In the dog world there are certain breeds which take off in popularity for one reason or another. Over the past 7-8 years it appears that breed has been the Labradoodle. Continually increasing in popularity, the Labradoodle is a good natured and intelligent animal. It is a hybrid dog, bred between a Labrador retriever and a Poodle. Although they are not a recognized breed, there are steps being taken to create a breed standard.
It is really not surprising that Labradoodles have become so popular so quickly. They were originally bred in Australia to serve as guide dogs, and their hypoallergenic coat made them an instant success story. The characteristics that resulted were a smart, well socialized dog with low shedding features. Although the breeding is not showing totally consistent results with coat type, the Labradoodle remains an incredibly popular dog.
In addition to the above coat qualities, this dog is a very versatile family pet. As a very social dog, these animals love being around their family, and are great with kids. They are playful but gentle. The obvious cautions would stand in place with little children. While they train easily, the dogs may jump when excited to see a person. Therefore, the chance of knocking a little child down becomes present. They are medium-sized dogs generally reaching almost two feet at the shoulders, and weighing between 50-60 pounds. They are very intelligent dogs though, and with easy training can be taught not to jump. As with any dog, training is an important part of their upbringing. Labradoodles are very aware of their surroundings and territory. They make good guard dogs for that reason. However, they are not vicious so they are good for alerting their owners when someone is there, but are not likely to take down an intruder.
Their coats are one of the big draws people have towards the dog. The hypoallergenic coat makes it a great asset for families that have allergic reactions to animal fur or dander. Dander is the skin flakes of the animal that come off with shedding fur. This is also where one of this hybrid's discrepancies turns up. The Labradoodle is meant as a non-shedding dog. Depending on the characteristic traits a puppy picks up, they may have some of the Labrador shedding coat. It is common to have multiple coat types within the same litter as well.
These dogs need space. They are ideal for families with houses and yards. Because of their social nature they do better in families where people are around much of the time. They can be crate trained and do well spending several hours in their kennel. Labradoodles tend to do well with other pets in the home as well.
Labradoodles are not prone to any specific medical issues, but like all breeds, proper veterinary care is important for maintaining the general health of your pet.
Reasearch is widely available on these breeds of dogs, and if you have a family that is looking for a loving playful addition, then Labradoodles might be the right move for you.
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