The gentle nature and excited temperament of Labradoodles are what make them very willing to learn and eager to please their owners.
However, any form of training requires patience, dedication, and consistency from their owners.
Training a labradoodle works best when they are puppies, as they do not have already bad habits and are more susceptible to learning and wanting to learn.
An older labradoodle can still be trained, but with a lot of patience, love, positive reinforcements, desensitization and conditioning, if necessary.
Crate training when properly done will yield many good results. The following tips will help make the training process a lot easier for you.
Introducing your Labradoodle to the Crate
Place the crate in a somewhat trafficked area of the house that your labradoodle would love to be. Places like the living room where she can see and hear everyone in the house.
Secure the door to prevent it from hitting your dog. Make it a priority when starting out to avoid any chance of scaring them with a bulky door.
Put a soft blanket inside the crate and leave the door open to let your dog explore the crate at their own leisure. Put some of the treats at the door and inside the crate, to help your dog realize that the crate is safe
Labradoodles are naturally curious and inquisitive dogs who might hop right into the cage.
If not, bring them over to the crate and talk to them in an excited voice to ensure a connection with them that is positive. If the door can be removed, remove the door, to begin with.
Make the crate your dog’s dining destination. Continuously feed your doodle their meals in the crate to help your dog establish a positive relationship with it.
Practice with Short Intervals, then Expand
After your puppy eats comfortably inside their cage, letting them stay inside for short periods of time will help them become more acclimated with it. A few other tips include:
● Giving them a command, encouraging them to step inside, and providing a reward when your dog completes a task successfully.
● Praising you labradoodle and providing positive reinforcement when she enters the cage
● Sitting by the crate with them inside for a few minutes then leaving the room and returning again.
● Letting them sleep inside the crate for about half-hour intervals or keeping them there during the night
Your presence in the room at night can improve bonding with your Labradoodle as well as make them more comfortable at the beginning of their training.
The Benefits of Crate Training for Labradoodles
Crate training a labradoodle is an important part of caring for her that may provide some rewarding experience for you and your Labradoodle.
A crate is the domesticated form of a den. Like a cave would provide shelter to a wolf, a crate gives a doodle a sense of security and a definitive place of rest when they need solitude.
Crate training is great for your labradoodle, especially one that is not fully house trained, as this will prevent your dog from chewing and breaking things in your home.
It makes it easier for potty training because most dogs are highly unlikely to poop in the area where they sleep.
If done properly with great care and consistency, your dog will come to love their crate.
Crate training also sets your Labradoodle up for success in the future, especially if you plan on taking any vacations or go on trips regularly.
They will be used to being in a contained space and this causes them to be less anxious.
Helps in the occasion from social stress or feeling overwhelmed or scared by new things – as it calms your dog down and makes her feel safe.
Can assist in making them less likely to feel separation anxiety
What Makes a Labradoodle Easy to Train?
Many of their characteristics naturally help owners train their Labradoodles, but it all boils down to enthusiasm and intelligence.
Both Labrador retrievers and poodles are known for their intelligence and this will help them make the much-needed connections in distinguishing the importance of their crates, especially at a much younger age.
Any form of training, whether it be crate training or teaching your dog how to do awesome tricks, is also a good way to focus their endless supply of energy onto a more mentally stimulating activity.
Despite having all the necessary qualities for easy training experience, this does not go to say that Labradoodles should be left to their own devices when it comes to crate training.
Even intelligent dogs can become more stubborn around their owners or even other dogs if they are left without careful instruction. Their energy and higher activity levels are a strength, but without proper care, they can also be a weakness.
If not harnessed properly, an energetic dog can become more impulsive and chaotic without the owner establishing them set boundaries.
What Size Crate Should you get for your Labradoodle?
This, of course, goes case by case as it is mostly up to you as the owner. A smaller cage can be great for transporting in the car in the event of car trips or appointments to the vet.
However other dog owners feel more comfortable leaving their dog in a much larger cage as it gives them more space and can feel less like a restrictive environment.
When Labradoodles are young, a smaller crate may be better as it feels more secure. In a new home, a large empty space already can feel overwhelmingly big to a small puppy.
Cages should be large enough for them to stand up and turn around comfortably. Owners can choose to purchase cages as their puppy grows or choose a crate size that will accommodate the adult size.
A typical Labradoodle grows up to be 22 to 24 inches in height for a Male and 21-23 inches for a female. Both sexes can be expected to weigh 30-45 pounds.
Use Your Dog Crate The Right Way
Never leave your dog in his crate for too long as this may cause him to become afraid of the cage, hindering the crates’ ability to help your labradoodle stay calm.
Leaving your labradoodle for too long may also cause him to develop aggression issues, health problems, and difficulty following your commands. Which would defeat the purpose of your training.
Avoid using the crate as a way to stop your dogs’ separation anxiety as they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.
Counter-conditioning – is used to change your pet’s attitude or emotional response towards a stimulus. It is a way of getting your pet in an emotional and behavioral state that brings up his mood and makes him feel good, safer.
Desensitization – provides a means of safely exposing the pet to the stimulus at a level at or below which fear is likely to be exhibited.
It is the gradual exposure to a situation or stimuli that would cause your dog to have the undesirable behavior, but with little or no negative response. This step is to help your dog become less reactive to the stimuli.
You should consult a professional animal behavior specialist for help if you feel like you have tried everything to stop your dog’s separation anxiety but nothing seems to be working.
Slow and steady gets progress
Make sure to take the training process very slowly and not try to do too much with your labradoodle too fast.
Be patient with your dog. Crate training is a process that shouldn’t be rushed, especially when this is a whole new experience for your Labrapoodle.
Never raise your voice, avoid yelling or pounding on the crate as it can often make things worse.
Dogs love positive reinforcements, Labradoodles are no different and they are just too cute to be mad at.
You don’t want to undo all of the progress that you are making. Having a pet is truly a blessing. And for your labradoodle crate training is only the first step in a wondrous experience that will last for years to come.