Evolution is the best way any specie can become better. Humankind has only accelerated this process. We can see its effectiveness in the dog breeding process, where breeding between two species of dog has created better hybrid dog specie. Labradoodle is a great example of this evolutionary process. This dog is a mixed breed between Labrador and poodle. It has great characteristics of both dog breeds. The dog is cute in look and very friendly to everyone, which makes it a great house pet. Let’s take a look at different aspects of this dog and get a good understanding of it.
Origin of Labrador Poodle Mix
Many people believe that Labrador Poodle Mix or Labradoodle is an American dog. However, this fact is not true. The breed of this dog first came to life in Australia in the year 1989. Famous dog breeder Wally Conron was behind this breeding program. The main objectivity of this program uses to create a dog, which will have less allergic fur. For this reason, compared to other dogs the Labradoodle shed less and cause less allergy to people.
However, there are some controversy is associated with its origin. The name Labradoodle was not new to the world. In the book “Into the Water Barrier” Donald Campbell was first to mention this term. According to his writing, it was a crossbreed between Labrador and Poodle. Even many people say that the dog had existed in the USA since 1950. Even multiple entertainment shows had used this dog since 1960.
However, there is no doubt that Wally Conron was the first person to introduce this dog officially to the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia. He first introduced this dog as a guide or service dog to the association. Therefore, the official credit of the first breeder goes to him. However, Wally Conron has expressed his unhappiness about the breeding program. In his opinion, he has created a Frankenstein. He believes that the success of his cross-breeding program has fuelled an unhealthy rat race of cross-breeding program.
Labrador Poodle Mix or Labradoodle is not a pure breed. For this reason, its physical features vary according to its breeding line. There are three types of Labradoodles according to their size. These are standard, medium, and miniature. The size of standard Labradoodle is around 21 to 24 inches tall and weighs around 50 to 60 lb. On the other hand, the size of medium Labradoodle is around 17 to 20 inches tall and weighs around 30 to 45 lb. Where the size of miniature Labradoodle is around 13 to 16 inches tall and weighs around 15 to 25 lb.
Just like the dog’s size, there is also some diversity present in its coats. Primarily the kind of Labrador Poodle Mix coat can be segregated in three types. These types are wool, fleece, and hair. The dogs of the early generation had wool and hair coats. However, the modern generation of Labradoodle can be spotted with straight or wavy coats only.
The dog is available in multiple types of colour. It includes chocolate brown, black, apricot, chalk, silver, red, and cream colour. The pattern of the coat can be a solid, phantom, tri-colour, and white abstract marking. In general Labrador Poodle Mix or Labradoodle is available in different verities and each dog can have its separate physical features.
The Labrador Poodle Mix or Labradoodle is a friendly dog in nature. It gets its personality traits from its parent gene. As a dog, the Labrador is very loyal to their master. On the other hand, the Poodle breed is famous for its smartness. With the combination of both genes, the Labrador Poodle Mix or Labradoodle has become one of the smart and loyal dogs.
Compared to other dogs the Labradoodle is very gentle to others. They show their affection to small children and old people. For this reason, the dog is very popular as a house pet. Many people prefer to use this dog as a guide dog. Some other people just have them for their cute look. However, this nonaggressive personality trait makes them not suitable for a guard dog.
Even though the dog is very cute, but it can get furious if anyone irritates it too much. This dog has attacked many people when they have misbehaved with the dog. It gets furious if anyone stepped on its tail or approaches it when it is eating. It is advised not to keep any child unattended with this dog.
This dog also loves the companionship of their master. They jump around in joy whenever they see their master around. The dog does not like to live in a confined space. Therefore, the master of the dog needs to spend significant amounts of time with the dog. Compared to other dogs the Labradoodle do understand human emotion a bit and quickly respond to it also. Therefore, the dog gets trained quickly.
There is a popular myth circulating in the dog world that compared to purebred dogs the crossbreed dogs suffer fewer health problems. However, this myth is completely false. The reality is quite contrary to this myth. The crossbreed dog gets many genetic health problems of its parent breed. Therefore, in a Labradoodle, both genetic health problem of Labrador and Poodle can be seen. Here are some common general health issues every Labrador Poodle Mix dogs face.
