New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

General discussion on all labradoodle-related matters - anything not otherwise covered by specific forums on the site.
Rob&Anna
Posts: 11
Joined: 13 Oct 2013, 16:11
Location: Glasgow

New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Rob&Anna » 28 Dec 2013, 16:29

Hi everyone,

We have recently become the proud owners of Hamish, a miniature chocolate brown labradoodle. We picked him up on Christmas Eve and he has really settled well into his new home. He is very playful and loves to run around the garden. He has also quickly learned when to go to the toilet, and even after just a few days we hardly ever have any accidents to clear up during the day.

The only real issue we are having with him right now is that he does not like to be left alone. If we leave the room for more than a few seconds he starts to whine and bark until we come back. We have put a baby gate on the entrance between the kitchen and living room to keep him in the kitchen over night, but if he is left there on his own he becomes distressed. We have tried leaving him in for short periods during the day to get him used it being on his own but he does not seem to like it. At night we have tended to wait until he is asleep before lifting him into his basket and tip toeing out the room to our own beds. He then often wakes up during the night and will cry and bark until one of us goes to comfort him back to sleep before sneaking out again. We have tried to leave him when he barks as long as possible to see if he clams down, but after a while he sounds very distressed, and we dont want to annoy our neighbours at 2.30am!

Does anyone have any tips of tricks they used with their pup to try and get them to sleep at night on their own. I'm aware that he has only been with us for a few days and hopefully he will become used to being left alone. It is not so much of an issue right now as I am off work for the next week, but once I start back at work he will have to get used to being left on his own not just at night but during the day too for a few hours when we are away, so we would like to get him used to being on his own as soon as possible.

Thanks

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Liz!!
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Joined: 07 Oct 2012, 15:22

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Liz!! » 28 Dec 2013, 16:58

He's just a baby at the minute, having been taken from his mum, sisters and brothers and into a completely different environment - you are his security and leaving him on his own is horrific to him!

He's only been with you a few days - it's unrealistic to expect him to be secure enough to not whine when you disappear as yet.

Going to a dog after it has been crying for an extended period is known as negative reinforcement - you have taught him that if he whines for longer and then escalates he will get a result.

But I'm definitely not advocating leaving him!

First step - make him feel secure in your home and with you, before taking some of the security away.

He could sleep in your bedroom - it's unrealistic to expect a pup to sleep entirely through the night without needing a wee anyhow. If nearer, he will stir, you can whip him down to the loo and bring him back and go back to sleep.

But if you really are sure that in the kitchen it has to be, he needs a secure nest to feel safe in, preferably covered, and someone to go down and let him out for a wee until you are sure he can last through the night.

In the day, leaving for a few seconds and then a minute etc with no fuss when you return is the way to build up - but it's not going to happen in a week and not with such a young dog.
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Lola is a UK Assistance Dog, trained to alert me for low blood sugar by Medical Detection Dogs (http://www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk)

Rob&Anna
Posts: 11
Joined: 13 Oct 2013, 16:11
Location: Glasgow

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Rob&Anna » 28 Dec 2013, 18:05

thanks for the suggestions. I have tried leaving him on his own for a short time each day while i go have a shower, tidy up etc. and he still gets upset. Then when I go back to him I am not fussing over him as like you mentioned he will start to think that is acceptable behaviour.

I know that he is still very young and it will have been quite traumatic for him to leave his mother, the first night he satyed with us he slept in our bedroom, then the next night in the hallway, and the last two nights have been in the kitchen. We have a very warm and comfortable basket for him and we make it each night for him.

I am a little concerned about what he will be like once I return to work, but i cant get any more time off. Our neighbour has said she will look in on him for us if we are both out, and my girlfriend works shifts so she should be around at times, but there will still be periods where he will be on his own and I dot want him to get too distressed when we are gone

clairelbrooke
Posts: 132
Joined: 27 Sep 2013, 01:26

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by clairelbrooke » 28 Dec 2013, 18:14

Congrats on the beautiful Doodle!!! Luckily both my pups have been fine when they came home, when buzz was little he used to go to my in laws whilst I was at work but when I got ruby he stayed at home, he's very much a mummy's boy so I wore a tshirt for a couple of nights to bed then put it in with him, it smelt of me and seemed to settle him nicely, also teddies are good as he will be used to the warmth of his brothers and sisters

dexysback
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Joined: 15 May 2013, 20:35

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by dexysback » 28 Dec 2013, 18:14

When we first got dexter we also wanted him to sleep in hall and put a stairgate up,but he had other ideas he kept trying to come up stairs to us ,he got stuck in the gate so we let him sleep in our room in hes bed and never had a problem since.Have you tried leaving a radio on or giving him a teddy or your jumper with you smell on it.
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Gracie's mums
Posts: 154
Joined: 03 Nov 2013, 09:39
Location: Moreton in Marsh, Gloucs/Oxfordshire

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Gracie's mums » 28 Dec 2013, 18:26

Hi, congrats on the new pup he is gorgeous!

