Average Height: 21-24 in (varies by breeding)
Average Weight: 50-75 lbs (varies by breeding)
Average Life Span: 12-14 yrs
Coloring: White, black, apricot, chocolate; white markings sometimes occur on darker coats
Area of Origin: Victoria, Australia
Similar Breeds: Labrador Retriever, Standard/Toy Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Newfoundlander
History and Origin:
While the term, Labradoodle, has existed since the 1950s, it wasn’t until 1988 that the mix became prevalent. A cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle (standard, miniature, or toy), the Labradoodle’s purpose was to be a hypoallergenic service dog. While not all Labradoodles are ultimately appropriate for allergy-sufferers, those that are tend to be greatly valued. While some have attempted to cross other retriever breeds (Chesapeake Bay/ Curly Coat/ Flat Coat) with the Poodle to produce a similar offspring, these mixes do not tend to have the level temperament of the Labrador/ Poodle combination.
Personality and Temperament:
The Labradoodle typically possesses the calm, friendly intelligence of both the Labrador and the Poodle. A companion dog to the core, the Labradoodle is affectionate with everyone it meets, and can become a bit too enthusiastic if not raised with clear boundaries. It enjoys working, and is at its best behavior when it has a job to do. Sensitive and steady, it generally makes a great family companion. Unfortunately, the Labradoodle is like any mix-breed; consistent characteristics have not been solidified, and individual dogs will vary greatly in both appearance and temperament. Most Labradoodles, for example, are not suitable for guide dog or assistance dog work, and only a small minority is ever fully trained in this capacity. Regardless, the Labradoodle is overall a joy to own, and its eagerness and loving nature matches well with a nervous or first-time owner.
Exercise & Training:
As a large-breed dog, the Labradoodle needs daily exercise so it does not become bored and destructive. As both the Labrador and Poodle are working dogs, the Labradoodle will also be happiest with a job do to. It is a smart dog with lots of energy and is easily trained; it would do well in obedience trials or agility. As both the Labrador and the Poodle are water dogs, the Labradoodle is frequently an avid swimmer, and will enjoy fetching in the water. It is an active and excitable dog whose ideal home has space to stretch and a yard to play in.
The Labradoodle can have a range of coat types, depending on the genes it inherits from its parents. It will frequently have wavy or curly fur, which will need brushing a few times a week to keep it free of tangles. Professional grooming twice a year will help manage the sometimes unruly coat. Bathe rarely; unless it gets dirty, the Labradoodle does not need to be bathed.
As a hybrid of the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle, the Labradoodle inherits its qualities from these two breeds (both good and bad!). Through the Labrador, the Labradoodle is a descendent of the Newfoundlander; through the Poodle, it is related to other water dogs such as the Portuguese Water Dog.
Interesting Facts about the Labradoodle:
1. First bred as a service dog in 1988 at the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia.
2. The Labradoodle continues to be frequently used as a guide, assistance, and therapy dog.
3. The Norwegian Prince and Princess own Labradoodles.
4. Many celebrities own Labradoodles including Tiger Woods, Jennifer Aniston, Vice President Joe Biden, Christie Brinkley, Jeremy Irons, and Neil Young.