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Labradoodle Dog Guide: A Comprehensive Labradoodle Resource

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The Labradoodle is a mixed breed from the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle. Before development, the purpose of Labradoodles was as hypoallergenic guide dogs. Scientists like to consider Labradoodles as an excellent choice for individuals with canine dander allergies. Similar to their poodle ancestors, this breed also has a hypoallergenic coat.

If you’re a first-time dog owner, the Labradoodle puppy may also be a great way to start. Large sizes of the Labradoodle can easily take up space but quickly adapt to a family lifestyle. When the breed is derived from a Labrador and standard-sized poodle, they can grow as tall as 24 inches and weigh 75 pounds.

What’s Special about the Labradoodle?

Apart from their great looks, Labradoodles are brilliant dogs. They are fantastic family pets that exhibit traits of happiness and are easy to train. However, it’s advisable to start preparing your Labradoodle puppy for proper mastering of commands.

Labradoodles appear in different coat types, but none of them shed very much. Some typically shed if they have the Labradoodle Retriever hereditary qualities, while others don’t shed. So if you observe that your Labradoodle puppy doesn’t shed its skin, it may also signify the non-shedding qualities of the Poodles.

If your Labradoodle puppy sheds often, there’s a high chance that you adopted the F1, F2, or F3 Labradoodle. Each of those breed types is half Labrador Retriever and half Poodle genes. One common rule of thumb is your Labradoodle puppy has a high chance of shedding if he has wavy or curly hair.

From the looks of a Labradoodle puppy, it’s easy to know that this breed is naturally not a watchdog. Instead, this breed is friendly, playful, and loyal, making them excellent family pets. However, note that your Labradoodle puppy may also have different traits, depending on their parents’ temperament, environment, and training.

Some may find the loyal and warm personality of a Labradoodle puppy as traits of a good therapy dog. For this reason, they may help individuals experiencing physical disabilities, depression, and autism. In addition, individuals with loss of sight may also find a Labradoodle puppy helpful for guidance.

How is the Labradoodle Unique?

Labradoodles have a long list of features that make them significantly unique dogs. The uniqueness spans their physical and psychological qualities. Here are the different factors that make the Labradoodle puppy a special breed:

Appears in Different Sizes and Colors

Since a Labradoodle puppy isn’t a purebred dog, they come in a variety of sizes and colors. Note that the sizes may also influence behavior. With this breed, the size largely depends on the mass of the parent breeds, especially the poodle. Hence, a Labradoodle puppy can be in three different sizes – miniature, medium, and standard. Note that those sizes usually depend on the size of the parent Poodle.

If your Labradoodle weighs 65 pounds, it’s most probably the standard breed. A medium breed may weigh between 30 to 45 pounds. The miniature breed typically weighs between 15 to 25 pounds because they are tiny.

In terms of colors, you should know that your Labradoodle puppy can come in chocolate, cream, apricot, silver, red, black, or a color mix. Among other colors, the Golden Labradoodle puppy or Apricot Labradoodle puppy is relatively more common. These dogs also have different types of fur, including wavy coats, sporting curly, wiry, or conventional straight hair.

Training Comes Easy

Thanks to their parent breeds, you don’t have to go the extra mile to train a Labradoodle puppy. Labradors and poodles are notable for their intelligence, making the Labradoodle puppy an equally intelligent breed. These dogs are eager to learn, and consistent training makes them great guide and family dogs.

After adoption, the most advisable step for training is forming a bond and gaining your dog’s trust. Once your Labradoodle puppy has some trust for you, consider starting obedience training. While training your Labradoodle puppy, it’s essential to stay patient.

Born Swimmers

Labradoodles are naturally great swimmers with little to no training. The parent breeds for the Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever and Poodle) are both water-loving dogs. Once you observe that your Labradoodle puppy consistently hesitates to swim, consider some crucial steps for training the dog.

Start by getting the appropriate gear for your Labradoodle puppy, then get the breed comfortable with water. Teach your Labradoodle puppy how to get into the water and how to get out. It’s also very imperative that you don’t let your Labradoodle puppy get tired while swimming. Finally, try cleaning your dog’s ear after swimming to avoid ear infections.

Athletic Breed

Dogs like Labradoodles require plenty of walks. These dogs are great at agility and may engage owners in the process. The Labradoodles are happy and energetic when free but could be quiet and gentle when resting. If you need an increase in activity, adopting a Labradoodle puppy may also help.

labradoodle puppy laying in front of blue wood wall

Attractive Dogs

One of the first points of consideration for many Labradoodle puppy owners is the attractiveness of a breed. Labradoodles have an adorable look with a plush coat and attractive eyes. Apart from their physical features, these dogs also have impressive behavioral characteristics that make them great pets.

History of Labradoodles

In 1955, Donald Campbell was the first to describe his Labrador/Poodle cross as a “Labradoodle.” Finally, after 34 years, the term became common among other individuals, and then Wally Conron introduced the breed to the Royal Guide Association of Australia in Victoria. Conron thought the Labradoodles would serve as great guide dogs due to their parent breeds.

Wally Conron’s hopes for the breed were due to the combination of the poodle’s low-shedding coat and the gentleness of the Labrador. In addition, it appeared to be a unique guide dog for individuals with allergies to fur. 

During the development of the Labradoodles, there were necessary tests to figure out their allergic tendencies. Wally Conron performed a test on dander and saliva samples on the first Labradoodles. After his examination, he figured that the breed had less allergenic tendencies compared to other dogs. 

After the development of the Labradoodles, it was evident that there were differences in the appearance of this breed. Some were more similar to the Poodles, while others had a close similarity to the Labradors. Two of the significant coat types of Labradoodles include curly coats and fleece coats.

Labradoodles with curly coats have a similar texture to the traditional poodles. On the other hand, those with fleece coats have a softer texture than wool coats with loose curls. Labradoodles also came in different color shades, including black, silver, brown, red, apricot, gold, cream, and white.

