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Socializing Your Labradoodle

Last Updated: April 8, 2016

Socializing Your LabradoodleLabradoodles are highly intelligent and have the ability to develop keen social skills. They are naturally affectionate and friendly. Early socialization is essential to the well being of Labradoodles. Dogs that are not socialized can live a life of fear and discomfort in a variety of situations. There are a variety of things you can do to socialize your Labradoodle.

  • Begin Immediately – As soon as your adorable Labradoodle is placed in your arms socialization begins. He or she will begin getting to know you and everyone else that lives in the household.
  • House Awareness – Your Labradoodle will explore your home as soon as he or she walks in the front door. Allow him or her to run throughout the house discovering new things and getting familiar with their new surroundings. Show your pup their bed, kennel, toys and food dishes.
  • Introduce Family and Friends – Invite your extended family members and close friends to come meet your new pup. Allow them to hold, play and kiss your pup. This will get your Labradoodle familiar with being around a lot of people and feel loved and safe.
  • Introduce other Pets – Many households have more than one pet. Introduce your pup to the other pets in the household one at a time. Allow them to meet in a quiet room just the two of them with you observing. Keep your pup on a leash so that you can guide him or her and teach acceptable behavior around the other pet.
  • Meet the Neighbors – Take your pup for a walk around the neighborhood so he or she can get familiar with other dogs and animals in the area. It is also an excellent chance for your pup to get accustomed to being around wildlife such as birds, squirrels and other animals that can be found in your neighborhood on a regular basis.
  • Noise – Whether you live in a big city or a secluded farm your pup will need to get use to hearing a variety of noises. At first loud noises and chaotic noises may feel overwhelming to your pup, but as time goes on they will become familiar and it will eventually become part of their daily life.
  • Making Friends – Labradoodles love to play and have a playful, energetic personality. Bring your Labradoodle to the local dog park so that he or she can play and socialize with other dogs.
  • Frequent Places – If you plan to spend every Sunday reading the newspaper at your local outdoor café with your pup by your side, you will want to begin this tradition immediately. Your pup will have to learn to behave well around other people eating and socializing.

Socializing your Labradoodle is key to him or her feeling calm, comfortable and safe in their environment. Although socializing begins immediately, you will want to introduce one thing at a time. If your pup feels overwhelmed, just pause and revisit the socialization session later. Labradoodles are highly intelligent but they each have their own timing and your patience will be required during their socialization training. Remain calm and soon your Labradoodle pup will become a social butterfly.

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How to Find a Reputable Labradoodle Breeder

Last Updated: January 6, 2016

Reputable Labradoodle BreederCongratulations! The adorable Labradoodle dog breed has captured your heart. Most-likely you have already done your homework, researched and learned everything you can about Labradoodles. By now you have already decided that a Labradoodle is a perfect fit for your lifestyle and family. Now you are ready to search for the perfect pup to join your family. The following details will guide you on your journey to finding a reputable Labradoodle dog breeder.

Make Your Decision

Before contacting a breeder you will want to have a clear vision of what you want. This means you will want to decide if you prefer a male or female dog and what age range you are willing to adopt. This information needs to be told to the breeder during the first conversation to assure you that they have what you are looking for in the first place.

Friendly Referrals

Chances are you already know someone who owns a Labradoodle. Ask them what breeder they used. While that specific breeder may not have dogs available any longer, you can speak to that breeder to see if they can recommend another reputable breeder in the area. Also ask friends and family if they are aware of any reputable breeders. If they are, make a list of potential breeders you would like to contact. You can also search online to find breeders in your surrounding area.

Contact and Interview Breeders

Once you have your list of potential breeders created, you will want to contact them one at a time via telephone or email. Set up an appointment to visit them and to see the puppies. Reputable breeders are capable of providing you a tour of their home or facility so you can see the conditions the puppies are born into. If you view more than two dogs having puppies chances are it is a puppy mill. Also if you see unsanitary conditions or the mother of the puppies seems uncared for or sick, you will want to remove yourself from the facility immediately.

