7 Things to Know Before Buying a Labradoodle

LabradoodleA Labradoodle is a cross of the Labrador Retriever and the Standard, Miniature, or Toy poodle, also known as Labrador Poodle Mix. The Standard Labradoodle is medium to large dog at about 22 to 24 inches tall, weighing 50 to 65 pounds. The lifespan of this crossbreed is around 12 to 16 years.

This breed is not known to be aggressive and is becoming the pet of choice for families.

Has the Labradoodle caught your eye? Here are some facts you’ll want to know first!

1. Labradoodle’s Coat is Not Always Hypoallergenic

Portrait of a Labradoodle

Did you read the intro with the “crossbreeds- you never know what you’re going to get” bit?

Labradoodles can be a good choice for allergy sufferers, but don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. There are 3 different coat types associated with this breed:

  • Straight coat: Also known as the “hair coat” this one sheds the most and is avoided by breeders.
  • Wavy coat: Also known as the “fleece coat”, expect silky waves and non-to-low shedding.
  • Curly coat: Dense, thick curls that have no odor and are non-shedding.

The Labradoodle can come is a palette of beautiful colors, such as gold, apricot, caramel, white, black, red, chocolate, blue and parti-color.

Curious about how to groom and trim that luxurious coat? Check out this video:

2. One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Depending on whether the Poodle parent is Standard, Miniature or Toy can affect whether the Labradoodle will be one of the following size variations:

  • Standard: 24 inches (60 cm) tall; up to 65 lbs (29 kg) in weight.
  • Medium: 20 inches (50 cm) tall; up to 45 lbs (20 kg) in weight.
  • Miniature: 16 inches (40 cm) tall; up to 25 lbs (11 kg) in weight.

A Labradoodle mixed with Miniature Poodle called Mini Labradoodle.

If you’re after a particular size, always visit and talk in depth with the breeder about what you’re looking for.

No responsible breeder will guarantee that their Labradoodle puppies will definitely grow to be an exact size. But, they can offer information on the parents’ physical background, which can help point you in the right direction.

3. A Labradoodle and Goldendoodle are NOT the Same Dogs

Labradoodle or Goldendoodle? Here’s some insight to help shed some light on these two breeds.

Top 3 Similarities

  1. Both come from a Poodle mix with one parent being either a Standard, Miniature or Toy Poodle.
  2. Both are high energy dogs who love to fetch and swim.
  3. Both make wonderful family dogs and do well with children and other pets.

Top 3 Differences

  1. The Labradoodle has a Labrador Retriever parent, while the Goldendoodle has a Golden Retriever parent.
  2. Labradoodles tend to have shorter coats. The Goldendoodle has a longer, shaggier coat inherited from the Golden Retriever.
  3. Both are friendly dogs, but Goldendoodles are highly social and not afraid to run up to anyone, while the Labradoodle can be stand-offish, taking time to get used to strangers.

You can compare the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle some more in this video.

Bonus: Even More Doodles!

These are two other popular Poodle mixes that are similar to the Labradoodle.

What’s an Australian Labradoodle?

The Australian Labrador was created with the contributing genes of six different breeds: Poodle, Labrador Retriever, English Cocker Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel

Curly Coat Retriever.

You can learn more about the Australian Labradoodle here.

What’s a Schnoodle?

This Poodle and Schnauzer mix hangs with the small-sized dogs, reaching 15 lbs (7 kg) in weight. It makes a great companion or service dog. Learn more about the Schnoodle here.

4. Smart, Sweet & Playful, All Wrapped Up in One Neat Package

She’ll be the one waiting to greet you at the door with kisses or wagging her tail with a ball in her mouth ready for some fun. On movie night, she’ll be curled up right in the middle of the kids, not wanting to miss a second of family time.

Though not aggressive, Labradoodle temperament can vary. The best place to get a feel for this crossbreed’s behavior is through the parents.

The smarty-pants Poodle

White poodle sitting outside

When you’re considered to be the second most intelligent dog breed in the canine world, your genes are going to get attention.

That’s where the Poodle stands, with a star-studded background as a good-natured dog and a bundle of talents to boot.

Agility, quick thinking skills and a lustrous coat of hypoallergenic curls have made it an outstanding show dog, as well as a favored breed by those who suffer from allergies.

The noble Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever looking up

Labrador Retrievers are highly popular in North America and the UK, especially for their use as service dogs for the disabled.

Highly intelligent and sharp as a whip, this breed is in-tune with feelings and actions, learning quickly, displaying loyalty and taking on the role of caretaker.

As a Retriever breed, the Labrador has a reputation for being a phenomenal hunter and water dog. They love to swim!

This is a big dog, weighing in at up to 80 lbs (29–36 kg). Its coat is short, dense and water resistant. It can come in three colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

5. Meet Your New Favorite Workout Partner

With all those sporty Labrador genes and intelligent Poodle genes, the Labradoodle is not one to sit idle!

