Any time you bring home a new dog, training is a critical aspect of its life with you. The Labradoodle breed can be relatively easy to train when you use consistency throughout.
The Labradoodle is quickly becoming a popular breed of dog in many areas. When deciding on a new pet, their breed and training may come into play. You must know what to expect from a Labradoodle and how to handle their temperament as they grow.
Training a Labradoodle
Because the Labradoodle brings traits from both the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle, you can see the best of both breeds in your new pet. They are knowledgeable, social, and usually eager to please the humans it bonds to.
These characteristics make the Labradoodle a dog that can be easy to train, with some considerations.
Consistency is Critical
Your training methods need to be consistent with any new pet, or your dog will not know what you expect of them and become confused.
Everyone in the home must adhere to the same training methods for commands and rewards. People using alternative commands for the same action will make what you want seem unclear to a Labradoodle.
In the beginning, Labradoodle puppies require a great deal of repetition to understand limits and what you expect. Thankfully, with steady consistency, your new pet will pick up on commands and boundaries quickly.
Use a Positive Reinforcement Reward System
Who doesn’t love treats and extra love? Labradoodles are your typical fun-loving, people-pleasing dogs who will enjoy receiving extra treats or cuddles when they do a good job.
Many studies show that positive reinforcement training helps dogs learn and react to commands quicker than punishment methods. This style of training gets your Labradoodle to want to behave for you rather than acting out of fear.
Some rewards that work well for Labradoodles can include:
- Treats or other food items
- Verbal praise
- Petting or cuddles
Some pet owners will use a combination of rewards, especially in the beginning days and months of training. Lots of praise and attention with treats encourages your Labradoodle to act the way you want them to, in and outside your home.
Discouraging Negative Behaviors in Your Labradoodle
There will be times when you have to discourage your Labradoodle from having negative behaviors. No animal is perfect every day, unfortunately. Remember that your puppy is still learning and looks to you for guidance on appropriate behaviors.
When you follow a positive reinforcement training plan, any time your dog does something they should not, it is vital that they do not receive any attention from you. Lack of attention and rewards can be a very effective correction tool.
You must discourage negative behavior. For example, if your dog is jumping up on your or visitors, it is best not to make eye contact, turn away from the dog, and ignore them. As soon as your pet sits down or stops jumping up, praise them and reward them immediately.
Your puppy may get excited again and begin to jump up, but remember that reliable training is vital. Once again, avoid eye contact, turn away, and ignore your dog until it sits down in the proper position. Then, reward them immediately when they give you the appropriate behavior.
This repeating action will let your Labradoodle know that they get praise and rewards when sitting and not jumping. As soon as they start jumping, people take the good things away, so they will quickly pick up on what will get them the treats and praise they want from you.
Keep Rewards Exciting and Negative Correction Low
With puppies, sometimes it may seem that you are correcting your pet more than rewarding, but remember to remain consistent.
Ensure that when they do receive their rewards, it is a big, joyful event. The more wonderful you make the reward seem, the better it will be for the dog, who will seek out that same attention from you.
Discouraging negative behaviors should not involve your hands or talk to the dog as little as possible. Any time you interact with your pet, you give them attention, even negative attention. The less you connect with them during these correction times, the better.
Quickly, your Labradoodle will understand negative behaviors do not invoke much response from you, but good behaviors provide attention, treats, and other rewards. So make it more enticing for your puppy to be good rather than the alternative.
Avoid Punishing Your Labradoodle for Negative Actions You Can Control
Often when you bring a puppy home, they are curious, energetic, and can damage your house and belongings. New owners may become frustrated with their Labradoodle and feel like they are correcting behaviors constantly.
One critical aspect of training is to ensure that you control the environment to minimize the chances for negative behavior. You cannot expect a new puppy, or even a new adult dog, to act appropriately when facing circumstances that will tempt them.
There are several ways to help control your Labradoodle’s actions and minimize negative behaviors. These methods include:
- Give them enough exercise
- Provide brain stimulation
- Give them appropriate toys
- Crate training
- Avoid tempting situations
Give Them Enough Exercise
Exercise is one of the most important aspects of having a well-behaved dog. Puppies and adult dogs who receive enough exercise will positively expel their energy rather than sitting at home with unspent energy.
This method does not mean that you need to walk your puppy for hours at a time, though. A short walk in the morning and one in the evening will be suitable when paired with other methods.
Provide Brain Stimulation
Labradoodles, like other dogs, need to have exciting things to do throughout the day. If your puppy has nothing to hold their attention to, they will look for something in your home to do. Unfortunately, it may result in chewing shoes, getting in the garbage bin, or other destructive behaviors.
Mindful toys and games do not have to take up a dog’s entire day. However, with only a few short mental stimulating exercises, you can see a positive change in your Labradoodle’s attention and behaviors.
There are many ways you can help keep your pet’s brain working and active. For example, dogs love to chew, smell, and dig since it is instinctive. Therefore, you can positively encourage these traits.
Find toys to chew on that will last, puzzle toys for them to smell out treats, or things like snuffle mats that encourage them to use their nose and dig. Even a big bone is a great way to keep your dog stimulated while in their crate or resting.
Give Them Appropriate Toys
It may be cute when your Labradoodle puppy steals your socks and runs around the house. However, if you do not correct this negative behavior, they will think taking these personal items is okay and continue taking your socks and chewing on your clothing.
Discourage your pet from chewing on any items that resemble your belongings. For example, allowing them slippers, socks, and shoes can confuse your dog and encourage them to chew your things.
If you catch your Labradoodle with your things, remove it immediately, and replace it with an appropriate toy they can chew on and play with. Labradoodles are intelligent and will soon pick up on what they can and cannot chew on.
Although some pet owners think that crate training is for punishment, it can be a valuable tool for your Labradoodle. Imagine their crate as their personal space. A crate should be a safe space for your pet to go if they are overstimulated or need a break from visitors in the home or kids.
Having a dog comfortable with its crate allows them to learn how to calm down naturally. Puppies who are crate trained when you leave the house will typically become used to resting and napping until you return.
This situation is better than having your Labradoodle running around your home, chewing your things, and having accidents. See our potty training guide for specifics on dealing with Labradoodle house breaking.
Avoid Tempting Situations
It can be challenging for a puppy to behave appropriately, especially when there are tempting situations. Do not leave food out where your Labradoodle can reach it and put away any items you do not want them to chew.
You can control your puppy’s environment, so ensure that it will help promote good behaviors rather than negative ones, and your training will go smoother.