Over thirty years ago, Australian Wally Conron bred the very first Labradoodle, therefore also known as Australian Labradoodle, a mix between a Labrador and a Poodle.
The Labradoodle in a nutshell:
- Super popular worldwide;
- Being a mix, not officially recognized;
- Cheerful, gentle and intelligent in character;
- Because of the poodle influence often allergy free. But note: Allergy often comes not only from the dog’s shedding but also from dander or saliva;
- Three sizes: miniature, medium and standard. The standard is the most popular;
- Also suitable as a guide dog for the blind.
The Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. Below we explain both varieties.
Today, Labradors are primarily beloved family dogs, but you also often see them as guide or disabled dogs, search and rescue dogs, or therapy dogs. This versatility is due to a combo of high intelligence and please behavior. This breed is easy to train and is almost always enthusiastic, as long as it has to do with people and (sometimes) food.
Poodles are originally hunting and retrieving dogs. They come across as a bit posh, but essentially the poodle is actually very athletic. Like the Labrador, the poodle also stands out for its intelligence and gentleness. You can find poodles in three sizes: the Miniature Poodle, Medium Poodle or the Kingsize Poodle. Unlike the Labrador, their coat grows continuously, making them low shedding and a better choice for allergy sufferers. However, they do need to go to the groomer every 6 to 8 weeks to have the coat trimmed, kept clean and free of knots and tangles.
Shoulder height medium: from 43 to 53 cm
Weight: from 15 to 21 kg
As with almost all mixes, you come across many kinds of Labradoodles, because with a crossbreed it is never possible to predict exactly which characteristics of which breed will prevail. There is no breed standard for this dog because it is not a breed per se. In general, you recognize the breed by a broad head, more like that of the Labrador than the Poodle, and well-defined eyebrows.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to know how a puppy will turn out until it is born – that is just the case with crossbreeds! So if you are looking for an allergy-friendly dog, make sure you do a skin test before purchasing and have discussed things properly with the breeder.
Typical Labradoodle: the character
This is where the Doodle excels. Like appearance, you can never be entirely sure in advance how the personality of a mix will turn out, yet we dare say of the Labradoodle that they are often friendly, affectionate, intelligent and playful. They get along very well with children, in most cases with other pets as well. Their social nature makes them great family dogs. You can put the Labradoodle on the lookout just fine, but as a watchdog you have little use for this everyman’s friend.
They excel in intelligence and are true pleasers, so you can teach them just about anything. But a too-soft approach to these smart sporty creatures can backfire.
Novice groomers can have a tough time raising the Labradoodle. Because of their focus on humans, positive reinforcement is most effective as a parenting method. Using negative punishment or reinforcement techniques can be detrimental to the training process.
Care of the Labradoodle
Is there anything less fun about a Labradoodle? That would certainly be coat maintenance. Puppies with coats very similar to the Labrador’s lose a lot of hair. You should then brush at least weekly to keep it clean, shiny and free of knots and tangles. During the seasonal shedding periods in spring and fall, brush every day. If just the opposite is the case and your Labradoodle’s coat is more like that of a poodle, it will grow continuously. That means the coat will need to be trimmed every few weeks. This can be quite expensive.
How old does a Labradoodle get?
Average life expectancy: between 10 and 13 years.
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