Designer dogs, which are technically not a breed, are becoming more and more popular with pet lovers. Hybrids resulting from combining the Poodle with other pure breeds are called Doodles. The Labradoodle is a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever. Is this breed worth your attention? Who will this mixture be the best company for? In this article, we will try to answer the most perplexing questions about this famous breed.
Labradoodles – what kind of dogs are they?
The Labradoodle originated in Australia. In the 1980s, a King Poodle and a Labrador Retriever were crossed. In this way, the Labradoodle breed was created. Depending on which genes are present in a particular individual, these dogs can be large, medium or small.
Labradoodle – appearance
Labradoodles are medium-sized dogs whose wooly coat is between 10 cm and 15 cm long. Some characteristics that breeders strive for are:
- firm and compact body;
- slightly longer legs;
- the ideal length to height ratio which is 10-12;
- firm elbows;
- good angulation of shoulders.
Labradoodle – head
Their skull is slightly rounded and has a similar width to the frontal bones of the face. The eyes are a special and attractive feature – they are wide open, soft, friendly yet confident. Truly magical. The color of the irises and the rich pigmentation of the rims match the surrounding coat. The ears are medium thick. The muzzle is broad, but not excessively so.
Labradoodle – fur texture
There are a variety of coat textures that Labradoodles come with. Future dog owners should think about both the visual and practical aspects of each option:
- straight: low maintenance and low-shedding, sleek and scruffy look, weekly bathing is recommended to remove shedding hair; it is most common in a F1 Labradoodle generation
- fleece: the most typical Labradoodle look that is low-shedding, wavy and allergy-friendly; weekly brushing is needed;
- curly: the best type for allergy sufferers; resembles sheep’s wool.
Labradoodle – fur color
Good news for color lovers is that the Labradoodle’s coat comes in many colors. Some of them include:
- chalk (white-like);
Labradoodle – size
Depending on your living conditions, you can choose the most suitable dog size for you. The Labradoodle comes in three variants, strictly based on the size of the Poodle used for the first generation of breeding:
- Standard Labradoodle – is expected to be 22 to 24 inches in height for a male and 21 to 23 inches in height for a female; their weight fluctuates between 50 and 65 pounds;
- Medium Labradoodle – is expected to be 18 to 20 inches high for a male and 17 to 19 inches high for a female, the weight can be anywhere between 30 and 45 pounds;
- Miniature Labradoodle – is expected to be 14 to 16 inches for both males and females; they usually weigh between 15 and 25 pounds.
Since this is a mixed breed, all measurements are approximate and may vary up or down. Although there is a degree of uncertainty involved, you may end up with one of a kind dog.
Labradoodles are dogs that not only look friendly, but actually are. After the Poodle and Labrador parents they are playful, energetic, happy and affectionate. However, it should be remembered that not every representative of this breed will be like that. If properly trained, he is also a good companion for small children. As a rule, he gets along very well with other dogs and cats. Since Labradoodles are not aggressive dogs, they can’t serve as watchdogs.
The puppy must be trained
You need to keep in mind that the Labradoodle combines the characteristics of a Poodle and a Labrador. They have inherited the intelligence of the former, so they easily respond to commands and learn tricks. You must always be consistent when training a puppy, as they can become an extremely stubborn dog. Training sessions are also a great opportunity to bond with your dog and keep him entertained, which can reduce potential behavior problems later on.
Labradoodle – health
Mixed breeds are generally healthier than their purebred parents. However, they are prone to certain health issues that you need to be aware of before choosing a Labradoodle puppy. Possible health concerns are:
- ear Infections: their floppy ears accumulate debris and moisture; regularly clean them to prevent complications;
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia : a disease in which bones don’t fit into joints properly; it can result in the dog’s pain and lethargy and be simply uncomfortable; some treatment options are surgery, weight management, medical management, and anti-inflammatory medication;
- Epilepsy: a neurological condition that causes mild or severe seizures; it can be controlled with medication;
- allergies: food or contact allergies are possible.
- hypothyroidism: the thyroid gland disorder that can lead to hair loss, obesity, tiredness or skin conditions; it can be treated with diet and medication so early diagnosis is crucial.
