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The Mini Labradoodle: Your Guide to the Gentle Non-Shedding Pup

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

The Mini Labradoodle

Labradoodles have been the quintessential original Doodle designer dog for nearly 50 years, and the Mini Labradoodle offers a smaller alternativ-e-archive for adoring fans. Mini Labradoodles mix the Labrador Retriever and a Miniature Poodle to produce a well-rounded more hypoallergenic pup.

These pups combine the intelligence and gentleness of the Lab and the Poodle’s playfulness and low-shedding coat that falls in glossy curls with the right gentle canine shampoo. They suit just about any responsible dog owner with their sparkly personalities and diminutive sizes.

If you’ve always wanted a doodle but had space concerns, look no further than these miniature Labrapoos. We have consulted the ultimate mini Labradoodle dog guide to give you valuable information on this mixed dog.

Fun Fact: There is a clear-cut distinction between American and Australian Labradoodles. American Labradoodles refer to First generation (F1) to F4 crosses and are typically considered mixed breed dogs. However, Australian Labradoodles refer to fifth-generation crosses and above. You can refer to our article on the F1b Goldendoodle for a better understanding of designer dog generations.

In fact, the breeding of a miniature Australian Labradoodle is so intricate and precise that some consider it to already be a fully fledged purebred dog rather than a crossbreed. Others use the term mini Australian Labradoodle to refer to a cross between a Labrador, Poodle, and Cocker Spaniel. We will

Where Did the Mini Labradoodle Come From? History and Origins

Where Did the Mini Labradoodle Come From? History and Origins

The first step to knowing your pup is knowing where they came from and what they were bred for. Labradoodles are one of the very first designer doodle breeds, spearheading the combining of breeds for various purposes. They, therefore, have a more elaborate history than other designer breeds like Chiweenies, Cavachons, teacup Goldendoodles, toy Bulldogs, or the Aussie Mountain Doodle

These miniature Labradoodle goes by other names such as”

  • Mini American Labradoodle;
  • Miniature Labrador Poo;
  • Mini Labrador Doodle;
  • Mini Labrapoo; and
  • Mini Labrapoodle.

The Labrapoodles story began with Wally Conran in the 1980s, who worked as a breeder with the Royal Guide Dog Association of Australia. The aim was a hypoallergenic guide dog inspired by a blind woman that called for a guide dog that wouldn’t trigger her husband’s allergies.

Their popularity sky-rocketed as allergic people sought them out as service dogs and people fell in love with the gorgeous Doodle looks. Mini Labrapoos followed suit in the nineties after the standard-sized ones gained traction. These mixes inspired other Doodle mixes, referring to any dog breed mixed with a Poodle.

Naturally, many people, including Wally Conran, are concerned that the boom in popularity for Doodle dogs has led to many unethical breeding practices. So always adopt these dogs or look for an ethical breeder.

As for the Labradoodle parent breeds, they were bred for more or less the same purpose, which is retrieving. Labrador Retrievers originated in Newfoundland, Canada, to help fishermen, primarily of the Labrador Sea. Similarly, Poodles are also water-retrieving dogs from the 14th century in Germany.

Several Labradoodle-specific clubs like the Australian Labradoodle Club of America and the Worldwide Australian Labradoodles Association. These associations help moderate breeding practices for healthy Labradoodles of all sizes.

Note: First Generation Mini Labradoodles may be tough to breed because of the size difference between the Lab and Miniature Poodle. Some breeders may use artificial insemination but most of them are bred over multiple generations to create a small-to-medium sized dog.

The Mini Australian Labradoodle vs. Other Labradoodles

The Mini Australian Labradoodle vs. Other Labradoodles

The Australian Labradoodle differs from other Labradoodles in several ways. While Labradoodle is a general term that refers to any crossbreed between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle, the Australian Labradoodle is a specific type of Labradoodle that has distinct characteristics.

Here are some factors that set the Australian Labradoodle apart:

  1. Multigenerational breeding: The Miniature Australian Labradoodle is typically the result of several generations of Labradoodle-to-Labradoodle breeding, as well as the infusion of other breeds like the Cocker Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel, and Curly Coat Retriever. This multigenerational breeding program aims to establish consistent traits, including coat type, size, temperament, and health.
  2. Purposeful development: The Australian Labradoodle was originally developed in Australia in the late 1980s with a specific purpose in mind. The breeders were aiming to create a hypoallergenic service dog with a desirable temperament, low shedding coat, and good trainability. This purposeful development sets the Australian Labradoodle apart from Labradoodles that may be bred without specific goals or standards.
  3. Coat types: The Australian Labradoodle is known for its unique coat types, which are generally low to non-shedding and hypoallergenic. These coats can range from straight to wavy to curly, and they come in a variety of textures, including fleece-like and wool-like. This diversity in coat types allows for more options when it comes to finding a coat that suits individual preferences and allergy needs.
  4. Size variations: The Australian Labradoodle comes in three main size categories: standard, medium, and miniature. This range of sizes allows potential owners to choose a Labradoodle that fits their lifestyle and living situation. Other Labradoodles may not have the same standardized size categories, and their size can vary more widely.
  5. Temperament: The Australian Labradoodle is known for its friendly, sociable, and intelligent nature. They are often highly trainable, adaptable, and eager to please. Their breeding history aimed to produce dogs with good temperaments for service and therapy work. While individual temperament can still vary, the Australian Labradoodle is generally recognized for its favorable disposition.

