Labradoodles are arguably the most popular cross breed in the world.
There’s a good chance you’ve met a Labradoodle or at least heard of this member of the Doodle family.
They’re a mix between a Labrador Retriever and Poodle, usually resulting in a low-shedding dog.
The Labradoodle was created to be a hypoallergenic guide dog for disabled people with allergies.
Labradors are often used as blind eye dogs but these popular family pets shed quite a lot.
Poodles, on the other hand, are listed as one of 19 dog breeds that are considered hypoallergenic.
By combining these two breeds, it was hoped that the Labradoodle would be a smart dog that would be perfect for people in need who have allergies to pet hair and dander.
If you’re thinking about adopting a Labradoodle, you’re probably wondering what are some of the pros and cons associated with the Labradoodle cross breed.
We spoke to some experienced Labradoodle owners to hear what they consider to be the pros and cons of this affectionate, fluffy and energetic hybrid dog. Our Labradoodles featured in this article include Copper and Lily (@copper.and.lily), Oreo (@oreodoodledo), Bram (@abradoodle_bram), Savanna and Mango (@labradoodlemystique) and Semmy (@labradoodlesemmy).
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As we mentioned above, the Labradoodle is considered a hypoallergenic breed. Hypoallergenic refers to something that is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. By the word’s very definition, it doesn’t mean an allergic reaction won’t occur, it’s just less likely. The American Kennel Club list the Poodle as one of 19 breeds that they consider to be hypoallergenic. Poodles have a unique coat that doesn’t shed a lot and catches what little dander is secreted in their tight curls. By combining the Labrador with the Poodle, the creator of the Labradoodle – Wally Conron – hoped to create a hybrid dog that would inherit the IQ of both parents as well as the low-shedding genes of the Poodle. However, in spite of breeder claims, there’s no guarantee a Labradoodle won’t shed a little given the Labrador sheds.
Oreo’s dad Alfie emphasised this point when we quizzed him about Labradoodles being hypoallergenic.
No dog is really hypoallergenic, but some dogs are definitely better for allergies. It’s all about how much poodle is in the mix. The more ‘diluted’ the Labrador gene in a Labradoodle the better it would be for allergy to dog hair. But a lot of dog allergies come from the dander (dead skin) that comes off of a dog, so you can’t always be sure.
Intelligent, Highly Trainable
The Labrador and the Poodle are considered to be one of the most intelligent dogs in the world. Stanley Coren’s infamous book at about the smartest dogs in the world called The Intelligence Of Dogs listed the Bordie Collie as the world’s most-intelligent dog. The Poodle is ranked at number two. Just two places further down the list is the Labrador Retriever. Given both of the parents have a high IQ, it’s very likely a Labradoodle will be a smart dog. It’s a good idea to start training your Labradoodle puppy from a young age to help your four-legged friend learn the basics of obedience. Most Labradoodle owners attest to the fact that their dogs are relatively easy to train and quick to learn new commands and tricks.
Lemmy’s mom Sonja explained that Labradoodles are easy to train with the help of some tasty treats.
Labradoodles like Labradors are quite easy to train. They love their little snacks so you might see better behaviour when doggy-treats are around!
Friendly And Sociable
Labradoodles tend to be friendly, outgoing and sociable dogs. Having said that, it’s still a good idea to socialize your Labradoodle pup from a young age to ensure they develop well-balanced personalities. You may want to consider puppy manners classes and puppy training. It’s a good idea to expose your puppy to different situations to improve their social skills. Labradoodles like to be around their pet parents and other members of the family.
Simone’s mom Bram gave us her insight into the hybrid dog’s social skills.
Labradoodles are very social dogs! They like to be near you. They love people and animals! They are also very sensitive.
Labradoodles can make loved family pets. They’re friendly, outgoing and playful dogs that can make excellent dogs for pet lovers who are looking for a versatile canine. Labradoodles are robust enough to enjoy some playtime with their family members. Their energy levels mean they can make excellent companions for dog owners who are looking for a dog that can go on regular runs, robust hikes and long walks. We don’t recommend leaving a Labradoodle – or any dog – alone unsupervised with children. We asked some of our Labradoodle owners if they’d recommend this designer breed as family pets.
Alfie revealed that they got Oreo to excel in a family setting.
So far Oreo is great, we did a lot of research beforehand and Labradoodles are known to be great family pets. They have loads of energy and are super clever so when the time comes we’ll be doing big walks and maybe starting agility courses. We do plan on having kids one day so we will introduce Oreo to children slowly to make sure he’s fine.
Here’s what Jenny had to say based upon her experience with Copper and Lily.
Most will! Be sure to socialize them from a young age to children, and there shouldn’t be any issues. Copper and Lily both love kids.
It’s rare that designer dogs or mixed breeds have a breed standard. It’s something that is in place for purebred dogs that are recognised by the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club. Breed standards are important because breeders who sign up to an organisation’s code of ethics are held to a breed standard. Therefore you can usually access a list of breeder who have committed to achieving this breed standard and upholding the code of ethics.
If you’re an active person, a Labradoodle’s high energy levels will probably be a pro if you’re looking for a running companion. However, some pet parents may not have the ability, energy or time to provide sufficient exercise for their Labradoodles. These hybrid dogs will need a regular outlet to stretch their legs or keep their minds active. If a dog doesn’t get sufficient mental and physical stimulation, it could lead to potential behavioral problems.
Simone described Bram in a very unique way.
Yes they certainly are [energetic]! They are real bouncing balls.
