Originating from the United States, the Goldendoodle is a hybrid or a cross between two popular and beloved dog breeds, the golden retriever and the poodle. Goldendoodles are also often referred to as the retrodoodle. As a crossbreed of these lovable canines, the Goldendoodle inherits qualities from both breeds. They are agile and affectionate like the golden retriever, as well as intelligent like the poodle. These characteristics make the golden doodle a great dog for families who are getting a pet for the first time, as they are also great with kids. Goldendoodles are a highly energetic breed, and they need to channel all that energy somewhere. It’s the owner’s job to make sure they get enough exercise. There are a number of equipment available to make exercising fun for both the dog and the owner. Read on for an extensive list of exercise equipment and their uses.
Chew toys, puzzle toys, and treats are just some of the things that can help in exercising your Goldendoodle’s mind, agility, and nose. However, there are also many ways you can DIY this equipment.
Exercise is very important for any dog breed, but it is even more essential for a particularly active canine breed, such as the Goldendoodle. If a Goldendoodle lacks exercise, they may become bored. This has the potential of stressing out the dog or turning into a behavioral problem further down the line. How much exercise a Goldendoodle gets depends on each individual dog’s size and age because the impact on the dog’s joints and bones vary according to how big the dog is and how old they are. The Goldendoodle generally comes in two sizes—mini and standard. Owners need to be wary of how much exercise a younger Goldendoodle gets because they are still growing and developing, and the aforementioned impact on their bodies can cause harm. Older Goldendoodles need to exercise more for the purpose of managing weight, but you should be careful because overexerting them can hurt them too. It’s all about finding the right balance tailored for each dog, and the right exercise equipment to help. Below we list out equipment according to their uses: for mental stimulation and home training, for building agility, and for training nose work.
Equipment for mental stimulation and home training
Have you ever had a dog or seen one that is destructive? It may dig craters in the backyard, escape the house as soon as the gates open, or bark excessively without reason. This kind of behavior is probably the result of a lack of mental stimulation. Goldendoodles need a physical as well as a mental outlet to prevent them from behaving badly. For help with mental exercises that you can do in the house, try the following equipment.
If you thought chew toys are reserved specifically for teething puppies, you’re sadly mistaken. Chew toys keep dogs of any age occupied. They are fun and come in different shapes, colors, and sizes. Some even make noises when chewed.
Chewing toys are beneficial for Goldendoodles because dogs tend to clench their jaws when they are stressed. Chewing on something releases endorphins and can help them relax. You can also use this as an opportunity to train them to chew on their own toys only, to prevent them from chewing apart any shoes or cables in the house.
It is important to find a durable chewing toy made of the right materials. Otherwise, your Goldendoodle may chew through them quite quickly. Below are two recommended chew toy brands for your beloved pooch.
The brand Youngever sells 8 chew toys in a pack, consisting of durable toys made of rubber and rope. The toys come in a bag as well, so you can keep them tidy and organized if you’re ever traveling with your Goldendoodle.
Another highly recommended chew toy is the Kong for dogs. The Kong is a rubber chew toy with a hollow in the middle, which you can stuff with food, paste, or even leave empty. This is specifically for the Goldendoodle bunch’s extreme chewers, the dogs that tend to be destructive with their chewing habits. The Kong comes in various sizes tailored to the size of your dog. They are mainly made of rubber, but each type of Kong has a specific type of rubber to cater to your dog’s age. For example, the Puppy Kong and Kong seniors are made of a softer kind of rubber for puppies’ developing teeth and older dogs’ more sensitive teeth and gums, respectively.
In addition to chew toys that help keep a dog occupied, another exercise equipment for your Goldendoodle would be puzzle toys. As aforementioned, the Goldendoodle inherits the intelligence from its parent breeds. It’s impressive what they can do when given the right stimulant through exercise and training.
Puzzles help dogs exercise their mental abilities and sharpen their skills in problem-solving. As Goldendoodles are inherently brighter than other breeds, you can choose puzzle toys that are more difficult to solve, as they pose more of a challenge for the pooch. More challenging puzzles for your Goldendoodle include the following toys.
The Tornado Puzzle is a great toy for the Goldendoodle, with levels of difficulties you, as the owner, can set for your dog. The toy is made of three layers attached. They spin on an axis and have four compartments per level. To create a challenge for your Goldendoodle, place a dog treat in each compartment on every level. Your dog will have to spin the levels around to find the treats. You can increase the difficulty for your dog by covering the treats with the bone puzzle pieces that come with the Tornado so that they would have to remove the puzzle piece to get to the treat. The Tornado’s consistent spinning movements engage your dog. Solving the Tornado can also slow down dogs when they eat, especially for dogs that gobble through their kibble.
Another great puzzle toy to train your pooch’s problem-solving skills is the Tug a Jug. This toy consists of a jug with a dental gum lid and an attached rope. If you fill the jug with kibble, it will be a puzzle for your dog to solve. Otherwise, if you leave it empty, it can serve as a chew toy. This makes the Tug a Jug great because it’s multi-purpose. When the rope on the jug is pulled a certain way, it releases the treats inside. Your Goldendoodle would have to work out the exact angle and force to pull the rope if they want the treats.
Seeing as the above puzzle toys involve using treats, we thought we would also recommend you some of the choicest doggy treats to help your Goldendoodle in its quest to solve its puzzles. While treats are not technically a piece of equipment, they can also help with house training and learning new tricks, which is useful, especially if you’ve recently gotten a new Goldendoodle.
For classic bone-shaped dog treats, look no further than Old Mother Hubbard Classic natural dog treats. They come in a variety of flavors such as peanut butter, classic, and bacon and cheese. Best of all, they are baked and contain no artificial ingredients, so the health of your pup is guaranteed.
