Article: Dog Types » Labradoodle
A Labradoodle is a crossbred (hybrid) dog created by crossing the Labrador Retriever and the Standard or Miniature Poodle.
The first known use of the term “Labradoodle” was by Sir Donald Campbell to describe his Labrador/Poodle cross dog in his 1955 book, “Into the Water Barrier”. However, the Labradoodle became better known in 1988, when Australian breeder Wally Conron crossed the Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle at Guide Dogs Victoria.
Conron’s aim was to combine the low-shedding coat of the Poodle with the gentleness and train-ability of the Labrador, and to provide a guide dog suitable for people with allergies to fur and dander. He’d received a request from a vision impaired woman in Hawaii for a guide dog that did not aggravate her husband’s allergy to dog hair. Originally he planned to train a Standard Poodle, but hair and saliva samples of thirty-three different poodles sent to the woman’s husband all caused an allergic reaction. A Labradoodle litter was bred, and the husband did not have an allergic reaction to one of the puppies from the litter. This puppy, Sultan, was successfully trained by Guide Dogs Victoria, and became the first Labradoodle Guide dog.
Although Guide Dogs Victoria no longer breed Labradoodles, they are bred by other guide and assistance dog organizations in Australia and elsewhere. The Association for the Blind of Western Australia have introduced Labradoodles into their training program, and their first, Jonnie, graduated in November 2010. Labradoodles are now widely used around the world as guide, assistance, and therapy dogs as well as being popular family dogs.
 Appearance and temperament
Because the Labradoodle is a hybrid and not a breed, puppies do not have consistently predictable characteristics. While many Labradoodles display desired traits, their appearance and behavioral characteristics remain, to some extent, unpredictable. As such, Labradoodles’ hair can be anywhere from wiry to soft, and may be straight, wavy, or curly. Many Labradoodles do shed, although the coat usually sheds less and has less dog odor than that of a Labrador Retriever.
Like most Labrador Retrievers and Poodles, Labradoodles are generally friendly, energetic and good with families and children (although as with any dog the temperament may vary between individuals). Labradoodles often display an affinity for water and strong swimming ability from their parent breeds.
Like their parent breeds, both of which are amongst the world’s most intelligent dog breeds, Labradoodles are very intelligent and quite trainable, often seeking commands and finding pleasure in learning.
Types of Labradoodles
There is no consensus as to whether breeders should aim to have Labradoodles recognized as a breed. Some breeders prefer to restrict breeding to early generation dogs (i.e. bred from a Poodle and Labrador rather than from two Labradoodles) to maximize genetic diversity, to avoid the inherited health problems that have plagued some dog breeds.
Others are breeding Labradoodle to Labradoodle over successive generations, and trying to establish a new dog breed. These dogs are usually referred to as Multigenerational (Multigen) or Australian Labradoodles.  Australian Labradoodles also differ from early generation and Multigenerational Labradoodles in that they may also have other breeds in their ancestry. English and American Cocker Spaniel/Poodle crosses (i.e. Cockapoos), Two Irish Water Spaniels and Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers were used in some Australian Labradoodle lines. The Curly Coated Retriever were used too, but these lines did not work out and these breeds were no longer used.
Jonnie, the first Labradoodle Guide Dog to graduate in WA.
Labradoodle coats are divided into three categories: wool (with tight curls, and similar in appearance to that of a Poodle, but with a softer texture); fleece (soft and free-flowing, with a kinked or wavy appearance); or hair (which can be curly, straight or wavy, but is more similar in texture to a Labrador’s coat). Labradoodles coat colors include chocolate, cafe, parchment, cream, gold, apricot, red, black, silver, chalk, parti colors, (i.e. generally, any color a Poodle can have). They can be different sizes, depending on the size of poodle used (i.e. toy, miniature or standard).
Labradoodles can suffer from problems common to their parent breeds. Poodles and Labrador Retrievers can suffer from hip dysplasia, and should have specialist radiography to check for this problem before breeding. The parent breeds can also suffer from a number of eye disorders, and an examination by a qualified veterinary eye specialist should be performed.
Australian Labradoodles have been known to suffer from progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), an inherited disease causing blindness, which occurs in both Miniature Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. It is recommended that Australian Labradoodles be DNA tested for PRA before being bred.
