Labradoodles are a mix of Labrador retriever and Poodle. Although not recognized a standardized breed by the major kennel clubs, there are still breeders who go for this unique cross breed. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. While Labradors are a distinct shape and size, Labradoodles may be cross bred with a standard size poodle, a miniature or a toy and so the size could range from small to large. Labradoodles are a distinct breed and as such there are some behaviors that are unique to their type. Here are 20 things that only a Labradoodle owner would truly understand.
1. They will let you know when it’s time to wake up
Labradoodles don’t go by the same schedule that their humans do. They do what they feel like whenever the urge strikes them. If they decide that it’s time to play at 11:00 p.m., or worse yet, at 4:00 a.m., they are going to wake you up. They have a peculiar habit of jumping in the middle of their favorite person in bed. You can, however, temper this behavior by training them while they are still puppies. A full-grown doodle jumping on your belly could give you a terrible fright if you’re not expecting it.
2. They make you feel better if you have allergies
One of the best things about owning a Labradoodle if you have allergies is the fact that they are hypoallergenic. They are not big shedders either so this makes them the perfect furry pet for people who are otherwise allergic to pet hair. Under most circumstances, this cross-breed dog will bring you years of enjoyment without the runny nose and itchy eyes. Another benefit is that you won’t need to vacuum the carpet or upholstery near as often as with some other dog breeds who constantly shed. Labradoodles are gaining in popularity, and although they’re not officially recognized by the AKC, there is hope that one day they will be.
3. They give you unconditional love
When you cross a super friendly Labrador with a poodle that enjoys being a lap dog, you have a very friendly and loving dog that wants to give you cuddles, love and kisses. Every Labradoodle owner knows that their dog loves them unconditionally and will be waiting when they leave, anxiously for their return home. Your dog will walk you to the door and he’s be there when you get home because he just can’t wait to see you again. Even if you do something to annoy him every now and then, he’s a forgiving dog that doesn’t hold a grudge, well, at least most of them don’t.
4. Your dog can figure things out
Labradoodles are known for being highly intelligent dogs. They think on their feet and they’re good problem solvers. For example, if your pup sees a cat in a tree and there are objects stacked below that tree, he is very likely to attempt to uses the items as a stepping stool to reach the cat. If he really wants to get out of the yard and there is soft dirt under the fence, he will probably dig his way out. On a more positive note, these dogs also read the emotions that their owners are feeling. They know when you’re angry, happy or sad. When you’re feeling down, they are apt to lay a head on your lap or just quietly sit at your feet until you’re ready to get up. Your Labradoodle comes to know who you are over time and as the two of you grow together, your bond will strengthen.
5. It’s time to go for a walk
Labradoodles love to go for walks and yours is not shy about letting you know when it’s time. Because of the lab blood in them, this breed craves exercise and it’s not a good idea to keep them penned up for too long at a time. They need to get their exercise to help burn off some of the energy that builds up inside of them. It’s better for the house if you just give in and take them for a daily walk. Labradoodles have even been known to bring their leash to their owners to let them know that they’re ready to go for their daily walk around the neighborhood.
6. Your dog will amaze you with his lightning speed
Most Labradoodles take life on with gusto and they’re in a hurry to get to their desired destination. Its common to see a Labradoodle tearing through the house in excitement when they’re feeling frisky, which is fairly often. They meet challenges head on and when there is something that they very badly want, you may need to run to keep up. This includes chasing the neighborhood cat or a bird that is a few yards away. If you’re holding their leash, watch out for whiplash because it could happen if you’re not ready for a sudden lunge followed by the speed of a jackrabbit. The same is true when your doodle meets a new friend. He’ll meet the stranger with great enthusiasm.
7. Your doodle is the best family dog in the world
Labradoodles are loving pets when they are properly socialized. They enjoy being around people and thrive when they are given attention. They do very well with children and with other pets including other dogs and cats. This breed has also been successfully used as a therapy dog to help children and adults who are going through trauma. Because they are so loving and friendly, Labradoodles have the ability to offer comfort and a distraction for those who are undergoing crisis. While they are really good with people, Labradoodles don’t make the best service dogs such as guides for the blind, because of their huge reserves of energy. It can be hard for them to resist play time so this disqualifies most of them from becoming dogs that are used for serious work tasks.
