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Are Labradoodles High-Maintenance?

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Are Labradoodles High-Maintenance?

The lovable, adorable Labradoodle is a hybrid breed. A cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Standard, Miniature, or Toy Poodle, the Labradoodle has become an increasingly popular choice for a pet over the last 20 years. They’re affectionate, friendly, intelligent dogs who have a reputation for being low-shedding and “hypoallergenic.” 

While no dog is truly hypoallergenic, the Labradoodle is a good choice for allergy sufferers. Some of them shed less hair and dander than other breeds, so people with dog allergies can live a little more peacefully with them. Since this breed is mixed with a Labrador, a dog that sheds heavily, there is always a chance that they take on their Labrador parent’s coat and shed, too. 

First-time dog owners can choose a Labradoodle and be surprised by what they get. Labradoodles, despite their teddy-bear appearances, are high-maintenance dogs! This means they require a lot of time and care in order to make sure their needs are met. Let’s learn more about them. 

Table of Contents

Is a Labradoodle Too High-Maintenance?

If you’re looking for a low-energy, couch potato type of dog, the Labradoodle isn’t for you. They require a great deal of training, socialization, exercise, and grooming.

They have high energy levels and need to have healthy ways to exercise or else they will turn to destructive behaviors in the house. They want lots of attention. They bark and can be prone to separation anxiety. If your Labradoodle is the Standard size, they can weigh up to 65 pounds. And they’re heavy chewers. 

With all this said, is there any reason to get a Labradoodle?

Labradoodle Benefits

Labradoodles are worth the extra work for many reasons. This is a high-maintenance breed, but they are also highly rewarding. They are low-shedding dogs. Both the Labrador and the Poodle are extremely intelligent breeds, and the Labradoodle has inherited their intelligence, as well.

These smart dogs are highly trainable. The good news is that they require lots of training, but it’s easy to do it. They learn quickly and are eager to please their owners. 

Labradoodles are friendly, outgoing, social dogs. Inheriting their part of the fun-loving Labrador’s personality, these dogs are smart and also the life of the party. They crave human companionship and love to be around their owners. They are not an aggressive breed (though they – as all dogs – require socializatio and positive exposure!).

They make loving family pets. They are friendly with children and other animals in the home. Every dog is an individual with their own personality, so Labradoodles should be well-socialized even though they have a friendly nature and gentle temperament.

Labradoodle on the yellow background

Ways Labradoodles are High-Maintenance

  • High Energy Levels: Labradoodles have high energy levels and need to move. They require mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and if they’re unhappy, you’ll know it. Bored Labradoodles can be destructive. These dogs are always ready for action.

     

  • Excitement: Labradoodles are very energetic but also enthusiastic. They’re excited about life and love to explore. They’re adventurous, meaning they won’t hesitate to jump in that puddle or try to pull you down the street on the end of their leash. They’re always excited and even eat and drink vigorously. Having an animated, happy dog is fun! But they will need proper training to learn their manners.

     

  • Exercise: Labradoodles need a great deal of exercise but it’s not their fault. They’re the product of Poodles and Labradors, two very active breeds! Not only will this keep them at a healthy weight, but it will limit their undesirable behaviors, like barking, digging, and chewing.

     

  • Grooming Needs: Even though this breed sheds less than others, Labradoodles require grooming. This includes brushing, bathing, and regular haircuts to keep their coats clean and tidy. Unruly coats can quickly get matted.

     

  • Separation Anxiety: If you aren’t home a lot, this may not be the dog for you. Labradoodles can’t spend long periods of time alone. They have a lot of love to give and dislike solitude. A regular workday is fine for them to entertain themselves, but any longer than that and you should consider hiring a dog-walker or having a friend come over to give the dog some company. Being gone longer than 8 hours shouldn’t be a regular occurrence if you own a Labradoodle.

     

  • Costs of Ownership: Professional grooming, training, basic living needs, and healthcare can add up when you own a Labradoodle. The cost of the puppies themselves isn’t cheap either. From a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay around $2,000 for a puppy. 

