If you are looking into bringing a new pet into your home, you are likely considering a variety of factors. So, if you have found the perfect breed for you (like the Labradoodle) and then see the price tag, you might be alarmed and consequently hesitant to make the purchase. Before you change your mind about this lovable breed, perhaps you should consider why they are so expensive and what makes them worth it.
Why are Labradoodles so expensive, and are they worth it? This breed is a specialty breed that requires additional health and genetic testing to ensure the breed’s integrity, it is a mixed breed, is low- to non-shedding, high-energy, playful, loyal, intelligent, easy to train, family-friendly, requires moderate maintenance, wants to be your best friend, and gets along with other people and pets. They are worth their cost!
Though the average price tag of around $2,500 from a reputable breeder can seem extreme for some aspiring pet owners, almost any Labradoodle owner would tell you that the initial cost is worth it. Keep in mind that responsible breeding will inevitably come at a high cost as these breeders follow strict guidelines for maintaining your dog’s healthy bloodline. Spending less on a Labradoodle could be a red flag for irresponsible breeders attempting to cut corners and jeopardize your pet’s health.
What Makes Labradoodles so Expensive (and Worth It)?
As mentioned, there are many reasons that Labradoodles are such an expensive breed, but most owners would say that their up-front cost is well worth the investment. Consider this list of reasons why Labradoodle puppies are expensive so that you can decide for yourself if this breed is worth the cost to you and your family. You will likely find that these sweet pets are worth every penny!
1. Labradoodles are a Specialty Breed
Labradoodles are from a specialty breeding stock as they are a mix between a loyal, playful Labrador Retriever and an intelligent and refined Poodle. As such, they have become increasingly popular due to the rare traits that they can offer from their combination of both breeds.
Additionally, due to their specialty, they require additional medical testing for their lineage and bloodline protection. This ensures the health and wellness of the pet as well as the integrity of a responsible breeder. This prevents backyard breeders from turning into puppy mills that churn out as many puppies as possible to make a quick buck. In the case of a mixed breed, a health guarantee is not given lightly and you will find that a reputable breeder will have a tough time cutting corners.
To maintain the breed’s integrity, a high amount of health testing is required. This adds up to the costs for the breeder and consequently for you. It can also make the waiting list unbearably long.
2. Australian Labradoodles are a Rare Breed
Similar to them being a specialty breed, they are a rare breed. Distinguishably, since they come from two different breeds (the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle), their rarity has to be tested. They will have to come from a purebred Poodle and a purebred Labrador to be indeed considered a true Labradoodle. This combination can be rare.
Because of this, the strict testing required to maintain the breed’s integrity tests for common health issues among both Labradors and Poodles (as well as what is known about the Labradoodle). This includes tests for elbow and hip dysplasia, eye-related disorders, and DNA testing for a disease common in poodles called Von Willebrand’s Disease.
All of these tests, as well as the other standard health tests that puppies must go through before a breeder can responsibly pass off their dog to you, make the price tag for these pups go higher than others. Not only is the breed a specialty breed, but the rare combination of two purebred dogs results in a rare breed that is highly sought after. Since the demand for these pups exceeds the true supply, their costs are higher.
3. Labradoodles are a Mix of Two Great Bloodlines
As mentioned, Australian Labradoodles are a mix of the Labrador and the Poodle.
Not only are both of their parent dogs highly sought after for their looks and personalities, but they generally have strong, healthy bloodlines as well. This means that your Labradoodle will inherit the best of both worlds from these two breeds ensuring lovability and good health- two highly desirable characteristics in a dog.
From the Labrador parent, your Labradoodle will inherit traits such as loyalty, a social, fun-loving nature, good health, and an easy temperament to get along with and train. These qualities rank high for this pet as they are easy to love for both their owners and strangers- something that is not always common in dogs.
From the Poodle parent, your Labradoodle will inherit positive traits like high levels of intelligence, refinement, trainability, and loyalty. This breed is highly sought after by those who are looking to find an obedient, gorgeous dog, so it is understandable why the genetic crossbreed for a Labradoodle would seek out these parent breeds.
These healthy, lovable dogs make for a great combination that was intentionally chosen by responsible breeders looking for a pet to remain happy and healthy throughout its life. You cannot go wrong with a Labradoodle considering the strong lineage that it comes from. A healthy dog will also keep vet bills low. Veterinary care should always figure into your Labradoodle costs budget. Vet visits from adopting an unhealthy puppy can and will add up before you know it.
Pet stores should be avoided, as they often source their puppies from puppy mills.
4. Labradoodles are Low- to Non-Shedding
For aspiring pet owners that have allergic reactions or are easily irritated by the pollen and dander on dogs, the Labradoodle can be a great fit. While no dog is truly hypoallergenic (as they all have at least a tiny bit of dander and pollen), the Labradoodle generally sheds very little and is therefore described as a more hypoallergenic dog.
