Are Labradoodles Smart? How Intelligent Are They Really?

As a rule of thumb, Labradoodles are very smart and also intelligent. For example, from the Smart Labrador, they inherit a legacy of retrieving. Likewise, the graceful Poodle bestows on them a sharp instinct, which they grasp instantly. So, expect your labradoodle to be both smart and intelligent. Let me explain further.

Renowned canine psychologist Stanley Coren attributes the high IQ and EQ of the doodle to the parents. The Labrador retriever and the Poodle attained high ranks when tested for benchmarks like obedience, instincts, and work intelligence.

Therefore, it is but natural for Labradoodles to be smart and intelligent. If you need a cherry on top of the pie, they are just as friendly and playful. So, rather than blindly accepting these claims, why not understand the underlying science and make your own deductions?

Science of Canine Intelligence

As part of his Ph.D., Stanley Coren conducted a study on 138 North American dog breeds, including the Labrador retriever and the Poodle. With assistance from almost 200 trial judges across the continent, he evaluated each dog breed as per their response to:

  • Number of repetitions required for a dog to grasp a new command, wherein smartness was inversely proportional to the number of repetitions;
  • The dog’s compliance towards a particular command the first time round, wherein a smart dog was not just compliant but also willing;

At the time of evaluation, only pure breeds that had undergone at least 100 assessments were considered, and a list was drawn up as per the score. As a hybrid, Labradoodles did not qualify for the fray. 

However, their parents who had participated passed the criteria with flying colors and emerged as part of the crème de la crème. 

Why Are Labradoodles Intelligent?

When Stanley Coren finally drew up a list of the smartest dog breeds based on the results of various trials, the Labrador retriever ranked 7th among the 138 lineages. The Poodle did even better – it ranked 2nd overall. Both breeds proved their capability of –

  • Grasping a new command within five repetitions
  • Taking less than 30 minutes to master a new command
  • Being 95% successful in obeying a command at the first attempt

In this way, both breeds emerged as being quick in learning and being obedient at the same time. Needless to point out, their hybrid offspring – the labradoodle – would also display the same traits. 

Thus, it is a proven fact that Labradoodles owe their intelligence and their smartness to their two illustrious and amicable parents, both of which enjoy a global reputation for being smart, intelligent, and affectionate family dogs.

Just How Smart Is the Labradoodle?

One way of judging the doodle’s smartness and intelligence entails comparing it with a regular dog. Research has revealed that Labradoodles are five times quicker than regular dogs when it comes to grasping a new command. Likewise, their success rate at obeying a familiar command is 50% higher than its traditional counterparts. 

To this effect, the labradoodle does its parents proud of being sharp, intuitive, and obedient all at once. Taking it a step further, the labradoodle’s understanding can be broken down into individual components, which are – 


Establishing yourself as the pack leader is the first step in ensuring that the labradoodle remains obedient. Start training the pup at an early stage, and you are sure to get a positive response. 

However, just because the doodle follows your commands does not mean you can sit back, relax, and become complacent. On the contrary, doing so will cause the doodle to become stubborn and try to get its way. 

Labradoodles are like all newborns when it comes to training. So, you will need to start from scratch, but on the flip side, you are likely to enjoy interacting and training a pup that is so eager to please and always wants to be on your right side. Use positive reinforcement methods for long-lasting results and retain its interest through an occasional treat as a reward. 

Adopt a consistent approach and a firm attitude while training. Your doodle will soon get the message and evolve into the well-behaved and loving companion that it is meant to be. 

Adaptive Intelligence

In dogs’ context, adaptive intelligence is measured by observing whether the doodle realizes its mistakes and makes an attempt not to repeat them. Also, how good is your labradoodle at solving problems, and can it intercept your next course of action? Usually, the answer is a resounding ‘YES’ from people who have Labradoodles at home.

 Many of them would even go a step further and vouch for the fantastic biological clock that their doodle follows right down to the minute. 

Of course, adaptive intelligence varies among members of the same breed. But, individual differences notwithstanding, Labradoodles score highly where adaptive intelligence is concerned, a trait that translates into smartness.

Instinctive Intelligence

Backing every dog breed is an inspiration. For example, the Tibetan Mastiffs were bred by monks to guard the monastery from unwanted visitors, and the Bichon Frise was always meant to be a lapdog. Likewise, Labradoodles were bred for the first time in Australia to guide a blind person without triggering any allergy. 

Given the situation, it was just as necessary for the breed to respond positively to training and be a good companion. For all these attributes to be innate, the breeders aptly identified a Labrador retriever, which is always up for a friendly game of fetch and a poodle, smart enough to retrieve waterfowl, also being sensitive. 

As a result, the offspring became a perfect blend of sensitivity, instinct, and ability to guide a rich legacy of retrieving. 

Teaching Labradoodles Tricks

One way Labradoodles display their smartness and intelligence pertains to their ability to grasp new tricks. Courtesy of its high IQ, and you would be surprised at the swiftness with which the doodle picks up new tricks. Add some rewards and treats to the mix, and your adorable doodle would never fail to impress. 

To teach your doodle a new trick – 

  • Limit the training sessions to 15 minutes to prevent loss of interest
  • Keep the commands short and sweet, like walk, run, catch, heel, come back, and so on.
  • Start with simple commands and gradually move on to more complicated tricks.
  • Always reward the doodle every time it follows a command for encouragement.
  • Ensure that the tricks are enjoyable for all parties concerned. 

What you want to teach your labradoodle is totally up to you. So use your imagination and train your doodle to strike a balance between its potential and enjoyment. 

Games You Can Play With Your Labradoodle

Energetic that Labradoodles are, their smartness does become evident through various games. These also bring forth the dog’s problem-solving ability and set it apart from ordinary and regular dogs. Some games that you can play with Labradoodles for physical and mental stimulation are – 

  • Hiding a few treats around the house and guiding your doodle to the first two or three, after which it will find the rest
  • Concealing a treat under one of the three cups and mixing them up and expecting your doodle to figure out which one has the treat
  • Playing hind-and-seek
  • Using a puzzle feeder with push buttons wherein the doodle will need to figure out which buttons to push to release a treat

A busy doodle is a happy doodle, and this should be reason enough for you to ensure that it always remains engaged. Take time out to play with it every day, and your doodle would soon grow into content and well-balanced family pet.

Potty Training a Labradoodle

Potty training is probably the only aspect wherein Labradoodles take a bit of time. However, the good news is that once they are trained, it becomes a lifelong habit and a smooth sailing for you over the years to come. 

To successfully potty train a labradoodle pup, start by choosing a spot, and ensure that it is wholly relieved at every session. Keep an eye on the doodle at all times and discourage accidents through verbal disapprovals.

 Also, make it a point to reward the doodle every time it does things right. This can prove a strong motivation for your labradoodle to comprehend and interpret the ‘potty’ related commands with ease. 

Final Thoughts

So, Labradoodles’ smartness is evident through their ability to comprehend what is about to happen. Their high intelligence becomes apparent with the swiftness with which they grasp commands and respond to training. 

Overall, as long as you can ensure a nurturing and healthy atmosphere at home, the labradoodle will thrive to the best of its potential. 

For you, this would translate into a well-round companion, which is an all-in-one package – from fun and games to fetching your newspaper. 


Diane is a lifelong owner of Labs, Retrievers, a Poodle, Labradoodle, and, more recently, a Goldendoodle. She loves dogs and enjoy's taking her Goldendoodle Nala for walks in the woods with her daughters.

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