Crate training a Goldendoodle in 5 easy steps

Crate training a Goldendoodle puppy

Goldendoodles popularity is skyrocketing especially in the USA, and that’s of course, for good reasons, I mean what’s not to like about this great breed, it’s a mix of golden retrievers and poodles both are adorable and great family dogs and highly trainable, speaking of training in this article we’ll be doing an easy guide for crate training a Goldendoodle, for those of you who want to train their dogs to perfection.

Goldendoodles took the best out of both poodles and golden retrievers, but first-generation breeds could vary a lot from dog to dog depending on the dominant breed in the mix. however, in all cases, the Goldendoodle is a very smart, easygoing, and easy to train dog.

Goldendoodles are great family dogs, very low maintenance, great with kids, energetic and they inherited the best thing about poodles; they are nonshedding hypoallergenic dogs which is perfect for people with allergies.

All in all, Goldendoodles are perfect dogs for timid and first-time dog owners, the only thing they’re not good for is guard-dogs. They are friendly and won’t bark at strangers but still, they are on the top ten smartest dogs.

What you need to crate train a Goldendoodle

When crate training a Goldendoodle puppy you’ll need a few tools to help you do it efficiently and faster.

The obvious one would be the crate, the choice of the crate is the first and most important decision you have to make to ensure the best results.

I made a recommendation for the best crate for crate training a Goldendoodle depending on the size of the dog since they come in three different sizes depending on the breed mix.

You will also need some toys and training treats to make training easier and more enjoyable.

The best crate for a Goldendoodle

As I mentioned earlier Goldendoodles were designed in three different sizes and of course, the perfect crate size will vary depending on which one you have.

Goldendoodles don’t really have standard size features and dog breeders are not aiming for one just yet so they might be a few differences in size but those are not considerable and fall into the three varieties we mentioned.

But, in general, the best crate for a Goldendoodle and crate training is the wire crate.

Goldendoodles are great family dogs meaning they like to be around people and don’t like being left alone a lot, so the wire crate is your best option for these energetic dogs.

The wire crate does also help with the first steps of crate training offering enough open space and even later on they can still be part of the family gathering even inside their crate being able to see you move around or sitting close by.

So let us start with the most popular one:

The best crate for a standard Goldendoodle

The standard Goldendoodle is the most common of the three, and it’s a cross-breed between a golden retriever and a regular poodle.

They often measure around 22 inches floor to shoulder and about 50 to 70 pounds.

So the perfect size crate would be one that measures around 42L x 28W x 31H. The crate should obviously be larger than the dog but only a few inches larger so he doesn’t use one corner to lay down and the other as a potty corner.

The crate I recommend is the midwest 42″ double door crate( check the current price on Amazon) it is a perfect size, and it has two great features which are the divider and the double doors.

The divider will allow you to adjust the crate size as your dog grows so you don’t have to change crates every couple of months. As for the double doors option, it helps tremendously when your dog is exploring the crate for the first time which is a great deal compared to a plastic crate.

The best crate for a Miniature Goldendoodle

Miniature Goldendoodles are a mix between a golden retriever and a miniature poodle.

They often measure around 16 to 20 inches floor to shoulder and about 35 to 50 pounds.

So the perfect size crate would be one that measures around 36L x 24W x 27H.

The crate I recommend for this size is the midwest 36″ double door crate(check the current price on Amazon).

The best crate for a Petite/Toy Goldendoodle

Petite/toy Goldendoodles are a mix between a golden retriever and a toy poodle.

They often measure around 15 inches floor to shoulder and about 20 to 35 pounds.

So the perfect size crate would be one that measures around 31.375L x 22.5W x 23.5H.

The crate I recommend for this size is the midwest 30″ double door crate(Check the current price on Amazon).

The best toys for crate training a Goldendoodle

Crate training a Goldendoodle puppy won’t be easy without toys, they are very energetic dogs that need around 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day.

This means that they get bored very easily and that’s why you need a toy to keep the dog busy in the crate.

The best toy for crate training and the one I recommend is the Kong (check the current price on Amazon), it can be filled with treats and make a great food puzzle that will keep your Goldendoodle distracted in his crate for a while.

When crate training any dog they should have access to a chew toy all the time, it helps release the tension and protect the dog from boredom.

The kong in particular does a great job when it comes to crate training and most dog trainers agree on this one. You can read my article about crate training with a Kong for more ideas on this great tool.

The best training treats for a Goldendoodle

Goldendoodles are very intelligent dogs and treats are especially great with highly intelligent dogs.

There are some dog owners that prefer not to use training treats in fact I’ve written an article on this particular subject if that’s what you want to do but for a smart dog like the Goldendoodle, you can get amazing results using treats.

Goldendoodles are exposed to allergies so you want to make sure you are using some high-quality treats.

I only recommend using safe brands with ingredients sourced locally, I personally recommend Bil-Jac treats my dogs love them and they support a good cause.

How to crate train a Goldendoodle

Goldendoodles are highly intelligent dogs which makes them easy to crate train. Making good use of the Kong and training treats combined with the pleasing nature of the breed will allow even the inexperienced dog owners to get fast and amazing results.

