The Labradoodle is a “designer dog,” a hybrid dog breed resulting from breeding a Poodle with a Labrador Retriever. Like all other designer “breeds,” the Labradoodle is not truly a breed of its own, but is a crossbreed. Like other ‘designer breeds’, the Labradoodle has seen a recent surge in popularity. As a crossbreed, the Labradoodle is not eligible for registration with purebred registries such as the American Kennel Club, but it can be registered with the Continental Kennel Club. The Labradoodle is not considered a purebred because it doesn’t ‘breed true’, meaning that it doesn’t display a consistent set of characteristics. Bred to be a hypoallergenic service dog, the Labradoodle went on to prove that she could also be a versatile family and therapy dog as well. A Labradoodle is happiest when she’s with the people she loves, and she’ll shower her family with affection and devotion. With the energy of the Labrador Retriever and the work ethic of both the Lab and the Poodle, she’s a joy. Thanks to the efforts of a handful of people, the Labradoodle may soon end up as one of the most popular breeds around.
First generation Labradoodles are referred to as “F1.” These are the product of a pure Labrador Retriever bred with a pure Poodle, making the resulting Doodle 50% Poodle and 50% Labrador Retriever. F1 Doodles have the great labradoodle intelligence with higher “lab like” energy and drive. They also have all of the traits that make Labradoodles such desirable dogs, including intelligence, a loving demeanor, and hypoallergenic qualities. However, it is important to note that most F1 Labradoodles shed lightly to moderately. F1 doodles tend to have wispy coats long 5″ or short 2″ in length, wiry or harsher fleece in texture, while basically straight in wave. As first generation hybrids, these dogs have the added health benefits associated to Hybrid Vigour. This is a phenomenon in animal breeding referring to the fact that the first cross between two unrelated purebred lines is healthier and grows better than either parent line.
When a F1 Doodle is cross-bred with a Poodle, the term “F1B” is used to describe their resulting offspring. A F1B Labradoodle is 25% Labrador Retriever and 75% Poodle. This generation has become the most popular generational breed largely because F1B Labradoodles are non-shedders 90% of the time. This makes them the most hypoallergenic of all the Doodle generational breeds. Even though F1B doodles are technically 75% poodle, they still exhibit the same favorable personality traits and behaviors as F1 Doodles (with the exception of shedding). F1B Doodles tend to have more variety and the coat texture ranges from fleece to wool and the wave ranges from straight to wavy..
Second generation Labradoodles are referred to as “F2”. These are the product of two F1 Doodle parents. They are about 75%-85% poodle 15%-25% lab, may be true to the labradoodle standard in physical appearance and are consistently non-shedding. The coat texture ranges from fleece to wool and the wave ranges from wavy to curly.
Technically a multigeneration Labradoodle should be the result of generations of Labradoodle to Labradoodle breeding, but in practice backcrosses and poodles are also used in the early generations.When multigeneration Labradoodles were first introduced to North American breeders, they were given a Lab-Poodle breeding program as the breeding model for Labradoodles, which suggesteded that Poodles could be reintroduced into the early generations.This breeding program allowed breeding to poodles for the first four generations – which is why in some older lines of multigen dogs, ‘there is a lot of poodle in the doodle’. Poodles are less expensive, they make shedding lines more nonshed, and they allow the introduction of some popular new colours such as red and parti. Good breeders are selective about adding only a modest amount of poodle in the early generations.
In 2004, the name Australian Labradoodle was used to describe the lines of multigeneration Labradoodles with long pedigrees, some dating back to the two kennels in Australia who started breeding them in the early 1990’s. It was later announced was that there were in fact six breeds used in the breeding program; Poodle, Labrador Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Curly Coat Retriever, American Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel.The Curly Coated Retriever experiment was a failure and those lines were abandoned. Only two Irish Water Spaniels were used, and only one time each. This left the main contributors as : Labrador, Poodle and American & English Cocker Spaniels. Multigeneration Labradoodles from Australia started to take off in North America in the late 1990’s. Now there are a large number of breeders in North America and in Australia who own breeding dogs from these lines. Their coat texture is either silky fleece (preferred) or soft spiraling wool and sometimes you can get variations on the wave from straight to curly. The goal is to achieve the true Australian Labradoodle look, temperament, coat and conformation. True to the Australian Labradoodle standard in physical appearance, and pedigree, consistently non-shedding fleece sheepdog like coat, dander free. Great Australian Labradoodle temperament, intelligence, and laid back nature.
The Labradoodle has an average shoulder height of 13-26 in (33-66 cm) and weighs 22-88 lbs (10-40 kg). Labradoodles resulting from crosses with Toy Poodles are smaller than those resulting from crosses with Miniature or Standard Poodles. As a crossbreed, the Labradoodle may have a wide variety of features, but typical features are those listed in the Australian Labradoodle standard: a broad head with medium stop (depression where the muzzle meets the forehead), wide set eyes, flat ears level with the eyes, scissors bit, large nose, low set tail, and body slightly longer than tall.
Due to the Poodle influence, the Labradoodle may have a wide variety of coats. The Labradoodle coat may be wiry or soft, straight or curly, or anywhere in between. There are a wide variety of possible Labradoodle colors, including white, cream, red, brown, black, and gold. First generation crosses shed lightly with a wispy hair coat, Second generation Labradoodles of primarily Poodle mixture are nonshedding with a fleece textured coat or hair coat, and higher generation Labradoodles are nonshedding with a fleece textured coat. The Australian variety is non-shedding with a fleece or wool textured coat.
The Labradoodle is friendly, family oriented, and lively. It is very clever, perky, and funny. Labradoodles love their family and are highly loyal. The Labradoodle will try to get away with mischief if its owner doesn’t keep it in line.
Labradoodles are friendly with dogs, other pets and children. They are affectionate with strangers and do not make good watchdogs.
The Labradoodle requires monthly brushing to keep the coat free of tangles, more often for curly coats. The Labradoodle has a lifespan of 13-15 years. It is susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia (malformed joints which can cause lameness or arthritis) and PRA, a retinal disorder, but as a mixed breed it is somewhat less likely to suffer health problems than purebreds (known as ‘hybrid vigor’).
The Labradoodle is intelligent and eager to please, making it straightforward to train. Labradoodles are able to learn a wide variety of unusual tricks. Labradoodles may attempt to outsmart their owners when they see an opportunity.
Labradoodles require a moderate amount of exercise such as a daily walk or playtime in a fenced-in yard. Most are fond of swimming, like their parent breeds. The Labradoodle is well suited to apartment life.