A first generation hybrid Labradoodle is the product of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. They generally are minimal to moderate shedders, however some will still be seasonally heavy or heavy shedders. Pups in the same litter can vary in coat and physical traits. This is not the best cross for people with severe allergies** as they are not necessarily 50% Labrador Retriever and 50% Standard Poodle; which genes get passed down is determined by chance. So, an F1 doodle could have a flat, retriever-like coat that sheds, or a poodle-like coat (same principle theoretically applies to personality/temperament). Many have a classic, shaggy, not very curly coat.
First generation Labradoodles have the great labradoodle intelligence with higher "lab like" energy and drive. First generation Labradoodles are of excellent temperament and health if the parents are of the same quality. First generation Labradoodles do not require grooming near as often as other types of Labradoodles or Standard Poodles. making them ideal for busy families who may not have time for the regular brushing and grooming requirements that other generations of labradoodles need. They can be taken to a groomer for a shorter cut to help with any shedding they may have, or left long and brushed out once or twice a week.
F2, F3 and Higher
Labradoodle Genetics 101
The second generation Labradoodle is produced by crossing the F1 or F1B with an F1B (An F1 should never be crossed with an F1 as this will result in 25% of the puppies having improper furnishings). Third generation is an F2 or F2B to an F2 or F2B. If you were to cross an F1 or F1B to an F2 or an F2B it will still be considered a second generation. When a Labradoodle is 4 or more generations in to the breed (both parents are an F3 or greater) they are considered Multigeneration Labradoodles. They also have a higher success rate for minimal shedding and are recommended for families with moderate to severe allergies** and have a desirable coat in texture and quality. They maintain the labradoodle temperament and are sociable, friendly, non-aggressive, and extremely intuitive. Depending on the coat type, they will require semi-regular brushing and visits to the groomer anywhere from every 4 to 8 weeks. (Breeding dogs that are F1B and above should be tested for their genotype of the Furnishings gene. If both sire and dam carry copies of the improper furnishing gene 25% of the puppies will have improper furnishings.) Each generation becomes more likely to be low-shedding and allergy friendly but there is still some variance within each litter. Please review the table below for the shedding variations in each generation. For families who place a high importance on low-shedding this information will be very important when deciding which generation to add to their family.
The term "labradoodle" can be slightly confusing as there are many different variations, first generations, F1B, multi-generation, Australian. Here is an explanation of the types of labradoodles to help prospective owners understand more about the differences between them and decide which type is the best for their family. Check out the survey results at the bottom of the page to give more of an idea of statistically what type of shedding is found in each type of doodle.
The Australian Labradoodle has other dog breeds infused into their blood lines, in addition to Labrador and Poodle. English and American Cocker Spaniel/Poodle crosses (i.e. Cockapoos), Two Irish Water Spaniels and Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers were used in some Australian Labradoodle lines. Coat texture is either silky fleece (preferred) or soft spiraling wool and sometimes you can get variations on the wave from straight to curly. True to the Australian Labradoodle standard in physical appearance, and pedigree, consistently minimal shedding fleece sheepdog like coat. Due to this type of coat Australian Labradoodles require brushing several times a week and need to be blown dry after a bath to prevent matting. They should see a groomer every 4-6 weeks as well.
F1B results when you take the above referenced F1 Labradoodle and breed with a Standard Poodle. Since the F1 dogs can shed and have a course wiry type coat, the Poodle is bred with the F1 Labradoodle to “correct the coat”. The F1B generation can favor more of a poodle type coat with the wavy/curly fleece and sometimes wool coats but still retains the unique Labradoodle look. F1B Labradoodles tend to be friendlier to families with allergies** than F1 doodles because genetically, they are more Poodle than Labrador. If severe allergies** are a concern for a family then an F1BB may be the right option - that would be a F1Bx Poodle, and these Labradoodles will most likely have a lot of curl and very little dander. Both the F1b and F1bb will have the intelligence, eagerness to please, and love of learning that make them such a sought-after breed. They will require semi-regular brushing and taken to the groomer anywhere from every 6 to 8 weeks. (You may also see an F1b where a labradoodle is backcrossed to a labrador. This is not proper breeding practices as this only increases the likelihood of shedding as well as increases the risk of improper furnishings.)
So – why an F1, F1b, F2 or multi-generation Labradoodle? It is really hard to say which is best for you - there are different puppies in each litter that have varying coats - so, pick a puppy that you think is best for you in coat style and looks BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, in personality! The coat, temperament/personality, and intelligence are what make Labradoodles so lovable!
**A note on shedding and allergies:
If someone in your family has severe allergies, it is important to understand that no Labradoodle (or dog) is 100% hypo-allergenic or non-shedding. Poodle coats lack the the dander to which some people are allergic. This is why many “designer dogs” and service animals are the result of a Poodle-cross. Further, there are no dogs that do not shed at all, but some shed significantly more than others. Labrador Retrievers, like most dogs, have fur that grows to a certain length and then falls out. This happens year-round, and more so as the seasons change (this is called “flushing” their coats). Poodles, however, have coats like people hair; it continues to grow and does not fall out all at once, and the hairs that do fall out tend to cord so they are only released during a brushing. This means that Labradoodles do require more grooming than some other breeds — anywhere from 2-6x per year they should be clipped, depending on how quickly the individual dog’s coat grows, and the “look” you are going for! Many doodle coats require semi-regular brushing in order to avoid matting, like most curly/wavy/long-haired dogs. While for many people this additional cost and time commitment in no big deal, consider these things when determining if it is the right time to bring a Labradoodle into your family.
It is important to understand that no one can be 100 %certain what a Labradoodle’s permanent adult coat will look like until they are at least 18-24 months of age. Their coats can and will change color and type between birth and adulthood. They change a lot in the puppy’s first few months of life, and will go through 2-3 more distinct phases before reaching its permanent coat type. During these changes, you may experience some increased shedding.