1 year old labradoodle

1 Year Old Labradoodle Traits and Care

A 1 year old Labradoodle has come a long way since you collected them 10 months earlier. We take a look at what milestones they’re reaching, and how to keep giving them the best possible care as they enter into adulthood.

A 1 year old Labradoodle is on the cusp of adulthood. Lots of things should be much easier now than when they were a puppy, but there’s still plenty of training to think about, and important decisions to make.

This video is a poignant celebration of just how much a Labradoodle puppy changed by their first birthday. Let’s find out more about what’s likely to be going on in young Tarzan’s life.

How much should a 1 year old Labradoodle weigh?

By their first birthday, a Labradoodle has achieved most of their adult weight. Most female Labrador Retrievers weigh between 55 and 70 pounds, whilst males weigh between 65 and 80lbs. Of course, some outliers are larger or smaller! In the Standard Poodle breed, females usually weigh between 40 and 50 pounds, and males weigh 60 to 70 pounds. This means that female Labradoodles are likely to weigh between 40 and 70 pounds fully grown, whilst males will weigh 60 to 80 pounds. Their exact adult weight will depend upon things like:

  • the size of their parents
  • whether their Labrador parent was of working or show type
  • and natural variation among individuals.

According to studies charting dog growth, Labradoodle-sized dogs have achieved most of their adult size by the time they turn a year old, and usually only gain a couple more pounds before reaching their stable adult weight.

1 year old labradoodle

Skinny 1 year old Labradoodle

If you’re worried that your Labradoodle looks underweight, it’s important to get them checked over by a vet. But that said, it’s not unusual for a skinny 1 year old Labradoodle to get a clean bill of health. Lots of dogs go through a period during adolescence where they hardly seem to be able to put weight on. If you’re more used to seeing purebred Labs, this stage can seem especially pronounced in Doodles who have inherited a very Poodle-esqe physique. It can even be tempting to try and ‘feed them up’. But in the next section we’ll see why that’s not a good idea.

How much to feed a 1 year old Labradoodle

When your Labradoodle puppy was younger, the amount of food they needed every day would have increased every couple of months or so. Growing bigger bones, muscles, organs and all the other tissues which support them required a huge amount of energy! But as they approach their first birthday, it’s likely the recommended portion size on the packaging has started going down now instead. That’s because the rate at which they are growing has slowed down too.

Always stick to the portion sizes as recommended on the packaging of your Labradoodle’s food. If you’re worried that your Labradoodle appears underweight, consult a vet before making changes to their diet. Overfeeding a young dog can easily result in digestive upsets, vomiting and diarrhea. Furthermore, research indicates that we pet owners are not the best judges of whether our dogs are a healthy size, and tend to mistake a slightly overweight body condition for being ideal, and ideal condition for being slightly underweight. So if your 1 year old Doodle is looking like a skinny teenager, but their veterinarian has given them a clean bill of health, it’s ok to trust that they will naturally fill out in the coming months, without extra helpings of food.

Best dog food for a 1 year old Labradoodle

If your Labradoodle has been eating a specifically formulated puppy diet until now, this is the time to decide what adult diet they’re going to eat instead. If they’re eating a diet labelled as being suitable for all life stages, then you don’t need to do this (unless you want to). Adult diets tend to be less calorie dense than puppy diets. This means that their portion sizes don’t have to shrink much, despite their energy needs decreasing! If your Doodle has inherited the Labrador’s hearty appetite, this might be particularly appealing to you. You might also find that it means you have more kibble pieces available for training with.

If you’re not sure which commercial dog food to choose, ask your veterinarian or breeder for recommendations. Since Labradors and Poodles are both large dogs prone to joint problems, you might like to choose a diet supplemented with glucosamine for joint health for example.

1 year old Labradoodle behavior

We’re all familiar with the adage that ‘1 human year equals 7 dog years’. It’s a pithy way of making the point that people tend to live 7 times longer than dogs. But, just like us, dogs’ physical and mental development doesn’t happen at a steady rate over the whole course of their life. Most of it happens at the beginning! Very roughly, this means a 1 year old Labradoodle is more akin to a 15 year old teenager than a 7 year old child in terms of development and behavior. And of course, this means they’re right in the middle of adolescence!

