are labradoodles aggressive

Are Labradoodles Aggressive?

Are Labradoodles aggressive? Not usually!

These friendly dogs are normally gentle, affectionate and intelligent.

Labradoodle dogs are known and loved for their clever mind and family-friendly nature.

But, all dogs can be prone to behavior issues and even aggression.

Especially if their socialization, exercise and mental stimulation needs are not met.

Are Labradoodles Aggressive and Other FAQs

When you’re bringing a new dog into your home, learning about aggressive tendencies is very important.

Especially if you already have children or other pets in your family.

Are Labradoodles Naturally Prone to Aggressive Behavior?

If you are considering getting a Labradoodle for your family, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

While there are some dogs that are more prone to aggressive behaviors than others, the Labradoodle is not one of them.

A mix between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle, Labradoodle hybrids are actually considered one of the gentler dogs in the canine kingdom.

are labradoodles aggressive

That said, there are several factors that can lead to a Labradoodle behaving aggressively.

Any dog is capable of biting if they are fearful, injured, or improperly socialized.

What Can Make a Labradoodle Aggressive?

For the most part, aggressive behaviors in dogs do not just come out of the blue.

Dogs are most likely to give you early signs such as growling, pulling their lips back, tucking their tail between their legs or trying to escape.

And it will normally happen as a reaction to fear.

Inadequate Socialization

Socialization at an early age is the act of introducing your Labradoodle puppy to new experiences.

Including people, places, sights, sounds, things and activities.

This is to help them grow up well-rounded and adaptable.

A dog that is not properly socialized is much more likely to grow up fearful, anxious and even aggressive.

Health Issues or Injury

Many well-trained and socialized dogs may begin suddenly behaving aggressively if they are injured or sick.

If you have a Labradoodle that is usually sweet-natured and friendly but has suddenly become reclusive and aggressive, it’s time for a trip to the veterinarian.

Abuse or Neglect

Dogs who have experienced trauma in their lives like abuse or neglect are much more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors due to fear.

Luckily, there are ways to go about helping a dog who has been abused or neglected to develop healthy and trusting relationships again, though this does time and commitment.

Irresponsible Breeding Practices

Raising a healthy dog begins at the source.

Breeders who use bad tempered dogs as parents, or who don’t take an interest in their dogs, will be more likely to produce grumpy or fearful puppies.

It’s vital to get your Labradoodle from a reputable source when looking for a breeder.

Is my Labradoodle Being Playful or Aggressive?

Dogs are born mouthy.

Puppies are especially prone to exploring their world with those sharp little teeth.

Puppies also tend to play more roughly than adult dogs, so it can be difficult to distinguish between play and aggression with a young Labradoodle.

Most Labradoodle dogs who are properly raised and socialized at an early age are not going to be prone to aggressive tendencies.

But, there are instances where aggressive behaviors or rough play should be nipped in the bud.

It’s important to make sure you work with your Labradoodle puppy early on and show him which behaviors are appropriate.

Watch for potential red flags in your Labradoodle puppy like resource guarding, an unusually high prey drive, dog-on-dog aggression and unusually fearful behaviors.

All of these behaviors can be signs of early aggression in dogs, and it’s important to work with your dog to stop these behaviors before they get out of hand.

You might choose to work with a dog behaviorist, or to tackle the issue yourself.

We have tips on how to do this at the end of the guide, but for now, let’s look at aggression towards specific groups.

Are Labradoodles Aggressive Towards Children?

Very few studies have looked at aggression in specific mixed breeds, but there are some we can consider.

A 2019 study compared the Labradoodle and Goldendoodle to their parent breeds in terms of aggression and rivalry.

It found that in general the breeds scored somewhere between their parent breeds, particularly when responding to people.

Generally, both Labradors and Poodles are known for being good with kids, but this does depend on how they are raised.

It’s important to socialize Labradoodle puppies with children – both those in your family, and those in public.

And, teach children in your home how to get along with the dog, so they can recognise when it wants to be left alone.

Are Labradoodles Aggressive Towards Strangers?

A study into aggression in various breeds found that Labradors scored significantly lower than average for stranger aggression.

Interestingly, Poodles scored slightly higher than average.

Labradoodles will naturally fall somewhere between their two parents, but individual puppies could be more like one parent than another.

So, there’s always a risk of increased aggressive tendencies, especially if not well socialized.