It’s imperative to give them 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily, or else you can expect destructive behavior. Watch those leather loafers!

Because of their size and energetic personality, plenty of space is recommended for a Labradoodle to blow of steam. That means small apartments and long hours in a crate do not benefit this stimulated hybrid.

Take your Labbidoo out for a jog or let her splash in your swimming pool if you have one. Homes with a fenced in yard are ideal for your dog to have some off-leash time to run about and frolic freely.

Add in some early socialization to help curb bad habits and control over-exuberance when meeting with children or other dogs.

6. Labradoodle Has a Long Lifespan of 12 to 16 years

The Labradoodle is generally a healthy breed, but don’t forget that every breed- pure or cross- has its fair share of health problems to be aware of.

  • Ear infections: Floppy ears can trap dirt and moisture, leading to painful infections.
  • Hip dysplasia: An abnormal formation of the hip socket that can cause arthritis and lameness.
  • Elbow dysplasia: These are abnormalities that cause degeneration of the elbow joint.
  • Epilepsy: Seizures that result from an unknown cause.
  • Diabetes Mellitus: A disease in which the body suffers from a shortage of insulin.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A degeneration of the retina that causes vision loss and blindness.
  • Hypothyroidism: Occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid.

Feeding

Specific nutrition requirements differ from dog to dog based on needs and size. For the Labradoodle, use high-quality dog food and divide 1 to 2.5 cups into two meals per day.

Avoid feeding throughout the day, because they have been known to suffer from gastric torsion like the Labrador Retriever.

Special Care

As mentioned, the Labradoodle’s coat can vary. The thickness and length will determine the sort of grooming needed.

Shorter coats won’t require much maintenance- just brushing two times a week. Longer coats will need trimming every six weeks.

7. Beware of Puppy Mills When Purchasing a Labradoodle

Cute Labradoodle puppy with toy

If you’ve decided that you just can’t live without the adorable Labradoodle, then get ready to enter the realm of breeders and puppy mills.

First off, a Labradoodle from a reputable breeder will cost anywhere from $1500 to $2500.

Second, soaring popularity has lead to an infection of puppy mills popping up like nasty sores. These are to be avoided at all costs.

“But, this Labradoodle puppy from this online pet shop looks healthy and it costs $500,” you say.

That cute Google derived image of a perfect Labradoodle puppy most likely came from a mill where the conditions are despicable, the puppy’s health background is unknown and the parents (whoever they are) have been overbred to the point of exhaustion. Therefore, the price is cheaper.

Do your breeder research thoroughly and visit the premises where the puppies hail from. Ask the breeder questions about the parents’ background and request medical clearances.

Adopt a Labradoodle and Save a Life

There’s always the adoption route. With puppy mills wreaking havoc, Labradoodle rescues have become more prevalent. Check out these websites for listings:

Conclusion: Is the Labradoodle the Dog for You?

Curly haired Labradoodle sitting

Are you looking for a best friend that…

  • Is a lover and not a fighter
  • Wants to play and be active
  • Looks like a stuffed animal
  • Will sleep at your feet
  • Is smart and learns quickly
  • Might shed a little bit, but that’s ok
  • Loves children

Then what are you waiting for? The Labradoodle might be just the dog you’re looking for!

What do you think about the Labradoodle? Tell us in the comments!

 

Further reading:

If you’d like to read more about Poodle mixes, here is an article on The Cockapoo: The Poodle and The Cocker Spaniel mix

3 replies on “7 Things to Know Before Buying a Labradoodle”

  • Rosie Beckett says:

    My husband and I are thinking of getting a labradoodle puppy and you make a great point that they love to exercise and run around. I think that this would be ideal for us because walking the dog every day will give us great exercise and help us to stay in shape. Also, the fact that they are in-tune with feelings and actions gives me peace of mind that I will be able to get along well with our future dog.

  • Ronald D Hale says:

    I did not want a dog. My wife pestered me for 10 years! My reason was I grew up on a sheep ranch and had many smart hard working border collies. They were cherished but never treated like family pets. They were never allowed in the house. They were more like hired hands and were ruled with an iron fist. I was concerned my expectations on a family dog would be too high. My wife finally rebelled and brought home a labradoodle. I actually LOVE our dog. Everything printed in this article describes our “Chuck” perfectly. He is just as smart as any collie I ever had, except for one. The difference is Chuck is loving,caring and sensitive. Collies are tough,focused and just want to do their job. Everything with Chuck is easy, he will do whatever “family dog thing” you want him to do. I never have to remind him that he is a dog and I am not. I can not imagine a better pet than a labradoodle.

  • Barbara Carano says:

    What is the difference between a Labradoodle and an Aussiedoodle? Do they have similarities or very different?

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *