Many Labradoodle fans out there wax lyrical about the benefits of the breed. They love their teddy bear like coat and boundless energy. They are so fanatical that you may find them discussing just how much they think adding a Labradoodle to just about any other breed would be an enhancement.
This has piqued an interest for some, with message boards and forums beginning to note ever more instances of the Labradoodle being used in the place of the traditional purebred Poodle to create a Doodle crossbreed.
While delving into this emerging trend I encountered a post discussing a Labradoodle Great Dane mix. The litter in question was the result of an accidental pairing between someone’s Labradoodle and next door’s overly friendly Great Dane. There were no pictures however my head was filled with images of lanky, wavy-haired pups and I’ve got to say I’m intrigued.
In this article, we’ve drawn on what we know about both the Labradoodle and Great Dane to advise on just what might be expected of a mix like this. From potential weights to coat colors, we have you covered.
Table of Contents
The Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and one of the three sizes of Poodle (Standard, Miniature, or Toy). While this mix was noted to have occurred as early as the 1950s it was around 1989 that the term Labradoodle became commonplace, and the popularity really increased.
The publicity surrounding the Labradoodle increased in the early 1990s when many guide, assistance, and/or therapy dogs associations realized the Labradoodle would be an option for individuals who experienced dog allergies. Often the addition of Poodle genetics greatly reduced the amount of shedding that would be associated with Labrador Retrievers.
The Labradoodles smarts and low shedding coat attracted the attention of normal domestic pet owners and there was a meteoric rise in the number of breeders over the course of the ’90s and 2000s. Generally, Labradoodle owners favor the breed’s natural friendliness while their energetic and affectionate nature makes them popular for active singles, couples, or families with children.
Great Dane History
There are large dogs and then there is the Great Dane. Falling into the giant breed bracket they really are a sight to behold and can come as a surprise for those more familiar with the common trend for Toy or Miniature breeds.
The Great Dane shares German origins with the Poodle. While the Poodle was bred to collect game from ponds and waterways, the Great Dane was bred as an elegant and prestigious guardian dog for wealthy estate owners. They were occasionally used as hunting dogs where their impressive strength and size made them a match for wild boars.
As time moved on and the need for hunting dogs reduced, the Great Dane made the switch to companion and watchdog. This led to breeders actively striving to reduce any aggressive learning required as a hunting dog, resulting in the “gentle giant” persona synonymous with the modern-day Great Dane.
Despite their large size, the breed has sustained popularity not just for those who live in country mansions but also those in the suburbs who seek a loyal watchdog.
What Do We Call a Labradoodle Great Dane Mix?
The Great Dane has already had the Doodle treatment by being crossed with a Poodle which results in a “Great Danoodle”. There has also been a Labrador Great Dane mix which is referred to as a “Labradane”.
As Labradoodle Great Dane mixes are rare, a specific phrase has not been coined for them. Based on the existing names, it would follow that a potential title could be a “Great Labradanoodle”.
Why Is This Cross Being Bred?
As it currently stands the Labradoodle Great Dane mix is not being actively bred. Most instances reference accidental pairings rather than intentional breeding.
The reason that Great Dane is less commonly used for crossbreeds is that there is often a significant size discrepancy between them and a potential mate. This doesn’t mean it is impossible however it often leads to increased variety in size and weight across a litter. Effectively some pups can be large taking after their Great Dane parent while some may on the smaller side taking after their Labradoodle parentage.
The Possible Benefits of a Labradoodle Great Dane Mix
Maybe you love the Labradoodle, but you just want bigger! Introducing a Great Dane into the mix has the potential to turn the traditional Labradoodle into a sizeable, long-legged, shaggy coated cutie.
Another benefit of mixing a hybrid such as a Labradoodle into a Great Dane line is that they can benefit from “hybrid vigor”. The phenomenon where mixing different breeds can reduce the incidence of certain conditions which have become problematic in each of the parent breeds.
The Possible Cons of a Labradoodle Great Dane Mix
One of the biggest potential downfalls of crossing these two breeds is the inability to firmly predict what pups may look, weigh, or behave like. They are two visually and behaviourally different breeds and while in theory, the pups should land somewhere in the middle it rarely ever is that straightforward.
As there is no guarantee a Labradoodle Great Dane mix won’t take after their Great Dane parent, potential owners will need to prepare themselves and their home for a large visitor. This is a dog who won’t just be able to reach the low shelves, at their full height they will have access to the majority of your home.
Size and Weight
As discussed above, the exact size and weight expectations of the Labradoodle Great Dane mix are largely based on estimations. To make a reasoned guess we look to the size and weight of the parent breeds.
The Labradoodle comes in three size variations, largely dependent on the Poodle parent used. A Standard Labradoodle is the biggest and can be up to 24” in height and weigh up to 65lbs.
