Are Cavapoo Puppies Easy To Train?

A good friend of mine Josh recently bought the cutest Cavapoo puppy ever! A fluffy bundle of joy called Daisy is a 10-week old dog. Josh is a first-time dog owner and needs as much help as he can get. He heard that age of 7-8 weeks is the right time for housebreaking so I decided to search about Cavapoo puppies training in general and potty training in particular so I can help him out.

Cavapoos are really intelligent dogs. Despite the fact that these pups are fairly hyperactive and have quite a short attention span, Cavapoo puppies are easy to train as long as you are consistent and steady.

Potty training though could be more difficult and take more time compared to other dog breeds but these loving creatures are quick learners so don’t give up. Just remember it can take several months ( 5-8 months and sometimes a year) until your puppy is fully potty trained.

When To Start With Training Your Cavapoo Puppy?

As soon as you get one, start with training. If you are buying or adopting a Cavapoo puppy it won’t be younger then 7-8 weeks old, as this is the time when the puppies have been separated from their mother.

Crate training – you should start with it on the first day a new puppy comes to your home. But it can take some time to crate train your puppy.

According to the Human Society of the United States If your puppy is under 6 months of age, he/she will not be able to stay in the crate for more then 3-4 hours in a row because they simply cannot control their bladders or bowels for that long.

The main purpose of crate training is potty training. Dogs don’t like to soil the place where eat or sleep. Crate will also limit the access to other parts of the house while they learn to follow the basic rules ( not to chew on furniture for example)

Potty training – this is a super important training and you can start the right away but don’t be disappointed if you discover that your cute puppy has little accidents weeks or months after you have started the training. You set everything as it should be, trying very hard, feeling exhausted and she occasionally pees in her crate or wherever she shouldn’t.

I know how frustrating this can be but if you expect that your 10 weeks or so old puppy has perfect potty habits after couple of weeks of training is like you expect 2-months old baby to use a regular toilet instead of diapers. Not going to happen, right?

Basic commands training – puppy is never too young to start learning basic commands such as ”Sit”, ”Come”, ”Lie Down”, ”Leave it”. It’s just important not to rush and not to make this training lasts more then 15 min a day otherwise the puppy will get bored. Take one step at the time – one command per week.

Crate Training Steps

Your new puppy will be very curios when she enters your home for the first time. Don’t start with any training at this moment, let her wander around and explore the new space.

Before she even comes to your home, get a nice crate, large enough so she can move around, lie down or stretch. Place it in a nice and quiet corner of the room which you (and other people that are living in the house) use on a regular basis ( living room for example). Put a soft blanket or dog bed inside as well as a few toys.

Don’t rush with this training. Go baby steps. It may take days or weeks, depending on the age of your puppy, her temperament and past experience. It is crucial that your Cavapoo always associate a crate with something nice and comfortable.

Step 1 – Cavapoo puppy discovers her new crate

Sit near the crate and call her in a cheerful voice. Give her some nice treat to reward her if she comes near the crate.

Step 2 – Cavapoo puppy steps in her crate

Gradually encourage her to step in the crate. At the end of the phase of the training, you should ask your Cavapoo puppy to walk entirely inside the crate. Use small treats as a reward. Now is the time to start saying some short and simple words like ”Crate” or ”Go to bed” every time when you train your puppy to go inside the crate. Always use the same word.

Step 3 – Cavapoo puppy stays in the crate when doors are closed

The next step is to learn your puppy to feel relaxed in the crate even when the doors are closed. The right time for this step is when you see that puppy is perfectly ok with going inside and outside of the crate.

Ask your puppy to go inside and close the door for just a second or two. Reward generously your puppy if well behaved.

Gradually increase the time of closed doors from a couple of minutes up to 30 min but you should always sit nearby during this session. Don’t use this time to wash the dishes or do some other work. Don’t leave your puppy alone in a closed crate at this stage of the training.

Step 4 – Start giving meals to your puppy in her crate and encourage her to take a nap there

When you notice that your puppy is completely comfortable with staying inside the crate when the doors are closed, start serving her meals there. That way your Cavapoo will definitely associate the crate with something pleasant.

Also encourage her to take a nap inside the crate. If she is not willing to do that, put her in the crate when she is sleepy.

Step 5 – It’s time for your puppy to stay alone in her crate

After your puppy get used to staying in the crate with doors closed, eat and sleep there, it is time to take the training to the next level.

Ask your Cavapoo puppy to go inside the crate, close the doors and leave the room for a second or two.

Come back, be very relaxed and calm. Your puppy may be very excited when you come back but you ignore that behavior and let her out once she is totally calm down. Reward her with some nice treat for good behavior.

Gradually increase the time you spend out of the room up to 1 hour or more in a row.

