A labradoodle is a cross breed between a labrador retriever and a poodle. Miniature labradoodles are a cross between a lab and a toy poodle, and will be 14 to 16 inches tall and weigh 15 to 25 pounds. The medium labradoodle will be 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh between 30 and 45 pounds. On the larger side, a standard labradoodle will be 22 to 24 inches tall and weigh up to 50 to 65 pounds. The size difference comes from the size of their parents and can vary within each litter.
They come in a variety of colors and are an overall beautiful dog. The average life expectancy for a labradoodle is anywhere from 12 to 14 years.
The term labradoodle first appeared by Donald Campbell in 1955, but did not gain in popularity until the Australian breeder Wally Conran started breeding them as a guide and service dog. They are now widely used as service dogs, as they have the confidence of a poodle and affection of a lab. They can work with a variety of needs, from PTSD to blood sugar alerts and everything in between. They originate in Australia, but have since become one of the most popular mixes out there.
Labradoodles are happy and easy to train, making them great family pets. They are often described as social, sweet, devoted, and playful. They are easy going and not aggressive, so they won’t make the best watchdog or protector. Due to their gentle nature, they are great as therapy dogs for people with autism, depression, or other physical disabilities.
Labradoodles typically do not do well in apartments. As a high-energy crossbreed, they need a lot of space to run around, so you’ll want to have a big backyard or live close to a park to run them around. They do well with cats and other dogs, but socialization from a young age is important to their temperament to other animals.
Labradoodles will get along well with children of all ages, making them terrific for any family.
Labradoodles typically don’t shed much and are fairly hypoallergenic with a tightly-curled coat. You’ll want to set a strict grooming schedule to stay ahead of any mats and tangles in their fur. They will need to be brushed 2 - 3 times a week with a slicker brush, with special attention paid to the undercoat, which can often mat without your knowledge. You’ll also want to clip their nails and clean their ears once a week to prevent infection.
Labradoodles are a very high-energy breed, so they will need lots of exercise. They love to swim and will need at least an hour of exercise daily. Too much exercise for a labradoodle puppy can lead to joint and bone issues, so take it easy for the first few months.
Labradoodles are very agile, so incorporate hurdles, weaving, and tunnels into playtime to keep their brains active. They are also very obedient and relatively easy to train as they want to please you.
Adult labradoodles need food with at least 18% protein, and labradoodle puppies need at least 22%. You’ll want to get food with whole grains, fatty acids, and fiber. They can have sensitive stomachs, so you’ll want to switch to any new foods gradually. We love the Blue Buffalo dry dog food for adults.
The three main types of allergies for labradoodles come from fleas, foods, and the environment. They could be allergic to grains, specifically wheat, so you might want to opt for a grain-free diet. Other allergens can be from soy, corn, and rice. Pay attention to how your labradoodle reacts to their food and consult with your vet if you have any issues.
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