Female Labradoodles may be smaller than their male siblings, but they’re likely to have the same loveable personality.
Owners of females Labradoodles should familiarise themselves with health issues specifically affecting female dogs.
But ultimately, preference for dogs of either sex comes down to personal opinion, so doing a little research goes a long way!
Are you thinking about getting a female Labradoodle as your next pet?
For many dog owners, choosing between a male or female dog is as important as picking the right breed.
Most people believe that male and female dogs differ to at least some degree in terms of temperament and behavior.
But are they right? Are sex differences in Labradoodles—or any dog—really that significant?
We’ll look at how male and female Labradoodles compare in several key areas, including:
We’ll also talk about how spaying or neutering a dog influences these factors.
Whether you’re already committed to a female Labradoodle, or you’re still deciding about sex, we’ve got important information about what it means to own a female dog.
Before we look at Labradoodles specifically, what do the experts say about sex differences between male and female dogs in general?
Sex Differences in Dogs
Let’s start with behavior.
Animal behavior experts often research the personality traits of male vs. female dogs. This study appeared to confirm many widely held beliefs about male and female dogs.
The researchers found that male dogs tend to be more aggressive and bolder than females, while females are more likely to engage in social interactions with humans, especially if they involve cooperative skills.
And this study which looked at both breed and sex differences in dog behavior found similar results.
Male dogs across several breeds were more likely to show aggression, territoriality, barking, and snapping. Females were more likely to be trainable and affectionate.
But, every dog is an individual and sex is just one of many factors that determine a dog’s behavior.
Observation has taught us that female dogs have a higher probability of being sociable, cooperative, trainable and affectionate. But it’s not guaranteed that female puppies from a litter will have more of these qualities than the boys.
And other factors, like their breed and how well you socialize them will also play a significant role.
Besides behavior, sex differences also influence size. Male dogs tend to be larger than female dogs from the same breed. This is called sexual dimorphism.
Sexual dimorphism is especially noticeable in medium to large breed dogs. Small dog breeds show less sexual dimorphism.
Labradoodles are medium to large dogs, but smaller Miniature Labradoodles are also gaining popularity.
So let’s look at what sexual dimorphism means for female Labradoodles.
Female Labradoodle Size
The Labradoodle is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle. There are three distinct Poodle breeds that can go into the Labradoodle: Standard, Miniature, and Toy.
Which size Poodle was used to create a Labradoodle litter will have a much bigger influence on the size of the puppies than their sex.
According to the Poodle breed standard, male and female Standard Poodles stand over 15 inches tall at the shoulder. Males weigh between 60 and 70 pounds and females weigh between 40 and 50 pounds.
Miniature Poodles stand between 10 and 15 inches tall and weigh between 10 and 15 pounds. Male and female Miniature Poodles don’t differ in size.
What about the Labrador Retriever? The Labrador Retriever breed standard lists male height at between 22.5 and 24.5 inches tall at the shoulder. Females are 21.5 to 23.5 inches tall.
Male Labrador weight ranges from 65 to 80 pounds and females weigh between 55 and 70 pounds. Sexual dimorphism comes into play with the Lab as it is a larger dog.
Does this mean female Labradoodles are smaller than males?
There are three sizes of Labradoodle:
- Standard (bred from a Standard Poodle)
- Miniature (bred from a Miniature Poodle)
- Medium (natural outliers from one of the mating choices above, or perhaps the result of an F1b or F2 cross)
In all these categories, female dogs might be smaller than male dogs.
It is very likely in standard Labradoodles. And progressively less likely in medium and miniature Labradoodles.
Predicting your female Labradoodle puppy’s size
Most puppies end up weighing something between their parents’ weights.
So the most reliable way to predict what size dog you’re likely to end up with, is to look at the size of their parents, and be prepared for anything in between.
Female Labradoodle Temperament
Labradoodles have famously affectionate, playful, and gentle personalities. They are popular family pets and make excellent therapy dogs.
Most Labradoodle experts will tell you that these qualities apply to both male and female Doodles, and that sex differences aren’t as much of a factor in Labradoodle personality as they can be in other dog breeds.
Is this true, and are there any significant differences in male vs. female Labradoodle temperament?
Female Labradoodle personality
If you are thinking about a female because you are concerned about male aggression, this is rarely an issue with Labradoodles.
Anecdotally, some Labradoodle owners report that males are a little more rambunctious and vocal than females, especially when young. But they are just as friendly and loving.
And some Labradoodle breeders believe that females tend to be more responsive, focused, and easier to train than males. This could be rooted in very old biological instincts – males of all kinds of species are more driven to roam restlessly over wide areas in search of mates.
Both sexes are good with young children. Males may tend to view kids as playmates and females may be more protective, but these and other traits can vary among individual Labradoodles of both sexes.
The influence of spaying
Spayed female Labradoodles don’t have seasons.
So they won’t display the behaviors associated with going into heat. Such as becoming anxious or restless, and needing to pee more often.
However, their is some evidence that spaying may increase mounting and humping behavior in female dogs.
Female Labradoodle Health and Lifespan
Are there are health differences between male and female Labradoodles?
Sex specific health problems are more likely to occur in intact dogs.
Unspayed females are more likely to develop breast cancer and pyometra, a potentially life-threatening infection of the uterus.
But the most common Labradoodle health problems occur in both males and females.
They include hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative eye diseases, and neurological disorders.
A reputable Labradoodle breeder will test all their dogs for the genetic health problems found in Labrador Retrievers and Poodles. Your breeder should share all your puppy’s health information with you.
Female Labradoodle Life Expectancy
What about lifespan? Labradoodles tend to have long lifespans, generally 11 to 14 years.
Size is a factor in longevity. Smaller Labradoodles tend to live longer than larger ones, like other dog breeds.
When it comes to sex and lifespan, studies have shown that intact male dogs live longer than intact females, but spayed females have the longest lifespan of all categories.
Choosing a Female Labradoodle – Summary
Female Labradoodles may be smaller than males. Some people also think they are more affectionate, and cooperative in training. But lots of factors make up a dog’s personality, so this isn’t always the case.
Female Labradoodles also have specific health needs due to their sex. For example they will go into heat if unspayed, and owners need to be aware of conditions like pyometria.
Whether you have your heart set on a female Labradoodle or are undecided about male or female, always meet a puppy’s parents to get an idea of what their offspring will be like.
Do you have a female Labradoodle?
Do you think she has a very ‘female’ personality? Tell us why in the comments box down below!
References and Further Reading
Scandurra et al. “Behavioral and Perceptual Differences between Sexes in Dogs: An Overview.” Animals (Basel), 2018.
Hart & Hart. “Breed and Gender Differences in Dog Behavior.” The Domestic Dog, 2016.
Frynta et al. “Allometry of Sexual Size Dimorphism in Domestic Dog.” PLoS One, 2012.
“Official Standard of the Poodle.” American Kennel Club, 1990.
“Official Standard for the Labrador Retriever.” American Kennel Club, 1994.
“Pyometra.” American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Hoffman et al. “Do Female Dogs Age Differently Than Male Dogs?” The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 2017.