For most individuals, the main attraction to Labradoodles was its non-shedding coats suitable for those prone to reactions. Other significant features include its’ versatility, intelligence, and tenacity. As a result, it became a great special dog for assistance/therapy and sports. Currently, many individuals need them as a family companion, seizure alert dog, assistance dog, agility dog, and guide dog.

Different available sizes of the Labradoodles include the 22 inches Standard, the 17 – 22 inches Medium, and the 14 – 17 inches Miniature.

Experts don’t consider Labradoodles purebred dogs or a breed by the AKC or North America kennel club associations. Instead, Labradoodles are hybrids of two pure breeds, not a new breed. Later in 2010, owners of mixed breeds could register their dogs and get an AKC ID number. Significant organizations for Labradoodles include ALAA, ALCA, and WALA.

The ALAA and WALA maintain open stud books, while the ALCA keeps a closed stud book regarding the breeding of the dogs. Some organizations are breeding Labradoodles to Labradoodles to establish Australian Labradoodles or multigenerational (multi-gen) Labradoodles. Australian Labradoodles are different from the general breed because they may have other breeds in their line.

The Australian Labradoodle breeding lines have primarily three breeds, including the spaniels, Labrador retrievers, and poodles. With time, it became evident that the Australian Labradoodles were prone to health conditions like joint dysplasia, Addison’s disease, and congenital eye infections. Most of the conditions require proper screening tests or diagnosis for certainty.

Labradoodle Intelligence

Most Labradoodles don’t have consistently predictable characteristics. Since the Labradoodle puppy is a cross between two breeds, puppies in the early hybrid generation differ in various ways. After the first crossing of the poodle and Labrador, there were significant variations in temperament and intelligence.

The Labradoodle puppy has a good affinity for swimming due to their parent breeds in terms of natural intelligence and abilities. These dogs are also significantly friendly, good with families, and highly energetic. Since their parent breeds are among the most intelligent dogs, the Labradoodles also exhibit great intelligence traits.

Thanks to the intelligence of the Labradoodle puppy, they are great for various mental games. These games include fetch, treasure hunting, Labradoodle puppy puzzles, and an indoor agility course. Most Labradoodle puppy owners may also find it impressive that the breed can play the “Red Light, Green Light” game.

How do experts measure dog intelligence? The most recent study on dog intelligence by Stanley Coren ranked 138 dog breeds from different regions in North America. The study is applicable for different practical instances of dog IQ for various breeds. However, the Labradoodle puppy wasn’t part of the list, but the breed wasn’t a case study.

Repetition before learning was an important criterion that determined the intelligence of a specific dog breed. If a Labradoodle puppy only requires a few repetitions, it signifies that it’s an intelligent breed. The success rate to which a dog also obeys a command on the first attempt determines the intelligence level.

Health Conditions that affect the Labradoodles

Labradoodles are prone to health conditions like sebaceous adenitis, hip dysplasia, Addison’s disease, and progressive retinal atrophy. Since Labradoodles can experience those conditions, it’s imperative to perform regular visits to the vet.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the health conditions that may affect a Labradoodle puppy or adult:

Cognitive Health

Labradoodles have impressive cognitive health. However, the breeds are also prone to various conditions that may influence their overall cognitive health. In addition, these health conditions significantly affect their emotional and sensory responses.

In Labradoodles, cognitive health conditions are similar to Alzheimer’s disease. Even though the conditions are different, they have similar effects. Most of the conditions relating to a Labradoodle’s health typically affect them late in life and occur slowly.

With age, the Labradoodle may begin to deteriorate, which may cause significant chemical and physical changes. These changes ultimately result in a decrease in the dog’s cognitive function. When your Labradoodle puppy has a problem with cognitive functioning, it affects memory, judgment, and awareness. 

Apart from Labradoodles, all other senior dogs are at risk of cognitive disorders. Here are some of the symptoms of cognitive health challenges in Labradoodles:

Behavior Changes

Sudden change in behavioral patterns is a significant symptom of a cognitive disorder in Labradoodles. In some cases, these changes may be due to physical conditions that cause pain, including digestive problems, skin allergies, hearing challenges, and loss of eyesight.

Before concluding that your Labradoodle puppy has a behavior change, ensure you understand the typical dog characteristics. After educating yourself about the typical Labradoodle character, it’s simple to decide whether there’s a need for medical attention. Significant example of behavior changes includes a lack of interest in activities previously valued or a change in reactions.

brown labradoodle dog looking up at camera

Reduced Hearing, Seeing, or Tasting Abilities

Due to neuropathological damages, Labradoodles may find it challenging to hear, see, or taste. In some cases, problems with the sensory organs are primarily due to aging. For this reason, it’s imperative to check with the vet often for proper diagnosis.

Labradoodles experiencing reduced hearing abilities will fall often and may have significant changes in behavior. Some common causes of sensory challenges in dogs include brain tumors, cataracts, glaucoma, nasal cancer, or degradation of nerves. Depending on the severity, treatment for health conditions relating to the senses range from offering oral medication to surgery.

Disorientation

Depending on the cause, disorientation in Labradoodles may start as a mild challenge and worsen with time. When a Labradoodle puppy is experiencing disorientation, he struggles to maintain a balanced position or focus his eyes in a specific direction. Experts link disorientation to the general disorders that relate to the vestibular system. Other conditions that affect the system include loss of balance and head tilt.

Some symptoms that connect to disorientation in Labradoodles include facial paralysis, circling, falling or rolling in a direction, vomiting, darting eyes, motion sickness, and the inability to stand. Treatment of disorientation in Labradoodles depends on the underlying cause, and in some instances, it may include surgery.

Obsessive Behaviors

Labradoodles and other common dog breeds often experience obsessive behaviors. Examples of these behaviors include circling, fence running, pacing, staring, and vocalizing. Other dogs may also experience behaviors like flank sucking, pacing, rhythmic barking, sucking, or chewing on objects.

Along with other anxiety disorders, OCD may start as early as a year to two years of age. Therefore, owners must watch their dogs closely for signs of self-mutilation. These symptoms include raw skin or missing hair around the distal extremities.

