Background and History
The temperament and history of a designer or mixed breed lies in the temperament and history of its founding breeds. Click on these links to find more information regarding the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle.
The Labradoodle was the original designer dog. But there was nothing trendy or trivial about its conception. In 1989 Wally Conron crossed a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle to solve a specific problem. A lady needed a guide dog, but her husband had fur-based allergies.
The founding dog, named Sultan, proved to have all the patience and intuitive intelligence of the Lab. This combined with the hypoallergenic fur of the Poodle. In breeding terms this was a Eureka moment. The Poodle, like the Lab, also has an even temperament so there was no compromise made on dependability. The results were impressive. Conron continued to breed the Labradoodle for the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia.
Conron himself had reservations that the Labradoodle subsequently became so popular. He was concerned that it had given rise to unethical standards of breeding for profit . He feared that this would lead to a decline in standards. He worried that unscrupulous breeders would produce dogs with inherent health problems.
But veterinary experts and many, many smitten owners would consider these fears unfounded. This dog is generally considered to be happy and healthy and has a good lifespan. They also have relaxed and even temperaments. This is in keeping with the caliber of their founding breeds. As with all breeds, research to find reputable breeders is essential. A breeder should produce health certificates of both parents. This will ensure that your Labradoodle makes an excellent choice of dog.
Also their service has not extended beyond use as a hypoallergenic guide dog. The intelligent Labradoodle is proven as both an excellent disability and therapy dog. This is further helped by their relaxed temperament and sociable natures.
Character and Temperament
The Labradoodle’s popularity comes largely from the fact that it is a great family dog. This dog is as fun-loving as a Poodle, and gains tolerance and obedience from the Lab heritage. This makes it an excellent dog to have around children of all ages.
But this breed will need lots of time dedicated to mental and physical stimulation. They are tirelessly playful so will need an investment from the owner to ensure they receive plenty of interactive play. The Labradoodle is the perfect dog for providing children with a play-mate who will tire them out.
The Labradoodle is very gregarious and will be a very enthusiastic participant in games with other dogs. They readily bond with canine companions and are happy to be part of a multi-dog household. In keeping with both founding breeds they have a very easy-going and pleasant temperament. It is incredibly rare for a well-socialized Labradoodle to show any aggression. This dog is generally also good with smaller pets like cats.
These dogs absolutely dote on their families. But this means that they do not do well in situations where they must be frequently left alone. Training to manage separation anxiety should be put in place as early as possible. Also be aware that this dog can be a little attention-seeking if not receiving enough stimulation through exercise and play.
Both the founding breeds are intelligent and agile. The Labradoodle can be trained to a very high standard and excels in dog agility and obedience trials. These dogs can be a little sensitive so require gentle, but firm training. If this is based around positive reinforcement it will yield fantastic results. This is further helped by the fact that Labradoodles are quick to learn and very eager to please. This makes them an excellent dog for the first-time owner.
Both the Labrador and the Poodle are retriever-based breeds. This means they are naturals at flyball and frisbee and this is a great way to incorporate extra exercise into a walk. Each founding breed is also able to retrieve from water. This means that the Labradoodle will relish the opportunity to take a dive into a river and splash around in puddles at every opportunity.
The Labradoodle needs lots of exercise and owners will need to plan for l at least 2 walks of reasonable length (around 1 to 1.5 hours).
Retrievers are hardy, athletic and built for the outdoors. If you enjoy outdoor activities such as walking and hiking, the Labradoodle will make the perfect companion. Also the Labradoodle will be athletic enough to offer an able jogging partner.
This dog is not suited for apartment-living. A Labradoodle will need outdoor space in which to burn off its abounding levels of energy. The Labradoodle is far too friendly to be an out and out guard dog. But most will bark an alarm if the house is approached by strangers.
These dogs come in three sizes based on their Poodle heritage. The standard size with the male at 24 inches and female at 23 inches. These dogs can weigh up to 65IB. The medium-sized male is around 20 inches and the female 19 inches. These dogs weigh up to 45lbs. Finally the miniature Labradoodle stands at 16 inches and can weigh up to 25IB.
Coat and Grooming
They have a single-coat only, but it is thick and curly. It can come in a huge variety of colors and is sometimes parti-colored. The Labradoodle can have one of three types of coats. A hair coat (like a Lab) wool coat (akin to a poodle) or a hybrid, soft-textured fleece coat. All of these coats only shed lightly, although the hair coat sheds a little more than the others. This coat is low-maintenance and only requires brushing once or twice a week.
Lifespan and Health
This is a healthy breed with a lifespan of around 12 to 16 years. They can suffer from joint related problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. This can also lead to arthritis in older dogs. Ear infections can also affect these dogs. The ears should be regularly checked and cleaned to avoid this. Some Labradoodles have been known to have allergies.