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The Labradoodle is a crossbreed of the Labrador retriever and the Standard Miniature Poodle, or Toy poodle. It's probably one of the most beloved crossbreeds in the world because of its gentle disposition, intelligence and cute appearance. It was developed in the late 80s in Australia with the objective of producing a hypoallergenic guide dog. Like most hybrid dogs, Labradoodles come in varying sizes, colours and overall looks.
Are you opening your doors to a Labradoodle anytime soon? Before you decide to take the plunge, read about this intelligent and affectionate crossbreed.
The Labradoodle is believed to have been first bred in Australia in 1988 in the hopes of creating a highly trainable and hypoallergenic guide dog. The first successful cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Standard Poodle was done by Wally Conron at the Royal Guide Dogs Associations of Australia in Victoria. It produced a dog named Sultan, which became a guide dog for a woman in Hawaii for a decade.
Because of its trainability, gentle nature and cute appearance, it quickly became a sought-after breed both as a guide dog and family companion. It is also currently being used as a therapy and assistance dog. Labradoodles are usually produced by crossing a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. However, multigenerational breeding has been done to hopefully produce a workable and recognisable breed. Since it is still considered a hybrid, the Labradoodle is not recognised by The Kennel Club. However, the Labradoodle Club in the UK (UKLA) serves as the regulatory organisation to maintain good breeding practices.
Like most hybrids with parents that differ in size and looks, predicting the overall appearance and adult size of the Labradoodle is quite difficult. In fact, puppies in one litter could look totally different also based on colours and coat quality.
Doodles can be small, medium or large in size, often divided into three sizes:
All three sizes are generally well-balanced dogs with an athletic look. They usually exude a graceful appearance as well thanks to their soft coat, which can either be any of the following textures:
Doodles usually come in black, red, blue, silver, caramel, chalk, chocolate, café, cream, lavender, parchment, apricot/gold, and apricot/cream. How much grooming your dog will require depends on the length and texture of the coat. Labradoodles usually only require brushing one or twice a week. Others will need to be professionally trimmed or clipped especially those with fleece coats. Bathing can be done as needed.
The Labradoodle is not only a popular choice because of its endearing appearance but its friendly and loving natures as well. Like its parent breeds, it makes a delightful companion and family pet with children of all ages, as well as first-time owners. Whether a first or multi-generation Doodle, it is good natured and gentle so it gets on with any type of pets including cats. However, it is necessary to be attentive during child-dog or other pet-dog interactions to avoid accidents especially when playtime becomes too rowdy. It develops a strong connection with its owners but
The Doodle is highly trainable because of its intelligent and people-pleasing characteristics. However, as a high-energy dog, its trainings should include plenty of physically and mentally stimulating activities. It will enjoy walks with its owners but there must be more challenging and fun activities later in the afternoon. It will also enjoy going swimming because it loves the water. In order to be a well-rounded and obedient dog, its energy needs have to be met else it gets destructive or sometimes noisy.
A typical serving for an adult Labradoodle is 1 to 2.5 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day, depending on its age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. Because Doodles significantly vary in size, ask your veterinarian how you should feed your dog.
Typical calorie needs of adult Labradoodles weighing 40 pounds, per day:
Purebred or not, all dogs deserve the best type of food. The most practical option is dry dog food with animal protein as the top ingredient. However, you can always prepare your pet’s food just make sure you pair it with supplements to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Always include Omega fatty acids to keep your Labradoodle’s coat healthy.
Crossbreeds are often said to be healthier and tend to live longer than purebreds and Labradoodles are a great proof for this claim as they can live up to 15 years. However, like most dogs, they can be predisposed to certain health problems such as ear problems, eye issues like Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Cataracts, Hip and Dysplasia, Cruciate ligament injuries, Patellar Luxation, Addison's disease, and Sebaceous Adenitis.
The Labradoodle is a smart, high-energy dog that requires at least 1 hour of daily exercise. This can be in the form of short walks in the morning, games of fetch in the afternoon, as well as free time at a fenced yard. If it is unable to let off steam and release its energy, it will look for other things to do, which can be in destructive means. Also ensure that your yard’s fencing is secured or it will try to escape to be busy elsewhere.
Although it is not a full-fledge pedigree breed, a well-bred Labradoodle puppy costs around £600 to over £900. To ensure it stays healthy at whatever age, be ready to spend £30-£40 a month on high-quality dog food. You also need to factor in the initial cost for dog accessories and equipment such as food bowls, leads, collars, and beds, which will likely be about £200 depending on the brand.
When it comes to healthcare, you need to be prepared in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. You can offset some medical bills if you get a pet insurance, which can range from £22 for a time-limited cover up to £40 for a lifelong insurance cover. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, size and weight, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.
Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £1000 annually. Roughly, you will be setting aside £60-£90 a month for recurring expenses, depending on the type of insurance cover you choose. This estimate is also exclusive of walking or grooming services that you might want to use at times.
Are you sure the Labradoodle is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Would you prefer another crossbreed? Try taking our Pet Finder to determine which one suits you best.
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