- 1 Training a Labradoodle
- 2 Are Labradoodles Easy to Train?
- 3 14 Labradoodle Training Tips
- 3.1 Training Tip # 1: Start training your Labradoodle puppy early
- 3.2 Training Tip # 2: Your voice is your most important training tool
- 3.3 Training Tip # 3: Only give command that you can enforce
- 3.4 Training Tip # 4: Train your dog gently and humanely.
- 3.5 Training Tip # 5: Begin your training from home
- 3.6 Training Tip # 6: One command equals one response
- 3.7 Training Tip # 7: It’s all about good communication
- 3.8 Training Tip # 8: Use your dog’s name in a positive manner
- 3.9 Training Tip # 9: Don’t give too much attention when he misbehaves
- 3.10 Training Tip # 10: Timing is critical
- 3.11 Training Tip # 11: Have a ‘No’ sound
- 3.12 Training Tip # 12: Be patient
- 3.13 Training Tip # 13: Give your dog attention when YOU want
- 3.14 Training Tip # 14: Be Consistent
- 4 Basic Training
- 5 Labradoodle Crate Training
- 6 Labradoodle Potty Training (House Training)
- 7 Conclusion
Training a Labradoodle
Training a Labradoodle is like bringing up a child. If you put in the effort early on, then you will be rewarded with a well-mannered dog who will be a joy to spend time with for years to come. Labradoodles are intelligent, friendly, and playful, but if you let your youngster do whatever he wants and allow him to think that he is the boss, then you may well end up with a naughty, attention-seeking adult.
Too many dogs end up in rescue shelters because they didn’t turn out quite the way their owners expected. Lack of training usually plays a big part in why the dog develops some unwanted behavior traits. If you want a dog that you can take anywhere and who will be a perfect companion, rather than a pain in the neck, then spend time early on teaching him some manners and your ground rules.
You may consider seeking the help of a professional trainer, but that option may not be practical or within the budget. One other excellent alternative is to join a puppy training/behavior class in your local area. This way, your puppy will get to learn and socialize with other dogs at the same time.
You could also watch some Labradoodle training videos on YouTube, but it should not replace training with other dogs.
If you decide to train your Doodle yourself, then remember the golden rule: training should always be based on rewards and not punishment. It’s not a battle of wills between you and your dog. It should be a positive learning experience for both of you. Labradoodles can be sensitive little critters, and bawling at the top of your voice or smacking should not play any part in training.
Are Labradoodles Easy to Train?
Labradoodles are very intelligent and generally regarded as easy to train due to their easy-going temperaments and desire to connect with and please their humans. They have curious minds, and most will thrive on training if they get the chance to exercise their grey matter with some fun. Some Labradoodles are professionally trained to a very high standard to become guide or therapy dogs.
Over the years, Labradoodles, especially Australian Labradoodles, have been bred with a specific easy-going temperament in mind. Early Labradoodles were often headstrong and hyper-active, but well-bred Aussie Doodles these days usually have great personalities and fit well into family life.
Like most dogs, Labradoodles are pack animals and hierarchical. They respect the pecking order and are happy when they know and are comfortable with their place in it. They need to learn their place in the pack and accept you as a pack leader. You cannot force this on a dog by shouting and hitting. It has to be established by the natural order of things like mutual consent and brought about by proper training. If your puppy is not made aware of his place in the household and the rules to abide by, then he will end up ruling you and your family.
The first two years of your Doodle’s life are the most crucial time for the development of his character and behavior. It’s your house, you set the rules, and with proper training, your Labradoodle will learn to follow them. Be firm, but never aggressive with your dog. If you do it wrong then, you will either frighten him or teach him to be aggressive. Keep training short and fun, especially at the beginning.
It’s relatively easy to train a Labradoodle – it’s the owners that usually take a little longer!
14 Labradoodle Training Tips
Training Tip # 1: Start training your Labradoodle puppy early
Like human babies, Labradoodle puppies learn pretty quickly, and this behavior stays with them through their adult life. If you have adopted an older dog, you can still train him, but it is a lot harder for them to unlearn bad habits. It’s best to start training with a clean slate. Puppy training should begin with a few minutes a day from day one when you bring him home, even if he’s only a few weeks old.
Training Tip # 2: Your voice is your most important training tool
Your dog has to learn to understand your language. The tone of your voice is very important. You should command in a calm, authoritative voice without shouting. Praise the puppy in a cheerful, encouraging voice, followed by a stroke or a pat. If your dog has done something wrong, use a firm, stern voice, not a harsh scream. This rule still applies even if your Labradoodle is unresponsive at the beginning.
