The average Labradoodle lifespan ranges from 10 to 14 years. But not all Labradoodles will have a lifespan in this range. In ‘How Long Do Labradoodles Live’ we’ll look at how you can influence your Labradoodle’s chance at a long, happy life.
Labradoodle Lifespan FAQs
Here are some of the most common questions we receive about Labradoodle life expectancy.
- How long do Labradoodles live?
- Can hybrid breeding programs affect lifespan?
- How can you increase the Labradoodle lifespan?
- What health issues affect Labradoodles?
- Do Miniature Labradoodles live longer?
Got any more questions about this topic? You can leave them in the comments for us at the end of this guide!
How Long Do Labradoodles Live?
The Labradoodle is one of the most well established mix breeds. But, they’re still quite new compared to most purebred dogs, so we have much less data about their average lifespan.
To get the most accurate estimate of the Labradoodle lifespan, we must look at the life expectancy of each potential parent dog.
Most Labradoodle mixes will only combine the Labrador Retriever and Standard Poodle. This combo is sometimes called the American Labradoodle.
But others may also include the Cocker Spaniel. This combo of three breeds is most often called the Australian Labradoodle.
Parent Breed Life Expectancy
All three of these potential parent breeds are known to live into double figures on average, with some living well into their teens.
- Poodle (Standard): 10 to 18 years (average 14 years)
- Labrador Retriever: 10 to 12 years (average 11 years)
- Cocker Spaniel: 10 to 14 years (average 12 years)
From this information, we can calculate that the typical Labradoodle lifespan will range from 11 to 14 years.
But, of course there will be individual dogs that fall outside of this range. And there are plenty of steps you can take to increase your Labradoodle’s lifespan.
Can Hybrid Breeding Programs Affect Lifespan?
In the last section we used statistical data on the three potential parent dog breeds to work out Labradoodle life expectancy “on paper”.
But, those calculations left out the known advantages of adding genetic diversity to a new developing dog breed’s gene pool.
Mixed breed dogs can be prone to the same hereditary disorders as their parents. But, the threat of a puppy getting any breed-specific known genetic health issues lessens with increased genetic diversity.
So, if your Labradoodle is from a good breeder, it’s very possible it will outlive the average lifespan seen above.
This is a long way of answering the short question, “Can hybrid breeding programs affect lifespan?”. They absolutely can!
The Importance of A Responsible Breeder
A reputable, responsible, health-focused Labradoodle breeder will prize puppy health above profit.
They will pre-screen parent dogs for genetic health issues before breeding them.
The breeder will make sure the mother dog gets excellent veterinary care through her pregnancy and that the new puppies get all their vaccinations and pest treatments.
When you buy a Labradoodle puppy from a high-quality hybrid breeder, you are committing to a puppy with ‘good bones’. All other factors remaining equal, such a puppy is likely to live longer and enjoy better health through their life.
How Can You Increase the Labradoodle Lifespan?
There are five main things you can do to help your Labradoodle live the longest life possible.
- Choose your breeder carefully
- Give your Labradoodle a healthy diet
- Give your Labradoodle enough exercise
- Go to all your veterinary check ups
- Give plenty of enrichment and mental stimulation
By choosing a reputable breeder, giving your Labradoodle a high-quality, age-appropriate food, and attending regular veterinary check-ups you can ensure your Labradoodle will be as healthy and happy as possible.
Choose your Breeder Carefully
As we’ve already learnt, a responsible Labradoodle breeder who cares about their reputation in the dog breeding world will be motivated to sell you the healthiest possible Labradoodle puppy.
Make sure you never choose a Labradoodle from a puppy mill or a puppy farm. Pet stores are likely to buy their puppies from these places, so avoid pet stores too.
Puppies from puppy mills may be cheaper, but will often have more health and behavioral problems as they grow. This can lead to pricey veterinary trips later in life.
Paying more for a puppy from a reputable breeder will be worth it in the long run. Particularly for those extra years you’ll have with your doodle.
A Healthy Diet
Labradoodles are very cute and very smart. Your dog will quickly learn which foods are nicest and start using the most creative tactics to get more of those.
It can be hard to say “no” to your pup but keeping your dog’s weight in check can impact mortality.
Choose a high quality dog food designed for your dog’s age and activity level.
Labradoodles will do best on a food for large breed dogs. Work with your veterinarian to ensure you are feeding your dog the right amount.
Getting Enough Exercise
Labradoodles come from pure working dog stock on all sides. These dogs enjoy staying active and should be given plenty of exercise and play time.
Just be cautious about exercising them too much when they are puppies. Labradoodles are prone to joint problems like elbow and hip dysplasia.
