This complete guide to the Labradoodle Labrador mix is all about what to expect from a dog with a lot of Labrador heritage, but also a dash of Poodle.
- The Labradoodle Labrador mix at a glance
- Labradoodle Labrador mix appearance
- Labradoodle Labrador mix temperament
- Training and exercising your Labradoodle Labrador mix
- Labradoodle Labrador mix health and care
- Do Labradoodle Labrador mix make good family pets?
- Finding and raising a Labradoodle Labrador mix puppy
- Pros and cons of getting a Labradoodle Labrador mix
A Labradoodle Labrador mix is also known as an F1b Labradoodle. They are likely to be similar in size and temperament to a pedigree Lab (since the Poodle itself is not all that different). But some qualities, like coat length, texture and shedding, can be very variable from one dog to the next.
Zazu the Labrador has lots of traits which make him a successful therapy dog as well as a loved pet. Let’s see how puppies of Labradors and Labradoodles turn out, and if they’re likely to be similar, or different!
Labradoodle and Lab mix at a glance
- Popularity: Escalating
- Purpose: Usually companionship
- Weight: 40-70lbs (female), 60-80lbs (male)
- Temperament: Intelligent, engaged, devoted
What to expect from a Labradoodle Labrador mix
Labrador and Poodle hybrids were the first intentionally mixed dogs to gain widespread popularity. Crossing a first generation Labradoodle with pedigree Labrador creates an F1b generation.
- The F stands for ‘filial’, indicating that the relationship being described is between parents and offspring.
- The 1 represents how many generations removed a puppy is from their closest purebred parent. In this mix, there is a purebred Labrador parent, so they are only one generation apart.
- And the b stands for ‘back cross’, indicating that a mixed breed dog has been mated with a pedigree dog from one of its parents’ breeds.
Breeders may decide to breed an F1b generation in order to try and secure more Labrador traits, whilst retaining some desirable Poodle traits. For example, Labradors generally have more social confidence around unfamiliar dogs. And Poodles have a famous non-shedding coat. However, the nature of mixed breeding means this isn’t guaranteed to be the outcome. Let’s look at some of the possibilities in more detail.
Labradoodle Labrador mix appearance
Since the weight ranges for Labradors and Standard Poodles overlap, and their shape and structure (underneath their coat) are not that dissimilar either, there’s only limited possibility for variation in the size and shape of a Labradoodle mixed with a Labrador. Females will weigh between 40 and 70lbs and males will weigh between 60 and 80lbs. Things which will influence their adult size include the size of their parents, whether their Labrador ancestors came from working or show lines (working lines being generally lighter than show lines).
A Labrador and Labradoodle mix dog’s coat is a different matter though! Curly coats are caused by a dominant gene which appears at extremely high frequency in the Poodle population. This means that in first generation Labradoodles, the Poodles’ curly coat gene masks the Labradors’ straight coat gene in most cases. But, they do still carry a copy of the Labrador’s straight coat gene.
When one of those first generation doodles is mated back to a Labrador, each puppy will receive the gene for a straight coat from their Labrador parent, and either the gene for a curly coat or the hidden gene for a straight coat from their Labradoodle parent. Broadly speaking, this means that one half of a Labradoodle and Labrador mix litter will have a non-shedding, curly coat. And the other half will have a straight, shedding coat. But, their exact coat texture will be refined by other genes as well, which aren’t completely understood, so this is just a rough guide.
Labradoodle Labrador mix temperament
Did you know that Labradors and Poodles were both originally bred for the same purpose, but in different countries? Both started out as retrieving dogs for duck hunters – Labs in Britain, and Poodles in Germany. Owing to this common heritage, the modern breeds also still have lots of similar qualities, which made them good at their original job. They are both intelligent, playful, people-focused, cooperative, and hardworking. But there are some differences too. Notably, Labradors tend to be more friendly with other dogs than Poodles, and Poodles tend to display more watchdog-type behaviors (like barking at people approaching their home) than Labradors.
However, breeding a Labradoodle who’s reactive towards unfamiliar dogs back to a Labrador doesn’t guarantee their puppies will turn out as friendly as a Lab though. Beside the heritable aspect of temperament, these things will also influence a dog’s personality:
- Whether their parents came from working or show lines
- How much exercise they get
- Neuter status
The best way to produce Labrador Labradoodle mix puppies with reliably desirable temperaments is to start with two parents who have similar, amazing temperaments.
Training and exercising your Labradoodle Labrador mix
F1b Labradoodles are medium to large dogs with a long working history. This means they have lots of stamina, and need lots of physical activity every day! This can include:
- Playing fetch in your yard
- Taking part in dog sports
Dog sports are a great option because they include a training element, so they provide mental engagement as well. Dogs benefit from a mix of both physical and mental stimulation, and it makes them more restful company at the end of the day at home too. Options to try include:
- Fly ball
- Dock diving
- Traditional agility
- Hooper agility (a low impact alternative to traditional agility, where the human gives directions from the side of the ring instead of running alongside the dog)
- Canine freestyle (heelwork to music!)
- Gundog training
While your Labrador Labradoodle mix is a puppy, you’ll need to exercise them gently and judiciously, to avoid damaging their immature joints. Besides dog sports, your older Labradoodle Labrador mix might also enjoy therapy dog training, like Zazu in our video earlier!
