In 1989, Australian guide dog breeder Wally Conron was faced with a challenge. He had a blind woman who needed a guide dog, but their spouse was allergic to dogs. What could he do? He decided to breed together one of his Labrador Retrievers with a Standard Poodle, creating the Standard Labradoodle and they have been popular ever since!
Since then, the Labradoodle has won the hearts of people everywhere. They’re hypoallergenic, loyal, intelligent, and adore the water. Keep reading to learn more about the first “designer dog” the Standard Labradoodle
Overview of the Standard Labradoodle
The Standard Labradoodle is a popular “designer dog” cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Standard Poodle. The average height of a Standard Labradoodle is 23 inches (58 cm) and they weigh between 50 and 65 pounds (23-29 kg).
The coat of a Standard Labradoodle varies from wavy to curly. They come in a variety of colors including black, brown, cream, gold, apricot, red, and silver.
Standard Labradoodles are outgoing, friendly dogs that make great family pets. They are also highly intelligent and active dogs that need lots of exercise. On the whole, they are friendly, intelligent, active dogs who will follow their owners anywhere — excellent as a service dog, or a general best friend.
First, it is important to bear in mind that all Labradoodles are not purebred dogs. They are crossbreed designer dogs. This means that they can be unpredictable in terms of their coat shedding and appearance. There are no guarantees, even among littermates!
Labradoodles come in three different sizes and the size of a labradoodle is determined by the poodle parent dog or the labradoodle parent sizes.
- Standard Labradoodle: Standard Poodle x Labrador Retriever: These larger dogs have a standard range of 50-70 pounds but can get up to 80 pounds if both parents are tall.
- Mini Labradoodle (miniature Labradoodles): Miniature Poodle x Labrador Retriever: These guys are a medium size of 22-50 pounds.
- Toy Labradoodle: Toy Poodle x Labrador Retriever. They are small dogs that are 22 pounds or less.
If you’ve looked at listings for Labradoodle puppies, you have probably seen things like F1, F1B, and maybe even F3. But what does it all mean? We’re going to break it down for you. The generational classification is identical to the Goldendoodle Classification I have gone into detail with before.
F1: Purebred Labrador Retriever parent x purebred Poodle parent. This is the most common type of Labradoodle cross
F1B: Any Labradoodle backcross. This is usually a Labradoodle crossed with a Poodle parent. The main reason this is done is to reduce the likelihood of coat shedding as much as possible.
F1BB: A double back-cross, which means an F1B cross with a Poodle. This is usually the most hypoallergenic and has the lowest likelihood of shedding if you suffer from dog allergies.
F2: Labradoodle x Labradoodle gives you F2 Labradoodles. Their coat and shedding vary greatly.
F2B: F1 Labradoodle x F1B Labradoodle.
F2BB: F2B Labradoodle x Poodle parent.
F3: Usually F1B x F1B but ask the breeder to know for sure. Anything beyond this is considered “multi-gen.”
What about the Australian Labradoodle?
The Australian Labradoodle is a different case entirely. Along with Labrador and Poodle, there is also American or English Cocker Spaniel in the mix. That’s 3 different breeds! This means that the parents can be a blend of Labrador, Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, and Cockapoo.
Standard Labradoodle Facts
Size: 22-24” male; 21-23” female.
Average Weight: 50-65 pounds.
Lifespan: 12-14 years.
Adaptability: Very good.
Temperament: Generally friendly.
Energy Level: Medium to high.
Dog Friendly: Yes.
Pet Friendly: Yes.
Child Friendly: Yes, but be watchful. Kids may do things like pulling ears and tails that can cause a nip. Labradoodles are high-energy dogs that can be too much for small children and can easily knock them over. Train your puppy from a young age and give them all the exercise they need to prevent issues.
Apartment/Small Spaces: Maybe. Yards preferred.
Grooming Level: Medium to high. Their curly coats make them highly susceptible to matting. You will need to either groom them every couple of days or shave them down every 6-8 weeks.
Shedding Level: Variable. If you want a low shedding Labradoodle select an F1B, F1BB or F2BB (see above).
