Is a Labradoodle the right breed for your family?
Coco was our family’s first Labradoodle. We were amazed at her resilience with our young children. She would happily allow our daughters to dress her up in a ballet tutu and wheel her around in a doll’s pram. She was an active participant in every dance concert and outdoor adventure. For me, she was a study buddy and would lay at my feet, under the kitchen table for hours on end. She loved to swim in dams, chase rabbits and explore the bushland around our property too. Coco was the reason, I began our breeding program. She really was the perfect family pet.
Adapts Well To Apartment Living.
Miniature to small-medium size Labradoodles are best suited to apartment lifestyles. Medium to standard sizes require a bit more room to move around.
Tolerates Being Alone
Labradoodles do not like being alone. They need to feel a part of their family. There is a danger that your Labradoodle may become too dependent on your company if you are always together. Labradoodle owners would benefit from training their puppy to tolerate alone time as a focus from an early age.
Tolerates Cold Weather
When in full coat, the Labradoodle is comfortable in cooler weather. Care does need to be taken to provide a coat or jacket in the cooler weather after being clipped.
Tolerates Hot Weather
Labradoodles feel the heat. Summer is hard on them. This is especially true for the darker colours, such as black and dark chocolate.
Affectionate With Family
Labradoodles score a 5 star rating on the friendliness factor. Of course, individual factors also come into play. Some Labradoodles may be overly exuberant while other Labradoodles are more reserved. Early socialisation and exposure to a variety of different people, and many positive experiences will help to raise a well-grounded and confident dog.
All dogs must be supervised around young children and it is imperative that children are shown how to interact with any animal. That being said, Labradoodles are an intuitive breed and seem to adjust their behaviour around young babies and children. Many Labradoodles become quite maternal and protective around the younger members of their human family.
Labradoodles generally have a gentle disposition and prefer the company of other poodle crosses or smaller dogs. They will generally submit to more aggressive breeds or wrap themselves around your legs for protection. They are a very fun-loving breed and love to play with other dogs in a familiar environment.
Friendly Toward Strangers
Labradoodles do not make great guard dogs! Unless you consider the risk of being licked to death. Some Labradoodles are cautious around strangers. Other Labradoodles are gregarious and care-free and will bound up to anybody without a care in the world.
Health and Grooming Needs
Amount Of Shedding
The amount of shedding will depend on what generation your Labradoodle is, and whether your Labradoodle has a hair, fleece or wool coat. For more information about coat types please refer to the following blog – “Coat Types”
Easy To Groom
No, the Labradoodle is not easy to groom! Be prepared to be on a steep learning journey as you negotiate the wild waves of the adolescent Labradoodle and the matts and knots that are inevitable as your dog matures. For best results, book your Labradoodle with a professional groomer every 6 weeks and brush your dog every second day. Equip yourself with some quality grooming tools such as a slicker brush, grooming scissors and steel comb
Ancestors of the Labradoodle, the Labrador and the Poodle, are prone to hip dysplasia Epilepsy, and a genetically inherited eye disease known as PRA-prcd, where the retina detaches from the eye, causing blindness. Testing is available to breeders to manage the risks of many genetic diseases, including PRA-prcd. Hips and Elbows of the parents can be x-rayed and scored. Breeding from parents with low scores can minimise the risk of hip dysplasia however this is a complex disorder and multiple factors contribute to a diagnosis, including the environment, nutrition, and behaviours that put pressure on the joints.
Cruciate Ligament injuries are relatively common in many breeds of dogs and Labradoodles have a high incidence of suffering from this condition. Another common health problem is a Luxating Patella
Skin Allergies and Ear Infections are also reported to be problematic by many Labradoodle owners.
I am unsure if Labradoodles are more prone to anxiety than other breeds of Dogs however this is certainly a trait that seems to be common in Labradoodles.
Easy To Train
Yes. BUT please don’t get caught up in the cuteness of your puppy and not invest the time to teach your puppy correct behaviours. Labradoodles are smart. Very smart! Without mental stimulation they can easily become bored and will jump, dig, scratch, chew and bark. Labradoodles that have received obedience training are a joy to have around. A poorly trained Labradoodle is a menace!
The origins of the Labradoodle can be traced back to Poodles; Labradors and Cocker Spaniels. These breeds began as hunters and retrievers however over time, were bred primarily to be companion animals. Some Labradoodles retain the drive to chase rabbits or to bring back a ball, as if it were second nature. Mostly however, the Labradoodle is sensitive to the emotions of human companions and are skilled at adapting to the moods of their owners.
This skill makes the Labradoodle a perfect candidate for therapy dog work or as a trained companion dog.
Again, this is an individual trait with a great deal of variation amongst Labradoodles. There are the couch potatoes and the crazy infernos and everything in-between. In general, I would say that Labradoodles have a moderate energy level. One of the many things that I admire about our Labradoodles is their willingness to sit by your side for hours but then be full of energy when you swap work mode for exercise mode or play mode.
Unless your Labradoodle has inherited a lot of the Labrador genes, chances are that your Labradoodle will be a finicky eater. Many of our Labradoodles are grazers and will nibble on food throughout the day. We have never had to worry about overfeeding our dogs but do find they can be quite fussy with the type of foods that they enjoy.
Labradoodles are a fantastic breed but they are not the right dog for everyone.
- If you are looking for an independent dog that will happily entertain themselves, the Labradoodle is NOT the dog for you.
- If you do not have the time to invest in training and spending a lot of quality time with your dog, then the Labradoodle is NOT the dog for you.
- If your budget is limited and you do not have the finances to afford regular grooms, high quality dog food/raw food; or to attend dog obedience classes then the Labradoodle is NOT the dog for you.
Owning a dog is a big decision. Many people believe that owning a Labradoodle is the best decision they have ever made. Some people may not comprehend the high level of commitment (of up to 15 years) entailed in owning a Labradoodle. It is important that potential puppy owners consider rental arrangements; travel and work commitments; the wishes of other members of the family; financial constraints; and the ability to invest time into raising a Labradoodle and caring for both its physical needs and also its sense of wellbeing.