As you might already know, the Labradoodle is a crossbreed between a purebred Poodle and a purebred Labrador retriever. These dogs are sociable, intelligent, and energetic, making them excellent service dogs and family pets, too.
But did you know that the black Labradoodle has been gaining in popularity amongst owners and breeders? So, what makes the black Labradoodle stand out from Doodles of other colors?
Read this guide to find out!
What Is A Black Labradoodle?
Basically, a black Labradoodle is simply a Labradoodle that came out black!
You might think that breeding a black Labradoodle is pretty straightforward; you simply cross a black Labrador retriever with a black Poodle.
However, genetics are not always totally predictable, and you must remember that Labs come in three colors; blond, black, and chocolate and Poodles come in a wide variety of colors! So, it can take a few generations of puppies before the breeder produces the desired color of Labradoodle, which is usually the case when breeding F1 black Labradoodles.
That said, an F1 black Labradoodle’s parents are usually a purebred black Standard Poodle and a purebred black Labrador retriever.
History Of The Poodle and Labrador Retriever
The Labrador retriever comes originally from Newfoundland, Canada, where the dogs were used as hunting companions, specifically to retrieve shot waterfowl from marshes and water bodies.
Standard Poodles are an ancient breed that’s thought to date back some 400 years to Germany, where the dogs were also used as bird dogs, performing essentially the same role as the Labrador.
Both breeds are renowned for their intelligence, trainability, and skill in retrieving shot prey from the water. So, when you cross both breeds, the resulting mixed breed Doodle is a loyal, energetic, intelligent, trainable, sociable dog that performs well as a service dog and makes an excellent family pet, too.
What Size Are Black Labradoodles?
Black Labradoodles vary in size, depending on what type of Poodle was used and the puppy’s generation.
For example, a Labrador retriever typically stands between 21 and 24.5 inches tall. Labs usually weigh from 55 to 80 pounds, with female dogs generally being smaller than males. Standard Poodles can stand over 15 inches tall and weigh between 40 to 70 pounds. So, the size that your black Labradoodle puppy turns out to depends on the size of both parents.
The table below illustrates the typical Black Labradoodle sizes.
15 to 25 pounds
14 to 16 inches
30 to 45 pounds
17 to 20 inches
50 to 65 pounds
21 inches and over
What Do Black Labradoodles Look Like?
So, you know that your puppy is a black color! Therefore, your Labradoodle will be black as an adult. However, the coat type, size, and weight of your dog will be more left to chance, depending on your furry friend’s generation and which parent he takes after the most.
When it comes to the type of coat your furbaby could have, your puppy could have a straight “hair” coat, a wavy fleece coat, or a curly coat like a Poodle. Note that it’s impossible to be sure what type of coat your dog will end up with since Doodle coats change as they mature.
Also, when it comes to the other color varieties, for example, apricot and blonde, the dog’s coat color can change quite a lot as the dog ages.
Your Doodle will be athletic in build, but he’ll have a long tail, a cute, expressive face, and floppy ears.
How Long Do Black Labradoodles Live?
Black Labradoodles are crossbreeds, so they tend to be pretty healthy dogs that enjoy a long lifespan of between 10 and 15 years.
Smaller types often live longer than large dogs, so if you go for a Mini Labradoodle, you could enjoy as many as 18 years with your canine companion.
Are Black Labradoodles Healthy Dogs?
Thanks to a phenomenon known as “hybrid vigor,” Labradoodles tend to be pretty healthy dogs.
When purebred dogs are produced, more and more inbreeding happens. That means any congenital health problems and conformational defects tend to appear in every generation.
A case in point is the German Shepherd dog. Over generations, these inbred dogs have developed sloping hindquarter conformation that has become so exaggerated that some dogs can barely walk.
Hybrid vigor occurs when two different breed dogs are bred together. That generally means that the parent dogs don’t carry the same congenital health problems, so the crossbreed puppies are often stronger and healthier than purebreds.
Labradoodle Potential Health Issues
However, there are a few potential health issues that can affect black Labradoodles, including:
- Hip dysplasia
- Addison’s disease
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Thyroid issues
The best way to avoid your puppy contracting any of these diseases is to always buy from a reputable breeder. A good breeder always has their breeding stock health-screened for the above diseases, so you know that the puppies should not inherit those problems.
Throughout your dog’s life, always feed him a balanced, high-quality diet suitable for his life stage, and give your Labradoodle plenty of exercise to keep him fit, healthy, and in good shape.
How Much Exercise Do Black Labradoodles Need?
The black Labradoodle’s parents are both water dogs and working breeds. So, as you can imagine, these lively, energetic dogs need plenty of exercise every day to keep them happy and healthy. The Labradoodle is an intelligent breed, too, so they need lots of mental stimulation and physical exercise.
Your dog’s daily exercise could include training sessions or accompanying you on hikes, walks, and runs. Swimming is especially popular with these water dogs, so a trip to your local lake or beach will be very well received by your furry friend!
Bred To Hunt
Remember that both your black Labradoodle’s parent breeds were bred to hunt. So, your dog will probably have a pretty high prey drive. Before you allow your dog off-leash, you’ll need to be sure that he will return to you when you call him.
Do Black Labradoodles Need Much Grooming?
The amount of brushing your Doodle requires will depend on what coat type he inherits from his parents.
If your dog has a straight hair coat, he will shed quite a bit, so you’ll need to brush him every couple of days to prevent your home from becoming upholstered in dog hair.
Although they don’t drop much fur onto your floorings, fleece and curly coats should be brushed every day to prevent matting. If the fur becomes matted close to the dog’s skin, that can cause irritation and infection, so don’t skimp on brushing your pet.
