You have a long list of to-dos when you bring home a new dog. While you may be tempted to focus on all the cuddles (and I don’t blame you!) make sure to add obedience training for dogs to your list. It may seem overwhelming but it can be easily handled with these simple steps. Here’s what you need to know.
A new puppy’s energy is contagious. When you first get your Doodle, there’s nothing better than their cute and fuzzy bodies paired with their high energy. They will have you wanting to spend every minute with them. And you should!
This initial time with your puppy is the perfect opportunity to get started on your obedience training. Obedience training for dogs can look very different for each owner. There’s lots of options to choose from including private trainers, puppy classes, and even sending your dog away for training.
However, it’s always a good idea to start some basic training yourself as soon as you get your puppy. Good research, patience, and time can make at-home obedience training very successful.
Practicing Obedience Training for Dogs with Your Puppy
Why is obedience training so important? Because training will be the cornerstone of all your Doodle’s future behaviors.
Like a child, the behaviors they learn now they will carry forward. Their brains are like a sponge, taking everything in in order to learn how to be a dog. This is why it is so vital to begin obedience training at a young age.
Obedience training is also about safety for people around you and your dog. Proper training means your dog will listen to you when it’s most important. They will come to you if there is an oncoming car, rotten food, or other dangers.
More so, they won’t jump on people who can’t handle it or run up to someone who may be afraid of dogs. Keeping your Doodle obedient and under control is beneficial for everyone!
What To Expect From A Doodle
Cute and smart, all Doodle owners can agree that they have the perfect combination of a dog. Their super smarts and intelligence are often credited to their Poodle parents. While they are known for their brains, don’t expect your Doodle to know everything right off the bat.
You have to train your Doodle in order to “activate” their smarts. Yes, they’ll catch on to things quicker than some other breeds, but they still require consistent training as a puppy.
Your puppy likely won’t pick things up as soon as you get them – their attention span is mere seconds. However, they will slowly start to catch on to habits and routines. Four to six months is usually when formal training begins, but your Doodle will pick things up earlier than that.
Since they are so smart and also energetic, it’s essential to train your Doodle mentally and physically. Otherwise, their energy and wit will be directed to mischief and other naughty activities.
Recommended Training Products And Tools
- Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide To Raising The Perfect Pet With Love – It says it all in the title. This guide covers the basics for training using positive reinforcement.
- Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide To Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems – The famous dog whisperer, Cesar Millan’s book covers the essentials for correcting bad behaviors using dog psychology.
- Do Over Dogs – Give Your Dog A Second Chance For A First Class Life – Not all dogs you want to train will be a puppy. This book is great for shelter dogs or older dogs who need work on correcting their behaviors.
- Respect Training for Adult Dogs: 30 Seconds to a Calm, Polite, Well-Behaved Dog – For overly active dogs, short training sessions are best. Here’s another book great for older adults that need to grasp the basics with a short attention span.
In your puppy’s eyes, no training session is complete without treats. We have a ton of recommended treats in our shop great for a puppy’s teeth and stomach and made from quality ingredients.
Best Training Treats
Since we’re all about reward training (and so is your puppy), it’s great to have lots of treats on hand. (Especially for when you’re on the go and training outside.) This treat tote and clicker makes positive reinforcement a breeze.
Best for Clicker Training
Of course, treats aren’t the only source of rewards. Toys for playtime and fetch are helpful for energetic breeds like Doodles. A good roster of toys is a must.
Best Toys for Puppies
Bones and chew toys are another tool you want to have on hand. Not only are they a great reward, but they will also keep puppies distracted and help with teething.
Best Bones and Chews
For Difficult Dogs
CBD oil or calming treats designed specifically for pets can help anxious dogs or those who experience separation anxiety. This is a great solution if you can’t find a training method that works for you and your dog.
Calming CBD Supplements
Sometimes dogs want to bite everything they’re not supposed to. For naughty biters, this bitter-tasting spray is especially helpful at keeping dogs from biting things they shouldn’t be. Just give anything a couple of quick spritzes and the dog will instantly leave it alone.
Basic Obedience Training For Dogs
When it comes to choosing obedience training for dogs, there are many different methods and techniques. You won’t find a single “right” way to train your puppy. Try different methods and tips and see what works best for you and your Doodle as a team.
The aversive-based method is when you use techniques such as loud noises, physical corrections, and more to scold your dog for the proper behavior. Positive reward training is a method where you reward any good behaviors your dog performs. Positive offerings can include treats, affirmations, belly rubs, and more and can be combined with clicker training.