- Dysplasia in Hip & Elbow: It is a very common genetic health problem among Labrador Poodle Mix dogs. In this problem, the weak hip or elbow socket doesn’t cover the rotating ball in the hip or elbow. Therefore, the dog is very prone to injury in the hip or elbow region. Any kind of injury in these regions can limit the dog’s movement. Compared to a purebred dog, the Labradoodle suffer more arthritis problems in its old age.
- Abnormalities in Eye: Generally the vision level of dogs is very good and they can even see in the dark. This ability makes them excellent hunters. However, many Labrador Poodle Mix dogs suffer from vision problems from their birth. It is also a genetic problem that the dog inherits from its parent breed gene pool. The Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA disease is very common in Labradoodle. This disease affects the retina in the eye and in the long-term it can make the dog blind.
- Epilepsy: Even though it is not very common but around 5% of Labradoodle suffers from this health problem. In this disease, the dog suffers from seizures. Unfortunately, many dog owners don’t see it as a disease, until it is too late. They think the dog is doing a new trick to make the master happy. These seizures can even cause blood vessel rupture in the brain of the dog, which can cause sudden death.
- Addison’s disease: This disease occurs through the short production of steroid hormones. In Labrador Poodle Mix dogs this syndrome occurs in middle age. The dog loses its appetite and suffers from abdominal pain. It can lead to other serious health issues. Even though this disease is treatable but the dog has to take medication rest of its life. It is a genetic disorder. Therefore, it is suggested not to breed those dogs who are suffering from this disease.
- Behavioural problems: Physiologically the dog is very smart. Therefore, they know very well who love and take care of them. Any separation from their master can cause serious physiological trauma. The dog suddenly stops eating. This common behavioural problem is very common in Labrador Poodle Mix dogs.
- Ear infection: Just like any other hairy dog, the Labradoodle also suffer from lots of ear infection. There are lots of small hairs in the dog’s ear. These hairs easily accumulate ear wax. This ear wax accumulation increases infection possibilities. Therefore, the owners need to pay extra attention to the dog’s ear and need to clean it regularly. Otherwise, the dog will suffer from an ear infection.
- Heatstroke: The Labradoodle is a heat-sensitive animal. Due to its thick hairy coat, the air does not circulate throughout its body. Any activity under hot sun increases its body heat. As a result, the dog gets tired quickly in a hot climate. During hot summer days, it is advised to keep the dog under a shed or in an AC room. Otherwise, the dog can have a heat stroke.
The Labrador Poodle Mix is a sophisticated dog and it needs lots of care and grooming. Keeping this dog unattended for a long time can cause multiple health problems to it. Contrary to popular belief, the dog loves grooming and enjoys it thoroughly. Every week the dog owner needs to devote some time to the grooming session. Here are some essential steps that are required to be taken for Labradoodle grooming.
- Brushing: It is the most important part of Labradoodle’s care. Depending upon its coat, the owner needs to brush the dog twice a week. Use a pin brush for short hair Labradoodle. At the time of brushing, reach the base of the hair and remove any matt formation. For long hair Labradoodle, use the line brushing method. Utilize long slicker brush for line brushing. Increase the frequency of brushing during the shedding season. Just like any other dog, the Labradoodle also do more shedding during this time.
- Bath: Even though most Labradoodle loves water, but it is not a good idea to bath it every day. Depending upon the season, the owner can give the dog in a bath every two weeks. During this process use branded high-quality shampoo and conditioner. Good shampoos keep their hair better and stop shedding a lot. After giving a bath, dry the dog by a towel or a hairdryer. During this time comb its hair.
- Trimming: The hair on Labradoodle grows very fast. Just within two weeks, it can grow up to an inch long. In the summertime, this extra long hair irritates the dog. The chances of matt formation increase if not trimmed on time. Therefore, the owner should trim the hair every month. It keeps the coat smooth and fuzzy. Regular trimming also reduces uneven hair fall and keeps the dog comfortable.
- Nail trimming: Just like humans dogs the nails also grow rapidly in dogs. Extra-long nails put pressure on the paw and cause lameness. It is a type of pain that disables the dog’s movement. For this reason, the owner should not let the nail grow extra long. Check the nails once every month and trim them when necessary.