Standard Labradoodle Temperament
Although the Labradoodle is a designer dog, the personalities of its two parent breeds line up well: intelligent, hardworking, and easy to train. They are also very friendly, playful, and loyal.
Labradoodles make great family dogs, but their energy may get out of hand, so please watch them around small children. Although Labradoodles don’t have as much pep as Goldendoodles, they require a 30 to 60-minute walk every day and like to be with their people. I have found they also love water and mud!
Appearance and Colors
When you think about a cross between a Labrador and Poodle, your mind may immediately jump to “black” as the default color. Yes, they come in black, but there’s so much more! Labradoodles can be cream, gold, white, brown, chocolate, red, and parchment, which has been described as “the color of weak coffee.” Bear in mind that Labradoodles can change color over time.
Labradoodles also come in different patterns. Parti-color Labradoodles are mostly white with patches of one other color. “Phantom” describes a very specific pattern of colors on the face and belly. Finally, “abstract” Labradoodles have splotches of white with no discernable pattern. Some colors are rarer than others, so expect your puppy’s price tag to reflect that!
Labradoodles have three basic coat types: curly wavy and flat. They are generally curly to wavy – especially if they are a backcross with a Poodle parent. Some F1’s can take on more of the Labrador coat characteristics and have a flat coat but this does not happen very often.
Finally, Labradoodles come in several sizes: Standard, Medium (Miniature), and Toy. These sizes come from the Poodle side of the family. If your apartment doesn’t allow large dogs, choose wisely.
History of the Labradoodle
The Labradoodle was first bred as a hypoallergenic guide dog, but how did this mix occur to the breeder in the first place? Let’s look into the parent breeds and find out!
The Labrador Retriever dates back to the 1830s in Newfoundland, Canada (Labrador is a region in that colony), and was later refined into the breed we know today. As the name “Retriever” implies, Labradors were bred to fetch things (usually dead animals) and bring them back to their owners. The Labrador Retriever has always been a working dog, and their awareness, intelligence, and loyalty make them ideal guide dogs.
When most people think of Poodles, they think of France, but there’s a debate over whether the breed comes from France or Germany. Those who side with German origins cite the German name “Pudel,” which is related to the word “to splash.” These dogs were meant to hunt things in the water! Although Poodles may have been around in Germany since the Middle Ages, they were not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) until 1886. The Miniature and Toy Poodles are French in origin and were used in circus performances. Today, they are popular companions and show dogs.
But the most outstanding feature of the Poodle is its coat. The famous curly coat of the Poodle was developed to help the dog stay warm in the water. The curliness of the coat also traps both dander and hair, leading to the idea that Poodles do not shed at all. That curly coat is why Labradoodles were born.
After looking at the histories of Labrador Retrievers and Poodles, it’s easy to see where the breeder got the idea for the Labradoodle: intelligent working breed + hypoallergenic coat = hypoallergenic guide dog. But did you know these hypoallergenic dogs can actually suffer from allergies, too? Read more about the possible health issues in Labradoodles below.
Health and Diseases
Standard Labradoodles are relatively healthy dogs. They exhibit something called “hybrid vigor,” which means that they have a lower chance than their purebred parents of getting certain genetic health conditions.
Even though crossbreed dogs like Labradoodles might not suffer from the inbreeding issues that purebreds do, they can still have health problems!
They can still get allergies and ear infections and these conditions are relatively common in Labradoodles.
Like many large dog breeds. Standard Labradoodles can get several orthopedic diseases such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and osteoarthritis.
Most of the diseases Labradoodles can get come from one or the other parent breed, so if you are concerned, take a good look at the parents. A reputable breeder will have tested their dogs for known health issues.
Other possible genetic health issues come from the Poodle parent. These include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), Addison’s Disease, and epilepsy. Check the parent dogs’ genetics, just in case.
Labradoodles tend to have Poodle-like coats. The curly hair of a Poodle traps some of the hair and dander in it, which can make it mat up. Brush your Labradoodle several times per week and ideally, daily to keep their curly coats from matting. They will also need regular trips to the groomer to trim their face, feet, and around their bottom (called a hygiene clip) to avoid poop getting stuck – not fun for anyone!
