Labradoodles

History

 

The Labradoodle was originally developed in Australia to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. In 1989, Wally Conron, who was in charge of the breeding program for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia, conducted the first purposeful crossbreeding between a Standard Poodle and Labrador Retriever.

 

Like the Labrador Retriever parent, the Labradoodle quickly rose in popularity and has become one of the most sought-after "Doodle breeds." These dogs are often produced by crossing a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle, but multigenerational breeding has begun in an attempt to produce a viable and recognizable breed.

 

Both the Australian Labradoodle Association and the International Australian Labradoodle Association are taking steps in this direction and they hope to move this designer breed into registered breed status in the next few years. These groups have made great efforts to bring breeders together so that they're working to achieve the same standards through multigenerational breeding.

 

Size

The Standard Labradoodle should be 22 to 24 inches in height for a male and 21 to 23 inches in height for a female, while both can range in weight from 45 to 65 pounds.  

 

Labradoodle Coat Types

The coat is where one of this hybrid's greatest discrepancies turns up. The Labradoodle was meant to be nonshedding (like the Poodle), but it's still common to have more than one coat type, as well as variation in puppies within one litter. Depending on which coat your Labradoodle has, you can expect her coat to be non shedding to low shedding.

Labradoodles coat types come in three different varieties: Wavy, Curly, and Straight.  The most consistent indicator of coat type is the amount of Poodle in the parental lineage.  However, there is no hard and fast rule for predicting coat types.  The Labradoodle coat type may also change as they mature, so be careful if choosing a puppy based on their apparent coat type.

Wavy / Shaggy

The wavy or shaggy coat type is the most common Labradoodle coat type.  It occurs in all types of Labradoodle generations and is considered the easiest to maintain.  It may need brushing a minimum of once a week, but more might be necessary in high friction areas (like under the collar or around the ears).  The wavy/shaggy Labradoodle coat type is usually low to non-shedding, but not always (particularly among F1 generation Labradoodles).

Curly

The curly coat type is also quite common among Labradoodles, but is particularly prevalent among F1B generation Labradoodles.  The tightness and legnth of the curls will vary depending on parental lineage, but can be anything from a loose barrel curl to a tight kinky curl like full bred poodle would have.

This Labradoodle coat type requires daily brushing if it is to remain unmatted, although it can be shaved down to create a maintenance free coat if the owner prefers.  The curly coat type is almost always non-shedding, especially if the Labradoodle is an F1B generation.

Straight

The straight coat type is much less common than the shaggy or curly coats.  It does not occur in  F1 or F1B generations,  but is fairly common in F2 and F2B generations.  Often referred to as the Golden Retriever coat, it’s very easy to maintain and requires minimal brushing.   However, this Labradoodle coat type does not produce the “teddy bear” look that Labradoodles are renowned for displaying, nor will it produce a “beard” around the muzzle.  This coat type is usually low to moderate shedding.

 Allergies

Most people who have allergic reactions aren't allergic to the coat so much as to the dander, the bits of skin that come off the dog with the shed hair. The less shedding, the less dander that you can react to; but it's really an individual situation, particularly with the Labradoodle, where there's a variety of coat types. If this is a concern for you, make sure you communicate this information to the breeder so he can help pick out the puppy who is least likely to shed.

 

Temperament

Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner.

 Always meet at least one of the parents--usually the mother is the one who is available--to ensure that they have a nice temperament and that you feel comfortable being around them. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when she grows up.

 Like every dog, the Labradoodle needs early socialization --exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences--when they are young. Socialization helps ensure that your Labradoodle puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

 

Care

Labradoodles can adapt to just about any setting, but they are not recommended for apartments. They require about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day and would do better with a fenced yard in which to expel some energy. Some Labradoodles, especially in the first generation, can require even more exercise

 The Labradoodle makes an excellent jogging companion but also needs some time off-leash to burn off steam. In addition, she needs to be intellectually stimulated; she is smart and energetic, so if she becomes bored, she can become a destruction machine.

 

The Labradoodle is an intelligent and eager-to-please dog. Training should be easy as long as consistency and positive reinforcement are the methods. Labradoodles make good companions for first-time dog owners.

Despite their activity levels,a Labradoodle can adjust to living in suburban or city environments and can do well in rural settings. Although she is used for various working roles, she is a companion dog through and through, and she should live inside the house, not out in the yard. She's happiest living in the comforts of home, sleeping soundly on your feet or in a bed next to yours.

Crate training benefits every dog and is a kind way to ensure that your Labradoodle doesn't have accidents in the house or get into your things. A crate is also a place where she can retreat for a nap. Crate training at a young age will help your Labradoodle accept confinement if she ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized.

 

Children and Other Pets

The Labradoodle does well with children and can be an affectionate and gentle companion for any child. She can also be exuberant and might knock down smaller children, but she will love them with all her heart.

As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he is eating or sleeping and never to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

Labradoodles usually get along well with other dogs and pets. Like most dogs, they need training and socialization for optimum success at living with and visiting other animals.

 

Generations

first generation Labradoodle is the product of a standard Poodle crossed with a Labrador Retriever. 

About half of all first generation Labradoodles either don't shed or shed lightly, and most are compatible for most families with mild allergies. (source- Dood Database)

The backcross (F1b) Labradoodle is produced by crossing an F1 Labradoodle with a Poodle.  These dogs will have a higher success rate for non-shedding, and are recommended for families with moderate to severe allergies.

Technically a multigeneration Labradoodle should be the product of a Labradoodle crossed with a Labradoodle.  However, most multigeneration breeders breed Labradoodles to other Labradoodles, Labradoodle backcrosses, or Poodles.