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Training an Australian Labradoodle (Part 2 of 3)

Barking at something

My Plan is the following. Consider why the doodle is barking. The doodles instinct is to alert and protect the pack from the thing. I am the pack leader, so I MUST take on the role of protecting the pack. As a side note, please never allow a doodle to be the pack leader. It is exhausting and to me, like telling a 5-year-old child, you are now in charge of protecting us all in case of attack, from anything. Really? This would cause anxiety, to say the least. Step up and be the leader. Allow the doodle to alert you and you take over. This means I am going to let the doodle bark until I acknowledge the thing and then the doodle should move on to any acceptable behavior and allow me to take over. I decide my code words to acknowledge the thing are going to be, I see it, it is fine. I am going to use, NO BARK, and hold up a finger, to stop the barking, only IF it continues past the acknowledgement. I am going to ask the doodle to chew his bone if he does not ignore the thing once I acknowledge it.

• The thing arrives (lawn person, neighbor, dog walking past the house, trash person)
• Doodle barks
• I stand up, walk to the window, look outside, I say, I see it, (I now look at the doodle and say) it is fine.
• I walk back to what I was doing, ignoring the thing (hoping the doodle follows my lead and follows me).
• As I am walking away, with each bark, at that second the bark is coming out, I interrupt the bark and say NO BARK and hold up the finger (just like my mom used to do it we were whining and she wanted us to stop, you know the finger and the look). This might go on 4 times, or none.
• If the doodle does not follow me and ignore the thing, I would walk to their bone pick it up and toss it on the floor in a good chewing spot.
• If they follow me or pick up the bone, I reward them with GOOD GIRL and some petting as I sit back down and go back to work.

Why does this work? Well the doodle did their ingrained job as a dog, they needed to alert me. I told them exactly what to stop and when to stop. I swapped the continuous barking behavior with bark only until I am alerted, acknowledge the thing, then follow my lead and ignore it, go back to what you were doing. Then they get rewarded for moving on with their day. To be honest this works almost all the time, and you never need to say NO BARK more than once. Usually after a few times with the same thing, they stop alerting me, after all, as the leader, I don’t seem to care about it. My doodles will watch the thing, but no longer bark at it after I have acknowledged it once or twice. They will eventually just let me determine if anything is even worth a look.

Barking at the door bell and then Jumping up on new people

Alright this one must be split up. There are three types of things that happen at the door. Each one requires a separate plan.
• Someone comes to drop a package or tell me something.
• Someone comes to the house to visit us
• We come home

The plan for someone coming to drop a package or tell me something. This is not a time the dog is going to meet and greet someone. So, I precede the same as barking at the thing in the previous section. The only change is at the door, I like to use the Pet Corrector (since I can leave it there by the door and just pick it up. My dog has the need to alert me, I plan to allow this behavior. Someone knocks (usually UPS). My doodle barks and runs to the door. I get up, walk to the door look out (I can see that no one is there as I walk up to my door due to the window). I say, it is not important, (I make eye contact with the dog) It is fine. I pick up the Pet Corrector and shush at the exact second of each bark past the acknowledgement. As soon as my dog is quiet (usually standing there looking at me). I turn and open the door, get the package and close the door. If I need to talk to them, I open once the barking stops, step out, close the door, talk and come back in. I walk away and ignore things, the dog follows. As soon as we get back to our previous activities I pet her. Currently, I no longer need to use the Pet corrector during this activity.

The plan for someone coming to visit us is different as it includes the meet and greet. I need to place at the door, the Pet Corrector and a leash. This is NOT the go for a walk leash, it is a different short leash. I do not want the do excited to go for a walk when the see this leash. In this event, I need to realize that a dog needs to alert me and is also hard wired to meet a new person or new dog in a specific way. Puppies in particular. Watch a puppy meet a new dog. They immediately form a submissive position, this includes jumping up and licking the dogs face (probably to say, your great and I am nice and will not challenge you). They will also walk around in circles looking at the new dog, somewhat cowering with their head down looking up. This is natural and the only way they know how to meet someone without direction to do otherwise. There are multiple things going on here which all have 3 steps.

First, the dog is going to the door, probably barking. I want the dog to stop barking once I acknowledge the person. For acknowledgement I use the terms, it is a guest, (looking at the dog I say) It is fine. I have a leash at the door, which I pick up and I clip on the dog and drop slack to the floor. At that point, the dog is excited again, I wait just looking at the dog with my hand on the door knob. I may have told the person outside, I am training my do, it may take a moment. At times, I have put a note on the door indicating this as well. is a good video of what I am going to do. At this point I am waiting until the dog is calm to reward. The reward is the door opening and people coming in. I wait to open the door until the dog is sitting and/or calm. Unlike the video, I do accept 4 feet on the ground and clam (paying attention to me) as acceptable.
Next is the person coming and communicating with the dog in some way.
My plan is to keep 4 feet on the ground. Either a sit or 4 feet on the ground is a good plan for me and the reward will be either me petting the dog (if the guest does not do it) or the guest petting the dog. I keep the leash on the dog and in my hand so that if we move into another room I can still work with the dog. Once we all sit down or whatever, as soon as the dog is calm, settled down and behaving normal. I get a treat and remove the leash.
Note, when a small puppy, I tend to pick up the puppy to meet people eye to eye and just by pass the ability to jump up. At some point when we are ready to consistently train at the door, I set up my Pet Corrector and leash. I also use the same technique when meeting people on a walk.

The plan for when the family comes home is different. We obviously come on in and walk past the dog. I try and not make any big door greeting. We walk past the dog, ignoring her until well into the house. At that point, we put our things down and do play with the dog. She missed us, I am acknowledging she needs to see us, say hello and interact. To her it has been a long wait for us to return. I am not going to ignore her, I am going to take a few moments to play.
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Training Australian Labradoodles (Part 1 of 3)

Are Labradoodles easy to train? How do I train an Australian Labradoodle?

