For years and even centuries before now, people have been attempting to achieve a particular look, temperament or working ability in animals and this is how the Labradoodle came about. They became popular over the past ten to twenty years as people started wanting dogs that were slightly different from the everyday Poodle or Yorkie.
The Labradoodle is a crossbreed dog created by crossing a Labrador Retriever with either a standard, miniature or a toy Poodle. They are a good choice for people who are allergenic so long as the coat inherited is from the Poodle rather than from the Labrador.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be taking you through all you need to know about the Chocolate Labradoodle.
Chocolate Labradoodles – A Quick Summary
- Chocolate Labradoodles are great companion dogs
- Demands for training and mental stimulation are quite high
- They are also highly intelligent dogs
- Great for families with kids and other animals
- They will typically shed quite a bit
- Chocolate Labradoodles lifespan is usually from 12-15 years
- They weigh around 55 – 65 lbs
- Size typically ranges from 20-24 inches for a standard Chocolate Labradoodle
Origin of the Chocolate Labradoodle
Just as the name signifies, the chocolate Labradoodle is exactly that- a Labradoodle that is chocolate.
Where was this animal first mentioned?
This was in the year 1989 and the animal was the product of a breeding program headed by Wally Conron at the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia. The breeding was between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. This was to create an animal with characteristics of both the Labrador and the Poodle; a perfect hypoallergenic guide dog.
The first Labradoodle created by Conron went by the name Sultan and proved effective with its hypoallergenic coat. Its intelligence, skills, and personality made a wonderful combo for a perfect guide dog. There was a success in this first hybridization as Sultan was paired to work with a woman in Hawaii and the results were outstanding.
It was around this time that other breeders started noticing this and decided to go into the breeding of these two animals to get this hybrid. With this, the Labradoodle’s popularity increased just as with Labrador’s and it ended up being one of the most sought after breed of dogs.
Over the last couple of years, some multi-generational breeding has been ongoing to produce the Chocolate Labradoodle, especially to produce a sustainable and identifiable race.
Both the Australian Labradoodle Association and The Australian Labradoodle Association of America have been on this with the hope that the designer dog will become a registered race within the next couple of years. That’s not all as these associations have been doing a lot of work to bring breeders closer together, forming a tightly knit group to help them achieve a common standard of Labradoodles through multi-gen breeding.
Let’s go back now in time to the parent breeds of this hybrid- the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle
The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador retriever also is known as Labrador or simply Lab was originally bred to be both a friendly companion and a useful working dog breed. A sturdy well-balanced Labrador can weigh between 55 to 80 pounds and if it stands can reach a height of 21.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder.
The Labrador also has a double coat- a soft, insulating undercoat topped by a short, hard and dense, protective outer layer. They heavily shed and so brushing their fur at least once or twice a week will help to prevent from flying. Labradors come in either of three colors. They could be yellow, black or chocolate in color.
Historically, Labradors were first identified as the St. John’s Dog or the Newfoundland. It is also believed that the St. John dogs were mixed with the Newfoundland breed and other smaller local dogs making their exact heritage unknown.
The name, “Labrador” means laborer in Spanish and originates from a time when they served as companions to Portuguese fishermen. They performed little tasks like hauling of nets, fetching of ropes and even as far as retrieving fish from the chilly North Atlantic.
Now, they work as retrievers for hunters, assistance dogs for persons with disabilities, show competitors, and search and rescue dogs. They also come in handy in the field of drugs and explosives-detection and for therapy.
The modern-day Labrador has an ideal temperament as it is kindly, outgoing and tractable. It tends not to be aggressive towards people and other animals.
Poodles are thought to have originated from Germany where they were called Pudel meaning “splash in water”, a reference to their jobs as water retrievers.
Over time, they became popular in England and Spain but it was ultimately France who grew to love them. It was in France the breed obtained status as companions and Poodles still enjoy that today.
The crazy haircut of the dog seen today has its root in the dog’s own hunting roots. Its overly thick and curly coat was cut in a way to allow him to swim and at the same time keep his chest and joints warm. This is still practiced now as it is practical for lightening the dog’s weight as well.
In the 14th century, smaller versions of the poodle were produced aside from the original Standard Poodle. These are the miniature and toy poodles. Miniatures were said to have sniffed out truffles, an underground type of mushroom while toy miniatures were often used as more of a decorative dog to the rich. The toy miniatures were also popular as circus dogs because of their intelligence, ability to learn tricks and their love of performing.
Poodles are also dogs that excel greatly at performance activities such as agility and obedience.
How Big is the Chocolate Labradoodle?
The size of an adult chocolate labradoodle is not fixed. It varies and will depend on a host of many factors especially as it is a crossbreed. So, a full-grown Labrador will vary in size based on both the genetic traits of his purebred parents and also the size of each parent breed.
