Care and Training
Training, Care, and Expectations
We strongly recommend that training be one of your top priorities. There are many choices but we recommend Baxter and Bella as top on our list. It is online, convenient, easy to understand, simple, and does not require trips to the trainer. Please visit their site to learn why we so highly recommend them. Your Labradoodle is going to enjoy training and receiving direction. Like with anything, there are likely to be bumps in the road and below are some tips that helped us and will help you with your pup’s transition “from our home to yours” Trainers agree that most problems dog owners experience have to do with training and excess freedom in the home. Your new puppy can be that amazing and pleasing companion with training, love, and patience.
“Early and often” is our moto. If you take the time to establish your loving authority early on, you will reap the benefits for years to come. Train your pup to be a good family member, citizen, and a welcome addition to your neighborhood. I have included, below some tips, tricks, and common mistakes new dog owners make and a way for you to prevent those hardships. We want you to have an excellent experience.
Get puppy educated.
Attend a puppy kindergarten, Enroll in Baxter and Bella training, read several training books before your new pup arrives. Go to the library and check out books on your children’s individual levels. Role play puppy scenarios to teach them basic commands (sit, stay, and come). Firmness in voice commands (not anger) is of upmost importance.
Let’s face it, we love dogs. The reality is dogs are expensive frustrating, noisy, messy, and trouble. And despite it all we love them. That said, be prepared for the bumps in the road (a chewed shoe, a swallowed toy, potty accidents). You will be a much happier owner if you have realistic expectations.
Establish Puppy guidelines within your family and with children and visitors.
What are your expectations for your children and visitors? Do you want your new pup to teach them responsibility? If your child is younger than 8 years old and you plan for your pup to be your child’s total responsibility, you may be disappointed. Of course, a puppy is a perfect tool for teaching responsibility, the need for discipline in life, and compassion for God’s creatures. But there will be times when they do not follow through, and you will need to pick up the slack. Be reasonable about how you expect your children to fit into the life of your new pet.
There are some great resources online that you can use to support your efforts. There are premade contracts that you can print out that clearly state puppy responsibilities for both adults and children. A good way to begin your puppy adventure is with a contract between you and your children which states the needs of the puppy with clear plans for who will meet these needs. An example follows: By having a contract in advance, if your child balks at taking your dog on a walk, you may remind them of the agreement they signed.
A new puppy is a beautiful sacrifice.
I say “beautiful” because of the joy that also accompanies having a new puppy companion in your home. However, you need to be prepared to sacrifice. I like to be prepared for the worst, and then reality is a piece cake. To help with your pup’s sleep and yours, make sure to exercise your pup well before your bedtime. Stop offering water a few hours before sleep. To help comfort your puppy, make sure to have the toys or blanket that was used when at the breeder. These will have the scent of mom and the litter mates and will provide comfort. Your puppy is going to cry and whine for a while, but it is imperative that you do not give in and let your puppy sleep with you. Comfort your puppy while they are in their crate with calming noises and quiet, calm love. Remember, you are in charge. Keep this up and you will have trained your new puppy to sleep through the night. Initial potty outings at night will decrease and you want to aim for 2. Remember if your puppy is sleeping, do not wake them up to go potty. This will thwart your efforts to train your puppy to sleep through the night. Your puppy will wake you when they need to go.
Early Puppy Potty Training Do’s and Don’ts
You are going to be tempted to cuddle and love on your puppy when you take them to go potty. Remember that this is business and not play time (Ha). Make sure to carry your dog to their potty spot while you are housebreaking. That way they will get use to going to that spot every time. Keep your commands simple for potty training, such as, “potty”, “go potty”, and of course praise “Good boy or girl” Patience is a virtue and you might need to wait a minute for them to do their business. It is common for puppies to potty twice while on their potty outing. Once done, go straight bake to the crate so your pup will know that it is bedtime and not play time. Inevitably, there are going to be accidents, so always check the crate for any accidents. This is not a time to scold the pup as they will have no idea what you are taking about. Positive praise is always the best training method for the desired behavior. Clean any soiled bedding with an enzyme cleaner such as “Natures Miracle” and wash bedding with vinegar. Both will help eliminate potty smell. Simply remove his bedding and replace with dry bedding. All soiled bedding should be washed with vinegar or Nature’s Miracle to eliminate the urine smells.
Realistic housebreaking expectations.
Housebreaking is a moving target. The habit to tell you when they need to go and where they need to go can be trained with effective repetition. However, just like humans they need to develop the physiology and physical ability to control their little puppy bodies. 100% potty trained is unrealistic until they get more physically capable, around 7 months. More frequent potty outings are your best bet. If you find yourself frustrated, take a breath and know that it is normal and that they will get there, and they will especially get there with a loving and realistic owner.
Increase freedom and space with time.
Your puppy crate needs to be the appropriate size. This is a sleeping and resting area, not a play area. With the appropriate space he will want to keep his crate clean. If he can go back and forth between areas of the crate, it is too big, and he may think one side is for going potty.
When you first get your puppy, he/she is going to be sleepy. But when he wakes up be prepared to take him to go potty. This may be every 1-2 hours. Potty time usually is the start to play time. Anytime is a time for training. However, set some structure around training and always make sure you are working on the basics. Once done, with playing, cuddling, and/or training your pup should go back to his/her crate for a nap. This will help them get used to the crate for resting/sleeping.
