So you brought your puppy home…now what?

Training and Socialization

It’s crucial to go into pet ownership with realistic expectations — puppies are incredibly fun and cute, but they are also a LOT of work! We can give you a great puppy, but it’s up to you to make sure it develops into a great dog. 

People often ask us if Labradoodles are easy to train, and the answer is a resounding ‘YES!’ Because of their high level of intelligence, Labradoodles (and Australian Labradoodles in particular) are keen to learn and learn quickly. Still, that’s not to say they need less training than other dogs. We advise you to educate yourself and define and set firm boundaries and behavioral expectations for your pup before they come home to you, so you will be ready to start implementing them straight away (and less likely to fall for their mischievous new puppy charm!). We’ve curated the following information and resources to help you train and socialize your pup to reach their fullest potential. 

training and consistency are key. 

When it comes to developing your dog’s behavior and disposition,

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We encourage you to sign up for puppy training classes from day one not just to help your puppy, but to help you too! We have a fantastic partnership with Baxter and Bella Puppy School, and highly recommend their online training membership program. Use discount code “Baldonnel” when you enroll to receive 25% off of a lifetime membership and gain access to a huge variety of exercises, games, live calls, forums, and videos (that’s $59.50 in savings!).

Online Training


Types of dog Training to Consider:

  • Look for a trainer that uses positive reinforcement training
  • Makes training fun for you and your dog
  • Explains dog behaviour and body language
  • Encourages you to watch or participate in training
  • Small class size (4-6 per trainer)

What to Look For in a Trainer:

Inquire about puppy socialization and obedience classes in your local area for your new puppy. You can start taking your new pup to puppy classes as soon as they join your family as they will have received their first round of vaccinations before coming to you. Begin with basic puppy classes and then graduate to obedience classes and beyond. These classes not only teach your puppy skills, but also allow them to socialize with other dogs around the same age—trust us, your pup will love their weekly moment in the spotlight!

In-Person/ Private Training

  • Start by putting them in the crate for short five-minute periods. Set the timer and take them out once they stop crying/whimpering. Do this several times a day, then increase it to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. Eventually they will become very comfortable and happy with their cozy little space.
  • You should be able to gradually build up the time you leave your puppy in their crate overnight without a toilet break to between 6-8 hours.
  • To make training a positive experience, try feeding your pup meals or treats in their crate so it feels like a reward. Never leave them in their crate all day or night. 
  • Make the crate a cozy, inviting place to be by giving your puppy a treat or a toy when he goes inside. Always make sure water is available to them.
  • You can put your puppy in their crate or an X-pen if you're out running errands, showering, or generally unable to watch them closely.
  • Every time you put them to bed, say the same word or phrase, like “Crate time" or “Nighty-night." Eventually, they will run to their crate when they hear these words.
  • Leave the crate door open when they are not in there, as they may choose to take their naps in there all on their own. 

Tips for Crate Training:

Although many dog owners feel guilty for crate training their pup, the many benefits of crate training have been proven again and again. In fact, dogs instinctively seek out small spaces to create a sense of protection for themselves. Crates are training tools, spaces for dogs to relax, and lifesavers for emergency situations when you need to evacuate your dog quickly.

Crate training is also an essential part of housebreaking puppies, as dogs don’t like to soil their own sleeping quarters (who would?!), so we recommend crate training your puppy from a very young age. We begin introducing your puppy to a crate starting at five weeks old, so they should have a good head start by the time you bring them home. 

Crate Training

  • Failing to use a crate: Crating teaches them self control and gives them a sense of security. 
  • Failing to clean up accidents: Clean up is crucial to preventing repeat mistakes on the same spot.
  • Failing to follow a schedule: When on a schedule, your puppy will expect to eat and potty at certain times and thus learn to control urges. 
  • Correcting after the fact: Scolding your puppy after they have made a mistake will only make your puppy afraid of you, as they have no idea why you are unhappy with them. 
  • Blaming your puppy for your mistake: If your puppy has an accident, the fault is yours. You may have left them in the crate too long, didn’t watch them carefully, or failed to clean up their former accident properly. It is your job to figure out why the accident happened and take measures to make sure it does not happen again.

Common House Training Mistakes:

  • Puppies that are 8-10 weeks old will need to go out about every 30 minutes. As your puppy ages, you can gradually stretch the time to an hour between outside potty trips until finally your puppy will let you know when they need to go out.  
  • About half an hour after your puppy eats, they will need to go potty. Try setting a timer on your phone for the first few weeks until you establish a solid routine (we like the app Puddle and Pile to help monitor/track this).
  • Use consistent terminology to encourage your pup to go. Give lots of praise when they pee or poop outside, or even a reward like a walk or treat!
  • If your puppy has an accident, blot and spray it with your pet odor eliminator spray, but don’t yell at or punish them, especially if it’s after the fact. If you catch your puppy in the act, say NO in a firm voice and take them out immediately. 
  • At night, pick up your puppy’s food and water approximately 2-3 hours before bedtime. There is no need to take your puppy out in the middle of the night, nor do we recommend it. At this point your puppy should be fine to sleep through the night until about 6:00 am. 
  • In the morning, pick up your puppy and carry them to their designated potty spot. 

Tips for House Training:

When inside, always monitor your puppy and watch for these four signs:
  • Circling
  • Sniffing
  • Trying to sneak off and hide
  • Squatting

Signs your Pup Needs to Potty:

Housebreaking is easiest and most successful when you establish a consistent routine. Every time a puppy goes potty, their brain is solidifying where they should go, so it’s your job to make sure they are going where you want them to! It can take up to 8 weeks after your puppy comes home for him to be successfully potty trained. We know house training can feel like a very intimidating process, but with consistency, positive reinforcement, watchfulness, and timing, we promise it can be a relatively smooth and very successful experience.

House Training


If you are house training your dog, teaching them to ring a bell when they have to go outside to potty can be a helpful tool. Keep the bell near the door, and as you are taking your puppy outside, ring it using your puppy’s nose or paw, praise them, and take them outside to their potty spot. If your puppy starts to chew on the bells or rings them just to go outside (bells are playful, afterall!), be consistent and take them outside to their potty spot. This teaches them that ringing the bell will be followed by the action of going outside to go potty. Check out this helpful website below to learn even more about bell training!

Bell Training

read more about bell training

The Socialization Period


Socialization is the process of creating purposeful, positive experiences for your puppy to prepare them for life in the human world. Did you know that puppies have a critical socialization period that only lasts until they are around four months old? Watch this video to learn what socialization is, why it is so important, and how to expose your puppy to experiences that give them the best start in life.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & downloadable posters:

If children live in the home with your puppy, it’s important to teach them how to behave around the puppy and how not to behave around the puppy. For instance, it’s very important that your children don't roughhouse with the puppy, tempting as it may be to play games like tug-of-war or ‘teasing fetch’. Roughhousing will train your puppy to play aggressively and treat your kids like littermates, which can lead to behavioral problems down the road. Instead, have your kids play games like normal fetch or hide-and-seek, and supervise the interaction. If things get too rough, immediately remove the puppy from the situation by putting them in the X-pen or crate for some decompression time.

Children and Socialization

Just like human children, your puppy will go through different stages as they grow and mature. Knowing what these various stages of development entail will help you better understand your new puppy, and how to best guide and socialize them as their owner.

Puppy Development Stages


HELPFUL RESOURCE - Puppy Stages: International Doodle Owners Group Doodle Development Periods

Just like any relationship, you get out what you put in! 

in short

The more you invest in solid foundations and ground rules over time, the more rewarding your relationship with your Australian Labradoodle will be.