What do you get when you cross a clever, curly Poodle with a friendly Labrador? A Labradoodle that’s what. A fabulous family pet that is suited to all kinds of pet owners and lifestyles.
If you are seeking the best dog of both worlds and a new canine companion, perhaps you should pick a Labradoodle.
Where I'm From
The Labradoodle was the first of the designer dog breeds to hit the world stage, created through breeding a Labrador Retriever with a Standard Poodle. Developed in 1988 by Wally Conran at the Royal Institute for the Blind in Melbourne, Australia. A blind woman in Hawaii had requested a guide dog that would not shed due to her husband’s allergies. The Labradoodle provided the perfect mix of the trainable smarts of the Labrador with the low-shedding coat of the Poodle.
Labradoodles have since become popular pets as well as the inspiration behind other designer dog breeds such as the Caboodle, Cockapoo and Puggle.
What I Look Like
As Labradoodles are a crossbreed dog their looks can vary widely. Any size Poodle can be crossed with a Labrador, so the resulting Labradoodle can be miniature, medium or standard (large) sized dog. They often have a wiry “wool” coat but can also be straight haired with a “hair” coat or wavy-haired with a “fleece” coat. Labradoodles can be any colour a Poodle might be including apricot, black, cafe, chalk, chocolate, cream, gold, parchment, red or silver.
How I Act
Labradoodles are well known for their beautiful, docile natures and intelligence, which makes them easy to train. They are fantastic and freindly dogs that are very loving to their human family and patient with children. Labradoodles are also tolerant with other pets and love to socialise with their canine friends.
They're parent breeds are some of the most intelligent dogs in the world, as such, their mutual offspring are also brainy. They are keen learners and like all dogs require obedience training and early socialisation to become manageable household pets.
Labradoodles are active dogs that require 40-60 minutes of daily activity to stay fit and healthy. Smaller varieties may need less exercise. Walks around the neighbourhood and trips to the local dog park should keep this pet entertained. A tired dog is not a destructive one!
Looking After Me
Labradoodles need to be fed a well-balanced meal two times per day, which should consist of dry food with quantities as specified on packaging instructions along with occasional raw meat treats.
They're coat style and length varies greatly, which can effect the time required for grooming and care. Straight and wavy-haired dogs require minimal grooming with a weekly brush, whilst curly haired varieties will require more frequent care. They only require the occasional bath every few months, as their coat is a natural dirt repellent.
Labradoodles can suffer from any number of health ailments that are prevalent in their parent breed, but due to the gene diversity of a hybrid dog they are relative healthy dogs. However, some things to watch out for are hip dysplasia, progressive retinol atrophy (PRA), multifocal retinal dysplasia (MRA), cataracts, skin problems or Addison’s disease.
It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy’s parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog though not every ailment can be predicted. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.
Prospective owners should also be aware there are two types of Labradoodles. There are first generation Labrador-Poodle mix Labradoodles. Additionally, second generation or more Labradoodles are available. These are interbred with other Labradoodles or Labradoodles that are backcrossed with a Labrador or Poodle. In Australia, breeders are trying to get multi-generational Labradoodles recognised as an official breed.
Am I the pet for you?
- Labradoodles tend to be very affable dogs that get along well with everyone including seniors and families with young children. Though care should be taken around very young ones up to 3 years of age as Labradoodles can be overly enthusiastic. Like all dogs, Labradoodles should be supervised when around children.
- Most Labradoodles are low-allergy with low to no shedding coats suitable for most allergy sufferers. Though it does depend on litter and different people can be affected by differing allergens including hair, saliva and dead skin cells.
- Labradoodle litters are inconsistent and there are no real guarantees of what you are going to get. This is true of first generation Labrador-Poodles mixes but also of multi-generational Labradoodles, they can either have more Poodle traits or Labrador characteristics.
- Don’t get a Labradoodle if you are looking for a guard dog, as they are more likely to lovingly show an intruder into the house then they are to scare a robber away.
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