are labradoodles crazy dogs

Are Labradoodles Crazy Dogs?

Are Labradoodles crazy dogs? We take a closer look at the truth behind Labradoodle temperament, and the controversy surrounding this mixed breed.

Labradoodles are very popular dogs. They combine the traits of the Labrador Retriever and Poodle breeds, so many people have high hopes for the Doodle temperament. However, some people don’t realise quite how much mental stimulation, training, and daily exercise Labradoodles need, which can lead to bored and destructive dogs! So, are Labradoodles crazy dogs? Or are they misunderstood? Let’s find out!

Are Labradoodles Crazy Dogs?

Opinions on the Labradoodle mix are pretty divided. Some people love them, whilst others hate them. Equally, for some people, they are fun, affectionate and clever companions. But to others, they’re downright crazy.

Of course, there are a number of factors at play here. And, like any other dog breed, individual Labradoodles will differ. Some will be much calmer than others. So, a sweeping statement like “Labradoodles are crazy” can be misleading.

Labradoodles are high energy dogs with high mental stimulation needs. And, when these physical and mental needs aren’t met, Labradoodles can get bored and destructive – or crazy! So, in a lot of cases, a crazy Labradoodle is actually just not having its needs fully met.

The Crazy Labradoodle Controversy

A lot of the controversy around Labradoodles stems from an interview with the breed’s creator, Wally Conron. Conron bred a Labrador and Poodle together whilst trying to create a guide dog for a blind woman whose husband suffered from allergies. The combination was a success and became an instant hit with many dog-lovers, growing in popularity across the globe.

However, in a 2014 interview, Conron stated that many modern Labradoodles were “either crazy or have a hereditary problem”. His statement of regret is most often used by those who say Labradoodles are crazy. But, a closer look at the interview reveals that Conron’s critiques are aimed at the many Labradoodles bred by puppy mills and backyard breeders. In other words, people who are trying to make a quick profit from the ‘Doodle’ trend, rather than reputable breeders who prioritise health and temperament.

This has severely divided opinion over Labradoodles. Many people claim that all Labradoodles are crazy. Whilst others argue that it comes down to individual breeding, training, and socialization, as it can with any other dog breed.

The Typical Labradoodle Temperament

A major setback with mixed breed dogs is their unpredictability. Traits of purebred dogs have been standardized over many generations. So, breeders know what to expect. But, mixed breed dogs like the Labradoodle are comparatively new. And, their predictability depends on factors like a puppy’s generation. A puppy with two purebred parents will be much less predictable than one with two similar multigen Labradoodle parents.

In essence, f1 Labradoodles can inherit any traits found in the purebred Labrador Retriever or the purebred Standard Poodle. The best way to predict those traits before your puppy arrives is to look at their parents.

Fortunately, Labs and Poodles are pretty similar. Both are extremely intelligent and energetic dogs that excel in working roles and originate in water-based game retrieval roles, working alongside humans. Both dogs are also friendly and affectionate towards family members. But, the Poodle may be more aloof towards strangers and other animals. In contrast, the Lab knows no stranger! Labs are famed for getting along with anybody and everybody. A Labradoodle can fall anywhere between the two.

Labradoodles are High Energy

One trait that is almost guaranteed in all Labradoodles is their high energy levels. Labradoodles descend from large, intelligent working breeds. Both Labs and Poodles need at least an hour of strenuous exercise every day. And, the same is true of Labradoodles. This is why standard Labradoodles are rarely recommended for apartment and city life. They can live happily in these places, but owners will need to dedicate a lot more time to exercise away from home.

Exercise shouldn’t be restricted to walks, either. Labradoodles ideally need time every single day to really run. So, you might choose to go to the dog park, or play retrieving games. Other great forms of exercise include swimming, rally, agility, and more.

If adult Labradoodles don’t get enough exercise, owners may see a rise in unwanted behaviors. This can include destructive behaviors like chewing and digging in the house, or things like increased levels of barking or zoomies. So, if your Labradoodle is acting crazy, ask yourself if they’re getting enough exercise.

The Need for Mental Stimulation

A crazy Labradoodle may also be a bored Labradoodle. This mix combines two intelligent breeds that excel in working roles. So, Labradoodles are likely to be equally good at training. Many owners don’t realise that mental stimulation is just as important as exercise when it comes to preventing stress and boredom.

