Labradoodles are a cross between a purebred Labrador retriever and a purebred Poodle. These trendy dogs make excellent family pets, especially if you live an active, outdoorsy lifestyle.
But are Labradoodles hypoallergenic? Are these dogs good with kids? Do Labradoodles need lots of exercise? And what are the Labradoodle pros and cons?
Keep reading to find out!
Advantages and Benefits of Labradoodle Ownership
First, let’s take a look at the advantages and benefits of owning a Labradoodle:
1. Excellent Temperament
Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are some of the best-natured dogs around, making them excellent family dogs. These pups love to spend time around their human family, and they’re easy to train, making this breed an excellent choice for first-time dog owners.
2. Labradoodles Are Sociable
Life as a Labradoodle pet parent is awesome fun since these dogs are incredibly social and do well in family settings. Labradoodles are real people dogs whose idea of heaven is to spend each and every day around their owners.
Sometimes, Labradoodles can lose track of their boundaries and spacing, which can lead to young kids getting knocked over if playtime gets too boisterous. But that’s all in fun and never done with malice.
3. Labradoodles Can Be Light Shedders
Purebred Labrador retrievers tend to shed constantly, which is a problem if you have allergy sufferers in your household. These dogs take a lot of brushing to remove loose hair and keep your carpets and clothes from becoming upholstered in dog hair.
However, like most Poodle mix breeds, Labradoodles with lots of Poodle genes tend to shed much less, depending on what coat type your dog has. So, although you will still need to brush your dog every day to prevent their coat from matting, you won’t need to get the vacuum cleaner out as often. Most Doodle owners have their dogs clipped or shaved a few times a year to keep the coat looking tidy and prevent matting.
4. Excellent Labradoodle Health
Although all dogs, including crossbreeds, can inherit genetic health conditions, Labradoodles usually enjoy excellent health. In fact, assuming that you provide your dog with an optimal diet and the proper care, your canine companion can enjoy a lifespan of up to 15 years.
Smaller types tend to live longer than larger Labradoodles. That’s the same with dogs in general, such as miniature Poodles and Labrador retrievers, where the tiny Poodle can live for much longer than a large Lab.
5. Three Coat Types To Choose From
Labradoodles come in three coat types:
- Hair coat
- Fleece coat
- Wool coat
The coat type that your puppy will develop depends on the pup’s genetic makeup. Puppies that inherit more Poodle genes will have curlier coats than those that take more genes from their Labrador parent.
Hair coats are relatively straight or slightly wavy and tend to shed more than the other coat types. A fleece coat is wavy and is typically the most popular since they shed lightly. Wool coats are very curly and hardly shed, although they do need brushing every day to prevent matting.
Generally, Labradoodles with wavy coats or curly coats are expensive because they shed less.
6. Range Of Coat Colors and Patterns
As well as their different coat types, Labradoodles come in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Labradoodles can be cream, caramel, apricot, gold, black, chocolate, white, blue, parchment, or parti-color. Parti-color coats are quite unusual, and puppies with that coloration generally fetch a higher price than a more common solid color, such as apricot or black.
7. There’s A Breed Standard
Purebred dogs have to conform to a specific, recognized breed standard defined by the major Kennel Club associations around the world. As a crossbreed, Labradoodles are not recognized by the Kennel Club.
However, since the Labradoodle originated in Australia back in the 1950s and 1980s, the breed is recognized there. To qualify for certification, a dog must be a multigenerational Australian Labradoodle, with evidence of at least four generations of breeding. Only breeding stock with the same history is used.
8. Labradoodles Are Highly Trainable
Like most Poodle mix breeds, the Labradoodle is a highly intelligent breed that takes its trainability from its Labrador and Poodle parents, both of which are working dogs.
Labradoodles are motivated by playtime and food, both of which are excellent tools that can be used to modify unwanted behaviors. Most Labradoodle owners find crate training, potty training, and obedience training easy, especially if you start training your pet from puppyhood.
Adult Labradoodles can take longer to become receptive to the idea that they are not the leader of the pack.
9. Labradoodles Get Along With Other Pets
Labradoodles are generally friendly, easygoing dogs that get along fine with other pets. So, these pups can fit in well in a multidog household and won’t pose any threat to the family cat.
Some owners even train their Labradoodle to guard their pet chickens against predators!
10. Labradoodles Come In Several Sizes
Labradoodles come in a variety of sizes. That means you can enjoy all the advantages of Labradoodle ownership regardless of what size house or apartment you have.
The size of the adult dog will depend on the size of the Poodle parent. So, if a toy Poodle is crossed with a Labrador retriever, you’ll get Mini Labradoodle puppies. Other sizes of Labradoodles include medium and standard.
11. Labradoodles Are Great With Kids
Labradoodles usually get along very well with children. Learning to care for and exercise their beloved four-pawed friend is an excellent life experience that kids never forget.
However, if you have very young kids, take care that playtime doesn’t get too boisterous. It’s very easy for a large Doodle to knock a child right off their feet.
Disadvantages and Downsides of Labradoodle Ownership
So, what’s not so good about owning a Labradoodle?
