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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021

labradoodle_Josh Borup_Pixabay

The Labradoodle is a mixed breed that has been achieved by breeding together the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle. There technically three types of Labradoodles out there! The Australian Labradoodle, the Multi Generation Labradoodles and American Labradoodles. The Australians are working on creating a purebred dog, the American is a basic cross of the two purebreds mentioned above and the Multi generation has several generations of Labradoodles along with other breeds. The Labradoodle is a medium to large breed who is multi-talented in areas such as search and rescue, jogging, agility, obedience, tracking, retrieving, hunting and guarding. He has a life span of 12 to 14 years and is a very intelligent, trainable, spirited and loving dog.

Here is the Labradoodle at a Glance
Average height 21 to 24 inches (for standard size)
Average weight 45 to 75 pounds (for standard size)
Coat type Wool, fleece, hair
Hypoallergenic? Can be
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Low to average
Brushing Once or twice a week
Touchiness Can be sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderately
Barking Rare to occasional
Tolerance to Heat Very good
Tolerance to Cold Excellent
Good Family Pet? Excellent
Good with Children? Very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Excellent
Good with other Pets? Very good
A roamer or Wanderer? Average
A Good Apartment Dweller? Moderate
Good Pet for new Owner? Good to very good
Trainability Fairly easy
Exercise Needs Very high
Tendency to get Fat Average
Major Health Concerns Diabetes, epilepsy, eye problems, hypothyroidism
Other Health Concerns Ear infection, joint dysplasia, allergies
Life Span 12 to 14 years
Average new Puppy Price $900 to $2700
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 to $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $800 to $900

Where does the Labradoodle come from?

The Labradoodle is not quite like other mixed breeds or designer dogs. The term crops up in 1955 but it was not until 1988 that it became commonly used. Unlike other designer dogs the Labradoodle has an origin story and we know its purpose, when it was bred and who did it. In Australia a breeder called Wally Conron crossed the Standard Poodle with the Labrador Retriever and started the cross breed in the 1970s. He did so to create a guide dog who would be intelligent, gentle, trainable, low shedding and friendly. Conron was at Guide Dogs Victoria at the time and while they now no longer breed Labradoodles other assistance and guide dog associations breed them.

Today the Labradoodle is not just a widely used assistance and guide dog, he is a popular family companions and due to his talents is used in a variety of other areas too. Today Conron has some regrets about the crossbreed more due to the trend it seemed to start for any cross breeding to get fashionable dogs rather ones with purpose that were healthy. Even with Labradoodles because of the different types, you can get different dogs with different traits and looks. In Australia there are two facilities working towards the purebred and they export dogs across the world. In America there are breeders that just breed the two pure breeds the Poodle and the Lab.


The Labradoodle is a gentle, intelligent, energetic and outgoing dog. He is very friendly, he can be goofy and he is very easy going. He has a sweet disposition and the energy from the Lab with the goofy smarts of the Poodle. He is eager to please and easy to train and gets on with everyone. He is a great working dog, assistance dog or family dog.

What does a Labradoodle look like

There are three types of Labradoodles you can get in terms of size and then again three types of coats you can get. The different sizes are the Standard Labradoodle, the Medium Labradoodle and the Miniature Labradoodle. The Standard is the one covered here, 21 to 24 inches tall and 45 to 75 pounds in weight. The Medium Labradoodle stands 17 to 20 inches tall and weighs 30 to 44 pounds. The Miniature Labradoodle stands 14 to 16 inches tall and weighs 15 to 25 pounds.

The three categories of coats are fleece, wool and hair. Wool coats have curls that are tight looking like a Poodle’s coat but feeling softer. The fleece coats are wavy or kinky, flowing and soft. The hair coats can be straight, wavy or curly but have a feel that is more like a Lab’s coat than the Poodle’s. It is when the coat is more like the Poodle’s that you are more likely to get a dog better for someone with allergies. Colors common to this dog are chocolate, red, white, apricot, silver, gold, cream, black and gold.

