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Labrador Retriever vs. Labradoodle

A photo of a black Labrador retriever and a photo of a labradoodle meeting in the middle on the diagonal with the letters VS in the middle

Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the US for several years decades. Similarly, Labradoodle (which is a hybrid of Labrador and Poodle) is the highest rank doodle breed. The popularity of Labradoodle is greatly influenced by its Lab parent. However, it also inherits some brilliant traits from the Poodle parent (6th most popular purebred). Keep reading to have a detailed comparison between Labrador Retriever and Labradoodle.

Labrador Retriever

A black, yellow, and chocolate lab sitting side by side outdoors.

This breed traces back to St. Johns Water dogs in the 1830s. These water retrievers were bred by European settlers in Newfoundland, Canada. Later these dogs were introduced in Poole, England via trading ships. They were then mixed with British hunting dogs to finally produce Labradors.

Physically Labradors are well-built and fall in the category of medium-large dogs. When mature, they can reach a height of 21.5-24.5 inches and weigh between 55 and 80 pounds. They have a very athletic and balanced physique, often described as ‘short coupled’. Labs have a dense double-coat that usually comes in three shades (black, chocolate brown, and yellow).


Labradoodle standing in a grass area next to a pond

This mixed breed was created for a specific purpose in the 1970s. A blind lady in Hawaii wanted a guide dog that should be hypoallergenic. She contacted the Australian Guide Dog Association for this purpose, and Waly Conron developed the desired breed (Labradoodle) for her.

Due to the different sizes of the Poodle parent, Labradoodles come in a variety of sizes. Hence, they are divided into 3 categories based on their size (toy, miniature, and standard-sized).

Standard Labradoodles may weigh 50 to 65 pounds and stand 21 to 24 inches tall. They have a sturdy physical build-up and their body is covered with a thick wavy or curly coat. These pups usually come in chocolate, caramel, red, and cream colors.

Differences Between Labrador Retrievers and Labradoodles

The following table shows the most important differences between these breeds.

CharacteristicsLabrador RetrieverLabradoodle
Breed TypePurebredCrossbred
Height21.5-24.5 inchesCome in 3 sizes: Mini: 14-16 inches Medium: 17-20 inches Standard: 21-24 inches
Weight50-80 poundsCome in 3 sizes: Mini: 15-25 pounds Medium: 30-45 pounds Standard: 50-65 pounds
Lifespan10-12 year12-14 year
CoatShort and denseThick and wavy/curly
ColorBlack, chocolate, yellowChocolate, caramel, red, and cream

Similarities Between Labrador Retrievers and Labradoodles

Young labradoodle with a yellow frisbee laying in grass outdoors

These two breeds have a lot in common and some of those features are discussed below.

Trainability – Both Labs and Labradoodles are smart and easy to train. They are quick in responding to their owners and always keen to please them.

Temperament – Both these dogs are affectionate, alert, and friendly. They have a sweet demeanor and are the least aggressive pups.

Good with Kids – Both dog breeds are good companions and playmates for kids. However, you should be a little watchful if you have very young kids. This is because these canines are very energetic and can cause some unintentional harm to children.

Exercise needs – Both breeds are exuberant and can’t be confined to a place. They need a lot of exercise for positive utilization of energy.

Sociability – Both Labrador Retriever and Labradoodle are highly sociable and behave well in front of guests. They are also very friendly with strangers and will require some training to stay aware of the danger.

Behavior with Other Dogs and Pets – These breeds are friendly towards other dogs and animals and are suitable for multi-pet households.

Health Issues – Both these breeds are prone to some common health issues, like ear infections, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia.

What is Better about Labrador Retrievers?

Close up portrait of a black Labrador retriever wearing a red collar.

Labradoodles and Labradors are quite similar in terms of their character and temperament. Both dogs have high energy and do great in physical sports. However, Labradors have a bit of an upper hand when it comes to agility and motor skills. Likewise, they are better candidates when you require services, like search and rescue (SAR) and detection. Labs are also the preferred option for becoming hunting and retrieving companions.

What is Better about Labradoodles?

Fuzzy tan labradoodle looking up at the person walking beside them.

Labradoodles are hypoallergenic and shed much less hair than Labs. Being a hybrid, Labradoodles have fewer health issues and longer life expectancy than Labradors. Moreover, they aren’t too exuberant and have minimal exercise requirements. Therefore, they are more suited to people who have limited time to spend with their pooch.

Who Should Get a Labrador Retriever?

Black lab puppy walking in grass outdoors

The gifted sociability of Labradors makes them the best choice for socially active families. They are also great companions for families that have kids or other dogs and pets. Labs are also highly competitive in sports and intelligence games. They will always stand out among all other breeds with the vast display of qualities they have.

Labrador Retrievers are prone to separation anxiety and can’t be left alone or kept at home for long. They require a lot of physical activity and it is hard to cope with their exercise requirements. Hence, they might not be ideal for old owners.

It is worthwhile to mention that Labs require plenty of space to live and play. So, they can’t be kept in apartments or cottages, unless you can take care of their exercise needs.

Who Should Get a Labradoodle?

Labradoodle puppy taking a nap on hardwood floors, half laying on the corner of a blue and white rug.

Labradoodle is a good choice for those owners who are looking for a pooch with a calm and friendly personality. They also give you an edge because of their low maintenance costs. Due to their affectionate and playful nature, these dogs make great companions for kids.

Labradoodles have adequate abilities to serve as a watchdog or guard dog. They are less prone to anxiety issues and will make a good pet for people who have packed routines. The sportive nature of this breed makes it ideal for dog sports enthusiasts.

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