Welcome To Your Complete Guide To The Mini Labradoodle. A Cute Compact Version Of One Of The Most Popular Designer Dog Breeds!
There are two types of Mini Labradoodles: the Mini Labradoodle and the Mini Australian Labradoodle.
Both types of mini Labradoodles result from the breeding of a Miniature Poodle and a Labrador Retriever.
But the Australian Labradoodle also has American Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel and Irish Water Spaniel lineage.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through what makes each Mini Labradoodle unique. As well as the breed’s history, traits and typical behavior. As well as possible health issues specific to miniature “Doodles”.
What is a Mini Labradoodle?
As we alluded to at the beginning of this article, the Mini Labradoodle is a designer breed that results from mating a purebred Miniature Poodle with a purebred Labrador Retriever.
The Miniature Australian Labradoodle results from the breeding above, but it also has American Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, and Irish Water Spaniel in its heritage.
We’ll get into more detail about this hybrid’s parent breeds in the next section.
Where did the Mini Labradoodle come from?
A hybrid dog results from crossing two purebred dog breeds.
So, let’s look at how the Labrador Retriever and Miniature Poodle (a.k.a. the parent breeds of the Mini Labradoodle) came into being!
The Labrador hails from Newfoundland, Canada, where small water hunting dogs were bred to Newfoundlands to create today’s Labrador Retriever.
[wp_ad_camp_2]The American Kennel Club (AKC) formally recognized the Labrador as member of the sporting group in 1917.
Today’s Labs are also used as hunting dogs, but you’ll also find them as service dogs and beloved family pets.
The Miniature Poodle was developed in Germany, where “Pudels” were also used as water fowl retrievers.
The Poodle eventually made its way over to the United States, where the AKC recognized it as, ironically, a non-sporting breed in 1887.
Although Poodles today are often viewed as “prim and proper” dogs that are only found in the show ring or elegantly poised on a luxurious cushion, they actually are very high-energy, yet highly trainable dogs that hold their own in the obedience ring.
Mini Labradoodle temperament
Before you choose a new four-legged member of your family, it’s important to consider the potential new dog’s expected temperament.
As a mixed breed, it’s impossible to know whether or not a Mini Labradoodle’s temperament will more closely match one parent breed’s temperament, or if his temperament will be a mix of both parent breeds.
As with any hybrid dog, you can only make an educated guess about what their temperament may be based on his parents’ general personalities.
Miniature Poodles are known to be a bit shy around new people and other dogs, which may be why some people associate Poodles with biting and snappy behavior.
However, this behavior can be prevented with proper socialization to people and other animals from a young age onward.
Additionally, all Poodles are active dogs who enjoy going for walks, runs, and even swims!
A dog with Poodle lineage will likely benefit from having a job to do or living in an active household.
The Labrador Retriever is also an active dog who loves to play and, well, retrieve things!
They can also be pretty active chewers and seekers of mischief (especially if they catch a whiff of something that could be game!), so giving them something to play with is imperative.
You’ll also need to have plenty of room for a dog infused with this energetic breed to stretch his legs.
Mini Labradoodle size
You may be wondering if an adult Mini Labradoodle will be compact, like his Miniature Poodle parent, or medium-sized, like his Labrador parent.
Based on the typical sizes of the Miniature Poodle and Labrador, a Mini Labradoodle full grown will typically 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.
They commonly mature to 15 to 25 pounds. But because they’re a hybrid, they may be closer to the low end of the spectrum (10 to 15 pounds) or the high end of the spectrum (about 30 pounds).
Australian Labradoodle mini dogs also generally meet the above height and weight estimates.
Mini Labradoodle colors
As we’ve previously touched on, it is very hard to predict the physical characteristics of a mixed breed puppy. Making an educated guess is your best and only option.
So, based on their parentage, Mini American Labradoodles are typically solid-colored, but Mini Australian Labradoodles may be more likely to be multi-colored (although this isn’t nearly as common as solid colors).
If a Mini Labradoodle closely resembles its Labrador parent, then you may end up with a miniature chocolate Labradoodle, black mini Labradoodle, or a yellow mini Labradoodle.
This will of course depend upon the color of the Lab parent, and isn’t quite as straight forward as a chocolate Lab always making a chocolate Labradoodle.
On the flip side, if a Mini Labradoodle’s Poodle genes are strong, then the following colors (can be solid or bi-colored) are also possible:
- Silver Beige
Mini Labradoodle coat
A Mini Labradoodle puppy may have its Labrador parent’s short double-coat, its Miniature Poodle parent’s long and thick coat, or it may exhibit something in between.
Furthermore, a Mini Australian Labradoodle may also have a silkier quality to its coat. Thanks to influence from the English Cocker, American Cocker, and Irish Water Spaniels.
It’s a common thought that all Labradoodles are all hypoallergenic and do not shed.
We’ll talk about why this isn’t necessarily true in the following section.
