Labradoodles are one of the most popular precious-looking dogs with a lovely temperament. They are quite alert, highly intelligent, and trainable, with a warm and playful nature. And due to these easy temperaments, Labradoodles are one of the dogs that many people look forward to owning or even breeding.
Labradoodles are a hybrid between a Poodle and a Labrador retriever. And breeders must have a sound knowledge of both the breeds, i.e., Poodle and Labrador retriever, and its resulting crossed breed.
Breeders must also be very aware of its canine genetics, its certain personality traits, and health issues.
Therefore, before we dive into all these details, let’s first explore the Labradoodle breeding background.
Labradoodle Breeding Background
Here’s a little backstory of how the Labradoodle came to be. The Labradoodle is a hybrid between a poodle and a Labrador retriever. This mix was first found in Australia when some breeders made a start to produce a non-allergenic guide dog.
In 1988, a man named Wally Conron crossbred a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle, both purebred, for Australia’s Royal Guide Dogs Association.
Upon request, Wally Conron bred the first mix of Labradoodle for a visually impaired woman in Hawaii. She had a special request for a guide dog that won’t further flare up her husband’s allergies.
So, to achieve a non-allergenic dog, breeding Labradors with a non-shedding dog was the requirement. Hence, they picked the standard Poodle to breed with their Labradors. Poodles’ curly hair neither sheds nor causes dandruff and therefore they were of great attraction to many.
Thus, this was how he soon developed the Labradoodle breeding program. And now, many breeders are developing the breed ever since.
In fact, the first-ever Labradoodle to exist was a dog by the name of Sultan. Wally Conron’s dog was specially bred with the intention of serving as a guide dog to allergic owners. Thus, Sultan was a massive success because the dog’s coat was non-allergenic, plus he had the intelligence to serve as a service dog, hence, comfortably meeting both the requirements.
Personality And Temperament Of Labradoodles
Labradoodles are complete people lovers, with warmth and affection for their families. They have the Labrador’s fun energy and the diligence of both the breed, the Poodle, and the lab. Labradoodles do very well with other pets if you happen to have any in your household.
Because of their easy and fun personality, they make an excellent pick for a new dog owner. While they are harmless, they could unintentionally injure young children because of their overly cheerful nature.
This cheerful, full-of-fun Labradoodle can be relatively calm too. So they’re not necessarily ideal as guard dogs.
Moreover, Labradoodles are intelligent and widely recognized for their intelligence, making them perfectly trainable. Therefore, they are also ideal for serving as guide dogs.
Additionally, because of their superior intelligence, they can quickly process information and can be very perceptive. However, factors such as level of socialization, the amount of training they have received, heredity, etc., may contribute to their behavior.
This bright and friendly Labradoodle is fun to have around. Just like their parents, they love swimming and are highly enthusiastic. They are devoted with the nature of keenness to please, making them excellent and versatile therapy and family dogs.
Despite all their energy and playful nature, they are generally calm and highly affectionate with both children and adults.
But one thing to keep in mind is that since Labradoodles are not a pure breed, you cannot expect consistency in the offspring. Some puppies might be a little more reserved, quiet, and intelligent like that of Poodles. In contrast, others can end up being more energetic, slow to mature, noisier, etc., like Labradors.
Likewise, you can even expect inconsistency in their coat as well. Some dogs can either have a high-maintenance type of fur or a short, low-maintenance type. And some coats can be more prone to shedding than others.
Appearance Of A Labradoodle
Due to the Labrador and Poodle’s breed size, you can expect Labradoodle’s size to vary from medium to large.
When it comes to their coat, they are also bound to have various types, including straight hair, wavy or curly hair. Its texture can also vary from soft to wiry.
When it comes to colors, the labradoodle comes in varieties of shades. Some of the most common shades you’ll see are – chocolate brown, black, white, silver, cream, apricot, or even red.
Similarly, since Labradoodles are crossbred, even their size will range to some extent.
To mention a few, here are some of the most common Labradoodle types and their measurement.
A standard-size Labradoodle male will mostly weigh about 50-65 pounds with a height of 22 to 24 inches. In comparison, a typical female can weigh about the same with a slightly smaller height of about 21 to 23 inches.
It can weigh 30-45 pounds for a medium-sized Labradoodle male with a height of 18-20 inches. And females will likely weigh the same with a smaller height of 17-19 inches.
And for a mini Labradoodle, both male and female will pretty much have the same height of about 14-16 inches and weight of 15-25 pounds.
Thus, if you are looking to own a Labradoodle, the above information can help you ascertain the type of Labradoodle you should go for. If you have a smaller home or live in an apartment, then choosing a mini labradoodle will be ideal for you. Since bigger dogs usually have more energy and will demand more space.
How To Start Breeding Labradoodles
Breeding this loyal and extremely loving Labradoodle on your own may require some heavy research to breed them successfully.
To learn more about their breeding techniques, we must make sure that they are at the right age.
So, the ideal age for a Labradoodle to start breeding is when they are two years of age.
