How to Train Your Labradoodle: 10 Tips
Have you recently made a labradoodle the newest member of your family? Bringing home a new puppy is a special experience for you and all of your family members, but there’s plenty of work that needs to be done in order to make sure that you raise your doggy properly!
From house training to obedience training and socialization to making sure that you don’t allow them to develop bad habits, there’s a whole lot to learn — and we’re here to help you do it!
Below is a list of 10 important training tips for your labradoodle. If you use these tips with your pup from an early age, you should wind up with one incredible family companion by the time your labradoodle is full-grown. And for those who have adopted an older labradoodle, not to worry, most of these tips are applicable to adult dogs, too!
Consistency is Key
Training requires a certain level of consistency, and training young puppies is no different. From the moment they enter their new home, you should begin a routine with them. This includes when they eat, when they go out, when they go for walks, when they have playtime, and more.
After a little while, you’ll find that your puppy will begin to anticipate the next step of their daily pattern if you are consistent with it.
Your labradoodle’s training program needs to be equally consistent in order to avoid the development of bad habits. Once you’ve set some rules, deviating from them will only be harmful to your puppy’s learning.
Give them training treats when they listen to your commands and use a clicker to help them associate the good behavior with the reward. If you can remain consistent with your rules and with your training program, your puppy will quickly become quite obedient.
Remember, too, that consistency isn’t entirely about routine. It’s also about the cues that you offer your pup while you’re training them, and perhaps more importantly, in the words and intonation you use. Dogs need to hear the same words in the same tone over and over in order for those words to be understood as a command.
Reward Your Pup for Listening to Commands
One of the major tenets of Labradoodle puppy training is rewarding desired behavior. Positive reinforcement is the most effective practice out of all of the dog training methods. Your pup will quickly learn to repeat the behavior that earns them the reward they desire.
Giving out rewards can encourage desired behavior, but making sure that they have properly earned those rewards can also help to establish you as the pack leader, which is key to raising an obedient dog.
Rewards can be either small training treats or pieces of dry dog food. Don’t give anything too large or you’ll overstuff your pup and run out of rewards too quickly!
Have your pup sit, stay, give you their paw, lie down, and come to you to start with, as these are simple commands that can give them a decent foundation for obedience training.
Rewards are also great for leash training , whether you’re attempting to teach your labradoodle to walk forward, stay next to you, or listen to your commands, even when the level of stimulation is elevated.
Eventually, you will find that you no longer need a treat to get your dog to listen to your commands.
If it seems that your dog refuses to learn commands without the use of treats, you may be using the treats improperly. Try consistently giving them a treat for every correct behavior, then mix in some instances when you only give them praise, slowly weaning your way down to no treats at all.
If You Control Your Emotions, Your Doodle Will, Too
Your labradoodle puppy will be able to learn over 150 words, which is really pretty amazing. But considering the fact that there are over 171,000 words in the English language, speaking is actually quite a limited form of communication with your furry family members.
Because of this, dog owners need to understand the other ways in which they send messages to their pets in order to avoid unwanted behaviors and encourage desired ones.
Labradoodles are highly intelligent and reactive. They are usually quite in tune with the emotions that their owners experience, which is why they make great therapy dogs.
This acute emotional awareness means you should always attempt to avoid outbursts when you’re training your new dog. It’s not always easy to stay cool when they’ve used your home as a bathroom or chewed up something irreplaceable, but it is still counterproductive to lash out at them. Remember — control your emotions, and they will, too.
Speaking in dog terms, the idea of controlling emotions is more about impulse control than it is about managing emotional outbursts. Poor impulse control can result in you being dragged down the road when you’re attempting to walk your pup, or perhaps having to fend off your dog as you prepare dinner for them. Those types of dogs can be unpleasant to be around, so teaching them impulse control is key!
Speak to Your Puppy
Verbal communication when dog training can be limited, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. When it comes to obedience training, verbal commands are actually vital. Young puppies can learn all kinds of good behaviors through the use of simple words, and you can teach them to avoid bad behaviors in the very same way.
This sort of training won’t just teach your dog how to behave, either. It will also show them that you are the pack leader!
Here are some of the most common and useful verbal commands you should use when you’re obedience training your labradoodle puppy:
- Good dog
- Drop it
- Get it
- Go out (to use bathroom)
- Go to bed (return to crate)
- Bring it here
Teaching your pup the meaning of each of these commands will go a long way toward ensuring that you can control their behavior in a vast array of scenarios. Of course, there are plenty of other commands that you may want to teach, but these are the basics and the most important.
How to Socialize Your Dog Correctly
Socialization from an early age is important for all dogs, including your new doodle puppy. If you want your pup to grow up into a well-adjusted adult dog, you should start getting them used to meeting strangers and dogs as early as 7 or 8 weeks old. This can include trips to the dog park or scheduled playtime with a friend’s dog.
However you do it, just make sure to be there as they meet their new friend so that you can encourage good behaviors and discourage bad ones.
Let your dog take its time when they’re meeting someone new and always reward them with praise and treats when they act properly, both during and after the introduction.
If your pup starts to seem uneasy or frightened, make sure to remove them from the situation before they make negative associations with other dogs or pick up any bad habits for socializing.
