Training & Socialization
It’s crucial to go into pet ownership with realistic expectations — puppies are incredibly fun and cute, but they are also a LOT of work! We can give you a great puppy, but it’s up to you to make sure it develops into a great dog.
When it comes to developing your dog’s behavior and disposition…
Training and Consistency Are Key
People often ask us if Labradoodles are easy to train, and the answer is a resounding ‘YES!’ Because of their high level of intelligence, Labradoodles (and F1BB Labradoodles in particular) are keen to learn and learn quickly. Still, that’s not to say they need less training than other dogs. We advise you to educate yourself and define and set firm boundaries and behavioral expectations for your pup before they come home to you, so you will be ready to start implementing them straight away (and less likely to fall for their mischievous new puppy charm!). We’ve curated the following information and resources to help you train and socialize your pup to reach their fullest potential.
Inquire about puppy socialization and obedience classes in your local area for your new puppy. You can start taking your new pup to puppy classes as soon as they join your family as they will have received their first round of vaccinations before coming to you. Begin with basic puppy classes and then graduate to obedience classes and beyond. These classes not only teach your puppy skills, but also allow them to socialize with other dogs around the same age—trust us, your pup will love their weekly moment in the spotlight!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A TRAINER:
- Look for a trainer that uses positive reinforcement training
- Makes training fun for you and your dog
- Explains dog behaviour and body language
- Encourages you to watch or participate in training
- Small class size (4-6 per trainer)
Although many dog owners feel guilty for crate training their pup, the many benefits of crate training have been proven again and again. In fact, dogs instinctively seek out small spaces to create a sense of protection for themselves. Crates are training tools, spaces for dogs to relax, and lifesavers for emergency situations when you need to evacuate your dog quickly.
Crate training is also an essential part of housebreaking puppies, as dogs don’t like to soil their own sleeping quarters (who would?!), so we recommend crate training your puppy from a very young age. We begin introducing your puppy to a crate starting at five weeks old, so they should have a good head start by the time you bring them home.
TIPS FOR CRATE TRAINING:
- Start by putting them in the crate for short five-minute periods. Set the timer and take them out once they stop crying/whimpering. Do this several times a day, then increase it to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. Eventually they will become very comfortable and happy with their cozy little space.
- You should be able to gradually build up the time you leave your puppy in their crate overnight without a toilet break to between 6-8 hours.
- To make training a positive experience, try feeding your pup meals or treats in their crate so it feels like a reward. Never leave them in their crate all day or night.
- Make the crate a cozy, inviting place to be by giving your puppy a treat or a toy when he goes inside. Always make sure water is available to them.
- You can put your puppy in their crate or an X-pen if you’re out running errands, showering, or generally unable to watch them closely.
- Every time you put them to bed, say the same word or phrase, like “Crate time” or “Nighty-night.” Eventually, they will run to their crate when they hear these words.
- Leave the crate door open when they are not in there, as they may choose to take their naps in there all on their own.
Housebreaking is easiest and most successful when you establish a consistent routine. Every time a puppy goes potty, their brain is solidifying where they should go, so it’s your job to make sure they are going where you want them to! It can take up to 8 weeks after your puppy comes home for him to be successfully potty trained. We know house training can feel like a very intimidating process, but with consistency, positive reinforcement, watchfulness, and timing, we promise it can be a relatively smooth and very successful experience.
SIGNS YOUR PUP NEEDS TO POTTY:
When inside, always monitor your puppy and watch for these four signs:
- Trying to sneak off and hide
TIPS FOR HOUSE TRAINING:
- Puppies that are 8-10 weeks old will need to go out about every 30 minutes. As your puppy ages, you can gradually stretch the time to an hour between outside potty trips until finally your puppy will let you know when they need to go out.
- About half an hour after your puppy eats, they will need to go potty. Try setting a timer on your phone for the first few weeks until you establish a solid routine.
- Use consistent terminology to encourage your pup to go. Give lots of praise when they pee or poop outside, or even a reward like a walk or treat!
- If your puppy has an accident, blot and spray it with your pet odor eliminator spray, but don’t yell at or punish them, especially if it’s after the fact. If you catch your puppy in the act, say NO in a firm voice and take them out immediately.
- At night, pick up your puppy’s food and water approximately 2-3 hours before bedtime. There is no need to take your puppy out in the middle of the night, nor do we recommend it. At this point your puppy should be fine to sleep through the night until about 6:00 am.
- In the morning, pick up your puppy and carry them to their designated potty spot.
COMMON HOUSE TRAINING MISTAKES:
- Failing to use a crate: Crating teaches them self control and gives them a sense of security.
- Failing to clean up accidents: Clean up is crucial to preventing repeat mistakes on the same spot.
- Failing to follow a schedule: When on a schedule, your puppy will expect to eat and potty at certain times and thus learn to control urges.
- Correcting after the fact: Scolding your puppy after they have made a mistake will only make your puppy afraid of you, as they have no idea why you are unhappy with them.
- Blaming your puppy for your mistake: If your puppy has an accident, the fault is yours. You may have left them in the crate too long, didn’t watch them carefully, or failed to clean up their former accident properly. It is your job to figure out why the accident happened and take measures to make sure it does not happen again.