Labradoodles are fuzzy, cute, playful creatures. They could even be described as bundles of joy.
Unfortunately, there are some triggers and situations that can cause your Labradoodle to exhibit aggressive behavior, just like all other dogs.
If the Labradoodle has undergone a traumatic experience or is being neglected, it is not unlikely that they would behave aggressively.
If you train and care for your dog correctly, you will have a happy and definitely not aggressive little doggo in your household. It is all in your hands.
Why is my Labradoodle Aggressive? Labradoodles are not normally aggressive, but If your dog is exhibiting aggressive behavior, then it is because of physical abuse, neglect, changes and new experiences, sickness, lack of physical exercise, possessiveness, and feeling of danger.
If you want to know the causes of labradoodle aggression, the types of dog aggression, how to notice your dog’s aggressive behavior, how to train your dog to not be aggressive, how to deal with an aggressive labradoodle, and when to consult a behaviorist, you have come to the right place.
Keep reading as we explain the causes and the solutions…
The 8 Causes of Labradoodle Aggression
It is completely against Labradoodles’ nature to be aggressive. If you suddenly notice your doodle being aggressive, you should not ignore it. You need to get to the root of the problem to be able to solve it. Like everything in life!
Physical abuse is unwanted for all living creatures. Just like humans, if dogs are exposed to physical abuse, they are most likely to act out on it.
Unfortunately, some trainers still stand behind the tough love type of raising or some training methods that include punishing the dog or showing them “who’s alpha”. This never works and almost always backfires.
If your labradoodle shows signs of aggression when you touch them, you need to be careful as to not trigger them. Be careful of your posture, your tone, and the way you approach them. Be as gentle as possible.
However, we are not saying to never discipline your dog, you can do that, just never with physical punishment. You can learn how to discipline your dog correctly here.
Labradoodles are popular because of their loving nature. In return, they need love and care too. Neglect can mean lack of attention and lack of nutrition. Some dog-owners forget to feed their dogs, which can lead to a malnourished dog.
It is self-explanatory that dogs need to be well fed to ensure they stay healthy and happy.
If you deprive your dog of food, they will get very protective of it when they finally have access to food. This is called protective aggression. And it is something that you definitely want to avoid.
A neglected dog will eventually have trouble trusting people and will consequently act aggressively when around them.
If you adopted a dog from a shelter, you might notice their possessiveness over food.
If your doodle has injuries or is sick, it is likely that they would be overprotective over themselves. If you try to touch your dog or play with them while they are injured, they may snap or even bite to stop you from causing them more pain than what they are already going through.
Check for external injuries and treat them. If you can’t find any external injuries, you might need to pay your veterinarian a visit.
New and scary experiences
Change can be scary, especially for dogs. If there is a new member at home, your Labradoodle may be a bit skeptisch.
If you are changing your home, this might be a scary environment for your dog and it is not unlikely that your Labradoodle lashes out.
Try to make the change as smooth as possible and be gentle with your four-legged best friend.
Lack of physical exercise
Labradoodles are energetic and playful. If your dog is getting enough daily exercise where they get to expend their energy naturally, they are going to stay calm and quiet, but if they are not, this energy will have nowhere to go and will build up inside of them.
A labradoodle with energy build-up can be quite destructive as they look for other ways to get all of this extra energy out. For instance, they can run around the house and ruin your furniture or cause valuable stuff at home to be broken.
Most dogs will also start chewing. They will chew anything and everything they can fit in their mouth or fit their jaws around enough to chew on. They will chew your furniture, your clothes, your carpets, your plants, and even doors.
If you notice that your dog is misbehaving at home, it is most probably a cry for help. Thus, if you do not address the problem and understand that your dog needs to get outside and move around, then you could easily be triggering them to be aggressive.
As a rule of thumb, your Labradoodle needs approximately 30-60 minutes of exercise daily.
Your doodle is your most loyal friend. If they notice anyone trying to hurt you or invade your house, for example, they will turn very protective and aggressive. This is known as protective aggression.
If they notice that another dog or person is a threat to them, they will not hesitate to demonstrate aggressive behavior too. If your dog gets trapped, they will eventually be frustrated and aggressive.
Labradoodles have a possessive attribute. They can be possessive over their toys, territory, food, and even you.
