A labradoodle is a hybrid dog – that is, a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle. In 1988, an Australian breeder tried to create a breed that would act as a guide dog for people with disabilities and at the same time hypoallergenic (so that it would be a good fit for people with allergies to fur, dander, etc.).
After many unsuccessful tries he settled for a lab and a poodle, which produced the desired breed, thereafter dubbed a “labradoodle”. This new crossbreed became popular fast in Australia and the United States and kickstarted a growing trend of mixing breeds to create “designer dogs”.
However, the new breed is not recognized by any reputed registries in the United States or Europe, with many such as the American Kennel Club dubbing it as “a frankendog mutt, bred for moneymaking purposes.” But Australia has created its own club (the ALAA) in order to further promote and protect it.
One-Time Labradoodle Expenses
Labradoodle, being part of a new fad of “designer dog breeds” share a hefty price tag along with some of its fellow test subjects – the “Cockapoo”, “Goldendoodle”, “Puggle”, and “Yorkipoo”, among many others.
This breed is not for sale at AKC so if you’re looking for a labradoodle, expect to do some searching.
Based on a quick check of 35 listings at PuppyFind, the average price of a labradoodle was about $1,200. But keep in mind that this findins is based on a mix of different-aged pups. Puppies as old as 10 weeks went down to as low as $350, but the newborn ones went up to as much as $2,800.
Alternately, rescuing a labradoodle from a shelter is a wonderful idea. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also help out the adoption centers by freeing up their sometimes-crowded facilities and possibly save a new friend from euthanasia.
The Animal Humane Society has a fixed one-time fee for dog rescues which ranges from $170 to $642 depending on the breed.
Other One-Time Expenses
Labradoodles can grow up to a medium size, so a 36” x 25” x 27” crate is recommended. For a smaller (perhaps female) labradoodle, a 32” x 22.5” x 24” will suit it nicely. Make sure to choose a dog crate that has divider panels so that you can use the same crate from puppy months up until it grows bigger.
Petco sells classic 1-door crates starting at $24.99 for a medium-sized one and $33.99 for a large one.
If you are acquiring your dog from a distant source or you may have to travel multiple with it sometimes, it is important to know how much budget to set aside so that you and your pet would enjoy your trip without hassle. A good shipping company is Happy Tails Travel, which offers shipping deals that start at $350 for domestic travel and would go up to $850 for an international destination.
In order to get a complete and accurate picture of how much it will cost to own and raise a Labradoodle, there are additional expenses to take into consideration. By knowing in advance how much you might end up spending, you’ll be better equipped to handle the responsibilities involved with raising a dog.
- Food – Labradoodles don’t have any specific food requirements aside from the regular high-protein and natural kibble that most dogs eat. A good option is Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Original Recipe Dry Dog Food. You can buy it at Petco for $36.09 per 12-lb bag.
- Healthcare – as your pup gets older, it’ll no doubt succumb to a variety of illness that will require treatment. Costco sells pet medications that can reach up to $100.
Labradoodles can inherit some of the diseases of their parent breeds, thereby possibly contracting elbow or hip dysplasia. They also have a higher occurrence chance of PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) and MRA (multifocal retinal dysplasia) than both Labradors and Poodles.
Frequent veterinary checkups are advised if your dog is exhibiting any odd behavior. Also ensure that your pet is taking their shots on schedule. Mike’s Mobile Vet Service operates in Kentucky and Ohio and offers $59 for a general examination and $20 to $30 for various vaccinations.
- Toys – there are plenty of different types of toys that Labradoodles can play with. The Dapper Dog Box has an excellent selection of toys for pets. A Lifesaver Treat Toy costs about $13.99 and there’s a Bacon Bark Chew Bone for $10.99.
What’s Included in the Labradoodle Price
There are many generous breeders that will opt to include selected items or services along with the dog. The price of the Labradoodle may increase to reflect the additional services that were performed.
As newborn puppies will stay with their mother and the breeder until about 4 weeks of age, the breeder is usually responsible for handling vet examinations, initial vaccinations, health and genetic tests, and screening. In some cases, they may even throw in a free travel or training crate as an extra perk.
Also included are de-worming and micro-chipping. The total amount that you’re likely to save is around $200 to $300 for the health tests and vaccinations and up to $50 for the dog crate.
Laser declawing is still legal in the United States and the procedure costs about $100. However, declawing currently draws mixed reactions amongst owners and breeders, so check with your breeder first to see if they remove dewclaws on pups or not.
If you’ve chosen to adopt a Labradoodle from rescue shelters, the good news is that these establishments have already attended to the dog and taken care of some procedures like neutering and de-worming. They also usually throw in other freebies such as dog food, ID tags, and even free medication for the first 2 weeks.
Cost-Affecting Additional Factors
Since the Labradoodle is a crossbreed dog that does not breed true, the characteristics can vary greatly from breeder to dog. While there shouldn’t be any additional factors that would influence the price of a puppy, there are many unscrupulous breeders that would say otherwise.
Be very careful when choosing a pup. The original labradoodle crossbreed was created as a hypoallergenic guide dog, but sadly, these traits are all but lost in the current iteration of the breed.
Many breeders will attempt to claim that their stock is the “true Australian Labradoodle” and therefore may cost more. Beware of breeders that make such claims.
The “designer dog” phenomenon has unfortunately created many businesses that would value profit over the health, safety, and ultimately the lives, of the dogs kept in captivity.
When purchasing a Labradoodle, very careful research and attention to detail are imperative to ensure that you are buying from a legit source. Many breeders infuse with multiple breeds, using whatever dogs they have around, instead of the original Labrador and Poodle.
The physical characteristics of these dogs may at times be virtually indistinguishable from the legitimate Labradoodle, therefore the source and bloodline must be identified to ensure that you are not supporting puppy mills or the like.