When you bring your Labradoodle home, you’ll want to get started on training immediately. While it’s completely possible to teach an older dog new tricks, starting early decreases the amount of bad habits that you’ll have to break before teaching good habits. Labradoodles are smart and fairly easy to train. In fact, they may even find it fun, because these dogs like to feel like they have an important job to do. There are so many tricks that dog trainers like to teach their pup. Some make the owner’s life easier, some protect the dog from danger, and then there are tricks that are just for fun.
It’s important to use the right techniques when training your Labradoodle. Labradoodles respond best to patient and positive attitudes. Anger and fear tactics from their owner will easily upset them. Clear intentions are good, but your voice should be firm, but kind. Never yell at your Labradoodle. Physical punishments should also be off-limits. It will do nothing but scare your dog. Try to find a quiet place with few distractions when you’re starting out. It can be hard for a pup to focus when there are so many exciting things around.
Dogs learn best through positive reinforcement. When your dog behaves the way you want them to, reward them with a treat and lots of love and affection. With enough practice, they will associate good behavior with reward. After enough time, they will no longer require treats to behave. Labradoodles aim to please, so if you let them know they’re being a good dog, they will know that good behavior makes you happy.
When first starting out, stick to the basics. Work on commands that will be beneficial to both of you, especially in social situations. Once your dog has mastered the basics, move on to more challenging or more fun tricks. Here are a few tricks that you must teach your Labradoodle.
This is a trick that most dog owners start with, and for good reason, too! A dog that knows how to sit on command will be less likely to get into dangerous situations. For example, if you’re out walking your dog, you can have them sit at intersections so they won’t walk out into a busy street. When they sit, it should be implied that they are supposed to stay in the seated position until you give them another command. Having them sit when they get overexcited will also help calm them down.
To teach this command, take a treat and raise it slightly above their head. When their head goes up, they will naturally go into the seated position. If they have trouble with this, you may also want to place a hand on their bottom and gently push down. Give the command, then give them their reward once they are seated. Keep practicing this motion until they can do it without the treats.
There’s nothing more annoying than taking a dog on a walk and having them walk you. Labradoodles require lots of walks, so you’ll want your dog to be on their best behavior during your daily exercise. When your dog is heeling, he should be on the left side of you. Your dog should be walking close to you with their head in line with your leg.
This can take a lot of practice, since many dogs like to run ahead and pull on the leash when they get excited. Bring some treats along with you on a walk, and practice giving the heel command and having your dog walk with you. It’s okay to jerk the leash in order to correct their behaviors, but never pull or jerk too hard. The movement should be quick in order to catch their attention, but not hard enough to cause them any pain.