When diagnosing obsessive behaviors, the vet will perform a physical examination. The vet may also request your dog’s medical history. A medical record should contain details on the dog’s family line and previous incidents causing the behavior.

Barking

Most Labradoodles only bark to seek attention, but specific scenarios also signify cognitive disorders. For example, dogs with separation anxiety typically bark when alone. Before concluding, individuals should check for other significant symptoms. These signs include pacing, destructiveness, and depression.

Most dogs that bark obsessively typically do so to listen to their voices. It’s also evident that these dogs may also make repetitive movements like running along a fence or in circles. Therefore, it’s advisable to train your Labradoodle puppy early for better response and, ultimately, a more straightforward diagnosis.

Wandering

Most dogs wander for various reasons, including the anxiety that develops from the fear of being alone. Regular roaming is a very dangerous trait in a Labradoodle puppy that requires an early medical diagnosis. Apart from the direct relationship between roaming and cognitive health, it poses other significant dangers to a Labradoodle puppy. Examples include the chance of the Labradoodle puppy getting hit by cars and experiencing a fight.

Regular wandering is a significant sign of changes in the Labradoodle’s orientation. Therefore, the vet typically advises most dogs with that challenge to be on a strict routine. Maintaining a routine with a Labradoodle puppy reduces the tendency of confusion or severe cases of anxiety.

Stress

When a Labradoodle feels stressed, he communicates the feeling by using warning signs. Examples of these signs include regular barking, pacing, and growling. Therefore, for the best experience with a Labradoodle puppy, learning the typical dog triggers is imperative to prevent stress.

Here are some signs to look out for that indicates your dog’s stress level:

Barking or Whining

Labradoodles vocalize their feelings as a self-expression mechanism, especially when in pain.  Hence, if the Labradoodle puppy feels tired or stressed, you may notice constant barks. In some scenarios, the barking may occur at inappropriate times at night. Note when a Labradoodle puppy barks constantly, it may also signify an illness or cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

If a Labradoodle’s barking is not due to stress, owners can control it through behavior modification training. Some of the common types of barking noticeable in dogs include frustration barking, alarm barking, fear barking, and separation-stress barking. Try to speak to a vet to determine the primary cause of barking and how to go about treatment.

Shaking and Pacing

Shaking can be amusing for a Labradoodle puppy owner, but it requires medical attention when it becomes too frequent. A significant example that shows stress is a dog’s shake after examination by a vet. Dogs experiencing intense emotions like fear and anxiety will often shiver from time to time. Likewise, when a Labradoodle puppy shakes after a hug, it may also signify high levels of stress.

Other causes of shaking in your Labradoodle apart from stress include ear infections or trying to stay dry. If your Labradoodle puppy has an irritated or infected ear, shaking is a mechanism for them to get temporary relief from pain. However, consistent shaking may result in other severe conditions like ear hematoma. Hence, it’s imperative to seek a vet’s help when you observe pacing or shaking.

close up of labradoodle puppy laying on ground

Yawning or Drooling

Dogs constantly yawn when they feel stressed, bored, and tired. Owners need to learn how to differentiate between a stressful yawn and a sleepy one. When your Labradoodle puppy feels stressed, the yawn is typically more prolonged compared to a sleepy one. Apart from yawning, Labradoodles also drool when they feel intense levels of stress.

Experts regard yawning as an appeasement gesture that signifies your Labradoodle is trying to deflect a threat. In some cases, your Labradoodle puppy may also yawn when another animal is approaching to show that he feels anxious. Yawning is a common signal a Labradoodle puppy uses to avoid conflict. Unfortunately, drooling is also a significant sign of stress and, in some instances, an infection in the mouth.

Shedding

Labradoodles may shed their coats when they feel stressed or nervous. It’s common for dogs to shed when in a vet clinic, and it gets worse when their anxiety heightens. Owners should understand how to differentiate when shedding is due to stress or aging. Shedding due to age involves the body getting rid of old, damaged, or unwanted hair.

When shedding happens too often, common reasons include poor nutrition, parasites or fungi, allergies, or severe illness. One of the most common causes apart from stress is shedding due to allergies. Labradoodles may react to certain medications or environmental stimuli. Speak to the vet to avoid overshedding due to stress or allergies.

Panting

Labradoodles pant as a reaction to heat, excitement, and stress. If your Labradoodle puppy constantly pants without any form of exercise, it’s a significant sign of stress. When your Labradoodle puppy is panting, you can know his stress level by analyzing his body language. Some of the major questions to ask include, “Does my Labradoodle have weary and wide eyes?” or “Does my Labradoodle puppy look away when yawning?”

If you observe that your Labradoodle puppy has a weary and wide eye or looks away when yawning, it signifies a significant level of stress in your Labradoodle. Ensure you assess your dog’s situation to determine whether his constant panting signifies stress.

Changes in Body Functioning

Similar to human functioning, dogs may also change their normal behaviors when they feel stressed. Examples include stomach disturbances or marking territories with urine often. The change in bodily functions may also involve your Labradoodle’s refusal to eat.

Owners may also notice their Labradoodle puppy freeze or become stiff. If you notice freezing or stiffness in your Labradoodle, especially during training, speak to the vet. In most cases, the freezing may be a sign that your Labradoodle puppy is shutting down. Note that some dogs may bite if stress levels during training become very high.

Escape Behavior

Most dogs engage in escape behavior when they feel high levels of stress. Some Labradoodles may move behind their owners to hide or engage in activities for diversion. Examples of these activities include circling, digging, or slinking behind an object while walking.

If owners create an environment that makes the Labradoodle puppy feel safe and secure, escaping shouldn’t be an option. However, when your Labradoodle puppy feels high levels of stress, they may try escaping the environment and situation. Spaying or neutering your Labradoodle puppy may be helpful to prevent escape behavior in your pet.

