A giant Labradoodle is difficult to come across. Both the standard Poodle and Labrador Retriever parents are, at most, large breeds.
To qualify as a giant breed, a dog must be over 30 inches tall, and must weigh over 80 pounds.
So, the best way to increase your chances of getting a giant Labradoodle is to breed an exceptionally large standard Poodle with an exceptionally large Lab.
But, even then, there’s no guarantee that the puppies will grow up to qualify as a giant breed!
What is a Giant Labradoodle?
A Labradoodle is a popular mixed breed. Although they aren’t themselves a purebred dog but to create one, breeders must mate a purebred Labrador Retriever with a purebred Poodle.
Labradoodles will come in different sizes depending on how large their parents are.
Commonly recognized sizes for Labradoodle mixes include:
- Miniature – Typically under 16 inches tall, weighing 15 to 25 pounds.
- Medium – Typically 17 to 21 inches tall, weighing 40 to 65 pounds.
- Standard – Typically between 21 and 26 inches tall, weighing 55 to 90 pounds.
Notice there’s no giant size?
Do Giant Labradoodles Exist?
Giant dog breeds weigh 80 pounds or more, and stand taller than 30 inches.
So, yes, it’s possible to get a giant Labradoodle. But, it would usually be called a standard Labradoodle, just an exceptionally large one.
To achieve this, breeders will usually mate a larger-than-average Labrador with an exceptionally big Poodle.
This could result in puppies that grow to fall within the giant dog breed weight and height parameters.
But, there’s no guarantee that puppies will grow to be a certain size.
Parentage will only offer a rough estimate of your puppy’s adult size. No reputable breeder will promise that their puppies will grow to be giant Labradoodles.
What About the Australian Labradoodle?
The Australian Labradoodle is actually a different breed to the American version.
As well as Labradors and Poodles, Australian Labradoodle lineage includes:
- English Cocker Spaniels
- American Cocker Spaniels
- Curly Coated Retrievers
- Irish Water Spaniels
Australian Labradoodle Size
Like the American Labradoodle, the Australian variety comes in three standard sizes.
- Miniature: 15 to 30 pounds, 14 to 16 inches tall
- Medium: 30 to 45 pounds, 17 to 20 inches tall
- Standard: 50 to 70 pounds, 21 to 24 inches tall
So, according to the breed standards available, there is no way that an Australian Labradoodle can qualify as a giant breed.
This means, if you’re looking for a giant Labradoodle, your best bet will be with the American variety, which can grow slightly larger.
What Else Can Determine Labradoodle Size?
Parentage is a great way to predict how large your puppy may grow to be. But it isn’t the only method.
Like most dogs, adult male Labradoodles tend to be larger than females. In some cases, males can outweigh females by 10 to 15 pounds!
Other factors that can influence a dog’s weight include:
- Type of food they eat
- Amount of food they eat
- Feeding schedule
- Birth order
- Early growth rate
But, despite these other factors, the size of each parent will be the best indicator of your Labradoodle’s adult size.
Predicting Adult Size from Labradoodle Puppies
Standard Labradoodle puppies typically weigh between 7 and 12 pounds when they are 8 weeks old. But, there will be some variation.
Dogs do most of their growing in the first 6 months of life. By the time they reach 10 months, a Labradoodle can weigh as much as 80 pounds!
But, remember, the bigger a dog is, the longer the growth cycle.
So, a standard Labradoodle will usually reach their full height by the time they’re 12 months old. But, they could continue to put on weight until they’re up to two years old.
Some people that want a giant Labradoodle think feeding a puppy more food will help them get a larger adult dog.
But, there’s a lot of issues associated with this tactic.
Giant Labradoodle – Problems with Overfeeding
Puppies need good nutrition in proper amounts to develop at their optimal rate. A slow, steady rate will help them achieve this and will also improve immune functions.
But, a puppy’s stomach can be very sensitive. Overfeeding can put a strain on their digestive system, leading to stomach upset and diarrhea.
This is why young puppies need 3 or 4 meals a day, rather than 2. Smaller meals will be easier on their small stomachs!
Overfeeding can also overstimulate growth.
Getting too big too fast can increase your puppy’s chances of skeletal problems. This is a particular issue in larger dogs that are already at risk.
Skeletal Problems for Labradoodles
One of the most concerning skeletal problems that Labradoodles are at risk of is hip dysplasia.
This is a condition that can cause pain, lameness, and arthritis.
Both of the Labradoodle’s parent breeds are prone to this developmental disorder, so Labradoodles have an inherited higher risk.
Heavier and faster-growing dogs are also at higher risk.
Choosing a reputable breeder is the best way to minimise your dog’s risk of inheriting hip dysplasia.
Reputable breeders will only breed from parent dogs that have good hip scores.
On top of skeletal disorders, dogs that have too much food are also prone to obesity.
Excessive weight can lead to a number of health issues, including:
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Respiratory problems
Does Neutering Make a Dog Grow Bigger?
Studies have shown that puppies who are neutered before they’re fully grown can grow taller than average.
This is because neutering in the first year of a dog’s life delays the closure of long-bone growth plates.
But, this also puts larger dogs at risk of joint problems, like cruciate ligament ruptures.
It will also increase the chance of a dog having hip dysplasia.
Large dogs shouldn’t be neutered until after they stop growing. Which is typically in from 9 to 15 months.
Where Can I Find a Giant Labradoodle?
As we said earlier, reputable breeders won’t be able to guarantee exactly how large a Labradoodle puppy will grow.
But, if your heart is set on getting a giant Labradoodle, look for a reputable breeder that is breeding a large Labrador with a large standard Poodle.
This is the best way to increase your chances of getting a giant Doodle. But, since giant breeds can be at risk of more health issues, choosing a reputable breeder is all the more important.
Another alternative is to check in rescue centers. Labradoodles are a popular mix, so it’s increasingly common to find them in rescue centers.
Some rescue centers are even devoted to the Labradoodle breed as a whole.
Since most rescue dogs are older than puppies from breeders, some may be fully grown. This way, you don’t need to predict their adult size, you will already know it!
Speak to rescue centers near you if you’re looking for a giant Labradoodle to rescue.
Giant Labradoodle – A Summary
Standard Labradoodles are a large mixed breed dog. Some will weigh around 80 to 90 pounds, which does put them in the giant category.
But, trying to get a giant Labradoodle by overfeeding him will likely result in a fat dog with a higher number of health issues.
Choose a Labradoodle that has two larger-than-average parents. This is the best way to get a bigger Labradoodle.
Do you have a giant Labradoodle at home?
References and Further Reading
- Dammrich, K. ‘Relationship Between Nutrition and Bone Growth in Large and Giant Dogs’, The Journal of Nutrition (1991)
- Salt, C. (et al), ‘Growth Standard Charts for Monitoring Bodyweight in Dogs of Different Sizes’, PLoS One (2017)
- Beynen A. C. ‘Diet and Canine Hip Dysplasia’, Dier-en-Arts (2019)
- German, A. J. ‘Weight Management in Obese Pets: the Tailoring Concept and How it Can Improve Results’, Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica (2016)
- Hart, B. L. (et al), ‘Long-Term Health Effects of Neutering Dogs: Comparison of Labrador Retrievers with Golden Retrievers’, PLoS One (2014)
- Grierson, J. (et al), ‘An Investigation into Risk Factors for Bilateral Canine Cruciate Ligament Rupture’, VCOT (2011)