Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

Hello surely very helpful Goldendoodle forum people!

I have raised a Pitbull before from 9 weeks till around 1.5 years.  A divorce forced me away from that dog.

Fast forward four years, and I have recently decided to plunge into dog ownership again, this time nothing will separate me from my K-9 Friend!

Jack is a 10 week old Goldendoodle, picture below.  Picture taken at about 8.5 weeks, we got him at 7 weeks (which I now know was bad...should have been 8)

My spouse and I both work 9-5 type jobs, however we usually leave the house by 8am, and I usually get home by 4-5pm.  Perks of being a software developer. He is home about 7-8 hours not ever more.

Within the last week, he has become a little demon puppy.

We have three primary problems and I am hoping I can get advice, and criticism on my current methods.

In the morning, he gets a good 20-30 minute play session, ten minutes specifically with the flirt pole and lure.  Learning drop-it, sit, stay, and get-it.  

In the evening when I get home, we go straight outside, he tinkles and we again play with the flirt pole a little more vigorously than in the morning.  

We go inside, I feed him, and the nightmare begins.

Jack cannot simply get enough attention.  Our entire evening must be spent entertaining him, one of us, or it is a recipe for disaster.  I have tried to take him back out for more exercise, but that does not work, when we come back inside...Play time is not over.

This aspect is me as an owner whining, and is my first (but really second) question.  How long will this last?  There must be a way to tucker him out and/or give him something specific to make him happy?

As the largest problem is puppy biting.  We use firm NO when he puppy bites, which ceases the behavior for about five seconds.  

Then we put him in time-out.  However, we have been using this incorrectly as recent research has shown this needs to be done about 10,000 times in 10 second intervals.  

We pretty much alternate between NO, and shoving a toy in the way of our hands and legs, and time-outs.  

Starting today we'll begin simply applying the ten-second time out any time he bites at our legs and pants.  Without NOs, and no longer than ten-seconds (we had been doing 1-3 minutes)

So that was my first question/problem.  How do we stop this puppy biting and 'growling' when he gets frustrated that we don't allow him to continuously bite our ankles.

I have a varied amount of chews available for him.  But he obviously doesn't care to find them; and any one of them when given to him, entertains him for ten seconds.  Soft plushes, rigged and stiffer cloth plush, a rope tug you, a squeaker plush, a monkey plush, a Kong puppy soft bone, and Bulley sticks.

NONE of them entertain him.  The only thing that captivates his attention is the daily dental chew, which we use at dinner time...Because this guy is a beggar (despite never getting people food once!!)

Is there something I am missing with the play toys I provide for him?  He sometimes chews bad stuff but he understands the No when chewing on a part of a chair, or wall.  He does not understand NO when it comes to biting our legs and hands.

And third is potty training. 

We have a timer set when we are at home to take him out every hour for tinkles.  Accidents have been reduced, but I feel like we are not teaching him to pee outside.  Occasionally he still trots off and attempts to pee, we pick him up and take him outside...But he is making no effort to let us know he needs to use the restroom.

I apologize in advance if I am lacking vital information.  I will answer anything needed.

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Title: is meant to imply I very much want to be a respectable and responsible dog owner.  I do not want to raise a bad dog.  And I love Jack

1.) How do I reduce puppy biting at hands, pant legs, ankles.  Growling if I say NO 

2.) What assortment of toys should I provide for him?  The only thing he sort of liked was pig ears...But even those he loses interest in pretty quickly.

3.) We take him out hourly to go potty, but how can we teach him to take the initiative to tell us when he needs to go out?

4.) Should we do puppy day-care?  Is a 9-4 home alone period too long?

Regarding the puppy biting, part of your problem is directly related to his having left the litter at 7 weeks. Puppies learn bite inhibition from their mothers and litters between 6-8 weeks, so Jack missed half of that. All puppies nip, but how forcefully and how determined they are about it is increased when they leave the litter too soon. So you have an uphill battle with that. I suggest joining the Puppy Madness group and reading some of the many, many posts there about puppy nipping and what to do about it. You might also consider hiring a trainer.
I have to tell you, I have lived with dogs for 60 years, owned them for 41 years, and I had to google "flirt pole". I have never heard of  or seen this before, and my first instinct is that it's not the best way to exercise or train a retriever puppy. Jack needs to run, full out, off leash, and daily. Long leash walks would help, too. 
I really feel that being left alone from 9 to 4 (and sometimes 5, lol) is way too long for a 10 week old puppy. Can you hire a dog walker to take him out and play with him at lunchtime? 
Day care would be great, but he's too young; he can't go until he's had all his shots. 
We have a million discussions here about potty training, I will try to find a good link for you. 