For example, the standard Poodle with a height of 15 inches usually weighs from 40 to about 70 pounds. Labradors on the other hand with their height of 21 to 24.5 inches height usually weigh 55 to 80 pounds with their females weighing smaller.
Putting these in cognizance, if you were to get a medium or large chocolate Labradoodle, it will depend on the size of its parent breeds.
An average measure for the standard chocolate Labradoodle is a height of 15 to 24.5 inches and will most often weigh from about 40 to 80 pounds.
Why should I get a Chocolate Labradoodle; Character and Traits
You’ve probably seen the Labrador and you like a certain feature it has or you know the characteristics of a Poodle but you just want something that’s in between and is also a carrier of the beautiful characteristics they possess.
Well, there’s no guarantee on the traits your chocolate Labradoodle will have. The only thing you can be sure about is that it will surely be chocolate in color.
Oh yes… this is because he is a crossbreed and his physical features like coat texture and type, size, weight, and others will be left to chance. You cannot decide which genes the dog will carry.
Though the Labrador and Poodle have somewhat similar temperaments, they are very different looking dogs.
For instance, the Labrador’s coat is sleek and thick and is continually shedding off while that of the Poodle hardly ever sheds even as it is curlier and less dense. Both also come in different colors. For the Poodle, their common colors are black, brown and apricot while the Labradors have a color range of yellow, black and last but not the least, chocolate.
Both are also water dogs and are built so a prospective chocolate Labradoodle buyer can expect this crossbreed to be of the same stature with a long tail, floppy ears and of course, a really sweet expressive face.
How to care for your Chocolate Labradoodle
The care and grooming you’ll give to the chocolate Labradoodle will differ based on the length and type of coat it has. Because it is a crossbreed, aspects of his coat type are left to chance and genetics.
Bear in mind that while the Labrador is said to be a dog that sheds heavily twice a year during what is known as the shedding season, the hypoallergenic Poodle hardly ever sheds and also has little allergy-inducing dander in his coat.
So, therefore, based on just these alone, the care and maintenance you would give to the dogs already differ. It is the same for every other animal in the chocolate Labradoodle pool.
Take, for instance, your chocolate Labradoodle takes after his Poodle parent’s fur, his fur could be prone to matting and hence would need to be brushed frequently. However, for the chocolate Labradoodle that has aspects of the Labrador’s coat, he may not require so much. You may want to brush him about twice a week with a metal comb and a slicker brush so you can keep the hair under control.
The chocolate Labradoodle also has an advantage with its color as it won’t be so difficult to clean because it is chocolate. Stains will also be nothing to worry about. This doesn’t take away the fact that you need to give your dog an occasional bath every few weeks.
There is also every tendency to forget about the ears. If your chocolate Labradoodle will be the water type, then it is possible for ear infections to set in because of damp ears that are not frequently cleaned. So, if you take your dogs to the swimming pool make sure to dry and clean them after each swim. Also, take care to check the ears at least once a week for dirt or any strong odor as this can indicate an infection. You can dry them once a week with a cotton pad and a mild ear cleaner to prevent problems from arising.
The nails of your chocolate Labradoodle also need to be trimmed regularly to keep them from breaking especially if your dogs are not able to do that naturally. This should be done once or twice a month. When you notice that their nails make a “click” sound when they move, it is an indicator for you to cut them as they are extremely long.
A dog’s nails have blood vessels. In trimming your dog’s nails, take care not to trim them too far down as they could bleed. If this happens, your dog might not be enthusiastic to sit still the next time he sees you with the nail trimmer. If you feel you cannot trim the nails, you can take your dog to the vet or groomer to have them do the job.
One thing you shouldn’t forget is that a puppy’s experience will shape the way he’ll behave when he grows up. So, a good time to start training them is when they are small. Make it a habit to always have your dog brushed and examined. Never forget to study his paws. Give treats and praises as a reward for good conduct. In so doing, it will be a good experience for the dog and also make your job easier for you. That’s not all; it also makes the visit to the vet or any other examination easier.
In all, take proper care of your chocolate Labradoodle. Be on the lookout for any sign of bruising, rashes or signs of infections, such as soreness or inflammations on the skin, mouth, nose, eyes, and feet. The eyes should be clear, without any redness. When you make it a habit of always checking your chocolate Labradoodle weekly, you will be able to detect any arising health issues.
Life Span and Other Health Concerns of the Chocolate Labradoodle
Because the chocolate Labradoodle is a crossbreed of pure breed parents, he is also susceptible to the same genetic issues they are susceptible to.
Generally speaking, the Poodle has a life span of 10- 18 years and has been observed to be prone to diseases like Addison’s Disease, hip dysplasia, thyroid issues, progressive retinal atrophy, bloat, epilepsy, and hypoglycemia.