What to Look for in a Reputable Breeder

Reputable breeders care deeply about where their puppies end up. They are looking for people who have good intentions and the capability of providing a healthy happy home for the puppy. Reputable breeders may conduct an interview and even ask to view your home to make sure the puppy is going to have a good home and life. This process may be lengthy but it is worth it and it shows that the breeder is not willing to just take the highest bid for the puppy. They will also be able to provide you with medical documents from the veterinarian showing that the pup of your choice is in good health.

While you may be eager to scoop up the first little Labradoodle puppy that melts your heart, use precaution and take your time speaking to the breeder and going through the adoption process. In the end you will up with a great experience with a reputable breeder and a happy healthy pup that will fill your life with joy, happiness and companionship.

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How to Adopt a Labradoodle from a Shelter

Last Updated: December 2, 2015

Adopt a Labradoodle from a ShelterYou have decided to become a dog owner and have your heart set on a Labradoodle. Now what do you do next? There are many Labradoodles sitting in shelters in communities around the world. You will first want to confirm that you will be able to care for a Labradoodle properly throughout his or her lifetime. Then you will want to move forward to adopting a Labradoodle from a shelter. The following details will guide you on a journey to adopting a Labradoodle from a shelter.

  • Ask Friends and Family – Since shelters have a variety of dog breeds chances are family members or friends have already had an experience adopting a dog from the local dog shelter. Ask around and inquire about details about the adoption process at the shelter.
  • Search Online – Most local dog shelters have a website that they keep updated with available dogs to adopt. Browse the website to find out if there are any Labradoodles available. If not, contact the shelter and ask if you can be placed on a contact or waiting list if a Labradoodle arrives at the shelter and is available for adoption.
  • Visit the Shelter – Depending on your community you may have a variety of options. Visit each shelter to learn more about the adoption process requirements and meet any Labradoodles that are available. You will want to spend quality time with the dog, possibly taking him or her for a walk on the property or playing fetch outdoors.
  • Observe Health Conditions – While spending time with the Labradoodle of your choice you will want to keep note of any unusual health issues. Notice if there is heavy discharge in the eyes, unusual odors from the ears, mouth or skin, cuts, missing patches of hair and limping or favoring limbs. If you notice anything unusual discuss it with the staff. They should be able to confirm if it is a condition that can be healed or maintained. If it is a long term condition you will want to be confident that your budget can handle long term veterinarian care.
  • Make it Official – Once you make your final decision and choose a Labradoodle you will want to alert the staff that you would like to move forward with the adoption process. Every shelter is different but all of them usually have a general application and interview process that you will need to go through. Always provide truthful answers to questions and correct information on the application.

The adoption process time frame ranges per shelter. While some shelters will allow you to adopt the dog and take him or her home the same day, others may make you wait a few days to a few weeks. Always remain patient during the adoption process. If you seem upset, aggravated or aggressive towards the staff they may feel you are not fit to adopt a dog from their shelter. These helpful tips will guide you to adopting a Labradoodle and providing a good home for their entire lifetime.

Photo credit: Eva/Flickr

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Fun Facts About Labradoodles

Last Updated: October 28, 2015

Fun Facts About LabradoodlesLabradoodles are becoming increasingly popular as family pets due to their affectionate personality and the fact that they shed less than other breeds. Whether you already own a Labradoodle or you are considering welcoming one into your family soon, you will find the following fun facts about Labradoodles interesting. It might even help you make your final decision that a Labradoodle is the right breed for you.

  • Hypoallergenic Guide Dogs – Labradoodles were first created to work as hypoallergenic guide dogs. Their coat is similar to a poodle and allows allergy sufferers to feel comfortable and almost symptom free.
  • Color Variety – Depending on ancestry and inheritance the coat color of Labradoodles can be silver, black, cream, chocolate or apricot.
  • Water Enthusiasts – Labradoodles love the water. They will run around in sprinkler or the rain and they enjoy swimming in pools, lakes and the ocean.
  • Australian Origin – Labradoodles originated in Australia and are a cross breed of a Poodle and a Labrador.
  • Highly Skilled – Labradoodles are skillfull in many sports, including tracking, obedience, agility and herding.
  • Enjoys Staying Busy – Labradoodles are generally well behaved. However, if they do not have enough physical exercise or they are bored, they will have behavioral issues.
  • Highly Intelligent – Labradoodles are highly intelligent and are capable of opening doors and unlatching gates.
  • Good with Children – Labradoodles quickly become a child’s best friend. They are gentle, well behaved and have plenty of energy to keep up with children.
  • Size Variations – Labradoodles can vary in size depending on the dominant genes inherited from their parents and ancestors. The three distinctive sizes are miniature, medium and standard. Miniature Labradoodles are 14 to 16 inches in height and can weigh up to 25 pounds. Medium sized Labradoodles can grow anywhere between 17 and 31 inches and weigh up to 45 pounds. The standard size Labradoodle can weigh more than 45 pounds as an adult and stand at least 22 inches tall.
  • Owned by Celebrities – Labradoodles are becoming so popular even celebrities are welcoming them into their family. Celebrity owners include Jennifer Aniston, Beau Mirchoff, Jeremy Clarkson and Graham Norton.
  • Keen Tracking Abilities – Not only can Labradoodles track their owner’s location, but when they are lost they have the capability of finding their way back home.

