A cross between a Labrador Retriever and a standard or miniature Poodle: Labradoodles were initially bred during the 1980s to create a hypoallergenic dog for allergy sufferers.
Due to their lively personalities and easygoing nature, they’re now extremely popular and have the potential to make the perfect family dog.
How much does Labradoodle insurance cost?
In 2022, the average annual cost of Labradoodle insurance with ManyPets was £327.44. Although your vet bills may or may not match this price, you’ll have peace of mind that you can afford the fees if anything goes wrong.
Labradoodles are one of the easiest dog breeds to train, thanks to their willingness to follow instructions. Their intelligence and focus allows them to understand quickly that following orders will result in praise; they, therefore do better with positive affirmation rather than being told off.
Breed bad habits
Labradoodles are lively dogs which need a lot of attention, so behavioural problems usually occur when their needs aren’t met. They also love to be around humans and may get upset if left alone for a long time. This can result in barking or chewing things around the house.
Although Labradoodles are fun dogs, they need a lot of exercise beyond simply walking. You’ll need to play regularly with your Labradoodle and walk them for at least 30 minutes daily, though some active pups may need 45-60 minutes. This will prevent any destructive behaviour due to boredom or restlessness.
Labradoodles have the temperament of a service dog and love to make humans happy, so training shouldn’t be too difficult.
The reward method is a great way to train this breed; they are smart dogs and quickly make the connection between following an order and a treat.
They have a stubborn side, though, and can be easily distracted, but using positive reinforcement will motivate and help them focus. As well as basic obedience training, teaching them fun tricks will burn some energy and make them happy.
Labradoodle gender differences
Female Labradoodles are also usually easier to train as they mature quicker compared to their male counterparts. Although Labradoodles are generally a social breed, females can be more protective of their home, their owners, and children in the house due to their mothering instincts.
However, once they become an adult or are sprayed, the differences in temperament are often unnoticeable. As with most cross breeds, no matter what the sex. Each dog will have a unique character, depending on how they have been bred and cared for.
Female size information
Height: 53-58 cm
Weight: 18-27 kg
Male Labradoodles have higher testosterone levels than females, often making them occasionally rowdy and more energetic. However, this tends to fade once they reach adulthood or when they are neutered. They are also usually more affectionate and loving compared to females.
Although it’s often difficult to tell the difference between the sexes just by looking at them, males tend to have a larger build and are slightly taller.
Male size information
Height: 56-61 cm
Weight: 25-30 kg
Labradoodles come in three sizes: miniature, medium and standard. The size of the Poodle parent will influence the size of the Labradoodle. When crossed with a mini Poodle the size will normally be smaller than 25-30kg.
Labradoodle breed health
In general, Labradoodles are healthy dogs. However, as with any dog there are some conditions the breed is prone to.
Along with other popular breeds, the demand for Labradoodles has led to overbreeding and inbreeding, causing a rise in hereditary diseases like Addison’s. It's important to find reputable breeder when choosing a Labradoodle, this will help minimise the risk of genetic conditions emerging.
Small Labradoodles are expected to live between 12-15 years.
However, bigger versions like full Labrador and standard Poodle crosses usually live for around 10-13 years, similar to other large breeds.
Common health problems
Some of the typical health conditions that affect the breed include:
Hip or elbow dysplasia — Larger dogs, including Labradoodles, can be affected by hip or elbow dysplasia, a genetic condition caused by abnormal joint development. Symptoms include limping, difficulty standing up, or an unwillingness to exercise. Although incurable, there are some options available to help cope with the condition.
Maintaining a healthy will help take pressure off the joints. limiting the amount of exercise will be a benefit and in more serious cases surgery can help ease the pain.
Addison's disease — Labradoodles are prone to Addison's disease, also known as Hypoadrenocorticism. It's an illness which affects the adrenal glands, causing them to produce a lack of corticosteroid hormones. Symptoms often include poor appetite, shaking episodes, lethargy, vomiting, and increased urination. Both Poodles and Labradors are prone to this disease, so it can be inherited by Labradoodles when bred.
