How To Set Rules and Boundaries for an Excitable Labradoodle Puppy

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: September 18, 2017

Tobie is a three-month-old Labradoodle puppy who lives in Nebraska with three-year-old German Shepherd/ Shiba Inu mix, Hawkeye. Their guardians set up a puppy training session to give Tobie more rules and boundaries and gain leadership in the house.

After I arrived, I sat down with the guardians to chat about their main dog behavior concerns. I learned that the dogs didn’t have a lot of rules in place. Dogs, and especially puppies, go through life probing to determine what the rules are. Similar to kids, rules can help dogs relax and feel confident in their environment because they know what is expected of them and it gives them a sense of security.  I suggested some rules for the guardians to incorporate: no furniture for a minimum of 30 days, sitting before going outside and using our structured eating ritual.

I also taught the guardians our Petting with a Purpose technique, where every time you pet your dog you are essentially telling them “good job!” I encouraged the guardians to pet their dogs for good behavior and ask their dogs to sit before receiving attention or petting. By asking the dog to sit before receiving attention, it gives them a job that they can do and teaches them self control. I then taught the guardians our Leadership Exercise to help the dogs’ adopt a follower’s mindset and look to their guardians for direction. To see how I accomplished this, you can watch the video below.

Tobie took to the Leadership Exercise right away! This exercise is important because it helps Tobie see his guardians at the leaders of the house, which will then transfer to other behaviors. When we went to go for a walk to train Tobie to stop pulling on the leash using our Structured Walk method, he calmly sat by the door. His guardians were excited to see how quickly his behavior was changing.

By the end of the session, Tobie and Hawkeye were looking to their guardians for direction and leadership. I want to encourage the guardians to use the word ‘Paycheck‘ to help the family continue to use Petting with a Purpose and use our Escalating Consequences to disagree with the dogs. We wrapped up this session with Tobie and Hawkeye’s Roadmap to Success  video, which you can watch below.

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This post was written by: Sam Kanouse

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