A Typical Routine For Your Labradoodle`s Day
Every time you remove your Australian Labradoodle from its crate in the morning, you can start by carrying the puppy outside if it is a long walk to the door (you can work to having the puppy follow you with them on their leash outside) and give it the “go potty” command. It can help to walk around with the puppy to make sure that they actually go to the bathroom. We will have already started taking puppies out in the grass and giving them the “go potty” command, so this should not be new to them.
Feed your new Australian Labradoodle puppy with the recommended food (see Feeding Instructions for Your New Australian Labradoodle Puppy) and fresh water.
Again, take you puppy outside to “go potty”. The puppy will need to go out right away at first, especially after drinking water. Potty times will gradually get longer as the puppy ages.
If you are going to be leaving, confine your puppy in a small space, such as a laundry room, kitchen, or other room with the use of a door or baby gate, or an exercise pen. In this space they should have clean bedding and a litter box in case of emergencies. We prefer to use a crate as a puppy can be left for a couple of hours as they sleep a lot. As long as they have gone to the bathroom and had some exercise they can play with their chew toys and have a nap in their designated spot.
If you are home with your puppy you can confine him to his area at this time for a nap and take him outside to “go potty” in 30 minutes. Continue taking your new Australian Labradoodle puppy out every 30 minutes for the best results. It is very important to reward the puppy with positive reinforcement when he goes outside. Use a good tone of voice, lots of "good girl/boy!"s and lots of love and cuddles. You do not nee to use food to reinforce behavior, in fact, lots of treats can upset his stomach. This will help to prevent accidents in the house.
Puppies need plenty of playtime, but remember they do get tired and need to take naps as well. These naps should happen in the puppy's confined area that is designated for the puppy.
When you return home from being gone, take your puppy out of their confined area and again go outside to “go potty”. Feed the puppy again and offer him more fresh water.
The puppy will need to go outside again 30 minutes after eating. Don’t forget to consistently use the “go potty” language.
Finally, take your Australian Labradoodle puppy outside to “go potty” one more time before you go to bed. After they have gone to the bathroom, place your puppy in its crate for the night.
Crates benefits you and your dog by aiding in potty training, create a safe space and den, keeps your pup safe when unsupervised and curbs potential guarding tendencies. First step is properly sizing your crate to fit your dog. We recommend for medium sized pups to have the 30” tall wire crate. (TOP PAW DOUBLE DOOR WITH DIVIDER is great to grow with your pup). For standard sized pups the 33” tall is great. Please ensure to get one with a divider as too much room in the crate equals accidents.
Once your dog is fully crate trained, you can give them a crate large enough to allow them to fully sprawl out during sleep. But this is not suitable for potty training purposes. Here are some recommendations.
The crate should be wide and deep enough for the puppy to enter, turn in a circle and lie down. If you give the puppy too much space in the crate, they will be more likely to eliminate or defecate in the crate.
In the interest of budget, it is more economical to purchase a wire crate large enough to house your puppy once they are full grown. These crates come with a divider that can be moved in order to properly size the crate for your puppy as they grow.
The crate should be 1.5 times longer than your dog’s body measured from the chest to the base of the tail.
The dog should be able to stand fully with head erect without bumping their head on the ceiling. This is not always possible for tall dogs but as long as you get one as tall as is reasonable.
Setting up your Crate Atmosphere:
Wire crates permit optimal air exchange, which is a big concern for those hot summer days. During the winter, it is best to drape the crate with a blanket or towel to provide a cozy feel and contain the dog’s body heat while preventing cool drafts that may occur. Leave the front 1/4 to 1/3 of the crate exposed for air exchange.
Keep a close eye on your puppy with blankets as they may decide that pulling the blanket through the wires is a terrific game.
Safety always comes first. If your dog shreds blankets, do not allow them to have them. Likewise, beds with foam inserts are considered a delicacy by some dogs. Bottom line is if it can be ingested, it is not wise to allow them to have it. We recommend waiting to put nice bedding in until your puppy’s adult teeth are in and they are through the chewing phase. Towels work great as do bath mats if you are looking for something soft to put in once your puppy is consistently going potty outdoors and no accidents in their crate.