One study has suggested that puppies under 3 months old should be allowed to exercise off-leash on soft terrain like grass. But, owners should avoid giving them access to stairs until they’re older and their joints are more developed.
Veterinary Care and Regular Check Ups
Proper and regular preventative veterinary care can make sure minor problems never turn into major life-limiting health challenges.
Make sure you attend all your veterinary check ups, and give your Labradoodle puppy all appropriate vaccinations.
If you ever notice strange behavior or signs that your Labradoodle is in pain, take them to the vet to ensure everything is okay.
Catching health problems early can be the best way to manage them.
The Labradoodle is a people-centric dog that has a deep genetic need to be at the very center of family life.
While love and enrichment isn’t statistically linked to longevity in any tangible way, a happier dog is likely to be a healthier dog.
Make sure your Labradoodle has plenty to keep them busy. As well as getting enough physical stimulation, exercising their brains is important.
A great way to do this is through training. Not only will it help your doodle develop, but it will encourage and solidify the strong bond between you.
What Health Issues Affect Labradoodles?
Labrador Retrievers, Poodles and Cocker Spaniels are all loved and well-established purebred dogs.
But decades of breeding to a narrow conformation (appearance) breed standard has diminished the gene pool and given rise to certain known breed-specific genetic (heritable) health problems.
Hybrid dog breeding offers one potential corrective approach to strengthen future generations of dogs. But this only works if the breeder carefully pre-screens parent dogs to rule out passing along known genetic health issues!
Labradoodles will still be potentially prone to the same health problems as their parents. So, it’s worth learning which ones you should watch out for.
Health Issues to be Aware Of
These are the major known genetic health issues a Labradoodle breeder should screen for.
- Dysplasia (hip, elbow)
- Eye problems
- Thyroid and adrenal gland problems
- Cardiac problems
- Exercise-induced collapse (Labrador Retriever parent only)
- Centronuclear Myopathy (Labrador Retriever parent only)
Ask your breeder for parent dog test results before you make a commitment to a Labradoodle puppy.
Plus, you want to learn as much as possible about whether the Labrador Retriever parent dog’s genetic lineage has had any special incidence of canine cancer.
Large breed dogs with deep chests like Labrador Retrievers and Poodles also suffer from bloat, a potentially fatal condition where the stomach twists.
Bloat can be prevented with surgery. But, the risk of this problem is also minimised by using slow-feeding bowls, splitting your dog’s meals into smaller portions, and avoiding raised food bowls.
Do Miniature Labradoodles Live Longer?
Larger dog breeds do tend to have shorter overall lifespans than smaller dog breeds.
The Labradoodle is a large dog. But, a miniature version is becoming more popular. This version breeds the standard Labrador with the Miniature Poodle, rather than the Standard Poodle.
Miniature Labradoodles, like most small dog breeds, can have a longer lifespan than their larger counterparts. In this case, the mini-Labradoodle lifespan might inch closer to the 18-year mark of the miniature Poodle parent.
But, there is no guarantee this will happen. Remember, a reputable breeder and day to day care will have a huge impact on your Labradoodle’s lifespan, no matter what his size.
Labradoodle Lifespan – How Old is Yours?
Do you have a wonderful Labradoodle at home? We would love to hear if your doodle has lived longer than the average figures calculated here!
You can share your stories in the comments on ‘How Long Do Labradoodles Live’ below.
References and Resources
- McEwing, A. ‘Frequently Asked Questions About the Breed’, Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA), (2021)
- Turnbull, A. S. ‘“Dogs Lives are too Short’, Goodreads (2021)
- O’Neill, D. G. (et al), ‘Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs in England’, The Royal Veterinary College (2013)
- Olin, J. M. ‘OFA-CHIC Health Testing Requirements’, Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)
- Coopshaw, K. ‘Puppy Care & Training Information’, Worldwide Australian Labradoodle Association (WALA), (2021)
- Beuchat, C. ‘The Myth of Hybrid Vigor in Dogs… is a Myth’, The Institute of Canine Biology (2014)
- Krontveit, R. (et al), ‘Housing- and Exercise-Related Risk Factors Associated with the Development of Hip Dysplasia as Determined by Radiographic Evaluation in a Prospective Cohort of Newfoundlands, Labrador Retrievers, Leonbergers, and Irish Wolfhounds in Norway’, American Journal of Veterinary Research (2012)
- Glickman, L. (et al), ‘Non-Dietary Risk Factors for Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus in Large and Giant Breed Dogs’, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2000)
- Glickman, L. (et al), ‘Multiple Risk Factors for the Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus Syndrome in Dogs: A Practitioner/Owner Case Control Study’, Journal of American Animal Hospital Association (1997)