Wondering how to train your brand-new Labradoodle puppy, but aren’t sure where to start? You’re in the right place.
Luckily, Labradoodles (both the standard and Australian variety) are incredibly smart, love people, and are full of energy. That makes for an enjoyable training experience, which is more than half the battle.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, though. While Labradoodles respond well to training, any first-time dog owner is going to have their hands full. So without further ado, let’s dive in.
Labradoodle Dog Socialization
Like all dogs, Labradoodles must be socialized with other dogs and people starting at a young age. A social Labradoodle pup is a happy pup, and makes for a happy, healthy home life.
Dog socialization means seeing, touching, smelling, and playing with dogs and people. Dogs who aren’t socialized can adopt antisocial behaviors like food guarding, biting, and can become plain unhappy.
The happiest puppies have met at least a hundred new people by the time they’re 8 weeks old, and another hundred before they turn 12 (weeks).
Successful socialization means introducing your new puppy to as many different situations as possible—people with hats, people riding bikes, children, the elderly, both men and women, people eating food, people running, jogging, walking, sitting…use your imagination.
Since most dogs aren’t sold until they’re several weeks old (at least they should be), it falls on your breeder to do most of the initial socialization work for you. And that’s where choosing a great Labradoodle breeder can pay dividends.
Once your puppy has come into your own home, the rest of the work is up to you. That means exposing your dog to a variety of experiences, even ones that might be uncomfortable at first—like being left alone or sleeping in another room.
The earlier your dog is able to deal with these stresses and anxieties, the more well-adjusted they’ll be in the long run.
Labradoodle Exercise Needs
Labradors are extremely high-energy. Poodles are very, very smart. When you put them together, you get a smart dog who needs a wide variety of challenging activities to stay happy and healthy.
Think big—swimming, biking, running, hiking. Labradoodles are meant to run and play. But the other side of the coin is mental stimulation. One of the easiest ways to keep your genius-level pooch occupied is by feeding them from containers that make them work for their food, like stuffed toys.
Who knows, maybe you can even teach your Labradoodle how to use chopsticks.
With that said, these dogs NEED extensive physical activity. If you can only commit to a leisurely walk around the block once per day, you should really consider a different breed, or at least adopt or foster an older dog from a Labradoodle rescue.
Otherwise, that playful energy can be channeled into chewing or destruction while you’re at work.
Happy Labradoodles need daily structure and consistent feedback from you, their owner.
One of the simplest ways to implement training into your daily schedule with ease is to require desired behavior from your dog before offering food, such as having them sit and wait before being allowed to eat (or by using the filled chew toy we talked about earlier).
What’s most important is starting your Labradoodle training program immediately, not AFTER problem behaviors occur. You’re more than welcome to hire a trainer, but establishing a routine from the first day you bring your Labradoodle puppy home will go a long way towards keeping you and your pup happy for years to come.
Training any dog is a challenge. The upside of training a Labradoodle is that these dogs are just FUN, and their intelligence will never cease to amaze you. Labradoodles are perfect for active families or people with the time to exercise these happy-go-lucky dogs.
Labradoodles might be the ‘in’ breed right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for you. With that said…Labradoodles are one of the most rewarding, fun types of dogs on the planet.