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The Miniature Labradoodle is a mixed breed or designer dog, being part Labrador Retriever and part Poodle (Miniature Poodle). It is an attractive, low shedding, sometimes hypo-allergenic friendly dog that makes a great companion and is one the most popular designer breeds out there, making it also one of the most expensive. It is medium-sized, has a life span of 10 to 14 years and was first bred in the early 1990s in the US to be a companion dog. It differs from the Petite Labradoodle because the latter uses Cocker Spaniel in the mix. Here is a brief look at the parents.
The Labrador Retriever
From Canada and bred to be a retriever and aide to fishermen in Newfoundland. Today it is one of the most popular family dogs and is also used successfully as a service dog and working in other areas too because of its loyalty, intelligence and easy going nature.
A German not French breed, first bred to be water retrievers also. However the French too the dog and developed it further including reducing it in size first to the truffle hunting miniature then to the companion toy dog size. It is very intelligent, aloof with others but affectionate and playful with its family.
|The Miniature Labradoodle at a Glance|
|Breed Name||Miniature Labradoodle|
|Other Names||Miniature Lab/Poodle Mix, Mini Labradoodle|
|Mix of||Labrador Retriever and Poodle (Miniature)|
|Life Expectancy||10 to 14 years|
|Height||14 to 17 inches|
|Weight||25 to 45 pounds|
|Coat type||Curly, dense, wiry|
|Temperament||Gentle, friendly, alert, playful, loyal|
|Barking||Rare to occasional|
|Good Family Pet?||Very good to excellent with socialization|
|Good with Children?||Very good to excellent with socialization|
|Good with other Dogs?||Very good but needs socialization|
|Good with other Pets?||Very good with socialization|
|A Good Apartment Dweller?||Good as long as gets enough outside time|
|Good Pet for new Owner?||Very good|
|Tolerance to Heat||Very good – just nothing too extreme|
|Tolerance to Cold||Very good to excellent|
|Tolerant to Solitude?||Low to moderate – does not like being left alone|
|Exercise Needs||Fairly active – needs owners happy to be that way too|
|Trainability||Easy to train – eager to please|
|Stubbornness||Not too bad|
|Shedding||Low – not likely to be much hair if any around the home|
|Brushing||High maintenance – coat needs brushing daily|
|Feeding||1 1/4 to 3 cups of a good to high quality dry dog food a day|
|Health Issues||Quite healthy but a few issues include eye problems, hypothyroidism, diabetes and ear infections|
|Potential For Weight Gain||Average – can gain weight if not exercised enough though|
|Drooling Tendency||Moderate to average|
|Hypoallergenic||Can be if more like the Poodle|
|Average puppy price||$2,000|
|Average medical expenses||$460 to $550 a year (includes pet insurance, vet check ups, flea and tick prevention and shots)|
|Average non-medical expenses||$500 to $600 a year (includes toys, food, license, training, miscellaneous items and grooming)|
The Miniature Labradoodle is a medium sized dog weighing 25 to 45 pounds and standing 14 to 17 inches tall. The head is rounded, and its ears hang down to her cheeks. The muzzle is medium sized ending in a black nose and the eyes are bright, dark and oval shaped. Its coat can vary depending on which parent it is more like, wavy and coarse or more curly and medium length. Common colors are yellow/gold, browns, black, silver and white.
These dogs are very affectionate, friendly and sweet dogs which is why they are so popular. It makes a great companion to a single or couple owner but also is very good as a family dog too. It is social and loving and also has a playful side and a great zest for life. It will expect a good amount of attention from you and will not be happy being left alone for long periods, it is also a fairly sensitive dog so yelling and physical correction for example is not something it responds well to.
There will be times when its liveliness will be quite entertaining and times when it is being a bit naughty. It is eager to please though and intelligent and with the right approach it will learn what is acceptable and what is not. It is not an aggressive dog, should be confident, enjoys being active outside but will also play inside. It loves to be apart of family activity and when friends come over to visit as it means getting more attention. It is not especially protective though so while it may bark to alert you to something wrong it may not act as a guard dog.
