Be the Alpha Dog.
To understand how puppies and pack animals behave and why is the primary tool in training your puppy for life. I am not going to tell you how to teach your puppy how to sit or stay or come, I will however, teach you and your family how to be successful teachers and leaders to your puppy. Although the information that follows can be used on an adult dog it is intended for Labradoodle and Australian Labradoodle puppies.
All puppies will, within a group of humans or other puppies, try and determine and/or control their place in the pack, be it the leader, second in command or a follower. In my opinion, it is not the responsibility of the puppy to be the leader, to have complete control, or perceived control over the group. This is like assigning a 5 year old child to be leader of the family. The weight on his or her shoulders would be tremendous. The puppy should be, after all, a dog. This to me means alert you, the leader, to potential threats, but not feel the need at all times to protect everyone and the property when you are home. Leadership is a high stress job and after all you want a loving puppy dog, a playful companion not a stressed out, always on alert, attack dog. If you did you would have purchased a different breed. Stress, in dogs, just as it does in humans, also leads to illness.
A dog bred and trained to be a pack leader eventually becomes an adult dog and behaves unlike a family companion. This dog will growl at someone or another dog if they touch its food or toy. It will bark beyond a simple warning bark and may even move into the ultimate protection mode of itself and its “things”.
What are some simple steps to tell your puppy you are the pack leader? Just teaching it to wait is one of the many keys.
The best training advice is to find and secure two types of dog trainers. One trainer is found by attending a class. Classes provide a few things. They get your puppy socialization. It is easy to teach a puppy to sit privately at home but try and get him to sit when 10 other puppies and lots of smells are around with humans talking at the same time. Two, hire a personal trainer to come to your home. These trainers can actually see your environment and understand why Rover is actually doing what he is doing. They can see that he likes that specific sofa because it is near the door and window. Be sure and get references on a personal trainer. Find one that has an understanding of behavioral training versus basic commands. Basic commands can be taught in the larger class. Many times your breeder can provide references as well.