So you’ve got a new Labradoodle puppy. How wonderful! But it is important to keep in mind that puppies are like children and need constant attention and monitoring. So if no one is going to be home to help train your puppy, it’s probably best that you don’t get one.
House Training should be the first order of business. As soon as you bring your puppy home, take her outside and encourage her to do her business. If she does, be sure to have treats as a reward, and give her lots of praise. Dogs are people pleasers and positive feedback from you will go a very long way.
Crating your pup at night is sometimes a good way to ease her into going outside and not in the house. Her crate will be her “sleeping spot” and she will loathe to soil it. Remember that any behaviors you don’t want her to do as an adult, she shouldn’t be permitted to do as a puppy. So be firm but loving. Saying “good girl” often and rewards for good behavior will reinforce them and make her want to repeat them.
Everyone goes through an adjustment period when you first introduce a new puppy into the family. The puppy may miss her mom or litter mates, and she will need plenty of TLC. She may cry during the night and if you get up, take her outside immediately. Bring treats with you, and give her plenty of praise if she does her business. Try to return to the same spot each time you take her out. It will make her associate the scents and feel of the spot with going to the bathroom.
Feeding should be done at the same time every day. Take her outside as soon as she finishes eating. If you have to leave the house, crate her, and take her outside once you get home. Let her also associate getting out of her crate with going to the bathroom.
If your new puppy happens to have an accident and you catch her in the act, a simple firm “No” will make her understand this is not an approved behavior. Don’t yell, and NEVER hit! Take her outside to her “spot” right away. Do this enough and she will get the idea. If she has an accident when you are not around, rubbing her nose in it and yelling won’t accomplish anything. She will not make the connection between bad behavior and her mess after the fact. Simply clean it up and take her outside.
Your puppy will need plenty of stroking especially during these early days, so let her sleep in your lap while you pet her, and love her up. This will create lasting bonds between you and your pup. And encourage playtime. Play fetch and tug, and let her get some energy out of her system.
Routine is the key here. Just as children do, puppies need a schedule and to have limits set in order to feel safe. Dogs are pack animals and you are Alpha Dog – the leader of the pack. Your puppy will turn to you, not only for affection, but to learn what you expect from her. Ease your puppy into your family’s routine. She will be sure to become a precious member of your family – which is, after all, your goal.