The Labradoodle is a crossbreed dog of Labrador retriever and Poodle. The breed became popular in the late 1980s as it was used as a hypoallergenic guide dog. However, the labradoodle is not a recognised breed, but its generally friendly and energetic temperament means it is trainable for more than just a family dog or guide dog, with people becoming interested in using the breed as a gundog.
When it comes to popular gundog breeds, their desire for retrieving, hunting or pointing is habitually innate and comes naturally to them. With Labradoodles it can be different, as though their lineage would lead them to be ideal hunting dogs, it is more often dependant on the dog itself. While training your Labradoodle to retrieve can be done, whether they do it naturally and with enthusiasm is down to the dog. Their high energy makes Labradoodles great for being working dogs, though should you want yours to be a gundog, you may want to look at their lineage to give some idea of how they may take to the task. Working parents are a good indicator your Labradoodle will take to retrieving, and extra training will be inevitable.
The labradoodle became known in 1988 when Wally Conron, an Australian breeder crossed a Labrador retriever with a standard Poodle. He aimed to combine the low-shedding coat of the poodle with gentleness and trainability of Labrador retriever, providing a guide dog that was suitable for people with allergies to fur. Labradoodles are now used around the world as a guide, and assistant dogs, therapy dogs and are suited to being family dogs.
Labradoodles are intelligent, easy to train and also need socialising with other people and dogs. Socialising them ensures they are a well-rounded dog; not overly boisterous or destructive in the home and not shy and timid from other dogs and any task put before them. Training for a friendly labradoodle with good temperament should come easy, and their energy and enthusiasm should mean that you can do a variety of training routines to keep them active and stimulated.
Being a crossbreed, Labradoodles do not have a predictable look or characteristics. They can have soft or wiry hair which can be straight, wavy or curly. Straight-coated Labradoodles are described as having ‘hair’ coats, wavy-coated dogs have ‘fleece’ coats, and curly-coated dogs have ‘wool’ coats. Colour varies too, ranging from black to blonde. Being a mixture of a Labrador and poodle, Labradoodles are medium to large in size.
Labradoodles are playful, energetic and intelligent, so need to be mentally and physically stimulated. Long walks, up to an hour in total every day, are needed, and training exercises should be carried out as much as you can to keep their mind stimulated. We have a range of gundog accessories that can help you keep your labradoodle healthy and happy.
Labradoodles also suffer from problems that are common in their parent breeds of Labrador Retrievers and poodles such as hip dysplasia and eye disorders. Elbow dysplasia might also be an issue, so screening needs to be done before breeding. Labradoodles are also known to suffer from progressive retinal atrophy which can cause blindness.
Take a look at our other blog posts about gundogs here, with guides to popular gundog breeds and information about caring for your dog!