Labradoodles are loyal, kind, sweet, affectionate companion and family dogs. They enjoy receiving plenty of attention and affection. They are suitable for large families or high energy owners due to their high energy level. They are not couch potatoes, but will occasionally enjoy curling up on the sofa next to their owner to rest after a long day of physical exercise.

Labradoodles need to stay mentally stimulated to avoid boredom. Dog owners will want to provide plenty of toys at all times that will keep him or her busy. Toys that allow you to hide treats inside are excellent options when it comes to Labradoodles. Enjoy sharing these fun facts about Labradoodles with friends, family and fellow dog owners.

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Exercise Tips and Ideas for Labradoodles

Last Updated: September 28, 2015

Exercise Tips and Ideas for LabradoodlesDue to the energetic personality of Labradoodles some dog owners may find themselves at a loss for exercise ideas. Labradoodles are highly intelligent and will become bored when doing the same exercise routine repeatedly. There are a variety of ideas and tips that will help dog owners provide a variety of exercise that will benefit their Labradoodles body and mind. You will surely balance exercise routines with fun when following these fun tips and ideas.

  • Agility Training – Agility training will captivate the mind of Labradoodles. They will use their extreme intelligence to navigate through the agility course. This training is also a bonding experience between dog owner and Labradoodle.
  • Dock Diving – Labradoodles love the water and are brave enough to dock dive. They are basically running on the dock and jumping into the water. Dog owners will want to assure that the water is free from debris and deep enough before allowing your Labradoodle to jump.
  • Swimming – Put a life vest on your dog and allow him or her to swim in the pool or local lake and beach. They will enjoy splashing around, running, jumping and playing in the water. Don’t forget the pool toys for added fun.
  • Flyball – This team sport is highly popular and provides plenty of exercise while accomplishing a relay race. Your dog will benefit from the exercise in addition to having his or her mind stimulated.
  • Tracking Games – Labradoodles have a keen tracking sense. Strategically hide treats throughout the fenced in yard area and allow your dog to track each one. The further apart you place the treats provides more exercise for your dog.
  • Fetch – This old fashion game is still popular. Grab a stick or favorite toy and through it at a far distance. Watch your dog retrieve the object again and again. This activity provides plenty of exercise and improves the bond between owner and dog.
  • Dog Parks – Bring your Labradoodle to the local dog park and allow him or her to safely play with other dogs the same size. This activity provides plenty of exercise for a Labradoodle and also gives the dog owner the chance to sit down and relax knowing their dog is meeting their exercise requirements.
  • Hiking – If you’re an avid hiker, bring your dog along for the experience. He or she will get the much needed exercise they require and have fun exploring new areas.

Remember to mix up the activities so your dog’s mind and body are equally productive. While all of these exercise ideas are fun, don’t forget the trusty old walk through the neighborhood. You will want to walk your dog daily and incorporate these fun ideas into your routine. Once you find the activities that your dog enjoys the most you can arrange to do them a few times a week. Always check with a veterinarian when considering new exercise routines for your dog. You will want confirmation that your dog is healthy and it is safe for him or her to participate in the activities.

