Wondering how long Labradoodles live? Learn about their life span and how you can keep them healthy and happy as a part of the family.
The Labradoodle is cross bred between a Labrador and a Poodle. This active and fun-loving hybrid lives from 10 to 14 years. They thrive well when their required living, care, and health needs are met.
These dogs are known for their prominent personalities, making them popular with children and first-time owners. They are also a fun and well-loved addition to many families, and losing one untimely can be a heartbreak! Read on to find out the factors that affect their life span.
Factors That Can Impact Your Labradoodle’s Lifespan
Energetic and cheeky, there is never a dull moment with your beloved labradoodle! However, the time they would spend with you is affected by their genes, exercise, breeding, food, and diet.
In the late 1980s, the Australian breeder Wally Conron decided to mix a Labrador with a Poodle. The goal was to come up with a low allergen guide dog. Not surprisingly, he called this new mix a “Labradoodle,” which combines the two-parent dogs’ names.
Though Conron has expressed his regrets for creating the hybrid in recent years, it is hard to deny that Labradoodles have excellent parental genes.
Both Labrador and Poodles are known for long life expectancy. A Labrador Retriever (or Labrador) is expected to live for ten to 12 years, while a poodle has 12-15 years. Thus, there is a high likelihood that your labradoodle will live for ten years and beyond.
Both Labrador and Poodles are generally considered to be a healthy breed. However, both are also prone to health conditions such as joint dysplasia. Joint dysplasia is a medical condition common in large dogs such as the Labrador but can happen in smaller breeds. It occurs when the ball and socket of joints do not fit and deteriorate the bone over time.
This can be a harrowing experience for your beloved pooch. You will know that your dog is affected when you notice them having difficulty climbing the stairs, exhibiting a “bunny hopping” gait, or generally losing interest in physical activities.
Hip dysplasia is not a fatal disease, but some owners would instead put their beloved pets to sleep than see them suffering.
Other common diseases associated with Labradoodles are progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand’s disease, ear infections, and Addison disease.
Exercise Your Labradoodle
A somewhat related factor to genetics, Labradoodles are fond of running across your lawn and just being a real ball of energy. Taking it from their Labrador ancestors who are bred to be working dogs, you can expect your labradoodle to need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day, or they might act up in destructive ways.
On the other hand, their Poodle ancestors, though with a different purpose, are also known to be active breeds and require the same amount of exercise in a day.
But before bringing your labradoodle for a run, walk, hike, or even a swim, certain factors should be considered. This includes their age and demand for physical activities. Young Labradoodles might not require the same amount as adult Labradoodles.
A very active labradoodle might need 90 minutes of exercise per day, while a less demanding one might find a 45-minute workout exhausting.
Moreover, providing the right balance of exercise duration, frequency, and pace have enormous benefits in improving your labradoodle’s quality of life. This can positively impact your dog’s physical, mental, behavior, and social health.
Just like ours, exercise improves blood circulation and can help lessen the chances of diabetes, obesity, and other related diseases for your beloved canine. This can also lead to a better physical appearance in your dogs, such as a shinier coat and fur, bright eyes, and an average weight.
An adequately scheduled exercise can also help dogs release their pent up energy and avoid destructive behaviors such as chewing, digging, or scratching. If you like to jog, walk or hike, it is also an excellent option to bring your labradoodle with you as they value one on one time with their owners, minimizing attention-seeking behavior.
Labradoodles have the reputation of being extremely intelligent. Providing them with mental stimulation during exercises would keep them on their feet and help their minds stay sharp and quick. This can be achieved by varying pace and walk duration, allowing them to see and receive new and exciting impressions from smelling and hearing.
Their reputation of being friendly with the family cats can only be achieved if Labradoodles have been exposed to early socialization with other dogs, animals, and people. Letting your doodle pups interact with adult dogs and meet other humans with your veterinarian’s advice, of course, can be beneficial as it builds their confidence and gains experience in the outside world.
In all, exercising your Labradoodle can make an impact on the quality of their life, allowing you to extend their time with you.
The Labradoodles came into existence when a vision-impaired woman whose husband was allergic to dog hair requested Conron for a guide dog. After almost two years and more than 30 times of engineering the “perfect” dog, he was able to come up with an allergy-free sample.
Initially, these Labradoodles were not known to many people. Years later, this hybrid will be known for being part of the pack of famous personalities such as Tiger Woods and Jennifer Aniston.
Despite being a popular and fashionable breed, Conron, in a 2019 article, claimed that he regretted engineering these mop-headed dogs saying that “he opened a Pandora box and released a Frankenstein Monster.”
However, it was somewhat clear that this does not refer to the Labradoodles themselves, but to the unstable dogs produced from backyard breeders’ unethical practices wanting to gain quick bucks from the hybrid.
Like other dogs, breeding Labradoodles requires guidelines to ensure that the litter and the mother Labradoodles are in the best health conditions. This can ensure that the mother is bred at the right age, starting at about two years of age and stops at eight.
Breeding Labradoodles at a young age can be detrimental to both mother and puppies. A mother labradoodle can die during the whelping process, and the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth is very high. This is the same scenario when breeding at an older age.
Another factor that affects your doodle’s life is inbreeding. This happens when related Labradoodles mate together. This results in a high Coefficient in Inbreeding (COI), which poses the danger of cementing “bad” traits.
A concrete example of these traits is genetic disorders or diseases. Parent dogs having the same bad gene come up with small litter and puppies with a weakened immune system. Puppies of this nature usually die or, if they survive, are prone to illnesses in their adult lives.
If you have decided that your labradoodle is ready for breeding, make sure that the “stud” has the best possible genetic traits to pass on to the next generation. You can request a Labradoodle Genetic History report or a Joint Dysplasia Report to guarantee that you get the best genes and increase the chance of having your doodle live a long, happy life.
Food and Diet
The type and quality of food and diet that your doodles eat affect their immune system’s strength, resistance to disease, and overall life quality. With the abundance of options ranging from commercial brands to table food and do it yourself menus. Choosing the perfect diet for your puppy should be based on the premise that each dog is unique and what works for one dog might not work for the other.
There are some general practices, though, that might guide you when feeding your doodle. Including quality, meat should be on your list since dogs are carnivorous by nature. Varying their diets could also satisfy nutritional gaps resulting from sticking to one type of food or commercial brand.
This can also help in avoiding intestinal upsets. When choosing commercial foods, remember to select those that have high meat contents and avoid those that are high in grains as these tend to be harder to digest for dogs and can lead to increased weight.
Avoid feeding your dogs with onions, grapes, raisins, chocolates, caffeine, xylitol, and alcohol, which are toxic and fatal to dogs.
Remember as well that the nutritional needs of your doodle pups are different from those of adults. Adult food may contain an improper amount of protein, calcium, and other nutrients that might only be detrimental to their growth in the long run. Overfeeding doodle pups can also lead to a quick growth spurt, which is a factor in the formation of joint dysplasia.
Knowing this information would help Labradoodle owners like you take care of your most loved companion and ensure that you give them the best possible life they deserve. From there, what do you think is the most challenging factor to manage? How were you able to control yours?