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The mini labradoodle or toy labradoodle has been growing in popularity over the past several years, with more and more breeders offering this unique combination of dog breeds.
While there is not certain set of characteristics you can count on with this mix, there are certain qualities that are inherent to the two breeds, which is what breeders are seeking to find. Is a miniature labradoodle right for your family?
The first labradoodle was bred in 1988, when a client needed a guide dog that did not shed a lot of hair due to allergies.
Since that first mix, the breed has become popular among many dog owners. While the Labradoodle is not a registered breed, it has become a well recognized cross.
Labradoodles range in size, from miniature, to medium size up to standard size dogs. The range in size can be anywhere from 14" up to 26", with a weight range from 26 pounds up to 77 for standards.
Achieving the size for a miniature labradoodle can be accomplished by the breeder using smaller dogs to breed, sometimes with artificial insemination.
Some breeders will even introduce a third breed (frequently a cocker spaniel) to get the smaller lab/cocker mix, and then breeding with a smaller poodle.
The temperaments of a mini labradoodle is affectionate, friendly - and very loyal. These dogs are generally very smart and easy to train.
They make great all around family pets, and most dogs from this breed are good with children.
Due to the breeding history from poodles and labs, these dogs are also frequently known for their love of water. Many are naturally strong swimmers.
While there is not set standards yet for looks in this still developing breed, labradoodles can come in a variety of coat styles and personality traits.
The poodle will cause less shedding and the intention is to decrease allergic response to dogs. The breed cross produces multiple types of coats, from wiry like a terrier, or soft and straight.
Most of these dogs are lower shedding and have less dog odor than full bred Labradors.
As a whole, the toy labradoodle is a healthy breed of dogs.
Both Labs and Poodles can have trouble with hip dysplasia, and veterinarians recommend having a special x-ray to keep this problem from being passed to subsequent generations.
With any dog, they can be suspect to health problems inherited from their parents.
Another common problem in these breeds is eye problems.
Special veterinarians can check for problems, such as progressive retinal atrophy, which can cause blindness.
When breeding an Australian Labradoodle (a second generation or beyond breeding between Labradoodles, and not bringing in an outside breed), vets recommend having a DNA test done to keep the integrity of the breed.
Make sure your breeder meets basic standards.
Ask how many litters the dam has had, how many litters are raised at the breeder's location, and how well the puppy has been socialized.
Your breeder should also require an interview process and written contract to protect themselves and you.
Don't be offended if the breeder does his/her homework to match the right puppy with you.
When looking for a dog that has a good temperament, easy to maintain coat, and is less allergenic to most dogs, the mini labradoodle is a good choice.
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