A Medium Labradoodle will come in at between 17” and 20” in height and weigh between 30 lbs and 45lbs. The smallest, the Miniature Labradoodle, will be no taller than 16” and weigh between 12lbs and 25lbs.
The Great Dane meanwhile only comes in one size band and is considered a giant breed. They do vary slightly between male and female with a fully grown male Great Dane coming in at an almost unbelievable, 32” in height and up to a staggering 175lbs. The female Great Dane is slightly smaller (although will still dwarf the average small child) at up to 30” tall and comes in at approximately 140lbs.
While in some cases the addition of a Labradoodle to a cross allows for some experimentation with the different sizes, in this case, the only real option is the Standard Labradoodle. Even with sticking to the Standard Labradoodle, it is likely only those at the taller end of the range that would be considered for a planned crossbreeding program with a Great Dane.
Due to the potential for puppies to take after the Great Dane, it is highly likely that the Labradoodle would be the father and the Great Dane would carry the litter. If it were the other way around there would be the potential for puppies that would be too big for a Labradoodle to safely whelp.
In terms of predicting the size and weight of Labradoodle, Great Dane litters there really is no definitive answer and it is highly likely that they will vary even amongst one delivery. All we can advise is that they will likely fall somewhere between the parents’ size.
Color and Coat Types
A Labradoodle Great Dane mix has a high chance of presenting with a low shedding coat. This is due to the fact that Great Danes would be considered low to medium shedders initially and the option to mix with a Labradoodle who often exhibits the curly Poodle-like coat that sheds minimally.
While the Great Dane is generally smooth and short-coated, it is likely the addition of Labradoodle genetics will result in a longer, shaggier, waved coat.
Color-wise, Great Danes have less variety than Labradoodles and are often shaded of fawn, black, blue, or white tones. They can be solid-colored or bi-colored. By comparison, the Labradoodle can come in just about every color conceivable thanks to the variety in the Poodle line.
Long and short of it is though it will be a bit of a lucky dip when it comes to coat type and color for a Labradoodle Great Dane mix however they are unlikely to be heavy shedders which is good news for those susceptible to pet hair and dander allergies.
Great Dane Labradoodle Mix Health
There are some conditions that are present with both the Labradoodle and Great Dane and the risk of these cannot be eliminated. By far the biggest risk factor given that both breeds display barrel-like, deeper chests is the potential for Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV), commonly referred to as “bloat”.
This occurs when the stomach twists trapping air, gas, and stomach contents. This is a medical emergency and needs immediate vet care to prevent death. The good news is that there are some steps owners can take to limit risk such as slowing how fast the dog eats, not allowing vigorous play or exercise for the hour before or after eating, and feeding more frequently in smaller amounts. Some owners may wish to explore preventative surgery to tack the stomach muscles.
Thankfully there are few other conditions considered common to both the Labradoodle and Great Dane. Hip dysplasia is associated with both; however, health screening of parent dogs can help reduce the risk of this being passed on.
This is only a list of possible conditions; careful matching of parents and health screening can reduce the risk even further. In many cases, conditions can be treated and managed.
Temperament of a Labradoodle and Great Dane Mix
If you were to put a Labradoodle and a Great Dane in the same room you could expect to see a Labradoodle excitedly exploring, sniffing, and darting while a Great Dane exudes a much more controlled, gentle, and laid-back vibe.
If we anticipate a Labradoodle Great Dane mix to be a blend of both this has the potential to result in a friendly and outgoing pup who just as happily will cuddle. Both breeds are people pleasers, and the Labradoodle will bring additional brains to the Great Dane. Be warned though, despite their large size Great Dane owners often comically refer to their preference to try and be lap dogs. That means your lanky, curly-haired Labradoodle Great Dane giant may be quick to climb into your lap for a snuggle, whether they actually fit or not!
What are the Exercise Needs of a Great Dane Labradoodle Mix?
A Labradoodle Great Dane mix is likely to be in the mid energy range and will need daily exercise. As a giant hybrid these dogs may take longer to reach full height, this means care needs to be taken not to exercise them too vigorously or for extended periods in their first 2 years when their growth plates may not have fully matured.
Once fully grown it is likely this mix would cope well with 2 walks a day and access to a sizeable backyard for stretching loose long pins. While they will enjoy mid-length runs and bursts of energy this is not the best mix for those looking for a buddy to do long-distance or trail running which can be more demanding on knees and hips of larger breeds.
Feeding Requirements of a Labradoodle Great Dane Mix
Budgeting for feeding requirements for a possibly giant-sized hybrid is no joke.
A Labradoodle Great Dane mix who is on the larger end of the scale will need approximately 6 to as many as 8 cups of good quality dry food a day split over three to four meals a day. Weights and content of raw or wet feeding will vary depending on the choice of ingredients.
Remember they will be the prime height for pinching countertop and table food so be prepared to have eyes in the back of your head.