Do not put food and water in the dog’s crate if you are leaving and can not let them out for a bathroom break. If you want your puppy to sleep for several hours before getting up DO NOT provide them with food and water that will cause them to require a potty break.
Toys or chews are great for supervised play but not in the crate with the puppy/dog as these are items that are highly stimulating. Kongs are fantastic for putting in the crate with a small smear of peanut butter (sugar free for dogs) in it. This will occupy your puppy and distract the hesitant puppy from focusing on being left in the crate. It is a lot of work to get the peanut butter out of that Kong and can tire the puppy further before they drop off to sleep. Also, once the peanut butter is gone, the puppy will typically lose interest in it. This will allow the pup to settle easily.
Step by step crate training
Note: Please do this starting in the morning on a day you can devote to the process. BVL has started this process so your puppy will be familiar. There is a bit of reset/transition time when a puppy leaves our loving care to their new family’s home. Please be patient and positive about this process and follow the routine we send home with you.
Be positive and calm about the crate. Dogs are very intuitive and will sense your hesitation and become fearful of the crate if you are negative or feeling guilty. Think of it as you are creating a safe haven/den for them as well as providing the highest level of safety for them during times you are unable to supervise adequately. Let your guilt go. We don’t allow our children to play on the highway, even if they really want to. It is not safe. You must apply the same resolve to crate training.
Show your dog the crate. Make certain you are calm and quiet during the process. Let them explore the crate. Toss a few high value treats into the back of the crate. Leave the door open during this step and let your dog come and go freely. For two hours, toss high value treats into the back of the crate about once every 15 minutes.
Lead your dog into the crate and block the entry way when the dog attempts to come out. Continue to block the entrance until the dog submits by either sitting or lying down. Once your dog has submitted to the exercise, invite the dog out of the crate. You do not want the dog to bolt out of the crate at any time, even when they are invited out. If they do, they were not truly submitted to the exercise before you invited them out.
Repeat step three every 15 minutes for the next two hours, gradually increasing the time they stay in the crate by a few seconds each time.
Follow step three, but close the door (do not latch). Wait for the dog to submit. Then open the door, close the door, open the door, close the door, open the door, and invite out. If your dog becomes excited at any time during this step, stop and wait for the dog to submit and become calm again. We do not want the dog to see an open door as the invite to exit the crate. They must be invited by you!
Repeat step five every ten minutes for one to two hours, depending on how calm your dog is during the exercise.
Lead your dog into the crate, shut the door and latch it. Sit next to the crate for 15 minutes – no touch, no talk, no eye contact during this stage! I like to read while I wait. If your dog falls asleep during this exercise, let them rest. When they stir, go to the crate and quietly invite them out. If they do not fall asleep, that is fine. As long as they are quiet and calm, it is a success. If the dog whimpers or whines at all during the ‘wait’ time, calmly correct them.
Repeat step seven, increasing the time spent in the crate each time. Do a ‘wait’ session every 20 minutes. If your dog is resting quietly in the crate, repeat the sessions with 20 minutes free time between the sessions. Make the 20 minutes free time a play time, a walk, or run in the backyard. Lots of exercise during the free time will make them ready for a nap in their den.
Continue step eight and begin to wander around the room, walk away, come back, do chores – whatever you would normally do. If your dog becomes alert when you become active, ignore them; they will likely settle. If not, give a firm correction. Make the correction brief but to the point and continue your activity. If your dog has truly submitted to the above steps, it is highly unlikely your dog will become worried when you become active.
By the time you are ready to turn in for the night, your dog will be ready to sleep through the night in the crate. Young puppies may wake during the night to potty but this should be done with little to no voice, minimal touch, and eye contact. Night time potty breaks are all about the business. No play, or they will quickly come to think of the night time breaks as play time. Yikes!
For nigh time sleeping we recommend having the crate in your bedroom for the first while or a place where you can hear them if they need a potty break early in the morning.
If you experience difficulty during this process, please consult a professional trainer. On average the crate training process from beginning to end can happen within a morning. Others take two days with the first night consisting of little sleep. It is, in my opinion, a small price to pay for the immense payoff to both you and your dog. CONSISTENCY is key and following a routine.