The Wellness Natural dog treats are the perfect bite-sized treats to put in either the Tornado or the Tug a Jug. Their lamb and salmon variant is hypoallergenic and helps to improve your dog’s eye health and sight. Chock-filled with antioxidants, these treats aid in giving your dog a healthy and shiny fur and skin. With the Goldendoodle’s fur being a gorgeous mix between the golden retriever’s long blonde locks and the poodle’s curls, you will want a snack that takes care of their fur for them. Wellness Natural combines superfoods such as apples, carrots, and sweet potatoes to create soft and chewy nibbles that are especially great for Goldendoodle puppies.
Equipment for building agility
Talking about building agility can refer to one of two things. It is either referring to the dog’s ability to move as quickly and effortlessly as possible, or it can also be referring to the dog’s ability to succeed at an agility course.
To build your Goldendoodle’s agility, ensuring it gets enough exercise is key. However, the owner must be wary of overexerting them. The Goldendoodle is prone to a condition called degenerative myelopathy, which affects their spinal cord and causes weakness in their hind legs. When not careful, they may even lose the ability to use their rear legs. For this reason, senior Goldendoodles and puppies should avoid any activities that are a high impact on their joints. An example of these exercises would be jumping high to catch a frisbee.
A good option for building your Goldendoodle’s agility is to go on walks. Runs that are not too strenuous on your dog is fine. As the owner, it is good practice to pay attention to your dog on their walks. If they seem to be out of breath, slow or lagging, it may be a sign to stop. A general rule of thumb for Goldendoodle pups is to walk 5 minutes for each age they are. For example, a 6-month old Goldendoodle would go for a 30-minute walk, while a 3-month old puppy would go for a 15-minute walk.
Another way to build your dog’s agility is for it to play with other dogs. Being playful with other dogs keeps them fit, but also exercises their social skills. Finding a spacious park to roam around with their doggy friends is a good way for Goldendoodles to run around and have their release.
Exercising skills for agility courses
An agility course is a space with a set of obstacles that a dog needs to go through. Over time, this has become a competitive sport for all dog breeds. Dogs are usually put in competition against each other to see who can make it through the course in the shortest amount of time and with the best performance technique possible. There can be anywhere between 14 to 20 obstacles in a course, including weave poles, seesaws, tunnels, and tire jumps. Agility courses are a sport for both the dog and the trainer or owner, as it usually entails the owner running alongside the dog through the course.
It is not recommended for Goldendoodle puppies to train for these kinds of courses, as their bones have not fully developed, and they are not strong enough. Landing incorrectly on the wrong leg after a jump may injure them, and the aforementioned condition does not make the situation any better. However, Goldendoodles can train for agility courses when they are old enough. If you want to train your Goldendoodle to eventually become an agility course champion, start with obedience training when they are still young.
Even though agility courses have specific obstacles, it doesn’t mean that you can’t train your Goldendoodle at home. You do have the option of enrolling them in a school or a course, but if you’re up for the challenge of teaching your pooch yourself, here are a couple of Do-It-Yourself agility courses you can try out.
Tables and chairs to train for weave poles
Using home furniture is a great way to train your dog for an agility course. The legs on chairs and tables can act as weave poles. Simply use any of the aforementioned treats to lure your Goldendoodle into weaving through the furniture legs.
Playground slide to train for the seesaw
On the obstacle course, a seesaw is a test of balance. If you have a playground in your backyard, this can be a way to exercise your Goldendoodle’s balance. As the way, you would train it for weave poles, use a treat to get them to walk down the playground slide instead of sliding down it. Doing this trains them to navigate a slanted terrain on all fours.
DIY hurdles to train for obstacle jumps
Hurdles are another obstacle to the agility course. To create your own hurdles at home, you will need some laundry baskets and broomsticks or PVC pipes, depending on what you have on hand. It is easier to use laundry baskets that have holes in them.
Put a laundry basket on each end of the PVC pipe or broomstick. Then, prop the basket upside-down on the ground, run alongside your dog, and have them jump over the hurdle you’ve just created.
DIY tire jumps
While it may seem impossible to recreate a tire jump obstacle, a little creativity goes a long way. If you have a hula hoop running around, this can be the perfect toy to train your dog’s jumps. Hold the hula hoop in mid-air, beginning from an achievable height for your dog and increasing the height if you think your dog is ready for it. Your Goldendoodle can jump through the hoop, and it acts the same as a tire.
Equipment for training nose work
The Goldendoodle has an exceptionally sharp nose for scents. This trait is passed down to them from their parent breed, the golden retriever. Dogs, in general, also have the instinct to hunt with their noses. However, even though following scents comes as an instinct, it would still do them good to exercise this ability. It’s also a good mental exercise for Goldendoodles who are easily bored.
Nose work training does not really require any special equipment, but you can get creative with the treats and toys aforementioned in this article.
A way to use treats to train your dog’s nose is to hide them under multiple overturned containers or boxes and leave several spaces empty. This is similar to how the Tornado puzzle toy works. Let your dog sniff out which container has the treats in it.
You can also use your hands. Hold treats in one fist and have your dog sniff out which hand has the treat in them. This is a form of training but also a reward.
Similar to hiding treats under containers, you can also hide your dog’s toys. Pick the toy you want them to find and get them familiar with the scent by letting them smell it first. Alternatively, you can apply an artificial scent on the toy, such as a drop of perfume or essential oil. Then, hide the toy under one of the containers and have your dog find it.
To make walks more interesting while simultaneously training your Goldendoodle’s nose, you can hide their toys in the long grass while on a walk. Again, make sure you familiarize them with the scent before you hide the toy.