How to Care for a Labradoodle

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Labradoodles are a cross-breed between standard poodles and labrador retrievers. The labradoodle came into being as the result of a search for non-allergen dogs that were good guard dogs as well. Labradoodles make great pets. They do not shed and are often considered fun-loving and energetic as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Dog food
  • Water
  • Feeding dishes
  • Crate
  • No-chew spray
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Trimmer
  • Brush
  • Nail clipper
  • Take your labradoodle in for a regular checkup at your veterinarian's office. Speak to your vet about spaying or neutering your pet and about preventative measures such as heartworm, flea and tick medication.

  • Train your labradoodle as soon as it becomes a part of your family. House train your dog by taking it outside to relieve itself regularly and rewarding it for doing so. Scold it if you catch it urinating in the house and take it outside immediately. Also, crate-training may be beneficial. Teach your labradoodle to love its crate by placing familiar objects in it. Position the crate in a well-traveled area of your home and leave your pet periodically in the crate even when you are home.

  • Teach your labradoodle to behave indoors and out by offering treats when it obeys a command and by interrupting it when it is misbehaving. To interrupt your pet, clap loudly, stomp a foot or say "no" sternly. Be consistent. If you choose to teach your dog to respond to "no," then continue to use that word when teaching it. Pet your dog often and speak reassuringly to it whenever you can to show it the proper affection.

  • Teach you labradoodle to stay off of furniture by firmly telling it "no" when it climbs on. If your labradoodle chews furniture or other objects, also tell it "no." Consider purchasing a no-chew spray.

  • Provide your labradoodle with ample water that it can reach at any time of the day. Research the types of food available and consult with your vet concerning what types of food will be best for your labradoodle. If your pet is a picky eater, consider supplements to provide it with a balanced diet.

  • Shampoo and brush your labradoodle's coat regularly. Trim its nails and clean its ears and eyes often, too. Have your dog trimmed at least twice every year. Brush your labradoodle's teeth, using pet toothbrush and toothpaste, at least once a week.

  • Exercise your labradoodle at least once a day. Take it for a walk or run or for a trip to the park to play fetch or to swim. Dog parks and other public areas give your labradoodle a chance to socialize with other people and animals and will help it to adjust normally.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are sweet Labradoodles at rescues and shelters that are awaiting homes. A great source to check is Petfinder.com (see Resources below)--just put in your zip code and see the Labradoodles that are up for adoption in your area. Another good source is the Poo-Mix Rescue website, which has a comprehensive list of Doodles that are up for adoption, including some that are just a few months old (see Resources). IDOG Rescue Rehome Resource (sponsored by the International Doodle Owners Group) places these dogs in homes throughout the United States and Canada.
  • If you plan on buying a Labradoodle, a good information source is the IDOG website (see Resources). They are a nonprofit organization whose mission is to place homeless Doodles and educate owners and prospective owners to ensure that they buy from reputable breeders and not pet stores.
  • If you suspect hip dysplasia (which resembles the symptoms of arthritis) and can lead to arthritis, take your dog to a veterinarian for an X-ray. If hip dysplasia is the diagnosis, your vet will recommend treatment. There are over-the- counter remedies for pain, but always consult with a vet first.
  • If your Labradoodle is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, consider purchasing an orthopedic bed to distribute their weight evenly and take excess pressure off joints. Also put down mats and rugs because slippery floors cause further wearing of the joints.
  • If canines were allowed in the Olympics, Labradoodles would surely qualify for the high jump. Make sure you have a high enough fence!
  • NEVER BUY A LABRADOODLE FROM A PET STORE! Pet stores normally get their dogs from puppy mills. If buying from a breeder, it's always best to visit in person to make sure the parents are properly cared for and being treated humanely.

References

  • Photo Credit John Howard/Lifesize/Getty Images
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