Labradoodles are a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle.
They’re one of the most common Poodle mixes, having first appeared in the late 1980s.
Labradoodles have proven popular given the Labrador’s family-friendly temperament and the intelligence of Poodles.
There’s also the fact that Poodles are hypoallergenic so Labradoodles usually won’t shed.
According to the Australian Labradoodle Association of American, there are around 70,000 in the world.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the Labradoodle in close detail, delving into Labradoodle temperament, Labradoodle appearance, Labradoodle exercise and Labradoodle grooming.
We’ll speak to experienced Labradoodle owners to hear firsthand about this mix breed. With help from Copper and Lily (@copper.and.lily), Oreo (@oreodoodledo), Bram (@abradoodle_bram), Savanna and Mango (@labradoodlemystique) and Semmy (@labradoodlesemmy).
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What is a Labradoodle?
Labradoodles are a medium-sized designer dog that have proven exceptionally popular over the past 30 years. They’re hypoallergenic coats, caring and loving personalties and intelligence level have made them popular family pets.
The Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle. Best known as Labradoodles, you can also refer to these dogs as a Labrador Poodle cross.
Although the Labrador and the Poodle are breeds recognised by the American Kennel Club, this isn’t the case with the Labradoodle. The AKC don’t recognise hybrid dogs. They haven’t been granted recognition by any major kennel club.
What size is your Labradoodle?
The Labradoodle is usually a medium-sized dogs. They usually grow to be between 21 and 24 inches tall, while they can weigh around 45 and 65 pounds. However, each Labradoodle can be different and may not necessarily fall within these parimeters. There are also Mini Labradoodles, which is a cross between a Labrador and a Mini Poodle. Naturally, they’ll be smaller in size.
Alfie gave us an insight into the size of his chocolate merle Mini Labradoodle.
Oreo is a Miniature Labradoodle, but we’re finding that he’s growing super quick and we think he’s going to be quite a big boy. He’s currently just over 6kg at 11 weeks old! The thing with Labradoodles is there’s so many combinations that we can only guess how big they’ll be. Oreo is an F1b Miniature Labradoodle meaning his mum is a Labradoodle and Dad is a Miniature Poodle, but Labradoodles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
How would you describe the appearance of your Labradoodle?
Labradoodles can vary in appearance depending on whether they take after their Labrador or Poodle parent more. Like we said above, they’re usually medium-sized dogs that have a coat that is between four and six inches in length. Usually, Labradoodles have coats that are wooly in texture, similar to their Poodle parent. The possible coat colors for Labradoodles include the common Labrador colors such as cream, yellow, black and chocolate. They can also have a blue, sable, brindle or red coat. Their eyes tend to be brown but you can find some Labradoodles that have hazel-colored eyes. Labradoodles can have a black or brown nose.
Jackie has two Australian Labradoodles called Savanna and Mango. She describes their appearance for the benefits of helloBARK! readers.
Savanna and Mango are multigenerational Australian Labradooles. They are considered true medium size; Mango is 39 lbs and Savanna is 32 lbs. Savanna is apricot (cream) in color with a loose fleece wavy coat. Mango is dark apricot/light red in color with a loose fleece wavy coat. They do not shed.
Sonja gave us a description of her Labradoodle Semmy.
The Labradoodle has a sweet and cute appearance. Semmy sometimes might look a little clumsy but overall, she is a very nice and fluffy dog. Generally, she is very calm and laid back, this has helped when raising her. Raising her was quite easy, we never had any problems with aggression.
How would you describe the temperament of Labradoodle?
These designer dogs have proven so popular part in thanks to their loving, playful and upbeat personalities. There’s no guarantee which traits a Labradoodle will inherit from the Labrador and Poodle parents. Labradoodles have a reputation for being intelligent dogs that are quick learners. They’ve got friendly and sociable personalities, making them an ideal family dog. Labradoodles can be energetic dogs that will relish playtime in the garden or yard, as well as long hikes or walks. They can make great jogging partners. Although they’re usually friendly dogs, it’s recommended that you take your Labradoodle to socialisation and training classes from a young age.
Alfie gave us an insight into Oreo’s personality.
So far Oreo is really happy! He has his moments, like when you try to stop him from doing something he shouldn’t i.e digging the back garden or eating stones, he growls and throws a little tantrum. But with training and a bit of love he’ll grow out of that, he’s just testing his boundaries with us!