Wag Walking recommend around 60 minutes of exercise a day for a Labradoodle. However, proving that every Labradoodle could be slightly different, Sonja tells a different story with Semmy.
Semmy is not very active, I would say less than is usual. If we do not take her out she is okay with sleeping all day. Often it is the case that if the owner of the pet likes to live an active lifestyle your dog will be raised in this environment and thus like an active life as well!
Labradoodles are usually put in the bracket of a designer breed. This is the first indication that Labradoodle puppies can be quite expensive. We did a lot of research on the breed and we found that Labradoodles can cost between $500 and $3,000. It depends on the breeder, the color and size range of the Labradoodle as well as other factors.
Sonja kindly gave us an insight into the average price of a Labradoodle based upon her experience of purchasing Semmy.
Labradoodles are not the most affordable dogs. Purchase costs can be around €2000, after this initial amount food and veterinarian services are the bulk of the cost of a Labradoodle. We trim/cut Semmy ourselves, thus saving some money.
Sonja makes a good point as Labradoodles can cost more than just the initial price of purchasing your puppy. You’ll have to consider dog food, pet insurance, professional grooming and much more.
Could Still Shed
Labradoodles are considered a hypoallergenic cross breed given the influence of the Poodle genes. However, there’s no guarantee that a Labradoodle won’t shed a little. Labradors are moderate-to-high shedders so there’s a chance a Labradoodle will inherit this trait. Although Labradoodle breeders may claim that their pup are completely hypoallergenic, this simply isn’t true. Even if you adopt a Labradoodle dog that turns out to be a low shedder, dog salvia and urine can still trigger allergies. They can also bring in allergens from outside the home such as pollen.
Not recognised by the AKC
The Labradoodle has a breed standard and they’re recognised by the American Canine Association, the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Breed Registry, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the Dog Registry of America and International Designer Canine Registry. However, the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club haven’t granted the cross breed recognition.
While the odds are you won’t have to worry about lots of dog hair collecting in areas around your home and on your furniture, you will have to commit to a grooming routine. Labradoodles need to brushed on a daily basis to prevent their coats from becoming matted or tangled. By grooming your Labradoodle, you can prevent potential infections. Labradoodles will usually require a trim every three months or so. While you may be able to give your dog a haircut, most Labradoodle owners will prefer to use the services of a professional.
Jackie provided us with her grooming regime for Mango and Savanna.
Labradoodles need regular grooming. Daily or at least every other day combing and brushing if their coat is longer to maintain a mat free coat. I always comb/brush the dogs prior to any water play also to check for mats or tangles. Getting mats wet makes them worse. Mango and Savanna are groomed regularly about every 6 weeks; bath, blow-dry, trim or cut, nails, sanitary cut . Because they are therapy dogs at the hospital they do get more baths than normal.
Jackie gave a rough guide on the coast of grooming for Labradoodles.
The price depends a lot on the the geographical area, but it seems that $80-$120 per dog is fairly normal. Another consideration in price can be the ’state’ the dog is in – so if it’s matted, etc and the owner doesn’t want the dog shaved, dematting (not recommended) can be more costly. There are so many great how to videos on the internet, so with COVID we have moved from professional grooming too DIY. The cost of dryer, shears, scissors, clippers, combs, grooming table can be recouped in just a matter of a few groomings. It can take anywhere from 2-5 hours to groom a labradoodle properly.
Copper and Lily’s mom Angela described the Labradoodle as a high maintenance breed.
Yes they’re high maintenance, as are most dogs that are low shedding. They require regular brushing to prevent matting, as well as regular groomings. They are also prone to ear infections because of their floppy ears, so they require regular ear cleaning.
Labradoodles are a cross breed and mixed dogs are usually considered healthier than purebred dogs. Having said that, Labradoodles are still prone to some health problems. This includes hip dysplasia.
The American Kennel Club offer an explanation of hip dysplasia on their website.
Hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition, often seen in large or giant breed dogs, although it can occur in smaller breeds, as well. To understand how the condition works, owners first must understand the basic anatomy of the hip joint. The hip joint functions as a ball and socket. In dogs with hip dysplasia, the ball and socket do not fit or develop properly, and they rub and grind instead of sliding smoothly. This results in deterioration over time and an eventual loss of function of the joint itself.
Labradoodles, just like any other purebred or mix breed, can suffer with food intolerances. Remember, every Labradoodle is likely to differ a little. If you suspect your Labradoodle could have a sensitivity to a certain type of food, we recommend taking a dog allergy test.
Semmy’s mom Sonja highlighted this potential issue.
We have also noticed that Labradoodles with a lighter coloured coat are more vulnerable and can become allergic to certain types of foods.
Anything Else To Consider?
As we mentioned above, Labradoodles can inherit traits from their Labrador and Poodle parent. There’s no guarantee that a Labradoodle will inherit certain desired traits from their Poodle parent.
We recommend that you do lots of research on the breed, speaking to current Labradoodle owners, getting in contact with a number of different breeders with your questions as well as reaching out to other people who have purchased a Labradoodle pup from the breeder.
Just remember that no dog is hypoallergenic in spite of claims made by breeders.
We’ve reached the end of our article on Labradoodle pros and cons.
Just like any other type of dog, this popular mix can come with their perks and their challenges.
Labradoodles will usually be low-shedding dogs that can excel in a family setting.
These hypoallergenic dogs can have high energy levels so you should be prepared to exercise your Labradoodle regularly.