Yes, you read that title correctly, I am suggesting that training needs to be tailored to this mixed breed and for that matter your dog. In my opinion, dog training is not a one size fits all process. Each kid learns differently; each dog learns differently. What works for one dog and one breed or mixed breed does not always work for another. You dog has not failed to be trained, you may have failed in selecting and following thru with the correct training method for your dog.

The following is my suggested training method for Australian Labradoodles. A good Australian Labradoodle breeder is selectively breeding the best parents, grandparents and great grandparents with a focus on you and your desires (easy to train), a bit silly (independently playful), likes to cuddle and allows eye contact, interested in new things but not overly excited and out of control, intuitive (senses your mood and responds), does not need a high activity level (can be a couch potato if you are), and is as non shedding and allergy friendly as a dog can be (we all admit there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic animal and I agree humans are allergic to more than dander). Given this, they respond to companionship and attention.

I suggest my families look for a balanced behavioral trainer. The 100% positive behavior training does not work, I am sorry, this is my opinion. With this mixed breed, you do not need to use punishment, ever, but you do need to use three things. These three things are negative reinforcement followed by a swapped behavior and positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement would include; saying No, using a sound emitting (shush sound) Pet corrector can, a can of pennies for sound. In my opinion, these sounds (No, Shush, Grunt) do interrupt the unwanted behavior at the exact time of the behavior (which is required). They allow you to tell the dog the exact behavior you do not like. I will come back to this later.

Everything a dog does is a behavior, what you are trying to do is train them to exhibit a specific behavior you want. Almost all behaviors you want them to stop are natural behaviors, your doodle did not select this behavior, it is ingrained into their DNA as a dog. Doodles bark, poop, pee, chew, run, jump, protect their pack, eat, greet others in ways to say hello, let’s play, they also tell other dogs no, get away. So, let’s face it, your doodle is not bad, they are dogs. Training is guiding an ingrained behavior to a direction that YOU like. The general problem I see is people wanting a dog to stop a behavior, but they are not telling the dog the exact behavior to stop and do not teach them an alternate behavior at the same time, following up with a yes, that is the behavior I want. What I like to do is give examples, compare these examples to human behaviors and then give you a suggested alternative method, so stick with me. I am trying to train you to see things differently.

There is a plan followed by three steps (some are done at the same time), doing one step will not work. Please note this will not work for all breeds, and may not work for all Australian Labradoodles. You may have to alter they plan to suit what your doodle can do. With my kids, it was not a one size fits all, it is a constant reassessment of what they are capable of, what is acceptable and how to get from one point to the next. It is no different with doodles. However, most of the time this will work with this breed, and it will work well.

You need to determine the behavior you wish to change and set a plan for the steps. You need to think about their capabilities as dogs what ingrain functions they need to express and determine what might work, what commands (I like to use a few commands) you will use consistently and plan help as needed. Then implement that plan for as long as it takes to either work or determine it will never work and find another set of steps.

First, the exact behavior.
The dog knows they did something wrong, or did they? Hundreds of dog owners will say, I came home and he was sitting in the corner, cowering and I know he knows what he did was wrong. Here is the problem, a dog cannot make those leaps from, I knocked over the trashcan, I ate the garbage, you are coming home, I will hide so I do not get into trouble for knocking over the garbage and making a mess. Really? Here is the test. Your dog is constantly getting into the garbage while you are gone, you come home and are upset. You might yell at the dog, and/or are exhibiting angry behavior while cleaning it up. The dog hides or cowers while all this is going on. Obviously, you jump to the conclusion that the dog knows why you are angry (that they got into the garbage). So, try this. The dog goes for a walk with someone, while they are gone on their walk, you knock over the garbage can, take out the garbage and put it all over the floor. When the dog comes back, look at the dog, watch his behavior. I will tell you once the dog sees the garbage on the floor plus you standing there looking at them and the garbage, they will cower, run and hide from you (whatever they typically do when you come home to find garbage). What the dog does know is, if there is garbage on the floor and you see it, you will yell or be upset and they are in trouble. They have no idea that when they are happily eating the garbage the result will be you mad at them, this is a leap of logic they cannot make. The same applies with pooping on the floor, barking, or eating your shoe. Therefore, catching them in the act is the ONLY event that will make the specific behavior stop. They are afraid of you when you SEE the garbage, or see the poop not make the leap to not eating the garbage or pooping on the floor. Why is it taking so long for your doodle to “get it”, to understand what behavior you want to stop, in my opinion it is because you did NOT really tell them. Your doodle is barking at a person in your neighbor’s yard. You are yelling along with them, No, Stop barking, Stop it. Why aren’t they stopping? They do not know you want them to stop barking at all. In reality, you are barking too, it must be serious. This is a dog, they do not understand your words and what you are implying, the last time you yelled no, they were pooping on the rug, they are not pooping, what are you doing? Maybe you are barking at the person as well. They are ingrained to protect the pack, that means alerting you. If you do not reveal to them the exact behavior to stop, they will not understand what you are implying. You need to be EXACT. For example, while barking, look at them, each time they bark, at the exact second they make the bark sound, interrupt them (either say NO BARK, use the Pet Corrector sound, or Grunt) use whatever you want to use to tell them the EXACT thing you want stopped. Wait for them to start to pee on the floor, at the exact second pee starts to come out (either yell NO, use the Pet Corrector sound, or Grunt) be specific. If this was your child, let’s say they go to school and when they come home you open the door and yell NO. Really, does the child know that you found that they left the TV on while gone and that is the problem? No, you tell them exactly what they did wrong. You doodle is no different, however you cannot explain it to them, therefore they do not stop the behavior.

