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My neighbor has a Goldendoodle that seems to get all other dogs--regardless of size, breed and gender--very worked up. Many of us have had conversations about how much our dogs inexplicably "hate that Goldendoodle."

The owner is very nice and manages her dog (Tess) well, so there has never been a problem--until recently. Apparently she was walking Tess on her street the other day when a yellow lab ran out of a yard and viciously attacked the Goldendoodle. We have never had anything like this happen in our neighborhood. But when Tess's owner told me this, I had a feeling that the yellow lab was reacting to the same vibe that sets off the other dogs.

I felt bad for the owner, who was very upset, and dropped off a card and some treats for Tess.

I am not blaming the victim here since the attack was totally unprovoked and could presumably have happened to my dogs rather than Tess. But I'm curious about whether others have seen this phenomenon before and have any thoughts about what might be going on. I assume Tess is putting out some sort of cue--but what could it be?
 

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Is she intact?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I don't know for a fact, but I'd be very surprised if she hasn't been spayed. The owners are responsible people--and they definitely don't plan to breed her... (But now I'm going to ask about this. Good thought! Thanks.)
 

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I've heard a lot of negative stories in regards to a certain manic energy among a lot of Retriever/Poodle mixes. Accounts of dogs that can't settle, have self-harming behaviors (like over-grooming), are almost OCD in their tendencies- both in BYB type dogs and in well-bred dogs, and in recent crosses as well as those well past F3. I don't know the validity of this- I wonder how many of these people judge the dogs more harshly because of their mix and their own feelings of the immorality of it, especially because a lot of these are people who have clear preferences for Purebred dogs (largely because I know them through the SD world, where predictability of size, health, and temperament is very important when getting a puppy, more so then if it were just a pet.

My guess is its something to do with the "vibe" she's putting out, or the way she greets dogs. Is she super friendly and not so good at giving personal space, maybe?

If she's intact that would explain it as well.
 

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poodle and retrievers are both very active breeds, so some mixes can be a bit hyperactive and nervous which can annoy not only people but also some dogs.
If the dog is a bit obtrusive as well, like many retrievers are (nothing against retrievers as a whole)...there you've got a possible reason why some more aloof dogs might not like her.

Some dogs also just seek out dogs that are socially insecure to mob them, si it could be that the dog is in many situations just not so dominant in interaction as other dogs that are more cure.
( I'm not talking about dominance theory! just about single situations and interactions between individual dogs.)
 

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Hmm...I don't think it has anything to do with whether she is intact or not. Females usually aren't attacked for this reason. However, for males, sometimes intact males can be attacked from neutered males who have not been socialized early on to the smell of intact males.
 

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I'll have to say, I work at a day care where we've had poodles, goldens, labs, as well as the 'doodle' dogs, and for whatever reason, the goldendoodles and labradoodles seem to always have a screw loose. They tend to be manic and "in your face" much more than the breeds that went into making them. We almost always have to pull one Goldendoodle named Oliver for just never backing off of dogs or people when they've had enough.
 
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I will say, all the Doodle mixes I've met, have always been WAY too in you face with other dogs. Super friendly, but just socially-unaware.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I think you are all onto something with this dog (and maybe tendencies of that breed) having a certain manic energy and lack of social awareness.

Here's an example. I have a border collie-black lab mix who reads other dogs extremely well (unlike my GR, who is a wreck). The first couple of times we met Tess, they had a nice uneventful sniff and things were fine until we walked away. At that point, Tess went berserk on her leash--lunging and growling at my dog from 20 feet away. After those instances, he developed an aversion, so we haven't tried another greeting.

It never made any sense to me, but now I think she just has screw loose, and other dogs read her as being unpredictable and untrustworthy.

Thanks for all the great insights!!
 
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