Okay here's a good discussion about potty training, the link is below. Here's my advice: 

If she doesn't yet know that "potty is outside" only, then she isn't going to tell you that she needs to go outside. :)

There are three parts to housebreaking: Teaching them that potty outside is correct, teaching them that potty inside is wrong, and using a good odor neutralizer specifically made for that purpose on the spots where she's made a mistake, so that she doesn't return there. I've always used Nature's Miracle. 

Just cleaning it up isn't enough; you may not be able to smell anything, but a dog's sense of smell is 5000 times stronger than ours, and trust me, she can.

In order to teach a puppy that potty inside is wrong, you must catch them in the act. Every indoor accident that you don't see is a missed teaching opportunity, and reinforces the behavior. So you must not allow her to have an opportunity to make a mistake; that means crating her when you cannot watch her closely, or tethering her to you. When you catch her about to go, or actually going, verbally correct her. You don't want to yell, and we never use words like "bad dog". Simply make a fairly loud sound "EH EH!" to startle her, and then rush her outside. If she finishes outside, throw a party. If you are consistent, it won't take long for her to catch on to "Potty inside wrong, potty outside right." 

You also want to always be outside with her so that you can reinforce the correct behavior, i.e. going outside. It also helps you keep track of her "output" and know when there may be a health issue. 

Try to always take her outside through the same door, so that once she understands what is expected, she will go sit by that door when she needs to go out.

A lot of people seem to feel that hanging bells on the door is helpful, but I have never used them and don't see the point, unless your home is so large that it's not possible to keep track of where your pup is at, lol. Bells do not teach them that pottying indoors is wrong and pottying outside is right. It just gives them a way to let you know they need to go once they are trained. You still have to train them. :) To back up what I am saying, I can tell you that I have never had a puppy who was not reliably housebroken by 14 weeks of age, and the last pup I had was fully housebroken by 11 weeks, although I can't take full credit for that because her breeder started housebreaking training before she even came home. 

It's also important to try to regulate her bowels and bladder by feeding at consistent times and sticking to a scheduled routine, even on weekends. So no free feeding, and no sleeping in on weekends. 

I hope this helps. 

Read more here:

Thank you so much for the two detailed replies Karen.

Where is the puppy madness group?  The flirt pole seems to work great.  He gets pretty up to top speeds with that, otherwise how to I incentive him to run?

He likes to chase the ball, but if I throw it too far, or too fast, he just looks at it rolling away.

We will make adjustments in our lives to accommodate our new family member, thank you for the advice so far.

We have all kinds of groups here. Just go up to the "Groups" tab at the top of the page, Puppy Madness is one of the featured groups. 
I have never had a puppy of any breed who didn;t love to run, so I'm at a loss as to how you would give the incentive for that. Hopefully others will have some ideas.

Oh jeez, apologizes.  Maybe I couldn't see those groups until I was admin approved.  Joined the puppy maddness and getting ready to read this evening with a chew toy in hand.

Well hold on a minute, with what I sense was almost a smart ass comment.

When I take Jack outside, off the leash.  To some extent he'll run around the yard, when left to this own devices, however there is no way he is getting enough exercise or "running" on his own.

I'm sorry but I suppose I am also at a loss of how to get him to run without:

1.) Fetch with a ball, (like I said lol...if I roll it (he doesn't chase throws) too far or too fast, he doesn't do jack (Har har har))

2.) Chase ME around the yard.  Sure we do this a little, but there's no way a fairly fat 32 year old is gonna tucker him out.

3.) Flirt pole.  Now this gets him running.  But I still don't feel like this is tuckering him out, and considering you've never heard of it.  There must be something else that works.

Your comment makes me think his natural running and playing would be enough, but I am certainly not feeling that is the case.

I would love to take some long walks:

a.) its Michigan and like 0degress right now

b.) I thought he wasn't supposed to go for walks until he has all his shots?

Nothing meant as "smart ass" from me, I try to be sincere in my responses or I don't bother replying. :)
I'm in the Chicago area, so you get no sympathy from me on the weather, lol. I lost my dog in November, but prior to that, we walked every day, regardless of weather, for almost 12 years, and twice on all but the bitterest days, lol. Bundle up! 
But yes, you are right about walks; he has to have all of his shots first.
Maybe try getting his attention with a tug toy he likes and throwing that? Not too hard or too far at first. 

Roger that!  My millennial (though, i'm 33) internet forum spider senses were going off.   (Not being a smart ass!)