The right food for Labradoodle
The size and calorie content of the portion must be adjusted to the size of your pet. Labradors tend to be overweight and gluttonous, so it is necessary to keep track of the Labrador’s daily food rations from puppyhood. You should pay attention to how much he eats every day and limit serving him treats outside the main meals. The dog food should be of high quality, balanced and healthy. It should contain a high content of meat and no grains. The food for the Labradoodle must also be completely free of sugar. It goes without saying that your dog must always have access to fresh drinking water.
Is my Labradoodle in good shape?
If you are concernet about your pet’s BMI, you can do a little test on your own before arranging the visit with a pet dietician or veterinarian:
- the eye test – look down at your dog and check if you see the waistline; it’s a good sign if you do;
- the hands-on test – place your thumbs on the dog’s spine, stretch out your hands and see if you can feel the ribs; press lightly; if you do, you are on the right track with your Goldendoodle caloric needs.
Remember that both quantity and quality of food matters.
Pet parents always want to provide their pets with the best products and nutrition. Supplements that strengthen your dog’s immune system and prevent certain diseases are an essential part of their care. There are many products on the market. No matter which brand you choose, make sure it is filled with an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. Some of them are:
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin – improve your dog’s hip and joint health;
- Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA – support skin, coat, brain, heart and eyes;
- Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K and balanced mix of minerals – boost your dog’s health and immune system.
With the right diet and plenty of exercise, your Labradoodle will be with you for 12 to 14 years. Follow the tips below and care for your Doodle from his first days at home.
Labradoodle – care
The dense coat of the Labradoodle hybrid requires regular grooming and trimming. Whether straight or curly, it should be brushed every two days to keep it shiny and free from matting. Since the coat of these dogs is constantly growing, it is worth going to the groomer regularly. Other standard care procedures that you have to perform regularly:
- ear cleaning;
- teeth brushing;
- nails trimming.
Labradoodle – exercise
When it comes to exercise, a Labradoodle needs about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day and ideally should have access to a yard or a garden where he can roam freely. First generation Labradoodles, need even more exercise because they have inherited high energy needs from their parent breeds.
The Labradoodle is a great companion for various activities outdoor like jogging, biking or rollerblading. However, he also requires some off-leash time to blow off steam. In addition, he needs to be intellectually stimulated. If these intelligent dogs get bored to often, they can misbehave and destroy furniture or chew objects.
Mental stimulation is especially important for the proper development and happiness of animals. There are more than a few ways to keep your dog’s brain busy:
- host a scavenger hunt for your dog and hide his favorite treats;
- give your pup the opportunity to explore new places – Labradoodles love new adventures;
- buy a special puzzle toy;
- teach your dog new tricks;
- build an obstacle course for your dog or take him to a dog park.
Labradoodle – price
The standard cost for a Labradoodle puppy from a reputable breeder is between $1,500 and $2,000. If you want a Labradoodle in a more exotic color or a Micro Labradoodle, you will have to pay more. These tiny creatures are more difficult to reproduce, so the cost is higher.
Labradoodle – breed history
The Labradoodle was first bred in Australia to be used as a hypoallergenic guide dog. In 1989, Wally Conron, who was the mastermind of the breeding program for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia, performed the first intentional cross between a Standard Poodle and a Labrador Retriever.
The first designer Labradoodle named Sultan had a hypoallergenic coat as well as an endearing personality and high intelligence.
As a result of this successful experiment, the hybrid quickly became popular around the world and is now one of the most desired “doodle breeds”.
Labradoodle – for whom?
These sociable dogs are suitable for people who can meet the Labradoodle’s energy needs. Future owners should also train them early to eliminate undesirable behavior. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key. Labradoodles thrive best in a home with a garden and a loving family who spends lots of time with their dog.
Labradoodle – trivia
It is disputed whether Wally Conron is the first breeder of a Labradoodle. The canine mix had been known in the United States since the 1950s and was used in the entertainment industry as early as the 1960s, earlier than the presumed first breeding. For example, a Labrador-Poodle mix named Fang repeatedly starred in the series Get Smart beginning in 1965.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a comprehensive answer to why the Labradoodle dog breed is so popular. Sharing life with this special dog is having a friend and a therapist in one fluffy body.
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