If you only have eyes for a purebred dog then your response will be no. But, if you are comfortable with a mixed breed, then this miniature Labrador retriever cross that is eager to please. It is likely to be the cutest dog you have ever seen.
How The Mini Labradoodle Came To Be
It’s not surprising that the miniature Labradoodle is a designer dog. It’s actually a cross between a Labrador retriever and a miniature poodle.
The first occurrence of a Labradoodle happened in Australia in the 1980s. The driving force was the desire for the enchanting personality of a Labrador combined with the low shedding ability of the poodle. Effectively the search was on for a hypoallergenic dog that was easy to be properly trained and pleasant to be around.
With the Labrador’s history as service dogs, guide dogs, and even therapy dogs, it was the obvious choice. Combining it with a poodle made sense for the fleece coat. Because they were both originally used to retrieve waterfowl.
The Labrador is a direct descendent of the St. Johns dog in Canada. The poodle originated from Germany and has been used to retrieve game for over 400 years!
Miniature and toy poodles were bred out of the standard poodle. In 1994 this prompted Dr. Kate Schoeffel to breed the first miniature Labradoodle.
Features Of The Mini Labradoodle
Of course, the mini poodle and a Labrador are both designer breeds. Despite the parent breeds being purebred, it is impossible to predict exactly what the offspring will look and act like. But, common features persist and are likely to be seen in any offspring.
The average mini Labradoodle will be between 15 and 25 pounds and between 14-16 inches tall, (at the shoulders). They are sometimes referred to as toy Labradoodle’s and you will not find them at puppy mills. These are the result of distinguished dog breeds and are only bred by reputable breeders.
This does confirm that the price of these dogs is generally on the higher side. But it’s difficult to place a price tag on the cutest dog in the world.
The toy Labradoodle can look more like either parent but it is usually compact, almost square in appearance. The face is more Labrador than poodle, the nose is long, eyes alert, and a half-smile appears to be ever-present. But the coat is definitely a poodle. It is thick and wavy, offering great protection against water. Of particular importance to many, this breed sheds very little.
It is classified as hypoallergenic although no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. It sheds surprisingly little and produces very few allergens. This makes it a relatively safe bet for anyone with allergies.
You will find the standard labradoodle in a variety of colors including black, golden, chocolate, white, red, cream, and even silver. It looks gorgeous in all incarnations.
The breeders were aiming for a dog with the temperament of a Labrador. It is known to be playful and friendly. Fortunately, the poodle is also very friendly. This should assure you that the mini Labradoodle will be easy going and friendly, making it a great pet.
The miniature poodle can be aloof to strangers but will always be loyal to its owners. In general, this crossbreed is easy to train. This is thanks to the intelligence inherited from the Labrador. You can commence training from as young as 8 weeks. Food-based treats are always a great incentive.
Positive reinforcement is definitely the right method to win this dog’s heart. It will also be important to socialize them as much as possible with other people and dogs. This will help to ensure they are well-adjusted as adult dogs and a joy to look after.
After all, there is little point in having possibly the cutest dog with floppy ears in the world and not being able to show it off.
However, you should note that these dogs, although relatively small, have plenty of energy, you will need to allow plenty of time to play with them and walk them, with a good leash and harness, for at least an hour (60 minutes) every day. Stimulating them mentally, ideally through the use of slow feeders, will also be beneficial.
Your miniature Labradoodle should live between 10-18 years, giving you plenty of time to appreciate them.
Known Health Issues
In general crossbreeds are considered healthier than purebreds because the gene pool is more diversified. However, it is still worth being aware of the common afflictions affecting parent breeds as they may be apparent in the crossbreed.
Perhaps the most likely issue that your mini Labradoodle will suffer from is hip and elbow dysplasia because both parents are genetically predisposed to this condition.
The condition generally evolves as your dog ages although it can be a result of trauma, the hip bone, (or elbow bone), does not fit into the socket properly, potentially causing a limp and lameness. As your dog ages, it is likely to suffer from arthritis which will cause restrictive movements, medications, and even surgery can be useful to resolve or relieve the issue.
This crossbreed also commonly suffers from progressive retinal atrophy where the retina gradually deteriorates over time. It generally affects middle-aged to senior dogs, the first clue will be night blindness and eventually complete blindness.
Looking After Your Dog
You should only need to groom once or twice a week thanks to the low shed coat. Although a monthly visit to a professional groomer is also a good idea. They can make sure they look their best and trim nails, etc.
The mini Labradoodle also inherits the Labrador’s love of food, meaning that maintenance of diet and regulation of treats is essential to prevent them from becoming overweight. It can be challenging to reduce the weight of an adult dog and it will increase the likelihood of hip and elbow issues which are detrimental to its quality of life.
A Cute Finale
There is little doubt that this is one of the cutest dogs in the world, but, as always, before you commit to purchasing one you should check the breeder’s credentials. This will enable you to find the best puppies for sale. Ensuring they are reputable will help to ensure your dog leads a long, happy, and healthy life.
Just remember, these adorable dogs are prone to anxiety separation and can be extremely energetic, making them hard work if you have small children. However, their delightful nature, sociability, and fantastic looks will win over the heart of anyone and everyone. Providing you can spare the time to indulge this bundle of fun they are likely to be the best, and cutest, dog you have ever owned.
Want to read more about doodle breeds? Read our “Best Designer Dogs – Meet the Popular Mini Goldendoodle” article on this link.