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Common Health Issues in Labradoodles

Last Updated: August 26, 2015

Common Health Issues in LabradoodlesSince Labradoodles are considered a “hybrid” dog breed, meaning they were created by cross-breeding a Labrador Retriever with a Standard Poodle, they are susceptible to hereditary health issues from both sides. There are common health issues that are seen in Labradoodles. While this may sound concerning to dog owners, remember that all dog breeds have the possibility of inheriting health issues from their parents and ancestors. It is known that just because a health issue can be hereditary doesn’t mean that your Labradoodle will experience the specific illness during his or her lifetime. Learning about the common health issues and symptoms will put you ahead of the game when it concerns your Labradoodles health and allow you to seek veterinarian care for your dog immediately.

Joint Problems

Joint problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia are common in Labradoodles. Symptoms include favoring one leg, lack of movement when they use to be playful, and whimpering when standing too long. These two healthy conditions can also cause him or her to develop arthritic issues.

Eye Issues

Labradoodles are prone to develop cataracts which have the potential to lead to total blindness. Symptoms include bumping into furniture and other objects and appearing hesitant when jumping on furniture that they commonly sit or sleep on. Progressive retinal atrophy, also known as PRA, is  another hereditary issue that would stem from the Labrador Retriever side of the Labradoodles ancestry.

Food Allergies

Labradoodles seem to be prone to food allergies. Dog owners will want to keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and look for symptoms such as frequent foot licking or chewing of the paws and skin rashes, redness or swelling. Pet parents will want to pay close attention when in the process of adding or switching food flavors or brands in addition to changing or providing new treats to your Labradoodle. At the first sign of allergy symptoms stop feeding your dog the food and immediately contact the veterinarian.

Addison’s Disease

This disease is hereditary and cannot be detected before onset. It is a pituitary gland problem that is highly treatable. Veterinarian’s can diagnose the disease through conducting a variety of tests. They will provide medication and instructions on how to care for your Labradoodle if this health issue appears during your dog’s lifetime. An affected dog can go on to live a happy, normal life with treatment.

Sebaceous Adenitis

This health condition is actually rare but would be inherited from the poodle side of the Labradoodles ancestry. This condition occurs when the oil-producing glands located in the skin stop working. Symptoms include hair loss, scaly and dry skin and a harsh odor.

While these health issues may concern dog owners that have or in the process of welcoming a Labradoodle into their family, they are all treatable. At the first sign of any unusual symptoms contact the veterinarian. Always take your Labradoodle to his or her scheduled check-ups with the veterinarian. This is highly important for prevention and early diagnosis. The sooner you get your dog medical attention the sooner they can feel better and continue living the happy life you have provided for them.

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Characteristics of a Labradoodle

Last Updated: July 14, 2015

Characteristics of a Labradoodle

This adorable breed interests many potential dog owners. Poodles were crossbred with Labrador Retrievers and the result is this lovable breed. The intention of creating the Labradoodle was to develop a hypoallergenic guide dog. Today, the Labradoodle is best known as an intelligent and social family pet. There Labradoodle has a variety of characteristics potential pet parents will want to consider before making a final choice to welcome a Labradoodle into their family.

  • Enthusiastic – Labradoodles are filled with joy and enthusiasm for life. They get happy and excited to eat, play, go outside and do just about anything else. They express their enthusiasm with their body language by slightly jumping and joyfully pacing.
  • Friendly – Labradoodles are extremely friendly and kind to everyone around them. They can get along with other pets as well as family members, friends, visitors and strangers. Some may even consider them to be overly friendly.
  • Temperament – Temperament of the Labradoodle is affected by factors such as socialization, training and heredity. Most Labradoodles are playful, curious and have nice temperaments.
  • Good with Children – Labradoodles are gentle, caring and playful, making them the perfect pet for young children. Labradoodles enjoy spending time with children and will even seek them out in the house to play and be close to them. When the Labradoodle becomes fond of children they instinctively and naturally take on the babysitter role.
  • Non-Aggressive – Labradoodles are not aggressive dogs. They also are not good at being a guard dog or protector of any kind. It is rare for a Labradoodle to be aggressive.
  • Intelligent – Labradoodles are highly intelligent and trainable. Dog owners will enjoy training him or her adhere to a variety of obedience training commands as well as fun tricks. They are also great contestants for agility training.
  • Playful – Labradoodles are usually in a great mood and exuding joy and happiness. Their playful attitude fills any room they are in and encourages dog owners and family members to play along and join the fun. Labradoodles will surely cheer you up from a sad, stressed or depressed mood with their exuberant energy and playfulness.