Labradoodles have a round head that is medium sized and has eyes that are almond shaped. The muzzle is medium in size too and some have pointed ears and some have folded. He has a long tail that points up at the tip. Some Labradoodles look more like a Lab and some look more like a Poodle, this is something that cannot be fully controlled.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Labradoodle need to be?

The Labradoodle is high energy and very active. He loves to swim which he gets from the Lab and he needs owners who are very active and happy to be out with him. Under exercised dogs can express their boredom with poor behavior such as chewing and scratching. Some games of fetch, trips to the dog park, long walks, hikes, jogging, cycling are all other options to give him the physical workout he needs. Do not forget he also needs mental workouts too. He will need to be out for at least 30 to 60 minutes of hard exercise a day. He is prone to obesity so this exercise is an important part of controlling that. Because of his energy levels he is not best suited to small apartments and access to a yard could be a good part of letting him have some outdoor time when it is not yet time for play or walk.

Does he train quickly?

One of the great things about this mixed breed is how smart he is, eager to please and easy to train. He listens to commands, needs less repetition and so training not only goes well but also goes quickly. Because of his energy levels early socialization and training are important to help keep him calmer and well rounded. He also has a tendency to throw himself at strange dogs who may not appreciate this and it can get him into trouble. Make sure you use firm, consistent but positive training methods.

Living with a Labradoodle

How much grooming is needed?

The favored coat by many is the fleece option as it is usually allergy friendly, is low to non shedding but is also easy to maintain. The hair version does not tend to be allergy friendly and can be anything from low to high shedding. The wool is allergy friendly but may need professional upkeep at a groomers every now and then. Therefore how much brushing you do really depends on the coat type and shedding level of your Labradoodle, expect a minimum of twice a week or more. You can use a dry shampoo on him to clean him and then give a bath just when he really needs it. Make sure you check his ears weekly, and wipe them clean. Also check them after bathing or swimming and dry them carefully to prevent ear infections.

Other grooming needs include brushing his teeth at least two to three times a week using a dog toothpaste and brush. His nails will also need trimming if they get too long. Take care with the latter requirement as there are blood vessels in the nails and if yo cut too far down you can cause pain and bleeding. For this reason some dog owners choose to leave this to a professional groomer. If you want to take care of it yourself ask your groomer or vet to show you how.

What is he like with children and other animals?

This is a very gentle, friendly and affectionate dog who gets on well with everyone which is why he is so well suited to his work as a therapy and assistance dog. He is great with children even young ones as well as seniors who are more fragile and is quite intuitive of when it is time to be gentle and when it is okay to play. Outisde they know is time to let off their energy but inside they are a lot calmer and laid back. He gets on well too with other pets and dogs.

General information

He is a good watchdog and will alert you to an intruder. He will need 2 1/2 to 3 cups of high quality dry dog food each day, split into at least two meals. He can adapt to most weather conditions even extreme ones. His barking is rare to occasional.

Health Concerns

There are health issues a Labradoodle can suffer from that they have inherited from their parents. This includes issues such as diabetes, epilepsy, eye problems, hypothyroidism, ear infections, joint dysplasia and allergies. A very important part of buying a mixed breed and ensuring you get a healthy dog from a good breeder is to expect to see health clearances.

Costs involved in owning a Labradoodle

This is a very popular designer dog and you can see that in the prices being asked. Prices for a Labradoodle puppy range currently from $900 to $2700. Some include things in those prices such as blood tests, health clearances, shots, some training started, neutering and chipping already done. Some do not. It is possible you will have to pay an additional $450 to $500 for those things plus a collar and leash and some basic items and a crate. Annual costs for medical concerns such as check ups, flea prevention, pet insurance and shots could fall between $485 to $600. Annual costs for other things like food, treats, toys, training, license, grooming and so on fall between $800 to $900.


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This is a great family dog as well as working dog that is at his best around people. He can be hypo-allergenic so could suit a family if there is someone with allergies. He is laid back inside but is still best in something bigger than a small apartment. He also needs owners committed to getting him enough exercise each day. He will make a great addition to the family.

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Featured Image Credit: Josh Borup, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.