low-shedding or not. Hair coats can vary — sometimes these dogs are low-shedding, but they can also shed just like an average dog. Wool and fleece coats, on the other hand, are practically always low- to no-shedding.  

  • Hair: Hair is probably the least in-demand Doodle coat because it has the same propensity to shed and smell as any other dog. This coat texture only displays in first-generation dogs that are bred from poodles and retrievers.
  • Wool: This type of coat is so called because of its similarity to lamb’s wool — soft and dense. The curls are loose, and these dogs tend to have a less distinctive odor and low- to no-shedding coats.  

Fleece: Fleece coats are similar in appearance and texture to that of an Angora goat. They’re soft and wavy and usually smell and shed less than a traditional coat. 

Doodles come in a broad variety of colors, which makes choosing a little Labradoodle puppy all the more exciting. Some of the coat colors you can expect to see are:

  • Gold
  • Apricot
  • Black
  • Red
  • Caramel
  • Chalk
  • Cream
  • Chocolate
  • Blue
  • Sable
  • Phantom 
  • Brindle

Personality

Labradoodles are some of the most devoted and loving dogs out there. Any adult, child, dog or cat that’s part of the family will benefit from the affection and loyalty of this breed. They’re confident around strangers, and aggression is practically unheard of.

Doodles are passionate about play and any kind of activity where they can let off steam and get some positive reinforcement from their pooch parent. They love to play sports and pick up new skills very quickly, which makes them great running buddies, man trailers and show dogs. With one of these dogs in the family, there’s never a dull moment.

These dogs are loving and sensitive, so they respond best to positive reinforcement like praise, treats and play. Provided they’re treated gently and trained well, Labradoodles are one of the most affectionate dog breeds out there.

Again, when it comes to friendliness, Doodles are one of the best. Not only are they great with other pets and kids, forming strong bonds with those closest to them, but they’re also great with strangers.

As wonderful as Doodles can be as pets, they are very high-energy, large dogs with boundless energy. There’s no wiggle room when it comes to daily exercise, these fun-loving guys need at least 45 minutes of activity each day, with an hour to two hours being the optimum amount of time. In addition to walks, it’s vital they have access to a spacious backyard, so apartment living is out of the question.

Like their retriever parents, Labradoodles are endlessly sociable and love being around people and other animals. That said, just like any other dog, they still require socialization and early training to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded and confident. This means safely exposing them to many different sights, smells, sounds and experiences so they polish their social skills and aren’t fazed by everyday situations. 

At Pride and Prejudoodles, we offer these dogs fully trained or ready for you to train yourself — first-time dog owners should seek guidance with training if they opt for an untrained dog.

Training

Labradoodles are one of the smartest dog breeds, and they absolutely love to please their pet parents. This is the perfect mix when it comes to puppy training, provided you understand positive reinforcement and dog behavior. If you don’t teach them the right way to do things right off the bat, they’ll quickly pick up bad habits.

Doodles learn very fast and enjoy the process of learning new skills and tricks, which means they can be excellent candidates for therapy or service dogs. 

Obedience is a strong suit for Labradoodles, who are keen to show their owners respect. That said, they are very sensitive and gentle dogs, so they don’t respond well to raised voices or being told off. The best way to get them to do what you want is by enthusiastically rewarding them for good behavior so they’re inspired to repeat it.

As long as you teach your Labradoodle puppy that barking for no reason is inappropriate, they’ll carry this behavior with them for the rest of their lives. Still, leaving your dog on its own for extended periods of time or exposing it to threatening situations is likely to lead to barking. 

Neutering and spaying can cause some Doodles to gain weight, so it’s particularly important to monitor calorie intake and exercise after these procedures. Obesity can lead to serious health issues and significantly shorten your pooch’s lifespan. Finding the right balance between treating it and spoiling it while taking care of its health and watching its weight is essential. 

Health & Grooming

Black and White Labradoodle PuppyThe average Labradoodle life expectancy is between 12 and 15 years, provided they’re given all the care they need and get the right balance of exercise and food. There are some health issues their parent breeds are susceptible to, but there’s not enough data yet to conclusively say whether Doodles are affected by them or if hybrid vigor plays a role.

Common Health Issues

Labradoodles are generally vibrant and healthy dogs, but they’re not immune to health issues. Some of the conditions to watch out for based on lineage include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Ear infections
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

Grooming

Doodles have a variety of coat textures, but in general, they need brushing at least twice a week. Not only does this keep them tangle-free but it also removes excess debris from their coat, keeping them fresh and hygienic. Regularly trim the hair around their eyes and in between their paws to prevent these problem areas from causing irritation.

Pooches with fleece coats tend to have longer fur and benefit the most from going to a professional groomer — although every dog loves getting pampered once in a while.

Feeding

When you get your new pup, it’ll already be on a feeding schedule. It’s important that you stick to it as closely as possible, using the same food. At Pride and Prejudoodles, we send a can and a bag of the foods we use for free with your hand-delivered bundle of joy. If you need to change it for any reason, it must be done gradually to avoid stomach upsets. In case it does experience problems, it’s best to revert to the original diet and consult with a vet about making any changes.

Older dogs won’t necessarily have a problem with switching food because it’s rare they’ll be fussy about food. As their pet parent, it’s up to you to decide how much to invest in diet. Just bear in mind that a diet is such a crucial aspect of wellness that feeding them good quality food will add years to their lives compared to opting for low-quality feed.

What’s the Difference Between Labradoodles and Goldendoodles?

Labradoodles are a cross between a standard poodle and a Labrador retriever, whereas Goldendoodles are a mix of a poodle and a golden retriever. Golden retrievers are hunting dogs from Scotland, while Labrador retrievers have their origins in Canada. They’re both very active and friendly, but the latter is slightly easier to groom. On the other hand, some people say golden retrievers are even more affectionate than the super-loving Labrador.

Find Your New Best Friend

If you’re ready to begin one of the most rewarding relationships of your life, visit Pride and Prejudoodles today.