Step 6 – You can leave the house now while your puppy is in the crate

Ask your puppy to go inside of the crate. Don’t say any good buy and just leave the house. The first couple of times you should go back in a few minutes and then gradually increase the time you are out.

The same as for the previous step – when you come back, ignore any excitement and possible whining, wait for your puppy to calm down completely and then you can let her outside the crate. Don’t forget to praise good behavior with some yummy treat.

Continue to crate your puppy when you are home to avoid her associating crate with being left alone.

Step 7 – Leave your puppy to stay in the crate during the night

If you have a puppy that is still not potty trained perfectly and you still want her to stay in a crate during the night, maybe it is clever to place a crate in your bedroom or at least in a corridor.

Puppies must go out to eliminate for a few times during the night. If your puppy sleeps far from you, you won’t hear whining. As the time passes by and your Cavapoo starts to sleep comfortably near you for the whole night, you can plan to move the crate to another place in the house.

Don’t overlook a few facts related to the crate :

  • Never use the crate as a place for punishment. She will be afraid of it and refuse to go inside.
  • Don’t buy too big a crate. As we mentioned before dogs usually don’t soil the place where eat and sleep but if you get them large dogy mention your Cavapoo might find the corner to pee and poop. So for making better potty habits get a crate big enough for your puppy to lie down, sit or stretch.
  • Even if your dog is crate trained and she doesn’t protest while in the crate don’t leave her inside for the whole day and night. Dogs that spend too much time in the crate don’t get enough human interaction nor exercise and can become bored, depressed or anxious. If you have a tight schedule think about alternatives such as a pet sitter or daycare facility but don’t neglect your dog by leaving her in the crate too long
  • Use a crate as long as you think it’s safer than leaving your dog with access to other parts of the house. As long as accidents happen as well as your dog has some destructive habits ( like chewing on the furniture) she should remain in the crate while you are out.

Even when you dog is fully trained and there is no need for crate anymore, you can still leave the crate with doors always open so she can go inside whenever she needs a safe place.

Potty Training

When to Begin With Potty Training?

Puppies up to two weeks need stimulation to go to the bathroom. Their mother gently will lick their lower abdomen to stimulate them to eliminate.

Puppies that are 7-8 weeks old are usually separated from their mother and if you have a puppy that age some experts say that you can slowly start with housebreaking training.

It is important not to be unrealistic when it comes to potty training time. You can start encouraging your puppy to go out to eliminate at the age of 7-8 weeks but real potty training should start several weeks after.

WebMD experts agree that puppies should start with potty training between 12-16 weeks of age as at this point they have enough control of their bladder and bowels to learn to hold it.

Potty training may take 4-6 months in some case a year.

What affects the Potty Training Duration?

Size – smaller dogs have smaller bladders but higher metabolism so they need to go out more frequent

Previous experience and living conditions – if your Cavapoo puppy or adult Cavapoo dog comes from the environment where she adopted bad habits then you need more time to teach her good ones.

It is the truth that dogs usually don’t soil the place where they eat and sleep but if they grew up like this ( peeing and pooping in the place where eat and sleep ) then will have no problem doing it.

Potty Training Tips

  • Make a regular feeding schedule for your Cavapoo puppy, avoid any food between meals ( puppies are ok with 3-4 smaller daily meals)
  • Make sure the last meal is served 4 hours before bedtime.
  • Give your puppy water on a regular basis during the day but cut off the access to the water bowl two and a half hours before going to bed ( if your puppy is older then 12 weeks)
  • Take your Cavapoo puppy out to eliminate every 60 minutes or so. during the day. Some generally accepted rule of thumb is one hour per month of age. So 8 weeks old puppy might be able to hold her bladder for max 2 hours. Don’t worry the bladder will grow together with your puppy and before you know it, you will need to take her outside less often.
  • Pick the place outside where you take your dog to eliminate and don’t change it. Always take her to the same place
  • Use a leash to direct her to the ”bathroom” place outside and don’t leave her alone until fully potty trained.
  • Choose the word ”go potty” or ”outside” and use it every time you go out for her to eliminate. Always use the same word to make her associate that word with the action of peeing and pooping.
  • Take your puppy out first thing in the morning after wakes up, right after she eats or after playtime. Also, make sure this is the last thing she does before sleeping at the night and before you leave home.
  • When your puppy does the job outside praise her with some nice treat.
  • Puppies need to go out to use the bathroom during the night as well ( at least once, maybe even twice). Remember having a puppy is very similar to having a baby – you won’t sleep much!
  • You set the alarm to wake you 4 hours after your puppy fell asleep. That is time to go out. You wake her gently but avoid petting her. Go directly to the specific potty spot outside. Be calm but don’t do anything to make her think that it is time for play. While she sniffs around say your word ”go potty” or whatever you are using. After she is done, praise her calmly. Don’t give her the usual treats she gets during the day.
  • If you notice that your puppy had an ”accident” set the next alarm earlier for example 3 hours but if your puppy relieves herself after you wake her up, outside, you can set the alarm 15 minutes later then previous one.
  • Never punish your puppy for having an accident!
  • If you catch your puppy doing the job, clap loudly so she can understand that she is doing something wrong. But if you don’t catch her doing the job but you find evidence, don’t yell at her as is not able to understand you and to connect your anger with that she did.
  • After your Cavapoo puppy finishes the job during the night, return her to the crate directly. You can say ”good girl” and go to your bed. Avoid spending much time with her as this should be a quick potty break after which everybody returns to their bed and fall asleep again.
  • Don’t praise your dog while she is ”doing” the job. This can stop her which is not ok, so leave the praise for afterward.
  • If you live in a high rise apartment with no access to a garden then going outside super often can be a big challenge. Some people are using puppy pads during the potty training but there is another product that seems better – Bark Potty
  • Don’t get disappointed, accidents will happen for sure, especially at the beginning but remember if you remain consistent and patient the good results will come.
  • Here are some signs that could indicate that your puppy needs to go out but never rely on her signs only, pay attention to the timing as well. Signs could be: circling, whining, barking, sniffing.

