The black Labradoodle is a crossbreed between the purebred Standard Poodle and the Labrador Retriever. They have a black coat, usually with no other markings or small flecks of white on the chest and feet. This hybrid designer dog is active, intelligent and quick witted. They are easy to engage in positive training, and their athletic build makes them ideal for doggy hobbies like agility, flyball and obedience.
- History and origins of the Labradoodle.
- Black Labradoodle characteristics and care.
- Temperament and behavioral traits.
- Finding a healthy black Labradoodle puppy.
A lot comes into play when breeders attempt to create a specifically black Labradoodle. That is because both the purebred Labrador retriever and the purebred poodle come in three different color varieties. Genetics are difficult to control, and sometimes it takes a few generations for breeders to get the desired color of a Labradoodle right. Especially when working with a first generation F1 black Labradoodle.
Where Do They Come From?
The Labradoodle craze is believed to have begun in Australia. Enthusiastic breeders went on a mission to create an intelligent, friendly and responsive service dog that had all the desirable traits of the Poodle and the Lab. Still, because the Labradoodle is a newer generation crossbreed, there is a lot of speculation regarding the majority of his roots.
The Labrador is an ancient breed who hails from Newfoundland, Canada. The Standard Poodle is of German descent and is believed to be over 400 years old. Both breeds were used as waterdogs for fishing and duck hunting, and were renowned for their intelligence and retrieving abilities.
Defining Characteristics of the Black Labradoodle
Just about the only thing you can guarantee about what your black Labradoodle will look like will be his color. This is because he is a crossbreed. For that reason, his coat texture, size, weight and more will be left up to chance.
Despite having similar temperamental traits, the poodle and the Labrador are very different looking dogs. The Labrador has a sleek, thick coat that sheds while the poodle’s coat hardly sheds at all, is much curlier and is quite dense. Both the Labrador and the poodle come in three color varieties. The Lab, for example, comes in chocolate, black and yellow, while the poodle comes in black, brown and apricot.
Both breeds are athletically built water dogs, however. So a prospective black Labradoodle owner can expect this crossbreed to be similarly built, with a long tail, floppy ears, and a sweet, expressive face.
How Big Is a Black Labradoodle?
An adult Labradoodle size is going to depend on several factors. Because he is a crossbreed, your Labradoodle full grown will vary in size. This will be based not only on which genetic traits he inherits from his purebred parents, but also how big each parent breed is.
On average, the black Standard Labradoodle is around 15 to 24.5 inches tall and will weigh between 40 and 80 pounds.
Black Labradoodle Grooming and General Care
While the Poodle is considered to be a hypoallergenic dog who hardly sheds and produces very little allergy-inducing dander in his coat, the Labrador sheds heavier twice a year during shedding season. For this reason, grooming maintenance could vary when it comes to your black Labradoodle mix. They might also shed.
If you get aspects of the Labrador’s coat in your black Labradoodle crossbreed, you may want to brush him about twice a week with a metal comb and slicker brush to keep loose hair under control. On the other hand, if the black Labradoodle has a coat more like his Poodle parent, his fur could be prone to matting and will need brushing a bit more frequently.
The black Labradoodle’s coat shouldn’t be too difficult to keep clean. And due to the dark color, you won’t need to worry about tear stains. However, your black Labradoodle will need an occasional bath every few weeks. He will also need his nails trimmed regularly to keep them from breaking and his ears cleaned to keep them from developing infection due to waxy build up.
Does the Black Labradoodle Temperament Differ from Other Labradoodles?
There are those who claim that black Labradoodle’s behave differently than other colored Labradoodles. But these are claims based mostly on biased and superstitions, with little to no evidence supporting them. Truth be told, a black Labradoodle is still just a Labradoodle. And he will carry whichever temperamental traits he inherits from his purebred parents.
As previously mentioned, the Labrador and the poodle have very similar temperamental traits. They are both family-oriented breeds who do well with children and are incredibly intelligent. However, they are also both highly energetic and athletic. For this reason, a black Labradoodle will more likely than not require a lot of time and patience when it comes to training and exercise.
The black Labradoodle is the crossbreed offspring of two very intelligent and active breeds. He could therefore be prone to boredom and becoming destructive if left to his own devices without doggy jobs or activates. For this reason, we recommend early socialization and obedience training beginning in puppyhood. This will help to ensure the black Labradoodle is a well-adjusted and happy dog.
Can You Show a Black Labradoodle?
The black Labradoodle makes an excellent family pet and service animal when properly trained and socialized. However, he is a newer generation crossbreed and is still not officially recognized by official clubs and organizations, like the American Kennel Club. For those interested in show dogs, purebreds are the best and safest bet. Still, there are purebred standards that dogs used for show require.
Black Labradoodle Exercising and Training Needs
Both the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle are active, intelligent, and highly energetic dogs. This means their black Labradoodle offspring is likely going to be similar. A dog with smarts and energy will require a lot of exercise. Anyone considering getting a black Labradoodle crossbreed should prepare to spend an adequate amount of time every day providing this dog with what he needs to be happy and healthy.
But what kind of exercise do they require?
Daily walks, jogs, hikes and swimming can all serve as excellent exercise outlets. Your black Labradoodle will also enjoy games of fetch, chase, and Frisbee in a large, fenced-in backyard.
Keep in mind that the Labradoodle is the crossbreed offspring of two dogs who were bred for hunting. Make sure that you spend plenty of time working on your recall. Chances are he won’t be able to resist chasing after that squirrel or rabbit, even if it leads him toward a busy road.
Now, what about training?
The Labrador and the Poodle are both very smart breeds, but with intelligence comes independent thinking. For the most part, the Lab and the Poodle are eager to please and make loyal, hard-working students. So long as the training sessions are kept fun, positive and rewarding for them. This means that your Labradoodle should be simple to train.
Make sure you only use modern positive reinforcement training methods, and go to a reputable trainer that doesn’t use outdated punishment.
Health and Lifespan
A Labrador Poodle mix is likely to live into their teens. Provided the dog is well treated and that both parents have been fully health tested. Your puppy’s parents should have great hip and elbow scores, a clear recent eye test and be certified as PRA clear. The Poodle parent should also be clear for Addison’s disease and sebaceous Adenitis.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website