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Mini Labradoodle Guide: With Little Known Facts

Updated 03/25/2024 – Considering a Mini Labradoodle for your family? Or just curious about this adorable doodle breed? As someone who shares their home with a delightful mini doodle, I’m excited to share with you all there is to know about these cuddly companions.

Mini Labradoodles, the pint-sized version of the popular Labradoodle, are a mix between Labrador Retrievers and Miniature Poodles. They’re known for their friendly Labrador traits, poodle intelligence, and a low-shedding coat, all in a compact size perfect for many living situations.

History of the Mini Labradoodle

The Mini Labradoodle’s story starts in Australia in the late 1980s. The goal was to create a hypoallergenic guide dog, which led to the birth of the Labradoodle. As they grew in popularity, the need for a smaller version became clear. This need brought about the Mini Labradoodle, perfect for smaller homes but still boasting the great qualities of its parent breeds.

The Two Flavors: Mini Labradoodle vs. Mini Australian Labradoodle

While “Labradoodle” might sound straightforward, there are two distinct types: the original Labradoodle and the Australian Labradoodle. The original is a straightforward cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Miniature Poodle, celebrated for maintaining the Labradoodle’s cherished traits in a petite form.

The Australian variant, however, introduces other breeds including the Cocker Spaniel (both American and English varieties) into the mix, aiming to refine certain attributes like coat texture and temperament, yielding a breed known for its consistent coat and a slightly different personality due to multi-generational breeding and the Spaniel influence.

Mini Labradoodle: Complete Guide With Little Known Facts title pic with a black Labradoodle, a brown Labradoodle and a apricot Labradoodle against a blue background.

Characteristics of Mini Labradoodles

Mini Labradoodle Appearance

Describing a Mini Labradoodle as anything less than utterly charming would be an understatement. Picture a creature as cuddly as a teddy bear, with a plush coat and a face that radiates friendliness and intelligence. They boast a sturdy, proportional build that hints at their playful spirit, while their expressive eyes and soft, floppy ears add to their undeniable appeal.

Mini Labradoodle Sizes

Mini Labradoodle: Complete Guide With Little Known Facts - two Labradoodle puppies; one cream and one black in a pack of puppies

The term “Mini” in Mini Labradoodle is somewhat flexible, reflecting the breeder’s aim for the dog’s size. Officially, miniatures stand between 14 to 17 inches at the shoulder, according to the Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA). Dogs over that size fall into medium or standard Labradoodle territory.

The ALAA does not recognize any size smaller than the mini. However, American Labradoodles can also be found as a micro-mini Labradoodle (aka a petite labradoodle) and a Toy Labradoodle.

American Mini Labradoodle Sizes

Mini Labradoodle14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder15 to 25 pounds
Micro Mini or Petiteunder 14 inches tall at the shoulderless than 15 pounds
Toy10 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder10 to 15 pounds
American Mini Labradoodle Sizes

Mini Labradoodle Coat Types

Understanding the different coat types a Mini Labradoodle can have is crucial, as it directly impacts shedding and, consequently, how allergy-friendly they might be. Let’s break down the three main coat types you’ll encounter:

  • Wool Coat: Think of the classic Poodle coat—curly, plush, and oh-so-soft. This type is a win for allergy sufferers because it’s the least likely to shed.
  • Fleece Coat: Landing somewhere in the middle, the fleece coat boasts a wavy texture that’s silky to the touch. It sheds less than a straight coat but a bit more than wool, offering a fair compromise for those with mild allergies.
  • Straight Coat: Mirroring the Labrador side of the family, this coat type sheds more and offers the least protection against allergies.

How Generations Influence Coat Type

The generation of a Mini Labradoodle plays a significant role in the type of coat they have. Earlier generations, closer to the initial Poodle-Labrador mix, tend to have more variation in coat type, ranging from straight to wavy.

As you move towards later generations, where selective breeding for specific traits becomes more pronounced, you’ll find wavier or curlier coats, thanks to a stronger Poodle influence. This selective breeding aims to enhance hypoallergenic qualities and reduce shedding.

A Note on Improper Coats

A little known fact about Labradoodles is the phenomenon of “improper coats.” This term describes Labradoodles with mixed-type fur on different parts of their bodies—for example, curly legs but a wavy torso. It’s a testament to the genetic lottery that comes with mixed breeds and something potential owners should be aware of.

Considering Allergies and Shedding

While no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, Mini Labradoodles with wool or fleece coats are often better-suited for individuals with mild to moderate allergies. However, it’s wise to spend time with the dog before bringing them home to ensure your allergies can handle it.

Another little known fact is that allergens aren’t just in the fur. They can also be found in a dog’s saliva, urine, and feces, so managing allergies is about more than just dealing with shedding.

