Welcome to our complete guide to the mini labradoodle.
Labradoodles have taken the world by storm in recent years. Most of these are produced by crossing a standard poodle with a Labrador Retriever.
But did you know that you can also get mini Labradoodles? Created by mixing the lab with the miniature poodle instead?
In this article, we’ll take a look at why people love miniature Labradoodles and what to expect in terms of health, temperament, and care.
Designer dogs can be a little divisive, some of us love them and some of us don’t.
When these dogs are a cross between two known breeds, they inevitably cause excitement.
Mixed breeds are definitely becoming increasingly popular.
But they are controversial.
Let’s take a look at the bottom.
Designer dog controversy
A lot of people believe that mixing two purebred dogs is a bad idea, and they are quite loud at sharing those opinions.
You feel like it is them
But you are right
We don’t think so and here’s why.
The use of the word “designer” suggests that these mixes are somehow unnatural.
However, it must be remembered that all breeds of dogs were created through purposeful breeding by humans.
So none of them are natural and at this point, all of them can be considered “designers” in a sense of the word.
In fact, breeding two previously separated dogs has significant advantages.
This is an emerging area of research, but current research has proven itself strongly for mixed breeds.
Pedigree versus mix
Pedigree dogs exist in a closed register. This means that new blood should never get into the mixture.
While this keeps dogs of a certain type, it restricts the gene pool. The emergence of genetic problems and even concerns about the survival of smaller breeds.
There is some compelling evidence to suggest that hybrids are generally healthier. As long as you conduct health tests for diseases relevant to each parent breed and carefully choose your breeder, there is no reason not to end up with a beautiful healthy pet.
If you’re interested, learn more about the Purebred vs Designer Dog discussion here.
But in this article, let’s take a look at an exciting mixed breed that’s currently on the rise, the Miniature Labradoodle.
What is a mini labradoodle?
The Miniature Labradoodle is a cross between a Miniature Poodle and a Labrador Retriever.
Labradoodles are one of the most common hybrids, and this mini version is likely to be just as well received.
The AKC does not regard miniature poodles as a breed in their own right, but instead, puts on different brackets of different sizes to help identity what denomination your poodle has.
Any poodle under 10 “on the shoulder is a toy, 10-15” is a miniature, and larger than 15 “is a standard poodle.
This means that the Mini Labradoodle is anything but a mixed breed and is just a Labradoodle where the Poodle parent is miniature.
This leads to some uncertainty about the size, which we will get into later.
Miniature poodle characteristics
Poodle and Labrador are both lucky family-friendly breeds.
We’re perhaps best acquainted with well-groomed and styled poodles, but they naturally have a fluffy, shaggy coat all over their bodies.
Mini Labradoodles in their most conventional appearance will add some more “Labradorish” physical properties to this layer.
Labradoodles and, as a result, Mini-Labradoodles are often cited as examples of “designer breeds” that give rise to controversy.
So how big will a fully grown mini Labradoodle be?
Mini Labradoodle size
One of the most surprising things about buying a mini Labradoodle is that they aren’t necessarily … well … mini.
There is inevitably a large variation in size in any litter, with different pups following different parents and some ending up in the middle.
In fact, your Miniature Labradoodle is as big as its Labrador parent.
Miniature poodles can be up to 10 inches on the shoulder and up to 10 inches on Labradors.
A fully grown mini Labradoodle that is directly crossbred between a miniature poodle and a Labrador is within these size ranges.
To mix things up further, it can be very difficult to know what size a puppy will grow into before he’s at this point.
If you are unsure that your mini is a Labradoodle Mini, this could be the more likely you could be. Looking for a miniature second-generation Labradoodle.
If two really small mini Labradoodles are being bred, their pups are more likely to be following this size trend.
Only in this way can the size of the Mini Labradoodle be almost guaranteed. With that being said, there’s always a chance you’re still getting laboratory-sized at this point.
We’ve looked at the size and can now take a look at what type of dog the Miniature Labradoodle has inside.
Is it a fierce protector or a sloppy family pooch?
Miniature Labradoodle temperament
Mini Labradoodles are generally friendly, playful family dogs.
This is not least thanks to the breeds of their parents.
Both are energetic but social breeds, one of which is considered an excellent family pet.
Labs can be a little more intrusive with strangers and poodles a little more aloof. Your pup’s personality could go either way.
Labs are also prone to boredom and loneliness when left standing for long periods of time. Therefore, even a lab mix is not ideal if you work full time or travel a lot.
You’ll also want to raise a confident dog.
Even an ordinarily sweet-tempered mix like the Mini Labradoodle could become unpredictable from poor lifting.
Dogs tend to become aggressive, not because of an inappropriate sense of dominance, but because they are scared.
Socialization plays a big part in keeping this out of the way. From the moment you bring your Mini Labradoodle puppy home, you should expose them to new places, people, and dogs, and thus continue their young life.
This interaction will help teach your pup that the worlds are full of friends, not enemies and that strangers are not a cause for concern.
Failure to do this can leave a dog afraid of new people in the house and feeling nervous and insecure in public.