12. Leaders of The Pack
One of the main issues with Labradoodles is that these are confident dogs that can see themselves as the Alpha dog in their pack. That attitude can manifest itself in stubbornness and resistance to your verbal commands. You might also find that your dog tries to steal your bed or even your food!
That means you’ll need to be a strong leader in your household and make it clear that you’re in charge. Always use positive reinforcement methods when training your dog and make sure that he gets sufficient exercise to keep him happy and grounded.
13. Labradoodles Aren’t Great Guard Dogs
If you want a guard dog, a Labradoodle is not the best choice.
That said, Labradoodles are very loyal dogs that are protective of their human family, and they will bark if a stranger approaches your home. However, a Doodle is not the best option if you want a guard dog rather than a watchdog. Once the Labradoodle gets to know the newcomer, the playful pup’s goal is to encourage new people to enjoy a game of fetch or frisbee rather than chase them off your property.
14. Labradoodles Do Shed
As previously mentioned, Labradoodles do shed. Although you can choose a light-shedding variety of Doodle that has a wool or fleece coat type, these pups will still shed.
So, are light-shedding Labradoodles really a hypoallergenic breed?
The word “hypoallergenic” simply means that the animal doesn’t trigger a severe allergic reaction in people with allergies. However, the pet dander causes allergies, not just the hair. Dander is a combination of shed skin cells and dried saliva. The saliva contains a particular protein, which triggers allergies in people who are sensitive to it.
Dander drops off the dog as it moves, eventually floating up into the air to be inhaled by the person with the allergy. The more the dog sheds, the more dander comes away with the hair. So, a light-shedding dog tends to produce less dander, making it less of a hazard for allergy sufferers.
15. Labradoodles Need Lots Of Exercise
Labradoodles of all sizes are a fantastic choice of pet for an active person. These dogs are high-energy types that need plenty of daily exercise in the form of walks, playtime, and trips to the dog park.
Ideally, your home will have a fenced yard or some outside space where your dog can burn off his excess energy. However, you must be prepared to set aside at least an hour or preferably more for walking your Doodle.
A Doodle that doesn’t have enough exercise can become destructive, chewing your furniture, shoes, and anything else that comes within reach. Other undesirable behaviors such as excessive barking might result if your dog doesn’t get the exercise he needs.
16. Health Issues
As mentioned above, Labradoodles are generally robust, healthy dogs that don’t suffer from many serious health issues.
However, a few health issues can affect the breed, including eye problems, food allergies and sensitivities, and hip and elbow dysplasia. Always insist that the breeder shows you clear veterinary health-screening certificates for your puppy’s parents before you part with any cash.
17. Back-Breeding Issues
In the quest to produce a dog with what’s regarded as a hypoallergenic coat, a lot of back-breeding has taken place, producing multigenerational dogs.
Poodles have a dense, curly single coat that hardly sheds at all. So, the more Poodle genes your dog has, the less he will shed. Your price for that coveted hypoallergenic coat is a less predictable personality and perhaps a dog that’s not as suitable for life in a family setting with children as one with more Labrador genes.
18. Labradoodles Are Expensive!
You might think that a crossbreed dog would be cheaper to buy than a pedigree pup, but you would be wrong!
The popularity of all so-called designer dogs, especially Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, has driven the price of these pups through the roof. A well-bred, health-checked Labradoodle from a reputable breeder would set you back upward of $2,500 to over $5,000!
Unfortunately, the rise in demand for these crossbreed dogs has not only driven their price up but has also spawned an increase in the number of puppy mills and backyard breeders. The sole objective of these operations is to produce puppies of whatever breed is most popular and profitable as quickly and cheaply as possible. The result is a glut of puppies that are often poorly bred and riddled with health problems.
Unwitting buyers are taken in by a glossy advertisement and fancy website filled with lots of false testimonials from fictitious customers. The buyer thinks they’re getting a bargain, but a cheap puppy is usually from a puppy mill.
19. Labradoodles Need Lots of Grooming
If you take on a Labradoodle, you must be prepared to spend time on intensive coat brushing sessions to prevent your dog’s coat from matting and tangling.
Regular brushing and grooming are essential to keep your dog’s coat healthy and in good condition. Some of the coat options available present more challenging coat textures to brush than others. For example, if your puppy has the wool, curly coat variation, you will need to brush your dog daily to remove tangles, debris, and mats. The hair coat option doesn’t need brushing as frequently, perhaps two or three times a week being adequate.
You will also need to take your dog for professional grooming several times each year, which adds to the expense of keeping your furry friend.
Take a look at our list of Labradoodle haircuts here.
I hope you enjoyed our guide to the pros and cons of owning a Labradoodle. If you found the information we included helpful, please take a moment to share the article.
Labradoodles are excellent dogs for family setups. These dogs are generally healthy, are highly trainable, have an amazing temperament, and love to be around people. You’ll need to enjoy grooming your dog and have plenty of time for and commitment to exercising your pet. If you have people with allergies to pet hair in your family, you need a Labradoodle with a fleece or wool coat that produces minimal hair loss.
What color and coat type does your Labradoodle have? Tell us all about your canine chum in the comments box below!