Is the Labradoodle the Best Retriever of the Doodles? 🦆

The labradoodle has a long history of water retrieving in its history from both of its parent breeds. Being the hybrid combination of both the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle its water retrieving skills are unmatched. 🎾 Both the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle are also extremely popular dog breeds according to the American Kennel Club’s favorite breeds list. 

The labradoodle has a lot to love in this doodle package. They are friendly, lovable and make excellent family dogs for an active family. They are outgoing and active and can be considered a high energy 🔋 dog so owners will need to be active to keep this doodle happy and healthy. But for those owners willing to work with their labradoodle’s activity level and sometimes wacky playfulness they are worth the effort. Labradoodles are extremely affectionate and can have a gentle disposition around kids and other pets. 💗

Let’s take a quick look at the parent breeds of the labradoodle and how those traits make up this super smart and hardworking doodle package. 

The Labrador Retriever originated in Newfoundland and was used as a waterdog to retrieve everything from ducks to fish from the water. The Labrador Retriever’s coat is well shielded against the icy 🧊 waters of the North Atlantic. Their coats needed to be thick and short so that they would not become encrusted in ice once they emerged from the frigid waters. Labrador Retriever’s also have their strong thick tail that is commonly referred to as an “otter tail” which is used to help the retriever make sharper turns while swimming. 🦦

These Labrador Retrievers were routinely assigned to fishing boats to retrieve fish that came off of the trawl. 🐟 Due to this, they became known as the fisherman’s dog. The Labrador Retriever was then spotted by English nobles that were visiting Canada and during the 19th century British breeds refined and standardized the Labrador Retriever breed. The Labrador Retriever was then registered by the American Kennel Club in 1917 🇺🇲 . In 1991 the Labrador Retriever topped the AKC favorite breeds list where it has stayed ever since. 

Let’s take a quick look at the other half of the labradoodle hybrid.

The Poodle is called Pudel in Germany 🇩🇪 and Caniche in France 🇫🇷 . Both of these names are a nod to the Poodles original breeding use as a water retriever. The German Pudel name translates to puddle or splashing water . The French Caniche name translates to duck dog. 🦆

The Standard Poodles were originally bred as hunters of wildfowl to retrieve the game out of the water. The Miniature Poodle was also bred in France as a talented circus performer 🎪 . These Miniature Poodles were trained to walk tightropes and even perform card tricks and skits. 

Both the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle have long histories as water retrievers and companion dogs. 

Sizing it all up

The size of the labradoodle can vary depending on the size of the Poodle parent that was used during the breeding process. Poodles come in 3 to 4 different sizes including Standard Poodle, Medium Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle, although the Medium Poodle is not universally recognised. 🐩

Color Coding, Fur Real

The labradoodle’s coat can be straight or curly or somewhere in between. Some can be more wiry and some are super soft. But they are generally low shedding and have less of a dog odor than a Labrador Retriever thanks to their Poodle parent. 🐩

Labradoodles can come in many different colors including yellow, black and chocolate just like their Labrador Retriever parents. They can also be white, black, gray or different shades of brown from their Poodle parent. The labradoodle may also end up with some combination of these colors. 

They will need to be brushed daily or every other day to prevent matting. They will also require a bath 🛁 about once per month. The labradoodle will need to have its hair trimmed about every 4 to 6 weeks, this can be done by a groomer or owners can learn the grooming skills and do it themselves. All doodles also need to have their ears checked once per week to remove any debris or trim hair. The floppy doodle ears can trap dirt and moisture and lead to ear infections. 👂

A quick note on hypoallergenic and what that actually means. 

 The AKC states that “there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog”. Unfortunately people with dog allergies are usually allergic to the dog dander 🦠, not the dog’s fur. Granted the dog fur can be a carrier for the dog dander it is not the cause of the allergen. The old school of thought was that less dog hair = less allergen. So breeders would attempt to have as many Poodle genes in a dog breed to lessen dog hair shed. Unfortunately, this does not change the level of dander. Please be cautious regarding the labels of “hypoallergenic” if you have dog allergies. If you would like more info on this please read 22 Hypoallergenic Doodles. 🤧

Working it out

Labradoodles are moderate to high energy doodles that need between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day to stay happy and healthy. Both parent breeds come from a working background and need to stay physically and mentally active. The labradoodle has superb retrieving 🦆 and swimming instincts from both of its parent breeds. Labradoodles are more than happy to go for a swim or participate in dock diving. They also enjoy agility courses or just going for a jog. The labradoodle can be trained to participate in any activity that the owner enjoys. They are very versatile and love to learn new things. 🎾

As with all doodles the labradoodle will need early socialization and puppy classes in order to learn good habits and not become destructive. 

⚠️ One word of warning, it is not recommended to have your doodle participate in highly strenuous activities prior to the age of 10 months due to underdeveloped joints and bones. ⚠️

Come, Sit, Stay

Labradoodles are one of the smartest doodle hybrids. Both of the labradoodles’ parent breeds are highly intelligent and are easy to train. 🎓 The purebred parent breeds of the labradoodle are both very high on the list of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. The Labrador Retriever and the Poodle also both have a long history as working dogs and both exhibit a very strong work ethic. 🐕‍🦺  In addition to a strong work ethic the labradoodle has an innate desire to please their owners which also makes them super easy to train. 

As with all doodles, the labradoodle needs early socialization and puppy classes in order to develop healthy habits for life. 👍

Quality of Life

Labradoodles are fairly healthy doodles that can live between 10 to 13 years. However labradoodles can still be susceptible to the same medical issues 🩺 that either of their parent breeds are prone to. These medical issues include joint dysplasia, eye issues, diabetes and epilepsy to name a few. Many of these medical issues can be tested for by your veterinarian. 🧪

So now you want a Labradoodle….

If you are thinking about getting a labradoodle you must make sure that you are in love with any combination of traits that a doodle surprise can offer. 🎁 Your doodle may look exactly like a Labrador Retriever but act exactly like a Poodle. Would you be ok with that? What about the other way around? If you can love 💗 ALL of the traits of both parent breeds then DO IT! Doodles are the best! 

I would check at Poodle rescues and also at Labrador Retriever specific rescues, they may have a mixed breed/hybrid there as well. Also check regular rescues. Just realize that if you want to rescue you may have to wait to find your dog or travel to pick it up. But there are great benefits to rescuing instead of buying. 👍👏

If you decide to buy a puppy please do your research on the breeder and don’t be afraid to ask the right questions. And good luck to you! I hope you find your forever puppy! 🥰

Hello there! My name is Rochelle and I’m one of those doodle moms who doesn’t have kids but probably gives more care to my doodle than some people do to their own children, spoiled would probably be an understatement. ;) After becoming more active online with other doodle owners I realized that thousands of doodle owners are facing all sorts of issues with their dogs. I knew with my education and training history I could make a positive impact.