As a Dad to 2 young kids, having a dog was always something I knew I wanted. I had a beautiful black Lab as a kid and I wanted my 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter to have the experience of a great family dog. My wife had never had a dog growing up, but was fully on board! For all of us, we wanted the breed to be a good temperament for a family dog and first-time dog owners.
So, are Labradoodles good family dogs? Labradoodles are intelligent, playful, friendly and loving. They do very well in families with children and enjoy interacting. Worth noting is that they can be high energy, and may inadvertently knock over a small child in their excitement to play.
There are also a number of other considerations. For example, the environment the dog will be in, the amount of attention and exercise needed, and the role you’d like your Labradoodle to play in the family. A few other things to consider would be if you’re looking specifically for a service dog or watchdog, or maybe even a therapy dog.
Then there is the question of breeder quality. What were the puppy’s parents like? Are the breeders reputable and did they give the puppy all the attention and care she needed?
All of these factors should be taken into account before you make your final decision on if a Labradoodle is right for your family.
As an active dog, Labradoodles prefer a good amount of space to run around. Larger Labradoodles may not do as well in a small apartment with no place to roam. They also need to be physically and mentally stimulated, so they will thrive in a setting where there are people to interact with regularly and toys to play with.
They do well with other pets, dogs, and cats, so that might be an important trait to be aware of.
Our home is fairly spacious, with a large back yard that is fenced in for the dog to play. We’re also near parks and, of course, there is always a nice walk around the block! We also have an SUV that is dog-friendly, which is another thing you’ll want to take into account. A large car is not necessary but you’ll want to make sure the dog can fit comfortably and has a space to sit for a ride.
Labradoodles typically need 30-60 minutes of exercise a day to stay content and healthy. They won’t do well without that physical outlet and larger (standard size) dogs may not do well in a smaller apartment setting. You’ll want to be sure you can give them a lot of love and attention. Playing fetch, allowing him or her to run around a bit outside, going for regular walks… all are a very important part of taking good care of your Labradoodle.
If you do notice the dog becoming vocal, anxious or generally unhappy, make sure they are getting enough attention and exercise! Bored Labradoodles may even become destructive if not getting much attention, just like bored kids! This is not in their nature, generally, so you’ll want to try and see what’s causing the problem.
Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs
As a friendly and intelligent breed, Labradoodles can make excellent Therapy or Service dogs. Highly trainable, easy handling, a puppy-like temperament, perky, responsive, affectionate, and just so darn cute… they are very well suited to either role.
Labradoodles have also been noted to be sensitive to the specific needs of individuals. An elderly family member, or a younger child, will have different energy levels that the dogs may sense and react to. Special needs children and adults also may find this breed to be a wonderful companion.
They flourish in situations that provide attention, so it’s an ideal fit for this type of job.
Watchdog and Guard Dog
For this type of role, the Labradoodle might not be the best fit. She is friendly and social, not well suited for intimidation and aggression. Although they are smart and highly trainable, this type of job might be against his nature.
Although a watchdog might not be a good primary role for a Labradoodle, you can certainly make efforts to train her for a specific task. Ask a local trainer what they think, if you’re considering this path.
Like any other living thing, Labradoodles are individuals and each has his or her own personality. I know my own kids are definitely different! A lot of their temperament and personality come from their parents and how they are cared for. You’ll want to be sure to check on some fundamentals when talking with, and visiting, your breeder:
- Nutrition: Proper diet is especially important to a developing puppy. Your breeder should be able to discuss this with you and prepare you for bringing the dog home. Proper hydration, what they eat, how often, and any supplements recommended are all topics you should talk about with your breeder.
- Health and Environment: Living conditions should be clean and well kept. All animals should be well-groomed and bathed. Vaccinations should be done as needed and on time. Just like young children, Labradoodle puppies need extra care in the early months to make sure they stay healthy and clean!
- Socialization and nurturing: Being handled, cuddled and loved is like puppy 101! They need that interaction from humans to develop and socialize. Exposing them to the sounds, feelings, foods, and environment they’ll be in is the best way to start them off right. Make sure your breeder has that all in place.
What exactly is a Labradoodle?
Originally bread in Australia, Labradoodles are a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a standard or miniature Poodle. Subsequent generations are offspring of two Labradoodles or some variation of those breeds. They are bred for their intelligent, alert and friendly nature, as well as their low shed and hypoallergenic coat.
Why are Labradoodles so popular?
Well, they’re awesome dogs! Family-friendly, great with kids, low to no shedding, hypoallergenic coat. They’re social, active, loyal and love to please. What’s not to like? As they gain more exposure they will likely continue this trend of popularity.
How big do Labradoodles get?
Some red versions grow bigger than a house! Actually, that’s Clifford, the big red dog. My son used to love that book….
Labradoodles can range in size depending on the parents they come from, among other factors. Here, however, are the three main sizes:
Standard Labradoodles are typically between 20 and 24 inches tall and range from 50 to 65 pounds.
Medium Labradoodles are roughly 16 to 20 inches tall and range from 30 to 45 pounds.
Miniature Labradoodles are usually 14 to 16 inches tall and from as little as 15 pounds to 25 pounds.
You can read more about Labradoodle Sizes and Weights, here.
So there you have it! Labradoodles are a very popular breed with families around the world. They’re adorable, fun, loving and loyal. Always make sure you are ready for the commitment of dog ownership. I personally told my kids we had to wait until ‘I’ was ready for a dog because we all know who will be walking her at 6 am. I hope this helped you decide if a Labradoodle is right for your family.