Goldendoodle puppies make great additions to your family. They are highly intelligent, playful, and naughty pups. Depending on your training techniques, this could be either a boon or a bane when it comes to the crate training process.
This is already a very challenging period of time for pet parents; it’s a large transition to go from sleeping outside to sleeping in a kennel. However, crate training is an essential skill you need to teach your pup; it helps with travel, potty training, and calming down bad behavior.
Here are a few tips to make this progression a bit easier for you and your Doodle puppy!
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What Is Crate Training?
So, what even is crate training? As the name suggests, it is the process of training your pup to sleep overnight in his crate. The crate should be locked & ideally, your dog isn’t whining or barking to be let out.
Crate training has loads of benefits for pet parents.
Peace & Quiet
Dogs are den animals & they absolutely love small, cozy spaces. A crate should become your pup’s favorite safe place to go when the outside world becomes way too overstimulating. So, the kennel will quickly become a tool in your pup’s arsenal to self-regulate his behavior if he is overwhelmed.
A crate-trained pooch is an absolute must for frequent flyers. Your dog must be crated on trains, planes, and buses, which really helps if he is crated in the car. This keeps your pup and other passengers safe.
Protect Your Pup
When I was renovating my kitchen, my dog was completely intrigued by the noises of the construction. Every time the jackhammer would start up, he would run toward the kitchen to investigate. So, I had to speed up my crate training process to safely crate my pooch in my room for a couple of hours a day.
Crating your pup also keeps him safe from household supplies that can seriously harm him, including rat bait, mouse bait, fabric softener sheets, antifreeze, or insecticides.
Protect Your Home
Sometimes, even the most well-behaved pup tends to behave a little naughty. This could manifest in destructive behaviors like ripping up cushions, peeing in random corners of the house, and getting into the trash. To prevent this, teaching your dog to enter his crate all by himself is good.
Since dogs are den animals, they are naturally predisposed to keeping their toilet area separate from their sleeping area. So, if they are confined to a crate with a potty pad & a bed in it, they are more likely to relieve themselves on the potty patch than on the bed. This will foster the habit of peeing on the pad, which is invaluable for further potty training.
If your dog ever needs to recover from an illness or surgery, he will need to stay in his crate for long periods so that he doesn’t harm himself.
Is It Easy to Crate-Train a Goldendoodle?
A common question that pet parents of Goldendoodles have: Are Doodle puppies easy to crate train? Or can a Goldendoodle be crate trained? The answer is yes! Like other designer breeds, Goldendoodles are easy to train due to their parent’s attributes.
Thanks to their Poodle genes, Goldendoodle puppies are extremely intelligent. Thanks to their Golden Retriever genes, they are also very eager to please. This winning combination makes most types of training a breeze!
With consistency, hard work, and dedication, you will definitely be able to crate-train your Goldendoodle pooch.
Crate Training Steps
So, how exactly do you start crate training? Or how do you train a Goldendoodle to sleep in a crate? We’ve compiled a couple of crate training steps to simplify the whole process.
Buy the Right Crate
The first & most crucial step is to prepare the crate to make it as inviting as possible for your puppy. Start by selecting the best crate for your Doodle puppy.
The kennel must be large enough for your pooch to turn around & fully stretch out. The crate should have enough ventilation holes if you live in a warm, humid climate. Buying a metal crate with lots of visibility is a good option for a first-time crate, so your pup doesn’t feel isolated.
Decorate the Crate
Now, you can add a few elements to make the kennel more comforting & inviting. Begin by adding a couple of blankets & cuddly toys.
If you have a younger Goldendoodle who’s just left his old home, you can consider adding a litter blanket with the familiar scents of his mother & littermates. This will keep your pup more comfortable with entering the crate.
Keep the Doors Open
The first real step of the learning process is to keep the doors open & slowly encourage your pooch to enter the kennel. Keep the doors of the kennel completely open & toss in a couple of high-value treats, like freeze-dried liver or boiled chicken breast.
Keep the crate near you in an area with a lot of foot traffic. Let your dog investigate the crate of his own volition. Do not close the door yet, even if your pup enters.
