Are Labradoodles Good for First Time Dog Owners?

Labradoodles are often described as big teddy bears. Therefore, new dog owners are often drawn to their adorable appearance. However, they act like anything but teddy bears. 

As a mix between two large and energetic dogs, these dogs are (you guessed it), large and energetic. In fact, they are probably some of the biggest and most animated dogs out there, which makes them a lot of work, as you’d probably imagine. 

With that in mind, these dogs are generally not considered a good option for most first-time owners. Many people are surprised by just how much work they are. They are not dogs that are just going to sit around and look cute.

Table of Contents

labradoodle puppy portrait outside

Why Labradoodles Aren’t for First-Time Pet Owners

However, it isn’t just their active nature and large size that makes these dogs difficult for new owners to care for. There are several other factors that just make them more complicated to take care of than other breeds:

  • Mental stimulation. Many people know that dogs need exercise. However, more intelligent canines also need mental stimulation. Labradoodles absolutely fall into this category, which means that owners will have to spend quite a bit of time mentally entertaining these dogs. 

  • Training. Speaking of mental stimulation, because these dogs are bigger, they absolutely need to have training. While smaller dogs can sometimes get away without training, these bigger dogs may end up hurting someone if they are not properly trained. Plus, training will help keep them stimulated and happy. 

  • Exercise needs. As we’ve said previously, these dogs have high exercise needs. You can expect to take them on lots of walks. Otherwise, they may be more prone to developing health problems and will have far too much pent-up energy. 

  • Cost. Labradoodles often aren’t very cheap. They are specially bred, so you should expect to pay quite a bit for them. Many first-time owners are surprised to find out that dogs can easily cost thousands of dollars. 

  • Poor breeding. Because Labradoodles are a newer breed and a mixed breed at that, there are plenty of people out there just trying to make a quick buck. For those who have no experience looking for breeders, it is easier to fall into come traps and end up with a poorly bred (or even abused) dog.

  • Grooming. Labradoodles require a lot of grooming. You will need to take them to a groomer regularly for haircuts, and you’ll probably have to do quite a bit of grooming at home as well.
white labradoodle walking outside

Why Shouldn’t You Buy a Labradoodle?

Even if you aren’t a first-time owner, there are many of other reasons why you may want to avoid purchasing a Labradoodle. These characteristics are largely matters of personal preference and can sometimes be avoided by choosing a qualified breeder. 

Firstly, Labradoodles are a mixed breed, first and foremost. They are not like a Shih Tzu or German Shepherd, which is a pure breed with very specific characteristics. You get a German Shepherd by breeding two German Shepherds together, and you know that the dog you get is going to look and act like a German Shepherd. 

For Labradoodles, this is not the case at all. They are produced by breeding a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle. For this reason, you never quite know what you’re going to get. The dog can inherit any trait from either parent. While this sometimes means that you get the best of both breeds. In other cases, you could get the worst of both breeds.

You need to be prepared for this before you decide to adopt a Labradoodle. There is no telling what you’ll end up with, so if you’re set on a particular dog, you should look elsewhere for a canine. Labradoodles often come with a few surprises.

Labradoodles are also not regulated like other dogs. While many dog breeds have breeders’ clubs and are recognized by the AKC, the Labradoodle is not. Therefore, you can’t simply go to the breeders’ club to find a qualified breeder. Instead, you’ll have to do your own research to ensure that you’re purchasing from a qualified breeder

Because Labradoodles are so popular, there are some people out there simply trying to make a quick buck. Usually, puppy mills and backyard breeders do not perform the proper health testing before breeding two dogs together, which can leave you with an unhealthy puppy. Things like hip dysplasia and eye disease are common in this breed, largely because of all the unscrupulous breeders. 

Furthermore, some breeders will sell “Labradoodles” that aren’t actually Labradoodles at all. There is little way to prove that these puppies were bred with the proper breeds, since there is no registry for them. Usually, you have to simply take the breeder’s word for it – which is also why it is so essential that you choose a qualified breeder. 

Are Labradoodles Easy to Care for?

No. While these dogs are often advertised as the perfect companion (and they are with the right care), these dogs can also be a mighty handful. They are larger dogs, since they are a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador. Many people get surprised by just how big their little puppies get.

Because these dogs are quite active, it is vital that you exercise them properly. You should expect to give them at least an hour of exercise each day, though some dogs may need more. 

Furthermore, as intelligent dogs, they are known for making quite a bit of trouble if you do not keep them entertained. As you might imagine, these dogs can get bored quite easily because they are so smart. For this reason, you should preferably have many different opportunities for entertainment throughout the day. 

Training is a great option, as it makes the dog easier to control and helps them stretch their mind a bit. However, long, strolling walks and puzzle toys go a long way, too. 

