Many trainers love how easy and effective PoochieBells are in house-training their dogs. Breeder and trainer Kendra Vestal, owner of Noble Vestal in Noblesville, Indiana, trains all of her Australian Labradoodles on PoochieBells. Poochie-Pets interviewed her to get the scoop on her great company, her chosen breed and training techniques.
Passion, Love and Doodles
Kendra has been breeding and training Australian Labradoodles for twelve years, and loves it. Her journey began when she started volunteering in schools through her corporate job. She realized community-work was what she really wanted to do—and she wanted to bring her love of dogs into it too! She settled on raising Australian Labradoodles, a breed that loves people and would do well working in the community. Kendra continues her volunteer work with therapy dogs, serving kids and adults in libraries, hospitals and nursing homes.
What Kendra enjoys most about her job is the puppies and the people in the Doodle community. She thinks it is a special kind of person who gets an Australian Labradoodle. Noble Vestal hosts get-togethers for their families once a month, as long as the weather is good, which is touch-and-go in Indiana! The get-togethers give families the chance to share their experiences and gain perspectives on their dogs and the breed as a whole.
It’s a Doodle’s Life
Australian Labradoodles are not low-maintenance dogs. Though they don’t shed, they need grooming every other day. However they are great companion dogs—most will sit and hold down the sofa with you, but if they do not get any exercise, they will become spazzy – just like most dogs! Training them is easy, but not magical—you have to put the time in. “We start training very early on,” says Kendra. “We think of training as blueprinting—making the behaviors become second nature for the dog, kind of like kids who grow up learning French from birth rather than just in school.” There is a great motivator to train this breed early on: imprinting desired behaviors while they are puppies will better guarantee that these manners stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Right now, Noble Vestal is training a group of their puppies in basic obedience, an extra service Nobel Vestal Labradoodle families can opt for. The pups are taught potty communication with PoochieBells, walking on a leash, leaving food alone, sitting, and so on. Families attend sessions with their puppies so they know how to continue training at home.
“For house-training, we teach them to ring PoochieBells when they need to go outside. We are so relieved we found this method! Before, I had trained my own Rottweilers the hard way and ran into so many problems—how can you train a dog to go outside when you take him after he’s already peed? I found bell-training was a more natural way to teach our puppies. Since we started using PoochieBells with our first litter of Australian Labradoodles, we’ve never gone back. Doodles are easy to train on the bells. They tend to mimic what gets them what they want, and if they want outside, they’ll use the bells every time.”
According to Kendra, space and freedom is the enemy of potty-training. “During house-training, we put our puppies in a crate or pen, or leashed to us so they are always within eyeshot. Keeping them close to you helps them be successful. You always see what they are doing. I recommend setting a timer if your puppy doesn’t ring the bells in regular intervals. Then you can take them out and demonstrate ringing the bells so your puppy understands what it means. Taking your puppy out yourself while you are house-training them also helps, because you can make sure your puppy goes, and reward him or her afterwards. In the Midwest, people do not necessarily have this habit, though it is more common in cities.”
“When we work with families, not all puppies will be fully house-trained. Usually families get their puppies when they are 16 weeks old. But as long as the family continues the PoochieBells training, the puppies pick it right back up in their new home. Our families are relieved that we start the process of house-breaking for them—it makes it that much easier and cleaner for them!”