A hybrid of the Labrador retriever and poodle, the Labradoodle became a quick favorite for dog lovers everywhere. With their warm, loving, playful, and devoted personalities, it’s not hard to see why they made their way into our hearts.
But are you struggling with Labradoodle potty training? Don’t worry – you are not alone.
As a Poodle Mix expert, I get asked all the time how to best potty train a Labradoodle
- In this article we will explain how to potty train a Labradoodle
- When to start, and how long it takes
- Signs of a dog that is about to mess
- Specific methods and tools to potty train a Labradoodle
Lets get started
If you’re the new and proud owner of one of these cute bundles of joy, then you’ll want to teach it one of the most basic and useful skills: potty training.
Since the Labradoodle is a classic family dog, you might want to keep your new pet indoors. This makes it all the more important to make sure they’re housebroken.
How to do it? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we teach you all you need to know to get your Labradoodle to do its business where it’s supposed to. All you need is a lot of love and a bit of patience.
Read on to learn how to potty train a Labradoodle.
Labradoodle Potty Training 101
Eager to get started? Here’s some background information to help you potty train your new dog.
How old is your Labradoodle? This is an important consideration because puppies have smaller bladders and may not have full control over them yet so a little extra patience and understanding is required.
Like many dogs, senior Labradoodles can be harder to housetrain but if you own a puppy, you can start training them when they reach 4 to 6 months old.
The Labradoodle is a naturally smart breed and will take about 4 to 5 months to housetrain. Consistent training and applying the right training methods will go a long way in making the process easier for you and your dog.
Before we jump into how to begin training your dog, however, it’s important to know the signs when your dog needs to go. By recognizing them you’ll be able to take advantage of natural opportunities that arise during training and can take your dog outside before a mess happens.
You may already be aware of some of them but to make sure we’re on the same page, here’s are some typical behaviors to look out for:
If you notice your dog continuously sniffing the floor, it’s time to bring it outside. Dogs are in the habit of sniffing the ground before doing their business. They’re quite picky about where they go and can often be seen sniffing for a place to leave their smell behind.
Your dog will sometimes bark and whine to let you know that it needs to go outside. They can be signs of discomfort as they get the urge to pee or poop.
This is another indication that your dog needs to go outside. It’s part of a dog’s instinct to inspect the area where they’ll be defecating to ensure it’s safe and free from predators. If you see your dog turning in tight circles, it’s time to let them out.
There are many ways to housetrain your Labradoodle. Here are 3 methods we recommend. Choose one that you feel will work best for you:
A tried and tested classic potty-training method, commands allow us to communicate with our dogs so they know what we expect from them.
As you start out, this method requires you to take your dog out 10 to 30 minutes after finishing a meal and every three hours. These intervals correspond with most dogs’ schedules for relieving themselves.
To train your dog with commands, you’ll also need to pick out a word or phrase like “go potty” or “shazam.” It doesn’t really matter what you choose to use as long as you use it consistently. You’ll also need a leash and a designated spot for pooing and peeing.
When it’s time to go out, use the leash to walk your dog to the spot you picked out. Issue your command and eventually, your dog will learn to associate the action with the word.
As tempting as it is to install and have them use a doggy door, you’ll want to avoid it at the beginning when they have yet to learn the command. The chances are great that they’ll use the door without learning the command and knowing what they’re expected to do.
This has to be one of the more impressive ways to train your Labradoodle. You can train your dog to ring a bell whenever it needs to go out for potty.
Despite requiring your dog to perform a specific action, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to train them this way. You only need to attach a bell like this one to your door so that it rings every time you go out.
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Eventually, your intelligent Labradoodle will associate the sound with going outside. Teach your dog to ring the bell on its own. To do so, you can hold a treat near the bell and when your dog makes it ring, reward your pet with the treat and praise your dog profusely.
Since they’re playful, Labradoodles might ring the bell repeatedly even if they don’t need to go out. If this happens, let them out anyway. As we’ve mentioned, consistency is important. Your pet will sooner or later tire of the game and will only ring the bell to alert you of legitimate potty breaks.
Crate-training is another classic method for potty-training. It’s based on the idea that dogs don’t like defecating in their safe zone or the area where they sleep.