Mini Labradoodle grooming and shedding
If you’re allergic to doggie dander you may have been eye-balling an adorable mini chocolate Labradoodle. Unfortunately, although some breeders may mislead people that he’s surely hypoallergenic and non-shedding, you may want to reconsider purchasing a hybrid dog.
This simply is not the case.
A Mini Labradoodle has a parent that does shed (Labrador) and a parent that doesn’t shed (Miniature Poodle). There’s therefore no guarantee that a Mini Labradoodle will be 100% hypoallergenic and non-shedding. He may shed a bit less, or he may shed a lot.
As far as grooming is concerned, a Mini Labradoodle will definitely require some coat maintenance.
If he exhibits a double-coat, he’ll require at least a weekly brushing. But if he has more of a Poodle coat, then he’ll need daily brushing, especially if it’s kept long.
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 health
Mini Labradoodles may be predisposed to certain genetic conditions, or they may develop health issues as they age.
A few common canine ailments include hip dysplasia, eye diseases, allergies, and skin irritations.
However, both Poodles and Labrador Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia and cataracts, so a Mini Labradoodle may be more at risk of developing one or both of these conditions.
To learn more about the diseases and health conditions that commonly affect Labrador Retrievers, refer to our article on Labrador Retrievers.
To learn more about the diseases and health conditions that commonly affect Poodles of all sizes, refer to our article on Standard Poodles.
Additionally, according to the AKC, Miniature Poodles are specifically prone to orthopedic issues. Including luxating patellas where the knee cap pops out of place, and Legg-Perthesm a degeneration of the hip bones.
If you plan to purchase a Miniature Labradoodle from a breeder, make sure that they perform genetic testing on both parents. Allowing them to determine any genetic health conditions they may then pass to their offspring.
Mini Labradoodle exercise requirements
Since Labradors are especially prone to elbow and hip dysplasia, and Miniature Poodles may also develop hip dysplasia and other hip-related orthopedic issues, you must ensure that a Miniature Labradoodle gets plenty of exercise.
Not only will exercise keep their bones and muscles moving, but it will also keep Mini Labradoodles mentally engaged. Both Labradors and Poodles tend to be high-energy breeds.
Be prepared to take a Mini Labradoodle on lots of walks and to spend at least an hour of play time with them each day.
Keeping your Mini Labradoodle active and playing will also help to keep his weight in check, which will put less pressure on his joints.
You’ll definitely benefit from having a fenced-in yard and/or a good amount of floor space in your house for this pooch to self-exercise.
How long do Mini Labradoodles live?
Mixed breed dogs live on average a little longer than purebred dogs.
Miniature Poodles have a median lifespan of 14 years, and Labrador Retriever lifespan is closer to 12 and a half years. So you could reasonably expect something in this region for your Miniature Labradoodle.
Miniature Labradoodle puppies
Finding Miniature Labradoodle breeders will most likely be easier than finding a breeder for many other hybrid dogs, as Doodles are among the most sought after designer breeds.
If you’re buying a Mini Labradoodle from a breeder, you can expect to pay about $2,500, give or take a few hundred dollars. The amount varies based on the parent stock and how much they are worth to the breeder.
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, not purely for profit.
Rescuing Miniature Labradoodles
If you’d like to adopt or rescue a Mini Labradoodle instead of purchasing one from a breeder, there are several Miniature Labradoodle rescues that offer retired show and breeding stock for adoption.
Is a Mini Labradoodle a good family dog?
Take the time to consider a few things before making the decision to purchase a Mini Labradoodle.
Both Miniature Poodles and Labradors are very active breeds. They like to move and play a lot. So a Mini Labradoodle will definitely need enough room to get the “bouncies” out.
You might also consider a fenced-in yard. Your Doodle will not only like to self-exercise, but he may also be inclined to sniff things out, thanks to his retriever lineage on both sides.
Additionally, both parent breeds have thick coats. So it’s basically a given that a Mini Labradoodle will need a weekly brushing, at minimum. In addition to this they will also potentially need a professional grooming and clipping once per month.
Not all Labradoodles are hypoallergenic and non-shedding, so do not bank on this.
You should also be prepared to handle the common ailments of both parents. Such as hip or elbow dysplasia and cataracts. We recommend genetic testing of puppies to see how likely they may be to develop these conditions as well as any others that impact the parent stock.
Finally, Mini Labradoodles may inherit their Lab parent’s “in your face” personality, or they may inherit their Miniature Poodle parent’s shy nature. Doodles are typically very friendly dogs, but we recommend socializing them with other dogs and people as early in their life as possible to avoid any inappropriate behavior later.
References and Further Reading
- Labrador Retriever Health
- The Poodle
- AKC – Miniature Poodle
- 250 Perfect Poodle Names
- Hip Dysplasia In Dogs
- Elbow Dysplasia
- O’Neill, DG et al 2013 Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England. The Veterinary Journal.