Although it can be severe if not dealt with immediately, Addison's can be managed with medication.
Von Willebrand's disease — A bleeding disorder that occurs in poodles: Von Willebrand's disease can be inherited by Labradoodles. It is caused by a lack of von Willebrand factor — a conpound that helps blood clot. You may notice symptoms such as nosebleeds, bruising easily, or prolonged bleeding after injury or surgery in adulthood. While the disease is sadly incurable and life-long, treatment is now available to increase the amount of von Willebrand factor in the blood. Moderate-to-mild cases will allow your dog to live a long and healthy life, but watch out for bleeding — if not treated, blood loss can be serious.
Ear infections — Labradoodles can be prone to ear infections due to their floppy, furry ears. Moisture and wax can get trapped in the ear, promoting yeast growth, and causing an odour and irritation. You may notice your Labradoodle scratching their ears or constantly shaking its head. Your vet can treat infections by cleaning the ears with medication or oral anti-inflammatories. If recurring, dogs may need tests to find the root of the problem, as many cases of ear infections can be linked to underlying allergies.
Lymphoma — Although any dog can develop lymphoma, a form of cancer, it affects labradors more than other breeds. Labradoodles are also prone to developing this form of cancer as they are bred from labradors. The first sign of this may be swelling of the lymph nodes, often visible in the neck, behind the knees, armpits or groin.
Your dog may also experience loss of appetite, facial swelling, or lethargy. There are many treatment options for available for canine lymphoma namely chemotherapy. This is typically not a cure but has the potential to provide a good quality of life for months or years in many dogs.
Epilepsy — A neurological condition often inherited: Labradoodles are prone to epilepsy. Although curing the illness is not possible, treatment is available to control seizures.
"Labradoodles need at least 30 minutes of walking and lots of playtime to keep them stimulated and at a healthy weight," says Dr. Kirsten Ronngren, DVM MRCVS.
"Two of the most common issues I see in Labradoodles are obesity and allergies. Being proactive and mindful when it comes to your pet's diet and exercise routine are excellent ways to help decrease the likelihood of conditions like arthritis down the road by keeping them at a healthy weight."
Labradoodle colours and variants
Labradoodles come in different breed variants, including:
American Labradoodle — A mix between a labrador and a poodle
Australian Labradoodle — A mix of several different breeds
Miniature Labradoodle — A cross between a labrador and a miniature poodle
Labradoodles are available with phantom markings — a solid colour with markings of a second colour. The markings appear above the eyes, side of the muzzle area, throat, chest, legs and feet, and tail.
The standard colours for the breed include:
Caring for Labradoodle
Labradoodles are lively, energetic dogs that need lots of attention and care. If not stimulated or exercised enough, they can turn their attention to chewing or scratching furniture instead, so make sure you play with them daily.
Labradoodles can require 1-2 hours of walking daily to keep them happy. They also love games and training, so frequent playtime is a must. Giving them lots of opportunity to run or chase a thrown ball are both great ways to burn their energy which they have a lot of!
Due to their size, Labradoodles can reach up to 35 mph when sprinting. They can be curious and sometimes mischievous, so it's important to be careful when letting them off the leash.
The amount of food a Labradoodle needs will depend on size, age, and activity level.
Smaller, more frequent meals, instead of feeding once per day, can help digestion and prevent them from eating too quickly.
Large dog breeds also need a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients they need, unlike smaller dogs. Providing this yourself can be tricky, so it’s best to speak to your vet who can help you build a balanced diet for your Labradoodle.
Puppies need around 20 hours of sleep per day to promote healthy growth and development, while adult Labradoodles require 12-14 hours. However, this will depend on how much exercise they do during the day. The more activity they have, the longer they will sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can cause a weak immune system or obesity in dogs, so ensuring they have enough is essential. If you notice your Labradoodle isn't getting enough rest, building a structured routine and giving them the right amount of exercise can help.
