As a general rule, Labradoodles don’t bark a lot. However, at times, it might cross the threshold of normal barking to become excessive. With the right guidance, you can prevent your Labradoodle from barking excessively. As a pet owner, while barking is something that you need to take in stride, excessive barking strongly indicates something not being right with your Doodle.
You might have opted for a labradoodle owing to its adorable looks, stable temperament, and high intelligence. People also choose a Doodle because it enables them to enjoy the goodness of having an affectionate companion without the fear of allergies.
That being said, barking is something that you should be prepared for. Only when it gets out of hand, which can happen sometimes, do you need to worry and ponder over how to handle it.
Why Is Your Labradoodle Barking So Much?
All dogs bark, just like all humans speak. As long as it remains within limits, it would be best if you accepted it as a natural phenomenon. That being said, if you find your Doodle barking incessantly, it is time to sit up and take notice.
Most of the time, Labradoodles bark a lot when they feel miserable. This could be due to one or more of the following reasons –
To Mark Their Territory
From their poodle ancestor, Labradoodles have inherited the trait of being possessive not just of the house they live in but also towards family members. Once initiated into the family, they begin treating you and your space as their territory, which is to be defended and protected.
This also translates into undue aggression if they observe a non-family creature approaching, leading to loud, excited, and high-pitched barks.
In defense of the labradoodle, the purpose of loud and continuous barks is to inform the outsider that crossing boundaries are not acceptable. Another reason is to warn the outsider of dire consequences if the Doodle’s family or home is hurt in any way.
Out of Fear
Brave that Labradoodles are, there are times when they might be startled by an unexpected noise or movement. This can trigger a barking spree, which will continue until the Doodle has calmed down sufficiently. Fear is another reason why the Doodle might decide to bark its head off.
The logic is to acknowledge the danger and call out for help, hoping that someone would come to its rescue.
Barking due to fear/threat is not confined to the home ground – it can happen anywhere. It is also likely to go on until the Doodle feels assured of its safety, which might take a lot of convincing.
Have you been tying up your labradoodle out in the backyard or the front porch, wherein it is totally on its own and separated from the family? If yes, then nonstop barking is a sign that the Doodle feels lonely and is bored. Being a pack animal, any dog would hate to be on its own, and Labradoodles are no exception to this rule.
Under the circumstances, by barking a lot, your Doodle might be expressing its sadness at being left out of the family.
Just as children throw a tantrum every time they want something, Labradoodles do the same. So, barking incessantly, in this case, is an attempt to get their way out with the pet owner. Reasons could range from demanding a treat to playing or wanting to go for an outdoor excursion.
Regardless of why your Doodle is probably aware that nonstop barking might irritate you to the point of relenting. Hence, this might be one of its weapons to get you to do what it wants.
It is common for a working family to leave the Doodle behind at home throughout the day by itself. However, Labradoodles as a breed are designed to be family dogs that should always be surrounded by their human family.
When left by themselves, they get worried, which leads to anxiety, which causes them to bark nonstop. On being ignored, anxiety barking can cause the Doodle to pace, feel depressed, or become destructive.
Owners might think that the Doodle might get over the problem by itself, but this never happens. On the contrary, it aggravates to the point of becoming unmanageable. In my experience, in a situation like this, the only option is to look for a viable solution for both you and the Doodle.
When you hear barks accompanied by jumping and vigorous tail wagging, it means your Doodle is truly happy about something. Maybe it might have sighted a companion outside or is greeting a human family member who might have returned after a long time. Doodle’s way of expressing joy is to mark the occasion and invite everyone around to share the experience.
Happiness notwithstanding, all the barking can get a tad annoying. Letting the Doodle express unbridled joy for the first few minutes and then trying to calm it might work.
Is your Doodle obsessive by nature? If yes, then barking nonstop is just one of the problems, others being running in circles or patrolling the fence. In obsessive mode, Labradoodles bark a lot because they like its sound and derive some form of comfort from it.
Because this behavior could be problematic and stem from genetic issues, you must take it seriously and consider therapy as a possible action course.
Excessive Barking Dos’ and Don’ts
How much ever grating the nonstop barking might be on your nerves. It would be best if you strived to pinpoint the reason for it. Keen observation and supervision on your part will reveal why your Doodle might be barking its head off.
Solutions To Prevent Your Labradoodle From Barking
- Socialize your Doodle from an early stage so that it gets used to a new environment with different sets of people, animals, scents, etc.
- Reward the labradoodle with a treat for being quiet and ignore completely when it barks too much;
- Prepare your Doodle to face alone-time by creating a routine so that it can overcome the anxiety;
- Change the environment in case you feel that might be the trigger, like shifting it indoors if it is reacting to vehicles or strangers passing by;
- Use positive reinforcement to counter nonstop barking;
- Always ensure that the Doodle is where the family is and not treated as an outcast;
- Never give in to the Doodle’s tantrums by obliging just because it continues to bark;
- As far as possible, do not react to the barking, especially if it invokes an adverse reaction;
- Do not ignore the fact that your Doodle has anxiety problems that won’t disappear by magic;
- Avoid showering the Doodle with even minute attention when it is on a barking spree;
Dissuading Your Labradoodle from Nonstop Barking
With Labradoodles, as with all pets, some problems are not immediately apparent and manifest over a period of time. Excessive barking is one such issue wherein even though your Doodle might be quiet.
First, you need to be prepared that it could be triggered at any time without much warning.
Anticipation is the key to managing excessive barking, and it entails –
- Train your labradoodle to correctly comprehend, interpret and obey the ‘quiet’ command and follow it up with sit/stay/watch command;
- Positively reinforce the ‘quiet’ command with a reward or a treat, whichever your labradoodle values most;
- Ensure that the training area is free from distractions wherein the Doodle can assimilate the true meaning of the ‘quiet’ command;
- Only when all else fails should you use collars and devices that act as deterrents, but treat them merely as short-term solutions;
- Work towards gradually desensitizing your Doodle towards a change in its environment and teach him to remain calm when encountering strange animals;
- Identify the factor that might be triggering the anxiety or compulsion and either eradicate it or condition your Doodle to face up to it and handle it;
Labradoodles emit their first bark only when they about three weeks old. Initially, they might make whimpering sounds that gradually evolve into howls, growls, and barks grow older.
By the time the Doodle is six months old, it will have learned the importance of barking to express its emotions, which may be fear, happiness, anxiety, etc. Another six months and the Doodle develops sufficient self-confidence and barks at strangers for the sake of intimidating them.
Energetic that Labradoodles are; usually, excessive barking occurs only when there is an underlying cause. While the bad news is that all the noise might give you and your neighbors a headache, the good news is that it is not a permanent issue and can be resolved through timely and appropriate intervention.
The trick lies in diverting the Doodle to a different task if the trigger surfaces. On the one hand, it would feel useful, and on the other hand, the trigger is effectively diffused, and the resulting excitement is averted.