Living with a Miniature Labradoodle Mix
How active is it?
It may be a medium sized dog but the Miniature Labradoodle is energetic and lively and super playful so it needs owners who can be active with it. It can live in an apartment as long as it gets enough time outside. It will need at least one long walk and one more moderate walk each day along with play time with you. It will also enjoy some safe off leash time somewhere like a dog park where it can run free. When walking though keep it leashed as it will want to chase after things it should not. It should get at least 30 to 60 minutes a day as well as time in a yard of possible to explore and play. This dog also often likes to swim and play in water and will need lots of mental stimulation too.
What is it like to train?
Being smart and eager to please and inclined to listen to what you tell it to do means this should be an easy to train dog. Use positive training techniques, offer it praise, treats to motivate, rewards and encouragement, not scolding or physical correction, it is too sensitive for that. Being good at this it is possible it will even learn more quickly than many breeds. Be firm and consistent with it, patient but make it clear you are the boss. It can learn obedience training well and can even learn tricks and such. Just make sure it does not get too exuberant as sometimes injuries happen! Make sure as well doing at least basic obedience training you give it socialization from an early age too.
Behavior around children and other animals
With children the Miniature Labradoodle is very good, especially with socialization and if raised with them. It is playful and energetic with them so they make great play mates, but it can also be affectionate and gentle with them too. Make sure young children are supervised and teach them the right way to touch and play with it. Socialization means it should get on well with other dogs and other pets too.
Caring for the Miniature Labradoodle
This is a low shedding dog when it takes more after the Poodle and can even be hypo-allergenic, but if more like the Lab the shedding is more and it is not good for allergy sufferers so if this is a priority in the dog you get, test it with a visit from the person who is allergic first. Brush the coat daily and just give it bath as needed. Too often or using a non canine shampoo can damage its natural oils in its skin. The coat if Poodle like may also need occasional stripping by a professional groomer.
Its ears should be checked weekly for infection signs like bad odor, irritation, redness and then given a wipe clean using a pH balance dog ear cleanser or damp cloth. Never insert anything into the ears. Its nails should be clipped when they get too long using a dog nail clipper and taking care not to cut too far down. In dog nails there are blood vessels and nerves in the lower section and cutting there would hurt and cause bleeding.
It will eat about 1 ¼ to 3 cups of a good to high quality dry dog food a day split into at least two meals. Make sure it also has access to water that is freshened regularly.
Concerns and Costs
These mixed dogs should live between 10 to 14 years and while fairly healthy there are some possible issues that could come up such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, diabetes, eye problems, ear infections, allergies and hypothyroidism.
The Miniature Labradoodle is certainly not a cheap puppy to bring home. You can expect to pay around $1800 to $2000 for a puppy from a good breeder, up to close to $3000 in some cases. Another option is to look to rescues and shelters, adoption is a lot cheaper but you cannot always guarantee what is in the mix. There will be initial costs with that puppy in the form of medical needs and items needed like blood tests, chipping, deworming, spaying, bowls, collar and leash, crate and carrier bag for $455 to $500. Annual medical costs for basics like pet insurance, vaccinations, flea prevention and check ups come to $460 to $550. Yearly costs for non medical things like food, license, training, grooming, treats and toys comes to between $500 to $600.
Looking for a Miniature Labradoodle Name? Let select one from our list!
All types of Labradoodles are a popular choice amongst people looking for a designer or mixed dog. The Miniature Labradoodle makes a great option if you have a little less room for a family dog or if you just want something at a more manageable size. It is a lovely affectionate and sweet dog with a mischievous side, it is easy to love and very loving in return. Take care though about what type of Labradoodle you are getting and talk to the breeder to make sure they know what they are doing. There are different variations, F1s are half Poodle half Labs and are not always hypo-allergenic. F1Bs are ¾ Poodle, ¼ Lab and more likely to be hypo-allergenic. F2s are crossing two Labradoodles – similar to F1s. F3s are crossing two F2s. Then there are multi-generational dogs, crosses of two F3s are higher.
Featured Image Credit: Max Broadley, Shutterstock
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.