Labradoodle Breed Highlights

A Labradoodle lying in the living room on a rug and holding a tennis ball

  • Wally Conron, a breeder in Australia, is often credited with breeding the first Labradoodle puppies in his effort to breed a less allergenic service dog in 1989. Though there’s no definitive proof, his efforts and subsequent work popularizing the term “Labradoodle,” certainly played a big role in their rise to fame. However, other breeds were crossed with poodles (such as the Cockapoo) as early as the 1950s.

  • Australian Labradoodles are more strictly regulated than other Labradoodles, in an effort by reputable breeders to create a standardized breed. These breeding lines only allow Labradors, Poodles, and Cocker Spaniels to be used in Australian Labradoodle lines.

  • The Labradoodle coat comes in three textures: Wool, Fleece, or Hair.

  • The Oxford English Dictionary finally added the word “Labradoodle” in 2006.


Unique Personality

Trupanion dog breed guide - Labradoodle illustration 

Labradoodles are an exciting mix of two great parent personalities. They combine the intelligence and thoughtfulness of the Poodle with the friendliness and trainability of the Labrador Retriever. Since both parents are sporting breeds and water dogs, Labradoodles are energetic and love having a job to do. This makes them an excellent breed for service and therapy work, but can also get them into trouble if they don’t get enough physical and mental exercise.

Preferred Lifestyle

Energy Level

dog energy level - medium (mall walker) to high (tri-athlete)

With Kids

Icon - outline of a little boy and girl

Labradoodles are known to do quite well with children when properly introduced.

With Other Pets

Icon - cat and dog outline

Doodles like the companionship of other animals, with proper socialization.

Environment

Icon - outline of a house

Doodles come in three sizes and thrive in a variety of environments. So, whether you’re an apartment dweller, farmer or anything in between, the Doodle is a great match.

Average Lifespan
(Range)

12 to 15 years

Average Size
(Range)

Miniature: Under 17 inches tall at the top of the shoulders
Medium: 17 - 21 inches tall
Standard: 21 - 25 inches tall

Breed Group

Not recognized by the American Kennel Club. Both parents are Sporting group.

Similar Breeds

History of the Labradoodle

A Labradoodle dog running outside with his tongue hanging out

The Labradoodle is a relatively new crossbreed, introduced in the late 1980s. Though it hasn’t been definitively proven, history tells us breeder Wally Conron crossed a Labrador with a Poodle, at the request of a client to develop a hypoallergenic guide dog. Only one of the three puppies in the original litter didn’t elicit an allergic response. His name was Sultan and he went on to serve as a guide dog for Conron’s client for ten years. But that was just the beginning for this impressive breed. 29 of the first 31 Labradoodle puppies bred at the Royal Guide Dogs facility in Australia passed the program.

Initially, the public wasn’t all that excited by this new crossbreed. So Conron went on a marketing blitz and christened the breed “Labradoodle.” With just a little bit of exposure, Labradoodles quickly climbed the popularity charts. Even the Obamas considered bringing a Labradoodle to the White House.

Changes Over Time

As society tends to do, we fell in love with the Labradoodle but wanted to make it small enough to fit in our pockets. Breeders responded to requests for different sizes by crossing Labradors with Miniature Poodles or small second-generation or multigenerational doodles, giving us the three sizes found today.

Currently, Australian Labradoodle breeding is more structured than other Labradoodles, in an effort to create a standardized breed to someday be recognized by the British Kennel Club and American Kennel Club. While not an official breed yet, there are organizations such as the Australian Labradoodle Association of America and Australian Labradoodle Club of America who oversee the development of breed standards and offer membership to approved breeders. Labradoodles can’t compete in Conformation or breed shows yet. However, the AKC does allow them to register as mixed breeds so they can officially compete in other dog sports like agility, rally, and obedience.

Breeders now classify Labradoodles with the terms F1, F1B, F2, and Multigen, which tells you what breed or breed mix the puppy's parents are. Often this is done to highlight specific characteristics of one of the originating breeds, such as the curlier Poodle coat.

  • F1: Labrador Retriever + Poodle

  • F1B: Poodle + Labradoodle (F1)

  • F2: Labradoodle (F1) + Labradoodle (F1)

  • Multigen: Labradoodle + Labradoodle (F1B, Multigen) or Poodle

Labradoodle Behavior and Training

Trupanion dog breed guide - Labradoodle illustration

Labradoodles were created to provide working service dogs for those with allergies. They’re a great combination of the Poodle’s mind and the Lab’s work ethic. They are sweet, energetic, and love spending time with their people, making them ideal family pets. And their ability to connect with human emotions positions them perfectly to work as assistance and therapy dogs.

Plays Well with Others?

  • Labradoodles are known as a very friendly breed. Positive exposure to new sights, sounds, people, dogs, and other animals as a young puppy is essential for their socialization.

TRAINER TIP

Pair meeting new people or animals with high-value training treats or a favorite toy, and keep introductions short and sweet so it doesn’t get overwhelming.

  • Doodles generally fit right in with big families. Take care to introduce and socialize them with children as a young puppy to set them up for success and create a positive association. Young children and dogs should always be supervised, and it’s helpful for a dog to have their own “safe space” where they can go when they need some quiet time.

  • They can also enjoy the companionship of other animals in the home, as long as they have been properly socialized and introduced.
Graphic - bouncing red ball image

Exercise Requirements

Size is a big factor in the amount of daily exercise needed. This breed will benefit from different types of physical activity, beyond a daily walk. Most Labradoodles love to swim, play fetch, and also make great jogging partners. Speak with your veterinarian about appropriate exercise for a Labradoodle puppy. Until they are full-grown (bone growth plates typically all close by around 12 to 18 months of age), avoid jogging or running distances with them beyond what they would do on their own. Overworking at this young age can possibly increase the risk of damage to the growing bone and cartilage and cause pain and future joint issues.

