Labradoodles vs. Labradors

Written By: Sharon Becker

Labrador Retrievers are known for being sweet companion dogs. They are often used as guide dogs, rescue dogs, and are great hunting partners. Their intelligence makes them a good worker and are kind and gentle enough for the family home. They are easy to train, so they’re a good dog for a novice owner. Labradors were first bred with Poodles to create the Labradoodle as a hypoallergenic guide dog. This cross resulted in a dog that does not shed much that has the intelligence of the Labrador. Ever since the cross breed was created, it has gained popularity as a family companion. Naturally, these two breeds are similar, but the Poodle blood in the Labradoodle creates some differences that make it a unique dog.

General Appearance

The average Labrador is around 22-24 inches tall. They can weigh anywhere from 60-80 pounds. This is a big dog that needs plenty of room to roam. The Labradoodle is around 21-24 inches tall and weighs around 50-65 pounds. While they are similar in height, the Labrador tends to weigh more than the Labradoodle. Labradors are also prone to excessive weight gain, which can lead to health problems. The Labradoodle has a moderate risk of weight gain, but not as much as the Labrador.

Coat Type

Labradors have a short, thick coat. They have straight fur that includes a protective topcoat and an insulating undercoat. This keeps the Labrador protected from the elements when hunting. Their coat comes in black, yellow, and chocolate. However, there are some rare coat colors like white or red that are a variation on the yellow coat. Labradoodles come in many more colors including black and tan, blue, red, and silver. Their coat is wavy and can be medium-length or long. It can also be wiry or soft and silky. One benefit of the Labradoodle is that it does not shed very much. Labradors, on the other hand, shed a lot. If you’re concerned about having a clean home, the Labradoodle is good for family members or guests with allergies. As far as grooming goes, Labradors just need to be brushed a few times a week to remove loose hairs during shedding seasons and bathed when they get dirty. Labradoodles take a little more work because their longer hair occasionally needs a trim. If your Labradoodle has a long coat, they will require more brushing to prevent matting.

Health Concerns

Labradors and Labradoodles share a few health concerns. Like other large breeds, they are at risk for hip and elbow dysplasia. This can cause pain and lameness in the joints. They both have floppy ears, so ear infections are common, especially if the dog spends lots of time in the water. Labradors are prone to skin infection, heart defects, and eye problems like cataracts. Labradoodles are prone to hypothyroidism, diabetes, and allergies. Dogs can be allergic to both food and environmental factors. Good breeding can help with diseases because genetic diseases are carefully bred out. Other diseases and health conditions are unavoidable in any dog, but they can be treated with proper care. A good diet and proper hygiene can also prevent a lot of illness and injury in dogs.

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