The correct amount of exercise, food, and sleep are critical to your Labradoodle's physical and mental health", says Sarah Dawson, RVN and UK Veterinary Relationships Manager. "This is especially important for puppies to maintain their growth and development."
How good are Labradoodles with kids?
Labradoodles are known for being the perfect family dogs as they love being around people — especially kids. Not only do they make an excellent friend for children thanks to their playful and gentle personalities, but they can also improve communication skills and reduce stress.
However, you should keep an eye on Labradoodles around young children during the teething stage, as they can occasionally nip. They also can be quite boisterous so supervision with children is advised.
How affectionate are Labradoodles?
Labradoodles are very loving and affectionate, particularly when tired. They enjoy being with their owners, often wanting to sleep near or cuddle up next to them. Labradoodles will make eye contact, lick your face, or lean against your legs as a sign of love.
How territorial are Labradoodles?
A social and friendly breed: Labradoodles aren’t often territorial so they’re not the best guard dogs!
How friendly are Labradoodles with other dogs?
Labradoodles are always ready to make friends, meaning they typically get on well with other dogs.
How much will Labradoodles tolerate other pets?
Although it depends on the temperament of both animals, Labradoodles can tolerate living with and being around other pets. They may even become best friends with the proper training and socialisation.
Their easy going nature makes them a great choice if you already have a cat. Although it may take a while for them to become comfortable, Labradoodles are unlikely to bother cats and usually form a bond if introduced at a young age. Supervision during the introduction phases is a must!
How much attention do Labradoodles need?
Labradoodles are very social and active dogs who require a lot of care and attention. Therefore, they won’t be suited to owners who don’t have free time during the day.
Labradoodle coat and grooming
Labradoodles have three coat types: hair, wool, and fleece. The hair coat is straight and double-layered, similar to labradors; the wool coat is wavy and single-layered, like a poodle; and the fleece coat is wavy, usually single-layered, and comes from a mix of both parents.
Unliked hair coats, Labradoodles with wool or fleece coats do not shed.
How often do I need to groom Labradoodles?
Although there are three different coat types, all Labradoodles can grow long, thick hair, so regular brushing two to three times a week is needed to prevent matting and tangles.
Taking them to a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks is recommended so they can have their hair trimmed, especially around the ears where they are prone to infection.
As well as this, they need to be bathed once a month to remove dirt from their coat. Just remember to brush before washing to remove any matting, as this will be difficult to remove once wet.
Are Labradoodles hypoallergenic?
Although no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, Labradoodles were originally bred to cause minimal reactions in allergy sufferers compared to other breeds.
Wool or fleece-coated Labradoodles shed very little, so dander the dead skin cells present in the fur won’t spread around the house as much. Although this can still cause problems for people with allergies, it may cause less of a reaction compared to other breeds.
Hair coats, on the other hand, shed moderately, so they may not be a good choice for sufferers.
Labradoodle bark sound
Labradoodles are fairly quiet dogs who only tend to bark when they need something.
Labradoodles are intelligent dogs who use barking to communicate. They may be vocal to tell you they’re sick, want food, or feel threatened or frightened by things like thunder or something going on outside.
Although they don’t often bark like other dogs, when they do, it tends to be deep and loud. They may also whine or whimper when they want attention.
Frequently asked questions about Labradoodles
What age do Labradoodles stop growing?
Labradoodles usually reach their full growth potential within 12-18 months. They can sometimes continue growing up to 2 years, especially if their parents are both large dogs.
Are Labradoodles high-maintenance dogs?
Labradoodles require lots of attention, exercise, and grooming to keep them happy and healthy. Therefore, they are considered a high-maintenance breed.
Are Labradoodles good family dogs?
Labradoodles make great family dogs. They're playful, affectionate and full of energy. They're best suited to families who can give them the time and attention they need to be happy and healthy dogs.