The Mini Labradoodle is a compact version of the energetic, intelligent Labradoodle. They have one Labrador parent and another Toy or Miniature Poodle parent. They are intelligent and easy to train dogs, and their low shedding coats makes them a great choice for house proud owners.
Despite their smaller size than the standard Labradoodle, they are still athletic and energetic dogs. They need plenty of exercise to keep them calm at home.
- What does a Mini Labradoodle look like?
- Do Miniature Labradoodles shed?
- Temperament and personality
- Activity levels, health and lifespan
- Miniature Labradoodle puppies
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.
Mini Labradoodle vs Australian 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.
Where do Mini Labradoodles come from?
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.
What does a Miniature Labradoodle look like?
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 They 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. So, 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. But, 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.
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