Training Tip # 3: Only give command that you can enforce
Labradoodles are intelligent dogs. Every time you give a command that you don’t enforce, it tells him that command is optional, and he doesn’t have to follow.
Training Tip # 4: Train your dog gently and humanely.
Use positive and motivational methods to teach your puppy. Keep training sessions upbeat, so the whole experience is enjoyable for both of you. If obedience training is a bit of a bore, then pep things up a bit by “play training.” Use constructive, non-adversarial games such as Go Find, Hide and Seek or Fetch.
Training Tip # 5: Begin your training from home
How well your dog responds to you at home affects his behavior away from home as well. If he doesn’t react well at home, then he will not be any better when he’s out and about where there are many distractions, such as other dogs, people, food scraps, cats, and unusual smells, etc.
Training Tip # 6: One command equals one response
Give your dog only one command – twice maximum – then gently enforce it. Repeating commands or nagging will make your Labradoodle tune out. It also tells him that the first few commands are a bluff. Telling your dog to “SIT, SIT, SIT, SIT!!!” is neither efficient nor effective. Give your dog a single “SIT” command, then gently place him in the sitting position and then praise him.
Training Tip # 7: It’s all about good communication
It’s NOT about getting even with your dog. If you’re taking an “it’s-me-against-the-dog or I’ll soon whip him into shape” approach, then you may eventually force your dog into submission. But a relationship based on fear is not a good one, and it will undermine your relationship with him. You’ll also miss out on all the fun that a positive training approach can offer.
Training Tip # 8: Use your dog’s name in a positive manner
When you bring a new dog home, start using his name regularly, so he gets used to the sound of it. He won’t know what it means in the beginning, but it won’t take him long to realize that you are talking to him. In training, don’t use his name when you are warning or punishing him. He should trust that when he hears his name, good things happen. His name should always be a word that your Doodle responds to with enthusiasm, never hesitancy or fear. Use the words “NO” or “BAD BOY/GIRL” in a stern (not shouted) voice instead.
Training Tip # 9: Don’t give too much attention when he misbehaves
Labradoodles love attention. If he gets lots of attention when he jumps up on you, his bad behavior gets reinforced. If he jumps up, push him away, use the command “NO” or “DOWN” and then ignore him.
Training Tip # 10: Timing is critical
When your puppy does something right, praise him immediately. Similarly, when he does something wrong, correct him straight away. If you don’t praise or scold your puppy immediately for something he has done, then he will have no idea what he has done right or wrong.
Training Tip # 11: Have a ‘No’ sound
When your puppy makes a mistake, make a short sharp sound like “ACK!” to tell the puppy not to do that again. This technique works surprisingly well.
Training Tip # 12: Be patient
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a Labradoodle won’t be trained in 24 hours either. But you’ll reap the rewards of a few weeks of regular training sessions for the rest of the dog’s life when you have a happy, well-behaved and loving companion for life.
Training Tip # 13: Give your dog attention when YOU want
Labradoodles are sociable creatures, and they love being with you and involved with the family. While you are training him, it is good to give your puppy lots of positive attention when he is good. But if he starts jumping up, nudging you constantly or barking for your attention, then ignore him. If you give in to his every demand, then he will begin to think that he is the boss and become more demanding. Wait a while and pat him when you want, and when he has stopped demanding your attention.
Training Tip # 14: Be Consistent
In terms of rules and training, treat your fluffy little Doodle pup as a grown-up. Make him abide by the rules you want him to live by as an adult. If you don’t want him to take over your couch or jump up at people when he is big, don’t allow him to do it when he is small. You can’t have one set of rules for pups and one set for adult dogs, which they won’t understand.
Training a Labradoodle to Sit
Teaching the ‘SIT’ command to your Doodle is easy, but teaching him to sit still is a bit more challenging. You may want to put your pup on a leash to hold his attention in the beginning.
- Stand facing each other and hold a treat a few inches above his head.
- As he reaches up to sniff it, move the treat upwards and back over the dog towards his tail at the same time as saying “SIT.”
- When he moves his head up toward the treat, his back should automatically go down towards the floor.
- As soon as he sits, give him the treat and tell your dog, he’s a good boy/girl. Stroke and praise him for as long as he stays in the sitting position.
- Practice it in short sessions until he does it every time. After a while, he should do it just from command, without moving the treat over him. When he does, give him a treat anyway.