Keep in mind, though, that this breed can have three coat varieties (more due to the breeding process than anything) and each of these varieties will cause a different amount of shedding. The Labradoodle can have a straight coat, wavy coat, and curly coat. There is wide range of colors that come with each coat type. This variety of coat colors is the same as the parent Labrador Retrievers and Poodles.
Straight or flat coat type Labradoodles generally shed the most of the three, though this is still a moderate amount of shedding compared to other breeds. This variety can be avoided by responsible breeding. Wavy coat Labradoodles generally have low to no shedding. Curly coat Labradoodles almost always have a low-shedding coat as well as no odor.
Knowing what you are looking for, even among various puppies in a Labradoodle litter, can help you to choose the pet that is best for you and your family. If you are looking for a Labradoodle that sheds the Knowing what you are looking for, even among various puppies in a Labradoodle litter, can help you to choose the pet that is best for you and your family. If you are looking for a Labradoodle that sheds the least, and are willing to pay the higher price of a Labradoodle, the wavy type of coat Labradoodle could be right for you.
5. Labradoodles are High Energy
Though high levels of energy might not be sought after by some aspiring pet owners, the Labradoodle’s high energy level is something that many pet owners are after and is a reason that you may pay a higher price tag for this breed. If you are looking for a dog that you can take with you for any activity, this is a great breed.
Labradoodles get most of their energy from their Labrador heritage as these dogs are active and want to exercise as much as possible. They are considered to be playful dogs more than they are considered to be working dogs, so they will likely enjoy a game of fetch and a day out at the park more than they would enjoy pulling heavy weights.
This is great for you, though, because you will be able to provide for their physical exercise needs as long as you are willing to engage your Labradoodle in play. For families, this can be a great option as this dog will want to be a part of all of your fun-filled family activities. Having a fun-loving breed can come at a higher price, but it will make your memories all the more worth it.
6. Labradoodles are Playful
More than simply being an active breed, this dog is playful. The difference here is that you will not always have to be the one to entertain your pet, though they will always appreciate your company. This can be a huge win for many pet owners that enjoy watching their pets entertain themselves with a new favorite toy.
Though the Labradoodle will want you to get down on the floor with or run alongside them, they will not require this of you at all times to be happy. They will engage with new toys, new people, and new pets almost immediately. It is very rare to find a stubborn Labradoodle that can put many dog owners at ease.
Along with this, their playfulness is endearing for your friends, family, and guests as well. Instead of having to worry about what you will do with your dog when your guests come over, you can rest assured that your Labradoodle will be ready to play with any of them. Though, since they are easily trained, you can expect your Labradoodle to be on their best behavior.
7. Labradoodles are Loyal
Both their Labrador and Poodle parents offer a great quality for the Labradoodle: loyalty. This breed will remain loyal to its family members and will want to please you as well. Loyalty is an incredibly important aspect in many ways, and it is what gives dogs the reputation of being “man’s best friend”.
Loyalty in a Labradoodle means that they will stick by your side no matter what. Since Labradoodles are non-aggressive and are easy to get along with, loyalty will mean that they will go wherever you (want them to) go, and will always be up for spending time with you.
This means that if you are looking for a cuddly dog, you can expect your Labradoodle to show you affection. If you are looking for an active dog to bring along on a hike, the Labradoodle will be the perfect fit. Their ability to mold into whatever type of playful, loving dog you are looking for has won them over in the hearts of Labradoodle owners and gives them another reason that their price tag is well worth it
8. Labradoodles are an Intelligent and Healthy Breed
Though Labradoodles get a high level of intelligence from their Labrador parent, this trait is carried through from their Poodle mom or dad. While some people enjoy the goofiness that can come along with a less intelligent breed, intelligence is a highly sought-after trait that is worth paying for.
Intelligence in a Labradoodle means that they will be able to read social cues, predict your next move, be aware of their surroundings, and show signs of affection when you need one. Their chief aim is to please you, and they are smart about knowing how to do so.
This also helps in obedience training which comes in handy in many different scenarios. Your Labradoodle will show intelligence in the ways that it learns tricks and commands, as well as when it sees that you are sad and will come to give you some puppy love. Having an intelligent dog can ease your mind about many situations- especially since this breed is not generally rude or bossy and uses its intelligence in a very positive light.
9. Labradoodles are Easy to Train
Along the line of being highly intelligent, the Labradoodle is an easy breed to train. Their high level of intelligence as well as their aim to please you in all situations helps them to want and to be good at learning what your expectations of them are in obedience training.
