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Goldendoodle Obedience Training 101
"MY GOLDENDOODLE won't come when I call him (or her)." "My Goldendoodle barks so much that the neighbors are complaining." "My Goldendoodle is always jumping on me and on my visitors." "My Goldendoodle won't stop urinating in the house". "My Goldendoodle doesn't like to be around when I have friends over at my house". In all such cases, frustrated doodle owners are asking, "What can I do?"
The answer is very easy and simple but requires commitment from the doodle owner! Basic Dog Obedience Training - teaching your doodle to respond to simple commands. Making a commitment to have a successful relationship with your doodle dog! While it is definitely best to start your Goldendoodle out with obedience training as soon as he or she is old enough, the truth is, ALL DOGS CAN LEARN regardless of their age! Ever heard of the saying "Old dogs can learn new tricks?" One professional dog trainer said: "The minimum age of dogs that we receive for training is four months, and the maximum is five years. But I have taught basic obedience to dogs that are even ten years old."
Goldendoodles are intelligent.
Golden Retrievers have been trained to sniff out drugs, explosives, assist those with physical challenges, even perform search-and-rescue missions. But how can you train your doodle to obey you? Teaching smart dogs to obey or how to perform such duties, took alot of time and effort on those who were dedicated to the training of dogs used for the above mentioned missions. Goldendoodle owners who were serious about teaching their doodle tricks or simple commands enrolled their doodle in obedience classes or took their doodle to a dog trainer who was professional and who worked out a plan that was specifically meant for that particular doodle and doodle owner.
The genetic makeup of your dog plays a key role in your doodles' level of intelligence! The fact of the matter is, genetics is everything! Like wolves and most dogs, Goldendoodles are hierarchy conscious. They instinctively gravitate toward living in a pack under a leader, or alpha dog. A doodle owner needs to know that THEY and their family is your doodle's pack, and the doodle owner needs to understand that they, not the doodle, are the leader. Many people make the mistake of acting unsure of themselves....nervous....or timid around their doodle. It's very easy for a Goldendoodle to run the household if the leader of the pact isn't! Goldendoodles, like Golden Retrievers and Poodles, are extremely smart! Take charge of your doodle by acting like a leader!
In a wolf pack, the leader chooses the warmest, most elevated spot to sleep. The leader also eats before the others. So if your Goldendoodle is allowed to sleep on your bed, get on the furniture, or is allowed to run amuck, your doodle may conclude that he or she is the leader. The same will happen if your Goldendoodle is fed scraps from the table during your mealtime. Your behavior affects how YOUR Goldendoodle behaves. Your actions teaches your Goldendoodle how and when to respond whether your actions are positive or negative. Goldendoodles are very sensitive dogs and respond best to positive training and positive reinforcement. Not by yelling, screaming and scolding or hitting.
Even as a puppy, your Goldendoodle can learn that it is subordinate to you...the doodle owner. How is this? Try holding your doodle's gaze with your eyes until he or she looks away. Also, alot of belly rubbing while your doodle is on his or her back is a good exercise, as this puts your doodle in a submissive position. If your Goldendoodle is being a nuisance and does not stop when you say "No," try ignore your Goldendoodle or leave the room. Giving in to bad behavior only reinforces bad behavior to continue.
When your Goldendoodle responds to your commands, he or she is acknowledging that you, the pack leader, are in charge. If you as the Goldendoodle owner do not establish your position of leadership, your doodle dog may conclude that he or she is equal or superior to you, and this might affect your doodles' behavior. Believe it or not, children to the same thing when they are young! Children learn how to manipulate their parents to get what they want, when they want it. You have to think of your doodle as a small, young child who is learning.
How to Teach Simple Commands
In order to teach your Goldendoodle basic commands, you will need several things.... a collar, a leash, time and plenty of patience. So many people assume that training a Goldendoodle...or any dog for that matter, is simple and requires just one or two lessons! No! That is a very wrong assumption! One canine training manual recommends the following: (1) Use simple, one-word commands, Do NOT use long drawn out sentences or talk to your dog as though it has the human capacity to understand everything you say. (2) demonstrate to your Goldendoodle the desired action, and (3) immediately give praise to your Goldendoodle when he or she has performed the action. Your tone of voice is more important than the words you use when training your doodle. A command should always be given in an affirmative tone, and praise should always be given in a happy, affectionate tone with a touch of excitement on YOUR part. This gives your doodle encouragement to do better. Becoming frustrated or showing signs of frustration only causes your doodle to perform poorly or not at all. When children are learning in school...they are taught that good grades will get them much further as they continue through school! For your Goldendoodle, plenty of pats on the head reinforces that he or she will have more coming!
