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SERVICE DOG BREED SPOTLIGHT: THE LABRADOODLE


Labradoodles have quickly risen in popularity since they were first bred in the late eighties. Known as a crossbreed or designer breed, these cute fuzzy pups are a mix of the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle. Because they are mixed dogs, they possess the traits of both their parent breeds.

In this post, we will look at the origins of the Labradoodle, some physical and personality traits, and why these dogs, like the breeds they come from, make great service animals.

WHERE DID THE LABRADOODLE COME FROM?

The story of the Labradoodle is quite interesting. Back in the late 1980s, a visually impaired woman in Hawaii needed a guide dog. She didn’t need just any guide dog, but one that her husband, who was allergic to dogs, could tolerate. She then came to the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia to help with this problem.

Wally Conron, a guide dog trainer and head breeder for the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia, was the first man to breed the Labradoodle. The idea was to breed the Labrador Retriever (because they make terrific guide dogs) and the Poodle which has a low shedding and hypo-allergenic coat, to create a guide dog for the woman while mitigating the allergies of her husband. Mr. Conron successfully bred the first litter of Labradoodle puppies. Sultan, the puppy whose temperament was suitable to be a guide dog and whose hair samples came back as compatible with the allergy sufferer, was sent back to Hawaii to work as the first Labradoodle guide dog.

LABRADOODLE PERSONALITY

Because Labradoodles are a mixed breed of the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle, they possess the characteristics of both these breeds. 

Labrador Retrievers are known for their friendly demeanor, high trainability, and outgoing and loving nature. Poodles are known to be exceptionally smart with superior learning ability. These stylish and attractive dogs are people pleasers that are also highly trainable.

Taking after the Poodle and Labrador, Labradoodles are intelligent, friendly, outgoing, and highly trainable dogs as a mixed breed. Labradoodles are affectionate, social with both people and other animals, and are eager to please. They are energetic and playful and require a substantial amount of exercise. Like the Labrador and Poodle, Labradoodles are smart dogs that can train easily if you have experience with dog training. If you need help with training, please visit Thousand Hills Pet Resort Training!   

LABRADOODLE PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Labradoodle size and weight can vary greatly. They are bred from a labrador and either a miniature, medium, or standard-sized Poodle. Since Labradoodles are a mixed breed, it is important to note that the size of the Labradoodle will vary based on the parent dog.

Miniature Labradoodles stand 14 to 16 inches and weigh 15-30 lbs. The height of a medium-sized Labradoodle ranges from 12 to 20 inches and weighs 30 to 45 lbs. The standard size Labradoodle stands at a height of 21-24 inches and can weigh from 45 to 100 lbs. 

Just like their size, coat texture, and color also depend on the Labradoodle parents and generation. If you want to learn more about Labradoodle generations, check out We Love Doodle’s article here.

Generally, the coat of a Labradoodle sheds less and is more allergy-friendly than other dog breeds. Labradoodle coats come in three different textures: hair, fleece, and wool. The coat of a Labrador resembles hair and is the least allergy-friendly of the three textures. Fleece is the more “typical” Labradoodle look and consists of loose waves. Fleece is low shedding and is more allergy-friendly. The final texture, wool, is the closest to the texture of a Poodle.

Wool fur is dense and made up of tight curls. This coat sheds the least and is the best type for the allergy sufferer. When it comes to coat color, Labradoodles have a wide variety, including black, chocolate, apricot, red, and even multicolored.  

DO LABRADOODLES MAKE GOOD SERVICE DOGS?

Yes! Labradoodles can make great service animals whether it is as a guide dog, PTSD service dog, or anything in between. Both the Labrador Retriever and Poodle individually make great service dogs, this mixed breed naturally does too. After all, the Labradoodle was initially created to be a guide dog. 

Having the temperament of the Labrador Retrievers make the Labradoodle a simple choice to be a service dog. The key characteristic of having a low shedding coat also makes it the go-to dog for people that need a service dog and who also suffer from allergies. Labradoodles possess many other attributes necessary to be a service animal, including:

  • Friendly 

  • Sociable

  • Affectionate

  • Easy-going temperament 

  • Strong work ethic

  • Intelligent

  • Easy to train

  • Energetic

  • Eager to learn

  • People pleasers

  • Ability to bond with the handler

  • Low shedding, hypoallergenic coat

The Labradoodle is a mixed breed that seems to combine the best of both worlds-the lovable and friendly temperament of America’s favorite dog breed and the high intelligence and hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle. Labradoodles make great house pets and wonderful service animals, especially to those that suffer from allergies. Interested in seeing some New Life K9 Labradoodles? Check out our “Dogs Page” here.

Help save lives and donate to our cause!

New Life K9s places service dogs with veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to the veterans and first responders.

References

Logue, Heather “12 Facts Only Labradoodle People Understand” The Dog People. Rover.comhttps://www.rover.com/blog/labradoodle-facts/

“Labradoodle” Vetstreet.comhttp://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/labradoodle

“Poodle (Standard)” American Kennel Clubhttps://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/poodle-standard/

“Labradoodle Coat types” Labradoodle Mix https://labradoodlemix.com/labradoodle-coat-types/

“How Was The Labradoodle Breed Created? A Meeting With Wally Conron Creator of the Labradoodle” Cobberdogking.comhttps://www.cobberdogking.com/en/about-labradoodle/how-was-the-labradoodle-created/

Cutts, Shannon “Labradoodle Size-A Guide To Every Labradoodle Size” The Labrador Site. September 16, 2019https://www.thelabradorsite.com/labradoodle-size/#:~:text=Labradoodle%20Height,inches%20(paw%20to%20shoulder).

Elwin, Wally “Can Labradoodles Be Service Dogs” Lover Doodles. June 25, 2020https://loverdoodles.com/can-labradoodles-be-service-dogs/

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