Will Labradoodles Scratch My Hardwood Floors?

Owning a dog is a rewarding experience, but it certainly does entail making several lifestyle changes. For example, if you own a labradoodle and are thinking of renovating the house and getting hardwood floors – or if you are wondering whether your new labradoodle will adjust with hardwood floors – it only makes sense to wonder whether the dog will scratch the floor.

As a whole, your labradoodle may scratch your beautiful hardwood flooring. Scratching is a varying habit and often an accident. However, the good news is that this is easily preventable by regular grooming, choosing the right type of hardwood, and adding protection to your floor.

Making adjustments to your flooring – or having limited options when shopping for new floors – can undoubtedly be frustrating. However, keeping your labradoodle in the equation when making decisions will ensure you prevent damage that can cost you expensive remodeling! But what Hardwood floor should you choose?

How to Choose the Right Kind of Floor

The good news is that minor accidental scratches won’t cause any lasting damage to the right kind of hardwood floors. When purchasing and installing new floors, the easiest way to choose one durable against everyday scratches is to check the wood’s ability to handle damage. This is usually reflected by the ‘Janka rating of a floor.’

While there are several other popular types of wood floors, the key is to buy one with a Janka rating above 1500. This will ensure durability against dog toenail scratches. 

Type of FloorRating
Black Walnut1010
Ash Wood1320
Hard Maple1450 (May Be Fine)
Live Oak2600
Brazilian Walnut3900

How to Protect Your Floor against Scratches

Buying flooring with a high rating means that even if there is some wear and tear due to your labradoodle, a simple sanding job can resolve the problem. However, having to sand now and then can get frustrating. To avoid it, here are some tips you can use to prevent the problem altogether. 

  • Use multiple finish coats – A thicker finish means that even if there are scratches in the future, they will be on the plastic coating and not the floor itself. This can easily be recoated.

  • Use a high-quality finish – You might be tempted to layer on multiple coats of cheaper finishing products, but investing in a high-quality finish will provide better protection. Moreover, it is only a tiny fraction of having to re-sand a floor!

  • Recoat existing floors – If you already have hardwood floors and are getting a new labradoodle, add a couple of coats of finish to your floors. This can be done regardless of the type of old finish. With the proper tutorial, you can even do this yourself!

In rare situations, you might see that your dog is developing a habit of scratching floors, and it is getting nearly impossible to prevent scratches. This can also be true in the case of a dog who is scared of watching on hardwood floors and is prone to slipping. In such a case, try out the following tips:

  • Add rugs to common areas – While you may not want to cover your beautiful floors, it is wise to cover areas prone to traffic. For instance, since the entry/hallway is probably used a lot by the dog, you can add a non-slip rug in this area.

  • Train your dog – Labradoodles are high-energy dogs and love to run. However, you can train them not to run excessively in the house. Teach them a command to stop running using positive reinforcement.

    You can also ensure that their energy is well-spent outside, either with walks or lots of playtime in the yard. This will reduce the likelihood of running and jumping inside the house.

  • Use dog boots – If your dog is having serious trouble walking on slippery hardwood floors, you can try introducing them to a cute pair of dog booties. They may be wary at first, but they might begin to get used to it if it makes walking easier!

How to Keep Your Labradoodle from Damaging Your Wooden Floors

Labradoodles have large paws, and their nails can often grow to be very long. The simplest way to protect your hardwood floors is to ensure that you trim your dog’s nails during their monthly grooming session – or more often if needed.

An easy way to determine whether their nails need trimming is to spot the clicking sound of your dog walking on wooden floors; it is rarely ever from the paw pads.

Remember that your labradoodle’s nails need trimming regardless of the damage they may cause to your floors; it is simply a good grooming practice, which can prevent painful curved nails, injuries, infections, and other conditions like splayed feet.

Tips to Trim Your Dog’s Nails

A regular trip to the groomer will prevent health problems as well as flooring damage! If you groom your dog yourself, though, the following tips may help:

  • Clip the nails yourself only if your dog is comfortable with you handling their paws and doesn’t growl when you try to do it. If they do growl, warm them up to the process over a few days while gently handling their feet and feeding treats.
  • Pick a time when your dog is calm is relaxed. If they are hyperactive, you or the dog may get injured.

  • Have another person keep the dog distracted with treats while you clip the nails. If you are alone, smear peanut butter in their bowl and let them stay busy licking it off during the trimming process.

  • Be careful only to slightly clip the tip of the nail (the white part) and not to even barely touch the ‘quick,’ which is the nail bed (the pink part). The latter contains thick blood vessels, and you can face lots of bleeding if you accidentally clip this part.

  • If you want more control or if your dog seems bothered by the clipper, try to use a grinder instead.

Dog toenails and hardwood floors do not go well together, but the situation is not impossible to manage. It would help to know that it is not toenails that are the most detrimental to your flooring, but dog pee is likely to cause more damage.

Since wooden floors can be damaged with water, make sure that your labradoodle is appropriately housetrained. In case they have an accident, immediately wipe the floor dry!

That being said, the right combination of dog nail grooming and floor protection will ensure you avoid any potential scratching problems.


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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