Are Labradoodles smart? You need to know if you’re thinking of taking on one of these popular designer breed dogs as your ideal family pet.
But how do you measure a Labradoodle’s intelligence? What makes a Lab Poodle mix intelligent? And are mixed breeds smarter than purebred dogs?
Read this guide to find out the real truth about Labradoodle intelligence.
How Do You Measure A Labradoodle’s IQ?
The most recent and current study on intelligence in dogs was carried out a couple of decades ago by canine psychologist Stanley Coren Ph.D. Coren evaluated and ranked around 138 different dog breeds across North America during his studies.
Although Labradoodles were not included in the intelligence trials, their parent breeds, the Poodle and Labrador retriever, were. So, you can get a good idea of how intelligent Labradoodles are based on their parents’ results.
How Coren Measured Dog Intelligence
During his IQ trials, Coren had the assistance of 199 obedience trial judges, and their collective efforts were used to determine intelligence in dogs using the following criteria:
- The number of repetitions a dog needs to learn a new command. The fewer repetitions required indicate a more intelligent breed.
- The success rate that is achieved by a dog when obeying a known command on the first request. The higher the success rate, the more intelligent and obedient the dog.
Only purebred dog breeds took part in the trials, and only breeds that received a minimum of 100 evaluations qualified for the final list of the smartest canines.
How Did The Labrador Retriever And Poodle Perform?
Both Labradoodle parent breeds performed extremely well in Coren’s trials and were considered super-smart pups. Both Poodles and Labrador retrievers ranked in the top 10 intelligent dogs list! These razor-sharp dogs ranked so highly that they are literally in an obedience intelligence class of their own!
Of all the dogs tested, only the Border Collie ranked higher than the Poodle regarding superior intelligence in canines. The Labrador retriever came in an impressive 7th place.
So, what do those results mean for the Labradoodle?
The test results show that the Poodle and Labrador have an impressive ability when it comes to learning a new obedience command in under five repetitions! Now, that’s impressive! In practice, that means you should be able to teach the dog a new trick or simple command in less than ten minutes. Your dog should also be able to obey a familiar command on the first request with an incredible ninety-five percentage rate of success or even better!
So, along with other popular family dogs, including Golden Retriever, German Shepherd Dogs, Australian Shepherds, and Border Collies, your Labradoodle is bred from two of the top ten most intelligent dog breeds on the planet!
Other Reasons Labradoodles Are So Intelligent
Coren states that there are three dimensions of canine intelligence. Obedience and working intelligence are the first two and are the easiest to measure. However, instinctive and adaptive intelligence are also crucial components of measuring a dog’s intelligence.
Instinctive intelligence describes the innate ability or skill that a dog breed was bred for. In other words, what was the dog’s original purpose in everyday life?
In the case of the Labrador retriever, these dogs were specifically bred to work as hunting companions, retrieving shot game birds. Poodles were also bred to hunt companions and retrieve, specifically shot waterfowl. So, these dogs will naturally and instinctively retrieve things with no intervention or training from humans, and that insane ability requires high instinctive intelligence.
Labradors and Poodles are also naturally kind, gentle dogs with an incredible sense of empathy for people. These dogs are also widely used as service animals, therapy dogs, family dogs, and valuable companions to humans. Doodles generally make an excellent emotional support animal, too.
Labradoodles were originally bred to guide dogs for a blind lady whose husband had pet allergies. Unfortunately, Labradors are heavy shedders. However, Poodles are the exact opposite, with a curly coat that barely sheds. A hybrid of the two breeds produced a highly trainable, empathetic dog that was also a very light shedder, making the Labradoodle an instant hit as an excellent companion for visually impaired people.
Adaptive intelligence is another crucial aspect of Labradoodle’s intelligence and refers to the dog’s ability to learn for himself.
When assessing adaptive intelligence, the following questions were asked:
- Do Labradoodles learn from their past mistakes and correct them?
- Are Labradoodles able to solve problems without human intervention?
Unlike instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence varies between individuals. However, Labradoodles have keen senses and generally excel in adaptive intelligence throughout their life experiences. Essentially, these dogs have an instinct that enables them to learn, and you can exploit those basic instincts when it comes to training.
Are Labradoodles Obedient?
Bearing in mind the above, you won’t be surprised to learn that Labradoodles are smart pups that enjoy learning and pleasing their owners. These dogs enjoy the intellectual stimulation that training provides.
