Do Labradoodles bark a lot or are they generally quiet dogs?
As social, energetic pups, Labradoodles can be prone to barking if their social and exercise needs aren’t met.
They are also known to bark if they are trying to communicate something with you.
And as you might already suspect, this varies a lot between dogs
Labradoodle puppy behavior can look and sound radically different from adult Labradoodle behavior too.
Some doodles will bark more than others.
But there are things you can do to help your Labradoodle to grow up to be a quieter dog.
Do Labradoodles Bark A Lot and Other FAQs
Do Labradoodles bark a lot?
This is a smart question to ask before you make that all-important commitment to one of these roly-poly bundles of fur!
Follow the links below to find the answers to your questions about barking.
- Do Labradoodles bark a lot?
- Why do Labradoodles bark?
- Barking in Labradoodle puppies
- Barking in adult Labradoodles
- How to identify problem barking
- Are Labradoodles good watch dogs?
- How can I stop Labradoodle barking?
Labradoodle puppies are quickly progressing through certain well-documented instinctual life stages.
Do Labradoodles Bark a Lot?
Labradoodles in general are said to be a “medium barking” breed.
This basically means Labradoodles will bark deliberately to send you, their owner, specific types of information.
They may bark if they want some attention, some food, or out of frustration if their needs aren’t being met.
Here, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that your own behavior may also have a lot to do with when and how often your Labradoodle barks.
Labradoodles may bark less or more during certain phases or stages of life.
For example, there are certain key time periods during puppyhood and young adulthood when you can expect your Labradoodle to bark more.
Knowing this in advance will give you more patience during these time periods.
For general purposes, a well-bred, healthy, well-trained and socialized adult Labradoodle dog is not going to be that vocal.
Why do Labradoodles Bark?
These are the major categories of canine barking behaviors:
- Alert barking
- Territorial barking
- Play barking
- Demand barking
- Boredom barking
- Fear/reactive barking
- Separation anxiety barking
- Senior dog (dementia) barking
- Pain/illness barking
Outside of tonal differences based on dog breed, different barks can also have different frequency, duration and volume.
Canine behaviorists believe that frequency indicates heightened interest or urgency. Duration indicates conscious intent.
Volume indicates come closer (high pitch) or go away (low pitch).
Learning why your Labradoodle is barking may be a case of recording when he barks and looking for a pattern.
Barking in Labradoodle Puppies
Every puppy is different, even within a single breed or litter.
So, some Labradoodles may be more vocal than others!
Here is a closer look at the major puppyhood time periods when your Labradoodle may bark more than usual.
It is the rare puppy owner who gets any sleep on their pup’s first night at home.
Leaving mom and their littermates to go live with a stranger can be really scary for a young puppy and lead to temporary separation anxiety barking.
But give it some time and your Labradoodle puppy will start to settle in.
With time, the whining, crying, barking, whimpering and other normal rehoming behaviors will begin to ease.
It can help to let your puppy sleep next to your bed for those first few nights, so they can see that they aren’t completely alone.
The Fear Periods: 8 – 11 Weeks and 6 – 14 Months
Eight weeks is the time when most puppies leave their mom and littermates and travel home with their new human family.
Eight weeks also marks the start of the first of two critical “fear factor” periods in a puppy’s life (the second period starts at six months old).
Your Labradoodle puppy is genetically programmed to experience heightened fear during these two time periods.
If your puppy was a wild canid, these critically important fear periods would help them learn to identify danger after only one incident (called “single event learning”) and avoid it in the future.
But your Labradoodle puppy is not wild.
So it will be up to you to limit your puppy’s exposure to new, novel experiences that may be more likely to trigger lifelong fear.
- Loud storms
- Rough handling
During these instinctually fearful stages, your Labradoodle puppy may bark more than usual as they begin to really notice new and strange things.
The Seniority Classification Period: 12 to 16 Weeks
The moment the first fear period ends, the seniority classification period launches.
This is when your Labradoodle puppy will really begin soaking in the deeper dynamics of family life and their place in it.
You can expect more barking as your pup starts to test the limits of their authority (and, likely, your patience).
As an extra incentive to be positive and very consistent in your training during this period.
Barking in Adult Labradoodles
Puppy barking can be annoying at times, but it can also be very cute.
A fully grown adult Labradoodle barking their head off is not going to be so cute.
Yet while your Labradoodle is going to look all grown up on their first birthday, they won’t be quite grown up yet on the inside.
Whether your Labradoodle has the makings of a good watch dog or not, you can expect your pup to bark.
The good news here is that both of the Labradoodle’s founding breeds, the Labrador Retriever and the Standard Poodle, rank in the top 10 smartest purebred dog breeds.
This means your Labradoodle has the smarts to pick up on new commands and skills very quickly.
How to Identify Problem Barking
While your Labradoodle will go through some life stages where barking can become temporarily problematic.
There is a big difference between developmental barking and problem barking.
How can you determine if your Labradoodle barking is becoming a problem?
See if you can identify with any of the following examples of problem barking:
- Barking continues despite all of your best efforts to stop it
- Barking only happens when you are leaving or returning
- Aggressive barking that only happens in response to certain triggers
- Barking is accompanied by snapping, growling, or lunging
Many dogs can be trained out of barking, which we will look at in closer detail in a moment.
Are Labradoodles Good Watch Dogs?
Barking alone is not a determinant of watchdog ability.
All dogs bark to some extent and many breeds still make very poor watchdogs.
The Labradoodle is a newer breed developed by crossing a Labrador Retriever and a standard Poodle.
This mix breed can inherit any blend of traits from its two parent breeds.
The universally beloved and famously friendly Labrador Retriever does not make a good watch dog.
Unless you think licking the burglar all over while wriggling with happy excitement is a mark of a good guard dog!
The standard Poodle, however, typically makes an excellent watchdog.
If your Labradoodle puppy inherits more of the Poodle parent’s genes, your pup may grow up to be a watchdog.
But if your Labradoodle inherits their personality from the Labrador Retriever parent dog, you will definitely need a Plan B for your home security needs.
How Can I Stop Labradoodle Barking?
Labradoodles are generally eager to please and very food motivated.
So, they will respond well to positive reward training.
Try to reward your Labradoodle when he or she is quiet and calm – particularly in response to something that would often trigger barking!
And, make sure they are getting enough mental and physical stimulation.
Bored Labradoodles may bark for attention.
And, rewarding barking with attention or shouting will most often just encourage your dog to bark more.
Puppy or adult dog socialization and training classes can also help both you and your dog nip problem barking in the bud.
Working with an experienced K9 trainer is another great way to help your Labradoodle learn other ways to effectively communicate with you.
Do Labradoodles Bark a Lot?
It can be almost impossible to predict exactly how much a Labradoodle will bark!
Some will be a lot more vocal than others.
A lot of it will depend on how they are raised, and the traits they inherit from their parent breeds.
Are you coping with a Labradoodle that barks too much? Let us know in the comments!
References and Resources
- McElroy, P. ‘Puppy Stages’, Seaspray Australian Labradoodles (2021)
- Riffee, C. ‘Labradoodle Dog Breed Information – A Guide to the Labrador Poodle Mix’, The Labrador Site (2019)
- Horwitz, D. (et al), ‘Puppy Behavior and Training – Socialization and Fear Prevention’, VCA Animal Hospitals (2021)
- Gestes, T. ‘Doodle Development’, Archview Labradoodles (2021)
- Coren, S. ‘What are Dogs Trying to Say When They Bark?’, Psychology Today (2011)
- Overall, K. ‘Understanding How Dogs Learn: Importance in Training and Behavior Modification’, World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings (2008)