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Looking for an outgoing, sometimes comically goofy, but an intelligent dog? Consider the black labradoodle. Combining the best characteristics of labrador retrievers and poodles, the labradoodle's friendly, willing personality and happy demeanor makes them a great addition to any home, whether as a family dog, a service dog, or even a therapy dog.
In this article, we'll take a look at what sets black Labradoodles apart from other doodles. We’ll explore whether they’re actually hypoallergenic pets, and investigate what makes them such popular dogs.
We'll also take at some of the common health issues to look out for when looking for a black labradoodle puppy, and explain how pet insurance can help take the sting out of some of the costs of looking after your black labradoodle—both as a puppy and as an adult dog.
What is a Black Labradoodle?
Like all Labradoodles, black Labradoodles can trace their lineage back to a pairing between a labrador retriever and a poodle.
Labrador retrievers can be found in three colors: black, chocolate, and yellow, while poodles are found in a range of colors including apricot, parti (brown and black), chocolate, and black. Labradoodles therefore can be found in many different colors depending on their parents, but a black labradoodle will be the result of a pairing between black-colored parent dogs.
Black Labradoodles, therefore, differ from chocolate Labradoodles and others only in their coat color.
While poodles come in two sizes (standard and miniature), black Labradoodles come in three: standard, medium and miniature, depending on their poodle ancestors. Standard Labradoodles are large dogs, typically standing at 20-24 inches and weighing 55-65 lbs; medium Labradoodles stand 16-20 inches tall, weighing 30-45 lbs; and mini Labradoodles are 12-16 inches tall, weighing 15-25 lbs.
The lifespan of a labradoodle dog is 12 to 14 years, slightly above the average for dogs.
Your labradoodle's size will make a difference in how much they cost to maintain, not least because larger dogs eat more food. According to BetterPet, you can expect to spend between $150 and $300 a month on caring for your pet, including on food, flea treatment, and pet insurance. For a Labradoodle, this works out to anywhere between $21,600 and $50,400 over the course of their lifetime, although costs can easily arise if they need regular trips to the dog groomer, or you hire a dog walker.
What's the Difference Between a Black Labradoodle, an Australian Labradoodle, and a Golden Doodle?
Labradoodles were pioneered by Wally Conron of the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia. He received a very specific request. A family was looking for a service dog to assist a blind woman—but ideally, the pup wouldn’t irritate her husband’s allergies. Conron decided to crossbreed a standard poodle with a labrador retriever, thus “inventing” the standard labradoodle.
Seeing potential in the new crossbreed, breeders of the Australian labradoodle went on to cross out to Irish water spaniels, American and English cocker spaniels, and curly-coated retrievers to create a purebred dog that was consistent in coat type, conformation, and temperament. Australian Labradoodles are now considered to be a cross between labradors, poodles; and cocker spaniels, whereas Labradoodles are a first- or second-generation crossbreed between a labrador retriever and a poodle.
Black Labradoodles differ from other Labradoodles only in their coat color—as you may have guessed, they are always black.
Got all that? Labradoodles are also not to be confused with golden doodles, which are the result of crossing a golden retriever with a poodle.
Are black labradoodles hypoallergenic?
Some are. While the original Labradoodles crossbred by Wally Conron were bred specifically for their hypoallergenic coats, black Labradoodles are bred primarily for their coat color. As a result, the type of coat they have varies, typically depending on which generation labradoodle they are.
Let’s get technical for a minute:
- F1 are first-generation Labradoodles - a cross between a labrador and a poodle.
- F1b Labradoodles are the most common and are considered the second generation. They are the result of a labradoodle being bred back to a poodle.
- F2 are true second-generation Labradoodles - the result of pairing two F1 dogs, or an F1 with an F2 or higher.
- And finally, multi-gen Labradoodles are the result of pairings between second generation or higher Labradoodles.
As black labradors have short, straight coats which shed, F1 Labradoodles also tend to have a shorter coat, which may be straight or slightly wavy. These dogs make ideal family pets as they combine the fun-loving characteristics of labradors and poodles with a coat that's easier to maintain.
The more allergy-friendly fleece or wool coats, meanwhile, are found on F1b Labradoodles - those which have been bred back to a poodle.
Fleece coats have a very soft, downy feel to them. Some are fine, others are thicker, and they may be straight, wavy, or curled. Generally, the coat is easy to care for in the puppy stages but may need more maintenance to prevent matting as your puppy grows into an adult dog. Fleece coats are typically low-shedding, making them more allergy-friendly.
Wool coats are tightly curled, non-shedding, and allergy-friendly. They can be difficult to maintain properly on a dog that has longer hair, so regular trips to the doggy salon may be needed to keep your pet looking their best.
Compare Pet Insurance for Your Black Labradoodle
- Lemonade Pet InsuranceMore DetailsBest ForTop-rated pet insurance
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- Pumpkin Pet InsuranceMore DetailsBest ForFamilies with multiple pets
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- Spot Pet InsuranceMore DetailsBest ForPrescription food and supplements
Keeping your Black Labradoodle Healthy and Happy
In general, Labradoodle dogs are a fairly robust, healthy breed, but they do carry some genetic issues from their parent breeds.
Common genetic issues with labradoodle dogs include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, hyperthyroidism, and Von Willebrand's disease (a blood disorder in which the blood does not clot properly). The costs for treating these types of diseases can run into thousands of dollars a year, especially if your dog requires ongoing medication to manage their condition.
As with buying any dog breed, you should avoid puppy mills and instead look for a reputable breeder who has taken steps to screen genetic issues out of the breeding program as much as possible.
The first year of your puppy's life will be an eventful one. Not only will they be learning socialization skills while exploring their new surroundings, they will also need to visit the vet a few times for routine vaccinations, microchipping, and a spay/neuter procedure.
Typically, in the first year of your puppy's life, you can expect to spend around $3,000 on vets trips, food, bedding, and all the other necessities. Insurance companies such as Lemonade offer preventative care coverage designed specifically for puppies, to help take the bite out of these early costs.
Unfortunately, unexpected vets trips can happen, whether due to accidents or illness. No one wants to have to choose between paying the mortgage and getting treatment for a beloved pet. A good pet insurance plan can help to make sure that difficult decision never has to be made.