Anxiety

Every dog, including a typical Labradoodle puppy, tends to feel signs of anxiety. Some of the most common reasons for anxiety in your Labradoodle puppy include feelings of abandonment, loud noises, or fear of being alone. If your Labradoodle’s anxiety doesn’t remain in check, it could result in an anxiety disorder. The Labradoodle puppy may also experience behavioral issues with time.

There are four significant types of anxiety disorders in dogs: separation anxiety, environmental anxiety, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety. A common type of anxiety among Labradoodles is environmental anxiety due to loud noises, alarms, or fireworks.

What are the signs of anxiety in your Labradoodle puppy? The signs include:

Aggression

Aggression in Labradoodles may occur for various reasons, including anxiety or fear, pain, and frustration. However, constant aggressive reactions indicate a severe behavior problem and require the help of vets and trainers. You know your Labradoodle puppy is aggressive when it exhibits behaviors like staying rigid and still, growling, snapping, and showing teeth.

Essential questions to ask if you have an aggressive Labradoodle are, “Who caused the aggression?” and “When was the first instance of aggression displayed?” Learning the answers to those questions will help provide insight into the reasons for your Labradoodles behavior. Examples of aggression include possessive, territorial, and protective aggression.

Drooling

When your Labradoodle puppy has a problem swallowing, it usually results in drooling. Note that it’s a result of saliva build-up that ultimately drips from the dog’s mouth. So how does anxiety cause drooling in a Labradoodle? In most cases, anxiety causes an increase in saliva production, which causes excess spitting and drooling.

It takes proper examination before a vet can discover if excessive drooling occurs due to anxiety. Two of the possible causes of drooling from anxiety include hyper-awareness or acid reflux. The treatment option for drooling depends on its underlying cause, which may be anxiety or GI problems.

Depression

Depression in your Labradoodle is a significant challenge to treat because it affects your pet’s overall behavior. When a Labradoodle puppy is experiencing depression, he typically becomes withdrawn and inactive. You may also observe that your dog’s eating and sleeping habits will change. One of the most common signs is that they don’t participate in activities they once enjoyed.

Expert vets warn that most signs of depression could also indicate a medical problem. Hence, it’s imperative to go through a complete checkup with a veterinarian before making any conclusions. If a Labradoodle puppy is experiencing depression, experts advise that owners should increase their physical activities or engagement.

brown labradoodle sitting in woods

Restlessness

A Labradoodle puppy experiencing anxiety may often exhibit symptoms of restlessness that call for help. If restlessness is due to anxiety, it signifies separation anxiety. Most dogs develop bonds with their owners, and when they leave, the dogs become significantly restless. Other symptoms that may accompany restlessness include destructive behaviors and excessive barking or whining.

Vets advise reinforcement-based training when treating restlessness due to anxiety. Other possible options also include sedative and anti-anxiety drugs. For owners to prevent restlessness due to anxiety, it’s imperative to provide the best growing environment for your Labradoodle puppy. For example, tall grassy areas may have ticks that may cause restlessness in your dogs.

Destructive Behavior

Display of destructive behavior in dogs may be normal or due to anxiety. Underlying causes of the condition also include lack of exercise, separation from the owner, obsessive-compulsive behavior, or loud noises. Note that destructive behavior describes actions that harm the Labradoodle puppy or the owner’s household. Examples of these actions include chewing of household items and urinating in the house.

For proper diagnosis of destructive behaviors in a Labradoodle puppy, the vet may request your dog’s medical history. Vets also ask for a good breakdown of your dog’s activity level, behavioral problems, and training history. Owners need to let the vet know when the Labradoodle puppy has symptoms of destructive behaviors for proper treatment.

Repetitive Behaviors

Compulsive behaviors like pacing, circling, acral lick dermatitis, freezing and staring, licking, and chewing on objects may occur in an anxious Labradoodle puppy. You can identify repetitive behaviors by noting the compulsive actions your Labradoodle takes and how long it occurs.

When treating the condition, vets typically perform a proper diagnosis to determine the underlying cause of the behaviors. For example, if it’s due to anxiety, the vet will advise reducing stressful activities for your Labradoodle puppy. Some also try finding the source of arousal and providing suitable treatment.

Allergies

Labradoodles are excellent dogs for individuals with allergies, but that doesn’t make them free from allergy sources. When dogs experience an allergy, it typically comes with symptoms like redness of the skin, swelling, itching membranes of the nose, and rash.

From a larger perspective, there are different types of allergies in dogs. These types include skin and food allergies. Some of the common causes of skin allergies include food, environment, and fleas. Food allergy reactions happen to a Labradoodle puppy with high food sensitivity.

What are the symptoms to look out for in dogs with food or environmental allergic reactions? Here’s what to know:

Itching

In Labradoodles, itching is a common symptom that signifies an allergic reaction. The hypersensitivity of the dog’s immune system to allergens causes frequent scratching that may result in redness and inflammation. Examples of allergens that can result in itching include dust, pollen, and mold.

Allergic reactions to your Labradoodle’s skin also cause dry skin, rashes, inflammation, and redness of the region. This breed is highly prone to skin allergies because the condition is common in both Labradors and Poodles. Apart from allergies, itching may also be due to stress, anxiety, or parasites. Determining what causes itching in your Labradoodle puppy requires a proper medical examination.

Vomiting

There are several possible causes of vomiting in Labradoodles. First, however, it’s essential to understand the difference between vomiting and regurgitating in your Labradoodle puppy. In Labradoodles, regurgitating involves expelling undigested food or fluids without force. Therefore, once an owner discovers a Labradoodle puppy vomit, it’s imperative to know the type of vomiting to determine its cause.

Some common kinds of vomiting in Labradoodles include continuous and chronic types of vomiting. In addition, food allergies can cause vomiting in dogs, including young Labradoodles. For example, a Labradoodle puppy may have chicken, soy, wheat, pork, beef, rabbit, dairy, and fish allergies.

Sneezing

Labradoodles often sneeze due to irritants or allergens. Examples of these irritants include perfume, pollen, dust, and household products. If there’s anything stuck in your dog’s nose, it may also result in frequent sneezing. Most Labradoodles sneeze and show signs of reaction to allergies by watery eyes and licking the fur.

