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Fortunately, most humane society shelters evaluate all aspects of their dogs, from health to behavior and personality.
Many shelters develop profiles of the home environments best suited to each dog and offer guidance in selecting an older Labradoodle.
Once the choice is made, the following steps have proven most successful in helping the new Labradoodle settle in.
The Ride Home: The dog should be picked up from the shelter and taken directly to the veterinarian for a general examination.
This helps avoid bringing parasites or infectious organisms into the home. During the ride from the shelter, the Labradoodle should be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, and the new owners should be friendly but calm.
If the dog is restless or whines or drools, this should be ignored. In other words, over-emotionality should be avoided.
At the New Home: Before the Labradoodle is brought into the house or apartment, it should be taken to the selected toilet area immediately.
Urination or defecation in other areas should be stopped by distracting the dog. Its first memory of eliminating should be in the correct place, and the act reinforced with praise.
Once in the home, it should be offered a bowl of water in the place assigned permanently. If it drinks copiously, another trip to the outdoor toilet area is in order. Also, it may have to defecate soon after it eats.
The dog should then be allowed to investigate the entire home. It is vital that the new pet get to know the odors of its new home so as to feel secure about it.
The owners should avoid following and talking to the Labradoodle.
However, an eye should be kept on it and a quick, single handclap used for distraction if it appears about to eliminate, pick up inappropriate objects, or get on furniture (if such will not be allowed generally).
Once they investigate their new home, most Labradoodles turn their attentions to their new "family."
The learn-to-earn regimen should be instituted by telling it to Sit before petting and praising. All family members capable of this must apply it consistently.
Housetraining: A firm housetraining program, as used for puppies, should be instituted. Mature dogs need guidance in a new home just as new puppies do.
Leaving the Labradoodle Alone: Initially, the dog should not be left alone for at least 3 hours.
Then, without speaking to the Labradoodle or making eye contact, the owners should quietly leave by the door generally used for routine out-of-home affairs.
If, from outside the door, the Labradoodle can be heard fussing inside, the owners must not reenter until it has stopped for at least 4 minutes.
Then the owners should go back in, avoiding excessive emotion, but speaking praise quietly, not at the door, but in an area the Labradoodle will be expected to occupy when left alone.
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