At this age, Labradoodles will mostly be mature enough to start producing. It is recommended that you should not consider Labradoodle breeding, both male and female, earlier than the recommended age.
It is also advised to wait to breed the female doodle until they have crossed its second heat cycle.
Let’s further study why it is essential to wait to breed doodles, especially females.
For Female Labradoodles
As with most female dogs in general, a female doodle can experience her first heat cycle as early as six months. But just because the heat cycle has begun does not mean they are ready to breed. This is where a large portion of Labradoodles’ breeding mistakes stems from. Many make the mistake of breeding them too early.
Early breeding can have several adverse effects. It can cause the mother confusion because she herself hasn’t developed fully yet. And on top of that, carrying puppies in her belly will only drain her, increasing the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.
Breeding young Labradoodles that are barely a year or over can result in a disastrous outcome. As they are too young with the not fully developed pelvis, they could easily die during the process of giving birth. Thereby endangering not only her life but the puppies as well.
While early breeding is unhealthy, it is equally harmful to breed your Labradoodles for too long. It is best if you would stop breeding your doodle once she is eight years and above.
Also, take sufficient breaks between every breeding. If you don’t take this suggestion seriously, it can lead to severe damage to your dog.
Because as your dog gets older, there will be a decline in the quality of eggs. Thus, making pregnancy even more complicated.
Moreover, an old female doodle will have difficulties completing the entire term of pregnancy, later increasing the risk of miscarriage and stillborn births.
Also, due to the deteriorating eggs, the puppies are more likely to be sickly, making it quite hard for an older Labradoodle to have healthy puppies.
Another complication that comes with breeding an older Labradoodle is the low production of milk, which is quite common in older mothers.
For Male Labradoodles
Compared to the female doodles, the male is a lot simpler in many ways. However, this in no way means that we can take their health less seriously.
Like how it is with the females, you should wait to breed your male dogs, at least until he turns two years old. This is because research shows that around two years of age is the ideal age for them to breed since they are at their best mature self sexually around this age.
And just like how it is with the female dog, even the male’s sperm quality will deteriorate with time.
However, taking your Labradoodle to the vet regularly will significantly extend his breeding period.
He can be bred even up to ten years of age, producing healthy puppies.
Guidelines For Labradoodle Breeding
You need to look into some things to ensure that your Labradoodle is ready before you start breeding them.
Mentioned below are some of the points you need to check before you consider breeding your dog.
- Find your female Labradoodle a fitting male Labradoodle
- Find out the genetic history of your dogs.
- Get your dog screened for diseases.
- Make sure that your dog has proper training.
One main concern every breeder should have is the dogs are in their best health. Every breeder wants the healthiest puppies, therefore to get the best offspring, you should make sure that the parent is of the best genetic traits.
Moreover, a breeder should be well aware of the genes the dog’s possible mate carries. It is to make sure that you avoid any future health hazards.
Thus, breeders need to be well informed about all these above points before breeding the dogs. Doing so will make a huge difference in both the parents and the puppy’s health.
Health Concerns When Breeding Labradoodles
Cross-breeding presents specific health-related issues of which you must be well aware. Knowledge about their potential health issues will help avoid or reduce any possible health effects on your puppies.
The main issue with cross-breeding is that they are prone to pass on recurring diseases from both sides of the breed. And the worst part is that this can even continue for multi-generations.
Some of the most common congenital diseases that get passed on are – PRA (Progressive retinal atrophy), joint dysphasia, etc. It may also include other critical genetic defects like Addison’s disease and Von Willebrand’s disease.
- Joint dysphasia
This disease mainly affects their elbows and hips, causing limitations in movement. It can even lead to arthritis. And due to its limited physical activity, the dog can end up being more stressed out and anxious.
PRA is a congenital eye disease that will eventually cause blindness. Therefore, breeders must make it a pivotal point to DNA test Labradoodles before breeding them.
- Addison’s disease
It is a common health complication for labradors and standard poodles. This disease disturbs the dog’s pituitary gland’s normal functioning. Some of its symptoms include- lack of appetite, weakness, depression, excessive thirst, urination, sudden weight loss, etc.
This disease requires immediate and lifelong treatment.
- Von Willebrand’s disease
This disease affects platelet binding, making normal blood clotting impossible. This disease will significantly affect the dog’s quality of life. It can turn minor injuries into big disasters.
Some of its symptoms are-
Excessive bleeding when injured, bleeding gums, blood in the urine and stools, etc.
Therefore, to minimize recurring diseases as much as possible, breeders should not breed their doodles before having them, or their male counterparts screened. This step will significantly help you steer clear from getting unhealthy puppies because a healthy parent will make healthy offspring.
Thus, if you are looking to breed your Labradoodles for the first time, you would first have to be aware of many things.
To ensure your labradoodle has a quality life with the best health conditions, you must pay special heed to your dog’s health and age. And to enjoy the excellent result, you must make sure that you follow the guidelines mentioned above carefully.
With the above-detailed history and guide about Labradoodle breeding, you are sure to have the best experience you are looking for.
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