One of the reasons dogs have adapted so well to being human companions is that the social needs of both species are similar. Dogs and wolves live and work together in social unit called a pack, which is really what we would call a family.
Because their very survival depends on working together, they have evolved a system of communication emphasizing social order and cooperation.
From families to softball teams to corporations, so, too, have we. We count on others of our kind to raise us and help us throughout our lives.
When you take a Labradoodle puppy into your home, you are asking her to accept your family in exchange for a canine one. And she will, quite happily and with amazingly few problems, if you hold down your end of the deal - provide her with companionship and show her her proper place in the social order.
She cannot find her place in your family unless you make your puppy part of your life. Simply put, a puppy cannot bond with people she barely knows.
Bonding isn't hard to accomplish. Spend time with your puppy. Talk to her. Sing to her. Put your hands on her.
Use baby gates instead of closed doors if you don't want her in certain parts of the house, so she can hear you and see you and feel part of the crowd.
You are the only family she has from the time you take her home. Make her part of that family, and she'll be a better pet.
One of the easiest ways to promote a fast, tight bond with your puppy is to have her sleep in a crate at the side of your bed. It's a way to bond with without the effort:
You sleep, she sleeps, but as she sleeps, she bonds. She smells your wonderful smell and hears every sound you make, all night long, and she won't mind your snoring!
When I say in the bedroom, I don't mean on the bed. Sleeping in your bed gives a dog a rather elevated idea of his station in life, and that can lead to problems.
You want your Labradoodle puppy to know from the first that you are the boss in your house. You're a nice boss, however, which is why you've provided a snuggly crate or soft bed for him to sleep on. But you're still the boss. Period.
When your puppy's all grown up and perfectly behaved, you can invite him on your bed. That's where mine sleep. But they understand it's a privilege, not a right.
They are not allowed up unless invited, they are not up there every night, and they are never allowed up unless I'm already there. I suggest you do the same.
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