In some cases, sneezing may occur for other reasons like a nasal infection, nasal mites, or a tumor. In addition, the conditions may occur due to fungi or bacteria and originate from the tooth root. Owners may also notice a bloody or mucousy discharge for proper diagnosis, including a lack of appetite.

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Constant Licking

If a Labradoodle puppy continuously scratches, it may be a sign of an allergy. However, it could also be a symptom of boredom, pain, or anxiety in some cases. If a Labradoodle puppy constantly licks due to allergens like dust, dander, or pollen, there are helpful steps owners can take. One of these steps is cleaning the dog’s paws using doggie wipes.

Owners should endeavor to speak to a vet to figure out the leading cause of constant licking. Sometimes, frequent licking may occur due to nausea. If a Labradoodle puppy keeps licking obscure places like walls or floors frequently, it may signify gastrointestinal upset.

Red or Inflamed Skin

Food allergies are the major causes of red or inflamed skin in Labradoodles. It often follows with a rash and itchy skin in the dog. Note that your Labradoodle puppy may also develop inflammation if he’s taking an inappropriate medication. Other common causes of red or inflamed skin include bacterial infection or fungal infection in the skin.

The vet may perform a comprehensive examination to determine whether the cause of redness and inflammation is from an allergy or parasite. Speak to your vet early for the best treatment option for your Labradoodle.

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Gut Health

Similar to other dog breeds, Labradoodles’ digestive tracts include hundreds of microorganisms. The microbiome plays a role in weight, nutrient absorption, and digestion. In specific scenarios, it’s also essential for the mental health of your Labradoodle puppy.

Labradoodles are prone to several health conditions that affect their overall gut health. Examples of these conditions of gastrointestinal disorders include:

Acute Gastroenteritis

When your Labradoodle experiences inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, the condition is called Gastroenteritis. The condition is typically due to viruses, bacteria, or parasites. However, acute gastroenteritis may also occur when there’s a change in your Labradoodle’s food in some scenarios.

Significant signs of gastroenteritis in your Labradoodle puppy include frequent vomiting and diarrhea. When your Labradoodle puppy vomits, it may contain yellowish and foamy bile. Your Labradoodle puppy may also gag or heave after eating or drinking. In addition, if your Labradoodle puppy appears less active and has a lower appetite, it may also signify the presence of acute gastroenteritis.

Constipation

Most dogs experience constipation due to the swallowing of objects or food that is difficult to digest. Constipation may also occur in your Labradoodle puppy when there’s a lack of exercise, lack of fiber, and blocked anal glands. Other rare causes of constipation in dogs include renal problems, surgery, medications, enlarged prostate, and stress.

Owners can determine that their Labradoodle puppy has constipation when they feel discomfort, have a hard stool, and have painful defecation. Consult a vet when there are signs of constipation in your Labradoodle puppy. Common treatments of constipation include enemas, drinking more water, bran cereal, and exercise.

Diarrhea

When your Labradoodle has a change in diet or experiences dietary indiscretion, there’s a tendency for diarrhea to occur. Parasites like roundworms, coccidia, giardia, and hookworms may also cause diarrhea in a Labradoodle puppy. In addition, stress, bacterial infections, swallowing a foreign object, and consuming poisonous plants can result in diarrhea.

Most vets analyze the color of diarrhea to figure out the cause of the condition. If you observe that the Labradoodle puppy has a chocolate brown stool, he’s normal. Another factor that defines the presence of an infection or any other condition is the shapeless form of dog stool. You must speak to your vet to determine the cause of diarrhea and possible treatment options.

Pancreatitis

Labradoodles with pancreatitis typically experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. What are the common causes of pancreatitis in Labradoodles? This dog breed is highly prone to pancreatitis if he has a high-fat diet, experiences obesity, diabetes mellitus, and hypothyroidism.

Owners can figure out whether their Labradoodles are experiencing pancreatitis by reviewing the visible symptoms. These common signs include loss of appetite, fever, repeated vomiting, hunched back, dehydration, weakness, and lethargy.

Colitis

Dogs experiencing colitis typically experience significant swelling or inflammation of the large intestine. In addition, Labradoodles experiencing the condition usually have loose stools containing fresh blood and mucus. In most scenarios, the stools are difficult to pass and result in severe pain during defecation. 

One of the most common causes of colitis in dogs is the consumption of unusual objects. However, it may also occur due to pancreatitis, immune diseases, worms, or parasites. For diagnosis, the vet will request the dog’s medical history. Afterward, they may also use X-rays or ultrasound for final diagnosis. 

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Eye Health

Labradoodles must maintain excellent vision. For this reason, performing regular eye checks with the vet is helpful for your pet’s overall health. Common eye conditions that affect Labradoodles include corneal damage, pink eye, cherry eye, eyelid mass, cataracts, glaucoma, and dry eye. 

If your Labradoodle puppy is experiencing a vision problem, it may lead to loss of sight depending on the underlying cause. Some symptoms of eye health conditions include excessive fluid in the eye, cloudiness of the pupil, squinting, low vision, and changes in eye color.

Here are some health conditions that may affect your Labradoodles eye health:

Glaucoma

Labradoodles develop glaucoma when there’s a significant increase in pressure in the eyes. The condition makes the breed’s eyes unable to drain fluid appropriately. With time, glaucoma can become more severe and cause loss of sight. 

One of the root causes of glaucoma is the lack of proper development of the eye’s filtration angles. Other common causes include tissue inflammation, eye injuries, and lens slipping. Depending on glaucoma severity, common symptoms that may arise are excessive blinking, cloudy appearance, eye pressure, and dilated pupils.

Cataracts

Similar to humans, Labradoodles also tend to develop cataracts as they age. Labradoodle puppy eyes contain protein and water, and cataracts form when the protein clumps together to form a cloud-like substance. Cataracts start small and grow with time. Without proper care, the condition may result in blindness.