Step 1: Introducing your Goldendoodle to his crate

Introducing a Goldendoodle to his crate is the first and most important crate training, it allows you to make the dog comfortable around a crate having the time to sniff around and get to know what it is.

If you introduce your dog to his crate when it’s time to get in it at night he will probably resist since he’s never seen one.

You want to take your dog with his leash on and just circle around the crate, let him sniff around and, make sure to secure the crate’s doors to avoid any incidents that may freak the dog out.

Don’t force it, do it for a couple of minutes then take him away and then come back a few minutes later so he doesn’t feel like he has to be there.

When the dog is feeling comfortable around the crate you can proceed to the next step and let the dog explore it with no leash on.

Step 2: Exploring the crate

When crate training a Goldendoodle you need patience especially in the first two steps.

The more time you give your dog to get used to the crate and explore it the better results you have.

Let your dog get into the crate and just leave it open and that’s why I always recommend wire crates with double doors so he can get in and out freely.

Now is the best time to use training treats, toss some treats in the crate to lure your Goldendoodle inside and once inside praise and reward so he identifies being in the crate as good behavior.

Just keep doing it for a while using toys and treats and after a while, you’ll notice that your dog offers to get in the crate to get the treat, and usually with smart dogs like Goldendoodles, it happens fast.

When your dog starts getting in the crate on his own you want to move on to the next step.

Step 3: Making the crate great

Crate training is all about making the crate great, that’s why it’s our slogan, you want your dog to associate great things that he likes with being in the crate.

Start feeding your dog in the crate since feeding is obviously a happy time for dogs, also use treats inside the crate.

Praise anytime he gets in there alone, and reward with a good rub or a treat.

You can use the Kong to keep him as much as possible without forcing him in the crate.

I suggest you secure the toy to the crate’s wire so he has to stay inside to chew on it.

If you do a good job making the crate a nice and safe place for your dog he’ll start feeling comfortable in there.

Step 4: Spending time in the crate while closed

While your dog is feeding you want to gradually close the door of the crate and sit next to it.

If the dog is fine with the door being closed, then keep it and stay next to him but open it once he finishes his meal.

If the dog shows any objections don’t rush it keep it open and start over.

With time your Goldendoodle will get used to eating his meals inside the crate while closed.

When you see some progress you can increase the time he spends in the crate after his meal by 5 minutes at a time. Use the treats and toys to keep him distracted.

If things are going as planned you can gradually increase the time until he is ok with spending half an hour after his meals in there.

That’s your sign to move on to the next step.

Step 5: Home alone

Up until now, you’ve been sitting next to your dog’s crate keeping him distracted in there. Now is the time you start to move around so he can get used to being in there alone.

Start slowly by just moving around the room where the crate is installed and see how he reacts.

Your next move would be to get out and in the room every couple of minutes and always check how he’s doing.

Gradually increase the time you spend out of the room and just check in every five minutes, then make it 10 and 15 until you reach that 30 minutes spot again.

If you see no objections you can now leave the house for a short period no more than 30 minutes so he doesn’t freak out.

And just like the previous steps, you can increase the time you spend out gently until he’s used to it.

A good tip when leaving the house: don’t make a scene out of leaving. Don’t interact with your dog at least 5 minutes before leaving so he doesn’t associate being left alone with the crate, and the same thing when you come back, only let him out 5 minutes after your back home.

Crate training a Goldendoodle at night

Crate training a Goldendoodle puppy at night is where most people make mistakes.

Goldendoodles are very energetic dogs that need daily exercise, meaning if you don’t help them take out that energy, you’ll find it hard to make them get in the crate and stay for the night.

So you have to take your dog for some activities before his bedtime to lower his energy and make him more likely to relax.

Use interactive toys and play around the house some physical games.

You also want to take your puppy for a potty break before he goes in the crate for the night, this why you don’t have to wake up to let him out for a break at night.

Nonetheless, if you are crate training a young puppy you’ll probably have to wake up once or twice for a potty break, you can limit that by not giving your dog water a couple of hours before bedtime.

If you’re Goldendoodle starts to cry at night in his crate just ignore it, he should not associate getting out of the crate with crying or else he’ll keep doing it. If he continues to bark or cry for a long period make sure he stops crying before letting him out.

It is best if you install your dog’s crate next to your bed, this way you can reassure him that you are close by and you can make him stop crying by just touching the crate while he’s doing it.

Final tips for crate training a Goldendoodle without incidents

Crate training a goldendoodle puppy
Crate training a Goldendoodle puppy for too long can cause boredom and separation anxiety.
  • Crate training a Goldendoodle is easy since they are smart dogs, but they do not like to be left alone so they are at risk of suffering from separation anxiety so you want to make sure they are not left for too long in the crate.
  • Yelling at your dog while in the crate or using the crate for punishment and time out will simply bomb everything you did and set you back weeks in training, punishing dogs only confuses them unless caught in the act.
  • Rushing the crate training might backfire and your dog feels trapped in the crate and therefore hate it which of course doesn’t help at all, you want to take things slow and be patient.
  • Don’t force your dog into the crate from the start even if you see that your dog is making progress, follow the steps I’ve laid down for you for optimal results.

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