Second, swap the behavior with a win, win behavior.
For example, your puppy is chewing your decorative basket. You spray the basket with one of these No Chew sprays that tastes bad hoping they will stop. They either continue to chew the basket, or chew another part of the basket or the nearby basket. IF you say NO, they may move on to something else until you are gone, then back to the basket. Even if you have told them the exact behavior to stop, without an alternative win, win behavior to swap in, and reward you will not be fully successful. All along, remember what I said about ingrain behaviors, you need to acknowledge that the swapped behavior MUST acknowledge that the new behavior MUST utilize the ingrained behaviors. Dogs chew, so I am going to acknowledge that my doodle needs to chew, therefore what is acceptable to chew? I will use an acceptable chew toy as the swapped behavior. Don’t hand them a toy (unless you want them, and think they would enjoy chewing it) or tell them to go lay down. For a human example, your child is bugging you, stating they are bored while you are trying to get work done. You tell them to go away or stop whining. Did the child stop? In my family, we did not stop. Why because we did not have something else to do. The child wants something to do, if you find another activity they will equally enjoy, they will select the preferred behavior, in absence of this alternative behavior choice, the behavior continues. As an example of an ingrained behavior let’s look at the kids again. The kids are bored, they have been inside all day, they want to run around the house and I do not want them to do that as I am trying to work. Can I ask them to sit still and be quiet as the new behavior? Really, that is not a win, win. Does their happiness or needs to move matter at all in the choice? I think it must matter to be successful. I would ask them to go play frisbee, or play a dancing game, or if safe, play in the rain outside. Something we both find acceptable and acknowledges they need to move around. My suggestion? If your doodle is chewing something you do not want them to chew, be specific, tell them not to chew that specific item at the exact second they are chewing it (step one) AND give them a good bone to chew (to be honest we have a dozen various bones in the house right now). Do you see the difference between just saying no, and saying no PLUS providing an alternative win, win behavior? The point is when they are alone, and want to chew, they have an acceptable chewing behavior to select in exchange. Before you even start trying to change a behavior, think of an alternative win, win behavior you want to replace it. Once we get to the last section, typical behaviors and three steps to change those behaviors I will offer alternative behaviors, but for now you need to know that you will not have effective change without providing the change you want within the boundaries of what they need.

Third, is the reward
All dogs have different preferred rewards. The reward may be food, play, attention, it may be love. You need to tell the doodle (again at the exact second) what they are doing is good. Using a term like Good Girl, Great job at the exact second they are doing what you like, is telling them what specifically is good. Then you can pet them repeating Good Girl, go get them a treat a few seconds later, say Good Girl while giving the treat. This is why clicker training works, not that you need to do it. Using a clicker at the exact second they do something, then reward them is telling them the exact behavior they are being rewarded for doing. Tell a dog to sit, stay, stay, stay, come and give them a treat. They would have to think the come command is what they are getting the treat for since that was when the reward was given. Therefore, saying sit (GOOD GIRL), stay (GOOD GIRL), come (GOOD GIRL) and saying GOOD GIRL while giving them a treat is more specific.

The most discussed behaviors many owners of Australian Labradoodles want to swap out are:
• Barking at some thing
• Barking at the door bell and then Jumping up on new people
• Chewing (covered above)
• Nipping
• Food Guarding or Toy Guarding

(Next Part 2 of 3)
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Coconut oil for dogs, go figure


Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT), including Lauric Acid (48% lauric acid, 8% caprylic acid and 7% capric acid, plus myristic and palmitic acids) and is 90% good fat. This provides many benefits for digestion, the immune system, metabolic function, skin and coat health and thyroid health. Lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. You can feed it as a treat and put it on their skin for numerous benefits.

Healthy Skin and Coat
• Clears up eczema, dry skin
• Minimizes doggy odor
• Reduces allergic reactions (flea allergies, bites and stings, contact dermatitis and resulting itchy skin)
• Creates sleek and glossy coats
• Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections
• When applied topically, promotes wound healing, helps to reduce and treat hot spots (Disinfects cuts, promotes wound healing)
• Protects against fleas, ticks and mites (rub into coat when going into the woods)
• Soothes and heals dry cracked pads and elbow calluses

Improves Digestion
• Increases nutrient absorption
• Helps with colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome
• Reduces or eliminates bad breath
• Helps with coughing
• Expels or kills parasites

"Superfood" Benefits
• Powerful antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agents
• Balances insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
• Helps prevent or control diabetes (Regulates and balances insulin and can help prevent or control diabetes)
• Aids arthritis and ligament problems
• Helps prevent infection and disease
• Aids in increasing energy
• May reduce risk of cancer
• Promotes normal thyroid function
• Helps build strong bones
• Promotes good nerve and brain function
• Helps clear up ear and eye infections (let it melt and then use as eye drops, and also use topically in the ears)
• Improves oral health and can be used to clean teeth

What Kind Of Coconut Oil Should You Buy?

Organic is best, high grade MCT coconut oil like Brain Octane from Bulletproof it is a liquid, I put in my refrig. so that it gets mushy like mash potatoes and easy to scoop and give as a treat.

How Much Coconut Oil Should You Give Your Dog?

More is NOT better, only give the recommended dosage. Too much causes poop problems, the right dosage, is the CORRECT amount. As a daily supplement, work up to about 1 tsp per 10 lbs. (1 Tablespoon every 30 lbs.) of body weight per day. Start with ¼ of this amount to avoid the poops from the extra oil going through the digestive system, then increase gradually until you get to the recommended dose.