Grooming Needs

No matter which coat your Labradoodle inherits, it will need to be groomed regularly to keep it healthy and tidy. Their coats need to be brushed at least once a day so they stay tangle-free and smooth. A quick brushing to remove any tangles or debris in the coat is all they need. Too much brushing can strip their skin of its natural oils and dry it out. 

Professional groomers can provide all of the grooming needs for your dog at a regular appointment. Bathing, brushing, haircuts, and nail clippings are included to keep your Labradoodle looking their best. On average, appointments should be made at least every 6-8 weeks. 

Since Labradoodles’ coats require clipping and maintenance, this is an added expense and errand that must be done in order to own this breed.

Exercise Needs

Labradoodles need to have their exercise requirements met. Before you decide on this breed, take a moment to consider if you have the time to dedicate to their energy levels. Dog walkers and dog daycares can be helpful to give your dog a way to get some exercise during the day while you’re at work. 

An average, healthy Labradoodle can easily enjoy two 45-minute walks each day. At a minimum, they should get this amount of exercise. Additionally, any enclosed area where they can run and play with other dogs or chase a ball will be beneficial to them and keep them from getting bored.

labradoodle laying on the red blanket

Excitement

Labradoodles can easily get overstimulated when they’re very excited. New people coming over, lots of children running around, and new dogs in their space can make them happy, which leads to excitement, which leads to spending a great deal of time trying to calm down your dog. 

Reward-based training will help this behavior and let you spend less time correcting your dog. You’ll never be able to train this trait out of your dog completely, but you’ll at least be able to stop their excitement from escalating. 

When buying a Labradoodle puppy from a breeder, always ask to meet the parents of the litter. This should never be a request that is denied. Reputable breeders will allow you to meet the parent dogs and ask any questions you have. You can get a good idea of what your puppy’s personality will be by meeting their parents. 

Neediness

Labradoodles are social and thrive when they are with their family members. They love human companionship and they don’t do well if they are left alone for long periods. While some Labradoodles are needier than others, the breed is known for being affectionate and social overall. 

This is important to consider before getting a Labradoodle puppy. They aren’t independent dogs and they will need you to be with them the majority of the time to keep them emotionally healthy. If they get lonely or bored, destructive behaviors can start to come out due to separation anxiety. Labradoodles are surrendered to shelters and rescues because people did not take the time to consider their needs before they got a puppy. 

If you have to go to work or run errands, your dog will be fine for that amount of time. If you are gone for 12 hours a day or coming home from work just to go out again, this won’t be beneficial to a Labradoodle. 

Can I Have Other Animals With A Labradoodle?

Yes! In fact, this is encouraged. If you are not home, your Labradoodle may find the company of another dog to be enough to stop their separation anxiety from occurring. It will also give them a playmate to use up some of their energy. 
However, do not get two Labradoodle puppies at the same time! Plan for at least 2-3 years before you add another pet to the family.

The bottom line

Labradoodles are high-maintenance dogs in the sense that they require more care than some other breeds. They have high energy levels and need proper exercise every day. They have coats that require regular grooming. They need training to teach them the correct ways to behave. 

Consider their needs before committing to this breed to make sure you are able to meet them. It can be overwhelming to look at their care requirements. However, once you develop a routine and have a happy dog, it will become easier. 

Labradoodles are loving, loyal, and affectionate dogs that are worth the extra time and money needed to devote to their care. If your heart is set on this breed, don’t let their care level stop you. If you have the time and desire to give your Labradoodle everything they need, it is a greatly rewarding experience to own one of these wonderful dogs.

Author: Jessica Rossetti
Author: Jessica Rossetti

Jessica lives in Chicago with her husband, Dominic, and their rescued cat, Toast. She has lived with dogs for over 30 years and spends her days writing, caring for various animals, and enjoying her backyard that has become an oasis for wild creatures.

Her passion for animals began at a young age when she would bring home the lost dog or cat. As she got older, she went on to bring home an injured bird or raccoon. This love and desire to help all creatures led to her work as an adult with various animal rescues, where she saved the lives of many domestic and wild animals while learning the necessary skills to care for them.

Owning and operating a professional pet care service in Chicago for the past twelve years, Jessica cares for dogs in her home while writing full-time.

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