You’re probably worried about your dog feeling like he’s stuck in a small prison cell.
But Labradoodles don’t see it like that.
Can a Labradoodle live in an apartment? Labradoodles can live quite well in an apartment. Contrary to much of the information on this subject, a Labradoodle is one of the best breeds for an apartment. When trained and adjusted, you’ll find their behavior and personality is perfectly suited for smaller living areas.
In this article we’ll cover:
- A Labradoodles’ space requirements
- The exercise needed depending on your dog’s age
- 7 Tips for raising a Doodle in an apartment and keeping him safe while alone.
Doesn’t Doodles Need More Space?
People usually assume that a Labradoodles size makes it unfit for living in an apartment or modest house. The reasoning for that is often something like – “But Doodles are huge dogs, and our apartment is very small.”
This false line of thinking typically comes from the misconception that a Labradoodle will be doing its exercising inside the apartment.
But, if you give your Labradoodle proper and daily exercise, they’ll be doing most of their exercising outside at the local parks or on the sidewalks of your neighborhood, not inside your apartment.
One thing to always think about with a Labradoodle:
Your Doodles’ favorite place to be is right beside you.
This means that it doesn’t matter if you have a six hundred- or six thousand-square-foot living area, your best friend’s first thought will always be to stand, sit, or stay as near you as possible.
Our Doodle, “Monty,” demonstrates this concept perfectly.
We always make sure our boy gets hit daily outdoor exercise and play time. But as soon as he’s indoors, he’ll be right beside us whenever possible.
When I’m working at my home office, he’s never more than five feet from my chair.
If I have to move to somewhere else in the house, It’s a guarantee that he will notice me moving about, and give me an escort wherever I plan on moving.
When he’s by himself or gets separated from any of us, he promptly complains and starts showing signs of separation anxiety.
So don’t worry about the size of your apartment. Your Doodle certainly won’t.
- READ MORE: BEST FOOD FOR LABRADOODLES
How Much Exercise Does a Labradoodle Need?
Labradoodles are very energetic dogs, and usually require quite a lot of exercise.
As the Doodle is a mix of a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle which are breeds that are known to work tirelessly during the day and still have enough energy in the evenings to play with its owners’ children later on in the evening, be ready to give them all the exercise they might need.
Like us humans, when Doodles don’t get the exercise they need, they become lazy, depressed, and restless. They can also build up a fair amount of energy that can result in your furniture getting chewed up, and your valuables might end up broken.
So make sure that you are giving your Doodle a strong dose of daily exercise to ensure that their mind stays correctly stimulated, their heart and muscles stay strong, and their weight is moderated. This will also give a relaxed and happy attitude when inside.
For around the first 3 months of their lives, Doodles don’t need any special kind of controlled exercise plan. Labradoodle puppies will provide all the physical activity their bodies need through the normal course of play.
From 3 Months and Up
Between the period of 3 months old and before being fully grown, your dog should receive around 5 minutes of exercise per month of age.
This determines that a 6-month-old Doodle should be getting about a half-hour of walking and/or running every day. Equally, a 9-month-old Doodle should get about 45 minutes of daily exercise.
When Fully Grown
From the time your Labradoodle is fully grown and up to around 5-years of age, he should receive around 45-90 minutes of activity every single day. These times will, of course, vary a bit depending on age and energy level.
When your dog starts entering its’ “senior years” (this is considered being after 6-7 years of age) his daily exercise needs will tend to slow down a bit.
When is a Labradoodle Fully Grown?
This is not something that can be given a single answer as every dog is different.
But typically Labradoodles mature somewhere between 9 and 18 months. And your Doodle will probably reach his full height by 9-10 months.
Whether your dog is neutered will also affect its growth rate.
Neutering is the interruption of your dog’s sex hormone production. These hormones work naturally to arrest a dog’s growth.
When a dog’s sex hormones are removed, the dog continues to grow for longer than it would otherwise.
According to Dogtime.com, when a Labradoodle reaches full adulthood, it will typically weigh around 50-65 pounds. Male Labradoodles will stand between 22 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder (21 to 23 inches for females).
7 Tips for Raising a Labradoodle in an Apartment
Raising a Labradoodle in an apartment requires quite a lot of responsibility and dedication.
Here are our 7 tips for successfully raising your Labradoodle in an apartment.
1. Make Sure Dogs Are Allowed
The first thing is also extremely important.
Finally finding the perfect apartment, only to discover that dogs or pets, in general, aren’t allowed is heart-breaking.
So, make sure that your apartment complex allows dogs. A lot of apartments will typically charge a deposit for keeping a pet, but that is miles better than pets not being allowed at all.
Also, make sure to ask if your landlord’s pet policy has any restrictions regarding breed or size. Many areas will not allow dogs that are bigger than 30 pounds.
