More On Labradoodle Dogs

Labradoodle dogs are very friendly and love human company. This dog can bring a smile to anyone’s face regardless of how they may be feeling. Thus, a Labradoodle can be very therapeutic for those who are sick, and can be trained as a therapy dog.

A therapy dog is a canine that helps people who are lonely or sick by visiting them in hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities, prisons and other environments. Labradoodles are the perfect candidates for this line of work, as both the Standard Poodle and Labrador Retriever have been used for many years to help humans.

However, despite the fact that Labradoodle dogs are by nature gentle, loving creatures, they do require training in order to be used for therapy. A therapy dog must be well behaved. This means they can’t run around, jump up on people, bark or lick others without permission.

In addition, they must be willing to be pet frequently, need to be patient, and act extremely calm around those who may be mentally disturbed or unstable, as well as children who may attempt to tease or grab the dog. A dog can not be high-energy or overly friendly as it may cause unintentional injury or stress to patients.

What are the benefits a Labradoodle can provide as a therapy dog?

  • Socializing with a dog can lower blood pressure
  • Petting a dog provides the hand and arms exercise
  • Overall improvement of happiness, affection and wellbeing.
  • Provides friendship to children, those suffering from depression, the elderly, victims of abuse, etc.
  • Helps improve response in patients
  • Improves the happiness and life quality of both patients and staff
  • Improves attention and memory problems in people suffering from Alzheimer’s
  • Etc.

In addition, patients look forward to seeing and socializing with Labradoodle dogs used for therapy. It positively changes their routine and brightens up their day.

What do I need to know about therapy dogs? If you would like to have your Labradoodle become a therapy dog, he/she will need to be certified. Your dog will need to undergo and successfully complete appropriate testing. To learn more about what is involved and what you need to be aware of, visit Therapy Dogs International Inc. at tdi-dog.org.

Aside from your dog needing to meet certain standards, don’t forget that you are part of therapy as well. You need to be with your Labradoodle while he/she is on the job. This means you not only need to know how to properly interact with your Labradoodle, but you also need to know how to interact with certain types of patients. Therefore, it is important you find out which patients you are comfortable with, and which ones you are not. For instance, although you may be comfortable with the elderly, you may have a problem socializing with those who are mentally unstable.

Labradoodle dogs used for therapy require certain types of equipment. For instance, you will want to make sure that your dog has a washable collar and lead. Remember, hospitals and many other public facilities are riddled with germs. You need to protect the wellbeing of both you and your dog.

Finally, make sure your dog is well groomed and healthy. Your dog should be free of any parasites or illnesses. His coat, breath and ears should not have a foul odor. If your dog is unwell, you need to reschedule visits until your dog is in tip-top shape.

Labradoodle dogs can make the world a brighter and happier place for more people than just their owners. Therefore, if you are interested, find out more about therapy dogs to see if this is an ideal choice for you and your dog.

Labradoodle Breed Information

Labradoodles are a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. Labradoodle training is farily easy as they are very social, loving and highly intelligent canines. The main problem can be coping with their short attention span and natural exuberance. The Labradoodle breed is available in standard and miniature sizes.

It is important to note that there are two types of Labradoodles – The Australian Labradoodle and the American Labradoodle. The following information will be focused on the American Labradoodle, which is considered a hybrid dog. Unlike the Australian variety, the American type only uses Poodles and Labrador Retrievers for breeding.

Labradoodles are a very active and affection breed that take the best traits from both their purebred parents.

Labradoodles History

The history of labradoodles began in the 1970’s in Australia. They were first developed by Wally Cochran. Cochran was encouraged to start the cross breed between the Standard Poodle and the Labrador Retriever by a blind women who suffered from dog allergies. The initial mating of the two breeds was quite successful and three low-allergy pups were produced.

The first hybrids produced surpassed the best qualities of both purebreds. Due to this fact, Labradoodles became extremely popular in Australia and more breeders began crossing the breeds. However, as cross breeding continued, the offspring produced were not consistent. Some were low shedding and allergy-free, while others lacked these qualities.

When it comes to eliminating allergies in a breed, this doesn’t only mean producing a dog that sheds little hair. It also means eliminating other allergies such as dander and salvia. The goal was to create a breed of dog that was hypoallergenic but still had high intelligence and a friendly temperament.
Therefore, since it was clear that research was required to produce the desirable Labradoodle, and the dog was in high demand, two research facilities were developed during the 1980’s in Australia to create the ideal Labradoodle.

As was previously mentioned, the reason why Australian Labradoodles are different than those produced in America is because the Australian variety has used other breeds aside from the Standard Poodle and Labrador Retriever. Other dogs that have been used to create the Labradoodle breed in Australia include Wheaton Terriers, Curly Coated Retrievers, Two types of Irish Water Spaniels and a Poodle/Cocker Spaniel cross.

Labradoodles are still under development and, therefore, cannot be declared a true breed. The reason is because a true breed is one that produces consistent characteristics each time to form a standard. Due to the fact that three different types of Labradoodles can be currently bred, for now, they are still only considered a hybrid breed. Thus, the Labradoodle is not recognized by any major kennel clubs and are not part of a specific dog group.

Labs and Poodles make Happy Labradoodles

Labradoodles are pleasant dogs that are affectionate, noble, obedient, highly sociable, friendly, loving, loyal and comical. This breed loves to engage in play and activity and is extremely docile and non-aggressive. These characteristics effect how we undertake Labradoodle training. They make excellent family pets and are patient and loving towards children.

Both the Standard Poodle and Labrador Retriever breeds are incredibly intelligent. They were both originally developed for hunting and retrieving purposes, and love the water. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the Labradoodle is a smart dog that enjoys being active and requires plenty of exercise (I.E. three walks daily, the freedom to run around, swimming and play time). Therefore, these dogs are best suited to homes that have at least a small yard. That being said, the miniature Labradoodle variety makes suitable apartment pets.

There are essentially two different sizes of Labradoodles:
Standard Labradoodle – Height – 22 – 24 inches / Weight 45 – 77 pounds
Miniature Labradoodle – Height – 17-22 inches / Weidht 30- 50 pounds

Note: Males are larger in size than females

Since the Labradoodle has been produced from two highly intelligent breeds, they are easy to train and catch on quickly. Therefore, they can be trained for the same jobs as their parents including: police work, hunting, guide dogs and therapy dogs. However, keep in mind that even though the Labradoodle will alert their owners to the presence of a stranger, they do not make a good guard dog.

Labradoodles live an average of 14 – 16 years. They are prone to some health problems such as hip dysplasia (which is common in both the Poodle and Labrador breeds), and ear infections. Other than that, they are a relatively healthy breed. Nevertheless, their health is still being closely monitored in case more issues arise.

The Labradoodle is available in three different coat varieties: Fleece, Wool/Curly and Hair. The fleece and wool/curly types are low shedding, with the fleece being the most desirable and the wool/curly the most hypoallergenic. However, the hair type tends to shed profusely and is not hypoallergenic. Furthermore, some puppies that do not trigger allergies at first, may do so later when they begin shedding. Remember, the breed is still under development, so it will be a while before any guarantees can be made.

The coat requires daily brushing, a clipping every few months, and the occasional bath. In addition, the coat is available in a variety of solid colors including white, black, brown and red.

Labradoodles are popular dogs that bring much joy to the lives of their owners. They are often a fantastic alternative for those who love the Labrador breed but have been unable to own one for allergy reasons.