Training the Doodle Dog
As a professional dog trainer in the Central Florida area, I have worked with several of these Poodle/Retriever mix dogs. I usually get calls after the owners state they have "tried everything" to get their dog to "mind".
I find that this mix breed dog is usually intelligent because one of it's parents is a Poodle and I also find that this mix breed dog can be high energy because the other parent is a Golden Retriever. The doodle dog usually is very eager to learn and can be a lot of fun to work with however, more times than not, the dog hasn't been exercised enough or not at all and this causes the dog to lose focus.
After consulting with the owner or owners and meeting the dog I find out that the dog indeed had not been exercised enough or not at all. I explain to the owner that these dogs require at least forty minutes minimum of either walking, running or swimming to drain all that pent up energy. If these dogs are not exercised properly, they will become destructive and unmanageable.
Because the doodle dog is the result of breeding a Poodle to a Retriever, the owner doesn't realize (in most cases) that both breeds are considered to be 'water dogs'. They love to swim and in my opinion, swimming is the best exercise for dogs because there is little if any stress on the dog's joints. Of course, not every dog owner has the luxury of having a pool or access to a lake for their dog to swim in. Regardless of how or where the dog is exercised, it is extremely important that the dog is able to expel negative and pent up energy.
Once the dog has been exercised it can begin to focus on learning. The owner also must be educated on how to be a pack leader to the dog. Too many times I have seen this intelligent, high energy dog being allowed to 'rule' the household and the owner doesn't have a clue as to what to do to stop it. I have yet to meet a Goldendoodle dog that wasn't intelligent and I have yet to meet one and work with one who was a total 'couch potato'. These dogs are not only intelligent, they are curious, energetic, quick learners and are very good watch dogs. If these dogs are not socialized with other animals or humans they can be aggressive especially if the dog is a dominant one.
In summary, the doodle dog is not for everyone. Anyone seeking to add a dog to their household should do their 'homework' and research the many breeds to see which one will 'fit' into their lifestyle. Don't choose a dog because of it's appearance. Choose a dog carefully.