The popularity comes down to one thing: Labradoodle temperament. Labradoodles are known for being happy-go-lucky dogs who are devoted to their families.
This hybrid dog is a cross between a Labrador and a Poodle and there are three distinct sizes: Miniature which weighs in at between 15 and 30 pounds, a medium at 30-45 pounds and the standard size weighing between 45 and 100 plus pounds.
If you are looking for an all-around great dog with few behavioral and health issues, the Labradoodle should be high on your short list.
This poodle mix began in Australia in 1989 as part of the Royal Guide Dogs of Australia. The Labradoodle temperament of full out joy made her not well-suited for a guide dog duty.
Personality and Training
While your Labradoodle’s temperament depends largely on the temperaments of her parents, these crossbred dogs are typically happy and ready to learn.
Labradoodle training is easy because they are so engaged with their humans and want to please. Use a clicker and some tasty treats to move your puppy in the right direction.
Start puppy class as soon as you get home from picking her up. It’s never too early to start good Labradoodle habits. If she jumps up on you … and most puppies do … turn away from her and wait for the behavior to stop. When that happens, click and treat.
As a guard dog, the Labradoodle temperament is more likely suited to invite a robber in and play fetch with a toy instead of guard your valuables.
She is great with kids of all ages but supervise with small children because she can knock a toddler over with her enthusiasm.
Getting your puppy from a respected and responsible breeder will help ensure you have a healthy dog. When you go to pick out a dog, tell the breeder what you’re looking for and your lifestyle. That will help him match you to the best pup in the Labradoodle litter.
And this is critical: Make sure the breeder provides all of the appropriate health certificates. If he puts you off or suggests his lines are nothing but healthy, walk away.
Also, take a good look at the pup’s parents. If either of them shy away or growl – not the typical Labradoodle temperament – don’t buy a puppy from that breeder.
Your Labradoodle is prone to any health condition the parents have but the intent behind crossbred dogs is a build-up of immunity to certain diseases.
These dogs are not on the low maintenance spectrum of grooming and need to be brushed every other day to prevent matting. Professional grooming is a good idea every 2-3 months to remove undercoat.
Caring for a Labradoodle is common sense. Trim her nails each week and clean her ears because she is prone to ear infections as a result of floppy ears. Because the Labradoodle temperament is so laid back, you won’t have any trouble with these tasks.
Typically hypoallergenic, non-shedding dogs thanks to the Poodle’s traits, there are still some discrepancies when to comes to coat length and makeup. Sometimes a Labradoodle has curls and sometimes they look like a shaggy Labrador.
These dogs are play junkies. Throw a tennis ball, a stick or a Frisbee and they will happily go on for hours. Because of this intense love of playing, the Labradoodle temperament is well-suited to fly ball and agility training and competition.
Giving him at least half an hour of good romping will tire him out. And a tired dog is a good dog.
Best Place to Live
Because of her need for a good bit of activity, small apartments are not ideal for your Labradoodle. That said, if you have a dog park nearby where she can blow off some steam, she will adapt to urban living.
A nice big yard in the country or a beach to play on is Labradoodle heaven. And these pups love toys. The more the better.
Labradoodles do better when given two meals per day instead of being allowed to free feed because of their tendency to gain weight. An overweight dog could suffer from both hip and elbow dysplasia.
Something to be aware of that’s a trait on the Labrador side is something called gastric torsion or bloat and can happen when you feed your Labradoodle one large bowl of food rather than two smaller meals during the day.
Ready to Make the Leap for Your Labradoodle?
If you’re looking for that all around great dog who is happiest with her family and playing, the Labradoodle temperament will give you just what you’re looking for.