Labradoodle Labrador mix health
The most common health problems of pedigree Labs are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Heart disease
- Exercise induced collapse
- Problems with eyesight
- Allergies and eczema
- Ear infections
And the most common health problems of Poodles are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- The autoimmune skin condition sebaceous adenitis
- Problems with eyesight
Some of these conditions are inherited, and tests are available to screen dogs being considered for breeding. A Labrador and Labradoodle mix puppy should always comes from parents who have been health tested for hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, eye disease, thyroid disease and exercise induced collapse. Some other conditions are inherited but tests don’t exist for carriers yet, so you’ll need to rely on finding a breeder with a thorough knowledge of their litter’s family tree. Examples include allergies, eczema and sebaceous adenitis. Finally, ear infections, obesity and bloat can be largely controlled by lifestyle choices.
Labradoodle Labrador mix grooming
Pedigree Labradors need relatively little grooming. Their medium length, straight coat is too short to tangle. But, a regular habit of brushing, and occasionally bathing, your Lab can help a lot with managing shedding. Poodles on the other hand have a long, curly coat, which doesn’t shed. It needs daily brushing from root to tip, to remove dirt and debris, and prevent painful mats forming. As we’ve seen, there’s about a 50:50 chance of your Labrador Labradoodle mix having either type of coat, and the effects of other genes could result in textures somewhere in between too. You probably won’t know for sure what kind of coat your mix has until their adult coat grows in, between 6 and 12 months old. So you’ll need to be satisfied before you commit, that you’re happy with either type of coat.
Is a Labradoodle Labrador mix hypoallergenic?
Regardless of which coat type they inherit, if you suffer from allergies there is no guarantee that they won’t be triggered by an F1b Labradoodle. Dogs of all types produce allergens in their saliva (and to a lesser extent their sweat and urine), not their hair or dander. So there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. In fact, non shedding coats can be more problematic than shedding coats, because of the time you need to spend up close with your dog brushing them every day.
When people with dog allergies are lucky enough to find a dog who doesn’t trigger their symptoms, it’s a fluke of the dog’s unique body chemistry, and the owner’s unique immune responses. If you have allergies, ask to spend time with a puppy on several occasions before you bring them home. Hopefully you will find your special match too, but it won’t be their coat which gives them away!
Do Labradoodle Labrador mixes make good family pets?
The first deliberate Labradoodles were bred as service dogs, but more recently they have surged as companion dogs for families of all sorts. Labradors and Poodles are both affectionate and devoted to their human families, and known for their patience with children. Very young children should be supervised with dogs at all times, but a Labradoodle mixed with Labrador is a great fit for a household with older kids and teenagers. Since they are very playful and thrive off lots of interaction and engagement every day, a household with lots of people to help out, or a retired household with plenty of free time is their perfect environment.
F1b Labradoodles are not well suited to being left alone for several hours a day. Labs and Poodles were both bred to be team players and very focused on their handler. Withdrawing the target of that instinct (you!) for long periods can result in distress and frustration, and displacement activities such as chewing, scratching, digging and barking. So if you work full time, you’ll need a plan for your dog while you’re gone – either frequent visits from a dog walker, or a place in doggy daycare.
Finding a Labradoodle Labrador mix puppy
Labradoodles, second generation Labradoodles, and even backcrossed Labradoodles are increasingly popular with pet buyers, and they are getting easier and easier to find. The Labrador Labradoodle F1b combination is a little unusual though. It’s more common for breeders to use a Labradoodle and a Poodle in an F1b mix, to increase the odds of puppies with non-shedding coats.
Since F1b Labradoodles aren’t eligible for registration with a breed club or registry, you’ll need to rely on word of mouth or searching online to find a breeder. Unfortunately, the Lab and Poodle mixes’ popularity has made them popular with puppy farmers too. Puppies reared on puppy farmers are more likely to have chronic hereditary health problems that require expensive lifelong treatment. And they are more likely to have behavioral problems as a result of inadequate socialization, or being separated from their mom too early. This article can help you identify and avoid puppy farmers. On the other hand, a good breeder will:
- Know their litter’s sire and dam well, and be able to answer lots of questions about their health, temperament, and why they were picked to be parents.
- Have documents proving their sire and dam were health tested.
- Want to know all about you, and how you picture a puppy fitting into your life.
Finally, let’s sum everything up.
Is A Labradoodle Labrador mix Right For Me?
So as we’ve seen, there’s a lot to consider before committing to a Labradoodle and Labrador mix. Let’s sum up some of their pros and cons here, so you can decide whether this hybrid fits the priorities that matter most to you.
- Unpredictable coat
- Needs a lot of mental stimulation and physical activity
- Popular with puppy farmers, so you might have to discount a lot of bad breeders before you find a good one.
- Likely to be friendly and affectionate
- Easy to train
- Labs, Poodles and Labradoodles are all popular for a reason – they tend to be all round good dogs!
Your Labradoodle Labrador mix
Do you have a Labradoodle Labrador mix? What kind of owner would you recommend them to? Let us know in the comments section down below!
More Labradoodle and Labrador Guides
Adams et al. Methods and mortality results of a health survey of purebred dogs in the UK. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 2010.
Lofgren et al. Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2018.
McGreevy et al. Labrador retrievers under primary veterinary care in the UK: demography, mortality and disorders. Canine Medicine & Genetics. 2018.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Vredegoor et al. Can f 1 levels in hair and homes of different dog breeds: Lack of evidence to describe any dog breed as hypoallergenic. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2012.
Wauthier et al. Using the mini C-BARQ to investigate the effects of puppy farming on dog behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2018.
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