Are Labradoodles protective or do they happily greet visitors and intruders just the same? A protective dog is reacting to a real or imagined threat. Some dog breeds were bred specifically to be guard dogs, and protectiveness is a natural behavior. Labradoodle temperament is friendly, and they have a confident and loyal personality. While Labradoodles were not bred to be protective, all dogs are capable of defensive behavior. Today we’ll take a closer look at the Labradoodle’s protective instincts and whether they make good guard dogs or watchdogs. And whether they are likely to protect you or your family.
- Are Labradoodles protective dogs?
- Labradoodle temperament traits
- Can any dog be protective?
- Protection vs aggression in dogs
- Are Labradoodles ever too protective?
Labradoodles are a Labrador Standard Poodle mix. A hybrid designer dog that combines too affectionate and friendly yet loyal breeds. Although they are well known for their companionable personalities, any dog can be protective if they are frightened or defensive. Today we’ll get to know how likely your Labradoodle puppy is to grow into a protective watchdog or guard dog as well as a family pet.
Are Labradoodles Protective Dogs?
When wild dogs lived together in packs, the larger and stronger members would protect the young, weak, and vulnerable pack members from predators and other threats. Today, domestic dogs can instinctively perceive the humans they live with as their pack members. And they may try to protect them from other dogs, people, or situations. Since the Labradoodle is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle, it helps to know if either parent breed has a tendency towards protectiveness.
Are Labradors Protective?
Labradors were bred as a working breed, helping fishermen retrieve fish from icy waters. Unlike breeds specifically bred to guard their family and property, the Labrador Retriever does not have strong protective instincts.
Are Poodles Protective?
Poodles were bred originally for duck hunting. The breed can possess mild protective instincts, particularly around strangers. However, Poodles are not naturally aggressive and would probably do nothing more than bark a great deal if they sense danger.
Are Labradoodles Protective In Their Natural Temperament
Some temperament traits in dogs are inherited, and others are formed by how well they were socialized when they were puppies. Essentially, nature vs nurture. Labradoodles are a popular breed, and one reason is their temperament, which is generally friendly, intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and playful. As with any crossbreed characteristic, temperament can be inherited by either parent breed. So, let’s look at the dispositions associated with the Labrador and the Poodle.
Friendly, outgoing, active, intelligent, and affectionate, small wonder that the Labrador Retriever consistently ranks as the most popular dog breed in America. Despite being a large breed, their tolerant nature generally makes them suitable in homes with children and other pets.
While most Labradors are confident and easy-going, even with strangers, some Labradors can be fearful or nervous if not properly socialized when young. Studies have shown that Labs are among the least aggressive dog breeds toward both humans and other dogs. However, any dog can become antagonistic if they feel threatened.
Poodles are also an active and highly intelligent breed. And while they can be fun-loving with family, they tend to be standoffish with strangers. They’re a loyal breed that bonds quickly with family. Some may thrive on attention and develop bad habits, such as nuisance barking if left on their own too often.
Although Standard Poodles are generally not known to be aggressive, they can become protective of their families and homes. Miniatures and Toys can sometimes exhibit aggressive tendencies towards other dogs or people outside the family.
Are All Dogs Protective?
All dogs are born with natural protective instincts. They’ll observe their surroundings to determine if there are any threats but will also remain calm and in control. While it’s a universally shared trait among all dogs, some breeds have been bred specifically to become watchdogs, protectors, or guardians and are naturally more protective.
A dog’s inherent instinct is to protect their family and things they consider to belong to them, such as their home, food, toys, and bed. Additionally, a female dog may become protective of her litter, which is perfectly natural.
What Causes a Dog to Be Over Protective?
Overprotective behavior in dogs is often the result of feelings of insecurity or fear. If a dog hasn’t been properly socialized to deal with a variety of people, animals, and situations, he may feel the need to protect you as one of his belongings.
If your dog came from a shelter, he might have had a troubled past and didn’t receive the love and care he needs. The good news is with time and understanding, even an older dog can learn to feel more comfortable around people and other animals.
Protection vs Aggression in Dogs
A protective dog will become attentive and aware of unfamiliar people or surroundings to assess possible threats in certain situations. The protection mode is only triggered if he senses danger. Once the threat is no longer there, the dog will immediately calm down.
On the other hand, an aggressive dog doesn’t possess the ability to assess a situation and considers everything a threat. He can become aggressive without warning, resulting in an attack on other animals and people. Protective behavior is natural, but aggressive behavior in a dog can be problematic.
Are Labradoodles Protective If You Train Them To Be?
Since both the Labrador and the Poodle are intelligent, working breeds, able to follow commands, stay focused, and have a natural tendency to want to please their humans, the Labradoodle tends to be quite a trainable dog. Of course, this is if positive reinforcement methods are used in training. It means rewarding the dog for correct actions and never punishing or using harsh words when they do something wrong.
However, teaching a dog to be protective in a restrained manner is actually very difficult. Labradoodles are not hardwired to be watchdogs. The attentive and protective behavior associated with guard dogs is breed specific. German Shepherd Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, and Rottweilers possess a genetic instinct to protect. Trying to train a Labradoodle to be protective would be like getting a Siberian Husky to herd sheep.
Can Labradoodles Be Overprotective?
The main reason a Labradoodle becomes overprotective is the relationship with the owner. Misinterpreting your dog’s overprotectiveness as signs of their undying love and affection for you and responding by doting on them in return will only encourage the dog to keep up this protective behavior and make things worse.
Both Labradors and Poodles are loyal breeds. Your Labradoodle will want to bond with family members, yet having him become too attached to you can lead to behavioral problems. An overprotective Labradoodle will likely need socializing and basic obedience training. It’s important to never reward a dog for unwarranted protectiveness. If your dog shows aggression towards a person or another animal, this is not the time to praise them, pet them, or give them a treat.
Are Labradoodles Protective?
Labradoodles are bred to be friendly, playful, outgoing, family dogs. They are not protective by instinct, and they’ll often show their affectionate nature even to strangers. However, any dog can develop overly protective traits, and the reason is likely due to the relationship with their owner and a lack of proper socialization.
More About Labradoodle Temperament
- Duffy et al. “Breed differences in canine aggression.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science, December, 2008.
- Pegram, et al. “Disorder predispositions and protections of Labrador Retrievers in the UK.” Scientific Reports, July 2021.
- Van den Berg et al. “Evaluation of the C-BARQ as a measure of stranger-directed aggression in three common dog breeds.” Applied Animal Behavior Science, May, 2010.
- Pérez-Guisado et al. “Factors Linked to Aggression in Dogs.” Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 2009.
- Mikkola, et al. “Aggressive behaviour is affected by demographic, environmental and behavioural factors in purebred dogs.” Scientific Reports, May 2021.
- Coppinger et al. “A DECADE OF USE OF LIVESTOCK GUARDING DOG.” University of Nebraska, March, 1998.