The Labradoodle is a Labrador Retriever and Poodle cross still considered in most countries as a “designer breed” but is fast on the way to being a pedigree due to its rapid rise in popularity as a family dog. Originally developed in Australia as an assistance dog suitable for allergy sufferers, the Labradoodle has become a mainstay in the dog world. First generation crosses still vary quite a bit in appearance and temperament but the further generations tend to be much more predictable and it would not be a surprise to see a written standard soon for the breed.
The Labradoodle's coat can vary considerably ranging from smooth, like that of a Lab; wavy or wiry, which is a mixture of the two breeds; or curly, like that of a Poodle. The color of the breed is always solid but can vary from a light crème, tan or yellow, or black. The ears of the Labradoodle usually drop straight down and accentuated by wavy or curly hair. The eyes are large, dark and rounded similar to that of the Lab which gives it that friendly inviting expression.
Labradoodles are typically heavier and more muscular than that of a Poodle although the F1-B breed will favor a poodle much more than the Lab. Labradoodles range in size depending on the size of the parent Poodle. Breeders have successfully bred Labs with standard, mini, or toy poodles creating a diversity in size. The standard Labradoodle weighs approximately 50-65 pounds and grows to be 21-24 inches high at the shoulder; the medium-sized weighs approximately 30-45 pounds and grows to be 17-20 inches; and the mini-sized weighs approximately 15-25 pounds and grows to 14-16 inches.
The temperament of the Labradoodle is what you might expect from breeding two of the most intelligent and friendly dog breeds together. They are easy-going, affectionate, playful and love to please! They make outstanding family pets as well as great guide dogs or any number of other service related uses.
Understanding the breeders
Breeders typically classify their litter according to what particular parent dogs used in the breeding. The classifications and descriptions are as follows:
F1 : This is a first generation cross of a purebred Lab and a purebred Poodle. First generation crossbreeds do not struggle with some of the genetic problems that with which some of the pedigree breeds have struggled. F-1 generational breeding may or may not be hypoallergenic and they may or may not shed. Size, appearance, and temperament vary the most with this type of breeding.
F1-B: This is a cross between an F1 Labradoodle and a Poodle. This type will favor the Poodle more with its wavy or curly coat and will most likely be non-shedding and allergy friendly.
F2: This type is a cross between an F1 Labradoodle and another F1 Labradoodle. This type will resemble most closely the F1 type with variations depending on the individual parents and their tendencies regarding appearance and temperament.
F3: This is a crossbreed between an F2 Labradoodle and another F2 Labradoodle. Litters will be more consistent in this type.
Multi-generation: This type is at least a F3 Labradoodle bred with another F3 Labradoodle. In Australia this type of Labradoodle with at least 3 or more generations of strictly Labradoodle breeding is considered a purebred pedigreed Labradoodle.