How Smart Are Labradoodles? And How to Make Them Smarter?

Intelligence is one of the most important traits of any dog breed, however, it varies from one dog breed to another and it can be difficult to measure, especially when it comes to crossbreeds like Labradoodles which are a cross between Labrador Retrievers and Poodles

So, how smart are Labradoodles? Labradoodles are very smart as their parent breeds rank highly among the smartest dog breeds. They can learn new commands quickly as well as respond to already known commands with little practice. They are also very perceptive of their surroundings and can effectively communicate their need to their owners

Keep reading to learn more about how a labradoodle’s intelligence is measured, signs that a labradoodle is smart, and how to make your labradoodle smarter.

How to Measure a Labradoodle’s Intelligence?

Black labradoodle on couch to answer how smart are labradoodles

Intelligence is not really an easy trait to measure, especially when it comes to crossbreeds like Labradoodles.

A Canine psychologist and research expert by the name of Stanley Coren conducted a clinical study to measure intelligence in dogs. He was able to evaluate and rank the intelligence of at least 138 pure dog breeds from all parts of North America.

Even though Labradoodles were never officially evaluated, both of their parent breeds were evaluated, so we can make an educated guess regarding their intelligence based on the results and ranking of the Labrador Retriever and Poodle.

Through his study, Coren also defined and divided canine intelligence into 3 main categories which are instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and working intelligence.

So, let’s take a closer look at each one of these categories.

Stanley Coren’s 3 Main Categories of Intelligence

  • Instinctive Intelligence – This category measures the dog’s ability to perform the task it was bred for. For example, some dogs were bred for herding or retrieving while others are bred for guarding or companionship.
  • Adaptive intelligence – This category measures the dog’s ability to learn from experience and solve any problems it comes across without help or guidance from its owner.
  • Working intelligence – This category measures the dog’s ability to learn new commands quickly as well as respond to a known command. It depends on the number of repetitions it takes for a dog to learn and respond to a certain command, so the fewer the repetitions, the faster the dog learns and the smarter it is.

Are Labradoodles Smart?

As mentioned before, Labradoodles were never officially evaluated for their intelligence, however, they are considered to be smart based on the level of intelligence that both of their parent breeds have exhibited

They are a cross between Golden Labradoodles and Poodles which rank highly, 7th and 2nd respectively, in the study conducted by Stanley Coren.

Coren’s study mostly focused on one category of canine intelligence which is the working intelligence of pure dog breeds, so the results are based on the number of repetitions it took a dog breed to learn a new command and the percentage that a dog breed can perform a known command.

The results of the study showed that Golden Retrievers and Poodles are able to learn the commands with significantly fewer repetitions than an average dog. They also have a high success rate of obeying known commands at the first attempt. So, these dogs are fast at learning as well as highly obedient. You can also learn more about the intelligence of Golden Retrievers here.

However, there’s so much more to Labradoodles’ intelligence than just their quick learning and obedience as these dogs have an uncanny ability to communicate what they need to their owners.

They are also very perceptive as they can usually understand what their owners want them to do from the simplest of gestures as well as infer what their owners are feeling, whether they’re sad and happy, and behave accordingly.

8 Signs that Labradoodles Are Smart

Since you can’t really test a Labradoodle’s intelligence, here are some signs that will help you tell whether your dog is smart:

  • It is easily trained as it can learn new commands or tricks quickly as well as respond to old commands with little practice.
  • It can easily follow a set daily routine as well as adapt to changes or any new situations.
  • It has great problem-solving skills and can enjoy doing puzzles or any activity that involves mental stimulation.
  • It learns by taking cues from you and mimicking your actions to achieve similar results. For example, learning how to open doors or drawers.
  • It dog can tell when you’re happy and want to play or as well as when you’re sad and need to be comforted.
  • It knows how to get your attention and can communicate what it needs from you. For example, bringing you their favorite toy to initiate playtime, rubbing against your hand to get scratches, or presenting its paw to get a handshake.
  • It can predict your actions by observing your mannerisms. For example, knowing that you’re going outside when it sees you picking up your keys.
  • It can usually recognize the surroundings and familiar landmarks when returning to places it has visited before

How to Make Your Labradoodle Smarter?

Even if your Labradoodle is naturally smart, here are some useful tips you can follow to develop their skills and make them even smarter:

  • Make sure to socialize your dog very early by exposing it to new scents, sounds, animals, and people.
  • Make sure to start your dog’s training and discipline early to make it more receptive to learning new things and more obedient.
  • Teach your dog basic commands like “stop” “sit” “stay” and “come” before you progress to any advanced commands or tricks.
  • Try to incorporate the commands your dog has learned during its daily routine such as during playtime or exercise sessions.
  • Try to regularly introduce your dog to new things such as giving it a new toy to place, teaching it a new trick, or taking it for a walk in a new place.
  • Encourage your dog to take in its surrounding by allowing it to freely explore and sniff things it comes across.
  • Engage your dog in various mentally stimulating activities for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Make sure to give your dog treats and praise whenever it displays any intelligent behavior to encourage to continue displaying this kind of behavior.

