Having been the proud father of a Mini Goldendoodle for nearly 13 years, I can say without reservation that they are very easy to train. Mini Goldendoodles are very intelligent and learn basic and even more advanced commands quite easily.
I am often amazed at just how intelligent this dog breed actually is. Even after 13 years with our Bailey, I am often in awe of some of the intelligent ways she approaches everyday situations.
We call her our child because she seems to act just as a human child would act.
She has learned so many words over the years that we have to be careful with things that we say. We have nearly run out of ways to say walking without her thinking we are going walking.
As with any dog, the ease of training will be directly related to the amount of work and dedication you put into it. However, it’s also important to note that some dogs are just more intelligent and pick up on training better than others.
As a way to show you how easy Mini Doodles can be to train, I’ll share a case study of our Doodle throughout different stages of the training process.
Basic obedience training
When we first brought our little girl home, we knew we were in for a challenge. As with any baby of any kind, it is always a handful to teach them the ways of life and show what to do and what not to do.
What we didn’t realize is just how fast she would pick up on the ways of the world.
We had read books and articles in preparation for the challenge but you just never know how a specific dog will respond.
Maybe we got lucky or perhaps Mini Goldendoodles are so smart they just pick up on things quicker than expected. I am going with the latter after living with her for all these years and meeting other mini doodles as well.
Some of the first commands we taught our baby were the ones you’d expect most dog owners to teach.
- Shake hands
- Switch hands
- Lay down
- Give five
These obedience commands took only weeks for her to learn and she became very good at them. In fact, we began to use hand gestures instead of saying the words and she picked that up very fast as well.
- Sit – I would hold my hand out and snap my finger. She would sit.
- Stay – I would hold my hand straight out towards her. She would stay.
- Down – I would snap my finger and point to the floor. She would lay down.
Unfortunately, we have never been able to train our dog to roll over and we never will. We gave up on that one because that trick isn’t well suited for our dog’s alpha personality.
You’ll need to understand this about your dog as well. Our dog does not like to be on her back so we don’t make her do it. Instead, we focused on doing the things that she does do well.
A few other tricks that we found easy for our dog to learn are as follows.
- Put your head down – after she has laid down, we can tell her to put her head down and she will put her head all the way down.
- Stretch – she will stretch her front arms and then her back legs on command.
- Go get a certain toy – she knows the names of nearly all her toys and can pick them out of her toy box. However, she usually gets the one she is most interested in.
- Ring your bell – she’ll go ring her bell that is by the door and is used to tell us she needs to go potty.
- Hide and seek – not necessarily a trick but she loves to play this as we hide from her while she searches the house for us. She knows most of the hiding spots we usually pick so it has gotten more and more difficult to hide from her over the years.
Potty training a dog can be one of the biggest challenges for some people. There are many different methods that you can use but the one we chose was bell training.
We wanted our dog to be able to sound off loud and clear when she needed to go outside and do her business. Instead of just pacing around at the door crying, we wanted her to have a bell that she could ring that could be heard anywhere in the house.
Is this possible? Can a dog really learn to ring a bell when they need to go potty?
Of course they can and our mini doodle had no problems learning this ingenius idea.
We actually learned about this idea from the breeder we purchased our Doodle from. She mentioned it and then we researched it and put it into action.
We bought a cheap bell and some string and hung it by the door and each and every time we let our dog out to potty, we would reach down and ring the bell. Pretty soon she began to understand that the bell needed to be rung in order to go outside.
The first time she ever did it by herself was simply a slight push of it with her nose. It wasn’t even loud enough to hear it but we saw it and were incredibly excited that she was understanding the process.
She did it this way for a while and then she began to push it harder as she got older. It didn’t take long for her to begin picking up her paw and knocking it loudly.
I can tell you that this bell technique is pure gold. It is so nice to not have to wonder whether your dog needs to go outside or not. They will let you know with the bell and you’ll hear it all over the house.
This shows the intelligence level of this great breed.
Walking on a Leash
Walking your dog is an incredibly important process. This is where you will establish your place as pack leader and your dog will learn to follow you.
This isn’t an easy process and you often see dog owners struggling with this.
How many times have you seen someone walking their dog and the persons arm is fully extended being pulled by the dog? Of course, this is an example of the dog walking the person which is exactly what you don’t want.
Our Mini Goldendoodle was no exception to this difficult process. She was a rambunctious little puppy that was full of energy so it was difficult to keep her from pulling while walking at first.
My goal was to get to the point to where my dog walked beside me and not ahead of me. This took a long time to achieve but it had more to do with my lack of training skill than it did with her.
In fact, I believe her intelligence level allowed her to read my frustrations and lack of knowledge like a book.
After a couple years of walking her regularly, we settled into a comfortable walking routine. She learned not to pull and walked by my side most all of the time.
Now, in her senior years, she is an absolute pleasure to walk. She stays by my side and knows her place. She knows that the only time she can go ahead of me is when I allow her to.
Barking and other bad behaviors
There is no doubt that dogs like to bark. However, dogs don’t just bark because they like to do it. They bark because it is their way of communicating. They may be warning the pack of something or they may just be playing.
Whatever the reason, barking can often be a disturbing action that needs to be controlled.
I’ll be the first to admit that we haven’t been the best at this. Our dog is a barker and likes to bark at strangers, people walking by our house or pretty much any visitor that enters our house.
We often have a difficult time getting her to be quiet but usually make her stop by using a stern voice. “No” or “Stop it” usually works for us. We also can make her mind with a snap of the finger. She knows what these commands mean but her alpha personality takes over in some situations.
In fact, this is really the only bad behavior she possesses. She is our protector or at least she thinks she is and she often shows it with her barking.
I believe this really depends upon your dogs personality and your approach to training as a young puppy.
Proper training pays off
If you want a well behaved dog you will have to do your part as an owner. No matter how smart the dog or how easy to train, it will be a constant effort if you expect to curb bad behavior.
However, the rewards are amazing. Our Mini Goldendoodle will be 13 this year and it has been an absolute pleasure having her in our family. She was super easy to train but we worked with her and still work with her.
However, there isn’t much work to do any longer. She knows her place and what she needs to do to be rewarded.
If you are considering adding this breed to your family, I would suggest considering basic obedience training classes unless you already have experience and a plan in place.
Start training your dog as soon as possible and you’ll be amazed at how well your Doodle will behave throughout his or her life.
Mini Goldendoodles are extremely smart and can be easily trained with minimal effort. Not only are they smart, but also loyal and they aim to please.
There is no better friend than a well trained dog. Having a highly intelligent and responsive dog certainly makes the training process much easier.
If you are looking for an intelligent companion that will provide you with lots of love, never-ending loyalty and a temperament that makes training a breeze, you can’t go wrong with the Mini Goldendoodle.