History of Labradoodles

Labradoodles are a relatively new breed of dogs that were first bred by Wally Cochran in 1988. Wally Cochran, of The Royal Guide Dogs in Victoria Australia, was prompted to breed the Labradoodle after receiving a request from a blind woman living in Hawaii. She needed a guide dog that wouldn’t aggravate her husband’s allergies. Hair and saliva samples from 33 different poodles in Hawaii were sent to the couple to see if the dogs would cause an allergic reaction in the husband; they all did. Wally then asked the manager of The Royal Guide Dogs about crossing one of their Labrador Retrievers with a Standard Poodle. He agreed, and so the first Labradoodles were bred.

There were only three puppies in the first litter; only one of which didn’t bother the husband’s allergies. The other two puppies also lived useful lives, one as a Remedial Dog, and the other as a Guide Dog. There was a waiting list of people wanting to puppy walk Guide Dogs, but when these new cross breeds needed homes no one wanted to take them in. Wally knew it was important that these puppies socialize with a family, so he aired a story on Channel 9 in Melbourne about “the new breed of Guide Dog. In the show he first coined the word “Labradoodle”. Soon the phone rang incessantly with people wanting to puppy walk the amazing new “breed” of Guide Dogs.

Wally bred Labradoodles to other Labradoodles, calling the new puppies “Double Doodles”. He then bred Double Doodles to Double Doodles and called the offspring “Tri Doodles”. Out of the 31 Labradoodles that were bred at Royal Guide Dogs, 29 made it as Guide Dogs. People fell in love with the new breed, and soon there was an overwhelming demand for them that was not being met.

Because of their immense rise in popularity, people began crossing any Labrador with any poodle without any regard to genetics, bloodline, or temperament and calling the puppies “Labradoodles. The result was an unpredictable variety of puppies with various physical characteristics. The evident need for breeders to develop a standard for this fascinating doggave rise to the establishment of two Breeding and Research Centers for Labradoodles in Australia.

In 1989, Rutland Manor Labradoodle Breeding and Research Center was organized in Darnum, Victoria. They used only health tested Labradors, Poodles, and 3rd generation Labradoodles. The Tegan Park Labradoodle Breeding and Research Centre located in Seaspray, Victoria was established at the same time. It also carefully controlled its breeding program, using only the finest genetically healthy dogs.

In 1998, Tegan Park introduced the “Miniature” Labradoodle to the public. When these were crossed with the standard Labradoodle, the medium Labradoodle resulted. Thus three sizes are currently distinguished; the miniatures are 14 – 17 inches tall, the mediums are 18 – 21 inches, and the standards are 23 – 26 inches.

Labradoodles from the early generations had a large diversity in coat types. Some of the curlier coated puppies grew up to be low allergy, while others started out low allergy but by 8 months had shed their coats, which was replaced by a coat that was not low allergy. Some puppies grew up to look like Golden Retrievers with a thinner coat, and others looked similar to a Labrador.​

The breeding centers selectively bred away from the shedding coat and now, shedding coats are rare. Labradoodles are now bred to have either the truly Fleece coat or the Wool Curly coat. The fleece coat has a distinctly soft fleecy feel unlike any other dog coat. It hangs in loose loopy spirals like that of the Angora goat.

The Wool Curly coat resembles that of a poodle and feels like a soft woolly sweater. Both coat types are non-shedding and allergy friendly. The coats come in a variety of colors including: Black, Silver, Cream, Apricot Cream, Chalk, Gold, Red, Apricot, Chocolate, and Café.

Labradoodles are sociable, friendly, non aggressive, and extremely intuitive. Their intelligence and high trainability make them well suited for guide dogs, therapy dogs, and other assistance dogs. Their non allergic coats make them popular among people who have not been able to enjoy pets because of their allergies. This new breed is bound to become even more popular as more people learn about the lovable Labradoodles.

Food, Feeding and Nutrition

Good nutrition is crucial for dogs at all stages of life.  According to the AKC, puppies 6 months and younger should eat three to four times a day. At 6 months, they can eat twice daily. Once pups become adults, they can get one or two meals a day, depending on how much exercise they get. 

We start our puppies off with a high quality lamb and rice kibble. We previously used a grain free food with good results but have switched due to the research around cardio myopathy and grainfree foods. We are currently using Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice. 

We recommend that when you get your puppy, that you continue with our food and should you choose to change it, that you transition with the Diamond Naturals--introducing your preferred food gradually.  

As your puppy grows, consider giving them a tsp of raw coconut oil each night as a treat. The benefits are immense! Great for their teeth, breath, digestion, coat, and immunity.

FOODS TO AVOID:

  • Alcoholic beverages 

  • Apple seeds 

  • Apricot pits 

  • Avocados

  • Cherry pits

  • Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol) 

  • Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)

  • Garlic

  • Grapes 

  • Gum (can cause blockages and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)

  • Hops (used in home beer brewing) 

  • Macadamia nuts 

  • Moldy foods 

  • Mushroom plants 

  • Mustard seeds 

  • Onions and onion powder 

  • Peach pits 

  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts) 

  • Raisins 

  • Rhubarb leaves 

  • Salt 

  • Tea (because it contains caffeine) 

  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts) 

  • Walnuts 

  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)

  • Yeast dough

Grooming

House Training

A Labradoodles coat will change from a puppy coat to an adult coat. It's a very gradual change and as is typical of Labradoodles, you should see little or no shedding during this phase. Once the puppy coat is gone, your Labradoodle will need some maintenance to keep them looking good and free of mats. Regular brushing is recommended as well as monthly grooming with a local groomer, especially in the warmer months. Before you go to the groomers, do a little Google or Pinterest research on Labradoodle cuts and have one on hand to show the groomer. Just like us, they can end up with a very funny-looking or unflattering cut if the groomer is not familiar with Labradoodles. ​

 

A note about their ears! Labradoodles need to have the hair inside their ears plucked! Groomers will often take care of this for you, but should that not happen, please remember to gently but firmly pull on the hairs sprouting out of their ear canal, clearing it out so that they can hear better and feel better.  It does not hurt them, and they will thank you for it. 

Our puppies begin life in a Dura-Whelp whelping box. This has a special pad inside that is the perfect surface for them to begin learning to walk and move around. It supports their joints and gives them a soft place to rest.  When they are about 4-5 weeks old, they transition to our adobe doghouse that has a doggie door where they learn to poop and pee separate from where they sleep.

 Because they are still so young, house training still might take some time. Their bladders only work so well! I recommend taking them outside to the same spot every 20-30 minutes for the first week at least. Pay special attention to them if they start to sniff and circle around the house--they are usually about to go! Never scold a puppy if you find a gift from them after the fact. If you can catch them in the act, let them know its not ok and then take them outside. I also find that consistently using the same command (go pee, go poop, or whatever other poetic phrasing you would like to use) is a great way to teach them. 

Other Training

We also recommend kennel training. It will not be easy at first, but the dogs will come to love their own space and it really helps with the housetraining as they will not go potty where they sleep! We have been told that putting a blanket over the kennel makes them feel more secure, but I have no first hand experience with that. I can also share that we bought expensive fancy dog beds for our new puppies when we got them and found that they preferred the floor or a bathmat! So, save your money for high quality food and buy a fluffy bathmat instead!  Easy to wash too!

Puppies will be teething when you get them! If you value your shoes, cords, and children's toys, most definitely get them a few chew toys! Do NOT get any rawhide, as they cannot digest it yet. Expect them to be chewer's til they are at least 1. Some might get over it sooner, but its good to be prepared!

"What a beautiful world it would be if people had hearts like dogs"

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