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Basic Obedience Training for Doodle Breeds: Cavoodles, Labradoodles, Groodles, and More

Updated: Jul 7




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Introduction

Doodle breeds, such as Cavoodles, Labradoodles, Groodles, and others, have become increasingly popular due to their friendly temperaments, intelligence, and hypoallergenic coats. These crossbreeds combine the best traits of their Poodle ancestry with other beloved breeds, resulting in dogs that are not only adorable but also eager to learn. However, their intelligence and energy levels mean they require consistent obedience training to ensure they grow into well-behaved adults. This article provides a comprehensive guide to basic obedience training for Doodle breeds, offering examples and tips to help you train your dog effectively.

Understanding Doodle Breeds

Doodle breeds share several common characteristics, making them excellent candidates for training:

  • Intelligence: Thanks to their Poodle genetics, Doodles are highly intelligent and quick learners.

  • Sociability: They enjoy the company of humans and other animals, making them great family pets.

  • Energy Levels: They have moderate to high energy levels, requiring regular exercise and mental stimulation.

  • Affectionate Nature: They thrive on attention and form strong bonds with their owners.

Understanding these traits is crucial for tailoring your training approach to suit your dog’s personality and needs.

Getting Started with Training

  1. Establishing a Routine: Doodles thrive on routine. Set specific times for feeding, walking, and training sessions. This consistency helps your dog understand what to expect and when.

  2. Positive Reinforcement: Doodles respond exceptionally well to positive reinforcement. Use treats, praise, and affection to reward desired behaviors. Avoid punishment as it can lead to fear and anxiety.

  3. Short, Fun Sessions: Keep training sessions short (about 10-15 minutes) and engaging to maintain your dog’s interest and enthusiasm.

Basic Commands

  1. Sit

  • How to Teach: Hold a treat close to your dog’s nose. Move your hand up, allowing their head to follow the treat and causing their bottom to lower. Once in a sitting position, say “Sit” and give them the treat.

  • Tip: Practice in different locations to generalize the command.

  1. Stay

  • How to Teach: Ask your dog to sit. Open your palm in front of you and say “Stay.” Take a few steps back, then return and reward them if they stay put. Gradually increase the distance and duration.

  • Tip: Practice in a safe, enclosed area to prevent them from wandering off.

  1. Come

  • How to Teach: Put a leash on your dog and let them explore a bit. Gently tug the leash and say “Come” in an excited tone. When they come to you, reward them with treats and praise.

  • Tip: Practice in a secure area before trying off-leash.

  1. Down

  • How to Teach: Hold a treat in your hand, close to your dog’s nose. Move your hand to the ground, and as they follow, say “Down.” When they lie down, give them the treat.

  • Tip: Be patient. This command can take time to master.

  1. Leave It

  • How to Teach: Show your dog a treat in your hand, say “Leave it,” and close your fist. When they stop trying to get the treat, reward them with a different treat from your other hand.

  • Tip: Gradually increase the temptation by placing the treat on the ground and covering it with your hand.

Socialization

Socialization is a key part of obedience training. Expose your Doodle to various environments, people, and other animals. This exposure helps them become well-rounded and less fearful of new situations.

  • Puppy Classes: Enroll in a puppy training class to provide structured socialization and learning opportunities.

  • Playdates: Arrange playdates with other dogs to enhance their social skills.

  • Outings: Take your Doodle on walks in different locations, such as parks, pet-friendly stores, and busy streets.

Handling Behavioral Issues

Even with the best training, behavioral issues may arise. Here are some common problems and tips for addressing them:

  1. Barking

  • Solution: Determine the cause of the barking (e.g., boredom, fear, excitement) and address it. Use the “Quiet” command, rewarding them when they stop barking on command.

  1. Chewing

  • Solution: Provide plenty of chew toys to satisfy their need to chew. Redirect them to appropriate items if they start chewing on furniture or other objects.

  1. Jumping

  • Solution: Ignore your dog when they jump on you. Only give them attention when all four paws are on the ground. Use the “Off” command to reinforce this behavior.

  1. Separation Anxiety

  • Solution: Gradually increase the time you leave your dog alone. Provide toys and treats to keep them occupied. Consider crate training to create a safe space for them.

Crate Training

Crate training can be a valuable tool for house training and providing your Doodle with a safe, secure space.

  1. Choosing a Crate: Select a crate that is large enough for your Doodle to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

  2. Introducing the Crate: Make the crate inviting with soft bedding and toys. Allow your dog to explore it at their own pace.

  3. Using the Crate: Gradually increase the time your dog spends in the crate. Use it for naps and quiet time, not as a punishment.

Consistency and Patience

Consistency and patience are key to successful obedience training. Every dog learns at their own pace, and it’s important to stay positive and persistent. Celebrate small victories and keep training sessions enjoyable for both you and your Doodle.

Advanced Training

Once your Doodle masters basic obedience, you can move on to more advanced training:

  1. Trick Training: Teach fun tricks like “Shake,” “Roll Over,” and “Play Dead.”

  2. Agility: Enroll in an agility class to provide physical and mental stimulation.

  3. Therapy Dog Training: If your Doodle has a calm temperament, consider training them to be a therapy dog to visit hospitals, schools, and nursing homes.

Specific Tips for Different Doodle Breeds

While the basic principles of training apply to all Doodles, here are some specific tips for different Doodle breeds:

  1. Cavoodles (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle)

  • Tip: Cavoodles are very affectionate. Use their love for attention as a reward during training. Short, frequent training sessions work best.

  1. Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever and Poodle)

  • Tip: Labradoodles are high-energy dogs. Incorporate plenty of physical exercise into their training routine to keep them focused and engaged.

  1. Groodles (Golden Retriever and Poodle)

  • Tip: Groodles are eager to please. Consistent positive reinforcement and patience will yield great results. They also excel in advanced training like agility and therapy work.

  1. Bernedoodles (Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle)

  • Tip: Bernedoodles can be a bit stubborn. Be consistent and firm with commands, and ensure they get plenty of socialization to prevent shyness or fearfulness.

  1. Sheepadoodles (Old English Sheepdog and Poodle)

  • Tip: Sheepadoodles are intelligent but can have a strong herding instinct. Use toys and games that stimulate their minds and provide outlets for their natural behaviors.

Conclusion

Basic obedience training is essential for all Doodle breeds to ensure they grow into well-behaved and happy dogs. By understanding your dog’s personality, using positive reinforcement, and being consistent, you can teach your Doodle important commands and social skills. Remember to be patient and make training sessions fun. With time and effort, your Doodle will become a well-mannered member of your family.


For more detailed information and resources on dog training, you can visit reputable sources such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).

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