Below is a list of FAQs based on our personal experience, and also compiled and adopted from the most frequently asked questions
at the first Australian labradoodle breeding centers,
Rutland Manor and Tegan Park.
Q. I hear Australian Labradoodles are very smart. How soon can I start training my labradoodle puppy?
A. Right Away! Check out the video below of our puppy California Nikolas, now Vinnie, at just 9 weeks of age!
Q. What size will my Australian labradoodle be? A. At this time California
Labradoodles breeds both miniature and medium Australian labradoodles.
We do not breed the standard size. Our miniature puppies will mature to between 14 and 16 inches tall
and weigh between 15 and 30 pounds. Our medium pups will mature between 17 and 19 inches tall and weigh between 30 to 45 pounds.
Q. I’ve heard so much about the temperament
of the Australian labradoodle? Is the temperament really as wonderful
as it sounds? A. Yes!!! Labradoodles
are incredibly intelligent, affectionate, happy,
confident, sociable, friendly, comical and
extremely loving. They are amazingly intuitive,
loyal and devoted family pets. They are completely
non aggressive. They are very playful and are
wonderful with children. Many are well suited
to work as therapy dogs, and have a history
of working as guide dogs and assistance dogs.
They are active and athletic when playing,
but will happily spend all day snuggled up
Q. Is the Australian Labradoodle right for me? A.The Labradoodle is intuitive,
sociable, loving, and easily trained. They are also exceptionally
intelligent. Because they are so smart, they need to
have their intelligence channeled the right way through
early training. They crave family companionship and stimulation.
It is important to teach your labradoodles the house
rules early on. Labradoodles love their family, they
long to serve and please and need to know they are a
valued family member. It is important to note that dogs
really have a sense of order in their pack. You will
need to make them know his place in the pack, and that
you are the leader.
With early training, your dog will become a superlative
family member. If you are too busy to spend the time with
your puppy early on, you should invest in a less intelligent
breed. Their active mind needs stimulation, which comes
from training. They love to learn.
Q. Are your puppies well socialized?
We have three teenage boys and their friends love to play with the puppies. In addition we have a steady stream of "Puppy Socialization Teams" ranging in age from Kingergarteners to College Students who come visit our pups and play with them. I have little kids calling me up all the time asking for a puppy playdate.Many of our care family kids also like to help socialize our pups.
In addition, we take our pups everywhere. To our kids football games, a tennis match, to the grocery store. We take them for drives in the car, to the vet, to friends houses. Our pups are exposed to all the sights and sounds of a busy household. We are an active family and our pups benefit from that!
Q. Please help me decide between a male or a female
puppy? A. We can attest
personally to the fact that males make as sweet
and loving a pet as females. Our male labradoodle
Buddy is as affectionate and wonderful as a
female. (Maybe even more so!) Because the protocol
for labradoodle breeders is not to use dominant
males as stud dogs in labradoodle breeding
programs, Australian labradoodle programs have
specifically bred for this gentle trait. We
want to encourage you to consider adopting
a male labradoodle. Both males and females
make equally great companions!
At California Labradoodles, and all reputable breeders
of Austraian labradoodles, all family companion puppies
will be desexed before they leave our kennel, usually around
8 weeks old. As a result, the testosterone-related behavior
usually associated with male dogs, such as frequent leg
lifting to mark territory, etc. doesn't usually develop.
Q. Are Australian Labradoodles hypoallergenic? A. No. There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog of any breed. That is marketing hype. That being said, our dogs tend to do very well with people with allergies. We've placed many many pups with people who have severe allergies and never thought they'd be able to have a dog.
Q. Are all Australian Labradoodles bred by California Labradoodles
non shedding and/or allergy friendly? A. No. Most will
be non to low shedding, but the labradoodle is still a developing
breed and occasionally there will be a puppy
who will shed later on. All of our California Labradoodle
breeding stock have wool or fleece (non to
low shedding) coats.
