Potty Training with Instinct: Crate Training Your Doodle

Though Goldendoodles are a domesticated pet, they still share instinctive behaviors with their distant cousins in the wild. 

Bringing a new puppy into your home is exciting yet comes with many challenges as you both get to know each other and adapt to your new life together. One of the first hurdles to tackle will be potty training. Crate training is a common method used by dog owners that works off your dog’s natural den instinct. They naturally will not want to soil the area they rest in. This trait allows you a chance to control their potential and sudden accidents. 

Preparation

You’ll need to invest in a crate for your puppy. It may be wise to buy a crate large enough for your puppy once they are fully grown that comes with a divider. A properly sized crate allows the puppy to stand, turn around, and lay down comfortably. Providing them more space than this will enable your puppy to establish a bathroom corner in their crate they think they can get away with. The divider will help you be able to adjust the usable space for your puppy as they grow. You’ll want to have some high value treats for when they go to the bathroom successfully outside. High value treats could be items such as liver meatballs, boiled and shredded chicken or turkey, or even pieces of beef or salmon. Do not line their crate with puppy pads or newspaper as this may cause confusion for your puppy, especially if they were custom to wetting on those materials prior to coming home with you. 

Introduction

Keep in mind that your new puppy is unable to hold their need to go to the bathroom for long periods of time. You will need to commit to taking them outside every 30 minutes for an opportunity to go to the bathroom. When you take your puppy out of their crate, immediately take them outside to the designated bathroom area. Use a chosen command such as “potty”, “bathroom”, “do your business”, etc. Repeat the word or phrase until your puppy goes to the bathroom. Do not engage in play with your puppy at this time. Once they go to the bathroom outside, give them lots of praise and a high value treat. You’ll want to be conscious about putting your puppy in their crate after eating or after drinking water after they had a time of play. Repeat this process and slowly lengthen the time between bathroom breaks as your puppy continues success. Do not punish your puppy with swats for accidents. Goldendoodles are natural pleasers and physical reprimand is not appropriate training. 

Success

As your puppy ages, they will develop a way of communicating with you their need to go outside- walking to the door, pawing your leg, or even a whimper. This communication may take a while to develop between you and your puppy, but watch for their signs of communicating with you. Before long, your puppy will know the proper place to use the bathroom and will develop physically to be able to hold their need to go to the bathroom for longer periods of time allowing them and you more time to spend in the home playing and relaxing together.

This piece is a second installment in a series on potty training Goldendoodles. Be sure to also check out the tips on training with a bell.

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