Being able to easily train your Labradoodle will mean that you will not spend an excessive amount of time on potty training them or teaching them how to behave around people. You will be able to tell them to get down off of people and furniture- especially as their friendly nature will make them want to say hi to everyone and everything that passes by.
Plus, their trainability makes them easier when going out in public, too. This is a breed that can be around other pets, animals, and loud distractions while still maintaining a level of composure that takes the work off of you from having to make them listen. You will likely spend just a few weeks or short months intentionally training your pet, followed by consistent training at home, and your Labradoodle will be good to go.
10. Labradoodles are Family-Friendly
Another reason that people are willing to pay a higher Labradoodle prices is that they fit into almost any positive family dynamic. These dogs are great with people and will be easily excitable when you arrive home after a long day. They are wonderful with children and adults of all ages.
Labradoodles are also non-aggressive which makes them easy to get along with in your home. They are good with other pets as they have an easy, positive, and social demeanor. They are also incredibly patient and loyal, so they will wait right by your side if you are working on a task or you need their assistance.
This can work well for families with people who experience limited mobility, too. They are conscious of their surroundings and are careful not to knock you down- though be mindful of their wagging tail and ensure that you train them to stay down when they become excited. A dog that can fit into any family is worth paying a higher price for.
11. Labradoodles Only Require Moderate Maintenance
Labradoodles, since they do not shed too much, do not require extensive grooming. Rather, they will need to have regular brushing a few times per week to avoid clumps and knots in their curly hair. While they will need to be taken to a groomer to be trimmed, this will not occur too regularly. Medical costs are kept to a minimum due to genetic diseases (such as elbow dysplasia and ear infections) being bred out of their bloodlines by a reputable breeder.
Next, in terms of activity level, they can wear you out, but they (fortunately) can entertain themselves as well. They do not qualify as low-maintenance in terms of physical activity required considering they do need to go on daily walks and receive at least 30-minutes of exercise each day (accompanied by free play).
While they are emotional beings and will desire to be right by your side during most of the day, they are not overly needy. Be sure to watch for signs of separation anxiety, but know that this is not terribly common with this breed. They should not be left alone for longer than 4-6 hours, as is standard with most breeds, but they will do ok by themselves for a little while and will be excited when you come home.
12. Labradoodles want to be your Best Friend
If you are bringing a new pet into your home, it is likely because you think that they will be a good fit for your family and add value to your life. The right breed will mesh well into your lifestyle and will learn to anticipate your routine and behaviors. Few breeds do this as well as the Labradoodle.
Due to their loyal and friendly nature as well as their affection towards you, the Labradoodle wants nothing more than to be your best friend. They will go where you go and will engage in fun and play all day long. When they see that you prefer some quiet time, they are calm enough to simply sit next to you and enjoy some snuggle time.
Plus, their desire to be your best friend makes training them that much easier. They will become so excited to hear that they are a “good boy” or a “good girl” and will happily comply with your commands. This dog is easy to fall in love with as this is their only hope and their life’s goal with you.
13. Labradoodles Get Along with People and Pets
One of the final qualities that will be mentioned about why Labradoodles are well worth their cost is that they get along so well with people and pets. They are easily lovable in their appearance, temperament, and personality, and their social nature helps others to fall in love with them, too.
Having a dog that gets along well with people and pets is incredibly helpful for family dynamics, having guests over, and being in public. You will not have to worry about how your dog will react when a stranger approaches unless you are worried that their happily wagging tail may become destructive. Excessive licking and joy are the only real “worries” that you will have to have with them when they are around other people and pets.
Additionally, this makes them an easy dog to bring into the family whether they are the first pet on board or are joining a home that already has pets. These dogs tend to get along well with any other breathing creature, so you can rest assured that a great deal of money will not be wasted on bringing home a dog that can get along with just about anyone or anything. These dogs are cute, easy to love, and well worth their higher price tag.
If the cost is a roadblock to getting your own Labradoodle, try the rescue dogs route. Rescue Labradoodles are the perfect choice if you are looking for a loving companion who will make your life better. Reputable rescues occasionally have service or therapy dogs that are retired or no longer needed.
You should always be prepared to pay for some kind of training class and behavioral advice, just as if you were buying a new puppy.
Remember that rescue shelter animals may have been abused or neglected before they were rescued. Some may be aggressive or have temperamental issues.
You will probably have to spend about $500 a year on quality food costs. You might be able to get this for as low as $300 if you manage to find quality dog food at a discount store.
The average cost of grooming a Labrador Retriever is between $260 and $960. Professional dog grooming services often include bathing, shampooing, hair removal (if necessary), brushing, styling, nail trimming, teeth brushing, and ear and eye cleaning.
If your puppy is young enough to require potty training, consider around $45 to your budget for a metal wire crate with a divider panel. Add to this a bed, brushes, toys, treats, poop bags, shampoo, and other daily needs.