- Teeth care: The idea of brushing a dog’s teeth may sound silly to many people. But it is a fact that dogs also develop plaque and cavity in teeth. However, the owner doesn’t need to brush the dog’s teeth every day. Doing it once in a week is enough. For this purpose do not use ordinary toothpaste. There are many dog-specific tubes of toothpaste available in the market, which comes in chicken and beef flavour.
- Ear cleaning: The ear of the dog accumulates lots of ear wax. This accumulation can be a breeding ground for germs. These germs can cause an ear infection. Therefore, clean the dog’s ear every month with hot water and a cotton swab. At the time of cleaning flip the ear cup and insert the cotton swab deep in the ear canal and clean it thoroughly.
- Eyes checkups: Many Labradoodle develops an eye problem at an early age. The owner needs to pay extra attention to its eyes. Every week clean the eye with eye-drops and wipe it off with a cotton swab. Take the dog to the veterinary every six months for eye checkups and follow its instructions.
As a dog breed Labradoodle loves to do physical activity. Therefore, it loses lots of calories every day. The dog needs lots of nutritional foods; otherwise, it won’t remain active and get tired quickly. The dog owner must provide these nutritional elements to the dog for its better health.
- Protein: In scientific research, it has been proven that protein is the building block of muscles. A dog can never develop properly without this element. Make sure the dog gets enough protein in its diet. Regularly feed the dog beef or chicken-based meal for this purpose. Vegan people who don’t like meat base products can feed their Labradoodle soya chunks. It is a good alternative protein source for the dog.
- Carbohydrate: It is one of the primary macronutrients that supply energy to the dog’s body. There can be three types of carbohydrates. These are grain fiber, starch, and sugar. For a healthy diet, the Labradoodle needs all of these types of carbohydrates in proportional quantity. However, many Labrador Poodle Mix dogs are allergic to specific grains. For these types of dogs, there are many types of grain-less food available in the market.
- Minerals and Vitamins: For a healthy immune system all dogs need vitamins and minerals in sufficient proportion. Vegetables are the best source of vitamins and minerals. But many Labradoodles don’t like vegetables in their meal. For these types of dogs choose processed dog foods from the market. These processed foods contain an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals.
- Fats: Make sure the Labradoodle gets 15 to 20 % of fat in its diet, these fat elements stores in the body as a reserve source of energy. In essential times the fat gives the dog power. Most poultry and fish products contain a sufficient amount of fat. Similarly, most dog treats available in the market also contain some hidden amount of fat in it. For this reason, make sure that the dog does enough exercise before getting his treat. Otherwise, the dog will get obese quickly.
Feeding Guidelines for Labrador Poodle Mix
A Labradoodle puppy bellow 9 weeks old does not need outside food. On the 10th week, introduce the puppy semi-solid food and continue this food for the next two weeks. Most Labradoodle puppy above 12 weeks of age can handle solid food. At this time, along with semi-solid food introduce some solid food too. When the puppy is 3 months old it is ready for a kibble diet. It is a very nutritious diet and helps the puppy develop faster. Most Labradoodle puppy gets half of their weight at the age of 5 months. At this time the puppy needs most nutrition-rich diet till before it gets adulthood.
Feed the puppy four times a day when it is 2 to 4 months old. Reduce its mealtime when the puppy gets 4 months old. Feed the puppy only 3 times per day. When the puppy gets even older above 6 months old, slowly reduce its meal one more time and feed it only 2 times per day. Over feeding the dog is not healthy. It can make the dog lazy and become the primary reason behind obesity. How much the puppy will eat depends on its body weight. A small Labrador Poodle Mix dog needs fewer calories than a standard Labradoodle.
The parent breed of Labradoodle is Labrador and poodle. Both of these dog breeds are known for their intelligence. Therefore, the Labradoodle easily gets trained. However, dog dogs do not understand human language. Therefore, the owner needs to take a different approach to train the dog. Most dogs learn from their owner’s behavior. For this reason, the owner needs to physiologically bond with the dog and understand its need. Only then the dog will listen to its master and act trained. Here are some essential training strategies for Labrador Poodle Mix dogs.