Socialize your dog, PLEASE

I must state one of the biggest issues that results in behavioral problems in dogs is lack of socialization. Dogs cannot talk or understand our language. This may be a surprise to most. Think of your puppy as a child that cannot speak, understand unique directions, understand cause and effect (versus event and effect) or hear. Most of the time you are trying to communicate to your dog the consequences of actions and trying to reassure them that previous events were not caused by the actions they may think caused them.

As a professor, I find it best to give examples. For example: Your dog is on a walk with you. You see a friend wearing a baseball hat or sunglasses walking towards you with their dog and at the same time a car goes by at a high speed, the radio blaring. You are surprised, step back and step on the dog’s foot. The dog can think anything of course, but most likely if this is the one and only time they have been on this walk, they might think any of the following:

• They associate a car with a loud noise, you scared and them being hurt.
• They associate the friend (or someone in a hat, or someone wearing sunglasses) with a car, noise, fear and being stepped on.
• They associate the walk with a fearful event.
• They associate the dog with your friend as something to be worried about.

These thoughts and more are possible. The only way to really “tell” your dog that none of these are true is for them to have experienced all the events mentioned above more than 2 or 3 times and having none of the resulting events take place. IF they have walked down that street 10 times, seen cars, seen friends, seen other dogs, experienced loud noises and all those times nothing negative happened they will either stop associating the event and the effect or never start associating these events with these negative effects.

Your job as a dog parent is to socialize, to cause as many events as possible to happen and for them to associate all these events with happy times.

I tell my puppy families their job is to have their dog meet 100 people and experience 100 events in the first 60 days’ home and then continue this for the first year at the very least.

Proper socialization needs to occur early in life and throughout the first year at a high frequency. We should never expect a dog to comprehend human concepts. However, just because your dog is older, this does not mean that you cannot start to socialize them now and see positive results. Many dogs can change their behaviors if you take the time to socialize later in life and the results will help them function normally. The only problem is changing set behaviors is harder than setting the correct behaviors to begin with. This does not mean it is not possible, just that it takes more time and effort on your part.

Allowing your puppy to play with your other dog or your kids and your kids friends in your home is not socialization.

You will need to take your dog out to appropriate events, activities, and environments. It may interfere with your schedule and take time, but the rewards are tremendous. Proper socialization entails your dog interacting with other dogs and people outside of your family and outside of your home. Proper socialization is not a free for all. It is structured planned events that you believe with be positive and rewarding for the dog. Letting your dog loose at the dog park to get bullied or to bully other dogs is not positive and rewarding. This means a positive social interaction in which you teach your dog proper behaviors, reward them (bring treats). If your dog is a little shy or reserved, you reward it when it has a positive interaction with another dog or human.

For example, my dog disliked the cable guy. I have no idea why; but she just did not like him. When he arrived, she barked, retreated and eventually ran into the other room. I could have yelled at her to stop barking, I could have put her in a room alone while he was there. But what I did was go get the treat box and walked around with the cable guy and gave her treats as she followed me and behaved. I did tell the cable guy what I was doing. Before he left he asked to give her a treat and I suggested he take one and toss it to her this time, which he did. She never had an issue with him again. She also eagerly was interested in anyone invited into the house. You can use treats, praise, and petting. This also means that if your dog reacts inappropriately (i.e. lunges at passing pedestrian), you ought to correct that behavior. IF needed see a professional trainer for assistance.

What happens when you don't properly socialize a dog:

Extreme Fear and Shyness, Fearful and aggressive body language, Avoidance of people, including fleeing and intense responses such running into objects during escape attempts, Frequent and/or intense startle response

o Now this may happen, as I mentioned earlier, when an event occurred and being an isolated event has been associated with something. For example. Your dog does not like men, why? The dog barked, a man yelled at them, and put them in a room alone. This possibly lead the dog to believe, this man is scary, and in fact all men may be scary. I must run away and be put in a safe place. And in fact, every time a man comes over they retreat and nothing bad happens. Well that, to a dog may mean their retreat is why nothing bad happened. Can you see where without understanding, they are associating. For another example, your husband discovered your teen did something, worthy of being yelled at. Your husband yelled (men tend to have deep loud voices), the dog backed up, turned fast and hit his head on the corner of the door. The dog at that point decided, men yell and I get hurt, therefore men are scary. Another example: You are upset, you yell at someone or something. The dog associates you with yelling and anger. If you are the one who always yells, disciplines the kids, the dog may fear you. Not because you did anything to them, just because you have done something, and it was not a happy event. The best thing you can do is go about your life of course, but notice, the dog is watching me and may be associating that they are in trouble (when in fact they are not), so after your teen stomps to their room and slams their door, look at the dog and say, you are not in trouble, you are a good dog, let’s get a treat. And get them a treat. They will learn, you may get mad and may yell, but if you are not looking at them, you are nothing to be afraid of and in fact they may get a treat. Do you see how without language and a general understanding of cause and effect they can think anything? Without socialization, lots of events occurring where positive things happen, they have no other events to draw on and jump to conclusions.

Lack of Social Behavior, Total disengagement from interactions that include freezing and may appear catatonic, Fear in any new situation or environment, including fear of novel objects and surfaces

o Without being in a situation where they behaved and are rewarded, they truly don't understand how to behave. A dog jumps up every time someone comes over, so you put them in a room when a guest comes. Well this is a lost opportunity. If as a puppy, they met 10 people at the door, each time they were asked to sit and were rewarded. They then know how to behave, what is expected. Without socialization, they really have no idea what to do. Having another dog to watch or having them visit another dog that does behave helps with learning social behavior. Both things must happen, they cannot only be with their other family dog, they need to see other dogs in action, be told what is correct with rewards and learn the lesson.