Keep in mind that these things can take a while before you can see real results that you can feel, but if you stay consistent, it will definitely pay off. You just need to be patient and keep at it and soon enough your dog will start showing the results of all this hard work.

6 Mentally Stimulating Activities to Do with Your Labradoodle

Mental stimulation is one of the key factors that will develop your Labradoodle’s skills and make it smarter.

So, here are some fun mentally stimulating activities and games you can do with your Labradoodle:

Fetch Game

A classic game of Fetch games is ideal for giving your dog both physical and mental exercise.

You can easily play it both indoors and outdoors as all you need to do is toss a ball across in any direction, then ask your dog to retrieve it for you.

This game will help develop your dog’s instinctive intelligence as well as practice responding to different commands.

Treat Hunting Game

The treat hunting game relies mostly on your dog’s sense of smell.

You can easily it both indoors and outdoors as all you need to do is hide some treats in different locations across your home or backyard, then leave more treats to create a scent trail that your dog can sniff and track until it reaches the hidden treats.

This game will help develop your dog’s scent recognition skills as well as its tracking skills.

Cup Game

The cup game also mostly on your dog’s sense of smell.

It involves placing 3 cups in front of your dog, then allowing it to sniff a treat before hiding underneath one of the cups.

Switch the cups around then let your dog sniff out the cups until it finds the right cup that has the treat hidden underneath

This game will help develop your dog’s scent recognition skills as well as its observation skills.

Hot and Cold Game

The Hot and Cold game involves hiding one of your dog’s toys or some treats when it’s not looking, then helping your dog look for the hidden object by communicating verbally.

If your dog is moving away from the location of the hidden object, that means that it’s “cold” so you need to use a calm tone to communicate that to your dog. Once your dog starts getting closer to the location hidden object, then that means it’s “hot” so you need to use a more excited tone to communicate that to your dog.

Keep communicating with your dog until it successfully reaches the location of the hidden objects.

This game will help develop your dog’s listening skills and teach it how to interpret your vocal tone.

Puzzle Toys

Dog puzzle toys can be purchased online or at any store that sells dog supplies. They come in different shapes and sizes, however, they usually have a similar objective of getting the dog to use its skills to solve the puzzle and earn some kind of reward, which is usually a treat.

These puzzle toys will help improve the dog’s cognitive skills and memory. It will also help them remain focused on a specific task for a period of time. You can check our recommended puzzles in this guide to the best toys for your dog.

Obstacle Courses

Obstacle courses can be purchased online as they come in kits that include different hurdles. They can also easily be made out of common household objects such as pillows, chairs, and low tables.

 Set the obstacles indoors or outdoors to create a course and make sure your dog has enough space to move or jump. Next, guide your dog through the course using different commands and giving it treats whenever it’s successful.

Once your dog has mastered the course, you can introduce it to a new course with a different set of obstacles so it will continue developing its skills without getting bored.

This will help improve your dog’s agility and teach it to respond to different commands.


Labradoodles are very smart dogs, which is not a surprise considering they are a mix between two of the smartest dog breeds in the first place. They are easy to train and they pick up on commands faster than most other dog breeds, but they still need consistent training.

You can work on making your Labradoodle smarter with toys, games, and training, and it will pay off if you keep at it long enough and stay patient and consistent.

At the end, Labradoodles remain an excellent family dog that is more than smart enough while also being affectionate and docile, which makes them an overall great package and one of the best family pets you can get.

Related Questions

What Are the Top Ten Smartest Dog Breeds?

The top ten smartest dog breeds according to the study conducted by Stanley Coren are Border Collies, Poodles, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Dobermans, Shetland Sheepdogs, Labrador Retrievers, Papillons, and Rottweiler. These dogs were evaluated and ranked based on their working intelligence.

What Were Labradoodles Originally Bred for?

Labradoodles were originally bred in Australia to be guide dogs in nursing homes and hospitals. As such, these dogs have natural instincts to comfort traumatized individuals through stressful situations. They can also be used to help individuals that have sight problems or difficulties with balance and movement.

Are Labradoodles Easy to Train?

Labradoodles are very easy to train, which is not a surprise since they are a mix between the Poodle and the Labrador Retriever, with both of these breeds being very intelligent dogs. Labradoodles are quick to pick up on new commands with few repetitions and have very good recall of their commands even after years of their training.

How to Teach Your Labradoodle a New Command?

To teach your Labradoodle a new command, you need to establish a word that you want your dog to associate with a certain action, then repeat the word in a firm tone whenever you want it to perform the action. Make sure to reward your dog whenever it successfully responds to the command by giving it a treat.

Helpful Resources 

The Science Behind a Dog IQ Test

How to Test a Dog’s Intelligence

These Are The ‘Smartest’ Dog Breeds, According to a Canine Psychologist

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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