Now that your dog is used to entering the crate, you need to start associating the action of entering the kennel with a verbal command. Keep throwing treats into the crate, and each time your dog enters, say a command like “Good Night,” “Crate Time,” or “Bedtime.”
Your Doodle will subconsciously begin to understand that the command means to enter the crate.
Reinforce the Commands
At this point, the most important thing is to reinforce the verbal commands you have laid the foundation for. Keep using those commands & encouraging your pup to enter the crate. When he does, give him tons of treats and verbal praise.
Close the Door
At this point, you are ready to start closing the kennel door. Once your Goldendoodle is able to enter the kennel once you say the command, you will begin to close the door after him.
If he starts to whine for longer than a minute, you should let him out & restart the training process in 10-15 minutes. After a few weeks of training, you will find that crate training your Goldendoodle puppy at night is a breeze!
Crate Training Schedule
So, how do you schedule your crate training process? While there’s no right or wrong timetable, it’s important not to rush the process & make sure you spend enough time on each stage.
Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide that ensures your Doodle has enough time to assimilate to the kennel life slowly.
- This first week should be all about getting your dog comfortable with the presence of the crate.
- Place it in a high-traffic area of your home & give your pup ample time to sniff it & explore all the nooks & crannies.
- He may not enter in the first few days, and that’s normal. A large crate can look intimidating to a teeny tiny pup.
- Start the day out by giving your Goldendoodle a potty break & plenty of exercise to tire him out.
- Keep the kennel’s door open & keep your dog’s food and water bowls inside it, right next to the door.
- This will entice your pooch to stick his head in, and he will become more comfortable with entering the crate.
- If you throw in a few toys or treats, your dog is more likely to enter.
- Every time he enters, say a verbal cue like “Crate” or “Bed” and then give him tons of training treats & pets.
- Now, each time your dog enters, shut the door behind him.
- Keep it closed for only a few minutes, let him out, and then reward him heavily with treats!
- You can also test out the verbal cues you established in the previous week. If you say it & if he enters, give him tons of praise.
- As your Goldendoodle starts to get comfortable with being in the crate with the door closed, you can increase the length of time he is in there.
- Slowly increase it by 30 seconds at a time, repeated multiple times throughout the day.
- Eventually, you will be able to leave him in there for hours at a time!
- You can even try to leave your Goldendoodle in the crate overnight, but let him out if he whines for more than 15 minutes.
- Do not leave your pooch in the crate for more than 6 hours. If your pup is still not potty trained, don’t leave them in for more than their age in hours.
- So, if your dog is 5 months old, don’t leave your Doodle in there for more than 5 hours.
- Now, you can try leaving your pup in the crate overnight.
- Take your dog out for a potty break, give him tons of exercise, and keep a potty pad in the crate.
- Lead him to the crate and gently close the door behind him. Make sure that your Doodle has tons of toys & snuggly blankets in there for comfort.
Crate Training Tips
- Give him lots of physical exercises: A tired pup won’t be bouncing off the walls inside the crate. Give him tons of exercise before your crate training session to mellow him down & make him more responsive to training.
- Give your Goldendoodle ample potty breaks: Ensure your hound’s bladder is fully drained to make him as comfortable as possible. Take him out for a bathroom break at least 30 minutes before you begin training.
- Stay around the crate: To make sure your pup doesn’t suffer from a serious case of FOMO, make sure that you stay near the crate at all times so that he can see you.
- Start with naps: If you’re feeling intimidated about sending your pup to the kennel for bed, you can start by closing the door behind him for some of his midday naps. Since it’s shorter, your Doodle is more likely to stay in the crate for the whole time.
Crate training your Goldendoodle doesn’t have to be an exceptionally difficult process. By following these helpful steps & schedule, you can ensure that your dog has plenty of time to get used to sleeping in the crate.
In a few weeks, your dog will be totally comfortable with dozing off in his kennel overnight!
Goldendoodles are an exceptionally smart breed that responds great to consistent training and positive reinforcement.
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Thanks for reading!