If any other living being tries to take their belongings from them, they can quickly turn aggressive.
Early socialization can help a lot in training this trait out of them, but it doesn’t always remove it completely, and you may need some advanced training when they grow up to make sure their possessiveness doesn’t turn into aggression.
The 3 Types of Dog Aggression
There are many types of aggression in animals, but there are 3 main types of aggression seen in all dogs, no matter what their breed is. Even the friendliest dogs like Labradoodles and Goldendoodles can show these kinds of aggression, and the first step to solving them is understanding which type of aggression are you dealing with.
Here is a quick overview of each type of aggression in Labradoodles:
A territory can be anything that belongs to them like their food, toys, beds, home, and water. If there is another dog or person that tries to invade their territory or area, a Labradoodle can demonstrate aggression.
This behavior can also occur in the park when other dogs try to approach the area that the dog has claimed.
Labradoodles have their favorite things. For example, a favorite chew toy, a favorite treat, or a favorite bed. They tend to get very possessive over the objects they like.
If another human or pet tries to take that away from them or share it with them, they will not stand back and watch.
Labradoodles are really friendly and loyal canines. If they feel a threat to their pack (their family), they will lash out.
Mother labradoodles can be highly protective over their newborn puppies as well, even with their family members.
Signs of Labradoodles Aggression
You need to watch your labradoodle closely to be sure to differentiate between their playful nature and signs of aggression.
Who thought that these adorable dogs can make frightening sounds such as growling? Unfortunately, if you hear your doodle growling, it is often a sign of aggression and can mean that they are about to bite.
- Putting their tail between their legs
If a dog puts their tail between their legs it is often a sign that they are frightened.
The action means “please don’t hurt me”. Like we discussed earlier, fear can quickly lead to aggression, as your doggo enters the protective mode.
If your dog has been physically abused in the past, it is not unlikely that they will demonstrate this act.
- Pulling their lips back
This is another sign that your dog is scared.
They often close their mouths and pull their lips back when they are scared, which will require them to defend themselves, which can turn quite aggressive. Sometimes, they show their teeth too.
- Aggressive biting
Aggressive biting is the clearest sign of all.
Your doodle may bite you playfully during playtime. But if that playful biting turns into scars on your body or your dog biting another dog, then you need to do something.
- Tense posture
Your labradoodle’s body language is quite expressive if you pay close attention to it.
When you notice your Labradoodle stiff as a stick, with their head raised above and their weight centered or leaning a bit forwards, they are about to get really aggressive.
- Unwillingness to be touched
Generally, labradoodles are quite affectionate and enjoy being touched. If your doodle suddenly does not like to be petted or touched, that might mean they are injured or sick and you are hurting them.
Naturally, if you touch your dog’s injury, it would cause them more pain, and they can act out aggressively. Check your dog’s body for any signs of external injuries and consult a professional.
- Excessive barking
We have talked about territorial boundaries with dogs. If your labradoodle has marked their territory, and another dog or human tries to enter their area, their territorial aggression instincts will quickly make themselves present in the form of non-stop barking.
How to train your Labradoodle to not be aggressive
A well-behaved dog is not a coincidence, it’s something you work on creating for quite a well. Labradoodles’ behavior tends to be on the friendly side but to truly have a well-behaved, friendly dog, you will need to raise them right. Here is how to raise and train your Labradoodles to not be aggressive:
Socialization should not be underestimated. Raising a puppy can be hard, but it is essential to know how to raise them properly.
When you get a puppy, make sure to start with their socialization process immediately. It is better to start socializing with your puppy before they are 12 months of age.
They need to be comfortable around other animals and humans. They also need to be flexible enough to go to many places and hear different sounds.
So, how does socialization work? You should take your puppy on calm walks around the place where you live, take them near dog-parks, go on walks with other well-behaved dogs, expose them to different sounds (including the sounds of sirens), and make them meet new people.
If you brought your dog home as an adult, ask if they have been socialized yet. If not, it is not too late. You can still train your dog. However, you might need the help of a professional.
- Physical Exercise
Physical exercise is also essential. You need to understand that your Labradoodle has a lot of energy, they just love life. If you do not allow your dog to go for walks or have playdates, this energy will probably build-up.
