Life span: 12-14 Years
Height: 18 – 20 inches (male), 17 – 19 inches (female)
Weight: 30 – 45 lbs.
As the name suggests, the Labradoodle is the result of crossbreeding between a Labrador and Poodle. Even though the crossbreed was developed in 1955, it was not until the late 1980’s that it became popularized. The aim of Labradoodle development was to pair the trainability of the Labrador with the low-shedding qualities of the Poodle. Since its inception, the Labradoodle has been used as a guide dog, as well as a house pet. The Labradoodle has a short coat of curly hair that ranges in color from white to black.
This is a happy go round breed that gets along with just about everyone! They are loving and playful, especially with children. Some obedience training and early socialization are recommended to help them understand how to play with children of any age.
Their ears are medium length and fall down, their tail is medium length as well and is usually down while resting, with a slight curve. Their eyes can be brown or hazel with a black or brown nose. The long coat is usually straight but may be wavy, never curly nor dense. Coat colors include black, light grey, red, brown and cream colored.
Wally Conron was in charge of the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia’s breeding program and in 1989 created this breed by crossbreeding the Labrador Retriever with the Poodle with the intention of creating a hypoallergenic dog. The resulting puppy was named Sultan, and was hypoallergenic, as expected. Sultan was the perfect guide dog, carrying personality traits from both parent breeds. Once its guide dog skills were put to test with a woman in Hawaii, its popularity began to grow. It is yet to be recognized by the American Kennel Club, but the Australian Labradoodle Association and the International Australian Labradoodle Association do recognize it and people are working towards its recognition in the AKC.
This happy dog is extremely intelligent and loving with its family. They get along well with everyone, including children, but should be watched around younger children given its playful nature. It may accidentally harm a young kid that is not aware of the correct way to play with them. However, they are never aggressive and are always loving. They do need obedience training to help them play with children of all ages, as well as early socialization.
This breed may suffer from many diseases, including:
- Allergies that produce the same symptoms you see in humans, and depending on the cause, different treatments can be used.
- Diabetes Mellitus, in which the dog will attempt to eat more food to replace the glucose missing from its cells due to the lack of regulation of blood sugar levels. The dog will lose weight instead of gaining. Symptoms include increased appetite, weight loss, excessive urination, etc.
- Epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can produce seizures.
- Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
- Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
They need to be brushed once or twice a week, as well as having their coat trimmed every two months. They should only be bathed occasionally, meaning only when needed. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are highly energetic and need daily exercise, preferably in the form of long walks, as well as a fenced area where they can run freely. Training should be relatively easy given that they are highly intelligent. Positive reinforcement works best for this breed.