Labradoodles can get mental stimulation from training, or even from certain dog toys, like interactive toys. This is something that they need every day, just like their exercise. Labradoodles that don’t receive adequate mental stimulation will become bored and will find ways to entertain themselves around the house. But, this won’t always be in the ways you might want.

Bored Labradoodles are much more likely to be destructive or ‘naughty’, because having you chase them around the house to save a stolen sock is much more fun than sitting doing nothing! Your Labradoodle won’t see it as being naughty, but you might think you’ve brought home a crazy dog.

are labradoodles crazy dogs

The Importance of Training

Training can provide some much needed mental stimulation, whether you’re teaching your Labradoodle some cool tricks, or some more basic obedience. But, training also has a secondary importance. Labradoodles are large dogs. So, if they are poorly trained and jumping up at people, they can accidentally deal some damage. Particularly if they jump up at children or elderly visitors.

As a bare minimum, you might want to teach your Labradoodle to go on their bed, sit to greet visitors, come when called, walk to heel, and drop things in their mouth. These cues can protect people around you, but can also protect your Labradoodle, preventing them from eating something dangerous or from running into traffic.

Positive reward methods are the best for Labradoodles. Labradoodles are very food motivated, and are usually very eager to please their owners. Plus, studies into dog training methods have found that aversive and punishment-based methods can lead to a rise in stress-related and unwanted behaviors. So, positive reward methods are best for avoiding a crazy Labradoodle.

Is a Labradoodle Right for Me?

Since many crazy Labradoodles are actually just dogs whose needs have been misunderstood, it’s really important to consider if you can meet those needs before committing to a Labradoodle puppy.

Labradoodles are social, energetic, intelligent dogs. If they are left alone for too long, they can display unwanted behaviors. But, equally, Labradoodles that don’t receive enough exercise or mental stimulation can seek entertainment through chewing, digging, barking, and more.

Labradoodles need at least an hour of exercise every day. But they will also need training and socialization from a young age. On top of this, you must consider the time you’ll have to dedicate to grooming, feeding, and so on. Although this is a trendy breed, many potential owners don’t realise just how much time and care Labradoodles need. Which can lead to poorly raised Labradoodles, or a common belief that these dogs are crazy!

Raising a Happy and Calm Labradoodle

Your first step to getting a calm, non-crazy Labradoodle starts before you even bring them home. You need to choose a reputable breeder. Puppy mills and backyard breeders jump on trends like the Labradoodle. Dogs in these places are overbred without regard for the health of the dogs or their puppies. They are often kept in awful conditions, poorly cared for, and receive little to no real socialization. Any breed from these places is more likely to experience behavioral or health problems.

So, dedicate a lot of time to your search for a good breeder. The best breeders will take great care of their dogs and puppies, so make sure you see where the dogs are being kept. Ask lots of questions, and make sure you see evidence of health testing in person.

Once You’ve Brought Your Puppy Home

Like any breed, Labradoodles have a fear period between 8 and 12 weeks of age. During this time, it’s very important to socialize them well. Introduce them to as many people, animals, experiences and places as possible. Keep these interactions positive and calm. A well socialized Labradoodle is more likely to be happy and confident when meeting these things as an adult. This process will also lower your dog’s risk of fear-based aggression.

A great thing about positive reward based training methods is that you can start as soon as you bring your Labradoodle home. Even before they’re allowed to exercise outside or for long periods. Work in small steps, and don’t let individual training sessions go on for too long. Consistency is key here. But, you can find plenty of resources online to help you further with training.

As your puppy grows into an adult, you can establish a great routine to ensure your Labradoodle is getting all of the exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization it needs. These things will make “crazy behavior” much less likely.

Are Labradoodles Crazy Dogs?

Some Labradoodles will exhibit crazy behavior, particularly if their needs are not being met, and if they are not properly trained. Puppies from puppy mills, pet stores, and backyard breeders are more likely to display these unwanted, crazy behaviors. But, owners must also put in effort to raise a balanced, happy, calm Labradoodle.

What are your best tips for raising a happy and calm Labradoodle? Let us know your experiences in the comments!

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