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Miniature doodles are food-motivated dogs, which makes giving small food rewards an ideal way of motivating your doodle puppy and rewarding those behaviours you wish to teach. However, rewards do come in all shapes and sizes, and range from food tidbits to praise or play with a toy. Key to successful training is to work out what your dog will work for. If it likes playing with a tug toy, then a brief game of tug could be your way of motivating him. Many people who choose to reward their puppy with small treats can pair this with clicker training. Clicker training is a neat way of marking a desired behaviour, to let the doodle puppy know what they are being rewarded for. The principal behind clicker training is to first teach the puppy to link the click-clack of the clicker to getting a reward. Then you make the desired action with the click-clack. For example, when teaching "Sit," you lure the puppy into a sitting position and press the clicker as soon as the puppys bottom hits the ground.
Do frequent but brief training sessions with puppies. Remember your puppy has a short attention span, so several 5 minute sessions spaced over the day are better for an 8 - 10 week old puppy than one long session. Gradually increase the length of the training session as its concentration and stamina improves.
Always end your session on a positive note. If the puppy is getting distracted, bring the training session to a close with a simple command you know it can do. This will allow you to praise it and leave it feeling happy with itself.
Start toilet training your mini doodle as soon as you bring it home. Set up a puppy room in which the dog will sleep and eat, rather than letting it roam all over the house. Letting it roam your whole home will make potty training more difficult, as you will have a harder time keeping track of what it is doing. Take the puppy straight out to the spot that you intend it to use as a toilet. Pop it down on the spot and if the puppy happens to 'go,' give it heaps of praise. The idea is for the puppy to associate going to the bathroom in that spot with getting heaps of praise. This makes it worthwhile for the puppy to save up its bodily functions in return for adoration. Of course potty training doesn't happen instantaneously and you need to stick at it. Training requires the puppy to learn where it is meant to go, and where it shouldn't go. To teach the later means constant vigilance. Watch it indoors like a hawk and when the puppy shows the earliest signs of wanting to toilet, such as sniffing with great concentration or sidling up to objects, then pick it up and take it outside to the toilet spot. Then when the dog goes in the right place, lavish it with praise.
An adult dog that has never been potty trained should be able to hold it for several hours once trained. However, to increase your success rate, take an 8 week old puppy outside every 20-30 minutes. If you can't be with the puppy in between toilet stops, then pop it in its crate rather than letting it go to the bathroom in the house. Also, puppies tend to toilet about 20 minutes after eating, so put him outside after each meal, and likewise immediately after eating. If the puppy does have an accident indoors, be sure to thoroughly clean it up. There should be no lingering odour left behind once you have cleaned it.
The idea behind crate training is to create a space that belongs to the puppy which is their den. Choose a crate that is big enough for the puppy to stand up in without banging its head, and can lie down with its legs stretched out.
Encourage the dog to explore the crate on its own. Puppies readily learn to like the crate if you help them to discover that it is a place where good things happen. Seed it with treats for the puppy to pop in and discover. Feed the puppy in the crate so that it associates the crate with meal times.
Once the puppy is popping in regularly to investigate if any treats have appeared, you can start to shut the door. At first this is just for a few seconds, perhaps while the puppy is eating. When it is calm and quiet with the door closed, give it lots of praise.
If the puppy cries while in the crate, don't release him while it is crying. If you respond to its cries then it will have trained you to let it out, and it may become ever more vocal if you don't do so. Instead, wait until the puppy is quiet and then set it free, so that the good behaviour is rewarded.
Teach your mini doodle to sit. It is essential for your mini doodle to obey basic commands, such as "sit", "stay", and "come." If your puppy obeys these instantaneously, you can control it in pretty much any situation.Begin this training with the "sit" command, and then follow with other commands once your puppy has mastered "sit."
Teach "Stay" once he has mastered "Sit". Put the puppy into a sit and then hold your hand up, palm towards the puppy in a "Stop" signal. Say "Stay" and take a small step back. Wait for a few seconds to ensure the pup doesn't move, then pat your thighs and call the puppy's name and say "Come" a bright voice. Reward him when he runs to you.
Teach your mini doodle to "come." To teach come, play with the puppy and take a couple of steps away from it. A puppy's natural instinct is to stay close to their mother, or minder, and so it will run to rejoin you. As soon as it moves toward you click your clicker or say "come," and then give it a treat when it arrives.
Use repetition and don't get discouraged. Keep repeating this desired action until the puppy gets the hang of things, which may take quite awhile. Using these basic principles, you can train a mini doodle to do more complex commands or tricks.
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