A dreaded question that many dog owners and future dog owners have to face at one point or another is – how long do labradoodles live? In this article, we’ll discuss everything about the Labradoodle lifespan, their life stages, and what you can do to keep your Dood healthy and happy for as long as possible. Let’s dive in!
Labradoodle Lifespan: How Long Do Labradoodles Live?
Labradoodles are usually very healthy dogs with a fairly long life, especially compared to some other breeds. The average Labradoodle lifespan is around 12 to 15 years. What’s great about Doodles and all cross-breeds is that they benefit from hybrid vigor, which indicates better, optimal health.
Hybrid vigor means that a cross-breed dog has a smaller chance of inheriting common genetic illnesses that run in the parental breeds. As you might know, Labradoodles inherit the best of both worlds – the low-shedding Poodle coat, high intelligence levels from both parents, and the adorable Labrador Retriever personality.
However, this also goes for their health, as Labradoodles are usually considered healthier than their purebred parents. Thanks to selective breeding, it’s possible to breed together two dogs with superior qualities, both in terms of temperament, looks, and health.
As a result, the lifespan of a Labradoodle is often longer than the Labrador Retriever’s as well. For instance, the average lifespan of a Labrador Retriever is 10 to 12 years, whereas the Poodle lifespan is 12 to 15 years.
It’s worth mentioning that hybrid vigor is most prevalent in first-generation, or F1 Labradoodles, and it starts to diminish with each consecutive generation. Nonetheless, ethical Doodle breeders conduct rigorous health and genetic testing on their breeding dogs to minimize the risk of puppies inheriting any faulty genes or hereditary conditions.
Life Stages Of A Labradoodle
Like other dogs, Labradoodles experience different stages of life from birth to their last years. Let’s take a closer look at the life stages of a Labradoodle.
Puppyhood (0-6 months)
Puppyhood starts from the moment your dog is born and usually lasts until they reach sexual maturity. During this life stage, your puppy is very vulnerable to pretty much everything. So, it’s especially important you stay on top of your puppy’s vaccination schedule and feed them specially formulated puppy food. Oh, and they tend to sleep a lot, as well.
You should already be training and socializing your pup already at this life stage. Introduce grooming, basic manners, and keep up with house training and crate training. You should also introduce your puppy to other dogs, but only once they’re fully vaccinated.
Adolescence (6-18 months)
Adolescence starts when your puppy reaches its sexual maturity. Once this happens, you should consult with your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your puppy. Both male and female dogs can exhibit unwanted behaviors while in heat. For instance, male pups are especially prone to marking with urine. In addition to that, spaying or neutering at an appropriate age has shown to have many benefits for their health and behavioral development.
Although at this stage your Dood likely still looks like a puppy, it’s likely that they’ve already experienced all the growth spurts and their growth will start to gradually slow down after 6 months of age.
During the adolescence period, your puppy probably acts like an actual teenager. It’s no surprise that this life stage is often called the hellion stage. You might notice that your pup has suddenly forgotten all of its training and just bluntly ignores all of your cues. Don’t worry, stay consistent and firm, and this will pass soon enough.
Adulthood (1-10 years)
A Labradoodle enters adulthood once they’re fully-grown. This typically happens between their first and second birthday, depending on their size.
A general rule of thumb is that smaller, Mini Labradoodles finish growing sooner, sometime around their first birthday. Larger, Standard Labradoodles typically take more time and finish growing somewhere around 18 to 24 months of age.
Typically, dogs reach their full adult height sooner than they reach their full weight. This usually happens around 10 to 12 months of age. After that, they will then continue to gain some more weight and fill out until they reach full maturity. However, once they’re there, you should make sure that your puppy doesn’t keep putting on weight every month, as this might indicate that you’re overfeeding your pup. Of course, this can lead to obesity, which can affect your Labradoodle’s lifespan.
Now that your pup is no longer a puppy, they’ve probably calmed down a bit and actually behave according to their size as well. If you’ve done all the work in puppyhood and adolescence, your Dood knows how to socialize with people and other dogs, how to behave, and go potty.
Senior (10+ years)
The golden years of a Labradoodle’s lifespan are here. Dogs above the age of 10 are generally considered seniors. However, your pup might start slowing down a bit and showing first signs of aging starting from 7 years of age.
Senior dogs are usually less active, they usually need a bit less food, and overall they have a calmer disposition. Once your dog is a senior, you should take them to regular vet check-ups every 6 months to keep a close eye on their health. This can greatly increase your Labradoodle’s lifespan and improve their quality of life in those beautiful golden years.
Labradoodle Aging Signs
Although this is something that no dog owner ever wants to think about, at some point you have to face that your pup is entering its senior years and might start showing signs of aging. Most commonly, you’ll notice that they aren’t as active as they used to be, and their movement has slowed down a bit. Older dogs generally become less active, but it can also be due to joint problems. Of course, this often leads to increased weight or even obesity.
Other telltale signs of aging are vision problems and loss of sight, often accompanied with cloudy eyes. In addition to that, you might notice lumps and bumps under the skin, bad breath and dental problems, loss of hearing, or that your pup needs to go potty more frequently.
Behavioral signs of your Dood aging include forgetfulness, confusion, fear of familiar people, objects, or places, anxiety, or compulsive behaviors. Those mental signs of aging are sometimes caused by canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome, which is similar to Alzheimer’s in humans.
