Your Australian Labradoodle puppy, while easy to train, is unquestionably bright and likely to outsmart her owner if not guided by a strong pack leader and provided with both physical and mental daily exercise.
Just as it is with human children, your puppy relies on the routine you create and follow. She thrives on consistent exercise, mealtime, playtime, and rest. Adhering to a regimen is often challenging while trying to maintain a balance between work, travel, and family. However, it’s important for the wellbeing of your Australian Labradoodle, and for a close and mutually happy relationship between you and your puppy.
Following is some elemental direction to facilitate creating a routine.
Australian Labradoodles are by nature active and need plenty of mental and physical exercise. Making daily walks a priority from the start will benefit you and your puppy. Scheduling a 30-minute walk at least once a day is ideal. Remember at first, however, to only plan about 5 min for every month of age. We don’t want to harm those developing hips by overdoing it at first.
The type of walk you are taking with your puppy is relevant; indeed, it is important to understand that your daily, deliberate walk, intended to mentally and physically exercise your puppy, is entirely different than the playtime you will also want to provide him.
When walking your puppy, be mindful that you are leading and that your puppy is in a calm and submissive state. If allowed to be the first out of the door or gate, lead the walk, and decide himself when to stop and smell, your puppy uses his mental energy on protecting you (his pack), rather than on expending his energy on the physical exercise.
Setting up a feeding schedule at the same time(s) every day is most favorable for the overall health of your Australian Labradoodle puppy. Although common practice to allow free feeding (making food available to your pet at all times), this method is counter-productive, and can lead to behavioral issues and health problems like overeating and bloat. When your puppy goes home he will be eating twice a day. Please only offer water at meal time, unless your puppy is outside and then it should be available at all times.
From food and water intake to evacuation. Puppies, like babies, learn with training and practice to control their bladders. Although at times inconvenient and frustrating, housebreaking your puppy will happen eventually, and will be made easier with consistency and patience.
Within the first couple of weeks it is wise to bring your puppy outside about every two hours. Throughout the next couple of weeks you can gradually increase the time between breaks to four or five hours. If she has an accident it is important to take her immediately outside to reinforce the correct place for urination. Please review our section specifically on house training here: http://gooddaydoodles.com/what-to-know/house-training/
In addition to the scheduled breaks, it is prudent to give your puppy a chance to potty after a walk,eating, a nap, play, or a stressful experience.
Play & Socialization
Australian Labradoodles are cheerful and friendly; they love to socialize and get along wonderfully with other dogs and children. They are clever, quickly learning new and unusual tasks. In other words, your options are limitless when it comes to playtime with and socialization of your puppy! In addition to your intentioned daily walks, try hiking with your puppy; visiting a dog beach; organizing puppy playdates. If you struggle to find time for these activities during the week, there are even puppy daycares that facilitate fun and socialization for your puppy.
Australian Labradoodles have two different coat types (fleece, and wool) and additional variations within those coat types. Grooming requirements will depend on your adult pup’s specific coat; however, it is a good idea to spend time daily grooming your puppy in order to nurture his enjoyment of the practice for years to come.
Between about 10-14 months the adult coat will come in and your puppy’s coat should be regularly brushed out during this time to avoid matting in the new coat. A more in-depth review on the correct method of brushing can be found here: http://gooddaydoodles.com/about-the-labradoodle/grooming/ When knots or mats develop, take care in brushing them out because it can be painful for your puppy. In some cases it might be more appropriate to cut out the knots.
Using these guidelines, as well as talking at length with your breeder and veterinarian regarding questions that come up, will promote confidence in the training of your Australian Labradoodle puppy, resulting in a compelling and powerful bond.