Training After “Sit”
Your puppy is naturally intelligent. The Goldendoodle thrives on interaction with their owner and the challenge that training naturally presents. You may be surprised at how quickly your puppy has caught on to the skills covered in Training 101 for Your New Puppy and are ready to integrate more commands.
Early on, dog owners struggle with leash walking and an enthusiastic jumping dog. There are skills to work on early to help prevent your dog from overtaking you when they’re full grown and extremely strong.
Teaching your puppy to look at you is a foundation skill to having enjoyable walks. This command is taught very similarly to sit and stay covered in Training 101 for Your New Puppy. Using a high value treat and a chosen command such as “look” and rewarding quickly when your dog looks at your face and increasing the time they spend focused on your face before giving the treat will help keep them focused and controlled as you begin walks.
The best way to work out your doodle’s energy is a walk. It’s good for their health, their brain, and for their owner’s health. Walking daily is a great exercise, but can quickly become a nightmare if your Goldendoodle does not respond well to commands or pulls on the leash while you walk. From the very beginning of bringing your puppy home, you want to get them accustomed to having a leash around so the excitement and urge to bite or play with the leash diminishes. When you’re at home, attach the leash to your Goldendoodle’s collar or harness and let it drag the ground. Be sure to always be present and monitoring your puppy when the leash is attached to prevent them getting caught or injured on furniture.
You want to avoid tugging or pulling on your dog’s leash. Going on practice walks around your house and yard without many distractions or new smells and people are ideal for beginning training on a leash. As you’re walking with your puppy, use the “look” command your dog has been trained for. Slowly walk with your dog watching and focused on you. Stop and reward them for staying with you and focused after a few steps. As they master staying by your side, increase the distance between rewards. As your walks get longer, your dog will watch where they are walking but should not move ahead of you. If they do, stop and use your “look” command to get your Goldendoole refocused on who he is walking with. Soon, your walks will become more natural and you can venture into walks in unfamiliar areas or with more distractions. Start in small time chunks and remind your dog to look at you and stop and look when commanded.
Before long, you and your Goldendoodle will be able to experience long walks together and take on new trails without a power struggle or the dreaded leash pulling.