Basic Commands Training

Puppies are never too young to start learning the basic commands. Of course, once you bring your fluffy bundle of joy to your home, she will be far more interested in exploring the new space than to learn a new lesson. Let her do that.

Once she is settled and she feels like at home, start teaching her basics.

Don’t rush, teach your puppy just one command per week and never make training sessions longer than 10-15 minutes.

”Sit” command

  • Place a puppy in front of you. Take a nice, yummy treat and hold it in your hand
  • Hold the treat near her nose so she can smell it and guide it back over her head. She will follow the treat and as her head moves towards the treat, her butt will touch the ground.
  • Then you say ”SIT” and reward her.
  • Repeat several times

Eventually your Cavapoo puppy will understand that every time she obeys your command something nice will happen.

”Lie Down” command

  • Place your Cavapoo in front of you, ask her to sit
  • Take a treat and bring it closer to her nose but guiding her nose to the ground than pull the treat out in front of her
  • She will instinctively lie down trying to get the treat
  • As soon as she is lying down praise and reward her
  • Repeat several times as any other command
  • Once she is trained to lie down on voice command, you use your finger to point down the floor at the same time when you say ”Lie Down” Eventually she will learn what does this finger movement means and she will respond to a command without you saying a word.

”Jump” command

Cavapoo dogs like to jump. You should learn your Cavapoo puppy to be great jumper!

  • Place your puppy in front of you and ask her to sit
  • Take the yummy treat and hold it about 2 feet above her
  • Say ”JUMP”
  • When your puppy jumps to grab the treat ,say ”JUMP” again and reward your dog

”Leave It” command

  • Take a treat and close your fist around it
  • Let your dog to sniff. She will probably use her paws trying to get it but don’t give up, don’t open your fist.
  • When she gives up, you praise her and give her a treat
  • The main thought here is to teach her that when she gives up or ignores something good, some other good thing will happen
  • Repeat several times
  • At the moment she turns away in order to ignore the treat in your hand say ”Leave It”

”OK” command

This is very important command as dogs should always wait for the permission from their owners before they do something.

  • Place your dog near you ( you can either sit or stand) and then throw a treat in front of your Cavapoo
  • As soon as she goes for it, you say ”OK”
  • Repeat several times

The main idea is to make your dog look at you and wait for your command before she does anything, no matter a yummy treat is lying down right in front of her nose.

”Come” command

Also one of the most important commands and one of the first you should teach your puppy.

  • If you are starting with a very young puppy, simply say her name and then ”COME”
  • Give her a reward when she is in front of you
  • The point is to reward her every time when you call her and she pays attention to you

”Shake” command

This command is not necessary but is super cute!

  • Hold your palm out in front of your dog while she is sitting in front of you
  • Take her paw and place in your hand saying ”SHAKE”
  • Repeat several times
  • Your Cavapoo will soon learn to ”shake” without you placing her paw in your hand. Reward her!

Similar to Shake command there is ”High Five” command

  • Hold your palm wide open facing your dog’s face
  • Take her paw and touch it against your hand, saying ”HIGH FIVE”
  • Don’t forget to reward her

Final Thought

Cavapoos are intelligent dogs but as for any kind of learning process time and patience are needed.

Be persistent and firm but always full of love for your little Cavapoo.

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