Labradoodle breed characteristics
- Size: Medium to Large
- Traits: Friendly, Intelligent, Energetic
- Maintenance: High - one to two brushings a week, regular ear cleaning and nail clipping
- Best Suited To: Everyone
Where I'm From
Labradoodles were initially developed in Australia in 1989 with the aim to create a hypoallergenic guide dog. Wally Conron, the man in charge of the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia’s breeding program, managed to be the first to successfully cross breed a Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle to create the Labradoodle, giving the breed the intelligent nature of the Retriever and the low-shedding coat of the Poodle. This dog’s name was Sultan, who went on to successfully work as a guide dog for a women in Hawaii for ten years.
The Labradoodle quickly became one of the most sought after breeds and many breeders began trying to also cross and sell Labradoodles. Careless and irresponsible breeding practises have however resulted in inconsistencies within the breed, with some dogs having the more Poodle-like coat but missing the the temperament of the Retriever and vice versa.
Currently the International Australian Labradoodle Association and the Australian Labradoodle Association are trying to have the breed officially recognised and are hoping to achieve better consistency among breeders.
What I Look Like
Due to inconsistency in breeding, the appearance of Labradoodles can vary greatly, with their size also dependent on the size of the Poodle used for first-generation breeding, either Standard, Medium or Miniature.
A standard size Labradoodle can vary between 24 to 21 inches, a medium size can range between 20 and 17 inches and a miniature size can sit anywhere between 14 to 16 inches.
While all Labradoodles do tend to shed less than the average dog and have less of a “dog odour”, they are not always hypoallergenic as intended. In fact, often those with allergies find they still can’t have a Labradoodle in their home. The actual appearance of the coat may vary. Some Labradoodles will have the curly, fine textured coat of a Poodle which requires more maintenance, while others will have a more flat looking coat akin to the Labrador.
How I Act
Overall, Labradoodles are a friendly, affectionate and social breed that love people, making them a great family pet. They also generally do well with other animals and children and are also a great option for first time dog owners. This can also mean they don’t make the best guard dogs because while they might bark at first, they’re likely to welcome an intruder into your home with open arms. Their intelligence and eagerness to please makes them easy to train, but their work ethic and high energy means they require daily exercise and extra stimulation with toys to keep them from becoming destructive. Despite loving to play, the sociable side of the breed’s personality means they also love nothing more than being curled up next to their owners for cuddles.
Looking After Me
While Labradoodles are generally a healthy breed, there are some common health issues to keep an eye out for. Due to their floppy ears, which trap moisture, they can be prone to ear infections, so be sure to check them regularly. With the variations in coats, those with the more curly Poodle-like coat require more regular brushing to avoid knots and matting. Those with a more Labrador-like coat will require less brushing but may be prone to more shedding and require more general cleaning if your dog is indoors. With their higher energy levels, Labradoodles generally need at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Their intelligence means it’s also important to keep them stimulated outside of regular exercise with a variety of toys, otherwise they can become destructive.
Am I the pet for you?
A Labradoodle really is the perfect pet for anyone, whether you’re a first time owner or have children. Provided you have the time to exercise them daily and have a house with a yard with plenty of toys, they make a great companion.
- Labradoodles have a highly friendly and loveable nature, making them a great family pet.
- Their high intelligence makes them easy to train and a great option for first time pet owners.
- Despite their high energy, the sociable side of their personality means they also love curling up with their owners and enjoy being around people and other pets.
- Their higher energy requires daily exercise and they are best suited for houses with yards rather than apartments.
- Depending on the luck of the draw, their coat may be higher maintenance and require weekly attention.
- If you’re looking for a guard dog, this breed won’t be the best for you as their sociable nature means they’d likely welcome an intruder in with open arms and tail wagging.