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Labradoodle Generations Explained (F1, F1B, F1BB, F2, F2B, F2BB, F3, Multigen)

generations of labradoodles

“What generation of Labradoodle are you looking for?”

If this question confuses you, don’t feel bad. Labradoodle generations can seem like a complicated topic.

If you are hoping to add a puppy to your family you have probably already wondered what size dog you would like, what breed, whether you should get a male or female. And, if you have decided on a Labradoodle, now you have to wrap your mind around generations?

If things like F1, F2BB, Multigen, etc. look like a secret code, we are here to be your personal decoder. A Labradoodle’s generation can impact many of their traits. So, knowing the most about your potential puppy will help you determine if it is a good match.

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If you’re an experienced doodle owner and still aren’t clear about the concept of Labradoodle generations, that’s okay too!  This article will help clear up the mystery and give you a better understanding of your furry best friend!

Why Do Labradoodle Generations Matter?

It is all about the DNA! Generation refers to the ancestry of a dog, which influences both physical characteristics and temperament. Genetics also play a role in potential health issues your Labradoodle may be at risk for.

Although responsible breeding can reduce the risk of some health issues, there is never a guarantee. So, if you are considering a Labradoodle (or any breed for that matter) you’ll want to consider investing in pet insurance.

This simple step can protect you from sudden (and often expensive) heath issues that require veterinary care. I recommend Healthy Paws as they offer one of the most affordable policies that also offers extensive coverage.

Labeling Labradoodle Generations

Understanding the terminology used when labeling generations is key. Here’s a quick “cheat sheet” for you to reference while reading about Labradoodle generations.

What does the “F” mean?

Every Labradoodle generation begins with the letter F.  This F stands for “Filial Hybrid.”  This refers to the dog being a mix of two purebred breeds.

What does the number mean?

The number is the generation of the dog. So, 1 is first generation, 2 is 2nd generation, 3 is 3rd generation, etc.

What does the “B” mean?

Sometimes you will see a B at the end of the generation. This indicates a backcross. Typically this means that the Labradoodle was bred back to a purebred Poodle. There may be times when they are backcrossed to a Labrador Retriever, but as this is very uncommon, this article will only use B to refer to a breeding back to a Poodle.

If there are two B’s listed in the generation indicator, that means that particular generation has been backcrossed with a Poodle twice.

Labradoodle Generations Chart

This table provides another helpful reference as you learn even more about Labradoodle generations. Do remember that the DNA percentages here are theoretical estimates. You can never fully predict the amount of each parent’s DNA a puppy will inherit.

labradoodle generations chart
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What is an F1 Labradoodle?

What is an F1 Labradoodle? This is the generation that is most thought of as the “classic” Labradoodle. It is a first generation cross of a purebred Labrador Retriever and a purebred Poodle. The DNA is roughly split 50/50 between the parent breeds.

This first generation has a large, diverse DNA pool. With this genetic diversity in mind, this first generation Labradoodle’s appearance can vary significantly. They can have the shorter, coarser coat of the Labrador Retriever, the curly coat of the Poodle, or something in between!

While an F1 Labradoodle will likely shed less than the average Labrador Retriever, there is a high likelihood that they will shed at least a little. Keep in mind that even this moderate shedding can trigger some allergies. If you need an allergy-friendly dog, the F1 Labradoodle is usually not the best generation to choose.

The upside to genetic diversity is that it lowers the risk of genetic health issues common in purebreds. Mixed breeds in general are at a lower risk of genetic diseases.

F1 Labradoodle Price

This generation is usually the least expensive. Prices will vary widely depending on breeder reputation, location, size and color. The F1 Labradoodle usually costs between $1,200 up to around $3,000. You should expect to pay more if you want a Toy or Mini Labradoodle.

F1 Labradoodles are the most frequent generation found in rescues and shelters across the country, so you may be able to save a bit of money by adopting.

F1 Labradoodle Picture

what is an f1 labradoodle
Rosie is one example of a Mini F1 Labradoodle. Photo courtesy of @rosie.mini.doodle on Instagram.

What is an F1B Labradoodle?

What is an F1B Labradoodle? Well, we know that F1 means a first generation Labrador Retriever and Poodle cross. So, an F1B would be a first generation Labradoodle crossed back with a Poodle.

As mentioned earlier it could mean the Labradoodle was bred back to a Labrador Retriever, but this is not common. It is usually safe to assume the B for “backcross” refers to a Poodle unless otherwise stated. 

By backcrossing to the Poodle, the F1B Labradoodle will lose some of its genetic diversity. When you add more Poodle, you add more Poodle DNA. However, the advantage to backcrossing is a more predictable coat. For allergy sufferers who are seeking a lower-shedding dog that is more likely to be hypoallergenic, the F1B Labradoodle is a safer choice.