Mini Labradoodle with straight fur in pink sweater laying in the leaves.

Mini Labradoodle Colors

Mini Labradoodles come in an impressive array of colors and patterns, making each one uniquely adorable. Here’s an overview, starting from the most common to the least common colors:

  • Cream and Gold: The most popular colors. They range from a light, creamy hue to a richer golden shade.
  • Chocolate: A deep, rich brown, chocolate is another popular color in Mini Labradoodles.
  • Black: Black Mini Labradoodles are fairly common and have a striking appearance.
  • Red: This vibrant color is a bit less common but highly sought after. It’s a deeper, more intense shade than gold.
  • Apricot and Caramel: These are lighter and softer variations of red and gold.
  • Parti-Colored: These Labradoodles have two distinct colors, usually in a fairly even distribution. The combination can vary, but black and white is a common parti mix.
Labradoodle getting hugged byt a women in a blue shirt with long hair outside.

Mini Labradoodle Temperament

Mini Labradoodles are a delight when it comes to their personality. These little guys are bright and quick to learn, making training a breeze. They’re not just smart, but also incredibly affectionate, often forming strong bonds with their families.

These dogs are super friendly, able to get along in almost any setting — busy homes, quiet apartments, you name it. They’re great with kids and other pets, thanks to their gentle nature.

However, it’s important to note that Mini Labradoodles are energetic. Their moderate energy levels mean they’re always ready for action, whether that’s a walk, a game of fetch, or any interactive playtime. This need for regular exercise makes them best suited for individuals or families who can dedicate time to keeping them active and engaged.

Black Labradoodle puppy looking away from the camera.

Health and Lifespan

Mini Labradoodles, like all dog breeds, are prone to certain health problems. It’s important to be aware of these potential health conditions, particularly as they can inherit traits from both their Labrador Retriever and Miniature Poodle parent breeds. Here’s a rundown of some common health issues in Mini Labradoodles:

  1. Hip Dysplasia: This is a common condition in many dog breeds, where the hip joint doesn’t fit together perfectly, leading to arthritis or pain. It’s seen in both parent breeds.
  2. Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, but affects the elbows. It can lead to lameness or discomfort in the front legs.
  3. Eye Problems: Mini Labradoodles can inherit eye conditions like Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), cataracts, or glaucoma, which can lead to vision loss if not treated.
  4. Ear Infections: Due to their floppy ears, they’re more susceptible to ear infections.
  5. Skin Conditions: They can inherit skin issues such as atopy or sebaceous adenitis, which are often related to allergies and can cause skin irritation and hair loss.
  6. Addison’s Disease: This endocrine disorder, where the body doesn’t produce enough adrenal hormones, is found in Poodles and can appear in Mini Labradoodles.
  7. Epilepsy: Like their parent breeds, Mini Labradoodles can be prone to epilepsy, a neurological condition that causes seizures.

Regular vet visits and a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in mitigating these risks. Choosing a reputable breeder who screens for these conditions can also reduce the risk. Despite these concerns, Mini Labradoodles are generally hearty and healthy when properly cared for.

mini Australian labradoodle puppy with blue background and a large clip hanging from its collar.

Mini Labradoodle Lifespan

The Mini Labradoodles average lifespan generally ranges between 12 to 15 years, which is a fairly good stretch for a dog of their size.

Mini Labradoodle Care and Maintenance


Grooming a Mini Labradoodle is an important aspect of their care, given their coat types that tend to mat easily. Here are some grooming tips on how to keep them looking and feeling their best.

Coat Care

  • Brushing: Regular brushing is crucial, ideally a few times a week, to prevent matting and tangling, especially for wool and fleece coats.
  • Bathing: Bath them every two months or as needed. But don’t over-bath them as it can strip natural oils from their coat and skin.
  • Professional Grooming: Most Labradoodles will require professional grooming every 6-8 weeks. This includes trimming, especially around the eyes, ears, and paws, for better hygiene and comfort. The cost of professional grooming is around $60 to $120 depending on where you live.
Mini Labradoodle: Complete Guide With Little Known Facts - Red labradoodle with green background

Ear and Nail Care

  • Regular Checks: Check their ears weekly for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build-up, particularly because their floppy ears can trap moisture and dirt.
  • Cleaning: Clean their ears gently with a vet-recommended solution to prevent infections.
  • Nail Clipping: Trim their nails regularly to prevent overgrowth, splitting, or cracking.

Dental Care

  • Teeth Brushing: Regular dental care, including brushing their teeth, helps prevent dental diseases.