Do Labradoodles suffer from separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a chronic canine disorder that can affect any dog, irrespective of their breed or mix. It usually occurs when a dog is left at home alone. The symptoms of separation anxiety include inccessive barking, howling or whining, destructive chewing or digging, and in some extreme cases, defecating or urinating.
Oreo is getting his first taste of being alone as Alfie works on this potential problem to nip early on.
I think like many breeds Labradoodles can suffer from separation anxiety, if it isn’t dealt with properly. We’re easing Oreo into being left alone, starting off with just crating him whilst we’re upstairs getting reading for the day. Then we’ll go out for 15-20 minutes and move the time we leave him up each week. He is however doing fantastic at night time sleeping 10:30-6:30 everyday.
We asked the same question to Simone’s mom about whether Labradoodles can be left alone. Simone explained that this charming Labradoodle prefers to be in the company of mom.
You can leave Labradoodles alone at home but they prefer to be with you. My dog can sometimes open the doors to be with me.
Do Labradoodles make great family pets?
Labradors are the most popular dogs in the USA and it’s partly thanks to their suitability in a family environment. They’re affectionate dogs that are playful and robust. Poodles aren’t too dissimilar in nature but perhaps a little more reserved.
Oreo’s dad Alfie did a lot of research on this topic before eventually settling on his Labradoodle. He explains:
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.
Do Labradoodles do better in pairs?
Some dogs, like Spitz breeds, can sometimes do better in pairs. We asked Jenny whether she’d recommend getting two Labrdoodles given she’s a dog mom to Copper and Lily.
I am not sure if they necessarily do better in pairs as a blanket statement. Copper lived his first year with us as an only child, and he seemed to do very well. Now that we have Lily, he misses her a lot when she’s gone. Lily doesn’t know any different than life with a sibling. She is very attached to Copper. I think most Labradoodles will do great with a sibling, but if you don’t have the time or money for two, it won’t be a problem at all. There’s always playdates with friends!
Do Labradoodles get along with other dogs and pets?
If you already have a dog or another pet in your home and you’re thinking about getting a Labradoodle, you’re probably curious whether these hybrid dogs do well with other pets. All dogs are different and their relationships with other canines, felines and other types of pets can depend on their socialization as puppies.
Jackie provided us an insight into how Mango and Savanna do when it comes to getting along with other dogs.
They are great with other dogs, especially their own kind. Of course, all dogs have likes and dislikes so it’s important to monitor your labradoodle. Labradoodles that are exposed to other types of pets such as cats and even horses early on can become friends too!
Are Labradoodles sociable dogs?
Labradoodles tend to be friendly dogs that like to meet new dogs and new people. This is a trait that is particularly associated with Labradors.
Labradoodles are very social dogs! They like to be near you. They love people and animals! They are also very sensitive.
Are Labradoodles easy to train?
The Labradoodle is a combination of two smart dogs – the Labrador and the Poodle. The Labrador was ranked at number seven in the The Intelligence of Dogs. The author, Stanley Coren, rated the Poodle as the second smartest dog breed in the world behind the Border Collie. Labradors are usually quick learners with an underlying desire to please their dog owners. They’re often used as blind eye dogs, guide dogs, search and rescue dogs and much more. This is in part thanks to their ability to learn. However, as with any dog, it’s a good idea to train a Labradoodle puppy from a young age in order to lay down the ground-rules early on.
Sonja suggested using treats to help train a Labradoodle.
Labradoodles like Labradors are quite easy to train. They love their little snacks so you might see better behaviour when doggy-treats are around!
Are Labradoodles hyper dogs?
Given Labradors and Poodles were both used as retrieving dogs, they’ve got fairy high energy levels. As a result, the Labradoodle can sometimes be branded as a hyper hybrid dog. We asked Simone whether Bram is a hyper pup:
Yes they certainly are! They are real bouncing balls.
How much exercise do Labradoodles need?
So, if you’re thinking of getting a Labradoodle, you’ll now know to expect a high energy dog. This popular cross breed will need regular exercise to satisfy their mental and physical needs. Wag Walking recommend around 60 minutes of exercise a day as well as racking up a distance of 10 miles a week.
Sonja gave us an insight into Semmy’s energy levels.
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!
Are Labradoodles hypoallergenic?