F1B Labradoodle Price

An F1B Labradoodle generally costs more than an F1 as they are more sought after by allergy sufferers. Prices will vary widely depending on breeder reputation, location, size and color. F1B Labradoodles usually cost between $1,500 and $5,000. You should expect to pay more if you want a Mini or Toy Labradoodle rather than a Standard Labradoodle.

F1B Labradoodle Picture

what is an f1b labradoodle
Albus is one example of a Standard F1B Labradoodle. Photo courtesy of @dooditsalbus on Instagram.

What is an F1BB Labradoodle?

What is an F1BB Labradoodle? “BB” indicates two backcrosses. So, this is a litter bred with an F1B Labradoodle parent and a purebred Poodle parent.

This generation is a great pick for allergy sufferers. While there is never a guarantee that a Labradoodle will be hypoallergenic or non-shedding, the more Poodle DNA, the higher the chances it will be. 

Because the F1BB Labradoodle is so close genetically to a Poodle, there will be less genetic diversity. F1BB Labradoodles will likely have more traits typical to Poodles. This includes both appearance and personality.

While this more predictable coat is better for allergy sufferers, it also can be higher-maintenance and will need regular brushing to maintain it. Owners of this generation will especially want to invest in a quality brush like the Chris Christensen Big G Slicker Brush. It has a bit of a high price tag, but it’s essential for keeping your Labradoodle’s coat in good shape and free of matting.

Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush

F1BB Labradoodle Price

Like the F1B generation, the F1BB Labradoodles generally cost more as there are fewer litters and greater demand. Prices will vary widely depending on location, the reputation of the breeder, color, and size. On average, Labradoodles cost between $1,500 and $5,000.

F1BB Labradoodle Picture

what is an f1bb labradoodle
Rosie Mae is one example of an F1BB Labradoodle. Photo courtesy of @smalltowndoods on Instagram.
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What is an F2 Labradoodle?

What is an F2 Labradoodle? The simple answer is a second generation Labradoodle, but it can get a bit more confusing than that! There are a lot of different pairings that can result in an F2 Labradoodle including the following combinations:

  • F1 x F1
  • F1B x F1  
  • F1 x F2

And those are just a few! The most common pairing is two F1 Labradoodles, but that’s not always the most “ideal” combination from a breeding standpoint.

F2 Labradoodles are not super common. One reason for this is when you breed dogs with such a vast DNA pool, it is nearly impossible to predict the traits that will be passed on to the puppies. 

Often there are puppies in an F2 Labradoodle litter that are closer to a Labrador Retriever in personality and appearance. If allergies are not a concern, the F2 may be a good generation for you, especially if you prefer Labrador Retriever traits. 

F2 Labradoodle Price

This generation is often less expensive in comparison because of the unpredictability of their traits. Prices will vary widely depending on factors like color, size, location, and the reputation of the breeder.  F2 Labradoodles usually cost between $1,200 and $3,000 with Minis and Toys on the higher end of that range.

F2 Labradoodle Picture

what is an f2 labradoodle
Loki Lou is one example of a Standard F2 Labradoodle. Photo courtesy of @the.loki.bear on Instagram.

What is an F2B Labradoodle?

What is an F2B Labradoodle? This is a breeding of a second generation Labradoodle to a purebred Poodle. So, an F2 Labradoodle is backcrossed (which adds a B to the generation label) to a Poodle.

While the traits of an F2 Labradoodle tend to be fairly unpredictable, backcrossing it with the Poodle results in a bit more consistency. This will increase the chance of the puppies having a more allergy-friendly coat with less or no shedding. It also means that this generation is likely to have a curlier coat, which is higher maintenance. Like the F1B generation, this is a good choice for allergy sufferers.

Some breeders may refer to this generation as a Multigen Labradoodle. This label may be applied to any Labradoodle beyond an F2.

F2B Labradoodle Price

You can expect to pay slightly more for an F2B Labradoodle than an F2 as their coat traits will be more predictable. Prices will vary widely depending on breeder reputation, location, size and color. Labradoodles usually cost between $1,500 and $5,000. If you are looking for a Toy or Mini Labradoodle, expect a price towards the higher end of that range.

F2B Labradoodle Picture

what is an f2b labradoodle
Kai is one example of a Standard F2B Labradoodle. Photo courtesy of @lildoodledude_kai on Instagram.

What is an F2BB Labradoodle?

What is an F2BB Labradoodle? An F2BB Labradoodle is an F2 Labradoodle backcrossed to a Poodle twice. In other words, this means an F2B Labradoodle is bred to a purebred Poodle. This generation can also be referred to as a Multigen Labradoodle (more on that later!)

F2BB Labradoodles are very close to a Poodle in their DNA. If you refer back to the generations table posted above you will see that on average, this generation can have over 80% Poodle DNA.

This makes the F2BB Labradoodle a great choice for people wanting a low-shedding, allergy-friendly dog, as those traits are highly likely, though not guaranteed.

F2BB Labradoodle Price

The F2BB Labradoodle generation is less common than some of the other generations, so these puppies will usually be more expensive. Prices will vary widely depending on breeder reputation, location, size and color. Labradoodles usually cost around $1500 to $5,000.