If he jumps up on his back legs and paws while you are moving the treat, be patient, and start all over again.
Another method is to put one hand on his chest and with your other hand, gently push down on his rear end until he is sitting. Say “SIT” while you do that. Give him a treat and praise, even though you have made him do it. He will eventually associate the position with the word ‘SIT.’
‘SIT’ is a very useful command and can be used in many different situations. For example, when you are putting his leash on, while you are preparing his meal, when he fetches the ball, or when he is demanding attention or getting over-excited.
Training a Labradoodle Puppy Not to Bite
Play biting is normal for puppies. They do it all the time with their siblings in the litter. It is a game for them. But when they arrive at your home, they have to be taught that human body parts are not for biting.
Try not to encourage play-biting. As a puppy grows and feels more confident in his surroundings, and he may become slightly more aggressive. His bites may hurt someone, especially if you have children or older people at home. Make sure to have a soft toy nearby every time you have a play session with your puppy. When he starts to chew your hand or feet, clench your fingers or toes to make it more difficult and distract him with the soft toy in your other hand. Keep the game interesting by moving the toy around or rolling it around in front of him. He may continue to chew you, but will eventually realize that the toy is far more exciting and livelier than your body parts. If he becomes over-excited or too aggressive with the toy and starts growling a lot, then stop playing with him, and walk away.
When you walk away, don’t say anything or make eye or physical contact with your puppy. If your pup is more persistent and tries to bite your legs as you walk away, thinking this is another fantastic game, stand still and ignore him. If he persists, tell him “NO” in a very stern voice, then praise him when he lets go.
Many Labradoodles are very intuitive, and another method that can be very successful is to make a sharp cry of “Ouch!” when your pup bites your hand – even when it doesn’t hurt. Your puppy may well jump back in amazement, surprised that he has hurt you.
Train a Labradoodle Not to Jump
The reason why a labradoodle jumps up onto humans is that they want to get your attention and say hello. As you are taller than him, he has to jump to get your attention. Sadly, it might not be enjoyable for your guests or other people having an unknown dog jumping on them. As a dog owner, you must stop your dog from bothering other people.
You can try the below techniques to train your labradoodle not to jump:
- When your dog starts jumping, follow training tip # 9. Push him away, use the command “NO” or “DOWN” and then ignore him. Do not look into his eyes and stand straight up with your arms crossed. When his paws touch the ground, pat him. If he doesn’t stop jumping after this, then repeat the exercise.
- If you have already taught you Labradoodle the “SIT” command, then you can use that too. When your labradoodle starts jumping, stand up straight and say a command like “Stop” and turn your back against him so it cannot see your face. Then give him the command, “SIT.” If your dog listens to you and sits, then pat him. Repeat the exercise until he stops jumping.
- If your dog is jumping on a guest, then ask your guest to turn around and ignore him.
Labradoodle Crate Training
Crate training is the process of teaching your pup how to behave and enjoy spending time in a crate. Along with housetraining, this is one of the first things you should do when you get a new puppy. The idea behind crate training is that dogs like to have their particular spot. This place is a Safe Haven where only they can go. Crate training is also helpful for housetraining because dogs don’t want to use the bathroom in their special place. It teaches them to hold it until they are let outside to potty.
Crates are not for every Labradoodle, and you should NEVER use them to imprison the dog while you are out of the house all day. Doodles are not like hamsters or pet mice, which can adapt to life in a cage. But, used correctly, a crate can help to:
- Housetrain your dog
- Keep your dog safe when traveling
- Create a doggy bedroom or place where your Labradoodle feels safe.
If you use a crate, then remember that it is NOT a prison to restrain the dog. It should only be used humanely, and time should be spent to make the puppy feel like the crate is his safe little haven. If you close the crate door, make sure that your Labradoodle must ALWAYS have access to water while he is inside the crate. He will also need bedding in there, and it’s a good idea to put a chew in as well. Place the crate in the corner of a room, away from cold draughts or too much heat. Labradoodles like to be near their pack so, leave him where he can hear you.
Here are some techniques that you can follow to make your puppy to accept a crate and then to want to spend time in there. He might not be very happy about going in at first, but he will be a lot easier to crate train than an adult dog
- Drop a few tasty treats around and then inside the crate.
- Put your puppy’s favorite bedding in there.
- Keep the door open.
- Give all of your puppy’s meals to him inside the crate.
- Do not close the crate door yet.