Both of these scenarios can result in a dog attack, not because they’re mad or angry, but because they’re understandably scared.
Until recently, people regularly beat their dogs and used punishment as the main reinforcement in their training. Today we know that this is not a good idea.
Studies have shown that punishment-based training methods create aggressive dogs.
Fortunately, there is a better way. Not only are positive training methods more effective, but they also won’t result in a nervous dog.
A confident, well-socialized mini labradoodle is as friendly a dog as can be!
How Healthy Are Miniature Labradoodles and Is There Something We Should Look For?
Miniature Labradoodle Health
Despite what some bad journalists have led you to believe, mixed-race people are generally healthier.
There are a few reasons for this, but the main reason is a practice that is often referred to as “line breeding” in unmixed dogs.
Essentially, this means inbreeding and is used to enforce certain traits in purebred dogs, but is detrimental to health.
More and more genetic diseases will accumulate through successive inbreeding generations.
Mixed breeds are spared the brunt of these ailments through a phenomenon called hybrid vigor.
When two dogs are bred that are genetically different, it can lead to some of the inbreeding damage.
With that said, there is still a chance they will inherit a genetic disease from either their Poodle or Labrador parent.
You can reduce the chances of your Miniature Labradoodle inheriting their parents’ genetic disorders by selecting only one puppy from a litter where both parents have been health tested.
Labradors and poodles often suffer from hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint.
This condition gradually puts stress on the joints and can make the dog less physically capable.
The extent to which a dog has hip dysplasia can be examined through an X-ray and a hip score can be given.
It is important to note that while poodles are at risk for hip dysplasia, the miniature size of the poodle apparently experiences fewer incidences of the condition.
The Lab parent must have good hip and elbow scores. The poodle parent should ideally have good hip scores.
Labradors often carry a gene that they initiate into a condition known as “exercise-induced collapse”.
It is important to recognize this early on so that we can take action against it with our veterinarian. However, as the name suggests, dogs are suddenly unable to stand after exertion. Don’t buy a puppy whose parents suffered from it.
In addition, poodles regularly suffer from progressive degradation of the pole cones.
Dogs with this inherited condition will gradually lose their eyesight in later life
Laboratories can also suffer from PRA blindness. Make sure both parents have had DNA tests.
Some purebred breeders argue that the presence of two different types of disease will make the mixes less healthy. However, this is a genetic misunderstanding.
Breeding means that fewer genes for these conditions have a chance to match. But not impossible, so you should still have each parent’s health tested for their own conditions.
With that said, since Mini Labradoodles got their own pedigree from independent organizations, this issue could potentially recover again.
If Miniature Labradoodles are treated as an independent breed, they may be brought into the state of decay that we find modern purebreds in.
However, the genetic diversity of two dog breeds is better for them than most others.
Miniature Labradoodle Life Expectancy
The lifespan of the Mini Labradoodle is a product of the life expectancy of the parents and may be increased by a cross.
The laboratories live an average of 12.5 years and the miniature poodles 14 years.
So, you can hope that your mini Labradoodle puppy is experienced somewhere in this region.
Mini Labradoodle Puppies
Mini Labradoodle puppies are adorable!
As with any puppy, they need a lot of socializing and training, but when you’re ready to get the job done, you have a great family dog.
Whenever visiting a future puppy, always ask about the parents.
You can gauge their temperament, and if it’s a second-generation mix, make sure the size too.
You should also ask about the parent dog’s medical history to see if there might be any nasty surprises.
Choosing the right breeder is very important.
Mini Labradoodle Breeder
Labradoodles and their mini-varieties are one of the most popular mixed breeds, so finding a breeder shouldn’t be difficult for aspiring owners.
Finding a good breeder could be a little more difficult, however.
Good breeders don’t bring out puppies with money as the only motivation.
The mother should be a valued pet, know her own name, and have a clear bond with the owner.
They shouldn’t have too many other dogs and be treated as family members.
The breeder must keep the puppies in great condition, ask you lots of questions and be happy to answer your questions.
You will also be thoroughly tested for health.
To be sure that your mini Labradoodle puppies are actually going to be small, you need to go for dogs made from two real miniature Labradoodles.
This may sound obvious, but as I said, the first generation cross between miniature poodles and a laboratory can be considered a miniature Labradoodle but could be the size of a Labrador.
Is a Mini Labradoodle Right for My Family?
Are you happy to exercise, exercise, and socialize your dog every day?
Do you spend a lot of time at home and are you happy to be cared for?
Are you a family on board with the idea of having a dog?
If you can answer yes to all of the above, the Mini Labradoodle should be a good choice.
This dog happily benefits from the health of a mixed breed and the pleasant temperaments of two beloved family dog breeds.
Your first important step is to find a good breeder. A person who does health exams takes care of the temperament and values the mother as her own pet.
Then just choose the right puppy!
There are myriad choices for coat color, from all labs and all poodle colors.
They could be a miniature chocolate labradoodle, a black mini labradoodle, or just about any color you would like!
But remember, health should be a priority.
If you do the work, you will be rewarded with one of these healthy, happy puppies.