Q How much exercise does a Labradoodle need? A. Labradoodles are athletic
dogs and need moderate exercise. Exercising their
minds is equally important. If you take your puppy for
a short walk a few times a week and allow them some time
playing out in the yard, they will be happy. Remember
the platelettes of young puppies are still forming so
you should avoid long walks on hard surfaces in the early
Q. How do I care for the coat of a labradoodle?
Can you explain the differences in the types of labradoodle
coats? A. With regular brushing it is easy
to take care of the labradoodle coat. They
should be groomed thoroughly at least once
a month, and brushed more regularly. I brush my dogs every day after we come in from a walk. Labradoodles love to romp and as I like to keep the coats on my dogs more on the long side, sticks and burrs and other things can get stuck in the coat. Regular brushing prevents them from becoming bigger problems. Also, it is important to remember to brush your dog well
before bathing or swimming. If not, any existing
mats will "set" and be much harder
to comb out later.
HAIR coats are the easiest
coats to maintain. They don't need much grooming, except
for a little trimming around the eyes and chin. Most hair
coats do shed.
CURLY or WOOL coats do not
usually shed. But they will look best if cut or trimmed a few times
a year. They also need to be groomed thoroughly about once
each week or so. They are the 'safest' coat type around
people who have dog related allergies or asthma. Please
note that allergies can be transferred in the saliva of
a dog and not just the hair. Wool coats are generally thicker and require more brushing than fleece coats. Regular brushing is recommended to prevent matting.
California Labradoodles is very proud of it's wool coats. We are breeding a gorgeous soft loose curl wool. I have seen many breeders label these coats fleece, but they are not, they are wool. Some of our wool coats are as silky and soft as our fleece. Peanut's coat is an excellent example of a soft as silk wool coat. We are not producing tight coarse curls like poodles. Our coats are pretty soft and wonderful. Also a lot depends on how the coat is cut. The shorter the coat, the more curly it appears. But even our coats that appear very curly are soft and silky.
FLEECE COATS (formerly referred
to as a borderline coat.) This is a beautiful allergy-friendly,
non to low shedding coat with a soft fleece feel. Fleece
coats require practically no maintenance until the puppy
is between eight and fourteen months old. At that time
the adult coat starts to grow through the puppy coat. You
will need to brush the puppy coat weekly at this time until
the new coat grows in completely. The coat will require more upkeep as the new soft undercoat is growing in. During that time the coat will matt much more easily. Regular brushing is recommended to prevent matting. We have had fabulous success placing our fleece coat pups with families with severe allergies as well as our wools.
It should be noted that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog...of any breed, including a poodle!!! This is marketing hype!!! That being said, we have had fabulous success producing allergy friendly pups.
Q. Are Labradoodles good with young children? A.. Yes, they are fabulous
with children. But please remember that young puppies
need to chew and mouth everything. Early training in
this area is critical. I use a bitter apple spray that
is safe for the dogs, but they don't like it. I spray
it on anything I don't want them to chew when they are
little. I have my children spray it on their fingers and hands so puppies learn not to nip. They are smart dogs, and if corrected immediately
will quickly learn what is safe to chew. I also have plenty of rawhides available so I can give them something that is appropriate to chew. Young children should
be supervised when playing with the puppy, both for the
puppy's sake and for the sake of the children. Puppies
need lots of time to rest, and a crate is a wonderful
and safe place for them to relax. Teach your children early on that the crate is the puppy's safe place and they shouldn't reach in to the crate when a pup is resting. Rather if they want the pup, they should sit outside the crate, open the door and gently speak the puppy's name. The puppy should come out of the crate when they are ready. Children need to be taught to be gentle with a pup. Until a pup is a year old, his or her little bones are still growing, and children need to be taught not to drop pups or let pups jump from high places. I tell the youngest kids to sit on their bottoms when they hold a pup.
Q. What are the health problems most commonly
found in the Labradoodle? A. Like other floppy
eared dogs, labradoodles have a tendency to
ear infections. It is important to keep hair
out of the ears if possible. This means cleaning
them regularly with a cotton swab. It is helpful
to pluck the hair that grows inside their ears.
