As you might guess from the name, Labradoodles are crossbreeds – the dog you get when you cross a Labrador with a Poodle, or two Labradoodles, or one Labradoodle and a Labrador or a Poodle. They are intelligent, easily trained dogs that can be used as gundogs or assistance animals or family pets.
Labradoodles come in three sizes, depending on the size of its Poodle parentage – miniature, standard and medium. A miniature Labradoodle is about 14-16 inches in height and weighs from 15-25 pounds. A standard animal is 22 to 24 inches in height, with a weight of between 50 and 65 pounds. The medium Labradoodle is 18 to 20 inches high (females are 17 to 19), and the weight 30 to 45 pounds.
They have super-soft, ringlet coats which do not shed much hair and their eyes are covered in soft curls, which makes them very appealing to look at.
Labradoodles are outgoing, loyal, friendly and eager to please, making them an excellent choice for a family pet. They don’t make good guard dogs or watchdogs, thanks to the friendliness. Many people describe them as exuberant and enthusiastic. Training can stop them being too exuberant in the wrong situation, however.
A Labradoodle needs about 30-60 minutes of exercise a day, perhaps even more if the dog is first generation. They like being jogging companions, but they do need time off the leash to run off some of that joyful exuberance. They do need training, though this is easy to do and make sure there is plenty for the dog to do, as they can get destructive when they are bored.
As crossbreeds, Labradoodles are generally healthy. But some issues can occur. They have floppy ears so ear infections can be a problem. Hip dysplasia occurs when the thighbone doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint, and it can result in pain and lameness in one or both of the back legs. Elbow dysplasia is another problem and also a degenerative disease. Labradoodles can also suffer from contact or food allergies.