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The story of the labradoodle begins in Australia.
In 1988, the head of the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia, breeder Wally Conron, crossbred a standard poodle with a Labrador Retriever. He did so in response to a request for a hypoallergenic guide dog.
The result was a litter of labradoodles. One of the pups in the litter, Sultan, was a smart, sweet, hypoallergenic dog with the intelligence, temperament, and trainability that Conron had hoped to achieve with the crossbreeding experiment. Sultan the labradoodle puppy possessed all of the desirable characteristics from both his parent breeds in a combination that Conron believed would make the mixed breed perfectly suited to life as a guide dog.
Sultan went on to fulfill his guide dog duties and faithfully served a woman in Hawaii for ten years.
Sultan's success led other breeders to begin breeding poodles and Labradors. Today, many service dog organizations around the world breed and train labradoodles as guide dogs and therapy pets, but the dogs have also gained great popularity as family pets. As a result of the dogs' growing popularity, breeders have begun conducting multigenerational breeding in an attempt to move the labradoodle from hybrid to official breed status.
Currently, the labradoodle is not formally recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.
As it is a crossbreed dog, many of its behavioral characteristics and physical traits are somewhat unpredictable and some common health issues include elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy.
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The labradoodle possesses a good combination of behavioral characteristics from its parent breeds. They are usually good-natured, energetic, family-friendly dogs that do well with children and other pets.
Being both smart and energetic dogs, early, consistent training, socialization, and daily exercise is absolutely essential. They are not particularly well-suited to apartment living.
A labradoodle’s coat can range from soft, to wiry, to wavy, to curly. Straight-coated dogs have what are considered “hair” coats, wavy-coated dogs have “fleece” coats, and curly-coated dogs have “wool” coats.
Coat colors include but are not limited to: chocolate, apricot, red, black, silver, cream, chalk, cafe, and multicolor. Not all labradoodles are hypoallergenic, and some do shed, but it’s usually fairly minimal.
The size of the labradoodle is dependent upon the size of the poodle (standard, medium, or miniature) used for the first generation breeding.
A standard labradoodle is between 21-24 inches tall and ranges in weight from about 50-65 pounds. A medium labradoodle averages between 17-20 inches tall and weighs between 30-45 pounds. A miniature labradoodle stands between 14-16 inches tall and weighs somewhere between 15-25 pounds.
This dog is generally healthy, but is also prone to certain health issues that affect both its parent breeds. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, ear infections, diabetes, allergies, and a number of eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and multifocal retinal dysplasia (MRA).
As with any dog, regular, quality veterinary care is essential.
Thinking about adding a labradoodle to your pack? Do your research on these intelligent dogs first and find reputable breeders or rescue groups to avoid buying dogs from puppy mills! Labradoodle-dogs.net is great resource for all things labradoodle.
Is there a labradoodle in your life? Show and tell us in the comments section below!
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