Extending The Lifespan Of A Labradoodle
Diet is one of the most important factors that can affect a Labradoodle’s lifespan. You should feed your Dood a high quality and balanced diet. In this guide we share the top brands for both Labradoodle puppies and adults that Doodle owners and breeders recommend.
Equally important is to not over or underfeed your dog. Did you know that the lifespan of a Labradoodle who is obese can be as much as 2 years less than for pups who are in healthy weight?
In addition to that, excess weight can contribute to joint problems like hip and elbow dysplasia, or even lead to diabetes and other heart problems. For this reason, it’s crucial you feed your Labradoodle the exact amount of calories they need, every single day.
Similarly to a good diet, a proper exercise regimen can drastically extend the lifespan of a Labradoodle. Exercise greatly benefits the joints and metabolism, but also keeps your dog’s heart healthy. As Labradoodles are active dogs, it’s crucial you provide your pup what it needs to thrive.
Take your pup on daily walks, let them run and swim, spend some time playing with them, and provide them plenty of mental stimulation. This will keep your pup in top shape both mentally and physically much longer.
In fact, not only does exercise extend your Labradoodle’s lifespan, it can also keep any unwanted behaviors at bay. For example, bored Doods can become anxious and destructive. Likewise, you’ll want to make sure that you’re keeping up with all the training, as it’s crucial for your pup’s development and confidence.
Like other Doodles, Labradoodles are pretty high maintenance when it comes to their coat care. They’re prone to matting, so staying on top of your Dood’s grooming routine is essential. Make sure you brush your Labradoodle daily, clean their ears on a regular basis, give them a thorough wash once in a while, and trim their hair.
Grooming isn’t just about vanity. Although unkempt hair does not look cute by any means, mats can actually cause your dog some serious discomfort and pain. It can also lead to skin irritations and infections.
Similarly, you’ll want to trim the hairs inside the ears, as they tend to grow very long. The hair inside the ears can trap in excess moisture and bacteria, which often results in painful ear infections.
Keeping An Eye On Your Dog’s Health
From the day you bring your new puppy home, you should always keep an eye on your dog’s health. In puppyhood, you’ll likely have to visit the vet for vaccines, then for spaying or neutering, and later on to stay up to date with vaccinations and to make sure there are no sudden changes in their health.
The first signs of underlying health issues aren’t always exactly visible, but you can figure out if anything is wrong by paying close attention to your dog’s behavior and changes in routine. For instance, does your dog eat less? Are they suddenly pacing around or whining a lot? Are they experiencing changes in bowel movements or bathroom habits? Do they have a difficult time standing up or going up the stairs?
Although Labradoodles are usually considered healthier than their purebred parents, they are still prone to some diseases. The most common health issues in Labradoodles include:
- Joint problems, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, and cruciate ligament damage
- Vision problems and eye diseases like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), retinal dysplasia, and cataracts
- Ear infections and otitis
- Skin allergies and food allergies
- Gastrointestinal issues and food intolerances
- Hormonal diseases, such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, or Addison’s disease
- Certain types of cancer, typically over the age of 10
For this reason, it’s especially important you take your pup to regular vet check-ups. This is the best way to keep track of your dog’s health, quickly discover any underlying health conditions, and thus extend your Labradoodle’s lifespan and increase their quality of life.
Labradoodle Lifespan: Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Average Lifespan For A Labradoodle? How Long Do Labradoodles Live?
The average Labradoodle lifespan ranges between 12 to 15 years. That’s considerably more than the lifespan of a Labrador Retriever. Nevertheless, it’s crucial that you provide your pup a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, keep up with their grooming routine, and regularly visit the vet to make sure your Dood lives the healthiest and thus longest life possible.
What Health Issues Do Labradoodles Have?
Even though Labradoodles have a smaller chance of inheriting hereditary illnesses that are most common in the parental breeds, they are still at a risk of certain health problems. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, cruciate ligament damage, eye diseases and vision problems like PRA, cataracts, and retinal dysplasia.
Other common health issues in Labradoodles are all sorts of allergies and sensitivities, such as skin and food allergies. They are also prone to ear infections and they might develop certain types of cancer at some point, typically later on in life.
Is 13 Old For A Labradoodle?
13-year old Labradoodles are considered senior dogs and they often show signs of aging. However, with a proper diet, good exercise regimen, regular vet check-ups, and lots of love, you’ll be able to keep your Dood in the best shape possible during his golden years.
What’s The Lifespan Of A Mini Labradoodle?
The typical Labradoodle lifespan is 12 to 15 years. Although Mini Labradoodles have the same life expectancy, they tend to live longer than their standard-sized counterparts. That’s because smaller dogs generally live longer than larger dogs.
Labradoodle Lifespan: Final Thoughts
In conclusion, all Doodles are typically in good health and greatly benefit from hybrid vigor, especially if you’ve adopted your puppy from a reputable breeder that has thoroughly tested the breeding dogs for various genetic conditions. Nevertheless, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your pup eats a healthy and balanced diet, gets enough mental and physical stimulation, and overall thrives in your household. After all, your Labradoodle’s lifespan is very much influenced by your pup’s lifestyle.
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The information on this page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for qualified professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified animal health provider with any questions you may have.