Labradoodle Puppy Training
How do you train your Labradoodle puppy with your children?
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Most Labradoodle puppies are friendly and playful, however they will be relating to you, and especially your children, as they have related to their litter-mates. Although genetic factors do play an important role in behavioral development, how you handle, train, and control your new puppy is also critical in shaping their adult behavior. Labradoodles are very intelligent and will outsmart you, if you don’t train them. Dogs need 3 things: 1. Exercise 2. Discipline 3. Affection – in this order.
In the litter when puppies are trying to communicate with each other, they will posture themselves above each other, growl, bite and snarl at one another. If your puppy does this with you or your children, you (the adult) need to teach him this is not appropriate puppy to human behavior. Here are some tips to teach your puppy that you are the “pack leader” and how you’d like him to behave with you and your children.
Start your puppy in and around your home on a leash (this is a good way to start each day – a 20 minute walk). When you arrive at your home with your puppy, put him on a leash and walk him around your home and yard, making sure at all times you are in the lead and puppy is following you. Once your puppy has learned to walk on a leash, all of your children need to walk him with you there to make sure all is well. Everyone should be calm and assertive. Continue with the leash in the house, as this will help with potty training and setting up boundaries inside your home. If your puppy gets too excited during play time and begins to mouth you or your children, give him a chew toy, put him on a leash and give him time to calm down and relax. In our home we have a leash secured to a latch on the wall with a dog bed and toys right near. This is where we secure our puppies to help train them. They learn to “stay”, be on a leash, play quietly and no potty in the house. This is also a good way to train your dog not to run to the door when people come to visit, so they learn not to jump on them.
When you arrive home after being gone and your puppy runs up to you, ignore puppy for 5 minutes, then call him to you on your terms. Pack leader calls the shots, rewarding calm behavior, not excitement. Teach your puppy to sit and wait for petting.
Always eat in front of your puppy, and then allow him to eat, once he sits calmly and patiently. I use feeding time to train sit, stay and come.
Teach your puppy to sit and wait for you to set his food dish down. About feeding: Although it’s best not to bother a dog during meals, it is important that the dog understand that you control resources such as food and toys. Your dog should also be comfortable when family members are around during meal times. Train the puppy to sit and stay while you prepare the food and place it on the floor. Then allow him to come and eat. During the feeding, approach your dog once or twice, interrupt it with a “sit” or “come” command, lift up the food bowl, put in a special food reward, and give it back to your dog. It can also be helpful to place a small amount of food in your dog’s bowl at feeding times and pick up the bowl and refill it a few times during feeding. You can also hand feed his entire meal. It is important to remember that if your dog begins growling or threatening to bite, immediately consult your breeder or trainer.
Always have your puppy sit before going out or coming in the door. You go first, then release.
Gently roll your puppy on his back and get him to relax with your hand softly over his neck and tummy. This is a submissive hold not to hurt the dog or prove a point in restraint, but to calm the puppy, bond with it with eye contact, and let it know you’re in charge & it can trust you. Once he relaxes, then let him up or continue to rub his tummy.
Teach your puppy to “drop it” with his toys and bones: Begin with a toy that is of minimal appeal and teach your dog to “give” the toy to you in trade for rewards (a yummy treat). After prompting with a treat the first few times, then hide the treat and only give it, once the toy has been released to you. Once your pup reliably drops objects for rewards with each command, switch to intermittent food and praise reinforcement.
- Teach your puppy to “fetch” his favorite toy and then “drop it” for a treat.
- Give your puppy an abundance of chew toys to choose from and let him enjoy them for long periods of time (in the crate is good, or on the leash while you’re nearby).
- Never tease or provoke your puppy, or allow anyone else to do this (children).
- An adult should always supervise children with your puppy and stay calm and assertive.
- Puppies will match your level of excitement (and that of your children), so try lowering your energy level to a calm and relaxed place, and watch how your puppy will do the same.
- Only give affection when your puppy is calm and submissive, not when he is excited, fearful, anxious, etc. Whatever state of mind puppy is in when he receives affection is the state of mind you are telling him you agree with.