Goldendoodles are a popular breed, mixing a golden retriever with a poodle. If you ask owners, they will tell you this breed has the best traits of both parents. Poodles are known for their intelligence and loyalty, and retrievers for their loving and gentle personality. But, it begs the question: How trainable are they?
Goldendoodles and Training
To answer the question, if they’re easy to train, yes, they are—because they have a desire to please and are intelligent and loyal. It’s easier to train Goldendoodles when they’re young, just like any other breed. It’s also important to be consistent with their training regiment.
Let’s take a look at what that entails.
Potty Training & Housebreaking Your Goldendoodle
You may dread housebreaking any dog, but with a Goldendoodle, it’s not as difficult as you may think. Of course, you can’t expect it to happen overnight. (darn!) It does take time, and despite their intelligence, they’re still animals who want to go where and when they want. But don’t fret, they will get it! Be consistent and patient. (Did I already say that?)
If your Goldendoodle pupper is still young, this is the ideal time for housebreaking them. Or, perhaps you’re thinking of getting one. If you are, either get them young or get one already trained. The best time to start housebreaking your pup is around eight weeks of age. It’s typical at this age for them to relieve themselves every hour or two, so being diligent is key.
Here are the times to bring your pup outdoors:
- Morning, when they first awake
- Within a few minutes after eating
- As soon as they wake from a nap
- Promptly after a session of play
- Anytime you notice them walking around sniffing the floor
Each time, take them to a designated spot, you want them to use. If they’re still small, consider carrying them to prevent them from going on the porch or too close to your home. Let them have a few uninterrupted minutes to do their business. This is not the time to interact with them. They need to understand, they’re outside for one reason: to potty. Once they finish, say “potty,” and pet them. You can praise them and give them a treat. Be excited, and they will want to please you again.
Should I Crate Train?
Crate training seems popular with many pet owners; however, dogs rarely go where they eat and sleep, so keep that in mind. They have small bladders and can’t hold it very long. Some advantages to crate training include fewer accidents throughout the home and not needing to take the dog out in cold weather. Sometimes, trial and error work best. Your Goldendoodle may need a few weeks or a few months, but stay consistent.
One tip is eliminating food and water after a determined time in the evening. If they have an unlimited time of eating and drinking, they won’t have the capacity to hold it in for several hours. If you’re going to be at work, a doggy door allows them to come and go as needed, as well as go out when they want to explore. This could be a double-edged sword since middle-of-the-night trips could result in barking at the wind or a nearby cat. And of course, your yard needs to be fenced, so consider those factors.
General Obedience Training
Once you bring your Goldendoodle home, it’s time to begin basic training. Just like training young children to go potty, brush their teeth, make their bed, etc., stays with them, it’s the same with young dogs. Start young, and a puppy will retain their training for life.
Goldendoodles are sensitive, so it’s essential to use positive reinforcement when she does what you expect of her. Training your pup can take many forms, but it’s what you teach them that is most important. Some of these teachings include:
- Sit - Gently push his hiney down as you say, “sit.” Say the command once. Do this repeatedly, daily.
- Come - Leash your puppy and say “come” while you gently pull on her leash. When she comes, praise and pet her. Do this several times a day until she comes on command without her leash.
- Down - Following the mastery of the sit command, “down” comes next. Pull his paws down gently and say, “down.” Repeat multiple times a day.
- Stay - In the sit or lay down position, hold your hand up and say, “Stay.” Walk a few feet away. After she does as commanded, but BEFORE she moves, praise and give her a treat.
- Leave it - Put a ball in front of him and say, “leave it,” every time he tries to take it. Say, “OK,” when he can take it and praise him.
- Drop it - When she has a bone or toy, teach her to say, “drop,” and point your finger down to the ground. This may take additional time because dogs love their toys and will fight you. However, each time she does it, pat her head and praise her. Then you can toss it to her. This can turn into a fun game of fetch.
Goldendoodle Puppy Phases
For the first year, your Goldendoodle pup will go through many phases. How you handle them will make a significant difference in how your pup will grow up.
- 6 to 8 weeks - This is the ideal time in which to bond with your Goldendoodle pup and usually when they head to their new homes.
- 8 to 10 weeks - Keep in mind, this is when puppies experience a fearful period, much like separation anxiety in children. Help them avoid fearful situations that could affect them for years.
- 8 to 16 weeks - Puppies settle into their new homes and begin exploring, full of energy and easy and eager to please. This is also the ideal time to start obedience training.
- 4 to 6 months - Your Goldendoodle pup should master training at this point and be ready for independence and new experiences. Provide plenty of time for socialization by taking them to a dog park, at the lake, or daycare centers, if available.
- 6 to 12 months - Your pup needs lots of activity and exercise to prevent them from getting too bored. Walk them daily or play with them. Arrange playdates with other like-minded dogs for a few hours, or get them engaging toys in which to interact.
It’s a given; puppies like to bite, or at least nibble. However, if that habit isn’t nipped in the bud soon, it could raise issues when they’re older. The best way to stop them from biting is to stop petting them. Try and pet them again, but if they start biting, stop petting again. If he won’t stop biting, walk away. Goldendoodles, in particular, love attention, so don’t pay attention, and they will stop. If it does continue, gently say, “no.” They may be sensitive, but they need to hear no sometimes.
Puppies love jumping to show their excitement; however, you want to stop them from hurting someone. When your pup jumps, either gently push them down and say, “off” or “down”, or turn away and ignore them. When you talk to them, you’re giving them attention, even if it’s negative, which will continue the behavior.
You may think this is counterproductive, but the best way to stop your pup from barking is to teach him to bark on command. If you know your dog barks when someone rings the doorbell, have a friend or family member do this. When the dog barks, say “speak” and praise them. Continue until he learns to bark on command. Then, you can train him on “quiet,” until he stops barking. Praise him.
Puppies get bored quickly, and they love to explore. If one of those behaviors leads to them chewing on your favorite pair of shoes or a throw pillow, don’t scold them. Chewing is not something they do to be naughty and could be a sign they’re teething; just like a child who puts everything into their mouth at that age, puppies will do the same. Keep things out of their reach and provide your Goldendoodle with a chew toy or treat to help them through this phase.
Puppy Food Aggression
The earlier you stop this behavior, the better. Many homeowners use the excuse that it’s just a dog thing and remind family members and guests to just stay away from them. Don’t give your pup this kind of control, as it could be dangerous the older they get. The best thing is to pet them when they’re eating. Pet them calmly by touching their ears, legs, and tail. Briefly take their food from them while they’re eating, so it helps them get used to remaining calm while they eat. Do this often to reduce food aggression as they age.
Call Plush Paws
A reward after a day of training could include a joy ride up the canyon or at the lake with car seat covers to reduce a hairy, dirty vehicle—making it a win-win. Contact us for more information on our high-quality seat covers that come in different sizes, colors, textures, and styles.