2. Spend Plenty Time Daily with Your Doodle
Labradoodles are extremely social and loving dogs and will not flourish in surroundings where they are either overlooked or forgotten.
Make sure that you’re willing to set time aside every day for regular potty breaks, and both physical and mental exercise. If your apartment is located on an upper floor, expect that many trips downstairs for walks and bathroom breaks will unavoidably be in the future.
3. Acclimate Your Dog to Its Environment
Apartments can be new and scary places for a dog.
Apartments mean there are strangers, kids, bicycles, and other dogs, all just outside your front door.
A lot of apartment buildings are also susceptible to the noise of street traffic, the next-door neighbors, and nearby industrial areas.
Thinking that your Doodle will naturally be pleased with all of these new elements is often a mistake. Introducing your dog to the sights and sounds of apartment life gradually highly advisable.
4. Potty Training Takes Time
Puppies obviously require more guidance and supervision than full-grown dogs when it comes to potty training.
And if your apartment is on one of the higher floors, this can end up being quite the exercise regime for you also.
For the responsible Doodle owner, this means hitting those 10.000 steps a day with multiple trips up and downstairs will be a piece of cake, or frequent rides on the elevator if there is one.
Another option to consider is a Pet Loo from PetSafe.
This will help train the dog until he can control himself for longer periods between potty trips.
Be patient and understanding with your puppy during this developmental time. And understand that accidents can and will happen.
The PetSafe Pet Loo is by far our favorite “Pee pad”. We’ve tried cheaper alternatives, but most of them have been a lot harder to clean, and a lot less durable, so having to replace them can quickly get a lot more expensive than buying the best option the first time.
5. Think About Your Neighbors
Be respectful of the people you greet in the hallway and with whom you share a wall.
If your dog is aggressive toward children and strangers, it will create a miserable living condition for both you and your fellow apartment residents.
Likewise, constant and excessive barking won’t exactly put you on your neighbors Christmas card list.
Ensure that you invest your time early on to train your Doodle not to bark and to be happy among other people. Try and ask your local vet or pet store if they can recommend options for behavioral training. A lot of local pet stores even offer weekly training classes.
6. Maintain Regular Vet Appointments
It is extremely important that your Doodle is up to date on his vaccinations and parasite preventions – especially if you living in a community with other people.
If your apartment complex is typically set up, it will usually have either indoor and/or outdoor shared common areas.
What this means is that your dog will inevitably come in contact with other people, children, and pets.
Ensuring regular veterinarian appointments, and keeping up your dog’s vaccinations and parasite medications will secure both your dog’s health and that of your neighbors.
Also, if someone might accuse your Doodle of biting, you will be relieved to have documented proof of all of your dog’s vaccinations.
7. Ensure Your Doodle is Safe and Content While You’re Away
Like most Doodle owners, you probably have a full-time job to think about, and while keeping your Labradoodle in an apartment during work hours requires thoughtfulness and purpose, it is completely manageable.
Make Sure You Wear Them Out Before You Leave
If your dog gets a good healthy dose of exercise before you’re leaving, this will put them in a comfortable and rested state for the time you two are separated.
Get A Secure and Comfortable Crate
Most Doodles don’t like wandering around the house by themselves.
Labradoodles are generally known for their separation anxiety. A size-appropriate crate that is durable and comfortable will provide your Doodle with a familiar and safe environment throughout their time alone.
Crate-training your dog as early as possible will help condition them to a daily routine and will help to prevent problems with their behavior down the line.
Put the crate in a room that they feel familiar with, and give them a comfortable bed to lay on inside the crate. Be sure never to leave your Doodle alone outside during the day.
Our favorite crate is by far the MidWest iCrate
Keep Them Occupied and Stimulated
Some toys inside the crate will make sure they don’t get bored. Be sure to add water and possibly some familiar blankets.
Phone a friend or Hire a professional
With a puppy, it’s best not to leave them crated for more than 4 hours at a time. When forcing a dog to hold their urine or feces for long periods, it can lead to infections in the urinary tract.
If in any way possible, arrange for a friend or family member to check in on them and let them out even if for just a short time during the day.
If you have the means, you can also hire someone to look out for them.
But while most Doodle owners probably can’t afford to put their pets in doggie day-care as that can get quite costly, paying a dog-walker is typically much more affordable.
If your budget doesn’t allow for a dog walker, perhaps you and a friend or perhaps one of your neighbors could work out a trading system.
So can a Labradoodle live in an apartment?
It doesn’t matter if you live in a 6000 sq foot mansion or a 700 sq foot apartment, you can own a healthy and happy Doodle.
It is not really about how much space they have to roam.
The question should really be focused on how much time you will have to spend with the dog once you get him.
If you can regularly play and exercise with your dog on a mental and physical level, then a Doodle can live in apartments without any problem at all.
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If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!