A dog is a man’s best friend and Labradoodles are amongst the breeds that manifest it. Coming from two adorable mixes, Labradoodles are a cross offspring of Labrador and Poodle breeds. Many pet enthusiasts treat these dogs as service dogs, versatile family members, and therapy dogs. Considering how they can be an excellent companion to humans, are Labradoodles smart dogs?
Labradoodles are smart dogs and need to be physically and mentally stimulated through activities. These dogs are even considered as one of the smartest mixed breeds.
Aside from being surprisingly intelligent, Labradoodles are also cute as a button, energetic, fun, friendly, and loyal. They have a certain level of intelligence that enables them to learn in just a span of short training.
How Smart Are Labradoodles?
Thanks to their parents, Labradoodles are classified as very intelligent hybrid dogs. Stanly Coren, a psychology professor, conducted a study where he discovered that both the Labrador and Poodle are two breeds that topped the test of work and obedience intelligence.
With the parents’ long history and reputation, Labradoodles are gauged to have a high instinctive intellect. No wonder Labradoodles are easy to train and teachable for stimulating tricks.
What Are Labradoodles Good At?
Labradoodles are loyal, loving, warm, and bright. They are the common breeds that are usually ideal to be therapy dogs. These charming paw friends offer happiness and affection to people with depression, autism, physical abilities, and other cases of special needs.
Another highlight of Labradoodles that just proves how their impressive intelligence can be of huge delight to humans is the very occupation that they were originally bred for. Labradoodles are exceptional guide dogs for the blind.
10 Best Mental Games for Labradoodles
Shake up a few of your fetching games and let your Labradoodle try a game called Obedience Fetch. This method is a new way of keeping your dog interested and fostering the physical activity and exercise that they need.
First, you have to toss the ball like you normally would during fetch. When the Labradoodle drops the ball, you will be introducing another trick to the game. It’s best to avoid throwing the ball just yet for your dog to understand that it has to perform a trick first.
If your dog already gets the drift of your playtime, you can try to encourage them with multiple tricks before launching the ball. A Labradoodle is a smart dog and so adding more tricks would be the best next step to do to thoroughly stimulate their brain.
Obedience Fetch is a good way to exercise your dog’s brain without having to use treats for them to follow. You may consider this game if you notice your Labradoodle gaining unhealthy weight or if you want them to enjoy the game time.
The Name Game
Labradoodles can remember almost every detail, especially when exposed to stimulating training. They can even recall the names of all their toys, which makes Name Game a perfect brain game for sharp-minded dogs like Labradoodles.
Choose a toy you want your Labradoodle to learn. It could be the usual ones such as balls, rubber ducks, plush toys, and other kinds present in your home. Hand the toy to your dog and say ‘ball’. Whenever they grab the toy, you may reward them with their favorite treat.
Practice this trick every day or as often as you can and you’ll be surprised that your Labradoodle will start getting familiar with the words you trained him to remember. You may check your dog’s memory every time there is a ball nearby and say the word. If they get the ball, it means they already understand the word.
Try this game on each of their toys and before you know it, your Labradoodle has become good at identifying all the toys.
Red Light, Green Light
As a pet owner, it gets tough sometimes when your Labradoodle is having some struggles in learning when to be excited and when to be calm. Red Light Green Light is a great game to practice control and appease your dog’s fluctuating emotions.
Make sure you have at least one command to make a Labradoodle lay down before starting the game. Once your dog acquires your command, you can take them outside to begin the exercise. Get your Doodle to lay on the ground and say ‘Ready, Set…Go!’. As you signal the word ‘go’, sprint several steps forward and come to a snappy stop while saying the command, ‘Down!’.
The first few times may be hard for you and your dog to successfully pull off this exercise, but as they learn the trick, things will get a lot smoother. If your dog has mastered it, you can stop giving them treats and they’ll easily lay on the floor the next time you say ‘go,’ not because of the reward but the fun in the play-like training.
The Cup Game
The Cup Game requires solid brainpower. However, you can just keep it simple at first as your Labradoodle grasps the mechanics of the game. Increase the difficulty anytime you feel like your dog is totally in the game.
Prepare two cups and place them in front of your dog. Hide a treat under one of the cups. Let the Labradoodle choose which of the cups has the treat. You must hand them the treat at the beginning whether they guess it right or not. After around 12 tries, the dog will then understand that if they tap the correct cup, they’ll have the treat.
As the game becomes clearer for the Labradoodle, start switching the cups to test his concentration and alertness. Aside from swapping the cups around, you can also add more cups to up the level of the game. Now if your dogs are having trouble guessing, it does not necessarily mean they’re not intelligent.
