The Labradoodle is a Labrador Retriever and Poodle mix known for being a sociable, affectionate and smart dog with a low-shedding coat. They are great with children, but can get overly excited and knock down younger kids inadvertently. Labradoodles have 3 different types of coat – straight, wavy and curly. They need to be brushed once or twice every week. If this breed has caught your attention, here are 5 things you should know about them.
1. How Much Do Labradoodles Shed?
Labradoodles shed differently. Since they are a crossbreed between the Poodle and Labrador, they could either be light shedding or medium shedding dogs. You could also get a heavy shedder. If your dog inherits the coat of its Poodle parent, he will shed less. If he inherits the Labrador’s coat, expect him to shed all year round.
Labradoodles with a straight coat shed a lot. Those with a curly coat are non-shedding. Labradoodles with a wavy coat are a light shedder or may not even shed at all.
2. How to Deal With Labradoodle Shedding
Brushing your Labradoodle once or two times weekly will help reduce shedding. Invest in a wide-tooth comb, de-matting rake or slicker brush because a simple brush won’t be enough. Take your dog to a professional groomer every six to eight weeks for a full grooming and de-shedding treatment. Feed him a premium dog food that is formulated to support a healthy coat and skin.
Trimming his coat may also help you deal with your Labradoodle shedding problem. A shorter coat is easier to maintain and brush. However, this decision will depend on what his coat is like. The Labrador has a double coat that should not be shaved. Poodles, on the other hand, have a single coat that grows back easily.
Ask the groomer or vet for advice before trimming your Labradoodle’s coat. You can also increase your chances of getting a low-shedding dog by going for a Labradoodle with a curly coat. Avoid an F1 Labradoodle because this generation has the most variation in its shedding tendency and coat trait.
You should also find a reputable breeder because they have a lot of experience. This means that they will be able to predict the shedding level in a litter based on their past breeding experiences. Labradoodle puppies have soft coats that are easy to manage. Their coat will start to change as they age. Their adult coat usually grows between the age of 6 and 12 months.
Brush and comb their coat every day to prevent matting and tangles. After removing the tangles with a comb, you can use a slicker brush to keep his coat smooth. Expect your Labradoodle’s coat to change in color, appearance and texture as they age. Their coat may darken or lighten in color or become wavier. You might have an idea on how their adult coat will look like if you have seen the pup’s parents.
3. Is this Breed Allergy-Friendly?
What you need to realize is that there is no completely hypoallergenic dog. This is because the allergens they produce come from their urine, hair, saliva and dander. They also drag in pollen and dust from being outside. Labradoodles are not hypoallergenic, but they’re more allergy-friendly compared to most dog breeds because they shed far less than other breeds.
Grooming depends on how long and thick their coat is. Longer coats have to be trimmed every 6 weeks, while shorter coats only need to be brushed twice a week.
4. An Active Breed
The Labradoodle has the smart Poodle genes and the athletic Labrador ones, so expect your dog to have a lot of energy. They need to be exercised for 30 – 60 minutes every day. If they are not exercised, they will get bored and show destructive behavior. This breed needs a lot of space due to their energetic personality and size. They are not suitable for small apartments.
You can let them swim or take them out for a jog. If you have a fenced yard, you can let your dog run around and play freely. Early socialization can help control over excitement when meeting with other pets and children.
5. They Are Available in Different Sizes
The size of a Labradoodle will be determined by the size of its Poodle parent. A Standard Labradoodle weighs up to 29 kg and stands at 24″. Miniature Labradoodles weigh up to 11 kg and stand at 16″. Medium Labradoodles stand at 20″ and weigh up to 20 kg. If you want to get a certain size, you have to talk with the breeder about it.
Responsible breeders won’t assure you that their Labradoodles will grow to be the exact size you want. However, they can give information about the physical background of the pup’s parents. This will give you an idea about their size.
Labradoodles can live for 12 – 14 years, provided that they are well taken care of. They are generally healthy, but they also suffer from several health problems such as ear infections due to their floppy ears that can trap moisture and dirt. Labradoodles may develop hip dysplasia, a condition wherein the hip socket doesn’t form properly and it causes lameness and arthritis. Other health problems associated with this breed include elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism.
Don’t feed them throughout the day to prevent gastric torsion. You can divide 1 to 2 1/2 cups of food into 2 meals every day. Another important thing to keep in mind when buying a Labradoodle is to avoid puppy mills.
Reputable breeders sell Labradoodles for $1500 to $2500. If you find a store that sells Labradoodles for a cheap price, you should be wary. Conduct your own breeder research properly, visit the place where the Labradoodles come from and don’t be afraid to ask the breeder about the pups’ parents. Also ask for medical clearances.