8. Labradoodles invite strangers in for a cup of coffee
This has been an ongoing joke for a few years. Instead of guarding the home from strangers, your labradoodle is more likely to welcome them when they arrive on your doorstep. While this is a good thing if you have several trusted friends who stop by for a visit, it isn’t great when there’s a burglar prowling outside. Doodles do sound an alert bark when there is somebody around (sometimes), but they are so friendly that it doesn’t cross their minds that a visitor may have bad intentions. They just see a new friend that may be coming to play with them or offer a tasty treat.
9. Your labradoodle does need regular maintenance
Your doodle has a thick and curly type fur and while most of them do not shed much, their coat does need to be brushed about twice a week. Because of the texture and length of the hair, it can become tangled and develop mats easily. A good brushing will not only feel great, it will keep his coat looking its very best. They also need special attention paid to their ears. Wax and debris often collect in this area, along with oils so clean their ears and don’t forget to give their nails a clip every now and then. This will help to keep your labradoodle healthy and comfortable.
10. Labradoodles need to be kept busy
Because your pup is so intelligent, it’s important to keep him both physically and mentally stimulated. He enjoys challenges and is very good at figuring out new games. He is an inquisitive dog that enjoys playing fetch or catching a frisbee. He likes to go for walks, and be let off his leash for some backyard fun just running around at full tilt. The dog requires a fair amount of physical activity to keep his muscles well-toned and to burn off the energy that he has. When he doesn’t have anything to do and becomes bored, he is far more likely to become destructive. This includes chewing items from inside the house. Your dog might chew chews, slippers, socks or even his own bed. Some labradoodles have been known to chew up throw rugs and swallow the foam backing. A good idea is to have chew toys that are safe for your pet to play with.
11. Labradoodles need companionship
Because of the friendly nature of this dog, he craves company and does better when he is around other pets as well as his human family. If you leave your labradoodle alone for hours at a time, he may become lonely and depressed. If you have a job that keeps you out of the house for hours at a time, it may be a good idea to have another pet in the house to give your doodle some company. Since he gets along well with other pets, this is a good solution for the problem.
12. Be selective about the labradoodle breeder you buy from
In order to get the best results, it’s vital that the breeders are reputable and follow the required breeding practices to achieve the best possible results. There are some breeders that do not follow these principles and the result is a litter of puppies that may have genetic defects or traits that are more heavily weighted towards Labradors or poodles. This can mean that your new puppy will not have the desired traits, health or behaviors that you expect. It may also mean that you will pay a lot more in vet bills for medical expenses. Always investigate the reputation of the breeder before you purchase a labradoodle puppy because breeding practices make all the difference in the quality of the dogs that are produced. Labradoodle owners who have had negative experiences in this area understand this fact quite well.
13. Early socialization is a must
It’s always best to bring a new labradoodle into your home as a puppy. The younger the better, because they learn so quickly and you want to teach them the right things so the dog will become properly socialized to fit into your family and your lifestyle. Like every other kind of dog, doodles need to experience many different situations so they can learn the right way to behave in each circumstance. This means exposure to people of different types and ages, different sights and locations, going on trips in the car, and being around other pets. It’s more difficult to train a doodle that is older, because he’s already formed habits and in many cases, he may do things that you don’t like, but he won’t know that it is wrong. Starting early will get you both off to the best possible start on your new relationship and life together. When you start early and apply consistency in training, your doodle has the best chance of growing up to be a well-rounded dog.
14. Your dog comes from a healthy breed but there are still concerns
Labradoodles are a healthy dog breed in general, but there are some health conditions that they are prone to developing. This is why it’s important to choose a breeder that is known for producing quality puppies and having their dogs vet tested. If you’re considering bringing this breed into your home as a pet, you need to be aware of the more common associated health conditions that they may or may not develop. One of them is hip dysplasia. This is more common with Labrador retrievers and since they are half, it may develop in your labradoodle. Regular medical checkups can identify any health issues early so it’s important to start early with immunizations and visits to the vet to make sure that your pup stays healthy.