We have had Gracie for 5 weeks now and she is settling, odd accident here and there and can just about go through the night.

We too decided on the kitchen. We had a crate as we rent and promised the landlord we would do everything we could to minimise the damage.

We used food to get her used to it and she still has her food in there to create a positive association ( I youtube'd videos for getting your puppy used to a crate). We would put her kong inside the crate and keep her out, within seconds she would be fighting to get to it and it seemed to help with her feeling comfortable. It was one for her to use as an adult that we partitioned off so it was just big enough for her to lie down and turn around. We went down every 2 hours to let her out as we wanted her to keep her crate dry and the idea is that she won't soil where she sleeps. Unfortunately we were hit with 3 weeks of UTIs and she couldn't even hold it for 15 mins so we opened up the crate and used newspaper and stopped going down so frequently. Has meant that it's taken longer to train her to be dry overnight but we didnt reduce the size of the crate once she was better and she's doing it by herself now most of the time.

We used to put her in her crate through the day for a short time while we were eating etc so she didn't associate it with us leaving and she soon knew that being in there in the daytime meant a yummy treat and will now take herself in there when she's really tired.

We tried to really wear her out in the evenings so she was really tired before bed. We remove her water 1-2hrs before bed. Also we would sit with her until she dropped off. Occasionally whined for 10 mins but soon settled. She had a hot water bottle wrapped in one of my jumpers, her monkey which was/is her fav toy and radio 2 on quietly.

I had never used a crate before but it has really helped when we need to leave her during the day as she settles really quickly. It is her space and she seems to relish it!

We do have a baby gate on the stairs however, and she hates it!

Hope some of this helps :)

Becky
Gracie, Becky and Laura

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Helen & Rigby
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Joined: 20 Sep 2013, 11:06

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Helen & Rigby » 28 Dec 2013, 18:29

He is very cute, and what a brilliant name, my rabbit is called Hamish! :D

We were/are very lucky with Rigby, the first night we had him we put him in his crate and he cried on and off for 20mins, but over 4 nights it got less and less until nothing. He never makes a peep in the night until the last few weeks when he will have a bark at outside noises.

I gave up my job recently but when I did work he was left 1 and a half hours twice a day, when he saw me put on my work coat he hopped in his crate and waited for his treat, bless him. He is a very easy going boy and loves to be with us. He had learnt the signs of when we are going out and if we go upstairs that we will be back. So will your little fella, its very early days. Try not to feel guilty or sad for him when he cries because he will pick up on your anxiety and think he is right to be worried. Just act as though it is the most normal thing. If you return to him and he is crying wait for him to stop, if only for a few seconds before you go to him so you are then not responding to his cries. He will soon learn.

I expect some more experienced folk will give you more help later.
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Rob&Anna
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Joined: 13 Oct 2013, 16:11
Location: Glasgow

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Rob&Anna » 28 Dec 2013, 18:31

thanks for the replies, we have only got a basket for Hamish, but from reading the posts above maybe a crate would be a better idea so he has his own secure place to go to rather than an open basket?

Liz!!
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Joined: 07 Oct 2012, 15:22

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Liz!! » 28 Dec 2013, 19:13

They do feel safer 'undercover' as it were in a covered crate, with the door open at first until it becomes a retreat.

Hope it all goes well. He really does look gorgeous.

Lola hated me leaving her and hasn't really got better as she is my alert dog and so she is with me all the time. After about 6 months she has been fine with me going out for half an hour or so if i have to do something without her.
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Lola is a UK Assistance Dog, trained to alert me for low blood sugar by Medical Detection Dogs (http://www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk)

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Bid
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Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Bid » 28 Dec 2013, 19:18

A crate or pen would mean you could leave him safely without his having access to anything he might chew - cables are a prime target for puppy teeth for example. Personally I wouldn't be happy leaving a pup shut in a crate for more than about an hour so if when you go to work he will be left any length of time I would opt for a pen rather than a crate, but I know other people leave them in crates.

