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To train your Labradoodle successfully, you must first learn to teach him on a canine level. He cannot learn on a human level.
Your dog is first a canine (a group that includes wolves, coyotes, and dingoes), second a domestic dog, third a breed or mix of breeds, and fourth, your lovable pet.
By understanding these important distinctions, owners can improve their success in training their Labradoodle puppy.
What makes a dog capable of following direction from a human being is the instinct to follow a pack leader.
Because your Laabradoodle is a dog, he has the same instincts, reflexes and behaviors as his wild cousins. In the wild, canines such as wolves live in packs.
They interact with each other in a cooperative manner to find food and shelter and to raise their young. This is an extremely successful arrangement that helps each member of the pack survive.
Among the pack members is a pack leader and a hierarchy of followers. The most dominate individual in the pack is the leader - usually a large, older male.
The rest of the pack's hierarchy is also determined by dominance - and by the submission of individuals lower in the pack order. Each individual holds a particular place in the pack.
To the puppy, your family is his new pack. In fact, it is his second pack experience. His first was with his mother and litter mates where he learned the behaviors necessary to adapt to pack life.
In his first pack experience, his mother was the most dominant pack member - the pack leader. Each puppy maintained a position in the hierarchy.
The biggest, toughest, and loudest Labradoodle puppy who did the most growling and biting became "top pup."
The more submissive puppy, who accepted being bitten and growled at, assumed a lower rank in the pack. Each puppy's place was determined by how dominant or submissive it was.
When your puppy arrives in your home, he instinctively will seek a position in his new pack.
We are not sure if puppies think that they are human or that people are canines, but what is certain is that puppies think people are exactly the same thing they are.
If allowed to do whatever he wants, your puppy will naturally assume the role of pack leader. By the time your dog is eighteen months to two years old, he will have developed his full adult personality.
If he reaches this age assuming he is the pack leader, you may have behavior problems - and an extremely difficult time training him.
He will probably resist training in much the same manner that an old wolf defends his position from a young challenger - by growling and biting.
It is much easier to convince a puppy or a young dog that you are his leader while he is initially looking for a position in the pack than it is after he has already assumed one.
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