F2BB Labradoodle Picture

what is an f2bb labradoodle
Toffee is one example of an F2BB Labradoodle. Photo courtesy of @toff.toff.thedoodle on Instagram.

What is an F3 Labradoodle?

What is an F3 Labradoodle? It is a third generation Labradoodle, also referred to as a Multigen Labradoodle. Like the F2 generation, the F3 Labradoodle does not offer consistency or predictable traits.  So, if you need a specific type of coat, the F3 Labradoodle would not be a good choice.

F3 Labradoodle Price

F3 Labradoodles are rare, but also not one of the generations with a super high demand.  As such, prices can vary widely. Expect to pay in the ballpark of $1,200 to $5,000 depending on size, color, breeder, and location.

F3 Labradoodle Picture

what is an f3 labradoodle
Niko is one example of a Miniature F3 Labradoodle. Photo courtesy of @niko__thedood on Instagram.

What is a Multigen Labradoodle?

What is a Multigen Labradoodle? Also referred to as a Multigenerational Labradoodle, this refers to any Labradoodle that is greater than an F2 generation. This includes  F2B, F2BB, F3, and beyond. If you find a litter of Multigen Labradoodles, the breeder should be able to tell you the specific generation.

Multigen Labradoodle Price

As “Multigen” covers a variety of different Labradoodle generations, prices can vary significantly.  In general, Labradoodles tend to cost between $1,200 and $5,000.  Whether your future dog falls on the higher or lower end of that range depends on location, breeder, size, color, and other factors.

Multigen Labradoodle Picture

what is a multigen labradoodle
Toby is one example of a Multigen Labradoodle. Photo courtesy of @toby__labradoodle on Instagram.

F1 vs F1B Labradoodle: Which of These Labradoodle Generations Are Better?

Which is better, the F1 vs F1B Labradoodle? This is all a matter of perspective! If you have fallen in love with that classic Labradoodle appearance, then an F1 might be your top choice. The genetic diversity of the F1 also offers a lower chance of genetic health issues from popping up down the road. 

If allergies are a concern, the F1B is by far a safer bet. Since this generation is closer genetically to a Poodle, it will greatly increase the odds that your puppy will inherit the non-shedding and hypoallergenic coat.  If your allergies are severe, keep in mind that F1BB and F2BB generations carry even more Poodle DNA.

F1 vs F2 Labradoodle: Which of These Labradoodle Generations Are Better?

F1 Labradoodles tend to be easier to breed and offer more predictable puppies than F2 Labradoodles. So, the quick answer to the F1 vs F2 Labradoodle question is that the F1 generation is usually a better choice.

However, if you prefer a Labradoodle that is more similar to a Labrador Retriever and you don’t care about shedding, the F2 could be a good choice for you. They can sometimes be a bit less expensive that F1 Labradoodles. 

F1B vs F2B Labradoodle: Which of These Labradoodle Generations Are Better?

When it comes to the F1B vs F2B Labradoodle, these generations are very similar, so it’s a tough question to answer. Being backcrosses with purebred Poodles, they both offer fairly predictable traits, making them both good choices for allergy sufferers.

More important than the specific generation you choose is the breeder. A responsible breeder will do extensive genetic testing to make sure they are limiting the risk of health concerns. Do your research on the breeder, talk to past puppy owners, and compare prices.  These factors should be far more influential in your puppy selection than the slight difference between these two generations.

What Generation Labradoodle is Best?

Ask any Labradoodle owner and they are likely to tell you their dog’s generation is the best!  After all, they may be a bit biased!

To determine what generation Labradoodle is best for your family, you need to factor in allergies, shedding, appearance, cost, health, and personality.

If someone in your household has allergies, my first recommendation would be the F1BB Labradoodle generation followed by the F2BB, F1, and F2B in that order. This will help you maximize the potential that your dog will be low or non-shedding.

If allergies aren’t your focus and you have fallen in love with that classic Labradoodle look, the F1 Labradoodle would be a good choice.  It also offers the greatest genetic diversity and a comparatively low price.

Overall, finding a responsible breeder is just as important as which Labradoodle generation you choose. A good breeder will match up parents and do genetic testing to maximize the chance for healthy puppies.

Pair good breeding practices with great pet insurance and you will be on your way to having a long, happy life with your Labradoodle puppy.

Not Sure Which Generation Your Labradoodle Is?

If you are not sure which generation your Labradoodle is, in most cases your breeder should be able to let you know.

However, if you have lost touch with your breeder or you adopted your Labradoodle through a rescue, how can you find out?

Embark’s mail-in DNA testing kits can help! Many Doodle owners have had success with this simple to use product.

A swab from your dog’s cheek can give you access to your dog’s ancestry. It can even help you locate your Labradoodle’s relatives. Most importantly, it can alert you to potential health risks all just by looking at your pup’s DNA.

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