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Comment: Ozzie is 4 months old and I don't know if this is just a fluke, but he appears to be already housetrained. We've had him for several days now without a single "mistake" in the house. He just seems to "get it". Is this the "calm before the storm"?

Opinion: With every dog I've owned and trained, I always combined verbal commands with hand signals so the dog learned both. I also always threw in a couple of whistle signals for good measure for when we are out in the wide open New Mexico desert. Our recently passed Lab responded equally well to the verbal or hand signals. In fact, he preferred the hand signals and whistles over verbal commands.

My significant other, for some reason, doesn't want me to train Ozzie to hand signals. My problem is, after 40 years of dog ownership, giving the hand signal along with the verbal command has become a reflexive thing for me. I do it automatically.

Any opinions on what Labradoodles respond to?
 

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Hi Chas,

Our Abbey is 4 months old. When she is in the kitchen she will sit and look out the slider as her signal that she has to go out. But I don't trust her enough to give her run of the house. We're taking it one room at a time.

I love hand signals. Sometimes the dog just can't hear you. With the signal they are clear on the command. Our last lab was good with hand signals, but it didn't help much when she lost her sight.
 

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Boyd responds to my husband's hand signals better than my verbal cues. I have started to make an effort to use more hand signals b/c I'm rather vocal! :roll:

Cesar Milan says dogs smell first, see and then hear so it makes sense that you would use hand cues. In fact, Cesar rarely talks to the animals he trains/rehabilitates - it's all in his actions.
 

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i think it is definitely possible for a 4 month old puppy to have learned the rule "eliminating must always be done outside", and even to have figured out how to signal when it wants to go outside.

the thing to remember with such a young puppy is that it probably doesn't have complete control over its bladder and bowels yet -- so accidents are still possible. so for example, after some vigorous play or waking up from a nap or something like that it may *really* have to go and not make it to the door.

it is important to be vigilantly watching for these instances, so you can correct the pup and take it outside. the more "accidents" that happen in the house without consequences, the more the puppy will be confused about what the rule is.

regarding the hand signals -- our labradoodle kumo is much more of a visual learner than any other dog i've had, he learned hand signals without us even consciously trying to teach them! i really like the hand signals, especially outside on a windy day where it can be hard to shout commands. and, if he ever goes deaf (like in old age), we'll still be able to communicate.

-em
 

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Your just one lucky mama! Uma picked up housetraining very, very quickly also. Not meaning to brag (ok, just a little bit) she's only gone "number 2" in the house once and that's when she was sick. We got her a 12 weeks old. She always had free reign of the house (we didn't crate). She just "got it." We were also extremely diligent and would praise her like a crazy person everytime she went outside.

That's not to say there wasn't accidents, but they were mostly retalitory. For example, if we'd clean her ears (which she still hates) she's pee on the carpet. We learned quickly to take her outside right after something like that and haven't had an accident since 5 months old. I'm a proud mama.

I also love hand signals. And you're right, I'll find myself doing them without thinking. I say stick with what's worked for you and if your husband doesn't want to then oh well, as long as you're using the same verbal commands.

Good luck, Have fun!
 

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I think hand signals are great. Regardless of other voices and distracting sounds, your doodle can understand what you want. Is there some reason why your wife objects?

Ozzie is gorgeous! He evidently has the perfect combination of beauty and brains. :)

Deb
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DebBrown said:
Is there some reason why your wife objects?
Deb
I think it's a matter of perception. I perceive this puppy as a dog. She perceives him as a very hairy child. Whatever the case, he WILL learn hand signals. ...And whistles.
 
