Labradoodles are a relatively new breed of dog. They are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a standard poodle.
Labradoodles were first bred to take care of shedding for people with allergies. They are classed as hypoallergenic. They are also often used as guide dogs and support dogs.
A Little Bit About Labradoodles
The first Labradoodle was born in 1955 although it was not until many years later in 1988 that Wally Conron crossed a Lab Retriever and a standard poodle to create what we know as the Labradoodle.
The breed became very popular when people realised that it was hypoallergenic.
Labradoodles are also easy to train. In fact, the first litter produced a pup which was named Sultan and became a guide dog for a lady in Hawaii. He lived with her for 10 years.
Looking at the parents of the Labradoodle we see that this dog is smart and friendly. He is moderately active and comes with a coat which can be either shaggy or curly, or a combination of both.
We are now going to look at Labradoodles pros and cons.
8 Pros of Labradoodles
#1 The temperament is wonderful
If you are looking for a dog with an amazing temperament, then look no further than the Labradoodle. They are great for first time owners as well as families.
You will find that these dogs seem to wag there tails all the time and look genuinely happy to see their owners.
#2 They hardly shed at all
Because one of the parents is a poodle, this breed hardly sheds. Great news if you are excessively house proud or allergic to dog hair.
Although you still need to groom the Labradoodle it takes less time than other breeds and only needs to be trimmed a few times during the year. 2-3 brushing sessions a week will keep the pooch looking gorgeous.
#3 Labradoodles are social creatures
They love to be around people and have no problems being in human company all day long.
If a labradoodle could spend the whole day playing with people, he will be in heaven.
They may get a little boisterous around smaller kids so care must be taken in these situations.
#4 They are easy to train
Because they are smart dogs from the poodle side of the family, they are easy to train. You do need the right motivation which usually takes the form of treats or walks.
House training and kennel training are easy for them to learn as are things like sitting and staying.
As with any dog it is important to start training at an early age and to reinforce things daily. Even adult Labradoodles can be taught new tricks.
#5 Labradoodles know how you feel
They have a keen sense of intuition and can sense when something is wrong.
Labradoodles seem to read body language easily and they will often gaze into their human’s eyes to show affection. They love nothing more than contact with their family.
#6 Their health is generally good
Although they may have some health issues most Labradoodles are healthy. With exercise and care there is no reason why they cannot live to 15 years or even longer.
This is another reason why they make great family dogs as they can grow up with the kids. Any healthcare issues can be sorted out with the right care and attention.
#7 Labradoodles love to play
Because they come from Labrador Retrievers there is an instinct to bring things back so they will love having a ball thrown.
This makes them great for assisting disabled people by bringing things to them. This also makes them valuable hunting dogs.
#8 The breed is recognised
There are two organisations in Australia where the breed of Labradoodle is recognised even though the major kennel clubs in the USA do not recognise it.
To qualify for the recognition there needs to be at least four generations of lineage.
7 Cons of Labradoodles
#1 They will watch but not guard
If you want a guard dog, then this is not the right breed for you.
Although they are very protective of their families, they are also very social creatures and love to meet new people and you ill more likely find them wagging their tails instead of chasing them away.
#2 They think their place is head of the pack
In a Labradoodle’s mind, he is the head of the pack, he is the alpha dog.
For this reason, it is important to start training at an early age and to be constant in this.
If not, the pooch will happily take your place on the sofa or bed and be reluctant to give it up.
Sometimes older dogs will be reluctant to change their ways and simply ignore a command to sit still.
#3 They need a reasonable amount of exercise
The breed enjoys long walks and if they are not given enough exercise, they can become destructive. Even puppies will enjoy walks and 2-3 walks a day is not unusual for them
The back yard needs to be fenced in so that they don’t take off and walk themselves. This also helps them to run of some of that steam.
Destructive behaviour may include chewing your favourite shoes or slippers or even the furniture.
For this reason, it is important to have a safe place to leave them when you go out. They will get bored and destroy your home if they are left unsupervised inside.
#4 They bark more than some breeds
These dogs will bark to tell you they want to go out. They also tend to bark if they don’t get their own way. This also means that if the dog is left on his own, he may bark quite a lot.
They do not like to be left alone so if you are at work all day, then this breed may not be the best for you.
#5 Some Labradoodles do shed
Although most of them shed very little, some do still shed. They shed far less than the Labrador.
However, this minimal amount of shedding is often outweighed by their ability to be used as guide dogs.
#6 Health issues
Although it is sensible to check medical records of parents to ensure the dog you buy is healthy, some do get ear and eye infections.
They may also suffer from hip dysplasia. Occasionally they may have food allergies.
#7 They are expensive
Labradoodles will cost you between $1,000 – $1,500. If the dog you plan on buying is AKC registered, you will pay top dollar.
Is the Labradoodle for you?
These are classed as large dogs and they can be boisterous around small kids although they love playing games and will happily fetch balls and sticks.
They are not suitable for apartments and need exercise every day otherwise they will get bored and become destructive. Yards need to be fenced so that they do not run off and explore on their own.
Generally, Labradoodles are healthy dogs although some suffer from ear and eye infections. All pups should be tested for hip dysplasia before buying them.
Medical records from both parents should be available to see. If not, it is unwise to buy the pup.
These are great family dogs, but they prefer their families to be active. A sedentary family will not suit this character and the pooch will become bored.
Most of the time the Labradoodle will be a quiet dog but if he does not get his own way or is left alone, he may resort to barking.
If you want a guard dog, then this breed is not for you. While he will let you know if he thinks you are bothering his family, he typically enjoys meeting people and will greet them with a wagging tail rather than a bark.
Labradoodles Pros and Cons: Final thoughts
Labradoodles are a delightful breed of designer dog, affectionate and friendly as well as attentive.
They love a family who plays with them, takes them for long walks and allows them to be with them as much as possible.
Labradoodles are not suitable for apartments or even small houses as they grow large and need space to run around in.
Neither are they suitable for older people unless the dog is old as well and unlikely to jump up and knock them down.
Puppies are full of energy and need to be exercised every day. They are easy to train although this should be constant and regular.
Although the price of Labradoodles is costly particularly if you want one who is AKC registered, the average pooch will live for anything up to 15 years.
If they are taken care of and receive correct nutrition and medical inspections, there is no reason why they should not be a part of the family for many long years.