Hybrid Breeds
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Labradoodle: Get to Know a Hybrid Dog Breed

Ah, the Labradoodle. If you've yet to meet one, you're likely living under a rock in the middle of the Sahara.

 |  May 31st 2012  |   19 Contributions


A Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. And is it just us, or are they absolutely everywhere these days? We're not fond of the term "designer dog," but Labradoodles are just that -- a planned hybrid, fancy mutt, whatever you want to call them. Every Labradoodle we've met has been sweet as pie, but if you're considering adding one to the family, here's the skinny:

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A grey Doodle via Shutterstock.

What Labradoodles Are Like to Live With

The Labradoodle can be a boisterous and fun-loving dog. His adolescence can be trying, with destructiveness if bored and oodles of energy (really, not too different from any other dog when bored). He makes a great family dog with training, but should be supervised with young children because of his exuberance. A couple of walks a day are needed, as well as games and fun.

Don’t be fooled by the cuteness of the Labradoodle -- these are intelligent dogs, eager to please and extremely trainable. They’ve even been known to be search-and-rescue dogs and guide dogs. The Labradoodle is a joy to own and, to make the most of its intelligence and athleticism, joining a sport such as agility is recommended. Labradoodles also excel at water sports because of their heritage.

Things You Should Know About the Labradoodle

The Labradoodle is soaring in popularity. In fact, Hasbro has replaced the Scottish Terrier on the Monopoly board with the Labradoodle. The more popular a hybrid dog gets, the more important it is to check out breeders thoroughly if you aren't going the shelter route. Adopting a Labradoodle is also a fine way to own one, just be sure to check his temperament -- bad breeding can produce unhealthy, unstable dogs. 

Partly because of the broad breeding of the Labradoodle, the hybrid can vary greatly in characteristics, sometimes taking greatly after the Labrador, sometimes the Poodle. One characteristic that is often inconsistent is their claim to being hypoallergenic. Even within the same litter, a Labradoodle pup may have a Poodle-like hypoallergenic coat and another may have a shedding double coat. Regardless, the Labradoodle needs a moderate amount of grooming.

Depending on the quality of breeding, the Labradoodle can be a very healthy dog. Health issues include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (which can cause blindness), and Addison’s disease (an endocrine disorder).

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A Labradoodle dog on the beach by Shutterstock.

Labradoodle History: Fast Facts

  • The Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia bred the first planned Labradoodles in 1989, making them one of the older hybrid (or “designer”) dogs. The goal was to make a hypoallergenic service dog -- which does not always pan out.
  • One parent of the Labradoodle, the Labrador Retriever, began in Newfoundland prior to the 15th century. These dogs were bred to retrieve the fish that the fishermen dropped from their hooks.
  • The Poodle is of even older origin and was bred in Germany to be a retriever as well. Its long coat was cut in in certain places, which are replicated in the show ring today, to make swimming easier.

The Look of the Labradoodle

As mentioned earlier on, the Labradoodle is a Lab crossed with a Standard Poodle, so he is large and athletic. His look tends to vary quite a bit, but he often has a wavy to curly coat in colors from cream to brown to black. This coat is sometimes hypoallergenic. The Labradoodle’s tail is usually sickle shaped. His head shape and snout are strong, and he is naturally muscular, but he tends to have a furry, goofy face that goes with his fun-loving demeanor.

An attractive, well-rounded dog, the Labradoodle can make a wonderful pet, family companion, and motivator to get outside.

Quick Facts About Labradoodles

  • Labradoodles weigh between 50 and 65 pounds, and are usually 21 to 24 inches tall. 
  • A Labradoodle's expected lifespan is 12 to 14 years. 
  • Ideal human companions include active types, families and those willing to set aside quality time. And hey, if you like Monopoly, this might work, too!
  • Trademark traits include that unforgettable, funny face; great athleticism; and fun-loving demeanor.
 
Dogster readers: Do you have a Labradoodle in your life? Tell us what they're like to live with.

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