You can help prevent your Labradoodle from
re-occurring ear infections with the maintenance
Labradoodles can get any of the health issues found in their parent stock. It is important for breeders to continue health testing
their breeding stock so as to maintain the well bred Labradoodle's
current vibrant health status. Please note that all animals
can develop health issues no matter what the breed. Labradoodles
are generally a healthy breed, but they are
not immune to hip dysplasia or other health related diseases.
At California Labradoodles we will perform extensive health testing on our dogs. We will test hips, elbows, eyes, thyroid, full CBCs, screen for a number of inherited diseases, as well as doing DNA profiles and genetic color testing on all our breeding stock dogs and will make our
breeding selections based on the results of these tests.
Q. Should we crate our puppy when we
take it home? A. If you get a puppy from California Labradoodles, we will do the initial crate training for you! Your puppy will arrive to you crate trained and sleeping through the night. We don't want the first night a puppy is in a new home to be the first time they are in the crate. We want the crate to feel like home, to be a safe and comforting place for the pup. We highly
recommend crate training your puppy. Dogs are
used to living in dens, and if used properly,
the crate serves as the puppies den. They will
learn to love their crate, and will find it to
be a safe place for them to be. Crate training
is also especially helpful with potty training.
Puppies and/or dogs should never be left all
day in their crates. Puppies need to explore the sights and sounds of the world during the day. They need to play, eat, explore and get exercise. We highly recommend
that you continue to use the crate at night when you bring your new puppy home. A crate, if used properly, is your pup's bed and safe place. Crates are meant to emulate puppy dens. We were fortunate enough to see this first hand many years ago when we accompanied National Geographic on a wild dog hunt. They'd spent the 6 months prior to our arrival slowly moving a tiny camera towards the den of the wild dogs. By the time we arrived, the camera was safely esconsed in the den. We were fortunate to see the wild dogs both in and outside of their den. This experienced showed us the crate is in fact a small, dark, cozy space, just like in the wild. This is a wonderful way
to keep your puppy safe, and it is also very
helpful in potty training. In the morning, if
you take them out immediately to the place you
want them to go potty, they will quickly learn
to come to this spot to eliminate. Puppies will
almost never soil their own crates, so will be
very ready to potty in the morning. We have found
this to be an extremely effective method of potty
Q . What colors do our Labradoodles come in?
A. Reds, Apricots, Apricot Creams, Chocolate, Caramel, Cafe, Silver, Blue, Chalk, Gold, and Phantom. Reds, apricots, caramels and chocolates are are most requested colors currently. We think ALL the colors are beautiful. Please be aware that many reds, chocolates, blacks, actually any color can fade
over time, although they will remain beautiful. All colors can lighten or darken. The adult coat of a labradoodle will come in between the time your pup turns a year to a year and a half old. It will likely be a different texture than the puppy coat.
Q. What kind of nature does a Labradoodle have? A. Labradoodles have the
most incredible temperaments I've ever seen in a dog.
(And yes, I'm biased!) They are so loving and loyal and
intelligent, it is hard to find a more devoted companion.
Labradoodles have a great sense of fun and humor. They
love to make you laugh. They are as happy lying close
to you as they are running and playing outside. They
are wonderful jogging or hiking companions and are very
good in both agility and dog training programs. Our dog
Buddy was "top of his class" in dog training
according to our wonderful dog trainer. Labradoodles often do exceeding well in agility shows. They are wonderful companions on the hiking or jogging trails as well.
Q. How long do Labradoodles live?
A. The labradoodle lifespan is generally
14 to 16 years.
Q. Does the Labradoodle like water? A. Yes they
generally love the water. Early training and acclimation to water is essential. When introducing your labradoodle to water always make sure they know where to exit. Starting with a shallow kids type swimming pool works best.
Q. Are there any foods I should avoid feeding
my dog? A. Yes. Please
don't feed them chocolate or cooked chicken
Q. I have heard that Labradoodles don't need to
be bathed much. Is this true? A. Well, this is
somewhat true. The coats of Australian Labradoodles
have natural oils that can get stripped away
with too frequent bathing. However, Labradoodles love to romp and play and often get dirty and will need to be bathed.