A Labradoodle is a mixed breed dog, bred by crossing a Labrador and a Poodle. There are three types of Labradoodles. These variants depend on the type of Poodle being crossbred with a Labrador. As you may be aware, a Poodle can be Standard, Miniature, or Toy sized. Thus, your Labradoodle could also be Standard, Miniature, or Toy sized. This will determine their growth and development, ageing, and lifespan. Typically, smaller dogs will reach full size earlier than larger dogs, but they also generally live longer.
Labradoodles become adults at around eighteen months of age when they have completed the twelve growth phases. These stages will differ slightly between dogs but are a good indication of timelines. They will reach their full height of between 21-24” before their full adult weight of around 50-65lbs.
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How do Labradoodle Puppies Grow?
A Labradoodle puppy has twelve distinct growth phases from birth to adulthood. These specific phases may not be identical for all pups, the duration of every stage may slightly vary, and there can be some expected or unexpected developments along the way. The twelve distinct phases are:
- Opening of eyes
- Developing the sense of hearing
- Growth of the first set of teeth
- Involving the veterinarian
- Initial biting
- Losing their original coat
- Losing their puppy teeth.
Our complete guide to the Goldendoodle’s first year will have many similarities to that of a Labradoodle. Why not take a look.
When do Labradoodles become Adults?
Labradoodles become adults at around eighteen months of age. The first year and a half accounts for the twelve distinct phases of growth and development. However, just as a Labradoodle puppy undergoes many physical changes, an adult too would have noteworthy transformations.
There may not be too many physical changes after your dog is two years old, other than gaining and losing weight, but temperamental transformations are quite common. These also depend largely on the kind of training you provide, how you treat and care for your dog, its own cognitive development and the interactions with the immediate environment.
Labradoodles are usually at their prime at around two years, which is also when they may start to mate. An adult Labradoodle can retain its prime for several years, almost a decade if it is properly cared for, provided sufficient nutrition and exercised daily.
Many mixed breed dogs have an average life expectancy greater than that of both parent breeds. A Labradoodle has the same typical life expectancy of the Poodle but longer than the Labrador. A Labradoodle can comfortably live for around fourteen years, and in many cases slightly longer.
Physical Transformations of a Labradoodle Puppy
A Labradoodle puppy is born with their eyes shut. They need their mother immediately after birth, both for warmth and nursing. A newborn pup should not be separated from their mother. Even if it is tempting to pick up a pup for a gentle cuddle, it should be put off for at least four to six hours, preferably for a day or longer. A Labradoodle pup opens its eyes at around ten days. Some pups can take longer, about a fortnight from birth.
While a puppy may open their eyes within the first fortnight, they do not have clear vision and most pups will take a few more days before they can actually see the world around them. During these initial days, the eyes of a pup may have a bluish gray haze. This is not unnatural and there is nothing to worry about. Labradoodle pups usually develop clear eyesight in eight weeks.
As is the case with vision, the auditory senses are also nonfunctional at birth. Labradoodle pups are effectively deaf as newborns. The ear canals open up after the eyes. Pups develop their sense of hearing gradually and it tends to improve with each passing day. Pups can hear properly in around eight weeks. To sum up these initial phases, a Labradoodle pup can see and hear, respond to movements around it and to auditory stimulus in eight weeks.
Labradoodle pups develop their first teeth in around a fortnight. There can be delays but almost all pups begin to develop their baby teeth within the first four weeks. They should have all twenty-eight milk teeth by the time they are six weeks old. This leads to the weaning phase. You may introduce solid food for a puppy after all the baby teeth have cut through. The weaning phase ends at around eight weeks, which is also when the pup develops its eyesight and hearing. Most people get their Labradoodle pups after this weaning phase. Many breeders have a policy of not selling pups until the weaning period is complete.
A veterinarian must be consulted before the weaning phase ends. This is for the first checkup and immunizations. Adult Labradoodles need an annual visit to a vet. This is for a thorough checkup. The immunizations for Labradoodle pups are for distemper, measles, para-influenza, hepatitis, parvovirus, and rabies. The early shots are administered between six and eight weeks. Subsequent shots are administered between ten and twelve weeks, twelve and twenty-four weeks, fourteen and sixteen weeks, twelve and sixteen months, one to two years, and one to three years.
In addition to vaccination, Labradoodle pups should be dewormed and administered preventive medication against heartworm. The puppies should be specifically protected against roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, whipworm, ringworm, and heartworm. These deworming routines should be spread across every fortnight, starting with the second week after birth. Deworming is necessary almost throughout the lifespan of Labradoodles. The frequency may be four times a year.
Labradoodle pups would start biting as they develop the first set of teeth. Housebreaking a pup during this biting phase may seem to be a challenge, but it can be easily managed if you arrange for some harmless things for the puppy to chew on. You should factor in the size of the bladder of a Labradoodle pup during housebreaking. It has a small urinary bladder, which is also not fully developed, so do not expect your pup to hold it long.
Socialization usually precedes housebreaking for Labradoodle pups. They are a highly sociable breed, so this is not a major challenge. The first few weeks are tricky as the newborn cannot see or hear much. Socialization becomes easy in around six weeks. It is a cakewalk after eight weeks; that is if you manage the teething issue. Socialization, housebreaking and training can happen simultaneously. Many people include basic training within the ambit of housebreaking. Advanced training should be deferred till your pup is grown up.
Labradoodle pups typically begin to lose their coat sometime around four to six months although this can vary greatly. Some dogs may begin this process as young as twelve weeks old yet some may be closer to a year. They will shed their entire baby coat. This is the most striking transformation that happens in these pups. It is quite possible for the pup to develop a new coat that does not resemble what it sported as a newborn. Take a look at our discovery into how the color of their coat can differ from puppy to adulthood in our complete guide of do Labradoodle puppies change color.
Labradoodles typically don’t shed much as adults due to the hypoallergenic qualities that the Poodle genes have provided. It is this initial loss of puppy coat that begins its transformation that shall stay well into its adulthood and old age. Labradoodle pups can have hair, wool or fleece coat, depending on which genes are dominant from its parents, and sometimes even grandparents. The new coat usually develops over several weeks.
Labradoodle pups start to lose their milk teeth anywhere between ten and fourteen weeks from birth. The process of the permanent teeth taking their place may last for up to thirty weeks. Labradoodles usually have a complete set of forty-two adult teeth before they are eight months old.
How much does a Labradoodle Weigh at Different Ages?
A newborn Labradoodle usually weighs around 10oz. By two months, they weigh around 7lbs, around 20lbs in four months, 30lbs in six months and 35lbs in eight months. In a year, your growing pup would be around 40lbs. A young adult Labradoodle weighs around 45lbs. A fully grown adult, at around a year and a half or two years of age, will weigh between 50lbs and 65lbs.
What age do Labradoodles Live to?
We have touched upon this within our article but to reiterate, the average live expectancy of a Labradoodle is between 12 and 15 years. This is the same as the Poodle but a little more than the Labrador which lives on average between 10 and 14 years.
What Health Problems do Labradoodles Have?
Hybrid Vigor should go some way into reducing the issues that both the Poodle and the Labrador Retriever are prone to. Ensuring that you find a reputable breeder is also imperative to protecting the future heath of your puppy as their parents should be screened. However, conditions to be aware of in the Labradoodle are hip and elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Von Willebrand’s Disease.