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Labradoodle Crate Training

Some people may not like the idea of putting a Labradoodle in a crate, thinking they would never put a member of the family in one. But, a Labradoodle is not a child; and a crate simulates a “den” that dogs use in the wild. Dogs like to have a safe, snug place to retreat to. Used properly, a crate can be enjoyable to your Labradoodle, giving him a place to go when he needs some quiet time. your Labradoodle can be in the room with the “pack” while not bothering the guests. Crates can be used in travel and are a requirement of public transportation such as air travel.

As an added bonus, a crate can make it much easier to house train your Labradoodle puppy. Dogs do not like to soil their resting/sleeping quarters – if given the opportunity to “do their business” elsewhere. If you will take your Labradoodle outdoors as soon as they come out of the crate, they will begin to learn where it is acceptable to eliminate.

The key to crate training is time. Do not rush. Do not get mad or frustrated. You want your Labradoodle to go in voluntarily. To begin the training, take off the door of the crate or tie it open. You don’t want to spook your Labradoodle by having it slam shut.

Clicker training is useful here. Stand back from the crate a little distance and do not move. Always make your Labradoodle come back to you for the treat. At first, click and treat if the dog takes one step toward the crate. If he won’t go toward it, click for looking at it. Continue clicking and treating for each advance toward the crate. Click and give extra treats, called a jackpot, if he touches it with his nose or bumps up against it. Then click and treat for each foot as he steps inside. What you want to get across is that the crate is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Remember, always have him come back to you for the treat.

Once your Labradoodle is inside, delay the click for a few seconds longer each time. Don’t rush. If he sits or lays down inside the crate, click and give another jackpot.

After the Labradoodle is comfortable in the crate, close the door for a few seconds, then open it, click, and toss in a treat. Extend the time a few seconds each time.

This method sounds quick and easy; however, the whole process may take several training sessions, so be patient. Do not rush! Do not worry the dog. Once your Labradoodle thinks of the crate as a special place, then start teaching the verbal cue for him to go in the crate. It can be any word, such as “crate,” “load-up,” “condo,” or whatever you wish.

Do not use the crate as punishment. Your Labradoodle may need a “time out” to get himself under control; but, the crate is to be, primarily, a pleasant place.

There are time limits for a Labradoodle to stay in a crate.

Remember that puppies have less bladder control. At ten weeks, a half-hour is maximum. At six months, three to four hours is enough. When your Labradoodle is over one year old, he may be able to stay in for nine hours. Never leave a Labradoodle in a crate for more than nine hours.

Dogs have an instinct not to “make a mess” in their den. If there is an accident, it is an accident. Labradoodles aren’t vindictive. Do not get mad about it, as it is probably your fault for not letting him out soon enough. When you clean the crate, do not use any cleaner containing ammonia. If you do, your Labradoodle will probably mistake the ammonia for urine; and, the crate may become the bathroom instead of the den. Also, do not withhold food or water before crate time, as this can result in health problems.

Using a crate properly can give both you and your Labradoodle peace of mind.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Portable Pet Crate – this is a very versatile crate for traveling.

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