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Labradoodles: Characteristics of the breed and how to live with a Labradoodle
The Labradoodle got its name from a fairly obvious source – it is the result of breeding a Labrador and a Poodle. This makes it one of many ‘new’ cross breeds that have a determined following. They inherit the characteristics of their parent breeds, but not always in a totally predictable way. This article will talk about the key characteristics of the breed, as well as suggesting some helpful tips that you can put into practice if you decide to get one of these dogs. We have also done our best to point out some of the dangers surrounding a ‘hybrid’ dog, and how to avoid these pitfalls.
Physical characteristics of a Labradoodle
The poodle is crossed with several other breeds because of the fur coat that it can pass on to its offspring. The Labrador is known for being an energetic, bouncy and friendly family pet. They are loyal and often gentle when they need to be. They are also pretty large dogs, and this can be passed on to the Labradoodle! It does make a difference what the exact cross breeding was though. The poodle can be standard, miniature or toy sized, and this will dramatically affect the size of the offspring.
They are most likely to be around 2 feet tall at the shoulder, and to weigh between 50 and 65 pounds. They typically live between 12 and 14 years, making them good long-term companions.
Interestingly, the Labradoodle was originally bred to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. This is because the coat, though long and curly, is typically low shedding. However, if you are allergic to dogs you will probably still be allergic to a Labradoodle, or any other Poodle mix. This is because most people aren’t allergic to the coast as much as they are allergic to the dander (the little bits of skin that come off the dog with shed hair). Less shedding will mean less dander to react to, but the Labradoodle actually shows a variety of coat types. If this is your priority, a breeder can help you select a puppy that is less likely to shed.
The coat is actually one of the least consistent aspects of the cross-breeding process. It can be fine and prone to matting like a Poodle, it can be high or low shedding, and so on. There are risks and there are rewards when cross-breeding!
Efforts have begun to curb this disturbing trend; several organizations now offer breeder referrals and are striving to promote multigenerational breeding. Just be aware that if you’re going to pay the high purchase price of a Labradoodle (which is typically more than you’d pay for either a Poodle or a Lab), you want to do some research to get the best-bred dog possible.

Personality of a Labradoodle
Labradoodles are happiest being with the people they love. They will show a huge amount of affection and devotion to their family. They can have all the energy of a Labrador Retriever, and then combine this with the strong work ethic of the Poodle. They are gaining in popularity thanks to the great personalities that this mix creates.
Labradoodles do have massive energy and enthusiasm, so they will charge headlong into most situations like a bull in a china shop. It takes good training to turn them into busy but well-mannered companions. They are generally quite easy to train though, because they are smart and eager to please.
Labradoodles will be happy with other dogs and children in your household. They might not be that happy with a Labradoodle though, because they are highly exuberant. You need to be sure that your children can handle it, and that your new dog won’t injure anyone by being highly boisterous.
This breed of dog can be calm and quiet when exercised properly. They will curl up at your feet to rest. However, it will be a rare occasion that they are not ready to jump up and play a game if you want to! They don’t make great guard dogs; it’s true that they will bark at an intruder, but they will probably play with them rather than offer any serious threat.
It is worth noting that the biggest problem with Labradoodles right now is a lack of consistency. They have not been bred for long enough or carefully enough for big variations to be ironed out.
When you select a purebred, it is almost certain that some characteristics will shine through. Border Collies will always want to herd something, for example. Unfortunately, you can’t get the same guarantees with a Labradoodle. This is the case even when they have been bred through a few generations.
What this means in practice is that you could get a wide range of characteristics coming through from the parent breed. You might get a Labradoodle that is like a Poodle – intelligent, cautious and quiet. It might also have the typical fine Poodle coat! You might, on the other hand, get a rowdy dog that takes a long time to mature, just like a Labrador. They might also have a coat that sheds everywhere!
How to live with a Labradoodle
You really have to put in the effort to make the right choice from the start. Because hybrids are popular, they have been bred irresponsibly in many cases. You need to put in the work to find a responsible breeder who won’t sell you a sickly dog with a questionable temperament. It is far more complicated than simply crossing the right breeds together, but people who want to make money creating ‘designer dogs’ are unlikely to know or care about this.
To give your chosen dog the best chance to grow up right, you need to train them from the start. As the different elements of their personality emerge, you can find techniques to compensate. What we know for sure is that the dog you get will be loving and energetic. Make sure you have the time, the space and the energy to make the most of this!

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