- Place a chew or treat inside the crate and close the door while your pup is outside the crate. He will be desperate to get in. Open the door to let him in and praises him. Fasten a long-lasting chew inside the crate and leave the door open. Let your puppy go inside and spend some time eating the chew.
- After a while, close the crate door and feed him some treats through the mesh. At first, do it for a few seconds at a time, then gradually increase the time. If you do it too fast, he will become distressed.
- Slowly build up the amount of time he is in the crate. For the first few days, stay in the room, then gradually leave the room for a short time, first one minute, then three, then 10, 30 minutes, and so on.
The next points are very important to make the crate training successful:
- Do not let the dog immediately out of the crate while he is barking, or he will think that barking is the key to opening the door to the crate.
- Wait until the barking or whining has stopped for at least 10 seconds before letting him out.
If you do decide to use a crate, remember that a dog is NOT a caged animal. Use the crate for limited periods and only if your dog is comfortable in there. NEVER force a dog to go in and then lock him in for hours on end.
Labradoodle Potty Training (House Training)
The good news is that a dog’s instinct is not to soil his den. From about the age of three weeks, a puppy will leave his sleeping area to go to the toilet. The bad news is that when you bring your little pup home, he doesn’t realize that the whole house is his den. Therefore, you need to teach him that it is unacceptable to make a mess anywhere inside the home. It depends on how quickly your puppy learns and how persistent and patient you are.
Follow these steps to speed up the potty-training process:
- Constant supervision is essential for the first few weeks if you want to house train your puppy quickly. This is why it is necessary to book the week off work when you bring a new puppy home. Making sure you are there to take him outside regularly. If nobody is there, he will learn to urinate or poop inside the house.
- Take your puppy outside to the same place every time. Dogs naturally develop a preference for going in the same spot or on the same surface -often grass. Take him to the same patch every time, so he learns this is his toilet – preferably an area in a far corner of your garden or yard.
- No pressure – be patient. You must allow your Doodle pup to wander around and have a good sniff before he does his duties. Stay around a short distance away instead of leaving him. Sadly, puppies are not known for their powers of concentration. They may become easily distracted, and it may take a while for them to select that perfect spot to wee (pee) on!
- Share the responsibility. It doesn’t have to be the same person that takes the dog outside all the time. It’s easier if there are a couple of you, as house training a pup can be very time-consuming. Just make sure you stick to the same routines and patch of ground.
- Take your pup outside at the following times:
- As soon as he wakes – every time
- Shortly after each feed
- After a drink
- When he gets excited
- After exercise or play
- Last thing at night
- Initially, every hour – whether or not he looks like he wants to go
- Stick to the same routine. Dogs understand and like routine. Sticking to the same one for mealtimes, playtime, sleeping, and toilet breaks will help to not only house train him quicker but help him settle into his new home.
- Shout if you catch him in the act indoors. A short sharp negative sound is best – No! Ack! Eh! – It doesn’t matter as long as it is loud enough to make him stop. Then start running enthusiastically towards your door, calling him into the garden or the chosen spot and patiently wait until he finishes what he started indoors.
- No punishment. Accidents will happen at the beginning, do not punish your puppy for them. He is a baby with a tiny bladder and bowels, and potty training takes time. It is perfectly natural to have accidents early on. Remain calm and clean up the mess with an excellent strong-smelling cleaner to remove the odor, so he won’t be tempted to use that spot again. Dogs have a powerful sense of smell and to make 100% sure there is no trace of what they left behind, you can use a special spray from your vet or a hot solution of washing powder to eliminate the odor. Smacking or rubbing his nose in it can have the opposite effect, he will become afraid to do his business in your presence and may start going behind the couch or under the bed, rather than in the garden. Only shout if you catch him in the act, never afterward.
- Look for the signs. He may be sniffing the floor in a determined manner, circling looking for a place to go, or walking uncomfortably, particularly at the rear end. If you see any of these signs, then take him outside straight away. Do not pick him up. He has to learn to walk to the door himself as a signal that he needs to go out.
- House training is reward-based. Praise him or give him a treat when he performs his duties in the chosen spot. Labradoodles love treats as well as pleasing their owners. Reward-based training is the most successful method.
You may also want to use a trigger to encourage your dog to perform his duties; they can be useful too. Some people use a clicker or a bell.
Despite what you may think, training a Labradoodle can be a pleasure of toil. Correctly done, it is a rewarding experience, a learning curve, and a lot of fun – for both you and your dog. No matter how easy-to-please your dog is, obedience training is an absolute must for every dog.