Plus, these dogs also need a lot of grooming: daily brushing at home and regular baths and trims.

Many have a Poodle-type coat, which means that they will need to be professionally groomed. Over time, this can cost quite a bit of money. Keep this in mind when you’re considering adopting one of these dogs and budget correctly. 

While these dogs are extremely friendly and eager-to-please, they are also a lot of work to care for them properly. Many people are genuinely surprised at the amount of work these dogs require.

Can Labradoodles Be Left Alone?

Separation anxiety is a common problem with Labradoodles, which is another problem many potential owners are surprised by. These dogs were bred to follow their people around all day. They are extremely friendly and people-oriented. However, because of this, they also have a hard time being away from their people. 

It isn’t uncommon for these dogs to exhibit separation anxiety or isolation anxiety. These two conditions are similar, but they do have a few key differences. Firstly, separation anxiety occurs when a dog is separate from a particular person. On the other hand, isolation anxiety occurs when the do is alone. They’re completely fine as long as they are with a person. 

Sometimes, dogs with isolation anxiety are better when there are other dogs in the household, as it gives them someone to be with. However, this is not necessarily the case. For some dogs, it has to be a human. 

However, not all Labradoodles have separation anxiety. In most cases, dogs can be trained to be alone. Separation anxiety occurs because the dog did not learn to be alone from an early age, which then led to problems later in life.

Therefore, crate training can go a long way to prevent anxiety later in life. By crate training your dog, you teach them that alone time is completely doable and even fun. While many dogs are uncomfortable with crate training at first, they should eventually like crate time. Many dogs choose to go in their crates regularly after crate training.

Do Labradoodles Bark a Lot?

Labradoodles do bark sometimes. However, they are not particularly noisy. In most cases, these dogs will bark when they want attention or food

They are not a breed that is overly anxious or likely to bark at everything around them. Not commonly aggressive, you should not expect your dog to bark angrily at passer-bys or other dogs.

However, because they are quite friendly, they might develop a habit of frustration or excitement barking.

labradoodle puppy barking

Is a Goldendoodle or Labradoodle Better for First-Time Owners?

There are several “doodle” mixes out there that first-time owners might be interested in. However, not all of these dogs are a good choice for new dog owners. Because they are all mixed with a Poodle, they tend to be quite energetic and intelligent. While this may be suitable for some families, for others, it can actually cause quite a few problems. 

Most people cannot keep up with an active, intelligent dog without changing their lifestyle significantly. For this reason, only those one the more active end of the spectrum can typically handle any sort of doodle mix. Plus, they require quite a bit of time overall as well. 

Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are quite similar to each other. You can expect both to be quite friendly, intelligent, and active. When it comes to new owners, we cannot recommend either breed. They are simply too active and needy for most owners.

Furthermore, neither one of these dogs is necessarily better than the other, it all depends on your specific needs and what you’re looking for. 

Labradoodles usually have a slightly higher energy level and are slightly less friendly than the Goldendoodle. Plus, they also tend to be slightly stronger and bigger. Therefore, for any kind of working canine, you may want to choose a Labradoodle. However, for a companion animal, most people are going to get along better with a Goldendoodle. 

However, it does depend on what you want to do with your canine. If you’re interested in canine sports or are very active yourself, then you probably want a Labradoodle instead. 

With that said, you should remember that both of these dogs are a lot of work, so don’t get either canine unless you have a lot of extra time on your hands. Otherwise, you may find yourself unable to handle either dog. 


Labradoodles are specifically bred to be companion animals in most cases. They are extremely friendly and adorable, which is their main draw.  However, they are also quite a bit of work, which is exactly why we don’t recommend them for most owners. They are simply far too much work in most cases. 

Their activity levels means that you’re going to spend a lot of time exercising these dogs. Unless you are quite active yourself, you should avoid getting an active dog. While these canines are fine for those that like to go on miles-long walks everyday and spend a lot of time running around in the backyard, they typically have too much energy for the average owner. 

Furthermore, these dogs are extremely intelligent. While most people automatically feel drawn to more intelligent dogs, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Dogs with higher intelligence typically need more toys and time with their family. They get bored very easily and may look for their own fun, which typically means some sort of destruction. 

For this reason, they do best when someone is home with them much of the time, or at least pays for daily walks while they’re gone. Puzzle toys go a long way with this breed, and they do great in training, which can also help them stay entertained.

Author: Kristin

Author: Kristin

Kristin was born in Tennessee and currently lives there with her husband and children. She is passionate about educating pet parents and helping them make the best possible decisions for their pets. She currently owns one dog, two cats, a lizard, and a variety of fish.