Visit the ALA WebsiteWe have missed our “Breed of the Month” for a couple of months, but we are jumping back on board this month with the Labradoodle. The first time I encountered the breed, my impression was that of a silly, clown-type dog. Turns out this is a very common description of these loveable pets. Imagine my surprise to learn that these dogs were actually bred with a very specific purpose in mind and that they were the first to be labeled a “designer breed.”

History
There was a woman in Hawaii who was visually impaired and needed a guide dog, but whose husband had allergies to dogs. The search was on for an allergy-friendly guide dog. After several years and several unsuccessful samples later, the suggestion was made to cross-breed a labrador retriever and a poodle. One of the resulting puppies was successfully friendly to the gentleman’s allergies, and the Labradoodle breed was born. Since then several variations of this cross have been tried. There are a few varieties available commonly today.

Visit the Tualatin River Labradoodles WebsiteVarieties of Labradoodles

Size- Three basic size variations have developed: Miniature (14″ – 16″ tall, 15-25 lbs.), Medium (17″ – 20″ tall, 30-45 lbs.), and Standard (21″ – 24″, 50-65 lbs.).
F1 Labradoodle- breeding of a labrador retriever with a poodle.
F1B Labradoodle- the breeding of an F1 Labradoodle with a Poodle; essentially 1/4 Lab, 3/4 Poodle.
F2 Labradoodle- the breeding of two F1 Labradoodles.
Multi-Generational Labradoodle- the breeding of two F2 Labradoodles or two Multi-Generational Labradoodles
Goldendoodle- the breeding of a golden retriever with a poodle.

Characteristics, Temperament, and Common Health Concerns
Labradoodle generally have fairly short, curly, wavy, wiry hair, and a boxy-shaped body. They come in a variety of colors, and are generally very strong and intelligent. Labradoodles usually grow into a quiet, loyal personality and are well-suited to being guide and/or therapy dogs, as well as just a generally family friendly pet. Because both labs and poodles commonly have problems with hip dysplasia, unless you are adopting from a shelter and this info is not available, you should always find out the health records of your new puppies parents, and especially look to see if the parents have suffered from hip dysplasia.

Visit the Kingdom Labradoodles WebsiteRescuing and Adopting Labradoodles
Though these are considered designer dogs, there have been an increased number of rescues in recent years for two main reasons. The first reason is that many people make the decision to get a puppy too quickly and without much thought. Whether it’s because their kids are begging for one, the puppy is just so cute, or the puppy is just another designer accessory to their designer lifestyle, many people bring a puppy home without first doing some honest research into whether or not they will have time to care for their new pet, or whether the breed of dog is right for their family. Then, later the commitment becomes too much, and they take the dog to a shelter or simply abandon it.
The second reason is because of the general economic downturn. Many people find they simply cannot afford the continued care of the pet, between food and vet visits, toys, and lodging when going out of town, pets do add ongoing expenses to your budget and this should be considered when deciding to take home a new pet.
As a result many beautiful, loveable, and intelligent labradoodles are in need of new loving homes. Especially if you do not need a pet bred with specific qualifications, but are more just looking for a loving pet with the general labradoodle look and temperament, it is a great idea to adopt from a shelter or pet foster family. If records are available, be sure to look at them, and ask the person from whom you are adopting to share with you any information or observations they have made about the dog’s medical history and tendencies, how it interacts with other animals and humans, and any other helpful information. Make sure everyone in your family meets the pet before bringing it home, and are all in agreement that this is the right pet for your whole family.
It is very important, once you bring your pet home, to take the first week or two to help your pet become familiar with your home and show it all the love you can. Once your new pet becomes familiar with its new environment and family, it is important to train it.

Visit DiscoveringLabradoodles.comChoosing Puppies and Breeders
If you are not adopting a pet from a shelter, it is very important to choose a reputable breeder from which to purchase your puppy. Although lower prices may tempt you to purchase puppies from a pet-store or flea-market stand, you support the horrible practices these people employ to get you a pet at the cheapest price. Dogs are often abused and/or neglected, have questionable blood lines, and usually come with more health problems that will cost you extra money in the long run.   Because of the popularity of this breed so many unscrupulous “breeders” sprang up, that a few governing bodies were formed to regulate breeding practices to ensure the healthiest, highest quality dogs. So it is very important to make sure your breeder is a member of one of these organizations: ILA (International Labradoodle Association), ALAA (Australian Labradoodle Association of America), ALA (Australian Labradoodle Association), or ALCA (Australian Labradoodle Club of America). 

For TONS more information about Labradoodles visit DiscoveringLabradoodles.com or one of the above Association Websites.

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