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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    • Hmmm, have you heard of Cocker Rage?  It is when a friendly dog suddenly lashes out and bites.  Then, moments later, returns to a normal and happy go lucky dog. Like nothing ever happened. Some theorist believe, they don't even know or remember the episode.   Certainly, you are not faced with severe situations you will read about on the internet but I've also read there are mild forms considered Cocker Rage.

      Most often though, you will see a stare or an almost seizure like after the episode lasting a few moments.  Some mistake this as a moment of shame but it just might be a neurological  episode?

      Since your dog may have some Cocker Spaniel in the mix as many ALDS do, read up on this subject.  It's certainly a shot in the dark but I threw this out there for thought.  It is NOT only in Cockers but was first diagnosed in a Champion Cocker Spaniel. 

      Read about it some to recongnize the symptoms.

  • Baxter reminds me of our puppy, Truffle, who has similar parti markings - your little guy is adorable.  We're currently dealing with Truffle's resource guarding issues that have resulted in his biting me on a few occasions.  We are eager to work with our trainer to make sure we manage it properly and help Truffle overcome the need he feels to guard.  While I don't have any specific advice for you (and the advice others have provided sounds great), I wish you the best of luck getting it sorted it out.  I'll look forward to hearing about your progress.  

  • If snapping at the handyman is a first, it might have been something about him that upsets your dog- an aberration. If he was scared, perhaps he felt threatened. I think a dog that is afraid is the most likely to bite. I'm not saying it was okay for him to snap, but it may be an isolated incident.

    There is a family we know that Cocoa is terrified of. She has seen them a few times a year since she was a puppy (she liked them as a puppy) and she runs and hides when they come over. They love dogs, and are so disappointed she won't let them near her. They've never been alone with her, so I know that they've never hurt her in any way. Everyone else who comes over she loves- even people who don't particularly like dogs! It's very strange.

    It sounds like you are a very conscientious family- I have the feeling you will resolve the issues before they become habits.
  • It has been five years since I wrote about Baxter biting and I thought I would give an update. Baxter has continued to be strong headed and does not care about the reprecussions of grabbing food off the counter or running out the door and then staying out for hours (regardless of how much we want him to come in).

    We have spent literally thousands and thousands of dollars on behaviorist and trainers. He behaves like the perfect gentleman until he wants something he shouldn't have or he can make a run to sneak around someone and get out the front door (regardless that he gets 2 walks a day and we live on half acre). The behaviorist have tried everything and 3 different highly regarded trainers have said that unless we want to use a shock collar (which we don't) that we are doing everything possible.

    I tell you this because others may have a strong headed dog like ours and all the great advice in the world may not be enough to fix certain issues. Positive reinforcement has helped to a certain extent but I will be honest and say that it is not enough to fix certain issues with Baxter. 

    The good news is that he hasn't bit anyone and the kids are old enough now to move the bagels back on the counter and to not try to get stolen food from his mouth. We love this guy to death and wouldn't trade him for a hundred obediant dogs. He is a work in progress and  we still have him in training class every summer and you can bet that he gets is perfectly behaved in class (unless someone has pizza or a bagel that they leave unattended) and for the most part at home. He still needs to be put in his room while I work (becuase he barks madly at new people and pushes them with his two front paws) and when certain people visit (he loves my son's friends but not all of my daughter's friends- especially the smaller girls) - yes we have addressed all of this with the behaviorist. 

    Since writing this I have heard from so many labradoodle owners that their dogs are also having issues with biting and naughty behavior like stealing food off the counter3539423305?profile=RESIZE_930x. I just want everyone to know that their experience with a labradoodle may not always be perfect and that some dogs are harder to work with than others. In the end we love our dog and think he is worth the effort.

    • Thanks so much for this update.  I really think dogs like ours are a work in progress throughout their lives.  Our Murphy is totally fine now as long as we control his environment.  He will be leash reactive if he feels intimidated by an off leash dog coming at him, so I only walk him where I can be pretty sure this won't happen.  He's also nervous when walking him where there are bicycles passing or other people walking their dogs in close proximity where they would have to pass close to us...so I don't walk him in these areas anymore.  There are no longer any issues with the grandkids...they're bigger and he's much more comfortable.  He has been a lot of work, but we've learned a lot and love him so much...so worth the effort we've put in.  Again, thanks for sharing. 


    • Denise,
      Has Baxter been neutered?  My 1 year old ALD is not, and he recently began showing similar aggressive behavior, kind of out of nowhere.  So I am wondering if neutering might be the solution?  But if Baxter is neutered then that is most likely not the solution here...
      Mike Mc

      • I honestly don't think it matters.  Neutering typically doesn't solve true aggression issues.  Neutering is a good idea once a dog has reached maturity anyway.

        • I didn't think so either.  But wanted to check.  It has been a few weeks now since the last sign of aggression.  He has played great with everyone, young and old, including our small Yorkie that he spends much of the day inside the house with.  He can be a little rough when playing but that is mainly due to his size.  He is getting pretty big now between 70-75 lbs.  What concerns me most is when it has happened, it seems to be for no good reason.  Nothing that hasn't happened many times previously.    

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