What a great name that is! As most people know Labradoodles were created by crossing a Labrador retriever and a standard poodle. However, not a lot of people know they were originally bred to be used as guide dogs for people who are allergic to fur. The idea was to combine the low shedding coat of the Poodle with the trainability of the Labrador. However, the experiment didn’t work and out of the first litter of pups only one passed the allergy test.
There is a myth that Labradoodles are hypoallergenic, however this is not true. This is due to the unpredictable variations in their coats. It can be anything from wiry, soft, straight, curly or wavy. No dog is allergy friendly, but poodles are a safer option as they are a low shedding breed.
Generally, Labradoodles possess the gentle disposition of the Labrador and the intelligence and bounciness of the Poodle. They are great with kids and for people who have special needs. They are also highly intelligent, non-aggressive dogs that are easy to train. However, they will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation.
Although most Labradoodles are healthy, they can suffer from certain congenital health problems associated with both parent breeds. Labradors are susceptible to hip dysplasia and other joint problems. Labs are also at risk of developing eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts and retinal dysplasia. Poodles could develop problems such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxations, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and seizures. As with all dogs, make sure you see your vet as soon as possible if your dog shows any signs of eyesight problems
If you look online and in the papers you will see many adverts and sites selling Labradoodle puppies. However, the majority of these will not have checked the health of the breeding dogs and/or the pups. Sadly, it will all about the money rather than the wellbeing and future health of the puppies. If you are looking to buy a Labradoodle puppy we would recommend you do your homework and only buy from a reputable company. The breeders should be able to supply documentation to show the health checks the parents and pups have had and will be able to offer information and advice about the possible health issues mentioned above. Also, it may be worth asking what generation of Labradoodle they are. For example, if they are pups from a Lab and a poodle or if they are bred from two Labradoodles.
If you are getting a Labradoodle or already have one we recommend your vet regularly checks them to ensure any issues are spotted at the earliest opportunity.
As always, if you need advice about buying a pup or if you have a Labradoodle and want more information about any of the health problems please call the clinic or leave a question on our Facebook page.