When training a Labradoodle there are several basic rules that should be followed, no matter what kind of training you choose.
If you search online you will usually find a thousand different tips, tricks, and opinions regarding Labradoodle training and how to develop the best possible behavior in your Labradoodle puppy.
I’m sure most of those ideas and guides have probably worked at some point and in some way or another.
But every dog is different, so I can’t tell you exactly how you should train your dog, but instead, I can give you this list of 12 different points that I always follow when training a new dog.
Challenge Their Mind
Labradoodles are highly intelligent dogs, so prevent boredom.
Most dog owners know that a new puppy requires proper nutrition and daily exercise, but they often forget to challenge them mentally.
This is a problem that can lead to a lot of behavior issues, from aggression and, biting to full-on destructive behavior.
If you want to avoid that make sure you find some types of games to really give your Labradoodles’ brain something to work with!
So make sure when you’re looking for Labradoodle puppy training tips, also to consider other aspects than just their physical wellness.
If you’re looking for some tips to get going with mental exercise, check my review of Brain Training for Dogs which has dramatically helped my dog to a much more satisfactory life.
Do it Exactly the Same Way Every Time
Starting with the very first repetition, all the way to the very end.
Practice makes perfect as the old saying goes isn’t always the correct way to go.
But perfect and precise practice is by far the best road to success.
If you have to choose between making a specific exercise easier or lowering your expectations of the final result, always go for the first option.
It doesn’t matter if you want your dog to perfectly Sit beside you when told so, or if you want it to stop growling at strangers and other pups.
Always start at the point where your Labradoodle is able to do the exercise correctly, and then move ahead from there.
But only move forward at a pace that ensures that your dog is able to perform the intended exercise in a way that’s satisfying for both of you.
If Your Dog Can’t Sit Correctly
It will never be able to go anywhere without issues.
A Labradoodle who won’t Sit when told to will never be able to walk beside you properly.
Reactions towards humans, cars, other animals, and so on, aggressive behavior, growling being overly excited.
The solution to all these problems starts with the ability to do nothing.
If your Labradoodle isn’t able to do absolutely nothing, you will never get it to listen to commands where you should be in focus.
Using treats, or basic crate training is one of several different ways you can teach your Labradoodle to relax and teach it that it doesn’t have to react to every single little thing that’s going on around it.
Labradoodles, like humans, need to focus and use their attention to be able to learn new things.
Being Tired Isn’t The Same as Well-behaved
A tired dog isn’t the same thing as a well-trained dog.
Small problems might seem just like that, small, but they have a tendency to grow larger over time.
Most of the problems you might encounter during to daily walk or someplace else should be solved even before leaving your home.
If your Labradoodle won’t sit still when you’re trying to put it on a leash, don’t expect it to sit patiently and wait by your front door.
If it isn’t able to sit and wait patiently at the door, it won’t be able to start your daily walk in a nice and positive way.
And if it’s unable to start the walk in the intended way, don’t expect the rest of the walk to be smooth sailing all of a sudden.
Perhaps your dog will eventually become tired and end up walking more slowly and what seems to be more well-mannered than you, but having a tired Labradoodle is not the same as a well-behaving Labradoodle.
Have a Point of Restoration
Labradoodles connect certain emotions with very specific areas.
So if you are having problems with a specific behavior, and your dog ends up stressed or losing interest, try moving to a different area and training something that you know your dog is good at.
This will give the Labradoodle a sense of accomplishment.
This doesn’t mean you have to get in your car and drive far away, it might be enough with just another corner of the dog park or your own garden.
Perhaps you are trying to teach your dog how to jump onto a table, but so far you haven’t been successful.
Try finding a lower table or some other platform to exercise with instead.
When your dog manages that, then you can return to the table that was too difficult, to begin with.
It is then highly like that your dog will be able to jump onto the table, without even having to think much about it.
If Something Doesn’t Work While on a Leash
It definitely won’t work without a leash.
You might have a dog that jumps onto visitors, or perhaps on your furniture. Or it could be that it doesn’t come when called upon.
If you can answer yes to any of that it probably also means that your dog isn’t on a leash.
The next time you’re having a guest over, try walking to the front door with your dog on a leash.
Keep the leash short so there’s enough slack that the leash won’t tighten before the dog starts jumping.
Now when opening the door, this will prevent your dog from jumping onto the visitor.
Usually, it will quickly stop attempting to jump up, and then you tell it to sit down.
Have your guest pet it for a short amount of time, and only as long as the dog keeps sitting.
You can then start over and try this exercise several times.
Labradoodles who jump on the furniture when told not to.
The dog won’t listen when you tell it to get down or to stop entirely.