It’s important to note that not all Labradoodles are Australian Labradoodles. Labradoodles from other breeding programs may not have the same standardized traits or predictable characteristics as Australian Labradoodles. When looking for an Australian Labradoodle, it’s recommended to seek out reputable breeders who adhere to established breeding standards and prioritize the health and temperament of the dogs.

What Does a Mini Labradoodle Look Like?

What Does a Mini Labradoodle Look Like?

Mini Labradoodles are fluffy and small and look like their standard-sized counterparts, but smaller. While you can’t predict how a mixed puppy will look, they’re mostly tiny but compact, with a well-proportioned body. They are athletic dogs with lean bodies, although they may be prone to obesity.

They can have a rounded crest on their heads on top of square faces. Their expressive eyes are usually medium or large and sit on a medium-length muzzle. Their ears are mostly floppy and can be triangular shaped like Labs or long and feathered like Poodles. 

These dogs run the gamut with regard to their coat texture and color. Most have a coat resembling a Poodle’s curly locks, although some have soft wavy coats. They may have hypoallergenic coats depending on the dominant parent and their generations. In general, the mini-Labradoodle is low shedder, but the Labrador genes may mean some degree of shedding.

Their coat colors come in various colors like: 

  • Black; 
  • Black with small patches of white; 
  • Chocolate;
  • Cream;
  • Apricot;
  • Red ; and
  • Particolored (distinct patches of two or more colors).

How Big Do Mini Labradoodles Get?

Mini Labradoodles are small dogs ranging from 14 to 17 inches tall (35 to 43 cm) and weighing 15 to 30 pounds (7 to 14 kg). The specific sizes vary based on the ratio of Poodle and Lab and what generations they are.

General Care and Maintenance of a Mini Labrapoo

  • Hypoallergenic: Most likely 
  • Shedding: Mild shedding
  • Exercise: 30 to 60 minutes daily exercise 
  • Temperament: Gentle, loving, social, intelligent, eager to please 
  • Trainability: Easy to train because of high intelligence 

Energy Levels

The small but energetic Mini Labradoodle is high-energy, coming from two playful breeds. They may not need as much exercise as standard Labradoodle, but these are active dogs who thrive on activity and playtime.

Exercise Requirements

Mini Labradoodles need about 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise in two sessions. This keeps them healthy and at a proper weight and increases their overall happiness. They also need mental stimulation to cater to their mental needs.

Housing Needs

Mini Labradoodles can adapt to smaller spaces but these are quite active dogs, so it’s better they have some access to a yard. They may also be prone to barking when bored or alone, so be careful they don’t become a problem to your neighbors.

Dietary Needs

Mini Labradoodles need a protein-rich diet (about 25%) with vitamins, minerals, and fats. They should have a diet for small dogs, although the larger ones may need medium-sized dog food, depending on the size. Your vet will advise you on any underlying medical issues affecting their diet such as liver issues, diabetes, or hypothyroidism.

With a greenlight from your vet, you can supplement these dogs with joint-aiding supplements, like chondroitin and glucosamine in joint chews. Feeding them two or more times a day is best to keep their blood sugar stable.

How To Groom A Mini Labradoodle

1. Labradoodles Have a Wavy or Curly Coat That Can Be Prone to Matting

Brushing them several times a week helps prevent tangles and removes loose hair. Use a slicker brush or a metal comb designed for curly coats. Start from the skin and work your way up, paying attention to areas like behind the ears, under the legs, and around the tail.

2. These Dogs Should be Bathed Every 4-6 Weeks or as Needed

Use a mild dog shampoo that suits their skin type and rinse thoroughly to prevent residue. Avoid over-bathing, as it can strip the coat of natural oils.

3. Labradoodles May Require Regular Trims to Maintain Their Coat Length and Prevent Matting

Two common trimming styles are the “puppy cut” and the “teddy bear cut”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78NTX1j8URs

Puppy Cut: This style involves trimming the hair to a uniform length all over the body, typically around 1-2 inches. The face and ears are trimmed to match the body length.

Teddy Bear Cut: This cut leaves the hair longer, giving a fluffy appearance. The face is usually trimmed shorter, while the body hair is shaped and scissored to create a rounded, teddy bear-like look.

4. Some Labradoodles May Develop Tear Stains Around Their Eyes, Which Can Be Caused by Tear Duct Issues or Excessive Tearing

To clean tear stains, use a damp cloth or specialized tear stain remover recommended by your veterinarian. Gently wipe the area, being careful not to irritate the eyes. Regular cleaning can help prevent staining.

