The Labradoodle is a cross between the Labrador retriever and the poodle. You may recognize him as the pooch beaten by a wet nose in the Obama White House's “First Dog” competition to a look-alike Portuguese water dog.
The labradoodle entered the limelight in 1988, when an Australian breeder successfully crossed the Labrador retriever and standard poodle to create a guide dog for the blind that might also be attractive to those allergic to fur and dander. Introduced to American breeders soon afterward, the breed gained skyrocketing popularity because of its calm guide dog demeanor and hypoallergenic nature.
Like the poodle, the labradoodle is available in three distinct sizes -- standard, medium or miniature. The standard labradoodle stands at least 22 inches at the shoulders and weighs more than 45 pounds at maturity. Medium labradoodles reach a height of 17 to 31 inches and a weight of 25 to 45 pounds. Labradoodle miniatures measure 14 to 16 inches high, while gently gracing the scales at less than 25 pounds.
Due to its hybrid nature, the texture and colors of labradoodle coats vary. A labradoodle coat texture might be wiry, wavy, tightly curled or soft like fleece. The color of the coat could be tan, gold, red, black, brown or brindle. Most labradoodles have odorless, low to non-shedding coats, though some with strong Labrador genes do shed lightly and with less odor than Labradors.
Blessed with the outstanding qualities found firmly ingrained in the genes of their parent breeds, labradoodles are naturally intuitive, social, loving and easily trained. They crave stimulation, require companionship and have proven themselves to be great dogs for families, especially those with young children.
Labradoodles and Popular Culture
Labradoodles have made quite an impression on popular culture, even making it into the Oxford English Dictionary – creating a new winning word placement for you Scrabble gamers. The famous board game Monopoly has also hopped on the popular hybrids bandwagon, replacing the Scottish terrier icon with a labradoodle on their “Here and Now” game version.
In the charity arena, Lucky the labradoodle, a stuffed plush toy made by Lord & Taylor, has been utilized to raise money for the American Cancer Society and other notable causes.