A significant number of Mutigenerational and Australian Labradoodles have also been found to suffer from Addison’s disease. The Australian Labradoodle Association of America is currently conducting a study to try to determine how widespread the problem has become.
The Labradoodle in Popular Culture
- A. R. Gurney’s 1995 off-Broadway play Sylvia was about a Labradoodle, played by Sarah Jessica Parker
- In 2005 the Oxford English Dictionary first listed the word “Labradoodle”
- Australian actor Bryan Brown played a Labradoodle in the 2008 movie, “Dean Spanley”.
- Barack Obama announced in January 2009 that his family had narrowed down their choice for “first dog” to either a Labradoodle or a Portuguese Water Dog (PWD). (They were subsequently given a PWD puppy, who they named “Bo”, by the late Senator Edward Kennedy).
- In an interview given to The Australian in April 2010, Wally Conron said he regretted breeding labradoodles, as he believes their popularity has negatively affected the demand for pedigree dog breeds, and led to the introduction of other “designer” dog types
- In the TV show Big Bang Theory (Season 4, Episode 14) Bernadette refers to Raj as, “a cutie”, but he protests, “Thank you, but cute is for bunnies. I want to be something with sex appeal, like, like a labradoodle”. Later he adds, “And just for the record, labradoodles are hypo-allergenic, which is a very sexy quality to those troubled by animal dander.” 
Notable Labradoodle Owners
- Sir Donald Campbell, who broke land speed records in the 1950s in Bluebird, was one of the first Labradoodle owners.
- Golfer Tiger Woods owns Yogi and Riley
- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden owns a Labradoodle named Brother.
- Singer/songwriter Neil Young owns Carltus Hogfried
- Former Green Bay Packer and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre
- Actress Jennifer Aniston owns a Labradoodle, bought for her by former husband, Brad Pitt.
- Male Model Jonathan Bullard owns Peebad, a chocolate labradoodle 
- Model Elle MacPherson (“The Body”) owns Bella, who has her own line of “Designer Dog” wear
- Actresses and sisters Courtney Peldon and Ashley Peldon own Odysseus and Calypso
- Actor and TV presenter Graham Norton owns Bailey
- Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson owns Dodger
- Richard Hammond (also a presenter of Top Gear) owns a Labradoodle called TG (often referred to as “Top Gear Dog”) which occasionally featured on the BBC show.
- Model Christie Brinkley owns Maple Sugar
- Actress Barbara Eden has a Labradoodle named Djinn Djinn (named after her invisible dog in the TV show I Dream of Jeannie).
- Actor and director Henry Winkler owns Charlotte
- Actress Julianne Moore
- Actor/singer Hugh Panaro owns Soot
- Political folk/rocker Billy Bragg
- Writer Carolyn B. Ellis
- Middlesbrough F.C. (UK) player Andrew Taylor owns Sonny
- Tom Griswold of The Bob and Tom Show owns Tazzie
- Author Garth Stein
- Legal thriller author David Baldacci owns Finn
- Rodman Primack, chairman of the London auction house Phillips de Pury & Company owns Theo
- Professional ice hockey player Dustin Brown owns Milo, a chocolate Labradoodle
- Author and activist Lynn Hoffman owns Lola
- Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Mark Gearan owns Dublin
- PBS Television investment program MoneyTrack producer Pam Krueger has a Labradoodle named Chloe, who sometimes appears on the show as an “unofficial co-host”.
- Seamus O’Regan, co-host of CTV’s Canada AM
- Novelist Susan Rebecca White author of Bound South and Soft Place to Land owns Raney[http://susanrwhite.livejournal.com/
- Irish Golfer Rory McIlroy, winner of the 2009 Dubai Desert Classic
- Lance Bass (formerly of the boyband N’Sync)
- Danny Hutton, founder of the rock band Three Dog Night has a Labradoodle named Ms. Wilson, a gift from longtime friend and legendary musician Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys 
- Golfer Ian Poulter’s Labradoodle is named Bentley.
- Dave Vaughan from Big Brother 2010 (UK) owns a labradoodle named Frodo
- Children’s writer Leann Sweeney, author of “The Yellow Rose Mysteries” 
- Actor Dennis Leary owns Daphne 
- Designer Orla Kiely owns Olive 
- Actor Neil Patrick Harris owns Watson 
- American Internet Entrepreneur Kevin Rose owns Toaster
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- International Labradoodle Association
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