Grab a hold on the end of the leash, and pull the dog down from the furniture.
Don’t yank it around the room, just turn around with your dog on the other end of the leash, and make the dog follow you.
Again, start over and try multiple times until the message is clear to the dog.
You are Outside and You Want Your Dog to Return to the House.
Of course, the dog won’t listen, outside is a dog’s natural habitat.
Put your dog on a long training leash and make sure that you have a firm grip on the other end before calling for your dog to return.
Pull a little on the leash just enough to get the dogs’ attention.
When the dog returns, give it a treat or its favorite toy.
Repeat this until you get a satisfactory outcome.
This is also where most people start making mistakes with Labradoodle training.
They are very enthusiastic about training and buying all the best products, but after the first week, they lose interest and end up letting the dog do pretty much what it wants.
Keep doing the above exercise until you don’t have to pull on the leash even a little anymore.
And if it takes you a month to get to the point where the dog returns to you even without you pulling on the leash, keep the leash on for the same amount of time before removing it, just to be sure.
By nature, a dog is a gambler, and if it wins the “battle” even one time it will get a taste of it and you can end up having to start all over with the training.
Make sure that you get the result you want every single time until it is certain your Labradoodle is done taking chances.
Quit While You’re Ahead
Always stop the training before your dog ends up mentally exhausted.
Sometimes we end up training our Labradoodles for so long that they will eventually lose their motivation.
It might start getting boring, and you will be annoyed that your Labradoodle isn’t making any progress anymore.
But perhaps it’s actually the dog that should be annoyed with you because you are irritated, and haven’t recognized that your dog actually did the very best it could be the previous 40 times you asked it to do something.
And now your dog is tired and really in need of a good rest.
This is especially important when you’ve been working on something challenging.
Stop the exercise as soon as you know your dog understands the concept of what you are doing.
Don’t “reward” a great result by asking your Labradoodle to do 50 other exercises immediately afterward.
In the Case of a Stressed Dog
Go back to the point where your dog the last time felt perfectly comfortable.
When a dog is stressed it will usually go back to instinctive and unwanted behavior, so it is not a good idea to only train your dog in surroundings where it is totally calm.
You have to work with situations where your dog usually has a strong reaction.
And then you have to work through those situations.
The only way to train your Labradoodle to overcome these situations is by getting them to a point where they master it.
That doesn’t mean that for perfect Labradoodle training you have to throw them directly into the deep end, but you have to train them in the same situations where they would usually end up feeling stressed.
Try doing that in a controlled environment, after you have thought your dog the most basic training.
If you are hesitant at putting your dog in these situations because you fear what reaction it might show, work with it in less stressful surroundings before moving forward.
Taking One Step Backwards
To be able to take two steps forward.
Try looking back at rule number 6.
That rule isn’t only for whenever you are at home in your house, or in the garden.
The rule applies to every single time you and your dog find yourself in a new situation.
This is especially important when training your dog in that phase where it has learned something, but now it needs to be able to do it every single time without any hassle.
So even if your dog might be totally reliable without a leash while in your garden, don’t expect it to behave in the same way when you are at a new place and time.
So put the leash on until you are certain that your Labradoodle also has this new situation under control, before continuing with your exercises.
Don’t Give Your Dog a Command You Won’t Follow Through On
If we once again take a look at rule number 6.
As mentioned earlier your
You might take your Labradoodle through 8 weeks of intensive dog training, following a true and tested program you got from somewhere, and now you’re thinking everything is golden and your dog is perfectly trained.
Your Labradoodle by now knows the meaning when you say Sit, Stay, and so on, and suddenly it’s getting late evening and your dog doesn’t really listen when you tell it something.
But you are tired so you just let it slide, seeing as it’s a one-time thing.
Congratulations, you’ve just ensured yourself a lot of extra work.
Putting your dog on a leash makes it easier for you to follow through on your command, and think very carefully before commanding your Labradoodle to do anything.
If you don’t plan on following up on that command to the very end, at least making sure your dog can’t do anything it shouldn’t is a better solution.
Never Test Your Dog
Tests and exams are fine with kids going to school. But it’s not the solution for a Labradoodle.
No matter when you are together with your dog, always keep in mind that you shouldn’t test if it’s going to do the wrong thing or the right thing.
When training other dogs I’ve seen several times that a change in attitude to a softer gentler approach works much better, and will create an indestructible bond between the two of you.
The actions you take when you want to take your dog through some Labradoodle training don’t change, but your attitude and the emotions you send back to your dog will.
And that makes all the difference in the world to a Labradoodle just trying to find its place in this human world.
- American Kennel Club (AKC): https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/
- Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT): https://apdt.com/resource-center/dog-owners/
- The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/dog-training-tips
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