Labradoodles originate from Australia. Wally Cochran initially bred them, during the 1970’s, as guide dogs for allergy sufferers. The aim of the breed was to produce a dog with all the characteristics of the gentle, easy going, intelligent, highly trainable Labrador without the unfortunate habit of coat shedding. He settled on the highly intelligent Poodle, with its woolen coat, to compliment the Labrador and so the Labradoodle was conceived. The Labradoodle takes the best of both originating breeds and makes the ideal family pet.
The Labrador has been a family favourite for years due to its intelligence and easy going nature. The combination of its trainability and intelligence has also meant it has been a firm favourite as a guide dog. The only problem is it loses copious amounts of hair, at molting time particularly, and the oils it secretes means it’s a no, no for anyone suffering with allergies.
The Poodle was originally bred as a working dog, retrieving game from marshes and water for its owners. Hence the well recognised ‘poodle cut’ that leaves their coat thicker around all their joints, which was intended to protect their joints from the cold whilst in the water. The rest of their coat was kept short in order that they could dry off quickly. In these modern day’s we rarely use the Poodle for what it was originally bred. The Poodle is a highly intelligent dog and it is not all about its looks!
Labradoodles, in fact, benefit highly from this crossbreeding having taken place in their very recent history, the result is that they are the end product of two entirely separate gene pools, resulting in an extremely healthy dog known, in the biological world, as having good hybrid vigor. This way of breeding negates the constant problem plaguing any dedicated breeder of purebred dogs, as they battle against interbreeding issues within their often limited genetic pool for their particular breed.
Because it is still relatively early days in the development of this breed, the coat varies in each litter from:
There are two sizes of Labradoodles; Miniature and Standard. These sizes are dependent on what size poodle the pups are bred from; Miniature Labradoodles are bred from Miniature Poodles and Standard Labradoodles are bred from Standard Poodles. There is a range in size of the pups when fully grown and these are all down to which genes the pup has inherited. The top end of miniatures and the bottom end of Standards overlap and are sometimes referred to as medium size labradoodles. Males are generally bigger than females.
- Miniature size. Measures aprox on average 44 – 52 cm’s shoulder height. Weights aprox on average 12 to 20 kg’s
- Standard size. Measures aprox on average 53 – 58 cm’s shoulder height. Weights aprox on average 22 to 30 kg’s
Much is mentioned about F1, F1B, F2, F3 and multi-generation Labradoodles, so here is a break down of what these mean:
- F1, first generation, Labrador X Poodle. Pups produced are mainly scruffy coated with some woollen and some flat coated pups. Standard size is pretty consistent. The miniature sizes vary depending on what gene the pups inherit.
- F1B, F1 back-bred to a Poodle normally, and in rare instances a Labrador but this is not recommended, the reasoning is to strengthen the coat for allergy sufferers. Pups produced have mainly fleece or woollen coats, with the occasional scruffy coated pups. Size varies depending on what gene the pups inherit. A backbred litter can occur at any level so there are F2B’s, F3B’s etc.
- F2, second generation, F1 Labradoodle X F1 Labradoodle. Pups produced have the widest variation in coat. Coats to expect are woollen, fleece, flat-coated and scruffy. Size varies depending on what gene the pup inherits.
- F3, third generation, F2 Labradoodle x F2 Labradoodle. Pups produced are starting to settle down in coat. Coats are mainly fleece or woollen with the occasional scruffy. Size varies depending on what genes the pups inherit.
- Multi-generation, when F3 Labradoodles, and more, are bred together. The coats seem to settle down offering mainly fleece and woollen coats. Very occasionally there is a throw back flat coat or scruffy coat.
The Labradoodle has developed into a success not only as guide dogs but as a highly sought after family pet. Its success is not surprising because of its lovable personality and low to non-shedding coat. The words that are used most often attributed to a Labradoodle are; confident, clever, loving and loveable, vivacious, loyal, affectionate, joyful, sociable, friendly, comical, intuitive, totally non-aggressive and devoted.
Not surprisingly they love water, but this can vary depending on their individual personality. They love being part of your life and get very lonely if they are left by themselves all day long, so won’t suit a family working away for the whole day.
A few of our pups, from our previous litters, have gone on to be working dogs and the feedback that we’ve received is that they are highly trainable.