15. Labradoodles may develop allergies
Any dog, just like a person may have allergies to certain foods so it’s important to watch his diet and make sure that he is eating a high-quality type of food that agrees with his digestive system. There are three different types of allergies to be on the alert for and these include food allergies, which can be controlled with diet. Contact allergies happen when your dog is sensitive to certain substances or materials. This includes flea powders, shampoos, bedding and other chemicals. Your doodle may develop itchy skin that becomes red and irritated. You may need to change shampoos or discontinue use of flea powder and consult with your vet if the condition worsens. The third common type of allergy is the inhalant type. This is caused by airborne allergens which may include dust, mildew, mold and pollen. Some household fragrances or cleaners may also cause a reaction in your pet. The treatment for allergies depends on what your pet is allergic to and it may include dietary restrictions, environmental changes, and in some cases, the use of medications which are prescribed by your veterinary.
16. Labradoodles are highly adaptable but they need space
This particular dog breed is amenable and they adapt to most settings quite easily, but because of their temperaments and high energy levels, living in a small apartment or other cramped space is not recommended. Ideally, labradoodle owners will have a fenced back yard that has enough room for him to go off leash and get a good run in every now and then. It’s important to remember that this dog type needs to get regular exercise because of the high amounts of energy that they have. If you don’t have the room for him to stretch his legs or get the exercise that he needs, it may be a good idea to go with another breed until you move into a larger place or at least one that has a yard. If you’re an apartment dweller and you just have to own a labradoodle a good solution to the problem would be to ensure that you take your dog to doggie parks a few times a day so he can at least get some exercise from walking.
17. Off-leash time is important
Labradoodles do very well as jogging companions and they are likely to enjoy this time with you. This may not be enough exercise, however. Most labradoodle owners would agree that this dog needs to have off-leash time to run around, burn energy and to explore the environment around them. They are smart, and inquisitive and they do like to explore. It’s best to make sure that any time spent off the leash is in an area that is either fully enclosed, or safe, because they tend to be impulsive and may run out into the road into traffic. The perfect setting for a labradoodle is a home that has a large fenced yard, or in a rural location where he can safely roam the property and work of the head of steam that is frequently built up inside of him.
18. Labradoodles like to please you
Labradoodles are not only very smart, but they are eager to please their owners. This is a benefit when it comes to training. The best training method to use with this dog is positive reinforcement that is consistent and includes praise for a job well done. This is one of the traits that makes this breed a good choice for first time pet owners. Doodles do not require an overly firm hand because when they are properly socialized from early puppyhood, they know the right behaviors and even if they make mistakes now and then, their hearts are in the right places and they really do want you to be happy with them. They make wonderful companions for households with children because of their love to play and if they’re kept busy enough, they will make the perfect family pet.
19. Have reasonable expectations from your Labradoodle
Because your dog is so very smart and so eager to please you, it is easy to develop unreal expectations from him. While this dog is highly adaptable and can do well either in a city, suburban or rural environment, there are a few limitations that he will have. Your doodle should be allowed to stay inside the house as an indoor pet. This dog type does not do well when left outside, especially when the weather is foul. They are also sensitive and may not thrive if chained to a doghouse or kept in an outdoor kennel, as some breeders do. Even though this is an extremely active dog, when the sun sets and it’s time to go to bed, he will do best if he is allowed to have a bed inside of the family home that is warm and comfortable. It’s important to remember that this loyal and faithful companion dog just wants to be near you and other family members and if he is left outside alone, he will become lonely and may even get depressed.
20. Meal time is a special time for your labradoodle
Pet parents of labradoodles can attest to the fact that the quality and quantities of food are important when it comes to this breed of dog. Because Labrador retrievers are prone to the development of gastric torsion, this trait may easily be passed on to any labradoodle offspring as well. To lessen the risk of this happening, it’s best to begin with a healthy formula of dog food, and then set up a feeding schedule that includes the recommended amounts of food for the dog’s size, weight and activity levels, divided up over two or more feedings. It’s never a good idea to just leave one big heaping mound of food in a labradoodle’s bowl because not only will your pet suffer from gastric disturbances it’s also apt to pollute the air in your living environment when they pass wind nearby. This condition that is characterized by excessive gas buildups and bloating can be avoided by setting up the recommended feeding schedule along with the total avoidance of scraps from the table. You can get an amen on this tip from any doodle owner who has had to leave the room because of dog gas.