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Maya was potty trained at about 4 mos. But I still kept taking her out every two hours. By five mos she would stand by the potty door...the door we always go out to go potty when she had to go. So now i only take her when she is by the door. I use both verbal and hand signals with Maya. She does better with hand signals on somethings and somethings I have to use my voice. She is at about 90-95% with her commands. (She is just over 7mos). So I am pretty happy with that
 

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My dogs all are trained to hand signal and verbal at the same time as well. It's just good training. Years ago I had a Golden that at 9 months was the most amazing dog I've ever known. He had a second place in Confirmation at the Golden Gate Kennel Club show in the Puppy division as well as getting his CD. He was in the back of my pickup and because I keep the collars loose on my dogs he slipped his collar and started coming to me as I waited for the light to change on a 6 lane highway. When He got to the opposite curb I gave the hand signal to stop and sit--he did! I reinforced it with a blast on the whistle and maintained the hand signal until I crossed the street and stood next to him. I then released him with MUCH PRAISE and we went back to the truck. No doubt he would have been hit had he tried to cross the street. I will continue having multilingual dogs, voice,whistle,handsignals. BTW I keep a Roy Gonia whistle on all my keychains since I can't whistle at all...best mtd
 

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Denver is also trained to both verbal and hand signals.
I consider the hand signals to be vital when traffic or a major distraction is around and he may not hear me . and like some I cannot whistle but hubby can and Denver does come to his whistle...........
 

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I'm totally pro hand-signal. I do both with Dexter, and he responds to both.

As far as house training, I got Dex at 8 weeks, and like to say he was house trained right 'out of the box'. He was amazing, he had ONE accident the night we brought him home, and then that was it. He has had no pooping accidents ever. I kept on thinking it was a fluke, and the other shoe was about to drop, but it never did! He just GOT IT.

Now if he would only GET that the mouthing thing is a drag, then my life will be complete. :x
 

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I use hand signals on an irregular, unplanned basis, which means that Nicky doesn't really understand them! I need to do better.

As for house training, I got Nicky when he was a few days more than 10 weeks old and he has never peed or pooped in the house! Trained "right out of the box" just like Dexter! I watched him like a hawk at first and took him outside frequently. When he started sniffing the carpet I knew he needed to go out. He also started telling me he want to go out by pawing at the sliding glass door, which is the door to the backyard.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the feedback everyone. It pretty much validated what I already knew. I have to get out of the mindset that Doodles are inherently different from any other dog I've trained (except for an accelerated learning curve).

BTW... Ozzie has got fetching a ball down to a science. He runs, brings back the ball, drops it at my feet and sits attentively waiting for another go round! But, so far no luck in getting him interested in retrieving the Sunday newspaper.
 

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It took 2 days to house-train Darwin. He was 14 weeks old. Doodles are a smart bunch.
We've had Dylan, the Schnoodle, for 6 weeks now, so he is 5 1/2 months old, and still has accidents! Dylan makes us appreciate how smart Darwin is! 8)
 

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Chouette seemed to take longer to train than our other dogs. We had a Dane - the alpha one that we had to rehome because she bit our granddaughter - and when we brought her home as a six-week-old puppy it was a bitter cold day. I wouldn't let her inside until she piddled, and she never had one accident the whole time we had her. She was really bright, but not a good companion dog because you constantly had to be on your watch with her. Chouette seems almost as bright -brighter than our other Danes - but for some reason housebreaking didn't come easily. She knew we liked her to go outside but she didn't seem to realize that the corollary was that she shouldn't go inside. Because I wasn't able to catch her in the act I never scolded her for accidents. But then one day we saw her squatting and we all descended on her in mid-piddle. That was the end of the accidents! I think she genuinely hadn't realized what the rules were.

We've always used hand signals for our dogs. Many of them seem more in tune with hand motions than with verbal cues, but as everyone has said, sometimes you need more than one modality just because of conditions like noise or distance.

Leslie
 

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seazr said:
Hand signials are important to learn--Ozzie may be out of hearing command when you NEED him to do something for you, and possibly his own safety.
good point Diane!!

I use hand and voice signals.

I also have a few facial expressions they know when i mean business or am not really happy and i don't have to say a word at all.

also the TONE of my voice....i also did this with my kids , not raising my voice but rather reserving a high pitch or yell for extreme circumstances so they heeded them immediately. So far it's workign on my doodles too
 

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Don't be silly. He'll learn to get the paper after he learns to read :roll: Geez some owners have such high expectations of such young pups. :wink:..mtd
 

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Sam learned very quickly to retrieve his ball as well. I don't think I taught him how to do that. I suspect in his case, it's the labrador retriever instinct in him. :shock: On the positive, Sam has learnt to sit although he's not very consistent. I'm working on sit-stay-come and lie down. What a clever doodle :lol:
 
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