Labradoodles are an amazing mixed breed between the sturdy Labrador and the smart and soft coated Poodle. But can they live outside?
Labradoodles reign supreme as the most popular Poodle Mix breed over the last fourteen years. They kept their crown in 2020 and that does not look to change.
I love my Labradoodle and his temperament. He makes the perfect companion dog for my family. Ours is a miniature Labradoodle – but some Labradoodles can be quite large.
In fact the standard Labradoodles can stand as tall as 21-24 inches (52.5-58 centimeters) to the shoulder. That is a big dog!
Because they are so large and sturdy, people sometimes wonder can Labradoodles live outside.
Can Labradoodles Live Outside
It is true that Labradoodles are an active breed. They need daily exercise. Some Labradoodles need up to an hour of daily exercise! An ‘average’ Labradoodle needs 30 minutes of active play daily.
This moderate-high energy level leaves many people wondering – can Labradoodles live outside?
The answer is a little tricky, and depends on a few factors.
In general, no Labradoodles cannot live outside. You can leave your Labradoodle outside for a time, but not permanently.
In fact many trainers and vets say that family companion dogs cannot live outside at all. They say there needs to be at least a part-time inside component for companion dogs. Even in temperate climates.
Why Can’t Labradoodles Live Outside
Labradoodles are by nature an extremely social breed. They need daily, frequent interaction with humans. Labradoodles are famously family-friendly.
Their warmth and love for their family is a strength. It also can be a weakness as it can lead to separation anxiety if they don’t spend enough time with their owners.
Social traits of Labradoodles that impact their ability to live outside
Highly social dog breeds like the Labradoodle are pack animals. It can be a stretch of the imagination to compare the Labradoodle to their distant wolf ancestry. The pack mentality is kept all the way through to the super cute puppies we see today.
We are the pack for our companion dog. We are the leader of their group, and part of the family. The reason why Labradoodles make such good companion dogs is their loyalty and love of the family.
This social dependence on other people in the pack is the primary reason that Labradoodles cannot be left outside.
To be quite honest – leaving most Labradoodles outside by themselves for extended periods of time is cruel and upsetting for the dog.
There can always be exceptions where certain Labradoodles relish being outside or multiple dogs enjoy being outside together – but these are the exceptions to the rule. This is a minority of cases amongst all Labradoodles.
It is extremely rare that Labradoodles are working dogs on farms or properties. Labradoodles can be used as hunting dogs, but are not often the first choice. In the rare circumstances that this breed is used as a hunting dog or farm dog – yes they can live outside.
Physical Traits of Labradoodles that impact their ability to live outside
Physically the Labradoodle can be a very sturdy breed. The cross between Labrador and Poodle is surprisingly resilient. (The same can be said for other Poodle crosses like the Bernedoodle or the Goldendoodle)
The Labrador is a retriever dog – originally bred to retrieve ducks for hunters. Over the years they have become bred as companion dogs. The genetic base is sturdy, strong, and somewhat resilient to water and cold.
The Poodle is an incredibly sturdy dog. This can come as a surprise due to many due to the reputation that Poodles have as show dogs. They originate from Germany and were used as retrievers. Poodles retrieved ducks when they were hunters.
Over the years the Poodle breed has sharply transitioned to a companion dog. They still retain some of their sturdiness and have some capacity to deal with cold environments.
Guide To Leaving Your Labradoodle Outside
If you are going to leave your Labradoodle outside it will probably only be possible for a few hours. You will need to prepare the following for your Labradoodle.
- Adequate water for the time you are away. MORE on a hot day.
- Some food if appropriate – this is often not necessary. Sticking with the regular feeding schedule is the best option
- Ensure there are no eating or physical hazards in the outdoor area
- Shelter to suit the climate
- The yard needs to be secure. A fence is an obvious solution. A truly safe fence for a standard or full-size Labradoodle realistically needs to be around 6 feet (180 centimeters) tall.
- You need to have enough space available for the dog to go to the toilet. You need an area for toileting away from the shelter and water supply
The shelter can be in the form of a kennel, a shed, or an awning. If you do have a kennel, you can train your Labradoodle to treat it like a special place. For some Labradoodles who are crate trained it can be considered a special crate.
You can build a special kennel, or pick up an excellent quality kennel or awning from a retailer at a good price.
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How to Make A Labradoodle Go Into A Kennel
When we bought a kennel for our Labradoodle, he was super cautious about going inside it. He now LOVES the kennel and it is his favourite resting place when he does go into the backyard. It is his second favourite place! (besides sleeping in his owners bed).
The steps to get your Labradoodle to love its kennel are pretty much the same as getting a new puppy to love its crate.
- Use incentives (or bribes)
- Treats and toys are essential parts of dog training
- Put treats inside the Kennel, simple but it works
- Don’t forget to vocally treat your dog with praise
- Make the new kennel cozy
- Consider soft furnishings as a temporary measure inside the kennel
- Even an old shirt of yours (that has your scent) is a great option to make the Labradoodle feel more comfortable
- If your Labradoodle chews don’t put any soft items you need back in good condition!
- Stay close during initial exposure
- Hang outside with your dog next to the kennel
- Pull up a chair and enjoy the outdoors, or check the internet on your phone
- Your mere presence will relax the Labradoodle around the kennel
Risks of Leaving Labradoodle Outside
Leaving a Labradoodle outside can result in dangers to the dog.
Possible physical dangers
Risk assess dangers prior to leaving a Labradoodle outside. These could include
- The dog escaping or attempting to escape
- Wildlife (for example in Australia we have way too many snakes and you need to be cautious leaving dogs outside in many areas, even suburban)
- Poisonous plants that the dog might eat if bored
- Dangerous weather can hit quickly. In all but the most extreme circumstances, it is safer for a dog to be inside a house when bad weather hits
- Some Labradoodles do NOT get along with cats and may chase them if left unsupervised outside
Possible behavioural issues:
The main reason we answer the question – can Labradoodles live outside with an emphatic NO is because of their social tendencies.
As mentioned above Labradoodles are social animals that do not tolerate separation from their owners well.
Separation anxiety is a real issue that can lead to distress for your Labradoodle. If you are home and your dog is outside, this contributes to this common problem. Most management strategies for separation anxiety are best managed in a controlled indoor environment when you are away from home.
Another really common problem with Labradoodles that are left outside alone is excessive barking. It is normal for dogs to bark, but excessive barking is a behavioural issue that needs to be dealt with.
The most important management strategy for excessive barking is limited barking triggers. Think about how many distractions and triggers there are outside! Smells, sounds, nature, even other dogs barking nearby! Leaving a Labradoodle outside for long periods is a sure-fire way to achieve problem barking in no time. Something to be avoided!
Conclusion and Frequently Asked Questions
Can Labradoodles Live Outside?
In general no Labradoodles cannot live outside. They are truly social animals and need to be with their owners. It is rare for a Labradoodle to happily and comfortable spend allots time outdoors.
Can Labradoodles Stay Outside?
Labradoodles can absolutely stay outside for a time. As long s you make the necessary preparations (for safety and comfort) then Labradoodles are perfectly happy outside for short periods of time.
How long can a Labradoodle stay outside?
The less time a Labradoodle spends alone the better. This goes for outside as well. A few hours is about as long is most Labradoodles are comfortable with. If they have other dogs to play with and food and shelter, some Labradoodles can stay outside all day and come in when the owners return.
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