Also Known As:
The First Designer Crossbreed, The Hypo-Allergenic Guide Dog
Area of Origin:
Intelligent, Friendly, Smart, Sociable
Poodle, Labrador Retriever
Best Breeds For:
First-time dog owners
They’re easy to train. They’ve got that winning combination of being both smart and eager to please.
They do best in a house, but can adjust to city life with enough exercise and stimulation. They’re energetic dogs who need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
An Australian man named Wally Conron bred the first Labradoodles. His goal was to breed a hypoallergenic guide dog for a blind woman in Hawaii whose husband was allergic to dogs. Wally first thought he might be able to train a Poodle as a guide dog, since a Poodle’s curly coat keeps hair and dander trapped so they don’t aggravate allergies. He found that his Poodles weren’t the easiest to train as guide dogs. so he intentionally crossbred his best Standard Poodle with his best Labrador Retriever.
When he couldn’t get a family to foster and train the blended litter, he did a little marketing work—he stopped calling them crossbreds and started hailing the breed as a new, allergy-free guide dog. There was instant interest in the “new breed” of dog, the Labradoodle.
Good To Know
The size of the Labradoodle largely depends on the size of the Poodle used to breed it—Standard, Medium, or Miniature.
Health & Care
Height: 21–24 inches at the shoulder (Standard), 17–29 inches (Medium), 14–16 inches (Miniature)
Weight: 50–60 pounds (Standard), 30–45 pounds (Medium), 15–25 pounds (Miniature)
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Prone to: Hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, diabetes, eye diseases, and epilepsy. Because they have large floppy ears they’re also prone to ear infections—keep their ears dry to help with this.
Grooming: Labradoodles can inherit a flat coat from their Lab side, a curly coat from their Poodle side, or a wavy combination of the two. All doodles require regular grooming and coat maintenance for health. A professional groomer can help shape or thin a doodle’s coat to keep her spic and span.
The result of an intentional cross between a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever, Labradoodles got their start (and super cute name) in the 1980s. Since they’re 80s babies, they’re a breed that’s still forming and doesn’t yet have a consistent temperament or look. Some Doodles are a lot like Poodles—they’re smart, reserved, and quiet with a fine hypoallergenic coat that can take a lot of work. Some are more like Labs—they’re rowdy kids-at-heart with coats that shed.
All Labradoodles do share a common love for their families and the great work ethic that’s second nature to both Labrador Retrievers and Poodles.
Featured image: Good Day Doodles