Training Tip #2: Follow the Three C’s
The trick to becoming an effective alpha is to follow the “three C’s.” When training, you always want to remain:
Don’t yell at your dog when he misbehaves. At the same time, don’t go completely overboard with praise when your dog follows simple commands. You want your dog to follow commands because he understands what type of behavior is expected, not because he always expects a treat or reward.
Remain consistent in your training. Don’t let your dog get up on the furniture when he’s clean, but scold him if he tries to jump on the same piece of furniture when wet or dirty. Don’t feed him from the table when he begs at certain times but then scold him at others. Deep down, dogs want to learn how to behave. They’ll be confused and act out if the training is inconsistent.
Be clear with your commands. Simple one-syllable words should work well in most cases. “No” for negative behavior and “Good” for positive behavior are simple enough for even young dogs. Also, use the same terms for the same behaviors. Labradoodles are usually highly intelligent dogs. As training continues, they’ll likely be able to understand a variety of more complicated commands. But when your dog is first learning, keep your words clear and simple.
Training Tip #3: Visit a Professional
You’ll have to do a lot of training at home. After all, you’re the Alpha. But you don’t have to train your dog completely on your own. A professional dog trainer can be an invaluable help.
You can ask your vet or your dog’s breeder for trainer recommendations. Many retail pet stores will also offer training classes. The age limit will vary by class but generally you can enroll a puppy at around 12 weeks of age.
There are two major benefits to these types of classes:
- You can learn what to do at home. There’s no shortage of information on how to train a dog. But learning in person, with your dog, is often the most effective.
Think of it like a yoga class. You can watch yoga videos and read instructions online, and then try out the moves in the privacy of your home. Or you can go to a class where someone will show you how to specifically do the moves, with your personal situation in mind.
A dog training course will also have plenty of homework. You’ll learn training techniques in class which you’ll later work on at home. In a quality course, you’ll likely learn as much (if not more) than your pup!
- This is a great environment for your dog to learn proper socialization. You and your dog will be in an unfamiliar place around unknown dogs and people. At the same time, this is a structured setting where puppies can safely interact.Your dog can quickly learn to be comfortable around new people, places and animals. This comfort will grow over time, too. The earlier you can start socialization, the better.
A socialized dog will be able to play in the dog park, hike in the woods and more. Trips to the vet and groomer will go smoother as well. Labradoodles were actually originally crossbred to be service dogs, so they generally take to socialization quickly.