Hello, we have a loving Australian Labradoodle from Country Labradoodle in Paso Robles and he just started to bite. We have had him for almost two years since he was 8 weeks old. I am very concerned because his aggressive behavior has slowly been getting worse. We have established the pack order, been through Sirius Training and read every article out there to help with this behavior.

Just this past week he bit on two occasions. Both happened to two of my children when they tried to get an item he had taken out of their bedrooms. Then last night he bit and broke the skin of my son when he picked up an empty wrapper from the ground that the dog tried to get. It was not just a bite but also a growl with teeth. I have never heard of a labradoodles biting with serious aggression (enough to break the skin).

Earlier this week he also went after my handyman after I introduced him by having him sit and then having the handyman put a hand out for Baxter to sniff. A second later he lunged for the handyman and would have bit him except I had a hold of his collar.

I had him checked out by a vet and everything is fine physically.

We take him for two walks a day and he has access to a quarter acre backyard throughout the entire day. When we go for walks he often times tried to mount other dogs and he is not well accepted by other dogs during playdates.

I called Elizabeth Ferris from Country Labradoodle and she said that she has never heard of this type of behavior before. 

We love Baxter dearly but I cannot allow this to happen. My children have always treated the dog with respect and we have never hit him or physically disciplined him. I would like to know if anyone else has had experience with this type of behavior with their labradoodles.



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  • I'm really impressed by your loyalty and dedication. Seems like your trying to cover all the bases while open to advise. While I do not have any to give, I'll be very interested in following this post. I'm a new ALD owner of a 16 week old puppy. Just this week she displayed some behavior that concerned me. I posted about it in the puppy madness group. Basically, she chomped down on my nose when I got close to her face and was talking to her. I hope it's just a puppy thing, probably more my fault for being too close. None the less it really scared me about the future. She got me good, blood and all. I don't want this to develops into a habit.
    • Karen, I'd bet a bagel your situation is all puppy and very normal.  A two year old that is guarding food and biting is not normal 

  • I am sorry you are going through this.  Did your vet do bloodwork..more specifically, a thyroid panel?  If not, I would consider that.

  • Has he been checked for thyroid - he needs the full panel, not just what the vet does in his office.

  • What an adorable boy with a green chin! I agree with having his thyroid thoroughly tested. Here is an article that discusses hypothyroidism in dogs in detail including what tests to ask your vet to run.  I wish you well and hope you get an answer soon, this must be very disturbing for you and your family.


  • Have you had any training for reactive and/or aggressive dogs?  You say he has progressively gotten worse but what have you done to alleviate the problem?  I'm just trying to figure out where you are at and what type of evaluations Baxter might have had.

    There are a number of issues that can effect dogs. It sounds like he is resource guarding toys, food, papers on the ground, etc.  Or he could be an anxious dog who is over stimulated.  How does he behave on walks?  Is he always scanning or is he relaxed?  Does he bark out the windows or show other signs of anxiety?  Many dogs do not like having something taken out of their mouths.  If he is growling, take him seriously.

    I guess the bottom line is that you should find a good trainer who uses only positive reinforcement techniques.  I believe Baxter's issues can be fixed but first you need someone to evaluate him properly and give you some tools for working with him.

  • Sounds good tome.
  • As I first read this my immediate thought was that this was a resource guarding issue which takes work but is fairly easy to correct.  However, after getting to the part about the Handyman I think it may be more than that.  I would ask your Vet to recommend a Behaviorist.  You want someone who has been to Veterinary school with this as a specialty.  Many area Specialty Clinics have Behaviorists on staff.  You don't want to go to someone who just a trainer calling himself/herself a Behaviorist....there are lots of them and they often aren't qualified to deal with this type of situation.  You may only need a couple visits and then a program that you can do with him at home.  It isn't cheap but sometimes Pet Insurance will cover it.  I really encourage you to take this step now, because the behavior is escalating and you don't want it to result in a serious bite to one of the children or a liability situation.  Worst of all you don't want this to get to the point where you feel you can no longer keep the dog.....that would be tragic.

  • Positive reinforcement doesn't mean "don't bite me and you can have this treat".  What I was trying to suggest is that the OP get to the root of the problem and not just "correct" the symptom.  Otherwise, the problem can manifest itself in a different way.  Because of the way this has escalated, I think it's important that Denise work with a trainer or better yet, as is suggested below, a behaviorist. This needs to be addressed quickly by a professional.

  • No advice but wish you well as you figure all this out.  So hope it can be sorted out soon.  

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