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First cross Labradoodles are a mixed breed dog, half Labrador Retriever and half Standard Poodle. They have now evolved to at least 3 distinct generations.The F1b ; or backcross and the Multi-Generation along with the First cross.While Labradoodles aren't yet an officially recognized breed by the American Kennel Club, that hasn't stopped thousands of people clamoring to get their hands on one of these designer "doodle" dogs. Current high demand has contributed to astronomical prices for Labradoodle puppies, sometimes in excess of $2,000.
Short History of the Breed
Mixed breed dogs have been around longer than pure breeds in the wild and account for the diversity of the breeds. It hasn't been until the 20th century, however, that pure breeds have been intentionally researched and bred to create dogs that would mix the best of two breeds to address particular needs or wants.
In the 1970s, the Australian Guide Dog Association sponsored research for breeding a low-allergy guide dog, and the Labradoodle was bred from the Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle. Many Labradoodles have been imported from Australia since then, and there are now breeders in the U.S. that specialize in Labradoodle breeding.
Physical Description & Size
The Labradoodle is a compact, athletic, and graceful dog. There are generally three sizes of Labradoodle:
- Standard: 22 to 26 inches, 45 to 60 pounds (female) and 55 to 75 pounds (male)
- Medium: 18 to 21 inches, 30 to 60 pounds
- Miniature: 14 to 17 inches, 26 to 55 pounds
Labradoodle coats come in several colors, including off-white, gold, apricot, red, chocolate, silver, and black. Ideally, the coat should be a solid color, should be non-shedding, and as allergy friendly as possible. There are three coat types:
- Wool – does not shed, usually the most allergy friendly coat, looks and feels like a pure bred Poodle with tight curls
- Fleece – minimal shedding, also allergy friendly, feels soft and fleecy, with loose curls
- Hair – not considered ideal because of light shedding, less allergy friendly, coarse texture, can be curly, short, or long
Labradoodles are soft mouthed retrievers that love the water and usually have agreeable temperaments. They are generally described as happy, loyal, affectionate, friendly, playful, confident, non-aggressive, intuitive, and clever.
Since they are very easy to train, they are well-suited as service dogs, such as a hearing, guide, or seizure alert dogs. These positive traits contribute to the growing popularity of Labradoodles as pets and companions, particularly for those who suffer from allergies.
Needs (exercise, grooming, living conditions, diet)
Labradoodles are intelligent and intuitive dogs who need proper exercise and play time to prevent boredom. They are sociable dogs that enjoy the company of people, and do well in environments where they are not solitary for long periods of time. They also live well with kids and other animals.
Labradoodles benefit from a standard high-quality diet, exercise, and veterinary care. Grooming needs vary by coat type, but most Labradoodles do not have a typical dog odor, which can allow for less frequent grooming if necessary. They do require that their hair is plucked from their ears to prevent yeast infection. It is also important to keep the hair around their paws trimmed regularly, as they can easily get burrs in their paws that can get embedded and sore.
Most groomers do not yet understand how to best trim a Labradoodle's hair, so expect to have your pet to change appearances with each visit; some groomers will trim the hair like a poodle, some like a terrier, and some like a schnauzer.
Health Issues, Life Expectancy
Since Labradoodles are a fairly new breed, only time will tell what long-term health issues the breed will exhibit.
Many argue that since Labradoodles mix the best of both the Labrador Retriever and the Standard Poodle breeds, health issues associated with these breeds have been minimized. It's nevertheless important to have breeding dogs tested for inherited diseases common to both Poodles and Labradors, including Hip Dysplasia and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and eye disorder).
Generally, smaller dogs have longer life expectancy than larger dogs, which has also been true for Labradoodles.
Labradoodles tend to live 12 to 15 years with good care.
Despite their current popularity, Labradoodles are not a recognized breed by the AKC, and the national Labrador and Poodle clubs advise against crossbreeding in order to protect the purity of each pure breed. In fact, many pure breed clubs view designer mixed breeds purely as expensive mutts that most benefit puppy mills and pet stores. Whether this is true or not, it appears as if Labradoodles are here to stay and many Labradoodle advocates are lobbying for AKC recognition as a new breed.
- LabradoodlesLabradoodle -Information Online& Community for Poodle Hybrid & Designer- Dogs DesignerMixes.org
- http://goldendoodles.com/ - All you ever needed to know about Labradoodles and Goldendoodles
- http://disc.yourwebapps.com/Indices/141437.html - An owners forum to discuss these wonderful dogs
- Labradoodle Online Community - DogBreed.org
Links to wikiFido's Coolest Labradoodles:
Harley the Labradoodle
Apricot "Doodle" Litter