If you’ve never come home to the excited kisses of a soft, fluffy Labradoodle, you’re missing out! These sweethearts are taking over the world as more and more people realize their capacity for love, loyalty and affection.
Before you adopt, however, there are a few things that you should know about Labradoodle care. They can have particular needs, and not every family is in the right place to meet them.
Is the Labradoodle a good choice for you? Are doggy kisses on your horizon? Let’s find out!
Are Labradoodles easy to care for?
As a breed, Labradoodles are sweet, friendly, and sociable dogs. Their Labrador side gives them a gentle, lovable sort of temperament, and their Poodle side gives them a focus and intelligence that makes them easy to train. They’re also fantastic with kids, so they make great family pets!
The drawbacks of owning a Labradoodle are mostly related to everyday annoyances like shedding. They can also have health problems from genetic conditions and behavioral problems from poor home training.
While generally happy and healthy dogs, Labradoodles can be predisposed to certain genetic conditions:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: In dogs, “dysplasia” refers to a joint or socket that doesn’t develop correctly. It’s most commonly seen in the hips and elbows. It can impact everything from mobility to overall growth.
- Vision Problems. Cataracts are common in Labradoodles. They’re also prone to eye-related diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) that can lead to blindness.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease: This is a blood-clotting disease that can be inherited from both the Labrador and Poodle side, so Labradoodles are more vulnerable to it than other breeds.
- Addison’s Disease: You might recognize Addison’s Disease as a human ailment, but dogs can suffer from it as well. It causes pituitary gland malfunctions that can result in many different health problems.
It’s a good idea to get pet insurance for your Labradoodle since you just can’t be sure if and when these issues will appear. Before you choose a policy, however, make sure that it will cover hereditary conditions. Here are a few providers that you might consider:
Each brand has its own pros and cons, so make sure to do your homework about costs, claims and coverage types.
You might have heard that Labradoodles are hypoallergenic, but this isn’t actually true. They just come in low-shedding varieties that can be less harsh on the sinuses.
There are three coats that you might see on a Labradoodle:
- Wool Coat: Also known as the “curly” coat, this fur has the shortest and tightest curls. It’s the most similar to a Poodle. It doesn’t shed much.
- Fleece Coat: Also known as the “wavy” coat, this fur is probably what you associate with Labradoodles. It’s soft and silky, and its texture is a mix of dense curls and loose and flowing twists. It doesn’t shed much either.
- Hair Coat: Also known as the “straight” coat, this fur tends to be long and just slightly wavy. It’s the most similar to a Labrador. It can shed quite a bit, and it’s also prone to odors if not regularly shampooed.
Your dog’s grooming needs will depend on their fur type. If they have a hair coat, for example, you might want a special tool like the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush to help cut down on the shedding. Regular baths are also a must, so roll up your sleeves and get ready for some splashing in the tub!
Labradoodles are sweet and fun-loving dogs, so they aren’t usually known as a “difficult” breed.
That said, they can have behavioral problems. Do any of these sound familiar?
- High energy levels
- Herding behaviors
- Dominance issues, especially with other dogs in the house
- Destructive biting and chewing
Some of these problems can stem from poor socialization or a lack of obedience training. Others might be related to stress, boredom, separation anxiety or undiagnosed health problems. For example, a Labradoodle with hip dysplasia might chew on things rather than express their pain through whining or limping.
Something else to consider is that Labradoodles are a crossbreed, so they might inherit the traits or issues of both sets of parents. This can be a good thing when it comes to loyalty and intelligence and a frustrating thing when it results in pure, bull-headed stubbornness.
Ultimately, every Labradoodle is different, so their training needs will be different as well. Try not to approach it with a “one size fits all” mindset. Figure out what works best for your particular pooch.
Are you considering a fluffy new adoption? Or maybe you’ve already brought them home and are wondering what’s next. These are just the basics of Labradoodle care, so feel free to expand on them with further research. Your sweet little pup deserves the best!