NEVER USE PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT to train your Goldendoodle! Physical punishment, such as hitting or kicking, is not necessary nor will it get your doodle to perform the actions that you desire him or her to learn. Simply say ‘No' in a sharp tone, prolonging the vowel, so that the doodle will know that you are displeased with their performance. A dog is intelligent enough to know when you are rewarding and when you are reprimanding it. There is no need to hit your doodle. Physical punishment actually reinforces the Goldendoodles' fear of being reprimanded and will cause your doodle to become a very timid dog or could also cause your doodle to even lash out through biting if he or she feels they are in danger or being injured. Goldendoodles are very gentle, loving, non aggressive dogs but all dogs who fear they are in danger use the only mechanism they know and that is to bite their aggressor....which would be YOU.
If anything more drastic is needed, you might grasp the Goldendoodle by the scruff of his or her neck and give a little shake while at the same time lightly saying "No." I don't actually recommend this because again, you are encouraging your doodle to become fearful...but some professional dog trainers say this is a method that can be used. Reprimands should be given during or immediately following the undesirable behavior and never hours later! Remember, a dog cannot discern why they are being scolded if the scolding occurs minutes or hours after the act. Neither does your Goldendoodle understand why a certain action is acceptable on one occasion but objectionable on another. So be consistent in everything you do when it comes to training your doodle. It is also very helpful to place your Goldendoodle on a consistent schedule.
The foundation for all canine obedience is the command "Sit!". If your Goldendoodle knows this command, you can control your doodle when he or she becomes overly active. For example, you can tell your Goldendoodle to sit when he or she begins to jump on visitors who come to your home. Or if you have your doodle out in public and people desire to pet your doodle. To teach your Goldendoodle to sit, put the leash on your doodle's collar, and give the command "SIT" while pushing down on your doodles' hindquarters. Gently pull your doodles' head up with the leash at the same time. Always give praise immediately to your Goldendoodle so that you can reinforce the good behavior. Repeat these steps until your Goldendoodle obeys the command on his or her own. Don't expect your doodle to learn this right away. Continued training will allow your doodle to learn each command.
In order to teach your Goldendoodle to remain in the sitting position, use the command "Stay!" while standing in front of him or her. Put your hand out with the palm facing flat toward your doodle. If your Goldendoodle moves, say "No" and then place him or her back into the "SIT" position. Repeat the command. Make sure to always praise your Goldendoodle when he or she stays in the sitting position even if just for a short period. Gradually increase the time that your doodle stays in the "SIT" position and then gradually make the distance further between you and your doodle as he or she responds to the command.
The best way to teach your Goldendoodle to come to you is to use a nice long leash and give a gentle tug off and on while calling your doodle's name and giving the command "Come!". Always Back up as your doodle moves toward you. Continue giving your doodle praise even if your doodle is only showing a little progress. Encouragement to do better is always key! Soon, your Goldendoodle will respond to your call without being prompted by the leash. If your doodle gets loose and will not respond to the command "Come!" call it and run in the opposite direction. Often, a dog will instinctively give chase because they want to play. Most Goldendoodles enjoy being right next to you at all times, so unless your doodle has found something interesting to distract its attention away from you, they usually won't run away. The best environment to train your doodle is in a secure area. Doodles off of a leash could accidentally run out into the road and become hit by a car. If you do not have a fenced in area to train your doodle, it is best to always keep your Goldendoodle on a very long leash when outdoors.
A word of caution: Never use the word "come" if you are calling your doodle to reprimand him or her! Using this command to reprimand your doodle will cause your doodle NOT to obey this command because he or she will be in fear that they have done something wrong. Your Goldendoodle must learn that responding to the command "Come" will bring pleasurable results whether it is for praise or for a food treat. If you become frustrated or if lose your patience while attempting to teach your Goldendoodle commands, your Goldendoodle will only learn that the commands are unpleasant and that they are to be avoided. You must not begin obedience training expecting immediate gratification! Think of obedience training as training for both YOU and YOUR doodle! Think of obedience training as a gradual, training process that is pleasurable for both you and your dog.
You can also teach your Goldendoodle to walk by your side without pushing ahead or lagging behind. In order to do this, use a link-chain training collar and a short leash. With your Goldendoodle always on your left side, give the command "Heel!" then step out with the left foot. If your doodle attempts to push ahead or lag back, give a quick, sharp jerk on the leash and repeat the command. Remember to always give praise even if your Goldendoodle is only showing small signs of learning. PRAISE! PRAISE! PRAISE!