If your Labradoodle puppy is diabetic, he is prone to developing cataracts. Note that nuclear sclerosis is a condition that is similar to cataracts. Hence, it’s imperative to know the difference between those two conditions. The vet will perform a proper diagnosis to determine if your Labradoodle puppy has cataracts or nuclear sclerosis.

labradoodle dog walking on the beach

Corneal Damage

Another term that describes corneal damage in Labradoodles is corneal dystrophy. It signifies several conditions that occur, making the breed’s corneas appear cloudy or opaque. Three main categories of corneal dystrophy include stromal, epithelial, and endothelial.

Lots of dogs typically develop corneal ulcers (ulcer keratitis) that occur as a swelling of the cornea with sores that heal slowly. During diagnosis of ulcer keratitis, the vet puts eye drops into the eye to detect the small ulcers. Consult a vet when you observe any of the significant symptoms of corneal damage in your Labradoodle puppy.

Uveitis

This condition describes the inflammation of the colored part of the Labradoodle’s eye and structures around it. Uveitis appears as an intense reddening of the visible regions of the eye. Labradoodles experiencing the condition usually keep their eyes shut and avoid contact with bright light. Other noticeable signs may include cloudiness of the eye or excessive tearing.

When diagnosing the condition, vets check for intraocular pressure (IOP) due to the similarity in symptoms to glaucoma. In Uveitis, the IOP is low, while it’s significantly high with glaucoma. Standard treatment options for the condition include medications and surgery.

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a condition that occurs in dogs and typically describes an inadequate quantity of tears. Common symptoms of dry eye in dogs include excessive blinking, squinting, and holding the eye shut for an extended period. In addition, the Labradoodle puppy discharges a thick and yellowish fluid due to a reduction in the aqueous part of the tear film.

KCS occurs in young Labradoodles for various reasons, including hypothyroidism, systemic diseases, and immune-mediated diseases. Vets diagnose the condition by reviewing the dog’s medical history and performing decreased tear production tests. Treatment of KCS involves the use of medication or surgery in severe cases.

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Ear Health

Due to the floppy ears of the Labradoodles, they are at risk of chronic ear infections. In addition, the breed’s ears are accommodating to moisture and wax, which are major causes of otitis. When a Labradoodle puppy is experiencing an ear health condition, the dog may shake its head. Owners may also observe an unpleasant or colored discharge from the Labradoodle’s ear canal that signifies an infection.

Common signs of an ear infection in Labradoodles include whining, head shaking, and constant scratching. Apart from the structure of a Labradoodle’s ear, some other common causes of ear infections include foreign bodies, excessive cleaning, and autoimmune disorders.

Here are the different ear health conditions that may affect your Labradoodle puppy:

Otitis Externa

Otitis externa is a condition that results in the inflammation of the outer region of the ear canal. Note that this area is between the eardrum and the outer ear. Symptoms of otitis externa in dogs include headshaking, swelling, scratching, scaly skin, odor, redness of the skin, and increased discharge. In addition, depending on the cause and duration of the condition, the canal may feel itchy.

Labradoodles are very prone to developing otitis externa due to the shape of their ears. For this reason, vets take time to identify the cause of otitis externa before deciding on a treatment option. Proper skin examination and an excellent medical history breakdown can help understand the condition’s cause and the best treatment approach.

Some Labradoodles may require anesthesia or sedation before examination with an otoscope. The purpose of sedation is to prevent your Labradoodle puppy from feeling the pain that comes with examining the ear. Sedation is also imperative when the ear canal has an obstruction or widespread inflammatory tissue. In addition, when the Labradoodle puppy is uncooperative, sedation becomes imperative.

Once the vet finds out the underlying causes of otitis externa in your Labradoodle puppy, treatment of the condition can begin. However, the veterinarian will always provide medication to manage pain. In addition, vets may suggest the surgical removal of the hair in ear canals. Note that the surgical process is painful, and it’s typically under anesthesia.

Otitis Media

In Labradoodles, otitis media signifies the inflammation of the middle ear. The condition occurs due to an infection from the external region of the ear canal. It may also occur due to the penetration of the ear canal by a foreign object. In addition, otitis media may spread infection through the Labradoodle’s bloodstream in rare cases.

The vet can diagnose otitis media when there’s a rupture in the eardrum by a foreign object or due to inflammation. However, it’s challenging to diagnose the condition when the eardrum doesn’t experience any form of rupturing. In most cases, the condition occurs in dogs with recurrent or long-term external ear inflammation with no signs of rupturing.

Other methods of proper diagnosing include checking for fluid in the middle ear or the hardening of a round bone behind the dog’s ear. Veterinarians use X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Computerized Tomography (CT) to check behind the dog’s ear. An important sign experts also consider when diagnosing otitis media is loss of balance in the Labradoodle.

For proper treatment and the prevention of permanent hearing loss, vets prescribe long-term antibiotics by mouth. Some other experts may also recommend injections to treat otitis media in your Labradoodle. Duration of treatment may extend from three to six weeks. If there are small perforations in the eardrum, they will heal between two to three weeks.

Otitis Interna

Otitis interna describes the inflammation of the inner ear in Labradoodles. The condition is typically due to an infection from bacteria or fungi. If your Labradoodle puppy has ear mites in his external ear, it could also be a threat to the inner ear. Some dogs develop problems with the inner ear if there’s a disease in an ear canal. In some cases, otitis interna also occurs when a benign polyp grows from the middle ear.

When owners consistently clean their Labradoodle’s ears vigorously, there’s a significant chance of the dog developing otitis interna. Depending on the severity of the condition, signs of otitis interna may be visible. In addition, owners may notice that the Labradoodle puppy becomes relatively reluctant to chew or exhibits signs of pain during mouth opening.

Labradoodles often tilt their heads towards the direction of the infected ear as a sign of otitis interna. Some of these breeds may also constantly lean toward the direction of the infected ear. In addition, you should look out for some other signs of the condition like nausea, vomiting, drooling from one side of the mouth, inability to blink, eye discharge, and drooping of the eyelids.