In this study, stranger-directed aggression in Poodles correlated to a higher level of stranger-directed fear.

This emphasises the need for plenty of socialization as a puppy.

A well socialized Labradoodle is much less likely to react out of fear towards strangers.

Are Labradoodles Aggressive Towards Other Dogs?

The same 2008 study also looked into dog-rivalry in purebred dogs.

Once again, the Labrador scored significantly below average, and this time the Poodle scored exactly average.

Interestingly, the study we mentioned earlier that looked at Labradoodles compared to their parent breeds found that Labradoodles scored significantly lower for dog-directed aggression and rivalry.

However, the same rules apply here.

You must socialize your Labradoodle well with other dogs if you’re hoping for this sort of temperament.

You could let your doodle meet other dogs owned by family members or friends.

And, when your puppy is fully vaccinated, take them to the dog park!

How to Avoid Aggression in Labradoodles

The more we learn about our four-legged friends, the more we realize their nature.

Naturally, most dogs are born people-pleasures with an innate drive to make us happy.

Labradoodle dogs are especially eager to please and quick to learn, which is great news if you’re new to canine parenthood.

That said, there is an ideal way to go about training your Labradoodle to reduce chances of aggressive behavior.

And to help build a trusting and loving bond between you and your dog.

To get the most out of training and socialization, it’s important to use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise.

Steer clear of punishments, as this is proven to lead to fear-based behaviors and even aggressive tendencies.

It’s also important that new experiences are positive for your Labradoodle, especially during puppyhood.

Refrain from forcing your Labradoodle into a situation that is clearly frightening for him, as this can lead to future behavioral issues.

Are Labradoodles Aggressive with Children

If you have children and are considering getting a Labradoodle dog, this is likely one of the first things you’ve asked yourself.

Again, while Labradoodle dogs are some of the least likely hybrids to exhibit unpredictable aggressive behaviors, all dogs can be prone to aggression from time to time.

The best way to reduce the chances of a Labradoodle bite with a child is to monitor very young children around your Labradoodle dog.

Teach older children how to properly interact with the family dog.

And make sure they understand the importance of offering their Labradoodle space and time to themselves.

It’s also a good idea to sit down with children and learn about canine body language.

Talk about how your dog communicates and the importance of respecting your dog’s boundaries.

It is also essential to provide your Labradoodle with a safe place to go that is all his own.

Teach children that when your Labradoodle is in this safe space it means he needs a break.

This safe space can be your Labradoodle’s crate, a playpen, or even a room that is designated just for your Labradoodle.

Make this space dim and quiet and fill it with your Labradoodle’s favorite things.

To help your Labradoodle feel comfortable in this safe space, make sure it has lots of positive associations.

You may want to hide treats there for him to find, or keep some great toys there.

Are Labradoodles Aggressive In General?

No, Labradoodle dogs are not inherently aggressive crossbreeds.

But that doesn’t mean they are perfect or incapable of aggressive tendencies.

Remember, a happy, healthy Labradoodle is a dog who is properly raised, trained and socialized beginning at puppyhood.

To ensure you and your Labradoodle start off on the right paw, consider getting your Labradoodle puppy from a reputable breeder or shelter.

One that is experienced and can provide you with certificates of health.

If you go through a breeder, you might consider meeting your Labradoodle puppy’s parent dogs to get a better idea of the type of temperament your Labradoodle puppy will grow up to have.

And remember, if you do have any concerns about your Labradoodle or his behavior, it’s never a bad idea to contact a professional behaviorist or veterinarian.

So, what do you think about Labradoodles now that you know more about their temperament? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

References and Resources

  • Dunbar, I. ‘What’s Important to Know Right Away’, Before & After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy & Well-Behaved Dog (2004)
  • Farrell, L. (et al), ‘The Challenges of Pedigree Dog Health: Approaches to Combating Inherited Disease’, Canine Genetics and Epidemiology (2015)
  • O’Neill, D. ‘Progress in Purebred Dog Health Since the Bateson Report of 2010’, Vet Record (2014)
  • Shouldice, V. (et al), ‘Expression of Behavioral Traits in Goldendoodles and Labradoodles’, Animals (2019)
  • Duffy, D. (et al), ‘Breed Differences in Canine Aggression’, Applied Animal Behavior Science (2008)

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