The Labradoodle dog is a hybrid between a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever. This mixed dog can have the looks, temperament, intelligence, health issues from either parent, so they’re a bit unpredictable in that regard.
The physical traits of the Labradoodle can vary as well, so you can get one with a coat that is curly, wavy or straight, with soft or wiry hair.
The typical Labradoodle will be friendly, a great choice for many families, with plenty of energy and great with kids. They usually love to swim and they’re some of the most intelligent dogs in the world, thanks to the characteristics of both parent breeds.
How to Choose One & What Your Options Are
Besides the question of the color of the dog, the choice when it comes to a Labradoodle usually is between a regular sized and a miniature dog, or between a male and a female. Each option has its own pros and cons, so we’ll cover them below.
Make sure you read our section on how to choose a breeder, which is available below. We’ve also covered the question of how to choose a dog somewhere else on our site, so make sure you check out that article as well.
Regular Sized vs Miniature Labradoodle
The regular ones can weigh up to 100 pounds (45 kg) and have a shoulder height of 29 inches (72 cm). The miniature versions on the other hand can be as little as 15 inches in height (up to 20). Whether you should choose one or the other depends on the type of space the dog will be in (the extremes being house with yard vs small apartment in the city), the feeding costs and personal preferences.
Female vs Male
The gender of the dog doesn’t have to come into equation necessarily, and plenty of people see no difference. If it does matter, here is what many people believe about these two choices:
Females are considered to be better around kids, some say because they have the maternal instinct. They are also smaller in size. The disadvantage is that they’re in season regularly, during which time they have to be kept on a leash and kept as far away from other dogs as possible. Spaying is recommended once they’re at least 1 year old.
Male dogs are larger than a female and they tend to have more energy, so for those that want a dog to run with, they might make better choices. They also mark their territory, which is one of the downsides.
What is an Australian Labradoodle
The name Australian Labradoodle is given to a dog that has been bred across multiple generations, only by mixing Labradoodles with other Labradoodles. Breeders that are offering Australian Labradoodles are trying to create a new breed.
One the other hand, the breeders that are just mixing Poodles with Labrador Retrievers are trying to get as much genetic diversity as possible.
Types of Labradoodle Dogs
There are a few different ways you can classify Labrador Retriever Poodle mix dogs. One of those is by the type of coat they have. Another method uses the color of the coat, which can be black, red, white, golden or chocolate.
You might notice the F designation used for some of these dogs. We’ll explain here what each designation means, so you know exactly what type of dog you’re getting.
F1 – this dog is a 50/50 mix between a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever. Both parents are purebreds and it’s a first generation mix. The offspring should be quite healthy, with plenty of genetic diversity, but you’re not very sure what you’re getting as far as the coat goes, so if you have bad allergies, you might want to avoid this one.
F1-B – the breeding of this dog involved one parent being a purebred Poodle and the other being an F1 Labradoodle. The result is that the dog is 75% Poodle and 25% Labrador. The coat is usually curly, doesn’t shed and is probably the best option for someone with allergies.
F2 – the parents of this dog were both F1 Labradoodles, so the mix of Poodle vs Labrador Retriever is the same as that of the F1.
F3 – a combination between two F2 Labradoodles.
From this point forward, the dogs are considered multi-generation Labradoodles, or Australian Labradoodles.
The Labradoodle tends to be a high energy dog, one that needs exercise on a regular basis, which requires the participation of the owner, not just an open space to be in. Just because the dog has a yard, doesn’t mean his exercise requirements are met. The owner should give the dog 30 to 60 minutes of attention each day, exercising and walking him.
These dogs are highly intelligent, but sometimes that only means that they find it easier to be naughty and break stuff. An intelligent dog is not automatically a well mannered dog. The owner has to work with him and train him, making sure he grows to be well adjusted and that he obeys commands.
Labradoodle dogs love being around humans and they can’t stand to be left alone for long periods of time. You should keep that in mind if you decide to get one and make sure you offer him plenty of attention.
The Labradoodle, being a mixed breed dog, is influenced by the genetic makeup of both parents, so you’re never really sure what kind of health issues are going to appear. The dog can have problems that are specific to Labrador Retrievers, or they might have something that Poodles are susceptible to.