VETERINARIAN TIP

While a tired dog might be a good dog, puppy exercise shouldn’t be forced or “pushed” in any way. Follow your puppy’s lead in the amount of activity they’re able to do. If they’re slowing down, and certainly if they stop and sit down, it’s time for some rest and recovery. In some cases they might have FOMO (fear of missing out, for those of us who aren’t hip to the lingo) and try to “keep up” with you or another dog in the family, So keep a watchful eye and make sure not to let them push too far and over-exert themselves.

Mental Enrichment Needs

The Labradoodle needs daily mental stimulation and brain games to keep them happy, entertained, and out of trouble. Participating in positive reinforcement training for obedience or teaching tricks is a fantastic way to burn extra energy and keep their minds sharp.

Common Behavioral Issues

Labradoodles can develop separation anxiety if they aren’t positively exposed to alone time from puppyhood. This is one place where a little early training goes a long way. Making alone time a good experience and providing lots of mental stimulation at a young age should do the trick.

TRAINER TIP

Any time you leave your Labradoodle alone, pull out a frozen stuffed Kong or other yummy treat toy. When you return (even if only after thirty seconds), put it away until next time. This will help your Doodle learn that when you’re gone, awesome stuff happens, and they’ll make a positive association with your absence.

Fun Activities the Labradoodle Enjoys

Trupanion dog breed guide - Labradoodle illustration 

Beyond basic training and socialization, Labrador Retrievers excel in a variety of dog sports and activities, including:

  • Dock Diving

  • Hunting

  • Nose and Scent Work

  • Trail Hiking

  • Therapy Work

  • Agility

  • Rally Obedience

Labradoodle Coat Type

Labradoodles may have one of three coats, depending on the genes they inherit from their parents. All are single-layer, low shedding, and allergy-friendly.

Wooly coats resemble that of a Poodle, but tend to be softer and less wiry. This is common in the first generation breeding of a Labradoodle, or if a Labradoodle is bred back with a Poodle.

Fleece coats are unique to Doodles and can be straight or wavy with swirls and loops, with a very soft, fleece-like feel.

Hair coats are less common, resembling a Labrador Retriever’s coat and only found in early generations of the breed.

Labradoodles can be any color in the Poodle family, including chocolate, cream, apricot, red, black, and silver. You might even see coat patterns such as tri-colored, white markings, particolored (white base coat of more than 50% with a secondary color), or phantom (bi-colored with the same markings as a Doberman).

Shedding Level

dog shedding level - 1 of 5 piles of fur

1 out of 5 piles of fur

Grooming Requirements

  • Daily Maintenance
  • Professional Grooming Required

Labradoodle grooming can be a bit tricky to qualify because it’s entirely dependent on each individual Doodle’s coat. In most cases, daily brushing is needed to prevent matting and regular professional grooming helps keep the length manageable. If left to grow, things can get a little...hairy (yes, we went there). Just remember, mats can quickly become a painful problem if they develop close to the skin. The curlier the coat, the more prone to matting.

Set yourself and your Labradoodle up for success by introducing them to the brushing and grooming process as a puppy and in a positive way. And schedule regular professional grooming at least every 8 to 12 weeks (or more frequently if you prefer a shorter coat length).

Best brush for Labradoodles: Pin comb, Slicker brush

Famous Owners of the Labradoodle

  • Ariana Grande (Singer)

  • Jennifer Aniston (Actress)

  • Carter Oosterhouse and Amy Smart (TV Host, Actress)

  • Jamie Lee Curtis (Actress)

  • Jeremy Irons (Actor)

  • Lady Gaga (Singer)

  • Kate Middleton (Duchess of England)

  • Barbara Eden (Actress)

  • Neil Young (Singer)

  • Henry Winkler (Actor)

Non-Endorsement Statement: The social media posts displayed here do not imply any endorsement of these people or products, nor does it imply they endorse Trupanion or our product.

Common Health Conditions for the Labradoodle Breed

Use the chart of Trupanion claims data below to find out what health conditions happen most frequently for Labradoodles. Every Labradoodle is unique, but understanding what health conditions are likelier to occur can help you be a more prepared pet owner.

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Trupanion member Kelly

Kelly

Groton, CT

Condition: Sarcoma

The Trupanion policy paid: $18,522.39

"My golden Kelly was young when I found a softball-sized lump on Kelly’s left hind leg. Four weeks straight of radiation, six rounds of chemo and checkups every three months, including x-rays and full blood panel were needed. Because of Trupanion, I didn’t have to address the biggest deciding factor that most people face—can I afford this? I can honestly say Kelly is alive today because of the financial support Trupanion provided."

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Axl

Ontario, Canada

Condition: Pneumonia, Hip Dysplasia, Lameness

The Trupanion policy paid: $2,084.01

"At two, our German shepherd Axl was diagnosed with pneumonia. Trupanion took care of all our financial concerns. At four, his hip issues led to pain medications, rehabilitation and rest, which all resulted in improved pain-free movement. I’m so grateful that we chose a plan that not only covers the cost of his treatment but also any physical therapy or rehabilitation he may need."

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Trupanion member Bella

Bella

Ellijay, GA

Condition: Cushing’s disease, tumor, cruciate rupture

The Trupanion policy paid: $15,283.83

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- Jason P.

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