5. Miniature Labradoodles are Prone to Dental Issues, So Don’t Forget to Brush Their Teeth and Use a Dental Additive in Their Water

Regular nail clipping is essential to prevent overgrown and ingrown nails as well as ear cleaning to prevent infection.
Miniature Labradoodles

What are the Health Issues in Mini Labrapoodles?

The tiny Mini Labradoodles are impressively robust with few health issues. This is because they benefit from “hybrid vigor,” whereby the widened gene pool makes them healthier than their purebred parents. However, they’re still susceptible to health problems in their parent breeds.

Despite being small, these dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia, a hip and socket abnormality. They are also susceptible to congenital eye issues like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and heart problems like mitral valve disease or dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Specifically, Miniature Poodles are susceptible to a rare eye issue called optic nerve hypoplasia that they may pass on to the mix.

Research has shown that Labs are nearly three times as likely to suffer from arthritis than other dogs and may pass it down to the Labradoodle. They also have an increased risk of immune disorders like von Willebrand’s disease and Addison’s disease. Studies have shown that inbreeding is responsible for this increased autoimmune risk in Poodles too.

Both parent breeds are susceptible to bloat, but this miniature version’s saving grace is their small sizes and chests. Other less severe but prevalent incidences in both parents are skin problems like moist dermatitis and sebaceous adenitis (a skin disorder).

These mixes are still typically healthier than other smaller varieties like Teacup Havanese, Teacup Yorkies, and Miniature Chihuskies. Other health issues are Mini Labrador Doodles include:

Severe Health Conditions

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia; 
  • Osteoarthritis;
  • Eye problems like Progressive Retinal Atrophy and retinal dysplasia;
  • Thyroid issues; 
  • Von Willebrand’s disease; 
  • Addison’s disease;
  • Neurological and vestibular issues;
  • Heart problems like Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM);
  • Collapsed trachea; and
  • Cancers like lymphoma. 

Mild to Moderate Risks

  • Allergies;
  • Stomach sensitivities;
  • Skin problems like Sebaceous adenitis;
  • Dental issues like cavities and periodontitis; and
  • Obesity.

Occasional Issues

  • Epilepsy

What is a Mini Labradoodle’s Temperament?

Mini Labradoodles have gentle, well-balanced temperaments but still manage to be playful pups. They are typically cheerful, gentle, outgoing, playful, intelligent, and always eager to please you. The parents’ temperaments mix pretty well despite being wildly different dogs. Typically the miniature Labradoodle is more confident than the standard Labradoodle, is far less shy, and may even learn quicker.

These dogs have all the makings of great service dogs due to their empathy, just like their standard-sized cousins. However, their small sizes make them more suitable to keep you company at home. They may develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods due to forming deep bonds. They need a lot of socialization as they may be wary of strangers and new dogs.

Training them is typically easy because they are incredibly smart and want nothing more than to make you proud. It’s vital to start training and socializing these mixes from puppyhood for a well-balanced member of society. These are also exceptionally active dogs that do well with plenty of activity. They love to swim and play fetch. They also love to chase anything that moves. 

This is a great choice for a sport like agility.

Are Mini Labradoodles Good with Children and Other Pets?

Mini Labradoodles are great around kids and usually good family dogs, however, it’s always good practice to supervise any dog around a baby or a small child. They get along with other pets, especially with proper training and socialization. 

Ideal Home for a Mini Labradoodle 

  1. Smaller homes with smaller yards (they can adapt to apartments with enough exercise).
  2. Allergic households, although it’s not ensured that they’re hypoallergenic, so spend time with them first.
  3. Moderately active lifestyles and active dog owners.
  4. Families with children and other pets, as well as adults who are home most of the time.
  5. People committed to plenty of grooming.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Much are Mini Labradoodle Puppies?

You can expect to pay about $2000 to $4000 for Mini Labradoodle puppies for sale. The high cost is due to the genetic tests and possible artificial insemination involved during breeding. Due to the boom in popularity of Doodles, you may find one to adopt from a Doodle rescue organization.

Do Mini Labrador Puppies Bark A lot?

Mini Labradors are considered to be moderate barkers. Their barking is often communicative, like after seeing a stranger or something interesting. They may bark to get attention, although this isn’t common. It’s vital to keep them busy to avoid excessive barking.

How Long Do Mini Labradoodles Live?

Mini Labradoodles are sturdy dogs that live for 12 to 15 years. Proper breeding, nutrition, and health care allows them to have the longest lifespan possible.

Are Mini Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?

Many Mini Labradoodles are hypoallergenic since this mix (all sizes) is typically bred for that purpose. But keep in mind, some may still shed (although they are usually low shedders) and even if they do not shed, no dog is completely hypoallergenic. Spend time with them first to assess whether they trigger any allergies.

Final Thoughts

Mini Labradoodles are great family pets that will charm nearly everyone they meet. They’re small but more robust and sturdy than other small breeds and mixes, though care must be taken around them. They’re great for novice owners and those who like smaller dog breeds. 

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.