Ten-four!  I have no problem with the cold!  Once those shots are good, we're going out!  

Tug and then throw, got it!

I agree with what Karen has said previously. I think 9-5 is far too long for a puppy to be crated. He needs to be let out mid-day and some activity during the day would be great. I would hire a dog walker or think about doggie daycare. YES TO PUPPY DAYCARE :) Think about all that puppy energy bottled up all day and then are home and he wants attention. I don't blame him. I still don't know what a flirt pole is....LOL...but I think your puppy needs more exercise. I used to take my pups to the local tennis court....where everything was enclosed....and throw the ball over and over again. I walked them a lot and still have to do two long walks a day or I pay all night with our dog, Vern. (they are nine and eight). I live in Michigan and I walk rain, sleet, snow, exceptions or again, I pay with Vern being up a lot at night. Do some training exercises with him. Make them fun. Find some mentally stimulating games for him to do. This can wear him out, too. Look for a puppy training class. 

As far as potty training, I took my pups out constantly. When they got up from sleeping, eating, anything....out we went. They still don't stand at the door or ring any bells, but I guess I can read their signals now. Consistency is the key to potty training. Out as often as possible, make a big deal when they go, etc. 

Nipping and growling is a puppy stage. They all go through it. I would keep a toy on hand and distract him with it when he starts going to town. I also used bully sticks in the beginning for them to chew on. Eventually, the bully sticks bothered their stomachs and I quit, but in the beginning, I swore by them. Try a kong with a little peanut butter. If he gets too out of hand, I would put him in the crate for a time out until everyone calms down. Again, staying calm is the key and not escalating the situation.

1.  The puppy biting thing does get better over time but you have to give a firm no and yelp and then redirect with an appropriate chew toy.

2.  Toy preference is really trial and error, you can get some ideas in the toy group and the puppy madness group.

3.  We use a set of jingle bells to go potty and we taught our dood to ring the bells.  When we would take him out we would ring the bells every time, but Karen is correct there is a difference between teaching them to alert you they need to go potty and teaching them they are only supposed to potty outside

4.  To long for a little pup in my opinion, if you could hire a dog walker or some how come home and let him out once that would be ideal.

Some doodle puppies are "land sharks"!!  My older boy came home at 12 weeks and he was very very mouthy - he'd hang off my pant legs, bite my legs and feet, bite my hands, the more worked up he got the more mouthy he became. They do eventually grow out of it with consistent training. I used to spray my hands and feet with Bitter Apple spray to discourage the mouthing. Always have a toy handy to redirect that mouth!

Signing up for a good puppy class will also help. You guys get to train together, get advice from the trainer, and you can compare notes on puppy naughtiness with the other puppy owners!

Your pup is still very young, he is only a baby he is being left alone for way too long. This is probably contributing to his craziness when you are at home, and also could be contributing to your potty training troubles. He can't hold it for that long. If you can't get home at lunchtime, I would try to find someone to take him out - both for exercise and the opportunity to go potty. 

Toys - different for every puppy / dog. All you can do is trial and error. Try different things and see what he likes. As well as play, he needs consistent, structured exercise - going for walks. This will also help you guys to bond. Doodle puppies love to run, he is too young to understand how to play fetch, but he should happily run around your yard with you. While we are talking toys and exercise, a flirt pole is not an appropriate tool for a puppy this young. It is way too stressful on his joints (I am a canine rehab profressinal). The only way you should use a flirt pole is dragging it behind you in a straight line and having him chase you. Fetch can also be very hard on young joints, you want to avoid anything where they are turning quickly or coming to sudden stops. 

You also need to realise that doodle puppies are very active puppies - the mix of poodle and retriever makes them very 'busy' dogs. They need a lot of physical and mental exercise and stimulation. The Canine Enrichment Group on Facebook has lots of great ideas for mental stimulation. If you are not that physically active yourself, you will need to come up with a plan for providing this puppy (especially through his teenage period and younger years of life) with enough physical exercise - hiking, play dates, doggy day care when he is old enough, a dog walker, jogging with a friend / neighbour etc. A bored, under exercised doodle is not a fun dog to live with and they can become quite destructive. 

Doodles are awesome dogs and they are a lot of fun, but it can take a bit of work to get there!!  DK is full of very knowledgable people, some who have had multiple doodles over a period of many years, so you are in the right place!!

Hi Eric and Jack,   Jack is darling and looks like he going to be a standard, right?

