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Mini Labradoodle: Complete Designer Breed Guide

The Mini Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Miniature Poodle, resulting in a highly adorable and tiny curly-haired pup. They make lovely family pets thanks to their affectionate and loyal temperament and excellent service dogs, thanks to their high intelligence.

Origins of Mini Labradoodle

The Miniature Labradoodle is a designer breed, so they are intentionally bred to take the best characteristics of each parent. In the case of the Mini Labradoodle, they are blessed with the size and coat of the Miniature Poodle and the sweet and loving nature of the number one family dog, the Labrador Retriever. A Mini Labradoodle may also be called a Teacup Labradoodle, but they are not the same as a Labradoodle. Standard Poodles are used for breeding Labradoodles, whereas Miniature or Toy Poodles are used for breeding Mini Labradoodles, resulting in a smaller canine.  The standard Labradoodle breed was developed in Australia in the 1970s to create an allergy-friendly service dog (as Poodles have low shedding coats). However, people quickly realized how this cross breed makes an excellent family dog too, so the popularity of the Labradoodle rapidly increased. This led to the creation of smaller versions of the Standard Labradoodle, opting for a Miniature Poodle parent instead to reduce the size of the offspring. While the minis are typically smaller than the standard version, it is difficult to predict the exact size of first-generation Mini Labradoodle puppies. However, second or third-generation mixes tend to be more consistently tiny as their parents are already small. The cost for a Mini Labradoodle puppy can range from $1000 to $3000.

What Does A Mini Labradoodle Look Like?

A full-grown Mini Labradoodle could weigh anything between 15 to 30 pounds. However, second and third-generation mixes will be closer to the lower end of the spectrum. For comparison, a Standard Labradoodle usually weighs between 55-90 pounds, so it is significantly larger than the teacup version. A Mini Labradoodle full-grown will stand 14 to 16 inches tall. Still, first generations that inherit their Labrador parent's size can be as tall as 24 inches.  Many Mini Labradoodles inherit the curly wool-like coat of the Poodle. Still, some will have soft and fleece-like fur or the shaggy hair of a Labrador Retriever. As Poodles can come in a wide range of colors (solid and mixed), the coat color possibilities of a Mini Labradoodle are vast. Still, it depends on the genes they inherit. If they have more genes from their Labrador parent, black, brown, and yellow coats are more common.

Personality and Behavior of Mini Labradoodle's

Mini Labradoodles make excellent family pets for many reasons. They are just as loving and loyal as a Labrador Retriever, are gentle around children, and do fine inside and outside. What's more, these lovable canines are playful, quirky, and goofy, so they will bring some fun into any home. Although every dog's personality is different, this breed tends to be friendly towards everyone providing they had human socialization as a puppy. Therefore, a Mini Labradoodle is a fab choice for families with kids looking for a suitable pet.  Teacup Labradoodles are high-energy dogs despite their miniature size as both their parents are working breeds. As a result, they need more exercise than other pups their size. You should aim to spend an hour a day playing with them, along with once or twice daily walks.  If you have an enclosed yard, you can also let them play and run independently. Still, because of their tiny size, they can quickly get through small holes, so ensure your yard is miniature dog-proof! If you don't have outdoor space, use lots of interactive toys that will occupy their bodies and minds, meeting their physical and mental exercise needs.

How to Train a Mini Labradoodle

Both Labrador Retrievers and Poodles are highly intelligent, so you can expect a Mini Labradoodle to be just as bright. This, combined with their eagerness to please their owner, makes them easy to train and excellent candidates to be service or therapy dogs. One common annoying thing these small pups have is pulling on their leash whenever they meet a friendly person. But if you start to train them early, you can quickly get this and any other incorrect behavior under control. Even though most Labradoodle Minis are naturally friendly, early socialization with people, dogs, and other animals is still necessary. Socialization will stamp out any negative traits like biting and snapping.

Grooming and Maintaining a Mini Labradoodle's Coat

Mini Labradoodles are labeled as a low-shedding breed, but this isn't always the case. It depends on the coat they inherit; if they inherit the fleece or wool coat of the Poodle (which is the aim), they will shed very minimally. However, some of these small Labradoodles inherit the Labrador Retriever's hair, and they will shed a lot in this case. Aside from the amount of shedding, the coat type will determine the level of grooming required. For example, if the pup has a Poodle coat, they will require daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles. However, if they have a shaggy double coat like a Labrador Retriever, you'll need to brush them twice or thrice a week.  Regardless of their coat type, regular trips to the groomers are the best way to keep their fur in top condition. Aside from trimming their coat, the groomer will trim their nails. However, if your pup doesn't spend much time outdoors, you'll likely need to trim their nails in-between visits. You can do this either with a dog nail grinder or dog clippers.  Because most Teacup Labradoodles have the coat of a Poodle, many people assume they are hypoallergenic. While no dog breed can be 100% hypoallergenic, a low-shedding pup like a Miniature Labradoodle is the best choice for someone with allergies.

Common Health Issues

As this is a designer breed, you must be extra careful when choosing a breeder. Unregulated breeding can result in various genetic defects like respiratory problems, arthritis, and weak bones.  Buying from a reputable breeder will reduce your new puppy's chance of having these problems. Still, like all dog breeds, there are some health predispositions you should be aware of. 
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - An eye disorder that can lead to blindness.
  • Hip Dysplasia  - This can cause pain and lameness in one or both rear legs.
  • Addison's Disease - This disease is common in Poodles when there is a lack of cortisol. Symptoms include excessive drinking and urinating, increased heart rate, and panting.
  • Bloat - A condition that affects both parents. You can reduce the chance of your puppy getting it by feeding smaller but more frequent meals.

If your Labradoodle Mini is healthy and comes from a reputable breeder, you can expect them to live 12 to 14 years. Regular vet checkups and preventative healthcare will help keep your fluffy friend healthy and happy.

Final Thoughts

On paper, Mini Labradoodles seem like the ideal family companion, full of love, loyalty, and cuteness. However, like all designer breeds, there are concerns about this pup's health and breeding process. So if you're considering bringing this fluffy friend into your home, ensure you buy from an ethical breeder.

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