Aggression, Fear aggression, directed at humans or other dogs

o This can stem from several events that have occurred or not occurred (they have never been in the situation to know what will happen or how to respond). Dogs may not understand how to interact with other dogs or kids. They may feel threatened when other dogs only want to play. They may feel off balance when a child reacts in a way they have never seen before, for example yelling, crying or running about. This typically leads to fear which can in turn lead to growling, snapping and even biting. IF necessary, contact a professional trainer for help.

A well socialized dog will:
• Have a friendly relaxed body language
• Approach others and other animals even those unknown to them
• Eat or drink in the presence of people
• Have normal maintenance behaviors such as resting, grooming and investigating the environment in the presence of people

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What is the personality of an Australian Labradoodle? What is the temperament of an Australian Labradoodle?

Australian Labradoodle puppies’ parents are very smart, silly, laid back, quiet, calm, intelligent, and bright. However, all temperament is based on the your training, plus the parents temperament, and grandparent temperament, infant puppy training and care from 0-8 weeks in addition to never inbreeding.
Australian Labradoodle puppies have a great desire to be part of the family making them very easy to train and a joy to include in your family. Labradoodles are good watchdogs but are void of aggression. They are sociable with other animals including cats if socialized as puppies. Labradoodles are ever patient with children of all ages. A breeder should begin training, socializing and interacting with puppies as soon as feasible.

Temperament and Training

I strongly suggest a trainer, especially if you have young kids or special needs. Special needs families should consider a trainer necessary and a weekly part of their work for at least the first year to ensure the dog and family are working together. Although many families think training is easy and simple with this breed, training is not a one size fits all approach. Trainers meeting with families often can adjust behaviors (both the families and the dogs) before they become an issue that is difficult to address and many times personal approaches which may work for one dog do not work with others. Good trainers have the ability to read a dogs behaviors and adjust training approaches. We strongly suggest you listen to your trainer and follow through IF you disagree with your trainer find another who you can work with easily. Trainers have incredible abilities, trust them.
Labradoodle Temperament, difference of mini, medium versus standard labradoodle?

There is generally a noticeable temperament difference between a toy, miniature and standard poodle. The champion show ring has caused breeders of poodles to sometimes select breeding dogs based on physical form and size versus temperament and health especially in the smaller of the breed. Inbreeding is also a common technique of toy and miniature poodle breeders. These are the main contributors to the difference.

The hybrid vigor of crossbreeds can counterbalanced this negative temperament and health trend. In addition, most breeders of labradoodles, me included, refuse to breed to toy poodles and select miniature poodles for breeding based on temperament and health followed by physical form. Although we do breed minis we do not focus on size at the determent of temperament and health. The careful selection of both breeding parents is critical to your puppy’s temperament and health and should be the main criteria for all breeders.

Using the selection criteria above I have noticed no temperament or health difference between our mini, medium and standard third Generation Labradoodles and Australian Labradoodles. If breed correctly, third Generation Labradoodles and Australian Labradoodles are easy going, up for fun, love to play, easy to train, love to swim and romp as well as just hang out with the entire family.

I do see higher energy in the first and second generation labradoodles. Labs have a high drive the first two years and this high drive does show up in the first and second generation labradoodles. I do not see it generally beyond those generations if the parents and grandparents have been selected to the temperament desired.
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What is the difference between a Goldendoodle and Labradoodle?

Well the obvious is they have different parent breeds, but that is not why you have googled this issue. You are probably considering one or the other and want to know the various issues that might sway you one way or another. The answer is not so black and white. The basic issues are temperament, health and conformation.


The first question is, are you considering a Labradoodle or an Australian Labradoodle. The difference here is basically a 2 breed mixed breed dog (Labrador Retriever and a Poodle) the Labradoodle or a 3 breed mixed breed dog (Labrador Retriever, Poodle and Cocker Spaniel) the Australian Labradoodle which originated in Australia. The main difference is generation based, (The Australian labradoodle has been mixed and matched for more than 3 generations on average) while that Labradoodle is typically only 1 or 2 generations into a mixed line. Let’s face it the Labrador, is a high energy dog for the first few years. They have little control of their bodies and love to love you (this may involve knocking you over). The earlier generations or Labradoodle (what is called an F1 and F1b) still on average have that higher energy. If you are considering a later generation Labradoodle (beyond the first two) or an Australian Labradoodle (which is typically beyond 3 generations) that laid back temperament is present (if the parents are laid back) at a younger age. Some people want that Labrador Retriever energy so do select the earlier generations. However, on average, families are seeking a dog that is willing to play but also relaxed and calm in the early years. So I will compare the Goldendoodle and Australian Labradoodle or later generation Labradoodle (beyond f1 and f1b) and the answer is there is little to no difference in temperament. Temperament is both genetic and environmental, so consider the parents and grandparents the examples that will lead to their offspring behavior. I do believe the mixing of breeds results in a better temperament for both. The inbreeding and line breeding, in my opinion, in many purebred lines, causes agitation and anxiety. Outcrossing (mixing breeds) reduces these problems, however, poor temperament parents will not produce, on average, good temperament puppies. To answer the question, as for temperament, the later generations of Goldendoodle and Australian Labradoodle or Labradoodle are extremely similar (assuming the parents are of good temperament).