How can you keep your Goldendoodle from jumping up on you or others? One method is to back away while using the command "Off!" followed by "Sit!" Another is to catch a forepaw in each hand and step toward the doodle, repeating the "Off!" command. Always Give praise when your Goldendoodle obeys. Some trainers use the command "Down". Some trainers use the command "off". Professional dog trainers can vary in their methods of training. With guard dogs, some trainers rely on commands spoken in various languages other than English. Some trainers teach their dogs to obey hand commands and never verbal commands. You will have to use a professional dog trainer that suits what is best for you and your Goldendoodle or enroll your doodle into basic obedience classes that you feel will benefit both you and your dog. Many dog trainers are using the "clicker" method and some of our past doodle customers have told us they are using a "bell" to hang on their door to teach their doodle to let them know by ringing the bell on the door (by jingling it) if they want to go outside. You may want to try different training methods to find out which one suits you and your dog best.
A Loyal Companion
First and foremost, always Remember, your Goldendoodle...as a dog.... is a social animal. Long periods of confinement or being left alone can lead to hyperactivity, excessive barking, and destructive behavior. With commitment to training, lots of effort and patience on YOUR part, your Goldendoodle can learn to become a delightful, loyal companion as well as an asset to your family, instead of a nuisance or a frustrating animal. Too many times, the doodles' owner is the reason he or she does not have a successful, permanent, loving home. For some reason, some people just are not willing to incorporate obedience training or even take the time to teach their Goldendoodle how to become a respectable part of their family. Whether its a Goldendoodle or a different breed of dog, every one of them need to have a positive, loving home if they are going to become a lasting part of your family. Goldendoodles are very loyal to their family members. Loyalty back from its owner is much appreciated by your doodle.
Tips for Training a Goldendoodle:
1. Be consistent in your use of words for commands.
2. Goldendoodles like to hear their name, and this usually gets their attention. Use your Goldendoodle's name along with every command. ("Doodle, sit!") Never use your doodle's name in conjunction with a reprimand, such as "No!" Your Goldendoodle must learn that responding to its name brings positive - not negative - results.
3. Use liberal praise as a reward. Many dogs will do more for affection than for food. Give lots of body rubs or gentle pats on the head while saying "Good Boy! Good Girl!"
4. Keep training sessions short and pleasurable. If you don't have the time to train your Goldendoodle yourself, you may want to hire a professional dog trainer. If you feel you are becoming frustrated, stop the training and wait until later.
5. Do not inadvertently reinforce negative behavior by giving your dog a lot of attention when it misbehaves. This will only reinforce the undesired behavior.
Housebreaking Your Puppy
Here at Goldendoodle World, we always start our puppies on newspaper as soon as their eyes open and they have learned how to walk. Constant repetition and placing the pups on the newspaper teaches them to use the bathroom on newspaper. Once you have purchased your Goldendoodle, it is not that difficult to teach your puppy how to use the bathroom outside rather than on the newspaper. According to Dog Training Basics, the keys to successful housebreaking are confinement, training, timing, and praise. Most doodles do not like to soil their sleeping area. Therefore, keep your puppy confined when unsupervised. However, it is important to know that you should NOT leave your doodle confined for hours! A young puppy feels like it has to urinate and defecate much more often than when they are older. Place your Goldendoodle on a consistent schedule. Teach your doodle that it has a designated toilet area...YOUR YARD. Take your outside (on a leash) to the designated area immediately after he or she wakes up, after a meal, after a play session, or before bedtime. Give loads of Praise after he or she eliminates. You may want to teach your doodle a trigger word such as "Outside??" When your puppy is not confined, be alert to signs that your doodle needs to relieve itself, such as an abrupt stop of play, circling and sniffing, and running out of the room. If you catch your puppy in the act of eliminating in the house, scold your doodle, and then take him or her outside immediately. Always keep your doodle on a leash if you do not have a fenced in yard. I always recommend using a retractable leash or a very long leash. Again, no good will come of your training efforts if you give correction long after the act. Clean up any accidents with vinegar water to remove the scent; otherwise, your doodle will continue to use that place to eliminate.
Urination during an excited greeting is an involuntary, natural behavior in most dogs. Sometimes called submissive urination, it can mean that the dog recognizes that you are the leader, or in the alpha position. This commonly occurs when dogs are greeting or meeting each other for the first time. It lets the other dog know that the one urinating is submissive to the other. Reprimanding your doodle, should this occur, may only worsen the problem, as this may cause your doodle to urinate more in order to show further that it views you as the one in charge. Usually, this behavior stops by the time a dog reaches two years of age. Always remember that training must be in small baby steps. Dogs all learn differently...some quicker than others. Some slower than others. Staying calm; staying focused; Not becoming frustrated will help your doodle learn all that he or she needs to learn.
AUTHOR/BREEDER: DEE GERRISH. Copyright protected 2007.
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Dee Gerrish is a searchwarp.com winning, founding, top 100, featured author and breeder.
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