What's a Labradoodle?
The labradoodle is a popular, relatively new hybrid dog breed; a cross between the Labrador and the Poodle. As the story goes, a Lab and poodle were first crossbred in Australia back in the 1970s for a specific purpose. A blind woman who was allergic to dogs needed a good seeing-eye dog that would not exacerbate her allergy. Since Labs are intelligent seeing-eye dogs with a wonderful temperament, and poodles are known to shed very little, a supposed allergy-free guide dog was created. Updated 2009.
The labradoodle originated for practical reasons in that there does appear to be a definite need for hypoallergenic pets. In the U.S., for example, the current pet allergy problem is considerable; about 10 percent of the U.S. population is allergic to animals, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. For those persons afflicted with asthma, the rate is even higher - approximately 25%. Since dogs are such popular pets, it is not surprising that the labradoodle came to be.
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Will the Labradoodle relieve your symptoms?
Before you run out and purchase your labradoodle, let’s clarify what we mean by hypoallergenic. We mean dog breeds that result in a “reduced allergic reaction” among allergy sufferers; thus a smaller likelihood of causing allergy symptoms. Clearly, we do not mean “non-allergic,” because non-allergic breeds simply do not exist. Even a hairless dog is not “non-allergic.”
So why isn’t a hairless dog, a short haired dog, or a non-shedding dog truly non-allergic? Although many people think "hairless" or short-haired dogs cause fewer problems for those with allergies, it is actually the dander (skin scales) that causes the most significant pet allergy reactions, not the length or amount of hair on the pet. The fur, however, can still present problems to the allergic individual. Dog fur can collect allergens such as pollen, dust, and mold and spread these allergens throughout your home.
Click for more information about hypoallergenic dog breeds
These lab/poodle hybrids have been described as: easily trained, smart, well socialized, good with children, get along well with other dogs, loyal, happy, and they make great living companions. They have wavy hair in varying colors, including: black, chalk, cream, apricot, chocolate, and silver. Labradoodles have large beautiful, friendly eyes, but they don’t have the “prissy” look that some people dislike about poodles. They are not to be confused, however, with the Goldendoodle. The goldendoodle is a hybrid that combines the golden retriever and the poodle with the intent of producing less shedding.
• Three sizes: miniature, medium, and standard
• Height: from 17 - 24 inches high
• Weight: from 26 - 60 pounds
• Colors: black, chalk, cream, apricot, chocolate, café au lait, and silver
• Coat: three types - wooly, fleece, or hair, four - six inches in length
• Life expectancy: about 13 - 15 years
As for their health, it is well known that years of inbreeding can create problems for purebreds. Since the labradoodle is a new hybrid, compared with many of the existing pedigrees, it will likely avoid their health problems. Also contributing to the labradoodle’s popularity is its reputation for being allergy friendly, which we discussed above.
Before purchasing your Labradoodle
We are wary of the term “hypoallergenic” and fully believe that no dog breed is truly allergy friendly for everyone. We therefore recommend the following before purchasing a labradoodle.
We suggest that you locate a registered breeder and spend some time at the breeder’s place of business. While there, remain cognizant of and frequently check how you are feeling; are your usual allergic symptoms acting-up or do you feel healthy?
Everyone that has a pet allergy has an allergic threshold that is unique to themselves. Your allergic reaction will vary depending on the pet in your presence and the particular breed of that pet. This is the only true pet allergy test, therefore; how are you feeling while visiting the breed of puppies you’re interested in!
Pet Allergy Tips
By now you know that there is no dog that is truly hypoallergenic. There are, however, things you can do that will help you minimize your pet allergy with the dog of your choice:
• Research the dog you are interested in and chose a dog from our hypoallergenic dog breeds list that fits your lifestyle; there are a range of spaniels, terriers, and retriever.
• See if the breeder or owner you’re dealing with will provide a guarantee or return policy. This will allow you to spend quality time with a pup to truly assess its affect on your health
* Visit and observe the breeder’s facility; does he adhere to the standards stated on his website and sale brochures; is the litter raised with love and care?
• Have your dog groomed as frequently as possible
• Bathe your dog as much as possible to remove allergens in its fur
• If you have asthma, keep medication on hand in case of an attackclick here to learn more about labradoodles
Can Pet Allergy Be Eliminated?
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Go, Dog, Go! By: Serwer, Andy. Fortune (Europe), 5/13/03, vol. 147
Oodles of Schnoodles. By Saltzman, Amy & Silver, Marc. U.S. News & World Report, 3/31/03, vol. 134
Much Ado About Doodles. By: BC Business, Apr 2003, vol. 32