Adolescence is often a challenging time for dog owners. 1 year old Doodles can go from being sweet and biddable, to headstrong and seemingly deaf. And can seem quite hyperactive at times! Their wild ancestors would be able to hunt and explore separately from their family group by now. Your pampered domestic puppy is also likely to be experiencing a surge of confidence in their own decision making prowess, which is a legacy of that shift. This could manifest as running off to explore or greet other dogs on walks, and ignoring your attempts to call them back. Rest assured that the trials of adolescence are partly a phase, and one which your Labradoodle will come to grow out of. But next let’s look at how training during this period can stop a few wild adventures turning into a lifetime of bad habits.

How to train a 1 year old Labradoodle

It’s not unusual for your training to feel a bit like it’s unravelling around the time of your Labradoodle’s first birthday. Most puppy parents know the embarrassment of being ignored by a teenage dog! Rather than press ahead with what you think they should be capable of, it’s better to adjust your expectations. Using an established cue and being ignored weakens that cue in future. Letting it happen several times poisons the cue forever.

Hopefully whilst you’ve been training you’ve been thinking about the effect of distractions and how to overcome them. Distractions reduce the likelihood of a dog giving the correct response to a cue. Example of distractions include other dogs near by, interesting scents on the ground, and being physically distant from you. Adolescence is also a distraction – just one that’s temporarily built into your dog! You can overcome the distracting effect of adolescence by:

  • Making sure all other distractions are at a minimum when you use your cues.
  • Rewarding good choices with extra high value treats.
  • Preventing your Doodle from getting into situations where they will be too distracted to listen. For example by using a long line on walks.
  • Temporarily dropping back to a previous, easier stage in your training for a while, to reinforce basic principles.

The key is to protect your cues from the distracting effect of adolescence until it passes. Which it will!

1 year old Labradoodle for sale – is it a good idea?

We’ve seen that the period around a Labradoodle’s first birthday really is one of transition, from puppyhood to adulthood. And a frequent question our readers have is, ‘is this a good age to buy a Labradoodle at?’

Raising a dog from puppyhood isn’t for everyone. The sleepless nights, the teething, and the potty training are all intense and disruptive. Meanwhile, older puppies and dogs may be offered for adoption because their first family’s circumstances have changed and they’re no longer able to keep hold of them. Or a 1 year old Australian Labradoodle may be advertised for sale by a breeder who was keeping hold of them as potential breeding dog, but has since decided that they’re not breeding quality. Older puppies are also sometimes offered for adoption or sale by charities who train service dogs and medical detection dogs, because they weren’t quite making the grade.

On the other hand, some 1 year old Labradoodles are offered for sale by disillusioned owners because they have developed problem behaviors such as separation anxiety or leash reactivity. In these cases the current owners are unlikely to be completely honest about the struggles they’re having. They’re more likely to just say things like ‘he’s a lovely dog, but he just deserves more than we can give him right now’. As well as spotting what you’re not being told, you also need to think carefully about whether you’re ready to take on an energetic, headstrong, juvenile dog with potentially significant and time consuming training needs.

In short, 1 year old Labradoodle can be a perfect solution, or a big mistake. The key is getting to the bottom of why they’re being offered for adoption or sale at a year old.

1 year old Labradoodle checklist

Finally, here’s a round up of what’s happening around your Labradoodle’s first birthday:

  • They have reached most of their adult weight, but keep weighing them regularly so that you can spot when their weight levels off. This will be a handy benchmark to compare them against for the rest of their adulthood.
  • If they’ve been eating a puppy diet until now, it’s time to start thinking about an adult alternative. Make the switch gradually over a week or so, to avoid tummy upsets.
  • Their first booster shots will fall due a year after their original puppy shots were completely. Refresh your memory about when that was, and put a note in your diary well ahead of time to schedule those boosters.
  • Neutering is a very personal decision, and there’s no right or wrong answer about whether or not to do it. If you’re still undecided, jot down your thoughts, reservations and questions, and discuss them with your veterinarian when you go for those booster shots.
  • Keep training! Don’t be downhearted if adolescence feels like it’s undoing your work, and don’t get overconfident if it doesn’t. Keep teaching and rewarding good behavior so that when your dog is finally mature those habits are properly ‘baked in’.

What’s coming up

The general consensus is that most Labradoodles reach physical and mental maturity at around 18 months old. By that point, most Doodle parents report that it feels like the hardest work is done. But, your dog’s temperament might continue to evolve and settle down until they are three years old or more. So keep hanging in there, and don’t stop teaching and reinforcing good behavior just yet.

Is your Labradoodle approaching their first birthday? Let us know how you plan to celebrate, and what you’d go back and tell yourself when they were 8 weeks old, in the comments box down below!

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