The Mini Labradoodle is a compact version of the energetic, intelligent Labradoodle mix. Although first generation Miniature Labradoodle dogs can be surprisingly large! Some people will also call this mix a Toy Labradoodle.
It is different to a standard Labradoodle, as it uses a Miniature or Toy Poodle parent, instead of the Standard Poodle. This mix is an affectionate and intelligent breed. It takes well to training and makes a great therapy dog.
But don’t let the small size fool you! Toy Labradoodles are also athletic dogs that need both exercise and mental stimulation to keep them from getting into trouble. The Mini Labradoodle is a dog that enjoys having a job to do.
They need a home where someone is always around to spend time with them, whether that’s playing games, chilling on the couch, or going for a trip to the dog park for some exercise.
What is a Mini Labradoodle?
There are two types of Miniature Labradoodle: the Mini Labradoodle and the Mini Australian Labradoodle.
Both types of Mini Labradoodles, also called Toy Labradoodles, combine a Labrador Retriever and a Miniature or Toy Poodle. But, the Mini Australian Labradoodle also has American Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, and Irish Water Spaniel lineage in its history.
First generation Miniature Labradoodle dogs, that come from two purebred parents, will be less predictable than second, or later, generations. Because they can inherit any combination of genes from their parents.
So, some first generation Mini Labradoodles may be almost as large as their Lab parent! Despite the smaller Poodle parent. If you are set on getting a smaller mix, go for a second generation mix, or later.
Mini Labradoodle Overview
|Popularity:||Very popular as a family pet|
|Lifespan:||Anywhere from 10 - 18 years on average|
|Size:||15 to 30 pounds on average|
|Coat:||Hair, wool, or fleece varieties|
|Temperament:||Intelligent, active, friendly|
|Puppy cost:||$1,000 to over $2,500|
History of the Mini Labradoodle
The standard Labradoodle mix breed started in Australia, in the 1970s. The Royal Guide Dog Association was attempting to create a more allergy-friendly breed of a service dog.
Labradors and Poodles were chosen in an attempt to combine the Lab’s popular personality with the Poodle’s low shedding coat. And, it didn’t take long for the world to realise what a great family pet the Labradoodle could make, as well as a great service dog.
Over recent decades, the mix soared in popularity, and smaller versions were created. These mixes combined the Labrador breed with a Miniature Poodle, to try and reduce the size of puppies.
Since this is such a new breed, and a mixed breed, it isn’t recognized by the AKC. However, advocates of Labradoodles (of all sizes!) are working hard to standardise the breed.
Mini Labradoodle Size
So, is the full grown Mini Labradoodle size compact, like the Miniature Poodle parent, or medium-sized, like the Labrador parent?
Based on the typical sizes of the Toy Poodle and Labrador, a full grown Mini Labradoodle will be 14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder. But, they may reach up to 24 inches tall if they inherit their Labrador parent’s size.
The average weight of a Mini Labradoodle ranges from 15 to 25 pounds. Because they’re a hybrid, they could be on the low end of the spectrum at 10 to 15 pounds. Or at the high end of the spectrum at about 30 pounds.
The best way to predict the size of your puppy is to take a look at the parents. This size becomes more easy to guess in second or third generation mixes, since the parents are more similar in size.
Mini Labradoodle Temperament
As a mixed breed, it’s impossible to know if a Mini Labradoodle puppy’s temperament will more closely match one breed’s temperament or if it will be a mix of both parents. You can only make an educated guess about their temperament based on their parents’ general personalities.
Both parent breeds are intelligent, active, and people-oriented. So, a Miniature Labradoodle will likely be the same. They will form strong bonds with their families, and will often get along with other pets, especially if raised together.
However, purebred Miniature Poodles can be shy around new people and other dogs. This may be why some people associate Poodles with biting and snappy behavior. Proper early socialization to people and other animals will prevent this. You should start socializing a Mini Labradoodle from when they are a puppy.
Early training and socialization are important to help ensure a friendly and well-behaved pet. Once your dog is up to date on their vaccinations, they can join puppy kindergarten or obedience classes. This is an effective and fun way to both train them and get them to use to other dogs at the same time.
For more tips on training your new furry friend take a look at our Dog and Puppy Training Guides.
Mini Labradoodle Coat
The Miniature Labradoodle coat can be broken down into three types:
- Wool: Similar texture to that of a Poodle and requires regular grooming.