New owners of this type of mixed dog should at least invest in eye tests and in tests to check for joint abnormalities. Checking the BVA certificates of the parents is usually a good way to figure out if your future puppy is likely to have problems.
Grooming and Types of Coat
As far as grooming goes, the Labradoodle can have one of two types of coat. The one that is easier to groom is the scruffy coat, which is a shedding hair coat, needing weekly brushing, so it’s something that the owner can do easily.
The other type is the curly fleece coat, which require a lot more grooming work, including combing, clipping, cutting and brushing, as necessary.
Types of coats:
Hair coats (straight coated dogs)
Fleece coats (coat that is wavy)
Wool coats (coat that is curly)
Finding Breeders That Have Labradoodles For Sale
Finding a breeder to buy your new Labradoodle from is often a difficult proposition for people that are looking to buy a dog. There is always the option for rescue or adoption (we discuss this below), but if you’re set on buying a puppy from a breeder, make sure it doesn’t come from a so called puppy mill. The reason is that these dogs often come with behavioral and health problems.
One of the telltale signs that you might have found a good breeder is when he appears to be interested in the kind of life the dog will have with your family. If he asks questions about the environment the dog will be brought in, he might be one of the better breeders, that makes sure the puppies he raises don’t have any problems.
The breeder is not the only one that should be asking questions though. You should also try and find out as much as possible about your future puppy. Below are some questions that you might want to ask.
Are the puppy’s parents available for viewing? Obviously, you want to see healthy parents, one of them a Labrador Retriever, the other a Poodle.
When was the previous litter of the puppy’s mother? The bitch should ideally have at least 12 months between litters.
What is the age of the mother? The ideal situation is when the bitch is between 2 and 7 years old.
What are the vaccines that are administered to the puppy and was worming medication administered?
Does the breeder offer any contract or guarantee for the puppy?
Finding Labradoodle breeders in your area is not a difficult proposition in most cases, since this is the most popular hybrid dog these days. What’s important is to make sure that you’re making your selection of the breeder carefully and that the price is not the only thing you’re looking at.
Labradoodle Adoption and Rescue Programs
If you want to get a Labradoodle, please consider adopting one. A lot of owners are not prepared to deal with the level of energy that a Labradoodle has, and the amount of attention he needs, so they abandon them. Since this is a popular hybrid breed, there are plenty of Labradoodles out there that are waiting to be rescued, so you can get one from one of the many Labradoodle rescue programs that exist out there (likely in your area as well).
Caring For The New Puppies
Once you get your new puppy home, it’s time to start thinking about his future, and the way you want to train him and make sure he’s well cared for. The first few days after a puppy is brought home, everyone is in love with them and giving them a lot of attention. That might change in time though, and the puppy can suffer if he’s being ignored. If you have a puppy that starts to get destructive, chances are that it’s happening because he’s bored.
Puppies are great to have around, especially the Labradoodle ones, since they’re so fluffy and love to play. They need training as well though, so you should do toilet training with them, as soon as they’re brought home.
Baby Labradoodles don’t stay small forever though. They will grow at an amazing rate and something that was cute while they were small, might not be as charming when they’re ten times bigger. You should teach your new dog manners and you should start while he’s still a pup. It’s easier to teach him to do something the right way when he’s young, than when he’s already an adult and used to doing things a certain way.
Some of the things you should be looking into when you’re considering getting a puppy, Labradoodle or any other breed, purebred or mixed:
daily exercise (play with the dog on a daily basis and start to walk him as soon as his vaccinations are done and the vet says it’s OK)
training (basic dog training can be started when the puppy is just 2-3 months old, with the more difficult commands being taught after 5 months)
grooming (while your puppy might not need regular grooming just yet, it’s good to get him used with the process while he’s young, so he doesn’t struggle later on)
feeding quality food (puppies should get quality food, along with supplements, and it should be food designed for puppies, not for adults)
visits to the vet (while he’s still young, you should take him to the vet, for vaccinations and regular check-ups)
Pictures and Wallpapers
We have a few pictures with Labradoodles first, both adults and puppies.
And here are a couple of Labradoodle wallpapers that you might enjoy. Click on them to get the full size image.
And here is an Australian Labradoodle wallpaper, with a resolution of 1920×1280.
I hope you’ve found this article useful. If you have experience with these dogs, and you have something more to add, please leave a comment below.