The concept that excrement doesn’t belong in their beds is usually picked up by dogs during their first few months of life when mom would clean the area when it would become dirty.
This method also gives your dog a safe space where they feel comfortable and cozy as they adjust to a new home.
You’ll need a good-sized crate to keep your Labradoodle in. Make sure that your dog can comfortably lie down, turn around, and stand in it. While inside, your Labradoodle should still be able to see, hear, and smell what’s going on outside its crate.
This method requires you to move quickly and let your dog out at the earliest sign that it needs to go. The good thing about it is it makes monitoring your pet for the behaviors we mentioned earlier much easier since they’re confined to a crate.
You can also let your dog out even before it starts sniffing and moving in circles. Dogs typically need to go in the morning after they wake up, when they’re excited, and after meals.
Depending on the dog, it can take days or weeks for crate training to work. Note that younger dogs will need to go out more frequently than older dogs.
Pro Tip: While they’re in the crate, make their space more comfortable so they associate it with pleasant things. You can place their favorite toy, a nice pillow, or a mat inside so they’ll grow to love their crates.
Do you have an idea of which training method you want to use? As you train your dog, there are also useful tips that you’ll want to incorporate to make training smoother and faster.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
One of the best ways to predict when your Labradoodle will need to go is to maintain a consistent feeding schedule. When you serve meals at the same time every day, your dog will learn to anticipate them and have more consistent bowel movements as well.
You can also incorporate scheduled walks and playtime to create more consistency and give them the physical and mental stimulation that healthy dogs need.
Labradoodles have a healthy appetite that you can use to your advantage while potty-training them. Reward them with tasty and healthy snacks so they’ll be motivated to learn and perform regardless of which method you use.
Since Labradoodles inherit the eager to please personalities of their poodle parent, you can also shower them with praise and belly rubs to show them how pleased you are with them.
Pro Tip: If your dog rings the bell, or relieves itself on command or right after you let it out of the crate, reward it immediately so they learn to associate the action with the reward.
This must be one of the most enjoyable tips on this list because it entails cuddling with your Labradoodle and spending time with it. As their owner, your dog will not only thrive by having a healthy and secure relationship with you but will also want to please you during potty-training.
A great way to build a strong bond with your dog is by feeding it from your hand. This is particularly effective for shy and fearful dogs.
Dogs by nature love their humans and enjoy their company. Whether it’s unwinding with your four-legged pal on the couch, engaging in playtime, going out for walks, or giving it lots of scratches, make sure that you build a strong and positive relationship with your new dog.
You can also use the opportunity to get to know your dog better. Every dog is different so learning your dog’s particular behavior, tendencies, likes, and dislikes will aid you in training and building a good rapport.
This is a useful tip for those of you who live in apartment buildings with no easy access to outside space. If you can’t go outside for whatever reason, use pee pads and teach your dog to poo and pee on them instead. Just follow the same steps and use them as your dog’s designated space for relieving itself.
Pee pads are also useful when you aren’t home and can’t bring your dog out. By teaching your dog to use them, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that your Labradoodle will know what to do even if it can’t step outside.
Additionally, pee pads are also much easier and more pleasant to deal with than cleaning your floor.
As their owner, you can help them associate following commands with positive experiences. How? After your Labradoodle is done relieving itself, spend a few minutes playing with them.
Get to know what activities they enjoy the most and reward them by engaging in them.
This is perhaps the most important rule of all: Remain patient with your furry friend throughout the process. While it may seem like an obvious and practical lesson, it may take some time for Labradoodles to understand what we want from them. Remember that everything is new to them, especially if your dog hasn’t been trained before.
Despite the challenges, potty training is worth the time and effort that you put in. Imagine what a difference a properly housetrained dog makes compared to an untrained one.
Being patient with them as they learn will also help you establish a strong bond and make it easier if you want to teach them more tricks in the future.
Now that you know some basic methods and tips for potty-training your Labradoodle, it doesn’t seem hard at all, does it? Remember to be patient, consistent, give your dog a structured schedule, and immediately reward your furry friend whenever the situation calls for it.
As you practice these tips for potty training, you’ll build a wonderful relationship with your dog while having a house that’s less prone to smelly accidents. If, once in a while your dog fails to measure up, just keep at it, and sooner or later your Labradoodle will pick up on what you want it to do.