The Cavoodle, also known as the Cavadoodle or Cavapoo, is a sweet-tempered mix of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle. These little dogs are known for their affectionate nature, intelligence, and curly coats. While they’re a joy to have as part of the family, like all puppies, Cavoodles need consistent training to become well-mannered adults. This article delves deep into the intricacies of training a Cavoodle puppy.
Understanding the Cavoodle Temperament
Before diving into training methods, it’s vital to understand the Cavoodle’s temperament. Generally, they are:
- Friendly and affectionate: This makes them great family dogs. However, their love for human interaction means they can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.
- Intelligent: They inherit intelligence from both parent breeds, especially the Poodle. This means they pick up commands quickly but can also become bored if not mentally stimulated.
- Eager to please: This trait makes them relatively easy to train compared to more stubborn breeds.
Essential Training Tips for Cavoodle Puppies
- Start Early: Begin training as soon as you bring your Cavoodle puppy home, usually around 8 weeks old. Early training ensures the behaviors you instill are deeply ingrained.
- Consistency is Key: Ensure all family members are on the same page regarding rules and commands to avoid confusing the puppy.
- Positive Reinforcement: Cavoodles respond best to positive reinforcement. Reward desired behaviors with treats, praise, or playtime.
- Short Training Sessions: Young puppies have short attention spans. It’s more effective to have multiple short training sessions (5-10 minutes) throughout the day rather than one long one.
- Socialization: Expose your Cavoodle to various people, places, sounds, and other animals from a young age. This ensures a well-rounded, confident adult dog.
Basic Commands to Teach a Cavoodle Puppy
- Sit: Hold a treat close to the puppy’s nose and move your hand upwards. The puppy should naturally sit down. Say “sit” as this happens, and reward the pup immediately.
- Stay: Ask your puppy to “sit.” Open the palm of your hand in front of you and say “stay.” Take a few steps back. If your puppy stays put, reward them. Gradually increase the distance.
- Down: Hold a treat in your hand and get close to your puppy. Move your hand down to the floor and then out along it. Your puppy should follow, lying down as it does. Say “down” and give the treat.
- Come: Put a leash on your puppy. Crouch down to their level and say “come” while gently pulling the leash towards you. Reward when they come to you.
- Heel: This command helps control your puppy during walks. Start by having your puppy sit beside you. As you walk, say “heel” and ensure they walk alongside you, not pulling ahead or lagging behind.
Cavoodles, like most small breeds, can take a bit longer to toilet train. Here’s a structured approach:
- Routine: Puppies thrive on routine. Take them out first thing in the morning, after meals, after naps, and before bedtime.
- Designated Spot: Choose a specific spot in the garden for them to do their business. They’ll quickly associate this spot with toilet time.
- Praise: When they go in the designated spot, give them lots of praise.
- Accidents: If they have an accident indoors, clean it thoroughly to remove the scent, so they aren’t tempted to go in the same spot again.
Biting and Nipping
Teething puppies tend to bite and nip. To curb this behavior:
- Toys: Provide chew toys to satisfy their teething needs.
- Redirection: If they bite hands or feet, redirect them to their toys.
- Say ‘No’: If they bite too hard, give a firm ‘no’ and withdraw your attention for a few minutes.
Online Training and Puppy Checklist
Online dog training programs like DoGoodDoggy can help you get a head start, laying the foundation for a lifetime of productive training sessions. To make things even easier, you can use a comprehensive puppy checklist so that you have everything you need to set your puppy up for success.
Training a Cavoodle puppy requires consistency, patience, and an understanding of their unique temperament. The rewards of a well-trained dog – in terms of the bond you share and the joy they bring to your home – are well worth the effort.