Labradoodle


Contents

1. Key Breed Facts
2. Breed Characteristics
3. Looking for a Labradoodle ?
4. Introduction
5. History
6. Appearance
7. Temperament
8. Intelligence / Trainability
9. Children and Other Pets
10. Health
11. Caring for a Labradoodle
12. Grooming
13. Exercise
14. Feeding
15. Average Cost to keep/care for a Labradoodle


Key Breed Facts


The Labradoodle breed is also commonly known by the names Labrador Retriever x Poodle, Doodle.
Lifespan
12 - 15 years
Pedigree Breed ?
No - Not Currently KC Recognised
Height
Males 30 - 71 cm
Females 30 - 71 cm at the withers
Weight
Males 10 - 40 kg
Females 10 - 40 kg
Average Price (More Info)
£641 for Non KC Registered

Breed Characteristics



Looking for a Labradoodle ?

If you are looking to buy or adopt a Labradoodle, you can view our :

Labradoodle for sale section
Labradoodle for adoption section
Labradoodle for stud section.

Introduction

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.


History

Labradoodles were first bred to be assistance dogs and in particular 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 due to their naturally friendly, outgoing and highly trainable personalities.


Appearance

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 to be hypoallergenic because dogs with this type of coat doesn’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:

  • Red
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Silver
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate
  • Cafe
  • Lavender
  • Parchment
  • Cream
  • Apricot/gold
  • Apricot/cream
  • Chalk

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, as long as 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 has to involved 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 has to 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 a Doodle is allowed to get away with too much, they can become unruly and wilful which makes dogs harder to handle and live with.


Intelligence / Trainability

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.


Children and Other Pets

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.

For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.


Health

The average life expectancy of a Labradoodle is between 12 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.

The Labradoodle is such a new breed that more time is needed to know whether they are affected by any of the hereditary and congenital health issues that plague their parent breeds. With this said, a Doodle may be more predisposed to the following health issues because their parent breeds are known to suffer from them:


Caring for a Labradoodle

As with any other breed, Doodles need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.


Grooming

A Labradoodles coat can be wavy, curly or straighter much like the coat of a Labrador Retriever which means it really does depend on a dog's coat type as to how much grooming they need to keep things tidy and in good condition. However, a twice weekly brush is essential to remove any debris from a dog's coat and to prevent any knots of forming in straighter coated Doodles. It's important to trim the hair around a dog's eyes when necessary and the same can be said of their paws when the hair gets too long between the toes.

Dogs with fleece coats benefit from being professionally clipped which makes keeping things tidier and in good condition that much easier in between visits to a grooming parlour. It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.


Exercise

The Labradoodle is a high energy, intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They need a minimum of 1 hour's exercise every day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Doodle would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving any stress they are feeling.

A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these high energy dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.

With this said, Doodle puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.


Feeding

If you get a Doodle puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be fed a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.


Average Cost to keep/care for a Labradoodle

If you are looking to buy a Labradoodle, you would need to pay anything from £600 to  over £900 for a well-bred puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Labradoodle in northern England would be £22.01 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.75 a month (quote as of July 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.

When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £30 - £40 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Doodle and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £900 a year.

As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Labradoodle would be between £60 to £90 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.


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