Welcome to Doodlekisses. I am 71 and have raised  and potty trained 12 dogs.  I just got a new puppy we named Murphy. She is 11 weeks old.  So I really sympathize with your frustration.  You started out behind with your puppy leaving the litter too soon, but nothing you can do about that now.  So just keep your patience and humor intact.  Also old rags, towels, and Nature's Miracle or similar in every room you allow the puppy to go. I had one golden that the breeder did such a good job on that she never went in the house.  Just good luck for me.  I also had Siberian that wasn't reliable until seven months.

Quick tips that have worked for me and are recommended by many trainers: 

1) When Jack is not crated keep him on a long line at all times.  Two major benefits:  he can never not come when he is called, he can always be tied to you or near you. Keep treats handy in little bags or containers in drawers everywhere for positive reinforcement of training. If you don't have a toy within easy reach you don't have enough toys.  In the five seconds you get after the "no" to biting (pretty good by the way) stick a toy in his mouth, wiggle it a liitle, throw it a few inches or just jam it in there. When he chomps down on it good, praise.

2) Potty training is a spatial issue.  Each room, or each part of a big room has to be added to the training.  For example Murphy always is in the bathroom with me when I get ready.  I have now added the bedroom and the first place she went to pee is the far side of the bed where she and I have spent almost no time.  I would suggest that you take Jack out every half hour by timer. When you have no mistakes for a week, go to 45 minutes, then 60.  He will get it.  Murphy is 11 weeks and as long as I take her out every hour she is great.  She is showing signs of telling me she needs to go but they are subtle, going to the door, or coming right up to me and barking once or twice right at my face, wandering around with her nose to the ground.......  Just stick with it.

3) Get rid of the flirt pole.  It is an excitement level raising tool.  You now have a retrieving dog who has lots of natural excitement built in to him.  Jack is a retriever, both goldens and poodles are retrieving dogs.Teach him to retrieve, you can do this indoor and outdoor and when you accomplish you can use up a lot of energy in a hurry.  You are going to need this when he gets a little older.  Google dog training, fetch or retrieve for great ideas.  Here is a short course.  Jack will naturally chase a thrown object.  Throw close and keep the line on him. show great pleasure when he picks it up.  If he drops it go get it and throw again.  Or use 3 balls. - throw ball 1, Jack chases and you move to ball 2, Jack drops ball 1 and you throw ball 2 and so on.  Teach "give"  separately by treating when he accidentally drops it at or near your feet.  The give toy for treat game can be done inside for part or all of his breakfast or dinner.  I am 71, overweight, compromised nerve in my back and I can do this, so you can too.  It takes patience, time but I always feel like it lets me eat a cookie at night if I have done it.

4) Mind games and training use up just as much if not more energy.  Do training in 5 minute intervals, 3-4 times a day.  Use every opportunity to teach.  When he steals your towel "trade" or "give" for small reward, maybe part of his breakfast.  You can find lots of dog puzzles online or in stores.  A cheap one that I use is a muffin tin and tennis balls. Hide treats or part of his meal in each muffin space and cover with a tennis ball. (thrift stores and tennis courts are great sources of used tennis balls).  This is an easy game, start with it and move up. 

5) Teach "walk" in your house against a wall with treats or a long spoon with low fat cream cheese smeared on it.  Hold leash loose stand with your side almost against a wall, Jack behind you, hold treat down or lower spoon, he gets a lick or treat when he comes right even with you. Move one or two steps forward, when Jack gets right beside you treat.  etc.  This one can be a slow starter sometimes before they get it.  Stop after 1 minute and try again later if he just gets frustrated.

6) For those times when you just need a break ( especially when he gets older and really has a lot of energy)  keep low fat cream cheese stuffed kongs in the freezer and buy some Antlerz online.  Save the Antlerz for down time.  Keep them out of the toy box and save them as a real treat.

7)Teach "place" or "bed" so he puts all four feet on the mat, bed, whatever where you want him to be quiet.  After he gets the idea of where to go add down before he gets the reward.

Begin to reward irregularly with treats when you have a good solid command in place.  Ideally affection is the best reward and supposedly research has shown that irregular food rewards actually work better.  Sort of like humans keep playing slot machines even though they know the odds are against them.

Oh - I almost forgot!  The "Zoomies" where doodles (and Siberians) run madly around the house like their tail is on fire for no reason.  Just wait it out, try not to laugh out loud it only encourages them.  And the "Children's Hour"  This is the hour after dinner, dishes done, etc.  You used to just settle down to read, watch TV, or play video games.  Not now for at least the next three years this is the Children's Hour", this whole hour belongs to Jack now. 



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