Did you know that here at Rainfield we start crate training your goldendoodle puppy before they go to their new homes? By the time you pick up your little cuties, they will have been sleeping in their crates at night for several weeks. From what we hear, our puppies generally make the transition to their new homes fairly well. They sometimes miss their litter mates and may whine for a short while before settling down, but they do settle and generally sleep through the night.
In addition to night time crating, however, depending on your puppy set up, we recommend that you keep your puppy in their crate whenever they are not being supervised to keep them safe, protect your home, and give them a space to calm down if they get too hyper. You can leave your doodle in their crate for up to 2 or 3 hours at a time. The general rule is that they can last about 1 hour per month of age. So a 3 month old puppy can generally keep his crate clean for up to 3 hours at a time before they need to be let out to run, play and do their business.
You can extend this time frame a bit by putting their crate inside of a larger play yard. We use North States Puppy Play Yard because they can be expanded with additional panels. We keep food and water and a litter box inside of this play yard. With this set up, puppies can be in their crate and then come out to do their business and eat and drink. Of course they will still get lonely and need their puppy snuggles, so don’t stretch your away times too far, but if you work and need an extra hour or two so you can come back at lunch and let them out, this has worked well.
When it comes to sizing when crate training your goldendoodle, we recommend the 36 or 42 inch wire kennel that has the divider that comes along with it. You can remove the divider as the puppy grows. You might want to arrange an exercise pen that attaches to their kennel and has a potty area, similar to what we have and what they are used to.
Our indoor exercise/play pen is 6’ x 8’. We highly recommend having an indoor play area or pen as puppies need to feel a part of the household but not to left to roam the home at this early age. We keep our indoor play area in our living room. It also has their food and water dish, sleeping area and a litter box as well as toys. If you have a multi- level home, it is good to have a play area on each level. They also love their bed with the high sides so you might want to get a doughnut bed at first.
We recommend crating your pup when unsupervised until they are at least one year old. Goldendoodles grow quickly and can seem like full grown, adult dogs by 10 or 11 months, but they are still immature and unreliable. Until they are about a year old you can still expect puppy behavior such as chewing, eating socks, raiding the bathroom trash or breaking into your candy bag.
Doodles do need lots of exercise and they need time to run and stretch their legs, play, interact with their family, and so on, but crate training your goldendoodle and making use of that crate often during their younger years can make all the difference between a smooth transition or a wild one.