Playtime can be indoors or out. However, if you are doing it indoors make sure to set up a smaller area first (6-foot by 6-foot). Make sure the crate and play area are where you and your family gather. There are play area fences that you can get from many local pet stores or online. This small area will make sure your puppy is wandering off and having an accident in another room. Plus, this smaller more manageable area will help keep your puppy safe and out of trouble.
Once your puppy has demonstrated that they are doing well under the current small area arrangement then you can start to expand. Best to do this gradually and one room at a time. If there are rooms that you plan on always being pup free, make sure to define that as you expand freedom.
Not in your bed, I mean it!
While I say this in jest, I am also serious. Trainers, Behaviorists, and Vets will recommend that dogs sleep next to your bed and not on it or in it. Your pup is always looking at the pecking order and where their authority lies. To prevent them thinking they are your equal in your family pack it is important you keep them out of your bed. I will say that sometimes it is hard, and I frequently catch my kids breaking this rule. The “Ah ah ah!” in a confident and firm voice, followed by a happy “[insert name here] come!” will help them understand the rules and still know that you love them. Praise them cheerfully because this will always solidify training. This takes commitment, and your pup should only be out of the pen when you are willing to pay attention and do training.
Commands with too many words.
I have been told by my family that I sometimes use too many words when few words could communicate the same thing. Over-time I have been trained to use less words (Hahahaha). That said, simple one or two-word commands work best for your pup. They will learn so much faster if it is simple and consistent. For instance, we use the word “Quiet!” for our dog to stop barking as opposed to “Shhh!”. Also, one of the versatile commands is “Ah ah ah!” and can be used in so many situations. These are just a couple of ways. Whether you choose Baxter and Bella or another trainer it will be key to keep your dog commands short and simple.
To Graze or not to graze and too many treats.
A happy healthy puppy and dog is the goal. Leaving food out all the time for your puppy will make for a sporadic feeding schedule. Around eight weeks, your puppy will be eating three times a day on a regular schedule. Puppy’s dinner should be before 6:00. To make sure you are following good housebreaking habits make sure No treats or water after dinner. Feed your puppy in their crate. Take your puppy out for potty immediately after a meal. After the meal has been offered for fifteen minutes, the food is removed. It is always a good idea to track how much your puppy is eating the first months, as your vet may find this helpful. The reason that continual feeding (or grazing) is not best is twofold: It solidifies your role as the alpha, provider of the meal, and it also prevents your dog from becoming obese. Obesity in dogs is never healthy and may be an environmental factor contributing toward hip dysplasia.
Treats are for training only and for solidifying previously learned commands. Make sure your treats are healthy with good nutrients. A treat can simply be a high-quality dog food that is not your dog’s current food. For example, if they eat a chicken-based food, you could try a salmon or beef for their treats.
Make sure you are buying a premium high quality-dog food. I always recommend Life’s Abundance All Stages, as that is what we feed our dogs and puppy’s. Avoid foods with fillers and grains. A high-quality protein should be the first ingredient. Although high-quality dog food is more expensive, they also have more nutrients and calories with less food, so you will also use less.
Should I get two puppies at once?
I have friends that have twins and even triplets. I saw what they went through, and it was quite traumatizing. That said, doing the same with puppies is no different. They will require individual training, attention, socialization, etc.… everything will need to be done separately for you to achieve the same result with one puppy. We suggest, getting one puppy initially, and if you are looking for a second puppy down the road, we will offer you a substantial discount.
Puppy Safety at Home
Use of cleaners, chemicals, yard products (fertilizers), and pesticides are the most common pet dangers.
Replace any cleaners with more pet friendly alternatives. Vinegar can be substituted in many places and is a great cleaner that is safe for your pup. Additionally, there are many organic and pet safe fertilizers and natural pesticides that are safe to animals.
Buy pet toys and animal products (bully sticks, real meat bones both smoked or raw) from countries that have high standards for processing, like U.S. and Canada.
Avoid toys, products, and ingredients from China. Their regulations and quality control often allow harmful things into their products and have been known to poison or even kill thousands of pets. Many children’s toys have tested positive for lead based paint.
Make sure you and your children are putting away, clothing, toys, and backpacks. Common products such as Tylenol, other over the counter meds, prescription medicines, and food with toxic ingredient to dogs are often found in these places! Did you know that the common artificial sweetener Xylitol is poisonous to dogs? You can find it in many common foods, candy, and household items such as gum, toothpaste, and baking ingredients. Make sure these things are away and out of reach. As a good rule of thumb, make sure to have a place to put/hang coats, backpacks, and purses closet, or peg to keep these up and away from your pup. These are very simple ways of avoiding costly and even deadly mistakes.
Puppy Care Team
Trainers and Behaviorists suggest that a puppy will be best socialized if the interact with and meet around 100 people within in the first four months of age. During his/her time at our home your puppy will get visits from a variety of people including, yourself, other future puppy owners on our reservation list for a future litter with a paid reservation fee, and from those who visit on our future owners list who are next in line for a future litter. “Over the years we have been blessed by friends who love to either volunteer or be employed to help with raising puppies by bathing, teaching leash walking, sit, come, and taking outings to places with new sounds, experiences, and people. This helps provide a rich and diverse experience for our puppies before they go to their new home. As your puppy transitions “from our home to yours” We encourage you to continue this socialization and desensitization as your pup start to settle into your home.