Unfortunately, there will occasionally be instances in which a dog’s natural inclination is to be anti-social or even aggressive with strangers and their dogs. If you find yourself in a situation like this, your best bet may be to speak with a professional dog trainer. They can help you try to break the bad habits that your pup has and help them to be more at ease in social situations.
Training at Home – The Do’s and Don’ts
While there are aspects of raising an obedient dog that can begin from the moment you bring your new puppy home, formal training needs to wait until they’ve reached a certain age or it will likely prove ineffective.
For instance, you should start crate training your labradoodle puppy when they’ve reached 8 weeks old, and you shouldn’t start house training them until they’re about 12 to 16 weeks old.
Once your pup is ready to be trained, here are some key dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Create a routine that you do not break
- Remain consistent with your commands
- Reward your pup immediately
- Remain positive and calm
- Be gentle and patient
- Lose your temper and lash out
- Punish them when you’re angry
- Let others in your home break your routine
- Trick or confuse them
- Accidentally reward barking or jumping with attention
- Force or scare them into behaving
These are just some simple guidelines, but they should prove effective for you and your pup if you stick to them.
Remember that things like potty training will not be linear — mistakes are going to be made. It’s not fun to have poop in your home, but it’s not productive to take out your anger on your dog, either. They don’t know any better, but they eventually will if you commit to giving them the proper training.
How to Train Your Pup in the Correct Ways of Interacting with People
One thing that can drive dog owners crazy is when their pet exhibits all kinds of bad behaviors around other people. Not everyone is used to dogs, and some people are even frightened by them, so having an unruly pup that jumps, barks, or even bites can be a really unpleasant experience for them.
Fortunately, in most instances, all you need to do is fully commit to your labradoodle training and you’ll find that your best friend does not have too many bad habits.
Labradoodles are highly intelligent dogs, so training them to avoid inappropriate behaviors around other people shouldn’t be that hard. Just make sure to follow these tips and remain consistent with them!
Jumping on People
Your dog might get over-excited when they see people and start jumping all over them. To avoid this behavior, you must be the example. Remain calm when your dog becomes excited to see you and do not acknowledge them until they have calmed down.
Teaching them to sit and stay upon greeting someone can also be helpful.
Barking at Guests
To prevent your dog from barking when they greet a house guest, you should identify the stimulus (such as doorbell or the opening door) and train them to associate it with a command (such as sit and stay) and a reward.
Preventing your dog from biting begins with early socialization. Obedience training can also prove to be helpful, as can spaying or neutering them. If the problem persists, a professional trainer may be necessary.
Playtime Training Basics
Yes, even playtime requires a fair amount of training. This type of training can help you gain better control over your pup even when they’re hyper-stimulated and excitable from all of the fun and games. It can also make playtime a bit more enjoyable for you.
For instance, your labradoodle puppy might pick up the ball when you throw it to them and then run off and drop it far away from you. If you can train them to bring the ball right back to you, then playing fetch will go far more smoothly.
Playtime can easily become an area where bad behaviors are picked up, so make sure to bring some extra treats and your clicker so that you can apply some commands while you and your pup are having fun.
Some useful commands for playtime include “give it here,” “drop it,” “leave it,” and “release,” but most other commands are likely to apply, as well.
It can also be useful to do some training while you’re at the dog park so that you can maintain better control over your pup during social situations. Any time there is a lot of stimulation and it may be easy for your dog to stop being obedient, those are the areas in which you should focus on dog training the most.
Using the Leash Correctly
Read carefully, because these are some of the most important labradoodle training tips on this whole list, maybe even more important than house training.
Ensuring that your new puppy is properly leash trained will make your relationship with them a far more enjoyable one. Your dog needs plenty of exercise. If getting them that exercise is a total headache because they’re a nightmare on their leash, then you may start to grow a bit resentful and that’s not fair to your dog. They just needed you to give them the proper training!
One of the earliest forms of puppy training is getting your labradoodle acclimated to wearing a harness and leash. They don’t even need to go outside to use it — just put it on indoors and let them get a feel for it from an early age.
Once they’re comfortable, you can start walking them around inside and calling for their attention, rewarding them with a treat when they listen.
After you’ve established a nice rapport inside, bring it outside, making sure to lead the way and never let them drag you. If they do start to pull, stop and stand perfectly still until they come to you. In time, they will learn to walk at your pace, not theirs.
The Correct Times to Give Your Dog Attention
You’ll likely want to give your labradoodle tons of attention all the time, but in reality, there are certain times when you should avoid giving them attention in order to avoid encouraging unwanted behaviors.
For instance, if they’re repeatedly barking or jumping on you, acknowledging them is only going to reinforce the barking and the jumping. Instead, you should wait until they’re calm to start petting them.
The best times to give your dog attention are when they’re responding positively to obedience training, when they’re changing bad behaviors, and after they’ve exercised.
A labradoodle puppy that receives attention at the correct time will eventually develop into a well-adjusted adult dog that you consider to be one of your family members.
These are the ten most important tips to follow when raising a labradoodle puppy. We hope you use them when the time comes to start obedience training with your new dog.
As always, we encourage you to continue your research and gain all of the information on raising a great labradoodle that you can. The more you know about dog training, the more likely you are to have a truly incredible dog!