When the symptoms of otitis interna become evident, and after proper diagnosis, treatment of the infection may involve certain medications. Depending on the nature of the condition, the Labradoodle puppy may use antibiotics or antifungal treatments.

white labradoodle running through grass lawn

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Immune Health

In dogs, the immune system involves a connection of antibodies, white blood cells, and other substances for fighting infections. It also includes various organs like the bone marrow and thymus gland to produce white blood cells. When a Labradoodle’s immune system attacks his tissue or cells, it results in autoimmune diseases.

Most autoimmune diseases require lifelong treatments, but with the help of a veterinarian, the Labradoodle puppy should experience a good life. Labradoodles’ most common autoimmune diseases include joint inflammation, platelet destruction, and pemphigus foliaceus.

Most autoimmune diseases occur due to genetic predisposition, medications, infections, and cancer. Common symptoms of conditions affecting your Labradoodle’s immune health include loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, and weight loss. In addition, autoimmune disorders can be relatively life-threatening to Labradoodles, depending on the affected organ.

Here are some health conditions that affect immune health in Labradoodles:

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

SLE is a condition with high tendencies of being hereditary in Labradoodles. In most cases, symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus occur in young Labradoodles around the age of six. However, it’s imperative to note that signs of the condition can show at any age. Your Labradoodle’s skin, lungs, kidneys, blood, and joints can show the effects of SLE.

Depending on whether the condition is localized, symptoms include severe pain in joints and muscles, fever, anemia, and more. The root cause of SLE is not clear, but there are certain risk factors. Research also proves that a hereditary component and UV light increases the risk of Labradoodles experiencing the condition.

Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA)

AIHA is a condition that occurs when a Labradoodle’s immune system attacks the red blood cells responsible for bringing oxygen from the lungs to body tissues. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia damages the red blood cells faster than the body replaces them.

In Labradoodles, some signs to look out for include weakness or lethargy, fever, jaundice, increased heart rate, and discoloration of the eyes, skin, and gums. You may also observe weight loss or anorexia and collapse in severe cases.

What causes AIHA is not certain, but it appears in middle-aged female Labradoodles. What makes the Labradoodles prone to the condition is their Poodle ancestor. To keep the condition under control, vets typically prescribe immunosuppressive drugs or corticosteroids.

Immune-Mediated Polyarthritis

In some cases, immune-mediated polyarthritis (IMPA) occurs alongside SLE. Some symptoms include high fever, enlarged lymph nodes, joint pain or swelling, and lameness from leg to leg. Dogs experience immune-mediated polyarthritis due to the reactiveness of the immune system and how it attacks the Labradoodle’s body.

There are four major IMPA types: idiopathic, secondary to a non-joint infection, secondary to gastrointestinal disease, and secondary to neoplasia. Treatment of IMPA may require medications. However, in most cases, dogs go into remission after treatment with corticosteroids. With treatment, the condition is manageable, and Labradoodles can live a fulfilling life.

Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (ITP)

This condition occurs when the immune system of Labradoodles attacks thrombocytes responsible for forming blood clots. As a result, if there’s any type of bleeding, there’s a high tendency of increased severity. Symptoms that owners may observe in dogs with ITP include bruising, blood in the urine, stool, and excessive bleeding after an injury.

Diagnosis of the condition in Labradoodles involves proper evaluation of blood smears and complete blood count. Some necessary tests also include Coombs’ test and titers for adequate diagnosis. In addition, similar to autoimmune hemolytic anemia, the vet may administer corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs to remove the spleen.

Inflammatory Brain Disease

One of the most common types of inflammatory brain disease is encephalitis due to viruses, parasites, or bacteria. Symptoms of an inflammatory disease include seizures, depression, tremors, loss of balance or coordination. When encephalitis occurs in a Labradoodle puppy, it causes inflammation of the brain tissue. Note that the condition may occur as a result of parasites, fungi, or bacteria.

The primary cause of encephalitis doesn’t have a known origin. However, urinary and ear infections can spread down the dog’s CNS to cause inflammatory brain disease. Only a few Labradoodles are at risk of the disease since they are not small breeds, but constant checks with the vet remain imperative.

Pemphigus foliaceus

Pemphigus foliaceus is a skin disease that occurs due to genetic predisposition or drug-induced conditions resulting in loss of keratinocytes. Labradoodles experiencing the condition may also lose significant hair follicles. Common symptoms of the condition include pustules, ulcers, alopecia, and crusting of the dog’s skin.

The symptoms of pemphigus foliaceus typically occur in the head and feet of Labradoodles before spreading to other regions in their bodies. Ulcers in the mouth, prepuce, vagina, and nose are the most severe forms of pemphigus. Diagnosis of the condition in dogs typically requires an analysis of the medical history of the dog. Treatment involves suppression of the immune system in Labradoodles.

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Joint Health

As an offspring of a mix of Labradors and Poodles, the Labradoodles are very active dogs with high activity around the joints. More use of the joints increases the risk of joint-related health conditions and injuries. One of the most common health conditions affecting dogs, including Labradoodles, is arthritis. Dogs experiencing the condition feel discomfort from contact between the bone ends.

Some joint health conditions don’t have a specific cure, but some medications can help treat the pain. Vets help provide medicines that assist in alleviating pain and joint wear. 

Here are some conditions that relate to your Labradoodle’s joint health:

Joint Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a fairly common joint health challenge in the parent breeds of Labradoodles. The condition is similar to hip dysplasia, and it becomes more prevalent in young Labradoodles. Hip dysplasia describes the abnormal formation of the hip socket that causes lameness in a Labradoodle puppy. 

When a Labradoodle experiences hip dysplasia, it results in decreased activity, reduced range of motion, looseness in the joint, narrow stance, and stiffness or soreness after rest. Other common signs of the condition include swaying, noticeable enlargement of shoulder muscles, and subluxation or dislocation.

