Labradoodle owners are drawn to the breed because of its fluffy, non-shedding coat, temperament and intelligence. That doesn't mean this friendly breed is without a bark. Labradoodles carry traits from the Labrador retriever and poodle and, when provoked, have a loud, low-pitch bark that signals everything from boredom to anxiety.
Development and Barking
A Labradoodle generally will not bark before he's 3 weeks old. From 3 to 6 weeks, he'll attempt to howl or bark while wrestling and playing with siblings. The puppy also gets growled or barked at by his mother, who is disciplining and showing her pup where he stands in the pack. From around 6 to 14 months, the Labradoodle might bark at strangers because he is fearful of new situations and people. It isn't until adulthood, from about 1 to 4 years old, that the Labradoodle is assertive and confident. Visitors at the door or a stranger approaching during a walk can lead to barking simply because the Labradoodle thinks he should defend his territory.
A Labradoodle who barks for long periods of time at other dogs and neighborhood noises, or who is not easily consoled after a visitor arrives, needs intervention. According to CPDT-KA Jenn Merritt, a North Carolina-based dog trainer, the Labradoodle may bark excessively if his lifestyle needs are not met. Because the Labradoodle has a lot of energy, he's likely to bark when he feels anxious, stressed or stimulated by something he should not be simply because he's bored.
Training and Barking
A Labradoodle has acute intelligence and, therefore, needs to keep learning what he's been taught. Reinforcing the rules on barking is necessary every time a Labradoodle exhibits excessive barking. Merritt advises owners play off a 'Doodle's need to feel useful. "Instruct a Labradoodle to fetch a toy when visitors arrive at the door, which will re-direct his barking into something positive," she says. She also recommends directing the dog to a mat and telling him to stay put. This teaches him that the bark is important, but that the owner is in control.
Socializing and Communicating
A Labradoodle relies on other dogs and people to fulfill his social needs. His constant need for emotional and physical stimulation is filled through playing with other dogs and obeying his owner. This stimulation can be in the form of long walks, visits to the dog park and doggie play dates. When he does not get this, he may begin barking for attention. A Labradoodle may also bark to signal danger to the owner or because he wants the owner to know something, like needing to be let outside to urinate.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.