Labradoodle… an adorable breed name for a well-deserving dog. Wally Conron of Australia began breeding the Labradoodle in 1989 in an effort to achieve an intelligent, low-allergy guide dog. The Labradoodle has since gained popularity as a working dog and as a loving, family dog.
With expertise today in hunting, swimming, obedience, assistance, and in the show-ring, the Labrador Retriever is a well-rounded, talented member of the gundog group. Originally from Newfoundland Island, the lab made a name for himself as a "Jack of all trades" assisting fisherman in their work. In the early 19th century, England was graced with the lab's help detecting mines during war, assisting police, and guiding the blind.
The Poodle, believed to have originated in Germany as a water retriever, is famous for carrying supplies and messages during World War II and performing in circuses and French dog playhouses. Today the Poodle is very popular in the show- ring and as an assistance dog. He also has talents in obedience and trick performance. The AKC recognizes three sizes of the Poodle – the toy Poodle (a member of the AKC's toy group) the miniature, and the standard (members of the non-sporting group).
Because the Labradoodle is a mixed breed, and because all variations in size and color of the Poodle and lab have been used in Labradoodle breeding, this popular designer breed comes in a wide range of physical charateristics. From 20 pounds, 13 inches tall to 80 pounds, 26 inches tall, the Labradoodle has something to offer to almost everyone's taste in dog. The Labradoodle's long coat has multiple textural varieties, from a very soft, fleece-like to a wool feel. The coat is generally wavy to curly and can be white, black, brown, red, and nearly every canine shade in between. This adorable, very pettable dog has a long tail and long, floppy ears.
Of course, with mixed breed dogs, the traits and personality can come in any combination, depending on what they inherit from the different parenting breeds. As a generale rule, both Poodles and Labs are well-tempered, intelligent dogs who are very people-oriented. Poodles and especially Labradors can be a bit hyper and require regular exercise to prevent boredom. Most Labradoodles are ideal family dogs, eager to please, loving, and playful. The intelligence and affection of the parenting breeds also make the Labradoodle an exceptional working dog in therapy, guidance, and other assistance.
The Labradoodle is especially appealing to families with allergy, asthma, and other respiratory problems. Thanks to the Poodle, the Labradoodle exhibits minimal shedding and allergen production.
Care and maintenance of the Labradoodle includes regular brushing and visits to a groomer, due to the long coat. Neglecting the hair coat can lead to uncomfortable matting. The Labradoodle also requires daily walks and/or other activity, such as swimming or a game of fetch. His high energy and intelligence demand frequent stimulation, attention, and fun.
Listed below are several diseases and health conditions common to the Lab and the Poodle. These problems may also exist in the Labradoodle.
Gastric torsion (bloat) is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.
Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.
Hemangiosarcoma is a type of cancer that primarily affects the spleen, liver or heart.
Epilepsy is a seizure disorder which develops between the ages of 2 and 5 years.
The average life span of the Labradoodle is 10 – 16 years.