If you are busy and can’t find the time to play with your doodle or go on walks with them, you can ask a friend to do it or you can hire someone.
- Constant love and care
All dogs can turn aggressive and bitter if they do not find themselves loved and cared for. Make sure to be consistent with the love you give your Labradoodle, do not abandon them.
This way, your labradoodle will not need to exhibit aggressive behavior to catch your attention.
- A Routine
Change can be scary for dogs too. The need to know what to expect. Make sure you provide a stable home for them, a food schedule, and ideally a bath schedule too. I have a guide on how to create a bathing routine for your Labradoodle here, make sure to check it out.
How to calm down an aggressive labradoodle Quickly
Understand the situation
If there is a repeated pattern where your dog gets aggressive, you need to first understand the situation.
Remember, your dog can be aggressive because they are in pain. Once you have ruled out the possibility of your dog being injured or sick, try understanding what environment triggers their aggression.
Take control of the situation
When you show your dog that you are scared of them or their actions, you lose face. You need to be the leader at all times.
If you do not practice dominance, your Labradoodle will eventually think of themselves as dominant. You need to train your dog to be obedient and calm down on cue.
Use a long leash
When going on walks, it might be a good idea to use a long, unrestricting leash. This way you won’t take away your labradoodle’s freedom (which can be quite problematic too), while still being able to control the situation if it gets rough in a public place.
Ignore them and distance yourself
If your labradoodle’s aggression is caused by attention-seeking, they might be a bit clingy. They will crowd your space to ask for attention. In this case, you need to stay calm and ignore them.
If they resort to aggression everytime they want your attention, they will become quite aggressive all the time.
Are Labradoodles naturally aggressive?
No, Labradoodles are not naturally aggressive. In fact, they are quite loving, friendly, and loyal dogs. They are known for being great family pets.
However, you need to consider the environment your Labradoodle was bred in. If the environment was unhealthy, they might show signs of aggression. For example, if they were subject to neglect or abuse, they might be using aggression as a way to protect themselves.
In theory, Labradoodles were not bred to be aggressive, which is why they are not protection-dogs. Labradoodles owners are usually familiar with their gentle, energetic, and joyful nature.
If your four-legged best friend is showing signs of aggression, you might want to start taking extra care of them. It is not too late. Remember, they only need your love and care.
When to seek help from a professional?
Although there are many ways to prevent and deal with aggressive dogs, you might eventually find yourself helpless. If you have tried everything we have suggested but still came out of it empty-handed, it is time to consult a professional.
If you have crossed out all the causes for aggression and you still find that your dog is exhibiting aggressive behavior, there might be an underlying issue that you can’t pinpoint on your own.
In all cases, aggressive behavior should not be ignored. You should not convince yourself that it is only a “phase”. Unprovoked aggression specifically needs to be treated fast.
The younger your dog is, the easier it is to manage and reverse their aggressive behavior.
If your Labradoodle is an adult, do not lose hope. It is still possible to consult a professional and make your doggo (and you) feel better. It will just take a little more time and effort.
But, your adorable, distressed doodle is worth it.
Do Labradoodles have a good temperament?
Yes, Labradoodles have a great temperament in general. They tend to be really loving, friendly, intelligent, and trainable. They usually love people and other animals too. They are great family companions.
Can Labradoodles be mean?
No, generally Labradoodles are not mean. They are also not aggressive. They are great family pets. However, if your labradoodle is acting aggressively it could be because they are injured or sick, not socialized, or have undergone a traumatic experience.
Are Labradoodles stubborn?
Labradoodles can pick up bad habits. Labradoodles can be a bit stubborn if they want to be. It is a trait that is inherited from both parents; poodles and labrador retrievers. Nevertheless, they can be trained easily so you could reverse this trait. Ultimately they want to please their loved ones.
Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources
- Want the best diet for your dog? Check out the best and healthiest foods for golden retrievers at every age here – Dry, Wet, Homemade Recipes, and Treats!
- Looking for new toys? These toys will prove to be fun, engaging, and will stand their heavy chewing.
- Make them look GLAMOROUS with the best shampoos and conditioners and the best brushes here.
- Taking a walk? These are the best leashes, collars, and harnesses for the buck that you can find.
- Find my list of recommendations here.
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