Big Doodle Dreams
Robin Crubaugh
59 Deerwood Trail Road
Blairsville GA 30512
As you can see from the pictures above I have "box" or "litter" trained my dogs. This was years of frustration of dealing with rain/snow that I was compelled to find a better solution than just putting towels down and cleaning up a mess every time they had to go out. We built a pavilion style kennel for the dogs and their outside time (they do not live outside, this is strictly for potty/play time). The litter box is filled with rock/gravel and then we place a 6" layer of hay on the top. We pick/clean the boxes several times per day and replace the hay weekly. This concept has made my life much cleaner and easier. On days with good weather the dogs get to play in our large fenced in area and then can retreat to the pavilion for fresh water and shelter.
Train your dog
I can't begin to stress the importance of training your dog. A well trained dog is a joy to have, but an untrained one can become your worst nightmare. I personally use the clicker method, just google "Karen Pryor" and "clicker training" and you will find all the information necessary should you decide to give clicker training a try. I am not going to explain it as there is a wealth of information available on Karen's web site. I will tell you that it has worked for me, successful with multiple breeds of various sizes and varying temperaments, tried and true in my book. Since I am a firm believer in clicker training I send a clicker home with every puppy. Please keep in mind that clicker training is not for everyone and there are many other methods available for training your dog. When considering other methods stick with those that are utilizing positive reinforcement, not consequences or punishment.

Training establishes who the alpha dog is, a necessary component in dog ownership. Training begins the moment you have your new puppy and continues their entire life. The first year of life is the most important, it is the foundation. Deciding to raise a puppy means that you have decided to put effort into training him/her. Puppies are cute and fun and it's easy to give in and end up accidentally teaching bad habits. A puppy needs boundaries (limited space), a schedule for eating/toileting and play/sleep time, consistency with everything, and lots of love and attention.

I have an upper hand in the area of training due to my background, Special Education, Autism Specialist, Curriculum Instruction and Design, B.S., M.A., and Ed.S. 12 years in the public school system, teaching all grades 3yrs to 21yrs, all levels self contained to inclusion, and Special Education Liaison. I have evaluated many children and authored many Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans (FBA/BIP). These experiences have been invaluable in training my dogs, they are benefiting from the first half of my life. Not to worry, my sons are the first beneficiaries of my early days (you can read about my boys on my home page).

On to the training process, it honestly starts as soon as they're born. My puppies are born in my house, in my front room, where my children play, right in the middle of the action. They remain in my front room until they are around 5/6 weeks old at which time they are moved to a more puppy friendly room (still part of the house, but puppies can get smelly and noisy). I don't house anyone outside, no one, I don't believe in outdoor kennels. All of my puppies and dogs sleep inside and when outside they have large play areas completely protected from the weather. Aside from the interaction the puppies get from living in my front room they also receive immediate and constant handling, done only by me for the first 3-4 weeks (read about Early Neurological Stimulation, one of my pages). Again, consistency I handle them exactly the same every time with no surprises. At 4 weeks the puppies begin to root for real food and their request is granted, this is when they start the potty training process, and they are handled by everyone else in the home. Again consistency, food is offered at the same times each day and mom is spending less and less time with them. They are provided designated potty and sleeping areas. This concept/method is my own. It just makes sense to use instinct when it comes to training. 
Let me explain instinct, dogs (canines) are den animals. They sleep in a den and they raise their young in a den. The young puppies are taken care of by the mother while in the den, she feeds and cleans up after them. It is not until they leave the den that they then begin to go potty in specific places. They use their nose to make a decision and this is an opportunity for early conditioning. Prior to this set up they have been exposed to newspaper and more specifically newspaper that's not being used for potty training (I don't paper train and advise against it). In the set up above you see newspaper on one side with the food and water dish (this is a no potty area) and the other side has wood shavings on top of the newspaper. The wood shavings used here are cedar, cedar is the most fragrant of the available wood choices making it the first one they are exposed to. I have watched as time and again puppies travel over to the chips and go potty, it amazes me every time especially with 4 week old puppies that may only be 2 pounds. The smell just entices them, true instinct. Over the course of the remaining time I have with them (4-6 weeks) they are exposed to other types of wood shavings including pine and I intentionally purchase different brands of shavings to solidify generalization of the concept.

Aside from early potty training my puppies are exposed to many training opportunities. Before they leave my house they have been nose to nose with a German Shepherd, handled by small children daily starting at week 4, have heard and seen a shop vac daily, will come to be petted while I hold the running leaf blower (obviously outside), they are bomb proof. My goal is not just to provide a healthy puppy to you, but to also provide you with a puppy that has a strong start in training. Training is essential, a well trained dog is a joy to have!

If you need to find a trainer in your area I suggest that you go to the AKC website and look up trainers (those holding certificates with the AKC). Please make sure that the trainer you are using is truly a trainer and holds a training certificate. I also suggest sitting in on some classes, meeting the trainer(s), and visit more than one training facility. Your veterinarian most likely can suggest a local trainer as can the groomer, and the boarding facility.

Training with kids and cats

With my sons being home all day every day the dogs and puppies are just part of life. They go in and out of the house with the kids in the middle of all the action. My boys don't help with dog chores, they help with socializing. They pet and love all of the puppies and dogs. I keep all interactions with the kids on a very positive level, toys and treats and getting petted are part of it. Always keeping in mind that behaviors I want repeated need to be rewarded. I also have my sons give the older dogs commands like "sit" and "down", this helps to establish the children as also being higher in the pecking order (the dog should never be higher than a human in the pecking order). Problematic behaviors among all breeds frequently seen in a home where the owner has not established themselves as the alpha include, pulling on the leash, excessive barking, marking in home, possible aggression, and many others. Many behaviors are the result of lack of training or lack of consistency of training. However, breeding/parent temperament, early stimulation, and environment are also contributing factors of behavior.

When children are involved with raising a puppy many things should be taken into consideration, age of the children, experience of the children, and the experience of the parent/puppy owner.
kids and aussiedoodles
kids and aussiedoodles
kids and aussiedoodles
kids and aussiedoodles
kids and aussiedoodles
kids and aussiedoodles
kids and aussiedoodles