Mixing breeds does not make a healthier dog. Yes, if you mix two purebred lines (only once) any genetic issue that requires a pair of alleles and NOT present in BOTH lines will be negated in that first breeding. However, Poodles, Labrador retrievers and Golden Retrievers all produce, at times, the big concerning health issues. These are screen for by good breeders and include hip dysplasia, eye issues, heart issues and cancer. Of these big issues, cancer seems to be more common at younger ages in Goldendoodles than Labradoodles or Australian Labradoodles. Studies are being conducted to find out why . If I were purchasing a puppy I would be looking at the parents genetic screening (these genetic tests are very costly but good breeders will conduct these tests without hesitation). To that end, ask your breeder about cancer (and all health issues) and a good breeder will have made huge efforts to not breed lines that have produced young dogs with cancer. To answer the question, health issues are similar except for higher cancer rates in Goldendoodle lines.


Goldendoodles tend to be tall and narrow while Australian Labradoodles and later generation Labradoodles tend to be stockier. That is a result of the parent breed conformation. In both lines shedding and increasing allergies is present in the first generations and as less common as it is in poodles for the later generations (the parents and grandparents should be as low shedding and as allergy friendly as a poodle). Both Goldendoodles and Australian Labradoodles (due to cocker) have soft coats and the Labradoodle has a harsher textured coat. To answer the question, study the generation when considering either, and there is a slightly different look between the Goldendoodle (tall and narrow) and Australian Labradoodle (stockier). There is a coat texture difference between the Labradoodle (harsh texture) and Australian Labradoodle and Goldendoodle (both have softer fleece coats)

Please note, all this is very dependent on the breeder and the pedigree of your puppy. Look at the parent dogs and grandparent dogs, this is a mixed breed and there are wide variations in some lines and breeder results.

As always these are my opinions,

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Do Labradoodles Shed? Good question.

Do not believe that all labradoodles or Australian Labradoodles are non shed dogs, some shed and some do not. This result all depends on the parents, basically genetics.

In addition, I need to define shedding, all dogs lose hair. Some have a fur coat and lose fur individually all day, more prior to hot weather. Fur grows to a set length (set by genetics) then drops out, then grows again to a set length and falls out, this is shedding. Some breeds have long fur and some short, this refers to the length it grows before falling out.

Other dogs have a hair (like human hair) coat, like poodles, and will occasionally scratch or pull out small clumps of hair leaving a dust bunny around the house about once or twice a week. These dogs will need grooming or their coat will grow and grow very long. These dogs are considered non-shedding (as much as a dog can be non-shedding).

If your family wants a non shed dog, specifically you want at least a third generation or later Labradoodle OR Australian Labradoodle. Either can have a Fleece or Wool Coat.

The details:

•Australian Labradoodle?

If your family wants a non shed dog, allergy friendly pet* an Australian Labradoodle with a fleece or wool coat is one of the BEST choices. If both parents AND grandparents of an Australian Labradoodle puppy do not shed your puppy should not. Selective breeding for the coat trait should result in a non shedding coat. It takes at least three generations to consistently produce non shedding results and even then a breeder can occasionally produce a slightly shedding dog due to recessive genetics. I would look for a breeder who only breeds Australian Multigenerational Labradoodles, I feel this produces the most consistent offspring to our standards. As for fleece or wool coat, it is NOT true that curl has anything to do with shedding, these are different genetics, it is up to you as to what coat (wool or fleece) you like.

•Labradoodle Third Generation or higher (Second Generation: F1B to Second Generation: F1B or Poodle...)?

If your family wants a non shed dog, allergy friendly pet* both parents need to also be allergy friendly and non shedding, AND both sets of grandparents as well, for this to be the BEST choice. If you are looking at a third or fourth generation Labradoodle, and both parents and grandparents of a Labradoodle puppy do not shed your puppy should not. Selective breeding for the coat trait should result in a non shedding coat. It takes at least three generations to consistently produce non shedding results and even then breeder can occasionally find a slightly shedding dog due to recessive genetics.

f1b Labradoodle?

•Labradoodle Second Generation (F1B), First Generation Labradoodle bred to Poodle? If your family wants a non shed dog a Second Generation Labradoodle of about 75% poodle with a fleece or wool coat is a better choice than a F1 but NO sure bet. Make sure you are not purchasing a dog that is sometimes called a Second Generation (a first generation bred to a first generation). Remember, the odds that a F1B will not shed or be allergy friendly* is still only about 50% depending on the first generation Labradoodle and the Poodle coats. Some are super curly like a poodle and some are as flat coated and shed as much as a Labrador. This is due to short coat being a dominant gene.

•Labradoodle First Generation (Lab bred to Poodle)?

Within the Labradoodle First Generation population there are primarily two different coat textures, flat coated which has a wiry feel and fleece coated with a harsh feel. f1 Labradoodle, labradoodle shed.

Studies are being conducted to identify if texture in the coat is an indication of adult coat shedding and/or a predictor of causing an increase in allergies for humans. There does not seem to be a connection between Labradoodle First Generation coat wave and shedding, so identifying which puppy will and will not shed as an adult is an educated guess at best for breeders. Usually a dog will shed its coat once it reaches a length predetermined by genetics. This is the reason we have long coated but still shedding dogs.

Genetics predetermine what length the coat will grow and then shed. Poodles are considered non shedding as their coat will grow to the floor and still not fall out seasonally. For example a Puli is considered a non shedding dog as its coat is dread locked, grows to the floor then clipped.

First Generation Labradoodles are wonderful dogs but NOT a good choice for the family that does NOT want a shedding dog. Many, at least 75% of, first generation Labradoodles do shed and most increase allergy symptoms to some degree, some more than others. We would never recommend a F1 Labradoodle for a family needing a non shedding dog or with allergies to dogs. However, if you have a shedding labradoodle your best bet is to keep the dogs coat shaved short and feeding them the best of foods to reduce shedding as much as possible.

See for more details and information. Thank you, Rainmaker Ranch Labradoodles

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Should I get a Boy or Girl Labradoodle?