If you are a potential dog owner that is thinking of welcoming a Labradoodle into your family, you will want to take the characteristics of the breed into consideration. If you are looking for an energetic, kind, sweet, companion that has the ability to cheer you up and play with your children all day than this might be the right breed for you. However, if you are someone who prefers a calm pet that is more like a lap dog and companion you may want to seek another breed.

Labradoodles are becoming increasingly popular and in high demand as family pets. They are adorable and have a sweet, fun personality. Your entire family will welcome him or her with open arms. They are charming and extremely friendly with everyone they meet, including strangers. As with any dog breed Labradoodles can have a variety of personalities but generally are all non-aggressive, sweet, charming, loyal and playful.

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Outdoor Fun for Labrdoodles

Last Updated: June 22, 2015

Outdoor Fun for LabrdoodlesLabradoodles are energetic, fun dogs that love to exercise and be outdoors. There are a variety of outdoor activities that you can share with your dog. While it’s important for your dog to get exercise it is also beneficial for him or her to have fun during the process. As a dog owner you and your family can also join in on the fun. Try the following outdoor activities with your Labradoodle.

  • Snowy Days Tracking Game – Labradoodles have a keen tracking ability. Put it to use on snowy days by hiding a couple of treats outdoors and allow your dog to dig through the snow to find the treats. This game is meant to be brief, provide exercise and then return inside.
  • Jogging and Walking – Invite your Labradoodle to jog or walk next to you during your next exercise session. He or she will enjoy the exercise and it will help make your bond stronger.
  • Hiking – Labradoodles are highly intelligent and enjoy exploring and discovering new areas. Take your dog along on your next hike as a companion. He or she will enjoy the exercise, fresh air and it will keep their inquisitive mind occupied and entertained.
  • Swimming – Most Labradoodles love the water. Although they are generally strong swimmers you will still want to provide a life vest for safety. Allow your dog to swim in your pool and have fun with the entire family. If you don’t have a pool, visit your local lake or beach. There are a variety of water toys for dogs that your dog will enjoy.
  • Biking – The entire family can join in on the fun when biking. Take a ride through your neighborhood or your local dog-friendly park. Allow your dog to walk, jog or run side-by-side with you. Stop for rest and water breaks during long bike rides.
  • Dog Parks – Visit local dog parks and allow your Labradoodle to play with other dogs his or her size. He or she will enjoy running, jumping and playing with other dogs and getting plenty of exercise. It is also a great opportunity for you to relax and socialize with other dog owners at the park. Dog parks are becoming increasingly popular and you can most-likely frequent a variety of locations in your community and the surrounding area.
  • Camping – Your Labradoodle will enjoy every moment outdoors when camping. It allows them to use their natural tracking abilities to explore the area. You can take long walks, hikes, bike rides and go swimming on just one camping trip. It is the ultimate vacation for your Labradoodle.

Outdoor fun with your Labradoodle should be an enjoyable experience. As a responsible dog owner you will want to assure that your dog is hydrated and healthy during their outdoor activities. Avoid outdoor activities on days when the weather conditions are extreme. Always carry fresh water and a portable bowl for your dog to stay hydrated during outdoor activities. Your Labradoodle will surely enjoy the bonding time with you as well as the fun activity and exercise.

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Essentials for Traveling with Your Labradoodle

Last Updated: May 20, 2015

Essentials Traveling LabradoodleYour Labradoodle is a big part of your family. Whether it is just the two of you or your entire family going on a trip, your Labradoodle needs his or her own traveling essentials. Prepare ahead of time for the trip and make sure you bring along the important necessities that your dog requires to travel safe and happy. You will need the same essentials whether you are traveling by car or plane. However, airlines have a variety of regulations you will need to adhere to for safe airline travel.