- Fleece: A soft texture with either a wavy or spiral curl look to it. This is an easy-to-manage texture for grooming purposes.
- Hair: Closer to the Labrador Retriever. The coat is quite shaggy and kinkier than wavy. It is more commonly found in the earlier generation Doodle breeds.
A Mini Australian Labradoodle may also have a silkier quality to its coat, thanks to the influence from the English Cocker, American Cocker, and Irish Water Spaniels.
Both types of Mini Labradoodle can come in solid or multi-colors thanks to the wide range of Poodle colors. If a puppy closely resembles its Labrador parent, then you may end up with a mini chocolate Labradoodle, a black Mini Labradoodle, or a Mini yellow Labradoodle.
On the flip side, if a Miniature Labradoodle’s Poodle genes are strong, then the following colors (solid or bi-colored) are also possible:
Are Mini Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?
Dog breeds, like the Poodle, have been labelled hypoallergenic because they are low- or no-shedding. This is because some of the main allergens from the dog are in their saliva and transferred onto their coat through self-grooming. The hairs with saliva and the allergen spread throughout the house when dogs shed.
Research has found that this theory isn’t quite true. Dogs actually have a number of proteins that humans can react to. Making elimination of these allergens impossible. With any dog, allergens will always be present, even if they are low-shedding.
So, a Mini Labradoodle is not hypoallergenic. There’s still a chance that they could trigger your allergies. The best way to learn if a specific Miniature Doodle triggers your symptoms is to spend some time with them before bringing them home.
Do Mini Labradoodles Shed?
The amount your mix sheds will depend on which parent they take after. Mini Doodles with a hair coat will shed a lot, like the Labrador. But, fleece and wool coats will be better at catching shedding fur before it falls through your house.
But, a recent study in 2018 has found that the allergen levels in the coat of a hypoallergenic dog and in the home environment of these dogs are the same as that of shedding, non-hypoallergenic breeds.
In fact, some public spaces and homes of non-pet owners (about thirty-four percent) tested positive for pet allergens. So, you will be exposed to at least some allergens, no matter what your dog, and how much they shed.
Mini Labradoodle Coat Care and Grooming
Mini Labradoodles require at least a weekly brushing if they have a double-coat, like the Labrador parent. Poodle coats are more high-maintenance. They need daily brushing.
This is because shed fur gets caught by their tight curls. This is great for your house-cleaning routine, but can cause painful tangles in your dog’s coat.
Bear in mind, the longer a Mini Labradoodle’s coat is, the more likely that it could become matted.This is a dog that would very much benefit from regular visits with a groomer!
Mini Labradoodle Activity Levels
The Mini Labradoodle comes from two active, working breeds. So, they need a lot of exercise, despite their smaller size. It’s best if they have a yard where they can play and exercise themselves, as well as daily physical activity with their owner.
Be prepared to take this dog on lots of walks and to spend at least an hour of play time with them each day. Swimming can be another enjoyable activity for this breed.
Having interactive dog toys for your Doodle will also help to keep both their bodies and minds stimulated. Keeping your dog occupied and entertained may help prevent them from getting into mischief.
Mini Labradoodle Health
The Mini Labradoodle is at risk of inheriting common breed health problems from either parent. The most likely conditions to be passed down are those prevalent in both the Labrador and the Miniature Poodle.
Hip dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) are common in both Labs and Poodles. But they can also be screened for by the breeder. A reputable breeder will not breed a dog that tests positive for these conditions. Ask your breeder to provide proof of testing for all recommended screenings for both breed parents.
Other common problems that Miniature Labradoodles are at risk of include:
- Gastric Dilatation (bloat)
- Addison’s Disease
- Exercise Induced Collapse
- Centronuclear Myopathy
- Chronic Active Hepatitis
- Patellar Luxation
- Cushing’s Disease
- Sebaceous Adenitis
Health testing isn’t available for all of these conditions. But, annual health checks and blood tests with your veterinarian can help to detect any of these diseases in your dog. Early diagnosis gives a better chance at treatment or at slowing the progression of the disease.
Feeding your Miniature Labradoodle a good diet in the right amounts, and giving them proper exercise suitable for their size and activity levels will also go a long way to help their health.
Mini Labradoodle Lifespan
Mixed breed dogs live, on average, a little longer than purebred dogs.
Miniature Poodles have an average life expectancy ranging anywhere from 10 to 18 years. Labrador Retrievers have an average lifespan from 10 to 12 years. You could reasonably expect something in this region for your Mini Labradoodle.