Dog’s intellectual capabilities can be displayed in various forms — just like humans. Guessing treats among the cups should not be the only basis of how bright Labradoodles are. You may play this game sometimes for a brain exercise while also trying other fun stuff.
Probably the easiest way to introduce a fun and productive game to your Labradoodle is treasure hunting. This game is not only to exercise your dog’s brain but also to stimulate their other senses too.
Settle your dog in one place before you hide a treat in your house. Make sure to place the treat somewhere that is not too familiar to your dog, especially if this is the first time you play the game. For them to begin a search, you must first introduce a cue. Other dog owners commonly use ‘Find it’ if such a command is already established to your dog.
Once your dog finds the treat, reward them with warm praises and attention. As soon as the Labradoodle is getting this game, try to elevate the challenge by putting the treat in places that they can impossibly figure out.
You and your dog will love this game while you are stimulating their senses. Both entertaining and fun, Treasure Hunting requires less effort from the owners compared to other tiresome games.
Indoor Agility Course
Not all owners have a wide backyard where they can have quality playtime with their furry babies. Indoor Agility Course is an indoor activity in which you and your pup can enjoy a good time inside the comfort of your home.
Gather all the basic items you have at home, such as blankets, chairs, towels, toys, and other similar objects. With the available items, build an obstacle course. One of the challenges you can set up is getting the Labradoodle to walk all over the chairs. You can also place some towels for them to jump or duck under and prepare a blanket where they can do a trick.
When your dog has mastered the course, change or mix things up and introduce another set of obstacles. An indoor agility course is a great way to keep your Labradoodle entertained while staying inside the house. However, this may take a lot of your energy and effort because removing and setting the courses can be annoying.
Labradoodles are active thinkers in their own way, which is why dog puzzles is another game that is ideal to play with your dog. Dog puzzles come in different shapes and sizes. Among the differences, the puzzle pieces have one thing in common and that’s for your dog to figure out.
Of course, you must reward your dog if they accomplish the puzzle. Dog puzzle is one of those food-related games that helps to relieve boredom and promotes mental stimulation. This game is just available at any pet store near you. Several choices for dog puzzles include difficulty levels. You need to carefully choose between hard and easy puzzles to keep your dogs entertained.
Two of the best dog puzzle games are Outbound Hound Puzzle Toy and Wooly Snuffle Mat. One red flag of puzzle pieces is that they could be a choking hazard for the dogs since they come in different sizes.
Hide and Seek
Just like kids, Labradoodles love to play Hide and Seek. While this game is usually playable by two people, you can also train your Labradoodle to do it by themselves.
First, find someone who can cue your dog with a ‘sit and wait’ signal as you look for a place to hide. Find the best corner where it’s not too hard for the Labradoodle since it’s the first you try the game and they are just learning how it works. Later on, you can level up the game or try another approach to activate their senses and entertain their minds.
When your dog finds you, do not forget to give praises and attention as their main reward. One thing that makes this game exceptional is that you don’t need any treats for the dogs to enjoy.
Cleaning up toys left after playtimes are pretty much the most tiring part of the day. Toy Pickup is a game where Labradoodles can constantly pick up the scattered toys and place them in the right containers.
To start the game, the Labradoodle must first master the command ‘drop it’. When you think they’re ready, give them an object they can hold onto. Next would be to command them to return the item to you by using the ‘drop it’ command and giving them a treat. As you continually practice this exercise with your dog, they will learn what ‘drop it’ indicates.
The second phase of the trick is to guide your dog to the basket where they should drop the item. Your dog may miss the basket, but they should still receive a treat to continue to play. Challenging and exciting, you must next teach them another command called ‘box’. In the first method of training your Labradoodle, the dogs can remember the names of the objects. Use the same tactic and marry it to the command of ‘box it’.
In the future, you will just effortlessly command the name of the toy they are familiar with and follow it with the command, ‘box’ or ‘box it’.
Hot and Cold
Normally played by humans, Hot and Cold is a good exercise for Labradoodles too. It works best with a clicker, yet you can still play the game if it’s not available in your home.
Labradoodles can be friendly dogs, but others can easily get frustrated, especially if they are not comfortable with the game. Make sure your dog is already exposed to many games before this so that it won’t be surprising for them.
Pick an item you want your Labradoodle to collect. As they get closer to the object, turn your clicker, reward them a treat, and say the command, ‘hot!’. If they are starting to move from the item, do not turn the clicker, avoid handing them treats, and say ‘cold!’.
Repetition is key for this type of brain game as the Labradoodle is still trying to process your commands. Soon enough, your dog will understand that those commands are associated with a specific action.
Labradoodles are always fun to be with since they can learn a lot of certain things quickly, as long as the right trick, commands, and instructions are property established. But at the end of the day, their excellent intellect is just one of many reasons why they could be a pet lover’s favorite.
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