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Form and Function
The animated and personality-filled Labradoodle is a crossbreed between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. This sociable dog was originally intended as an hypoallergenic guide dog (although it’s important to keep in mind that no dog is truly hypoallergenic). Often called a “designer breed” the Labradoodle is not an actual breed. The designer dog label refers to a mixed breed dog who was intentionally bred in hopes they might exhibit desirable attributes of their foundation breeds, for example the non-shedding coat of a Poodle and the laid-back demeanor of a Labrador. Mixed-breed dogs, like all dogs, are individuals and could tend to express the traits of one of the breeds of its parentage more than the other, so it’s a good idea to read up on the personality and health of their parent breeds.
The Labradoodle has become an extremely popular choice for many different types of families due to their affectionate and friendly nature.
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Friendliness To Dogs
Friendliness To Other Pets
Friendliness To Strangers
Ease of Training
Sporting (Labrador Retriever), Non-sporting (Poodle)
21-24 inches at the shoulder
Gundog, Retriever (Labrador Retriever) Water Dog (Poodle)
Area of Origin
Date of Origin
The first intentionally bred Labradoodles have an interesting story! In 1989, Wally Conron, of the Royal Guide Dogs Association of America, crossed a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle with intentions of creating a hypoallergenic guide dog. The result was eventually successful, as one dog, Sultan, went on to be a devoted working dog with a woman who lived in Hawaii. After that, others followed suit in crossing the two breeds, resulting in a novel-looking, sociable and smart dog. Their popularity quickly gained traction in other countries, and the Labradoodle is sought out today for their intelligence, personality, and interesting fur, which can range from wavy to curly.
The Labradoodle is highly intelligent, so depending on your family’s lifestyle, this dog can be an ideal match when trained properly. They are generally very friendly and are an ideal best friend. Labradoodles are very playful and have a high energy level. You’ll need to be prepared for an active life! Long walks, hiking or jogging will definitely be a part of your future life as dog-parent to a Labradoodle. These dogs tend to do well with children in the home, but sometimes are better suited for older kids since they could knock smaller family members over with their size and exuberance. Are you looking for a dog park buddy? The Labradoodle could be the perfect match for you! They usually like to play with other dogs, so a good romp with some canine friends is ideal for them, with proper oversight and introductions. They would be a good choice if you have other pets in the home, given their general good nature. Still, cautious introductions of new pets are always a must! Labradoodles usually want to please their parents, so can be easily trained with positive methods.
Labradoodles have a lot of energy to burn! You should expect to dedicate at least 30-60 minutes per day to giving your Labradoodle an outlet for their energy, whether in the form of a structured walk, playing in the yard with them, training, or a trip to the dog park to socialize. Their enthusiasm could easily turn to destructive behavior if not given this outlet. They would do best in a home with a fenced yard, so this energetic dog may not be the best option if you have a low-energy apartment life.
Grooming needs will vary, depending on whether your Labradoodle inherits smoother or curlier fur from the Labrador and Poodle breeds. You can expect to devote some time each week to regular brushing and bathing, but some may require a trip to a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks. Like other breeds, you’ll also need to regularly trim their nails, brush their teeth, and clean their ears, especially since Labradoodles are occasionally prone to ear infections.
- Major concerns: Elbow Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, Hypothyroidism, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Minor concerns: Allergies
- Occasionally seen: Ear infections
- Suggested tests: Hip, Eye
- Life span:12-14 years