Labradoodles are amazing family dogs. But before you introduce an animal into your household, it is important to understand what time frame you are committing to. So, just how long does a Labradoodle live?
Labradoodle Life Expectancy
On average, Labradoodles will live for about 12 to 14 years. Standard Labradoodles, the largest size, live closer to 12 years, while the smaller varieties may live to about 14 years. These are just averages and your Labradoodle may live up to 16 years or even longer.
Let’s go over the average life expectancy of a Labradoodle in more detail. How does this differ between the sizes of Labradoodle? And what are some things that you can do to make sure your Labradoodle lives a long and healthy life?
Genetics of Labradoodle Life Expectancy
The genetic background of the Labradoodle will have a large effect on its life expectancy. Each dog varies, so for the sake of this article, I will be using the average life expectancy of the parent breeds to understand the average life expectancy of the Labradoodle.
Poodle Life Expectancy
Poodles come in a variety of different sizes, each of them with a different life expectancy. This is important to take into consideration as the different life expectancies of the different Poodles used will affect the life expectancy of the Labradoodle.
The smallest Poodle size, the Toy Poodle, lives for as long as 18 years. Although, it is very rare to live longer than 15 or 16. The largest size, the Standard Poodle, averages around 12 to 15 years in the upper end. These are the upper ends of the spectrum, though. Many Poodles may die of natural – age-related – causes as young as 10.
Labrador Retriever Life Expectancy
Labrador Retrievers only come in a single size. They live to be around 10 to 12 years on average. This is lower than that of the Poodle, which should be taken into account if you are considering a backcrossed Labradoodle.
Labrador Retrievers are particularly prone to certain health issues, which often cause them to die early. The biggest of these issues is cancer.
Average Life Expectancy of a Labradoodle Summarized
|Labradoodle Size||Life Expectancy|
|Mini||12 to 14 years|
|Medium||12 to 14 years|
|Standard||About 12 years|
As you can see, there is not much difference in life expectancy between the different sizes of Labradoodle. This can be partially attributed to the single size of Labradoodle available. However, two years is still a long time.
Also, the numbers listed above are nothing more than averages. A variety of factors play a role in the age of a Labradoodle, such as health predispositions and lifestyle. A Labradoodle may not even reach 10 years old or may exceed these numbers by several years.
As a rule, I recommend being prepared for your Labradoodle to live anywhere from 10 to 16 years, regardless of size.
Hybrid Vigor and Labradoodle Lifespan
On average, hybrid dog breeds such as the Labradoodle tend to live a little bit longer than their Purebred parents. There are a variety of different reasons for this, but the biggest one is hybrid vigor.
This occurs when the genetics of two different breeds mix, making it impossible for recessive health conditions to occur. This is because both parents would have needed to be carriers.
In short, this means that Labradoodles should live a little more than a year longer than the Poodle used to breed them.
However, in later generations, the effects of hybrid vigor are reduced. Later generations, such as F2 Labradoodles, and those who have been backcrossed, such as F1b and F1bb, are both likely to die earlier than F1 Labradoodles.
The Effects of Size on Labradoodle Lifespan
There are a couple of different theories as to why size affects the lifespan of a dog. However, there is no question about the fact that it definitely does.
Small dogs live longer than large dogs. This trend definitely appears in Labradoodles as well. So, if you do not have any specific size requirements and just want a companion for as long as possible, consider a smaller Labradoodle.
How to Maximize Your Labradoodle’s Lifespan
Use a Reputable Breeder
Using a reputable breeder is one of the best ways to ensure that your Labradoodle lives a long and healthy life. This is largely because reputable breeders will make sure that they test the parents of your Labradoodle thoroughly.
This testing will ensure that your Labradoodle does not inherit any life-threatening health conditions or any that would influence its quality of life from now on.
However, it is important to keep in mind that no breeder can guarantee a perfectly healthy dog all the time, which brings us to our next point.
It is very important that you educate yourself on the issues that are more common in Labradoodles. Not everything can be tested for. Certain issues are also a combination of genetics and events that occur throughout your Labradoodle’s life.
One such example is hip dysplasia. Yes, there is a certain predisposition for it in both the Poodle and the Labrador Retriever, but it can also be brought on or exacerbated by damage to the joints when your Labradoodle is a puppy.
Then there are other issues that might be prevented from progressing further if treatment is provided. But, the issues need to be identified early on for that to happen.
In my experience, educating yourself on whatever breed you are considering is one of the best things you can do.
Diet and Exercise
Diet and exercise are also very important to ensure that your dog has a long and happy life. A good diet with all the right vitamins and minerals that your dog needs will keep it healthy and strong. Consult your vet on what is best for your Labradoodle specifically.
In some cases, it may be a good idea to provide supplements if you suspect joint issues in your Labradoodle.
Exercise is equally important. Not only does it help manage your Labradoodle’s weight. It also keeps their muscles strong. As if that was not enough motivation, the mental stimulation will keep your Labradoodle happy.
Labradoodles can have thick, curly coats. They may be adorable, but they are prone to matting. These mats can hold allergens that irritate your Labradoodle’s skin and can cause tugging, which can be very uncomfortable.
Of course, it is difficult to feel for certain issues like tumors if your Labradoodle is covered in mats. But in most cases, a lack of grooming is not usually a life-or-death situation. Regardless, regular grooming will definitely improve your Labradoodle’s overall health and happiness.