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Puppy Training for Doodle Breeds: Cavoodles, Labradoodles, Groodles, and More

Updated: Jul 7




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Introduction

Doodle breeds, including Cavoodles, Labradoodles, Groodles, and others, have become popular due to their charming personalities, intelligence, and hypoallergenic coats. These dogs are a mix of the Poodle and another breed, resulting in a unique combination of traits that make them both lovable and trainable. However, their intelligence and high energy levels mean they require proper training from an early age to ensure they grow into well-behaved and happy adults. This article provides a comprehensive guide to puppy training for Doodle breeds, offering examples and tips to help you train your puppy effectively.

Understanding Doodle Breeds

Doodle breeds share several common characteristics, which influence how they should be trained:

  • Intelligence: Doodles inherit a high level of intelligence from their Poodle parent, making them 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 puppy’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 puppy 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 puppy’s interest and enthusiasm.

House Training

House training is one of the first and most important lessons for a puppy. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Create a Schedule: Take your puppy outside frequently, especially after meals, naps, and playtime. Consistency is key.

  2. Designate a Potty Spot: Choose a specific spot in your yard for your puppy to use. Take them to this spot every time.

  3. Use a Command: Use a consistent command like “Go potty” when you take your puppy to the designated spot.

  4. Reward Success: Immediately praise and reward your puppy with a treat when they go potty outside.

  5. Supervise Indoors: Keep a close eye on your puppy when they are indoors. If you catch them starting to go potty inside, quickly take them outside to the designated spot.

  6. Crate Training: Use a crate to help with house training. Puppies are less likely to soil their sleeping area, so a crate can be a helpful tool.

Basic Commands

Teaching basic commands is essential for good behavior and safety. Here are some fundamental commands and how to teach them:

  1. Sit

  • How to Teach: Hold a treat close to your puppy’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 puppy 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 puppy 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 puppy’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 puppy 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 critical part of training. It helps your Doodle puppy become comfortable with various environments, people, and other animals. Proper socialization can prevent fear and aggression in adulthood.

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

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

  • Outings: Take your puppy 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. Biting and Nipping

  • Solution: Puppies explore the world with their mouths. Redirect their biting to appropriate chew toys. Use a firm “No” and provide a toy whenever they bite.

  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. Jumping

  • Solution: Ignore your puppy 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. 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. Separation Anxiety

  • Solution: Gradually increase the time you leave your puppy 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 puppy with a safe, secure space.

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

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

  3. Using the Crate: Gradually increase the time your puppy 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 puppy training. Every puppy 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 puppy.

Advanced Training

Once your Doodle puppy 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

Puppy training is essential for all Doodle breeds to ensure they grow into well-behaved and happy dogs. By understanding your puppy’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 puppy 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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