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.

More Labradoodle Care

Proper Labradoodle care is how you keep your dog healthy and happy. Care doesn’t only mean grooming your dog and taking him in for regular vet checkups, it also is about being aware of the any health problems that may or are currently affecting your dog.

All dogs are prone to a genetic health problem, some more than others. Although the Labradoodle is an overall healthy hybrid breed, they did not fully escape the genetics of their parents and are prone to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia runs deep in the heritage of both Standard Poodles and Labrador Retrievers, so it should come as no surprise that this issue could be a problem for Labradoodles.

Nevertheless, although you may not be able to prevent hip dysplasia from developing in your dog, there are ways that you may be able to lower your dog’s risk by learning about the condition and following important Labradoodle care tips.

What is hip dysplasia? It is a genetic condition that generally affects large dog breeds. It is characterized by a malformed hip joint that does not properly fit into the socket as it should. This condition becomes increasingly worse as time passes, and the constant wearing down of the joint can be quite painful, often resulting in other health problems such as arthritis.

What are the symptoms of hip dysplasia? The following are the most common signs and symptoms of the condition:
” Tenderness in one or both back legs
” Pain when standing up in the morning or after a long lie down
” Difficulty rising from a sitting or laying position
” Difficulty climbing stairs or jumping up
” Walking at a slower pace than is normal
” Lack of excitement when engaging in fun activities
” Limping one or both back legs when walking

If any of these symptoms are present, it is important you make an appointment with your Vet as soon as possible to provide the necessary Labradoodle care and diagnosis for your dog.

How is hip dysplasia diagnosed and treated? Hip dysplasia is diagnosed after a standard X-ray is taken. Treatment is determined based on the severity of the condition. In extreme cases, a vet will recommend surgery. However, in most cases, alternative remedies such as exercise and other adjustments are recommended to help the dog cope.

The following is how you can provide effective Labradoodle care to your dog to help avoid and improve hip dysplasia:

Strengthen the joints – One of the best ways to help support your dog’s hips is to strengthen his/her muscles. Strengthening the muscles helps to relieve some of the pressure and tenderness off the hip joint. Make sure you take your dog on two, 20 minute walks daily. You can go on more walks or extend your regular walk, but only if your dog is up to it. Never push your pet to exercise if he/she is exhibiting pain.

Another good exercise to help strengthen the muscles is swimming. Swimming not only gives your dog’s body an excellent workout, it also allows him/her to exercise without placing any extra stress or strain on their joints.

Make sure your Labradoodle is warm – If your dog is experiencing pain in his/her hip joint, cold, damp weather can make the pain worse. Keep your dog indoors in cold, rainy weather, and make sure he/she has a nice, warm comfortable place to rest.

Specialty bed – There is more than one type of bed available for Labradoodle care. If your dog suffers from hip dysplasia, you may want to invest in an orthopedic bed. This specialty bed can distribute your dog’s weight evenly which will take excess pressure off sore joints.

Make stair climbing easier – make a ramp for your dog to use to allow him easier access to all the high places he/she’s permitted. You can make a ramp going up the stairs by using an old board, as well as portable ramps for beds and couches. A ramp will stop your dog from making a hoping motion that is required in order to climb steps and jump off/on couches.

Secure your floors – If you have slippery floors, this can be dangerous for your dog and cause more wearing of the joints. It can also make your Labradoodle feel more anxious when walking on these surfaces. It’s a good idea to think about adding some traction to your floor (I.E. a mat or rug)

Over-the-counter (OTC) Meds – If you know your dog suffers from hip dysplasia and sometimes experiences severe pain, Vets often recommended that dog’s be given aspirin. Speak to your Vet about the recommended dosage so you don’t run the risk of injuring your dog.

OFA – Last, but not least, as part of Labradoodle care, you should ensure that the breeder you are purchasing your dog from has had the parent’s hips certified with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

To learn more about hip dysplasia, consult your Vet.