Though they are crosses of several of the most popular dog breeds in America, relatively few Americans are aware of “Labradoodles” and “Goldendoodles,” two new canine cross-breeds that were introduced in Australia in the late eighties. The former, Labradoodles, are a hybrid of Labrador Retrievers and Standard Poodles, while the latter, Goldendoodles, are a combination of Golden Retrievers and Standard Poodles. Thus the offspring take characteristics from each breed their parent(s) belonged to.
In appearance, Labradoodles range in color from apricot to soft yellow and chocolate, and in height are typically two feet tall. Goldendoodles are of the same usual height, and also typically weigh fifty pounds, but maintain the characteristic wheat-colored coat of Golden Retrievers. The aforementioned coat is the primary reason the Poodle-Retriever mix was bred in the first place; in 1989, the Australian Guide Dog Association, a non-profit organization, was seeking a type of canine that feature a hypoallergenic coat and could be trained for use as a guide dog. However, it should be noted that not all of the cross-breeds have hypoallergenic coats, and such should not be assumed when purchasing any puppy. Coats vary in texture, and may be rough and wiry or very soft.
Both cross-breed varieties have the reputation of being intelligent, loyal, and affectionate animals.. Retriever-Poodle mixes are easily trained and very accepting of children, pets, and strangers; thus, they are not ideal guard dogs, but instead excel in a family setting. Training must be consistent and the dogs intellect must also be catered to; without regular toys, play, and walks, Labradoodles and Goldendoodles will often get into trouble because of their “starved” intellect. It is especially important to train the dog well within the first year, correcting any negative habits before they become long-term issues.
As a puppy, feed your Labradoodle or Goldendoodle food specifically designed for growing dogs to ensure a properly balanced and nutritious diet. Check out our guide to the best dog food for labs. Keep them on this dog food for at least one year, longer for larger animals. Then, as an adult, move to regular food and consistently feed the single brand of your choice at the same time, every day. We recommend using an automatic dog feeder and dog bowl to feed them.
Check out our recommended dog food for poodles.
Groom and bathe on a weekly basis to maintain clean and healthy fur.
As with all dogs, they should be given preventative heartworm drugs; failure to do so can result in parasitic roundworm (Dirofilaria immitis), which reproduces in the cardiovascular system of its victim and can cause congestive heart failure. Also recommended is a flea treatment and preventative, such as those manufactured by the brand Frontline.
Intelligent, friendly, and affectionate, Labradoodles and Goldendoodles both make excellent pets for new owners, families, and those looking for compassionate companions. For all intents and purposes, they cannot be recommended enough if selected for the correct owner; once stabilization of the breed has occurred and recognition achieved from popular dog registries, it can be expected that both canines will become more popular than their ancestors!
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