What to Know About Owning a Labradoodle
The Labradoodle Breed
The labradoodle is a cross between a labrador and a poodle.
There are many variations out there. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on my own labradoodle, which is a cross between a miniature poodle and a labrador.
Sydney the Labradoodle
The labradoodle is one of the best family friendly dog breeds around, with the intelligence of a poodle and the loving retriever nature of the labrador in equal measures.
These dogs are generally extremely friendly both to other dogs and people, including young children. They are driven by food and always hungry, so training them can be easily achieved (they will do anything for a treat and once they have grasped the fact that a certain behaviour results in a treat, they will quickly catch on and memorise this).
Recall is very easy to establish, especially if trained while they are still in the puppy months (between one and six months old).
I'm not sure if this is the same for all labradoodles, but ours is super mischievous. At any given moment, he will have his head in places he shouldn't, eat things he shouldn't and investigate absolutely everything!
You may have heard of the expression 'he/she has the wind up his/her tail'. With the labradoodle, I like to refer to this as the 'Doodle Dash'. Every now and then, our labradoodle will literally go crazy and pelt around the front room. This usually happens just before 'walkies' time and is hugely entertaining, although it never agrees with a leather sofa as the video below demonstrates!
Undesirable Traits of a Labradoodle
- Chewing: Unfortunately, ours has developed a tenancy to munch on anything he can get his paws on. The mail is rarely received in a condition which can be read, my wife's Ugg boots no longer have soles on them and our house is littered with twigs and sticks that our loving labradoodle has bitten off the bushes in the garden and bought inside (through our cat flap) to chew on until they resemble a mushy mess trodden into the carpet.
- Separation anxiety: These dogs are obsessed with their owners and after installing a camera in our front room (so we could watch his behaviour when we went out without him), we discovered he would whine and howl for hours on end until his beloved owners returned. This was heart wrenching to watch and my wife has now become self-employed working from home in order to placate him. There are trainers and treatments out there to try and ease this stressful time if a family pet displays this type of behaviour but we have found these to be ineffective, so we have had to change our daily lifestyles as a result. If you are thinking of buying one of these breeds, please be aware of this and make sure they are not left alone for prolonged periods of time if possible.
- Grooming: These dogs require regular grooming and brushing out. They have beautiful coats, but if you are looking for a minimal maintenance coat, this is not the dog for you.
- Labradoodles can be a little 'licky': Ours has a tenancy to lick every visitor, including the cats when they come in from the garden. Sometimes this affection can be a unwanted, especially if your guests are not big fans of dog kisses!
Wet Head, Dry Body!
Desirable Traits of a Labradoodle
- Minimal moulting: As with the poodle background, the majority of labradoodles do not suffer with moulting. Once the puppy coat has been replaced with the adult coat, these dogs barely moult.
- Companionship: Labradoodles are extremely loyal and have a huge lust for life. They literally think their owners are the best thing since sliced bread and their loving nature is a constant reminder of their unbreakable loyalty to their owners.
- Retriever instincts: If your looking for a dog that will play fetch, the labradoodle has to be one of the front runners.
- Water loving: Labradoodles love the water (possibly down to the water dog traits of the poodle in them), so bathtime is as easy as you could wish for.
- Great with other pets: We have four cats and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, all of which get on very well with our labradoodle. They are a very tolerant breed and can live happily with other pets unlike many terrier breeds.