Potty Training Your Labradoodle
What's in it for You - and Your Doodle?
As it turns out, most dog owners say it does matter, a lot.
The Labradoodle is a family dog, and as such, needs to live with its family, indoors. That means having a dog that has indoor manners and habits. The Labradoodle has to learn when and where it can go potty.
If you want a house with few “presents” and no surprises, you’ll have to start house breaking your doodle immediately.
Postponing potty training your Labradoodle will make the process much harder, and it will take longer if you wait to begin instructing your puppy on your expectations.
That’s because if your pup gets the chance to soil the floor or carpet, the proteins in the urine and feces will penetrate surfaces. Left untouched, they serve as beacons, or direction finders, to remind your dog to go in this location. Even if you clean it up, you might not be able to remove the scent that draws your pup back to the X that marks the spot. (enzymatic cleaner works best!)
How Hard Can Potty Training a Labradoodle Be?
The answer to that question depends on you more than it does on your Labradoodle.
Puppies are all about sleeping, waking, eating, playing and pottying. They don’t know that there’s a time and place for each of these activities.
You are the one who determines the training schedule – and that it’s met. The most difficult part of the potty training process is being ever vigilant. You have to watch your Labradoodle constantly for signs that it needs to go potty.
Training yourself to supervise your doodle may be the hardest part of all, but if you know the signs to look for and you have a strategic plan, your Doodle will become a housebroken member of the family, and a pleasure to be around or leave at home without worry that your carpet and floors will become soiled.
How Long Does it Take to Housebreak a Labradoodle?
Training a Labradoodle puppy to use a designated spot to relieve itself is a matter of age and bladder control versus time.
Young puppies can’t hold it very long; they haven’t learned to control their tiny bladders.
Expecting a young pup to hold it for five or six hours sets him up for failure and up for disappointment, if not displeasure. Figure that your pup can hold its bladder and bowels one hour for each month of age, and then add one more hour.
A three-month old puppy, for example, should be able to wait to do its business for one to three hours, plus one, or four hours. That’s not always the case, however. Your puppy may be able to go longer or need to potty sooner.
You’ll both have to work up to those long stretches of time, and it will be four to six months before your Doodle can hold it for eight hours.
Rather than wait until the last minute, take your dog out at the three-hour mark. You’ll know when that is, because young dogs have to potty within 10-30 minutes of eating food. They also have to go outside when they become excited.
Top Tips From Trainers Who Know!
All training can be divided into one of two categories, regardless of the method used: ignoring or praising.
You either ignore your dog’s behavior of praise her for what she’s done. If your Labradoodle has an accident in the house, scoop up the mess and take it outside to the spot you want her to use.
Walk your Doodle to the spot, too, but don’t scold her. She doesn’t realize what she’s done is a problem, and she may not even be sure why you are so upset. After all, no one ever made a fuss about it until now.
You’ll have to go back and clean up the mess with an effective solution for removing urine and pheromones; there are several available at your local pet store. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and the spot in the house they used once will lure them again and again to do their business unless you remove all evidence of the act.
On the other hand, praise your pup for pottying in the location you designated. You can give small treats as rewards. Known as NILIF, Nothing In Life Is Free, this method teaches dogs that every action will be ignored or rewarded. Because they are pack animals, your Labradoodle doesn’t want to be ignored. Offer tons of praise and a treat, and after 30 days, wean your pup off the treats. The praise will mean much more to your dog.
So which method is best? The one that works. Trainers and owners who have been there and done that suggest these techniques:
Gates and Crates
Signs to Watch For
Ring My Bell
Make a Run For It
Pee Pads and Potty Training
Get There Quicker
Sometimes, you’ll want to try a combination of training techniques to get faster results. If your puppy will have free time in the house, attach a six-foot lead to its collar and fasten the other end to yourself. That way, the dog will always be in your sight should it show signs of wanting to go potty.
Another helpful strategy includes taking up all food and water two hours before bedtime. Be sure that when you get up the next morning, you attend to your Labradoodle’s first.
Just When Things Were Going Well
What if Nothing Seems to Be Working?
There could be a medical condition preventing your pup from successfully mastering her potty training.
Like humans, dogs can get bladder and urinary tract infections that will have them tinkling every few minutes. Kidney problems and orthopedic problems, although rare in puppies, can slow down any house-breaking training.
If nothing seems to work, contact your vet. Seek other Labradoodle owners to see if they have had any similar experiences with their dogs.
Although it may feel that way, the potty-training stage for your Labradoodle won’t last forever. Within six months, your Labradoodle should be able to wait at least eight hours before going outside to take care of business, and you’ll be able to get back to yours.
Wasn’t that the ringing of the bell on your door?