Apart from having a baby, getting a labradoodle puppy is one of the most important, demanding, expensive, and life-enriching decisions that you will ever make. Just like babies, labradoodle puppies will love you unconditionally. But there is a price to pay. In return for their loyalty and devotion, you have to fulfill your part of the bargain.
Are you ready?
You will have to be prepared to devote several hours a day to your new Labradoodle puppy, especially in the beginning. The puppy will require feeding, exercise, and training every day. You will also have to be prepared to part with hard cash for regular healthcare and even more in veterinary bills if they fall ill. If you are not ready or able to devote the time and money, then now might not be the right time for you to consider getting a labradoodle puppy.
Labradoodles are sociable creatures and love being with people and other dogs. To leave a labradoodle home on his own all day is not fair on this naturally affectionate dog who enjoys being with others. As with all dogs, some may become badly behaved or even destructive if they are left alone for too long. Labradoodles are intelligent dogs that are very trainable, but they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep occupied. They often want nothing more than to please their owners. But if you leave them on their own for long periods, then they may find their entertainments, and that may be destructive.
If you are out at work all day, then labradoodle are not the dogs for you. Standard Labradoodles, in particular, can be boisterous and mischievous. If you are out at work all day, then consider getting a breed that is not so emotionally dependent on humans and also survives better without much attention. Labradoodle thrive on interaction.
Getting a puppy is a long-term commitment. So, before getting a labradoodle puppy, ask yourself some questions:
Do I have enough time?
In the first few days after leaving his mother and litter-mates, your puppy will feel very lonely and afraid. You and your family will have to spend time with him to make him feel safe. For the first few days, you will need to be around all of the time to help your puppy settle into his new home. It also enables you to bond with him.
After that, you will need to spend time house-training and good behavior training. You will have to make time every day for exercise. Exercise is essential as many behavioral problems are a result of a lack of exercise.
You will also have to feed your labradoodle daily, in fact, several times a day with a young puppy. Your puppy will require regular grooming. Some Labradoodles do not shed hair, but all of them need regular brushing to stop their hair from matting. Don’t forget that you will also need to take the time to visit the vet for regular health checkups.
How long can I leave my Labradoodle alone?
There is a lot of debate among the labradoodle owners regarding this question. Some Labradoodles have been described as “Velcro” dogs as they like to stick to their owners. It is very common for them to follow you from room to room, especially at the beginning.
Labradoodles are amiable dogs and often do well with another labradoodle, which is why some owners have more than one.
Dogs are pack animals. Their natural state is to be with their pack. Being alone is not natural for any dog.
So how long can you leave your dog alone?
In the UK, a rescue organization would not let anyone adopt a dog if they intend to leave the dog alone for more than four or five hours a day.
Dogs left at home alone all day become bored. In the case of Labradoodles that are highly dependent on the company for their happiness, they might become sad and depressed. A lonely labradoodle may display signs of unhappiness by making a mess in the house, being destructive, or misbehaving when you return home.
You should never leave a labradoodle alone for longer than five hours maximum. Labradoodles have smaller bladders than humans. So, they will need to go out to empty their bladder every four to five hours.
Is my home suitable for a Labradoodle?
If you have decided to get a puppy, then choose the one that will fit in your living conditions. If you live in a small apartment of a high rise building, then a standard labradoodle would not be the right choice. They love bounding around and are happiest when they have lots of exercise and entertainment.
If your home is small, then out of three types of labradoodle, the miniature would be the most suitable. Also, if you have less time to devote to your dog, then chose a mini labradoodle as they require less exercise than a medium and standard labradoodle.
You may also need to consider:
Labradoodles and Children
A puppy will grow into a dog, which will become a part of your family for many years to come. If you have children, then they will be delighted to have a labradoodle.
You will need to make sure that your puppy gets enough time to sleep. Sleeping is crucial to puppies just as it for babies. So if you have young children, then make sure the puppy receives its sleep and does not get annoyed by them. One of the reasons some Labradoodles end up in the rescue centers is that the owners are unable to cope with the demands of small children and a dog.
Remember that dogs are very hierarchical. In other words, there is a pecking order they follow. There will always be one person that the puppy will regard as a pack leader. It is usually the person who feeds him or spends the most time with him.
Puppies will often regard children as being on their level and consider them as a playmate. So they might chase, jump, and nip at them with sharp teeth. This is a typical play for puppies. Be sure to supervise their playtime together and make sure that your puppy does not get too boisterous.
Labradoodles and Older People
If you are older or have elderly relatives living with you, then the good news is that Labradoodles are very sociable and great company. They love to be involved with people and generally have affectionate temperaments.
Bear in mind that for an older person, a larger dog may be too difficult to handle. Especially if they have no training not to jump up at people or if they pull on the leash. If you are older, then you will need to consider your energy level to raise a young pup. Ask yourself if you are fit enough to take your dog for at least one walk a day.
Some smaller Labradoodles may survive well enough by only going out in the garden or yard, but there is no substitute in a dog’s mind for a good walk away from home at least once a day.
Many single adults own dogs. But if you live alone, then it will require a lot of dedication from you to raise a puppy. There will be nobody to share the tasks of daily exercise, grooming, and training. Taking on a dog requires a huge commitment and a lot of your time.
If you are out of the house all day as well then it is not really fair to get a puppy or even an adult dog. The dogs feel isolated and sad if they are left alone all day. However, if you work from home, nearby, or are at home all day and you can spend considerable time with the puppy every day, then it can work. All three types of Labradoodles (Standard, Medium, Miniature) make great companions.
Just remember the bigger the dog, the more exercise and space they will need. All Labradoodles demand a certain amount of your time and attention every day regardless of their sizes.
Labradoodles with other Pets
If you already have other pets in your household, then spend time introducing them gradually to each other. If you already have other dogs, supervised sessions from an early age will help them get along, and chances are they will become the best of friends.
Cats may be more of a problem as most dog’s instinct is to chase a cat. Labradoodles bred from working Labradors have strong hunting instincts. Some Labradoodles may take longer to get accustomed to small pets, but others will have no problem at all.
The fact that a dog has lived with one cat will not guarantee that it will tolerate a different, strange cat. A lot will depend on the temperament of the individual dog, and at what age he was introduced to other animals.
If there is a cat already in the house, a pup may tease the cat, but, in the end, it will learn to live with it. It is much harder for an adult Labradoodle to get used to cats or other animals in the house, especially if he has been chasing cats, squirrels, birds, or any creature smaller than himself on his daily walks.
For a labradoodle to get on with a cat will require training and can be time-consuming. So you will need to consider that too.