Labradoodles are generally considered a hypoallergenic cross breed thanks to the influence of the Poodle parent’s genes. A hypoallergenic dog is one that is less likely to trigger someone’s allergies than another breed. Although there’s no guarantee a Labradoodle will be hypoallergenic given Labradors aren’t a hypoallergenic breed, they tend to be low-shedding dogs.
This is a point emphasized by Oreo’s dad Alfie.
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.
Do Labradoodles shed?
As we touched upon above, Labradoodles don’t usually shed much if at all. However, there’s no guarantees this will be the case with every member of the cross breed, especially if the Labradoodle in question has a coat that takes after their Labrador parent. Having said that, Labradoodle breeders are generally striving to breed puppies that will have these low-shedding coats.
Sonja provided us with an insight into Labradoodle shedding.
No Labradoodles normally do not shed any fur; they are anti-allergic dogs! In our close-knit friend group we have someone who is allergic to many things, and he is not allergic to Semmy! Some Labradoodles can shed a small amount, this is due to their genetics being more related to the Labrador than to the Poodle.
Do Labradoodles need regular grooming?
While Labradoodles don’t shed a lot (usually), they do require grooming. In fact, most Labradoodle owners will brush their curly-haired pooches on a daily basis. It’s important to brush their coats to remove dirt, debris or dead hair caught in their curls. Labradoodles can have coats that are trimmed to different lengths. Some Labradoodle owners will elect to use a professional groomer to maintain the health, look and quality of their dog’s coat.
Jackie kindly gave us an insight into 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.
Are Labradoodles high maintenance?
Here’s what Angela had to say about this topic.
Yes, 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.
Do Labradoodles have any health problems?
While mixed breeds are generally considered to be healthier dogs than pedigree dogs, it’s not always the case. Any dog can be prone to a health issue. It’s a good idea to do some research about Labradoodles to see what health concerns you could encounter throughout their lives. Some of the health issues include Elbow Dysplasia, Hip Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Labradoodles can also be prone to allergies.
They can inherit health issues that may be prevalent with Poodles or Labrador Retrievers, hip and elbow dysplasia. However, a good breeder will have genetically tested and provide health certification/verification
Are Labradoodles fussy eaters?
Some dogs can be fussy eaters irrespective of breed. While it’s not breed specific, some types of dogs can be picky. For instance, in my experience, Spitz breeds can be fussy when it comes to their food. It can lead to a variety of other problems. I’ve reviewed the best dog food delivery companies in the USA and the best dog food delivery companies in the UK. Alternatively, if you prefer feeding your Labradoodle dry food such as kibble, you can still find some great options here. Other pet parents may prefer to check out the leading options in the raw dog food market.
Alfie recently switched Oreo onto Butternut Box after his Labradoodle became picky with kibble.
I think it depends on the individual dog.. atm Oreo is fussy. We’re transitioning him onto Butternut box at the moment which he seems to like better than kibbles. It’s a lot of trial and error if you have a fussy dog but you will eventually find food and a routine that works.
Are Labradoodles aggressive?
While Labradoodles are generally seen as friendly dogs, one of the search terms that appears on Google a lot is: are Labradoodles aggressive? In a bid to leave no stone unturned in our thirst for knowledge about Labradoodles, I put this question to Bram’s mom Simone. She replied:
Labradoodles are absolutely not aggressive! I think it is the sweetest dog breed.
Are Labradoodles chewers?
Another question that is asked about Labradoodles a lot on Google is whether Labradoodles are chewers. This is a trait that is usually associated with a Labrador more than a Poodle.
Jackie, speaking from her experience with Mango and Savanna, felt that Labradoodles are quite big chewers.
Our Labradoodles like to chew. They are strong chewers. They like to chew on bully sticks, rawhide bones with supervision. We never give our Labradoodles chews without keeping an eye on them. We provide plenty of toys such as kongs so they stay stimulated and don’t chew on things that you wouldn’t want them to, such as table legs, carpets, etc.
As a so-called designer breed, Labradoodles can be quite an expensive breed. You can expect to pay between $500 and $3,000 for a Labradoodle puppy.
Sonja kindly gave us an insight into the average price of a Labradoodle.
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.
Are Labradoodles expensive?
Aside from the initial cost of a Labradoodle, they can also have reoccurring expenses that you need to keep in mind. These can range from pet food, pet insurance, grooming, trips to the vet and much more. Jackie shed light on the cost of grooming your Labradoodle in the relevant section above. You can check out the best pet insurance options in the USA and the UK.
