Whether it’s an Australian Labradoodle or simply just a Labradoodle, one reason why these dogs have become so popular is their temperament. The Labradoodle combines the gentleness and steadfastness of the Labrador with the intelligence and alertness of the Poodle. The Poodle is also an instinctual dog, which is why sometimes you may wonder how your Labradoodle knows what you are thinking!
Both dogs are loyal and regarded as easy to train, and many Labradoodles are trained as service or therapy dogs.
Your dogs’ character will be formed based on their temperament combined with their surrounding environment. Like humans, a dog is also born with a set of natural characteristics or personality traits. But how he turns out as an adult will also be significantly affected by you and how you treat him.
By nature, Labradoodles are sociable, friendly, affectionate, and non-aggressive with other dogs. They are generally alert and many of them, particularly Standard Labradoodles, have high energy levels. They are very social and love to be with the heart of family life, and therefore they are not suitable pets to be left alone all day.
Labradoodles are intelligent and highly trainable but need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Standard Labradoodles can be boisterous and mischievous. Miniatures Labradoodles are also becoming more popular.
They want nothing more than to please their people and thrive on interaction. They enjoy a challenge, love games, and are easily bored. Most Labradoodles love water and mud. So, if you are house proud, a smaller, less active breed might be a better choice.
Labradoodles love to run, swim and fetch. Their energy levels vary greatly, so it’s a good idea to try and see the parents, as puppies will generally take after them in this respect. They will bark if someone comes to the door, but are watchdogs rather than guard dogs, as they are likely to welcome any intruder with a wagging tail.
Leaving them alone or without stimulation for long periods can lead to poor or destructive behavior, which is why some end up in rescue centers. Before taking on a Labradoodle, ask yourself if you genuinely can afford the time that this beautiful, friendly, active and often comical dog deserves.
As with all dogs, they need to be treated with respect and need to be given a firm, fair training from a very early age, or they will try to outsmart you.
They can sometimes be too intelligent for their own good. But if you ask any Labradoodle owner, they will say that these dogs are worth their weight in gold.
They often do well with other dogs, and commonly cats and other animals, due to their inherent non-aggressive nature. They also usually do well with children with a few requirements.
Labradoodle Personality Traits
Friendly – Easy-going, Gentle, fun, and high spirited, inherited from their Labrador parent.
Intelligent – Highly alert and smart, just like their Poodle parent.
Loyal – Labradoodles are loyal dogs. If treated well when young, Labradoodles make loving, dependable, and amusing companions.
Easy-to-train – A combination of their high level of intelligence and desire to please people makes it easy to train them.
Playful – Labradoodles have a very high energy level. They enjoy playing with a passion and always up for a game of chase, fetch, or even a swim.
Easy-to-maintain – With proper grooming, diet, and exercise routines, they are a pretty easy breed to care for.
Choosing The Right Temperament
If you’ve decided that a Labradoodle is the ideal dog for you, then here are two important points to bear in mind at the outset:
Find a responsible breeder with a good reputation (strongly recommended).
Secondly, take your time. Choosing a puppy that will share your home and your life for the next 10 to 15 years is a big decision. Don’t rush it.
You’ve probably opted for a Doodle because you like the look of the dogs and their temperament, or you might want a low or non-shedding dog. Presumably, you’re planning on spending a lot of time with your new puppy, as Labradoodles are people dogs. If you’ve chosen a Standard labradoodle, then be prepared for lots of daily exercise as well.
The next thing to remember is that while different Labradoodles may share many characteristics and temperament traits; each puppy also has its character, just like humans.
Are you fit and active – do you want a lively, energetic dog? Or are you older and maybe live alone? If so, a smaller, more placid Labradoodle will suit you better, or perhaps an older dog that needs re-homing. If possible, visit the breeder’s more than once to get an idea of your chosen pup’s character in comparison to its litter-mates.
Some Labradoodle puppies will run up to greet you, pull at your shoelaces and playfully bite your fingers. Others will be more content to stay in the basket sleeping. Watch their behavior and energy levels. Which puppy will be suitable?
Submissive or Dominant?
A submissive dog will be more passive by nature, less energetic, and also possibly easier to train. A dominant dog will usually be more active and lively. They may also need a firmer hand when training or socializing with other dogs.
There is no right or wrong; it’s a question of which type of character best suits you and your lifestyle. Here are a couple of quick tests to try at the breeder’s to see if your puppy has a submissive or dominant personality:
Roll the Labradoodle puppy gently on the floor on to its back in the crook of your arm. Then rest a hand on the pup’s chest and look into his eyes for a few seconds. If he immediately struggles to get free, he is considered to be dominant. If the puppy doesn’t struggle and happy to stay on its back then it has a more submissive character.
A similar test is the suspension test. Gently lift the puppy at arm’s length under the armpits for a few seconds while allowing his hind legs to dangle free. A dominant pup will kick and struggle to get free. A puppy that is happy to remain dangling is more submissive.
Here are some other important signs to look out for:
Watch how he interacts with his litter-mates. Does he try and dominate them, does he walk away from them, or is he happy to play with them? How your puppy reacts with other puppies may give you an idea of how easy it will be to socialize him with other dogs.
After having contact with the puppy, does he want to follow you or walk away from you? Not following may mean he has a more independent nature.
If you throw something for the puppy, is he happy to retrieve it for you or does he ignore it? This may measure their willingness to work with humans.
Decide which type of temperament would fit in with you and your family, and the rest is up to you. A Labradoodle that has constant positive interactions with people and other animals during the first three to four months of life will be a more stable, happier dog.
In contrast, a puppy plucked from its family and isolated at home alone for weeks on end will be less happy, less socialized, and may well have behavior problems later on. Puppies are like children. Being properly raised contributes to their confidence, sociability, stability, and intellectual development.
The bottom line is that a pup raised in a warm, loving environment with people is likely to be more tolerant and accepting and less likely to develop problems.
Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test or Volhard Test
For those who prefer a scientific approach to choosing the right puppy, you can also try the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test.
This aptitude test has been developed by the highly respected Wendy and Jack Volhard who have built up an international reputation over the last 30 years for their invaluable contribution to dog training, health, and nutrition.
Read the full Volhard puppy aptitude test on their website to learn how to conduct the test.