Interestingly, research has found that the chocolate Labrador has about a 10% shorter lifespan than the yellow or black Lab. They are also more prone to skin and ear infections.
One theory for this is that the recessive gene that determines their rich chocolate color also plays a role in increased infections and a shorter lifespan. So, it is possible that a Mini chocolate Labradoodle could have a slightly shorter life expectancy than other Mini Doodles.
Mini Labradoodle Puppies
Finding Miniature Labradoodle breeders may be easier than finding a breeder for other hybrid dogs, as Doodles are among the most popular designer breeds.
Make sure you go to a breeder that fully health tests each parent for their respective potential breed health conditions. And one who keeps them as loved members of the family and not purely for profit.
Get your new furry friend from a responsible breeder, rather than from a pet store, puppy mill, or online ad. This can greatly increase the chances of bringing home a healthy and happy puppy. Pet store and puppy mill dogs tend to have health issues. And you never know how your puppy or its mother has been treated. Temperament from store-bought pups can also become an issue.
A good breeder cares about the well-being of the puppies they are selling. They will ask you questions to make sure this is a good match for both you and the puppy. Unfortunately, mixed breeds are a lucrative business. Not all breeders have the well-being of their dogs at heart. Do your research and find a reputable breeder.
Mini Labradoodle Price
So how much does a mini Labradoodle cost? Mini Labradoodle price can vary anywhere from around $1,000 for less popular colors, to well over $2,500.
The amount varies based on the parent stock and how much they are worth to the breeder. Other factors that can influence a puppy’s price include demand, location, and even the purpose of the puppies.
Puppies from puppy mills and pet stores may be cheaper up front, but you should still avoid them. These places often do no health testing, so you may end up spending more in the long run on veterinary bills.
If you cannot afford a mini Labradoodle puppy from a reputable breeder, your best alternative option is a rescue center.
Mini Labradoodle Rescue Groups
Perhaps you’d like to adopt or rescue a dog instead of purchasing one from a breeder. There are several Miniature Labradoodle rescues that offer retired show dogs and breeding stock for adoption.
Adopting a rescue can be so rewarding. It can also make owning a Mini Labradoodle more accessible, as adoption comes with fewer fees than purchasing a puppy from a breeder. Here are some links to get you started on your search:
- USA: IDOG Rescue, Doodle Rescue Collective
- UK: Doodle Aid, Doodle Trust
- Canada: TOPDOG Toronto
- Australia: Labradoodle Rehoming & Information, Sugar Pine Doodles
Please leave a comment below if you would like to join the list.
Are Mini Labradoodles Good Family Dogs?
Toy Labradoodles generally have a good temperament and are friendly with children and other pets. They may be more suitable for a family with older children due to their high energy level.
A rambunctious and energetic Labradoodle could be too much for toddlers and small children because they can accidentally knock them over or jump up on them.
You cannot predict the exact traits of any mixed-breed. Plus, no one can guarantee the coat type, size, shedding, and potential health of your dog. But, if you want an energetic addition to your family and have the time and space to meet their grooming and exercise needs, the Mini Labradoodle may be the right dog for you.
If you love this mix, make sure you also take a look at the Mini Australian Labradoodle. You may even want to compare to some other similar mixes, such as the Goldendoodle!
References and Resources
- Gough, A. (et al), ‘Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats’, Wiley Blackwell (2018)
- Beynen, A. ‘“Diet and Canine Gastric Dilatation’, Dier-en-Arts (2019)
- ‘Labrador Retrievers at Risk of Various Health Problems’, BioMed Central (BMC) (2018)
- Chan, S. K. (et al), ‘Dog and Cat Allergies: Current State of Diagnostic Approaches and Challenges’, Allergy Asthma Immunol Research (2018)
- Dávila, I. (et. al), ‘ Consensus Document on Dog and Cat Allergy’, European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) (2018)
- O’Neill (et al), ‘Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs In England’, The Veterinary Journal (2013)
- Guerra, R. (et al), ‘Cataracts in Labrador Retriever and Jack Russell Terrier From the United Kingdom: A Two-Year Retrospective Study’, (2018)
- Llera, R. (et al), ‘Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Dogs’, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) (2019)
- Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), ‘ Retriever Elbow Dysplasia (Fragmented Medial Coronoid Process) (2012)
- Animal Medical Center of Southern California, ‘Exercise Induced Collapse Syndrome in Labrador Retrievers’, (2019)
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