Owners of curly and fleece-coated black Labradoodles usually have their dogs professionally groomed every four to six weeks to make maintenance less time-consuming. You might also want to bathe your Labradoodle every month or so to keep the coat clean.
The degree of shedding that your dog has depends on its coat type. Dogs with straight coats shed more than those with curly coats. For that reason, people with pet allergies tend to choose curly-coated Labradoodles.
Of course, it’s not the actual fur that causes the allergic reaction in sufferers. The allergy trigger is the dander that comes off the dog attached to the hair. Dander is a mixture of dead skin cells and dried saliva that contains a mix of specific proteins that trigger allergies.
So, a lighter shedding dog tends to be more allergy-friendly than a heavy shedder.
Do Black Labradoodles Have A Different Temperament To Other Color Combinations?
Color genetics have no proven relevance when it comes to the temperament of Labradoodles. Again, it’s the inherited genetic makeup of each puppy that determines what kind of temperament the pup will have.
Both parent breeds are family-oriented dogs that typically get along well with other pets and children. However, these are lively, energetic dogs that might be too boisterous for very small kids and the family cat.
Although black Labradoodles are generally friendly, outgoing, sociable dogs, they do have a couple of downsides.
- Black Labradoodles can form a very close bond with their human family, and that can lead to separation anxiety if the dog is left alone for long periods.
- Black Labradoodles are highly intelligent, active dogs that can become destructive if bored. To avoid boredom, give your dog plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
Any behavioral problems can be prevented by early socialization, obedience classes, and plenty of training.
In this section of our guide to the black Labradoodle, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the breed.
Q: How Much Does A Black Labradoodle Cost?
A: A black Labradoodle puppy will cost you pretty much the same as a cream or brown one. However, there are a few factors that influence the price, including:
- Smaller dogs are cheaper to feed, need less space, and are more manageable than large pups. So, small black Labradoodles are more popular than large dogs and are, therefore, generally more expensive.
- Doodles produced by reputable breeders are more expensive than those bred by backyard breeders and puppy mills. That’s because a reputable breeder’s dogs are health-screened and extremely well cared for. So, the puppies they produce are healthier and more well-adjusted, which is what you pay for.
- Low-shedding black Labradoodles are typically more expensive.
- The most common coat colors of Labradoodles tend to be cheaper than the more unusual coat color variety. Black is not an especially common color, so you might pay more for that doggy coat color.
The breeder’s location also has a bearing on the price of the puppies. For example, if you live in a very expensive area, you can usually expect to pay more for a puppy than if you live way out in the sticks, where the cost of living is generally cheaper.
Generally, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 for a well-bred black Labradoodle puppy.
Q: Can you show black Labradoodles?
A: Although a well-socialized and properly trained black Labradoodle undoubtedly makes a wonderful family dog and service animal, these are relatively recent crossbreed dogs and are not recognized by the AKC and other official organizations.
Q: Are black Labradoodles hypoallergenic?
A: The first thing to understand is the meaning of the word “hypoallergenic.”
Hypoallergenic simply means that a substance is less likely to cause a severe allergic reaction in sufferers. So, even a hypoallergenic substance can still trigger allergies, although the sufferer’s reaction might not be especially severe.
As explained above, it’s pet dander that triggers allergies, not just pet hair. Dander consists of dead skin and dried saliva that contain certain proteins that are responsible for causing allergies in sufferers. Dog hair traps dander, so the more hair the dog sheds, the higher the likelihood of an allergic reaction in sufferers.
For that reason, dogs that shed lightly are said to be hypoallergenic. So, a curly-coated blonde Labradoodle will be just as hypoallergenic as a curly-coated black Labradoodle.
Q: Will my black Labradoodle turn gray?
In some Doodles, a dark color coat can become lighter as the dog ages. Sometimes, a “black” Labradoodle will start off jet black as a puppy, but during his first year, the dog’s coat gets lighter and lighter until it turns gray.
Why? Well, that color-changing phenomenon is all down to coat color genetics.
So, dogs have what’s referred to as a “dilute gene” that literally dilutes the dog’s color. The dilute gene can be carried by a dog without being expressed. So, it’s possible to have two parent dogs that have coats of true color that can still produce offspring with a diluted color.
A dilute puppy appears black when first born but begins to lighten during the first year of the pup’s life. If that happens, your Labradoodle is not really turning gray; it’s more likely that he was actually a gray color dog that looked a dark color when he was a young puppy.
That said, if your black Labradoodle is genetically a distinct black coat color, he might develop white hairs around his muzzle and face in his senior years.
Q: Do black Labradoodles get sunstroke?
A: All black animals are at risk of overheating in strong sunlight. Even my sun-loving black cat abandons our sunny patio on a hot summer’s afternoon because he gets too hot.
If you live in a very warm region, you need to keep your black Labradoodle out of the sun on warm days. Sometimes, providing a paddling pool or shallow pond can give your dog some welcome respite from the heat.
However, on warm, sunny days, avoid giving your Labradoodle too much strenuous exercise, even if that’s swimming or playing in the water. Dogs can’t sweat to get rid of excess heat, and panting is only so effective at removing excess body heat. Keep your dog in the shade and provide him with plenty of cool water to keep your black Labradoodle comfortable and safe in the sun.
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Black Labradoodles are essentially the same as the other lighter colors that the breed comes in. Like other family-oriented breeds, black Labradoodles are friendly, sociable, highly intelligent dogs that thrive in an active household where there’s plenty going on.
Do you have a black Labradoodle? Tell us about your pet in the comments box below.