In each litter there are various personalities present. A good breeder will work with the puppies 0-8 weeks to identify each individual personality, foster development and place the puppy with the right family. They should follow a guide dog assessment test to follow the puppies personalities, build confidence where needed and work with them.

Families are always asking about an Alpha (that they want one or don't want one). If the breeder is working with the puppies daily and mom is involved there is rarely an alpha in this breed. Well, to be honest, each hour there is one puppy that might think it is control of the others, but shortly that one is knocked down by another and control shifts throughout the entire litter constantly through out the day.

Some puppies like to be in control more than others, if that is the case, we recommend that puppy does not go to a house with another adult dog or cat that is an alpha in the house. Alpha's typically develop once home as families do not take control as much as they may need. Two dominant personalities (just as humans) typically "work" it out, but it is a major stress on the people in the family for a week or so.

So, is the dominant puppy typically a male or female? This is always breed specific and in this breed the more dominant personalities tend to be the girls.

Gender Neutral

I find gender to be almost neutral. Of course, this assumes the dogs are spayed or neutered at an early age (8 to 24 weeks). We do not sell breeding dogs, only spay/neutered pets. If I had to make a general statement I would say neutered Australian Labradoodles boys are a bit more easy going natured and up for anything then the spayed females who are, although just as wonderful, a bit more specific in their nature.

Male Labradoodle / Australian Labradoodle

An early neutered male is as loving, cuddly and kind as any outgoing "go with the flow" dog. If the male is not neutered early and its testicles drop, it typically becomes a dog that will have more of a mind of its own. This instinct tends to overpower the family member calling the dog to come; it will come but hesitates or plays that come and get me game. We recommend strongly that males be neutered early, as early as 8 to 16 weeks. Neutering removes the possibility of the male ever entering its time of confrontation, asserting its manliness and results it a great, loving, listening dog. The neutered male dog also seems to have less separation anxiety than a female and be more open to new experiences. An early neutered, trained male is a fantastic labradoodle, 100% wonderful open and ready for anything!

Two Males?

Two neutered males in the same household (in this breed) will typically get along famously. We highly recommend two males IF you are looking to add a second Labradoodle to your home.

Female Labradoodle / Australian Labradoodle

Most females are great right off. However, some females tend to be the opposite of the alpha...shy. We again identify this trait and work on socializing and building confidence as much as possible with positive new experiences. However, this dog can sometimes become the dog that pees when a new experience occurs, excited urination. This requires some work for the family and tends to have the family do the opposite than what is required, they keep the dog away from new experiences than just bite the bullet and taking them everywhere for a safe fun new experience. A trained female that has had many new safe experiences is a fantastic labradoodle, 100% wonderful open and ready for anything!

Two Females?

Two spayed females in the same household (in this breed) will not do as well as two males or a male and female. We highly recommend two males or a male and female IF you are looking to add a second Labradoodle to your home. Now this does NOT mean that two females will be an issue, just that it might be more difficult. You as the leader will have to make sure that during the first few months the girls know that dominant behavior (stealing toys, hording food) is NOT acceptable in the home. You can do it and help two girls get along exceptionally, just put in the effort. A girl in this breed tends to enjoy being the one on top of the pecking order, let them know, you are the leader.

So, my advice, choose a dog gender that suits your family profile, talk to the breeder as to other pets you have in the house, family activities, what training you will do, and what experience you want the dog to participate.

I would make a different recommendation to the retired owner that wants a pet to hang out in the house, versus the agility training, outgoing boating dog. If the gender matches the traits available in the litter great, if it does not have an open mind.

Make the decision by asking the breeder what puppies in the litter they recommend for your family needs and selecting from those, not the entire litter. If three puppies suit the bill then look at gender preference, color and physical traits. To me, personality fit should be the number one priority.

Thank you, Rainmaker Ranch Labradoodles is full of information on Labradoodle Dogs and Puppies

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What is the difference between an F1, F1b and Multigen Labradoodle or Australian Labradoodle?

Understanding the difference between a Labradoodle (Lab and Poodle only) and Australian Labradoodle (Lab, Poodle and Cocker-- American or English) can be confusing enough but add in the generations needed to create this mixed breed and well, you want to turn off your computer and take a nap. Here are the basics.

*First Generation Labradoodle (F1):

50% poodle, 50% lab, mild to light shedding, sometimes but rarely no shedding. First Generation Labradoodles have wispy coats long 5" or short 2" in length, wiry or harsher fleece in texture, while basically straight in wave. Typically, First generation Labradoodles have the great labradoodle intelligence with higher "lab like" energy and drive. Shedding amount is difficult to determine at a young age. Only experience breeders with double champion quality coated poodles can maintain quality coat results, and this is rare. First Generation looks more like "Benji" the movie dog. First generation Labradoodles are of excellent temperament and health if the parents are of the same quality. A great choice for the family who doesn't mind some shedding, high energy, the First generation Labradoodle look and have no dog related allergies.

**Second Generation Labradoodle (F1b):

(First Generation bred to another poodle, some refer to this as F1B labradoodle) about 75% poodle 25% lab, may be true to the labradoodle standard in physical appearance, more consistently non-shedding (about 80%). The texture ranges from fleece to wool and the wave ranges from straight to wavy. Second Generation Labradoodles typically have the great Labradoodle temperament, intelligence, and laid back nature, if the parents are of equal quality. Some can be a good choice for families looking for a non-shedding dog and or have allergies to the hair, wiry coat and dander of many dogs, remember only about 80% are non shedding and allergy friendly. Top breeders of Second Generation Labradoodles can select First generation labradoodles and Poodles that will produce consistent offspring and the desired fleece coat. Although sometimes, not desired, a second generation can have a hair coat; these must be breed to a wool coated multigen or again to a poodle.