On the other hand, if all things go well, the Labrador has an expected life span of about 10 to 12 years. However, this pure breed is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, endocrine diseases, diabetes, and a host of others.
So, therefore, it is necessary to do an early health screening for your chocolate Labradoodle puppy. This will help you understand better and prepare for any genetic issues they are prone to have.
Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a proper diet will go a long way in the health of your chocolate Labradoodle. Let your dogs feed well and not just on anything but on good quality foods.
Exercising and Training your Chocolate Labradoodle
As earlier seen, both breeds (Labrador and Poodle) are highly energetic dogs. That’s not all, as they have been observed to also be intelligent and highly active. Chances are their chocolate Labradoodle offspring will probably take after them.
If you are getting a chocolate Labradoodle, then be ready to dedicate time to it. A Labradoodle crossbreed with its smarts and energy and so will require lots of exercises to keep happy. So what would you spend the time doing?
Well, there are lots of exercises the chocolate Labradoodle can engage in. He can go for daily walks, jogs, hikes and even swimming as these will provide an opportunity for him to stretch its muscles. Your chocolate Labradoodle can also engage in a game of fetch, catch and Frisbee in a large fenced-in backyard (this is one reason you need to have adequate space where you live).
Bearing in mind that it is an offspring of purebred hunting dogs, be sure to walk him on a leash whenever you are outside the home for chances are that he may not be able to resist running after a squirrel or rabbit even if it leads him to a busy road.
- READ MORE: IS A LABRADOODLE A GOOD RUNNING PARTNER
As a puppy-owner, one major goal of yours should be to create as many positive meetings and situations with other animals and humans as possible for your chocolate Labradoodle so he can end up as a well-balanced adult dog. This is often termed socialization by dog trainers.
Like other pets or dogs, your chocolate Labradoodle needs to be trained and this taking puppy training lessons with your Doodle can be a great start. Count it more joy too that it is a crossbreed of two highly smart animals that through their intelligence are great independent thinkers.
For the most part, Labradoodles are often gotten for many different working roles. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be looking at the role of your Labradoodle as a companion dog. Seeing that it is a companion dog, the thing that comes to mind first is he will be living in your home and not outside in a dog house or pen. Labradoodles are at their utmost best when they are in the home with you especially when they can sleep beside you or at the end of the bed.
Most trainers believe that it would be very beneficial both to you and your dog to get a dog house. Why so? First of all, this is to ensure it doesn’t cause any trouble in your home. Secondly, a dog house/pen should also serve as a place your dog can retreat into and relax without any disturbance. He knows it is his domain so to speak.
If you want to make use of a dog house/pen for your dog, then it is advisable you should training it from a young age as a puppy as this will help your Labradoodle to better accept being cloistered. Also, it will come in handy on days you and your dog need to board the plane or go to the hospital.
Tips to note though; endeavor not to leave your dog in the house/pen all day. By so doing, it becomes a prison for it. A Labradoodle shouldn’t stay for more than just a few hours in there every day. It is better to let him free and interact with people than keep him locked up.
- READ MORE: CAN A LABRADOODLE BE LEFT ALONE
Is a Chocolate Labradoodle the Right Dog for Me?
I know the chocolate Labradoodle is one of the most popular crossbreeds on the lips of dog enthusiasts but then again, you might still be wondering if you should get one.
Know now that the chocolate Labradoodle isn’t for everyone. Labradoodles are intelligent, yes, but also energetic. If you are a novice dog owner who’s not used to having dogs around, it might turn out to be a handful raising this crossbreed.
However, if you have a pretty active lifestyle and you have the time to take proper care of and train your chocolate Labradoodle, then this may be the perfect pet for you.
A Labradoodle does well with children of all ages so if you are skeptical about having one because of your children, then kill those doubts.
In all, this is not a dog for someone who wants a calm dog that would just laze around all day but for someone who wants the help a labradoodle can give. This crossbreed loves doing doggy jobs and training and it will make him happier.
If you’re convinced this is the dog for you, how do you find the perfect puppy?
How to find the Best Chocolate Labradoodle Puppy
If you can’t wait to get your hands on a chocolate Labradoodle puppy, here’s what you need to do.
Research. You cannot get a good outcome without researching. So endeavor to carry out good research. Ensure you’re going through a tested and trusted chocolate Labradoodle breeder.
When it comes to the health of a chocolate Labradoodle, all that makes the difference is how responsible the whole breeding practice is. Also, take note to know that reputable breeders of this dog already know the health implications of the crossbreed and will have already screened their litters before putting them out for sale.
A good chocolate Labradoodle puppy through such a breeder will go for anything from $1000 to $3000.
So what is your action plan? Are you getting a new chocolate Labradoodle puppy soon? Let us know in the section below.
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