However, to avoid further problems, you should begin socializing and training your Labradoodle puppy from day one. You can start taking your puppy to basic obedience classes from eight to 12 weeks old.
Always use positive reinforcement methods when training your dog. You need to be patient, consistent and prepared to take your time with any training exercise. When your dog does what you want him to, be quick to reward him with a favorite treat and lots of praise. When you don’t get the results you want, don’t scold your dog. Instead, use a verbal cue, such as “No!” to tell your pup that’s not what you wanted, and simply repeat the exercise until he gets it right.
Daily training sessions are essential to get the best results. If you put in the effort, you can expect your dog to be fully trained in basic commands by the time he’s six months old. Most Labradoodles are highly trainable and eager to please, so you shouldn’t have too many problems.
Training and learning should be a fun activity for you, your entire family, and your dog. Labradoodles can be quite emotional animals, and they love the buzz of learning new things with their beloved human owner.
These popular family dogs love to play games as part of their learning experience. So, try hiding treats around your home for your dog to find, interactive dog puzzles provide brain exercise and great fun. A flag of puzzle pieces made from tasty edibles will also be a welcome game for your clever canine companion.
Are Labradoodles Easy To Potty Train?
Provided that you use rewards and keep your training methods consistent, you shouldn’t have too many problems with potty training your Labradoodle puppy.
Choose a dedicated potty spot and stick to it. Reward your puppy when he relieves himself at that place. If you’re consistent, your dog will quickly learn that going potty in that particular place will earn him your approval and a treat. Dogs will always relieve themselves in the place where they’ve been before. You mustn’t allow your dog to go randomly wherever he feels like it.
Be sure to carry lots of treats with you so that you’re always ready to reward your pet each time he goes potty in the correct place. Wait until your pet finishes before you give him a treat; otherwise, he might stop mid-pee, and you don’t want that! Your dog must finish doing his business while he’s outside. If you take your pet back inside before he’s done, he might finish the job on your carpets two minutes later!
Praise or Treats?
Once your Labradoodle understands where he can and cannot relieve himself, you can dispense with feeding him treats all the time and start giving him praise and affection instead. That way, your Doodle learns that he must do what you ask him, whether he gets a treat or not.
If your puppy has an accident, clean it up right away using an enzyme cleaner that will remove the scent from your carpets. Don’t cross with your pup if he makes a mistake, as that can make a dog frightened to go potty in front of you, making potty training difficult.
Verbal cues are extremely important when potty training your Labradoodle. Since Labradoodles are smart dogs, they pick up cues very quickly. However, you must pick short, easy-to-remember words, such as “Potty” or “Pee-Pee,” for best success. Once your dog has learned those words and understands what you want him to do, your life will be much easier when traveling away from home, when you’re about to leave the house, or at bedtime.
Remember that young Labradoodle puppies need to relieve themselves every half hour or so, while mature adult dogs can usually wait for up to two hours.
Can Labradoodles Learn Tricks?
Labradoodles are very quick to learn new tricks, and they love to please their human owners, too! Again, be consistent and patient, and use repetition and reward-based tactics for the best results.
These dogs enjoy learning, and with the right attitude and lots of positive encouragement, praise, and treats, Labradoodles can pick up advanced tricks very easily and quickly.
When teaching your Doodle to do tricks, remember:
- When you teach a puppy new tricks, keep the training sessions short and ensure that the learning experience is fun for both you and your pet. Keep each session to a maximum of 15 minutes. Any longer than that, and you risk boring your dog and tiring him.
- Teach your Labradoodle basic commands, such as heel, sit, and come. These are all essential commands that your dog must know and be obedient to if he is to be mannerly and pleasant to be around.
- Once your dog has mastered those commands, you can teach him more exciting tricks, including how to shake hands, give you a high-five, roll over, and speak on command.
If your dog loves to learn, why not consider taking him to more formal obedience classes or a dog agility training club?
Did you find our guide to Labradoodle intelligence interesting and informative? If you enjoyed the article, please take a moment to share it.
Labradoodles take after their parent breeds, the Poodle and Labrador retriever. Both those dog breeds feature in the top ten smartest dog breeds on the planet, so it’s no surprise that Labradoodles are clever canines!
What tricks did you teach your Labradoodle? Tell us in the comments box below.