General Tips

  • Start Early: Get them used to grooming from a young age. After getting approval from your veterinarian, bring them to the groomers for a puppy special at around five or six months old. This generally includes trimming the hair around their eyes and a sani-cut.
  • Gentle Handling: Begin brushing them as soon as they come to live with you. Be gentle and patient during these grooming sessions to make it a positive experience.

Exercise requirements

Mini Labradoodles thrive on a mix of physical activity and brain games. They need at least an hour of exercise each day. This could mean walks, some fun time at the dog park, or even adventurous outings. They’re fans of variety, so changing up their activities will keep them happy.

These smart pups also love a good challenge for their brains. Try out puzzle toys, teach them new tricks, and get involved in interactive games. They often enjoy water, so swimming or other water-related activities can be a big hit.

Being sociable, fully vaccinated Mini Labradoodles benefit from interactions with other dogs, making playdates and dog park visits are great for socialization.

Red labradoodle sleeping on its side

Diet and nutrition tips

A well-balanced diet is crucial for the health and well-being of a Mini Labradoodle. Here are a few tips to ensure your furry friend gets the right nutrition:

  • Pick High-Quality Dog Food: Aim for food that lists real meat as the top ingredient and matches their life stage (puppy, adult, senior).
  • Manage Portion Sizes: Stick to the recommended portions to avoid overfeeding. Smaller dogs might need to eat more often—check with your vet for the best schedule.
  • Be Allergy-Aware: Keep an eye out for food allergies and consult your vet if you notice anything off.
  • Moderate Treats: Opt for low-calorie, nutritious snacks. Fresh fruits like apples and carrots can be great choices.
  • Fresh Water is a Must: Always make sure your Labradoodle has access to clean water.
  • Watch Their Weight: Regularly monitor their weight and adjust food intake to maintain a healthy condition.
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Training and Socialization

Training your Mini Labradoodle puppy is both rewarding and essential for their development. It is important to note that training not only includes teaching them commands, it also includes socializing them. Here are some tips on how to train and socialize your puppy.

Training Basics

  • Start Early: Puppies, especially in that golden window of 8 to 16 weeks, are like sponges. They soak up everything you teach them. Starting with simple commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘come’ lays a great foundation.
  • Be Consistent: Ensure everyone in the house uses the same commands and rules to avoid confusing your pup.
  • Use Positive Reinforcement: Reward your puppy with treats, praise, and playtime for getting things right. It makes learning enjoyable and builds a positive association with training.
  • Stay Patient: Mistakes happen. It’s part of the process, so keep patient and consistent.

Socialization Tips

  • Begin Early: Early socialization is crucial. Expose your puppy to different people, animals, environments, and sounds to help them grow into well-adjusted adults. Just make sure they are fully vaccinated before going places where unvaccinated dogs are or may have been.
  • Prevent Behavioral Issues: Proper socialization can ward off future problems like fear, aggression, or anxiety.
  • Puppy Classes: Consider enrolling in puppy classes for structured training and socialization opportunities. It’s also a great way to bond with your puppy and make new friends.
  • Seek Professional Help if Needed: If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to consult a professional trainer for additional guidance and support.

Watch out for the puppy blues. They are real and common when you first bring home a puppy. For tips on how to deal with the puppy blues check out my post; Puppy Blues: How to Overcome the Feeling of Regret

Cream colored Labradoodle running in grass

Finding Your Mini Labradoodle Puppy

Finding the perfect Mini Labradoodle puppy requires a bit of research and patience, especially if you’re looking for a reputable breeder or considering adoption from a rescue group.

Here are some tips on how to find a Mini Labradoodle puppy:

  • Research: Look for breeders who focus on Mini Labradoodles. They should be open about their practices and the health and temperament of their dogs.
  • Health Clearances: A good breeder will show health clearances for the puppy’s parents, reducing the chance of hereditary health issues.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask about the puppy’s health, upbringing, and breed characteristics. A trustworthy breeder will also ask you questions to ensure a good fit.

Considering Adoption

  • Rescue Groups: Many rescue organizations have Labradoodles and Mini Labradoodles looking for homes. Adopting can be very rewarding, offering a loving pet a second chance.

Whether you go through a breeder or adopt, taking your time to find the right puppy will ensure you bring home a loyal and loving companion.

Mini Labradoodle Prices

Mini Labradoodle prices vary based on a number of factors. To learn more, read our post on Mini Labradoodle Price: What Do They Cost in 2023?

Whether you choose a breeder or decide to adopt, remember that bringing a dog into your home is a long-term commitment. It’s important to choose a puppy or dog that matches your lifestyle and to be prepared for the responsibility of caring for a pet.

Mini Labradoodle Resources

Australian Labradoodle Association of America (ALAA)