Living with a Labradoodle and kids isn’t always easy. Dogs and children are easily excited, and don’t speak the same language. Fortunately, with just few simple adjustments you can help your kids and Labradoodle to get along safely and happily.
In this guide we’ll explain what you need to know and do to make sure your Labradoodle puppy is safe and friendly to all kids, both at home and when you are out and about. Helping you to teach them to live and play nicely together.
Contents and FAQs
- Are Labradoodles good with kids?
- Labradoodle behavior issues?
- Teaching your kids have to pet the dog
- Labradoodle and kids rough housing
- Puppy vs adult Labradoodle and kids?
It takes proper socialization, training, and work to ensure your Labradoodle gets on well with your youngsters. All dogs can be prone to their fair share of behavioral issues if not raised right. So it’s also important that you teach any children in your family how to interact with your Labradoodle. This will minimise the risk of fearful or aggressive reactions from your dog.
Are Labradoodles Good With Kids?
Labradoodles are a mix between the purebred Labrador and the purebred Standard Poodle. Labradoodles are generally known to behave well with children, but is there any scientific support?
Although few studies have looked into the temperament and risk of aggression in specific mixed breeds, many have looked at the topic in pure breeds. Mixed breeds can inherit any trait from either parent, so this research can be useful to us.
One such study found that both Labradors and Poodles scored lower than average for owner-directed aggression. The same study found that Labradors also scored much lower than average for stranger-directed aggression, although Poodles scored very slightly higher than average. But this doesn’t mean that Labradoodles are guaranteed to be good with kids.
Other studies have shown that guarding tendencies were among the most common causes for canine aggression towards children. And, that proper socialization as a puppy is vital for minimizing behavioral problems as an adult.
What Behavioral Issues are most Common in Labradoodles?
As we mentioned above, all dogs can be prone to behavior issues and all dogs can exhibit aggressive tendencies. If you’re a parent, this can be an especially big concern when considering investing in a family dog.
Luckily, aggression isn’t high on the list when it comes to Labradoodle temperamental traits, which makes them a great addition to households with kids. Still, these dogs do come with potential behavioral issues, especially if they’re not properly trained and socialized. Some of the most common Labradoodle behavioral issues include:
- Separation anxiety
- Potty accidents
- And high energy levels
You can combat many of these issues by properly training and socializing your Labradoodle during puppyhood. And this works even better when you get your children on board with the process.
How to Teach Children to Interact with Labradoodles
Raising children with a dog has been proven to have benefits. But, it’s important to understand canine body language and to work with your children on how to properly interact and behave around the family dog.
Remember, all dogs can be prone to aggressive tendencies regardless of their breed. Especially if they are fearful or handled roughly.
Work with children at a level they can understand and teach them that dogs don’t like hugs, being pulled on or tugged on, or being roughly played with. Monitor very young children around the family dog to ensure everyone is getting along safely.
Work with your Labradoodle during puppyhood as well to help him become used to being touched and petted all over his body. This includes his nose, tail, and paws.
Raising your Labradoodle alongside children can be a fun and rewarding experience, especially when done properly. We have some expert tips and tricks you can follow to help make the journey as successful as possible.
Use Positive Reinforcement Training Techniques
Training is especially important, and it should begin with your Labradoodle dog right away. When training your dog, be sure to use positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise as opposed to scolding and punishments.
Remember that your children are watching you and are likely to emulate you when they interact with your Labradoodle. Make sure they see you interacting gently and affectionately.
This will help reduce the chances of fear-based aggression when it comes to your Labradoodle and your children. It will also help ensure your Labradoodle learns more efficiently and effectively.
Redirect Puppy Biting
Be vigilant about puppy biting and behavioral issues and nip them in the bud. Be quick to gently redirect your puppy and teach your children how to do the same when play gets too rough. And reward your puppy for any calm behavior or play that does not involve biting.
Learn Canine Body Language
It’s nearly unheard of that a dog bites “out of the blue”. Though many news stories and reports may have you believe otherwise, almost no dog bites for no reason.
Dogs often exhibit warning signs before they behave aggressively. Looking out the corner of their eye, growling and raising or licking their lips are all warning signs you and your kids should know.
Give your Labradoodle a Safe Space to Get Away
Last but not least, provide your dog with his own safe zone. An open crate, a playpen, or even a snuggly bed in the corner that is all his is an important part of raising a happy and healthy Labradoodle.
Labradoodle and Kids Rough Housing
Many children enjoy wrestling and rough housing with their family dog. While the dog too may enjoy this behavior, this game can quickly go wrong.
In the canine world, dogs are able to read each other’s cues and signals and know when to walk away when things become too rough. Children are less able to do this, and dogs may go from being playful to being fearful very quickly.
To avoid any issues, it’s best to teach your children how to play gently with their Labradoodle dog. Play games of fetch or tug of war, and invite children to participate in training sessions with their Labradoodle.
Kids will enjoy teaching their dog how to sit, stay, roll over and lie down. These sessions can aid in a strong and trusting bond between your child and their pup.
Labradoodle Puppy vs Adult Dog for Kids
If you’re already raising young children, you may not want the added stress of raising a puppy. If you want to avoid the puppy stage but still want a Labradoodle, you might consider rescuing your dog. Don’t worry – old dogs can learn new tricks.
It’s quite possible to find a loving, affectionate, and gentle adult Labradoodle who will get along well with your children. When looking to rescue an adult dog, be sure to do plenty of research and go through reputable sources. Be open with the rescue or shelter you are adopting from and communicate any concerns you may have about bringing a new dog into your home.
Often, shelters will have had their Labradoodle dogs undergo behavioral testing before putting them up for adoption. This better ensures these dogs will do well with children, people and even other household pets.
Choosing a Good Puppy
If you have concerns about rescuing an adult dog and would prefer to go through a breeder, that’s fine too. Raising a puppy alongside children is one of the easiest ways to socialize your puppy to ensure he safely interacts with youngsters in the home.
When going through a breeder, just make sure you go through reputable sources who understand responsible breeding practices and who have had their puppies health screened. You also have the option of asking about any behavioral issues in past generations, as sometimes, (though not always), aggressive tendencies can be inherited.
Remember All Dogs have the Potential to Bite
Many families look at getting Labradoodles because they assume these hybrid dogs are incapable of being aggressive. This is one of the biggest mistakes novice dog owners make. Remember, all dogs have the potential to bite regardless of their breed or mix.
The best way to combat aggressive behaviors and to ensure your Labradoodle gets along well with everyone in the family is to ensure you properly socialize your Labradoodle. Training, routine exercise, a quality diet, and routine vet visits will also help ensure your Labradoodle grows up happy, healthy and well-rounded.
Are Labradoodles Good With Kids?
Labradoodles can be great with kids. But, your puppy must be trained and socialized from a young age to encourage the best temperament. And, you should teach your kids how to properly treat your dog to avoid any potential misunderstandings.
What do you think about raising a Labradoodle alongside a child? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
References and Resources
- Trautner, T. ‘The Benefits of a Family Pet’, Michigan State University Extension (2017)
- Ali, M. (et al), ‘Genetic Analysis of Modern Australian Labradoodle Dog Breed Reveals an Excess of the Poodle Genome’, PLOS Genetics (2020)
- 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)
- Howell, T. (et al), ‘Puppy Parties and Beyond: The Role of Early Age Socialization Practices on Adult Dog Behavior’, Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports (2015)
- Duffy, D. (et al), ‘Breed Differences in Canine Aggression’, Applied Animal Behavior Science (2008)
- Reisner, I. (et al), ‘Behavioral Assessment of Child Directed Aggression’, Injury Prevention (2007)