I have always left my pups at home from day 1 - only for a few minutes at first, but every day so it isn't a big deal. I have more than one dog though, which makes settling a pup in that much easier.
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Rascal doodle
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Joined: 13 Aug 2013, 16:28

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Rascal doodle » 28 Dec 2013, 20:05

I'm unable to read all of your post as there's a big advert but here is what we did. We crated our pup from day one, we felt it would help with training and having 2 young kids it was important he had "his own" space. You could also get a pen that fits around the crate so he has a play area separate to his bed. It will take a good couple of weeks for him to hold his bladder etc but at least he could have a poo area In the pen and not his bed. The crate has been amazing. If I need to mop the floor I close him in the crate and go about my housework and he can see me, I can leave the room and clean elsewhere and he's safe in the crate. Our pup cried for 3 nights until we realised he had too little bedding so we packed it out with cosy sheepskin and a big cushion, since then he has slept like a baby. If he wakes during the night then take him out to so his business without any talking etc, once he's done straight back to bed. He soon realises you are not here to play in the dead of night. They pick up on it fast.
I would also leave him for short bursts on his own and build it up (as others have said). To be honest I wouldn't be leaving him for longer than half hour when you go back to work, it's too soon. Doodles thrive on company, I'm no expert but they love being around people. Definitely get the neighbour on board for longer periods when your at work. It will pay off in the long run.

Enjoy your puppy - they are amazing and so much fun and looks totally gorgeous

elmo75
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Joined: 12 Aug 2013, 16:50

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by elmo75 » 28 Dec 2013, 20:44

Hamish is gorgeous!!! I would definitely agree that a crate would be a good purchase. Bronte is a mini dood but I still bought a large crate. During the day, she will choose to go in there on occasion. At night she goes in with a heart beat ticker inside a puppy wheat bag that I warm up in the microwave. At night, the crate is covered with a dark brown fleecy blanket. Apart from the first two nights when she cried for ten mins, we haven't had any problems. Her crate is her safe place. I also agree that removing his water an hour or two before bedtime will help. Bronte is five months old, for the first couple of months she would sleep from 11pm to approx 6:30am. Now though, I find myself having to wake her in the morning, she will happily sleep for 9 hours!!
Good luck with Hamish, I'm sure he'll settle soon.
Ellie xx
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Gracie's mums
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Joined: 03 Nov 2013, 09:39
Location: Moreton in Marsh, Gloucs/Oxfordshire

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by Gracie's mums » 28 Dec 2013, 21:21

Gracie is managing 11-6.30! Really hope she decides she likes lie ins!

Becky
Gracie, Becky and Laura

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EstelleB
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Joined: 30 Sep 2013, 10:48

Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by EstelleB » 29 Dec 2013, 10:32

There is already some great advice on here, but if you don't want to go for full crate training, I thought I'd share our experience!

We tried to leave Tia in the hall at night with a stair gate but she whined constantly and managed to squeeze through the stairgate and come upstairs (not bad for an 8 week old puppy who had never been in a house before!)

We then took advice from this site and put her in our room at night, we also got a soft crate for the car, and put that in there covered in my dressing gown (always open). She quickly learned to settle and would just wake us when she needed the toilet. This worked better for us with toilet training, as although it was tiring, by taking her out every time rather than letting her go on paper, she was very quickly trained.

After a few weeks, we started to leave her downstairs in the kitchen (where she also had a bed) after her last toilet visit (usually about 5am), and soon after she just stopped wanting to come up with us at bedtime. I used a baby monitor at first to check she was OK, but she never stirred. Now (5 months) she does 8 hours in the kitchen at night quick happily.

Daytime leaving is different I think, we started by leaving her in the kitchen for a few minutes when we were elsewhere in the house, then for a few minutes for the school run. They very quickly learn that you are coming back and will mostly just sleep.

Good luck with everything, he is gorgeous :)
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jonb
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Re: New labradoodle owners looking for advice & tips!

Post by jonb » 29 Dec 2013, 12:33

Would definitely agree about using a crate, Roker really settles well in his and has been fine overnight more or less from the first night and only the first couple of nights has he had accidents in there. We also use it to settle him if we go out for a bit.

Just out of interest whet did you get hamish? He looks like one from the litter we got Roker from a couple of weeks ago.

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