If a dog can learn in a positive environment, why not do that! It reinforces a loving relationship between you and your dog.
To begin obedience training for your dog, you have to start with the basics. There are five basic commands that every dog should know:
- Come is great for getting your dog to return to you in the event that they are off-leash.
- Heel teaches your dog how to walk at your side.
- Sit helps to get your dog to calm down and be patient when you need it the most. It is a good command to have as a reset for bad behavior.
- Stay is helpful in the event that you need to keep your dog out of harm’s way by staying put.
- Down is necessary for teaching your dog that it is not okay to jump up on people. (Even if it is for love and affection.)
When teaching your dog the basic commands, remember an adult dog has the equivalent brain of a two-year-old person. You need to keep their short attention span in mind by keeping training sessions short and to the point. It is helpful to schedule them in your day so you are consistent with your training.
For your Doodle, train them in ten to fifteen-minute increments, three times a day. In each training session, only work on one action at a time so they’re not confused or overloaded with information.
Remember, dogs will oftentimes respond to your tone rather than the actual words you are saying. Doodles will learn many words, but a consistent tone of voice saying these commands will help speed up the learning.
While tricks like roll over, play dead, or shake a paw are fun, leave the more experienced tricks for later. Make sure they have mastered the basic commands before you move on to other types of training.
Always end your training sessions on a positive note. Keeping sessions short ensures they don’t get bored or distracted, leaving them to get naughty or uninterested in training. Leave your training on a high so both you and your Doodle feel good about it.
You will quickly become your Doodle’s best friend by practicing reward training. The first step is figuring out what your dog likes most, as not all dogs are food motivated. They may prefer treats, praise, affection, or toys. Whichever they like best, reward them with that – but you can also do a combination of these rewards.
Reward your dog whenever they perform a good behavior. Reward them as soon as it happens so as to not confuse them. For example, as soon as the dog sits, give them a treat. Don’t give them a treat if they sit and then quickly stand back up to receive the treat.
Always be consistent in what you reward them for so they can associate this behavior with a treat. On the other hand, withhold a treat whenever they are exhibiting naughty behaviors. As soon as they go back to their cute, well-behaved self, reward them.
Socialization is a huge part of obedience training that many don’t consider. If you are doing DIY obedience training for your puppy, don’t skip out on this one. Make an effort for your puppy to meet other dogs, whether it’s with doggy playdates or at the dog park. Of course, do this once your puppy has their appropriate shots and it is safe to do so.
Socialization teaches your dog how to properly interact with other dogs. They are likely to encounter other dogs often, whether that is on a walk or at doggy daycare.
As an owner, you should also know how to read your Doodle’s body language. Are they comfortable having a dog sniff them or are they trying to scootch behind you? Are they circling around so no dogs are near their rear? Knowing what your dog is comfortable with will help you keep them safe.
You also need to know how to control your dog around other dogs. Doodles are friendly dogs and will want to greet other dogs, but not all dogs want to meet your Doodle. Recognizing these patterns and practicing interactions with your dog while they’re young will be beneficial in the long run.
Correcting Bad Habits
No matter how much of an angel you think your dog is, chances are they are going to have a couple of bad habits. These habits can pop up either consistently or just every now and then.
Some of the most common bad habits include:
- Jumping up for attention
- Nipping at your hand or clothing
- Biting things they shouldn’t
- Inappropriate sniffing
While these bad habits can be frustrating or annoying, try to stay calm. Your dog can pick up on your energy, so don’t ever punish the dog or yell and get angry. This will only confuse the dog and they won’t learn from it.
The best way to stop any bad behaviors is to interrupt them immediately. Don’t let your dog continue this behavior by distracting them with something else, preferably something positive.
What is something they are really good at? If they already know how to sit or do another command or trick, try to encourage them to do that instead. This way, they can get a reward for being good.
If they are being too energetic and things are getting out of hand, ignore them as much as possible. This is especially helpful if your pup likes to jump on you as soon as you walk through the door. Make them sit and get calm, and once calm, bring out that positive reward training and give them a treat.
Professional Obedience Training for Dogs
If your dog is exhibiting many naughty behaviors, it may be time to seek professional help. Oftentimes, at-home obedience training for puppies is combined with professional training or puppy classes.
Baxter and Bella is an amazing online puppy program if you’re looking for a place to get started with your obedience training. You can access these amazing resources and professionals from anywhere, to help you have the most well-behaved Doodle around.
These tips on obedience training for dogs are the stepping stones for a healthy relationship between you and your Doodle. Remember, be consistent and be positive, and your training should go smoothly.
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