You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 USD for a Labradoodle puppy from a reputable breeder. This should include a puppy contract, first shots done, health records of the parents and puppies, and the breeder’s ability to answer any questions you have.
If you are looking for a Labradoodle breeder near you, sites like the Australian Labradoodle Association of America have listings of reputable breeders. Also, check your local animal shelter/humane society. Do not support puppy mills or backyard breeders!
What started as a project to make a hypoallergenic guide dog has resulted in the most popular “designer dog” in the world. With their loyalty, intelligence, friendliness, and cute appearance, this working dog has quickly risen to the top of the pack! We hope this article has helped you decide if the Labradoodle is the right dog for you.
Q: What is the difference between a Medium and Standard Labradoodle?
A: The only difference between medium and standard Labradoodles is the size. Standard Labradoodles are 21–24” high at the shoulder and on the larger side; Medium Labradoodles are 17–20”. Generally speaking, the Poodle parent is a standard for standard Labradoodles and Miniature for medium Labradoodles. Medium and Miniature get used interchangeably and mean the same thing.
Q: What is the difference between a Standard Labradoodle and an Australian Labradoodle?
A: While they may look similar at first glance, there are actually a few key differences between Standard Labradoodles and Australian Labradoodles. For one, Standard Labradoodles are a mix of Labrador Retriever and Poodle, while Australian Labradoodles also include American and English Cocker Spaniels in their lineage.
As a result, Australian Labradoodles tend to be slightly smaller and have wavier fur than their Standard cousins. Additionally, while all Labradoodles are known for being intelligent and easy to train, Australian Labradoodles are typically considered to be even more people-friendly and trainable than other types of Labradoodles.
Q: Which generation of Labradoodle is best?
A: If you want a hypoallergenic dog, go for F1B, F1BB, or F2B; those crosses have a high Poodle content, and therefore are as hypoallergenic as a Labradoodle can get. Don’t forget that Labradoodles are a cross breed and there is no guarantee of their shedding level.
If you want a healthier dog, and don’t mind gambling on shedding, you may want an F1 Labradoodle. These tend to have fewer problems than Labradoodles that have been backcrossed with Poodles or Doodles but have less predictable coat types.
Q: What size is a standard Labradoodle?
A: 21–24” at the shoulder, with males being bigger than females.
Q: Do Labradoodles bark a lot?
A: Not really. They are considered “medium barkers,” meaning that they mostly bark when they need something.
Q: Is a Standard Labradoodle considered a large breed dog?
A: Yes. Any dog that can get over 50 pounds is considered a large breed dog, and Standard Labradoodles can weigh 50–65 pounds.
Q: How much does a Standard Labradoodle weigh?
A: A standard Labradoodle weighs between 50-65 pounds.
Q: Are Labradoodles considered one-person dogs?
A: No, they are friendly and make excellent family dogs. If they are well-socialized as puppies, you should not have any problems.
Q: How long does it take a Labradoodle to reach full size?
A: 12–18 months. Standard Labradoodle is at the longer end and Toys at the shorter end.
Q: Are Labradoodles hypoallergenic?
A: Many Labradoodles are bred with a low–shed coat. They are as hypoallergenic as a dog can be, but no dog is 100% guaranteed to be hypoallergenic. If your reason for getting a Labradoodle relates to allergies, be cautious and consider a trial to make sure that you can tolerate the allergen load.
Q: Are Labradoodles recognized by the American Kennel Club?
A: The short answer is “no” because they are a crossbreed. But Labradoodles can still participate in shows via the AKC’s Canine Partners program. Please check the AKC’s official website for details.
Q: Do Labradoodles like water?
A: Absolutely! Both Poodles and Labrador Retrievers love swimming, so it’s in the blood!
Dr. Elly has always loved animals, and she knew from a young age that she wanted to be a veterinarian. After studying hard in veterinary school, she practiced in several different countries before moving to North Carolina with her husband and young family. She currently works part time as a veterinarian while caring for her 4 busy children and writing this blog. Dr. Elly genuinely cares about the welfare of her patients. She currently has three dogs, two cats, 5 chickens and 2 rabbits (yes a bit of a zoo!)