Diagnosis of joint dysplasia requires radiographs. For example, if the Labradoodle puppy is experiencing hip dysplasia, the vet will carry out radiographs of the pelvis. There are standard systems for categorizing dysplasia, including Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), PennHP, and the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

One of the most common systems for diagnosis is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. OFA grades and certifies the dog’s hip joint based on a seven-point scoring system. Diagnosis by the OFA relies on the radiograph of a Labradoodle’s hips. Possible scores are Excellent, Good, Fair, Borderline, Mild, Moderate, and Severe.

There’s no natural cure to hip dysplasia, but there are options to alleviate the condition’s symptoms. Proper treatment helps enhance the quality of life in your Labradoodle and may require surgical or non-surgical approaches. Two standard surgical options for hip dysplasia include reshaping the joints and hip replacement to improve movement.

The non-surgical approaches for treating hip dysplasia depend on factors like weight, age, and degree of hip laxity. Experts may also request crucial details regarding your Labradoodle’s medical history for the best non-surgical approach. Without surgery, vets typically recommend a good exercise routine, proper medication, and good nutrition.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is rare but also occurs in Labradoodles. It is prominent in old dogs and doesn’t have any cure. However, vets can help owners manage the condition of their dogs appropriately. Another name for osteoarthritis is Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), which describes inflammation by deteriorating cartilage.

Aging Labradoodles are prone to osteoarthritis, but there are other risk factors for the condition. These factors include obesity, poor nutrition, injuries, genetics, poor conformation, and repetitive stress.

In the early stages, osteoarthritis can be difficult to detect. However, some common signs of the condition include weight gain, lethargy, stiffness, pain when touched, loss of significant muscle mass, and reluctance to run.

For treatment, the best option is to take measures that prevent the development of the condition. Some of these measures include proper dieting, exercising, and the use of protective joint supplements. When there’s a development of osteoarthritis in Labradoodles, the best treatment option focuses on controlling pain and slowing the growth of the condition.

How do joint supplements work for reducing the chances of osteoarthritis in Labradoodles? The medication works by improving function, slowing the progression of the joint damage, and reducing inflammation. The standard components of these joint supplements are chondroitin and glucosamine.

For pain control and reduction of joint inflammation, vets prescribe Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS). Unfortunately, these medications also have side effects with regular use, especially for dogs with poor kidney or liver function. Therefore, before prescribing NSAIDs, the vet will discuss the risks of taking the drug.

Vets often recommend other treatment modalities like changes in diet, acupuncture, physiotherapy, and cold laser. In severe cases, the expert may recommend surgery to remove the damaged tissue from the joint properly.

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Skin and Coat

Every Labradoodle puppy has its coat divided into three parts: wool, fleece, and hair. Most Australian Labradoodles have straight or wavy fleece coats, but the early generation Labradoodles had wool and hair coats.

Without proper care, young Labradoodles are prone to developing some skin conditions. These health conditions include dry skin, redness, bumps, hair loss, rashes, and dandruff. Most skin health conditions occur due to environmental allergies, food allergies, and yeast infections.

Here are some conditions that may affect your Labradoodle’s skin and coat:

brown labradoodle sitting in grass field

Dry Skin

Parting your Labradoodle’s fur and checking for scaly or flaky scaly skin will help you determine whether your dog has dry skin. Other signs that indicate dry skin include inflammation or redness of the region. 

There are various possible causes of dry skin in Labradoodles, including allergies, dehydration, dietary problems, and allergies. Most dogs develop dry skin in regions with low humidity. During winter, they are also at a high risk of dry skin. Regarding allergies, some common allergens include fragrances, shampoos, and smoke.

Labradoodles that don’t get enough water during the day may experience effects on their skin. Owners need to ensure that their Labradoodles have clean water available. In your dog’s diet, ensure that you include healthy oils to avoid dry skin.

Ticks and Fleas

Labradoodles often pick up unwanted ticks or fleas in certain areas, which results in skin irritation due to their bites. Most fleas stay around the base of Labradoodle ears or near the rump. Inspect your dog’s coat well to determine whether to treat their infestation.

If you observe a tick on your Labradoodle puppy, consider using tweezers to pull it out and avoid twisting the tick to pull it out appropriately. If the head or other parts of the tick remains in the Labradoodle’s body, there’s a high chance of infection. Owners who aren’t sure of the appropriate method to remove a tick should ask a vet for help.

Skin Infections

Yeast infection in the skin is a common condition that occurs in Labradoodles. The health condition typically happens around the paws or eyes of the dogs. Labradoodles with yeast infection typically paw at the ears or chew their paws. Other signs of a yeast infection in the breed include irritated or discolored skin.

Primary treatment options for yeast infections include ointments, oral medications, and medicated baths. In addition, Labradoodles may develop other skin infections like blisters and impetigo that appear on the young breed’s tummy.  Both skin infections are treatable with topical solutions or prescribed drugs.

Ringworms

If you notice your Labradoodle puppy has ringworm, it signifies fungus. Dogs with this condition typically have bald patches, inflammation in circular patches, and scaly skin. Young Labradoodles are prone to ringworms, which are transmittable between dogs at boarding kennels or shelters.

Mange

Labradoodles with mange may observe tiny mites in their bodies. Most dogs harbor these parasites without any medical problems. However, reproduction can make some mites become a health challenge to the Labradoodles. The two different types of mange include the sarcoptic and demodectic mange.

Another name for the sarcoptic mange is canine scabies. Labradoodles with the condition may often become significantly restless, scratch continually, and develop sores or scabs. Compared to the demodectic mange, canine scabies is highly contagious. Therefore, if owners perceive their Labradoodles are experiencing mange, they must speak to a licensed vet.

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Final Thoughts

The sole reason for developing Labradoodles was to have a breed with hypoallergenic features as a guide dog. Labradoodles come in different sizes and colors, depending on the owner’s preference. Due to their parent breeds, these dogs are prone to several health conditions. Perform constant checks with the vet to keep tabs on your Labradoodle puppy for your pet’s experience