***Third Generation or higher Labradoodle (Multigen):

(Second gen to second gen or second gen to poodle) about 75%-85% poodle 15%-25% lab, may be true to the labradoodle standard in physical appearance, consistently non-shedding. The texture ranges from fleece to wool and the wave ranges from wavy to curly. It is important to maintain the wider body type and shorter muzzle length. As breeders at this stage are typically selecting the best second generation to breed to other second generation the offspring are more consistent. The fleece coat is nice but still not as silky as the fleece coat of the Australian Labradoodle.

****Australian Labradoodle:

Should be originally either Second Generation Labradoodle or higher generation bred to an Australian Labradoodle OR Australian Labradoodle to Australian Labradoodle through generations, sometimes called Multigen or Multigenerational OR somehow a mixture of Poodle, Cocker Spaniel (American or English), and Labrador Retriever. Coat texture is either silky fleece (preferred) or soft spiraling wool and sometimes you can get variations on the wave from straight to curly. The goal is to achieve the true Australian Labradoodle look, temperament, coat and conformation. True to the Australian Labradoodle standard in physical appearance, and pedigree, consistently non-shedding fleece sheepdog like coat, dander free. Great Australian Labradoodle temperament, intelligence, and laid back nature, if the parents are of equal quality. Also best choice for families looking for a non-shedding dog and or have allergies to the hair wiry coat and dander of most dogs.

For more details on Labradoodle Types, Coats and the Mixed Breed in general visit Thank you, Krista

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Crate training or confining your puppy?

Crate training (or confining to a small space) can be a fast technique to potty train your puppy OR it can be the worst thing you can do to your dog.
I recommend crate training all the time. I find crate training a valuable tool ONLY when used correctly. I find crate training when used incorrectly causes anxiety and compounds many behavioral problems.

Let’s get this right out there, the ONLY time your dog should be closed in a crate is at night, while EVERYONE is asleep and when EVERYONE is gone from the house. This means if ANYONE is up (except to go potty themselves) the dog should be out of the crate with them. IF someone watches late night TV, the dog is watching late night TV, out of the crate. If someone gets up early to go to work, the dog gets up early, if they then leave and EVERYONE else is asleep the dog can go back in the crate until someone wakes up. If anyone comes home, the first thing they do is let the dog out and leave them out in the house after going potty. You do NOT come home with groceries, come in, put the groceries away, then let the dog out. You do NOT have guests over and the dog is in the crate. You do NOT put the dog in the crate because your child is doing homework. You do NOT put the dog in the crate while you are in the shower. IF everyone is not on board with this plan, do not get a dog. A dog is everyone’s responsibility, not one person’s responsibility, every ones.

What is a crate used for?

The crate is used to force the dog to hold “it” in when everyone is asleep or are not at home. The crate can be left open to allow the dog to sleep in the crate, by their own choice, but in this case the door is NOT closed.

Why do you have a dog if you are not going to train a dog?

When ANYONE is home or awake, their 2 jobs are to keep the untrained dog close and notice signals the dog needs to go potty (thus letting them out and back in) and notice if they are chewing or getting into something that could hurt them. I know you don’t want them to chew the leg of your chair, but really this is not good for them either. There are toys that are acceptable chew toys, the job of the person with the dog is to identify what they are doing wrong, tell them no, and redirect them to what is right and praise them. This is anyone who is home or awake. Again, if someone does not want this job, no dog should be brought into the home. You are training the dog to notice that if you are busy, putting groceries away, helping the kids, taking a shower, their choice is to lay down in the room you are in with them and play with a toy, watch you, or sleep. This self-direction is what you eventually hope for in a trained dog.

Here is an example. A parent wakes up early to go jog. They get the dog out of the crate, let them go potty, take them into the closet while they get dressed to run (eventually they might take the dog on the run). They then make sure there are toys in the crate, puts the dog back (since everyone else is asleep) in the crate and goes for their run. They get back and let the dog out of the crate, let them outside to potty again, take them into the bathroom, puts a toy on the floor in the bathroom and take a shower while the dog is in the bathroom with them. They get ready for work and grab breakfast all the while the dog in tow, in whatever room they are in. Before they go out the door they put the dog in the crate and make sure, again, toys are in the crate. The crate should ALWAYS have at least one chew toy and one loved play toy. An hour later, a teen gets up to get ready for school, same plan as the parent, dog out to potty, dog in tow all morning, right with them. Remember if anyone is up, the dog is up and with them. IF the teen is not responsible, then a parent must get up also. IF the parent does not want to get up, either don’t get a dog or teach the teen responsibility. Do you notice a pattern here?

Once the dog is potty trained and safe in the general environment they can have more roam space (for example they might not have to come in the closet with you). The plan is to teach the dog what is acceptable and unacceptable in their down time. You want a dog to notice you are not having play time, this is “we are busy time”, so just follow us around or find a toy to play with on your own. Eventually, at night the dog can sleep on the floor or a bed. Eventually, you can leave for short periods, then longer periods leaving the dog in a bedroom, utility room or family room and eventually free roam. This is how you create a relaxed, calm dog.

On the flip side, IF you keep them in the crate while you are up or home, they are just waiting to get out and be with you, they wait and wait and get more and more excited and eventually explode out the crate door once opened. Note, this same advice goes to fencing off an area in the house, unless you are in that area with them, you must be asleep or out of the house. The dog is with you all the time until trained. Putting a dog in an enclosure while you are home, any size enclosure, only builds anxiety. includes other training advice. I would also recommend reading the Puppy Primer by Patricia B. McConnell.

Thank you, Rainmaker Ranch Labradoodles

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