If you’ve got your heart set on a Labradoodle puppy, you should check out a Labradoodle organization to see find a Labradoodle breeder near you that’s signed up to the relevant association’s code of ethics. Some organizations to check out include Australian Labradoodle Association of America and the Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association.
Jackie provided some insight into the importance of researching Labradoodle breeders.
It’s super important that people do their research on ‘breeders”. There is a big difference between a breeding of a poodle/labrador and a multigenerational australian labradoodle. Our dogs come from StorytailsLabradoodles in California. Savanna was a breeder for them (she is a Rivermist/Pinelodge Labradoodle from Oregon) and we adopted her when she went into retirement. Mango was purchased as a puppy. Not to say that there aren’t really nice labradoodles from breeders of poodles/labradors and bred for generations also. The reputable breeders for Australian labradoodles will belong to the AALA and ALCA and will also have generations of health screenings.
Sonja offered some suggestions for questions to ask a breeder.
The questions you should ask the breeder should be regarding the Labradoodle’s fur, how and when should I cut/trim my dog? Questions about health are also important. Dietary needs can differ for every puppy/dog and thus asking questions about what food your breeder advises is important! For Labradoodles sterilization is mandatory (in the Netherlands) so you must sign an agreement stating that you are okay with that. A common health issue that Labradoodle’s have inherited from their Labrador counterpart is hip dysplasia, so you should be aware of this when your Labradoodle gets older!
Would you recommend Labradoodles to first-time owners?
If you’ve never owned a dog before, you’re probably curious to whether Labradoodles would be a good fit for you as a first canine companion. Let’s here from two of our contributors Simone (Bram), Angela (Copper and Lily) and Jackie (Mango and Savanna).
If it’s an owner that is committed to the grooming process and training, then I would definitely recommend for a first time owner. Just as all dogs need training and consistency it’s the same with Labradoodles.
Yes for sure. They must be aware of education, nutrition and care. Most have allergies to food.
As long as they are willing to put in the time to groom them, I think Labradoodles are a great breed no matter the experience in raising a dog.
Labradoodle to follow on Instagram
If you want to learn more about Labradoodles, you can also check out some examples of the breed on Instagram. We recommend the following Labradoodle accounts if you want to learn more about these wonderful designer dogs.
What are the pros and cons of Labradoodles?
We asked Alfie (Oreo), Simone (Bram) and Jackie (Mango and Savanna).
Alfie (Oreo): Pros are they’re really clever and pick things up quickly, they’re cuddly (when they want to be), they have bundles of energy so we’ll be doing nice long walks and they seem to love everyone they meet!
Jackie (Mango and Savanna): Hypoallergenic, non shedding coat. friendly, smart, amazing temperaments and make great therapy and/or service dogs and just great family pets. Our dogs also love to swim and hike.
Simone (Bram): They are your best friend. They feel things more than other dogs: for example with epilepsy. They are big teddy bears and they don’t shed.
Sonja (Semmy): Anti-allergic, sweet character, no shedding, easily compatible with other dogs or kids.
Alfie (Oreo): As for cons I would say they can be quite sassy, and almost talk back to you haha. Probably because they are so clever they know when they’re doing something wrong. But all the cons give them their funny clumsy personalities that make them, them.
Jackie (Mango and Savanna): Possibly the energy levels may be a con for some people, but I don’t see any con to a labradoodle unless the owner is looking for a true purebred dog. Currently multigenerational Australian Labradoodles are not an AKC recognition in America. They can also have ear infections. A lot of this can depend on cleanliness and grooming and even allergies. We always use an ear rinse before grooming and also if they’ve had extended water play time.
Simone (Bram): You need to brush the coat every day. You have to cut their hair very often. Eating is difficult at times.
Sonja (Semmy): Their furry coat can felt if not taken good care of, hip dysplasia. We have also noticed that Labradoodles with a lighter coloured coat are more vulnerable and can become allergic to certain types of foods.
We’ve reached the end of our feature on Labradoodles.
In this article we’ve touched upon Labradoodle appearance, Labradoodle temperament, Labradoodle exercise, Labradoodle grooming and shedding, and much more.
These dogs can make excellent family pets given the right socialization and training.
Labradoodles are an energetic dog breed that can will love to exercise with their dog owners.