The Labradoodle is a recent “hybrid” breed that has become a new family favorite dog. With loving personalities and affectionate natures to boot, Labradoodles make the ideal pet for a family with children. Yet this breed is a relatively new addition to the dog world, and few people know much about them. Labradoodle owners know that there is nothing quite like this friendly breed. To own one is to love one, and just like Lays potato chips, it’s pretty hard to stick to just one!
What is a Labradoodle?
As with most dog breeds, the Labradoodle arose out of a desire for a dog to serve an important purpose. With the increase in allergies in many homes, there began to be a need for a dog whose coat would be less prone to dander and shedding, and thus who would not trigger an allergic reaction in his roommates. The Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia undertook the mission to breed a dog that would be suitable for guide dog work but who also would bear a hypoallergenic coat. Their initial vision was to breed a Labrador Retriever, known for their geniality and trainability, to a Standard Poodle, a breed renowned for its lightly shedding coat and intelligence. The results were less than consistent as genetics often do not favor the most desirable traits of the selected dogs for any one given puppy. However, over generations, breeders have refined this hybrid to produce a dog that is intelligent, loving, loyal, and fun. Today, Labradoodles are the most popular hybrid breed selected as a family companion dog. However, they do possess the drive and intellect to compete in performance sports as well.
Facts About the Labradoodle
Since the Labradoodle is a new dog on the scene, little is known about this jovial fellow. Here is a list of interesting facts about the Labradoodle:
Available in several sizes
A little known fact is that the Labradoodle comes in several different sizes to suit the needs of each family. Though the Labrador Retriever is only bred to reach its breed standard, Poodles come in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. Consequently, depending on which size Poodle is bred to the Labrador Retriever, the resulting Labradoodle puppies will be a mixture of the sizes of the two selected parents. Labradoodles are available in three sizes: Standard, Medium, and Miniature.
Over the years, as the gene pool has widened and multiple generations of the breed have come to pass, Labradoodle breeders no longer have to resort to the original root stock cross of breeding a Labrador to a Poodle and can instead simply breed together two Labradoodles. To ensure relative uniformity in size, a conscientious breeder would only breed a Miniature to a Miniature, a Medium to a Medium, and a Standard to a Standard.
Variety of coat colors and textures
Just as there are size variants with the Labradoodle, coat types and colors will vary from breeding to breeding and can even vary within the same litter. The most common colors for Labradoodles are cream, chocolate, apricot, red, black, and silver. The coat texture may be wavy, silky, curly, or wiry with a wavy coat being the preference among most owners.
It’s coat is high maintenance
Though prized for its low-shedding qualities, the Labradoodle’s coat is far from low maintenance. As with other coated breeds, regular brushing is required to keep the coat from matting. Since the Labradoodle’s coat can be prone to trapping odors causing the dog to stink, Labradoodles require frequent trips to the groomer for bathing, blow-drying, and regular coat maintenance. This keeps them looking and smelling their best.
It is a highly trainable breed
Both Labrador Retrievers and Poodles are extremely intelligent breeds who love to train. Labradoodles have the energy to go the distance in performance sports and the brains and attention span to eagerly learn new skills.
A very social dog
One of the reasons a Labradoodle is a popular choice for a family pet is because of his intense desire for closeness with his family. A Labradoodle will not thrive in an environment where he needs to spend a lot of time alone. A loyal dog, the Labradoodle loves to meet people and interact with them and makes an excellent and gentle companion for children.
The Labradoodle loves the water
A hybrid comprised of two water breeds, it should come as no surprise that the Labradoodle loves to play in water! They are excellent swimmers, and if given access to a lake or pond, will happily spend the whole day there.
The Labradoodle is not a kennel club recognized breed
Though the Labradoodle is arguably one of the most highly sought after hybrid breeds today, it is not recognized as an official breed by any kennel club at this time.
There is such a thing as Double Doodle
When a Labradoodle is bred to a Goldendoodle, a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, the end result is what is known as a Double Doodle.
If you are looking for a friendly, loyal, affectionate dog, a Labradoodle might just be the dog for you! An excellent companion, you’ll never be lonely with a Labradoodle as part of your family.