Labradoodles are not a breed onto themselves, but a mixture of two AKC recognized breeds. Their popularity is due to the combination of the fun personality of a Labrador retriever with the intelligence and hypoallergenic properties of a poodle. Their fans pay purebred-prices for what is, essentially, a mixed breed.
Lonely Lab Seeks Pretty Poodle For Long-Term Relationship
Labrador retriever image by crazy.nataly from Fotolia.com
Labs are easy-going, happy-go-lucky dogs who have earned their place as one of America's most popular dogs. However, Labs shed quite a bit, and this one little flaw causes some people to avoid them. The standard poodle is bright and does not shed. Though the poodle requires regular --and pricey -- grooming, the trade-off is a fur-free home. There's no guarantee, however, that a Labradoodle won't shed. If the Lab genes for the coat are dominant, the Labradoodle's fur will fly. The size, like the coat, of a Labradoodle depends on the parents.
Who's Your Daddy?
According to the AKC breed standard, Labrador retrievers range in size from 55 to 75 pounds. They also can reach a height of 22.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulders for a male, and 21.5 to 23.5 inches for a female.
The breed standard for a standard poodle, (the "oodle" in Labradoodle) is over 15 inches tall and weighs in at 45 to 70 pounds for a male, and 45 to 60 pounds for a female.
If the Labradoodle's father is a Lab on the upper end of the scale, for example, 75 pounds; and the mother is a standard poodle who is also larger than average -- 60 pounds -- then the Labradoodle puppy is genetically predisposed to be around 24.5 inches tall and weighing up to 75 pounds. Conversely, if the parents are on the smaller side, the puppies will most likely be smaller too.
Fake It 'til You Make It
Adorable Labradoodle image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com
According to the AKC, in order for a breed to become recognized by the AKC, there must be "documentation that the breed ...has been breeding true for many generations, with accurate record keeping; evidence that there is sufficient interest in the breed throughout the United States; and a national club in place that meets AKC requirements to act as the parent club for the breed." Breeding true means the puppies have had a uniform standard for many generations. Until the Labradoodle has been bred for many generations, it's difficult to say how big a Labradoodle will be. Even if you put two Labradoodles together, there is still such a mixture of genetics at play that it's difficult to pre-determine how big the puppies will be.
It's safe to say that a Labradoodle puppy will be anywhere between 45 to 75 pounds, and as tall as 15 to 45 inches, taking into consideration the breed standards for both Labradors and poodles. Variations among litters are common, with some puppies being small and others being quite large.
Michelle A. Rivera is the author of many books and articles. She attended the University of Missouri Animal Cruelty School and is certified with the Florida Animal Control Association. She is the executive director of her own nonprofit, Animals 101, Inc. Rivera is an animal-assisted therapist, humane educator, former shelter manager, rescue volunteer coordinator, dog trainer and veterinary technician.