An 8 week old Labradoodle has reached an important milestone – they are ready to leave their mom, and join a new human family.
But they still have lots of growing up to do, and the experiences they have now will play a big part in shaping how they behave when they’re grown up.
In this article, we look at what to expect from an 8 week old Labradoodle puppy in terms of development. And what puppy parenting priorities to focus on during their first week at home.
The Labradoodle was one of the very first designer dogs. The first planned Labradoodle litters were born in Australia in the late 1980s.
They’re the result of crossing the extremely friendly Labrador Retriever with the highly intelligent Poodle.
A Labradoodle has the potential to be a great family pet, and so they have remained one of the most popular mixed breed dogs.
Although these curly haired dogs are frequently described as hypoallergenic, this is actually a myth. However, they do usually shed less than other breeds.
Bringing an 8 Week Old Labradoodle into Your Life – What Now?
Once a Labradoodle puppy reaches the age of 8 weeks, they’re ready to leave their mom and their siblings, and go home with a new family.
If you’re getting a Labradoodle puppy, this is the age they officially become yours – congratulations!
If they are your first puppy, you might be surprised just how much time and energy is required to care for something so small.
Even though this is an exciting time, it can also be frustrating. Challenges include everything from housebreaking and crate training to socialization and constant chewing.
Remember that everything is brand new for your furry companion. They don’t know what to expect, or what is expected of them.
Consistency and schedules are key to meeting navigating the next few weeks and not getting overwhelmed.
What Does an 8 Week Old Labradoodle Look Like?
Like any mixed breed, there is an element of unpredictability when it comes to what a Labradoodle puppy will look like.
They can take on a combination of traits from either parent, and even within a single litter, puppies can vary in size and appearance.
Although typically associated with a plush, wavy or curly coat, Labradoodles’ hair can also be straight. The list of colors they can come is almost endless.
Labradoodle puppies with a Standard Poodle parent typically weigh between 7 and 12 lbs at 8 weeks of age.
But miniature Labradoodle puppies may only weigh 4 to 7 lbs.
How Much Sleep Does an 8 Week Old Labradoodle Need?
Just like for human babies, sleep is very important for puppies.
Despite snoozing about 20 hours a day, it’s unusual if they can already sleep through the night without a toilet break.
To help them settle overnight in your home, keep them in a crate or high-sided box by your bed for the first few nights.
This also means you’ll hear them when they wake up for that night time pee!
During the day, they’ll still be getting used to their new surroundings and adjusting to being without their littermates.
Your little Labradoodle will take lots of naps throughout the day to support how quickly they’re growing, and also to let their brain process everything they’re learning.
Potty Training Your 8 Week Old Labradoodle
For most people, potty training is the first hurdle when they get home with a new puppy.
At 8 weeks old you can expect your Labradoodle to need to pee at least every 2 hours. Even every 30 minutes isn’t unusual.
Young dogs have small bladders, and very little conscious control over when they go. So it’s up to you to make sure they’re in the right place when it’s time to pee.
Even the most diligent puppy parents find a few wet spots on their floor at the beginning, but visiting the backyard regularly will keep accidents to a minimum.
Be consistent and praise your pup whenever he uses the toilet in the right place.
Clean up mistakes quietly and without scolding. If you shout at a puppy for peeing in the wrong place, they can become frightened of peeing in front of you again in future – even when they’re in the right place!
They might also overcome that fear by hiding from you to pee indoors.
Feeding Your 8 Week Old Labradoodle
Before you bring your Labradoodle puppy home, it’s important to find out from the breeder or shelter what type of food they’ve been eating.
If you’re planning to change their diet, do it gradually since an abrupt switch to different food can cause stomach upsets.
Feed your puppy the same food they had with the breeder for about 2 weeks. Then slowly mix it with the new food, gradually increasing the proportion of new food over the course of a week.
For the time being, an 8 week old puppy needs their daily ration of food divided into four meals. But you might use most of it up as training treats!
Bear in mind have delicate stomachs, and it’s not uncommon for the stress of moving home to make them lose their appetite for a while.
It can also trigger short spell of diarrhea.
But if they don’t eat, or have soft poops, for more than 24 hours, call your vet and let them know.
Feeding Your 8 Week Old Labradoodle to Avoid Health Issues
Your puppy will continue eating 4 meals a day until he is 4 – 6 months old.
Small, regular meals prevent hypoglycemia, which is when blood sugar levels become dangerously low.
Your pup also needs a food which is designed to meet the specific nutritional needs of growing puppies.
This will protect him against conditions like hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint.
There are hereditary and environmental factors which can make it worse – and one is if their diet causes their bones to grow faster than the cartilage in between them.
How to Cope with Your 8 Week Old Labradoodle during the Biting Phase
There’s no getting around the fact that puppies bite and chew.
An 8 week old Labradoodle will have all their baby teeth, and though tiny, they are very sharp and deliver a painful nip!
It’s good to have a variety of playthings to keep them from gnawing on you and your furniture.
Wear close fitting clothes in sturdy fabrics, and shoes without laces for the time being.
If they try to chew your fingers, take your hands away and give them a suitable substitute like a chew toy.
Puppy biting generally ceases at around 6 months once they have all their adult teeth.
However, while they’re teething, chewing will intensify because it helps dull the pain of new teeth coming in.
Crate Training Your 8 Week Old Labradoodle
When done properly, crate training provides a safe den for your puppy to rest in.
It can also help with toilet training, and keeping your puppy safe while your bring in groceries or take a shower.
However, you can’t just pop a puppy in a crate without training them to think of it as a happy place for a nap first.
And 8 weeks old is a great age to start this process.
The crate must be large enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably when he’s an adult. A divider can accommodate the puppy’s size as he grows.
To ensure he views his crate as an inviting place to be, furnish it with a cozy blanket and treats.
Leave the door open while he explores it so he doesn’t feel trapped.
Socializing Your 8 Week Old Labradoodle
The last important part of puppy development we’re going to talk about in this article is socialization.
From 3 weeks old until about 12 weeks old, puppies are in an important phase called the socialization window.
They are more open forming positive impressions of the world around them than they ever will be again.
So this is the time to introduce them to all the people, places and things they will encounter as adult dogs.
Make sure all these introductions are happy (lots of treats!) and not overwhelming.
And they will carry that happy association with them through the rest of their life.
As Your Labradoodle Puppy Grows
Labradoodles are known to be sociable, easy-going, devoted, and highly energetic.
They’re also smart and eager to please, which makes them easy dogs to train.
Training should be positive and consistent. But working out where to start can be bewildering.
There are lots of books and online resources available, as well as puppy classes led by qualified dog trainers.
Do take a look at the Dogsnet Online Training Courses created by our own Pippa Mattinson.
The Puppy Parenting course in particular is the perfect guide to preparing for, settling in, and starting training with a new puppy.
Is Your Labradoodle Puppy Nearly Old Enough To Bring Home?
Tell us all about them in the comments box down below!
References and Further Reading
- Idowu et al, “Hypoglycemia in dogs: Causes, management, and diagnosis,” Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2018.
- Kealy et al, “Effects of limited food consumption on the incidence of hip dysplasia in growing dogs,” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1992.
- Larsen, “Feeding Large Breed Puppies,” Focus on Nutrition, 2010
- Williams, K. Diarrhea in Dogs, VCA Hospitals, 2018
- “The Benefits of Crate Training,” Texas A&M University Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 2019