- Form a Physiological Bond
The dog listens to the person who feeds him. The dog learns on whom it can depend on for daily survival. Whether it is a daily meal or treat, the dog listens to the person who feeds it regularly. It is the first step of bonding. Just like food, love and care is also an essential part of physiological bonding. Pat the dog whenever it follows the order. It will give the dog assurance that it is doing a good job and get motivated quickly.
Many Labrador Poodle Mix dogs are hyperactive. They can’t sit still and always jump or bark on something. Teaching obedience to these types of dogs can be tricky. The trainer needs to use a collar and leash for these types of dogs. The first step of obedience is to make the dog calm and confine its movement. Use a heeling stick to sit the dog down near your heel. Then give the dog a treat as a reward when it calmly sits down. This step will teach the dog a basic form of obedience.
- Potty training
It is not a daunting task. With repeated training, the dog can easily get trained on this subject. Potty training is one type of habit formation training. Every day take the dog outside to a certain place for this task, one time in the morning and one time in the evening. At the time of potty loudly use any specific word. Slowly the dog will learn that this specific word means potty and it needs to do this task on this location. Most Labrador Poodle Mix dogs are very intelligent and they can learn potty training in just a couple of days.
Generally, most Labrador Poodle Mix dogs are social. They love people and love to play with them. However, sometimes they can be aggressive if not trained properly. The owner needs to build confidence in the dog. For this reason, it is a good idea to take the dog out and let it interact with others. However, the owner needs to take appropriate safety measures at this time. Always put the collar and keep the dog on a leash when it goes outside. Otherwise, it can bite others or run away easily.
Every dog chew and Labradoodle is also no exception. The owner needs to understand that there are two reasons behind it. The first reason is the teething sensation. The dog feels an enormous sensation when its teeth grow. At this time, dogs love to chew their bed and shoes. A durable chewing toy can be the solution to this problem. Another reason for chewing can be anxiety. Most Labrador Poodle Mix dogs get anxious when they left alone for a long time. For this reason, never left the dog remains alone for a long time.
- Retrieve training
The Labrador is famous for its retrieving capability and all Labrador Poodle Mix dogs have this gene in their blood. For this reason, the Labradoodle can hunt as well. However, the dog needs proper training to master this trade. The owner needs to play fetch with the dog and train him for hunting. Use a bird-shaped hunter to create the hunting environment for the dog.
Just like a human the dog also needs exercise. Regular exercise keeps the dog physically and mentally fit. It also prevents obesity and prolongs the dog’s life. Most Labrador Poodle Mix dogs are energetic and love to do exercise. Here are some common exercise ideas for Labradoodle owners.
- Daily walk
It is the basic exercise that every Labrador Poodle Mix dogs need. At least walk with the dog for 40 minutes two times every day. Try to do this walking at a fast pace. It will help the dog burn some calories and give him some freedom from captivity.
Running is the best exercise for Labrador Poodle Mix dogs. 20 minutes of running burn lots of calories and keep the dog lean. Any Labradoodle suffering from obesity needs to run every day. Make sure at the time of running the dog remains on a leash.
Labradoodles love water and they are good swimmers. From the age of 12 weeks, they can do swimming. Take the dog to the nearest pool and let it swim for 5 minutes. It will give the dog some cardio exercise and make it fit.
All Labrador Poodle Mix dogs have hunting genes in their blood. For this reason, these dogs can retrieve easily. Every day the owner should play fetch games with the dog. It will help the owner bond with the dog and spend some quality time together.
- Puzzle games
There are many puzzle games available in the market for dogs. Most Labrador Poodle Mix dogs are very intelligent. These games will develop their mind faster and make them more social to others.
The Labrador Poodle Mix dogs are very famous among celebrities. They love to have these dogs for their cuteness. However, these dogs have much more capability than only just being cute. They are very loyal and friendly. They socialize with other people and children easily. For this reason, many people use Labradoodle as a guide dog. This dog shed less fur than other dogs. For this reason, they are hypo allergic. Anyone with a dog allergy can have a Labrador Poodle Mix dog without any problem.
However, this dog is not perfect. The friendly nature of this dog makes it unfit for guarding. Even though this dog shed less fur, but they require regular maintenance and care. The hair of Labradoodle grows rapidly and needs regular trimming. Similarly, in older age, the dog can also develop dysplasia in the hip & elbow. Even with few flaws, most people love them for their kind nature and make it their family member.