  • Kennel – If your dog already has a kennel just bring it along on the trip. If not, you will want to purchase a kennel that is large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lie down in comfortably. The latch needs to work properly and you will want to bring along a soft cushion, blanket and toys. The kennel can be used during transport or at the hotel or destination as a safe place for your dog to rest.
  • Food and Medication – Pack enough food to last at least two to three days past your return date. This allows room for emergency delays and prevents you having to rush out to the store for more dog food when you arrive home. You will also want to bring along food and water bowls. If your dog takes medication you will want to bring enough to last one week past your return home date. This will assure your dog will never run out during or after the trip.
  • Collar, Leash and Identification Tags – Always keep a collar on your dog when traveling. You will also want to update the information on his or her identification tags to include your dog’s name, your telephone number and your home address. Bring a leash for your dog. Most camp sites, dog-friendly hotels and other destinations require you to keep your dog on a leash when in public areas.
  • Health Records and Vet Information – You will want to carry a copy of your dog’s health records. You will also want to get the phone number of the local animal hospital or veterinarian office at the destination. This information will come in handy during emergency situations while traveling.
  • First-Aid Kit – Accidents happen and you want to be prepared. Bring along a canine first-aid kit that includes tweezers and bandages for emergencies.

Traveling with your dog should be exciting and fun when you are prepared with the necessities. All dogs are different and while some Labradoodles may enjoy every minute of a car ride others may feel anxious or stressed. Always discuss your trip with the veterinarian and how much your dog can handle. Older dogs or those with health conditions may not be able to fly. The veterinarian may also recommend providing your dog with calming aids to assure the trip goes smoothly. You know your Labradoodle the best and you will want to plan ahead to assure you are prepared for anything during the trip.

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Ways to Help Keep Your Labradoodle Happy

Last Updated: April 20, 2015

Keep Your Labradoodle HappyIt’s sad that our dogs can’t tell us exactly what they want, so that we know just how to keep them happy. That said, dogs enjoy the simpler pleasures in life, so it’s not too hard to keep them content, as long as you’re willing to put in the time. Make sure that you do all these things for your labradoodle and he’ll be among the happiest dogs in the world.

Exercise

What dog doesn’t get excited when he hears that immortal word “walkies?” Providing your labradoodle with regular exercise will help him be content. The amount of exercise your doodle will need depend on his size, but remember that both poodles and Labradors are working dogs so labradoodles do require a fair amount of walking. Toy doodles can get by with two half-hour walks a day, but larger varieties might need closer to a couple of two-hour walks.

Play Time

Not only is playing fun for your labradoodle, it also helps stimulate his brain and facilitates bonding between the two of you. Get your dog a good range of toys some of which he can play with on his own, such as Kongs or chew toys, and some which are interactive, such as balls to play fetch with or tug toys. Even a short daily play session will help to use up some of his energy and keep him happy and entertained.

Training

Labradoodles are intelligent dogs who enjoy keeping their minds active. Obedience or trick training can be great fun for your dog, providing him with mental stimulation. Dogs who are well trained in obedience are also often happier as they’re more secure and don’t get as easily anxious. You could attend a training class, but you can also do this kind of training at home, as long as your have some good books or other resources. Labradoodles also tend to excel at and enjoy participating in agility classes or competitions.

Good Food

While your dog might not be a gourmand, he will appreciate good food. Try to find a high quality brand with tasty ingredients that your dog will love. There are dogs who are pickier than others, so don’t be put off if he turns his nose up at certain brands. Some brands of food are even deemed suitable for human consumption, which makes them better for your dog’s health. If you are going to switch foods, it’s best to do so gradually.

Grooming

All labradoodles need regular grooming, but those with woolly or curly coats need more frequent brushing than those with shaggy coats. If you don’t brush your doodle, his dead fur won’t be able to shed properly and his coat will become matted, leading to discomfort and even skin problems. Keeping your pup up to date with his grooming regime will help to keep him happy and healthy. Depending on the weather where you are and your dog’s coat, he may also need to be clipped in the summer to help keep him cool.

Love and Attention

Labradoodles are eager to please, so they enjoy getting lots of love and attention from their favorite humans. Set aside some time every day to pet your dog and scratch him in all his best spots. He will revel in the attention and be radiating with happiness. You can even but books on doggy massage, so you can really pamper your pooch. Your pup also loves to simple be close to you, so make sure he gets daily snuggles, either cuddled up with you on the couch or curled up at your feet.

Photo credit: Tom Woodward/Flickr

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