Before you bring your labradoodle puppy home you will need to decide what the rules in your home will be. Will she be allowed on furniture or to sleep in your room? Are you going to free feed? Do you have a spot in the yard or on your walk to potty? Have you signed up for obedience class or a dog walker if necessary? Do you have a doggy daycare plan? Have you acquired an appropriate size crate and designated a space for your puppy that is hers alone? So much to do for so little a family member!
Additional items you may want before your labradoodle puppy arrives home:
Slicker Brush (small)
Toys (soft plush with dangling appendages or noise and rope throws are great for first toys)
Crate or kennel for training
Water and food bowl
Your Rum River Labradoodle puppy will come with up to date shots but that's only the beginning for your little doodle. Your vet will guide you through the follow up shot routine and will most likely recommend an age appropriate heartworm and flea and tick prevention program. Everyone wants to show off that little bundle of doodle but do NOT take your puppy to a dog park until their shot regimen is complete (usually at 4 months).
Remember that your puppy will be teething and she will see everything as an opportunity to chew. Have lots of toys that can be chewed available. Don't allow her to chew on old shoes, rugs, et cetera. She just doesn't know the difference between your old jogging shoe and your $800 Jimmy Choos (No pun intended).
Brush your dog's teeth. Sound silly? It's not. Poor dental health can lead to tooth loss and serious systemic infections. See the brushing guide below.
Please review the poisonous plant list below. It's a good idea to keep the Animal Poison Control Center phone number handy. (888) 426-4435
Call your vet immediately if your puppy has vomiting, diarrhea or appears lethargic. Puppies quickly become dehydrated.
Sugar free gums and foods that contain XYLITOL can be fatal for your dog.
Your puppy will come with a bag of puppy food that she has been eating since being started on solid food. If you choose not to feed the same puppy brand (Orijen) please replace it with a high quality food that will give your puppy what she needs to grow and thrive. Do the change slowly, adding the new puppy food a little at a time. Skimping on a quality food can lead to health issues that could be expensive later. We feed our adult dogs and puppies a wheat free diet. That includes treats.
Do not give your puppy rawhides. The material is indigestible and a choking hazard.
Please do not feed your dog table scraps. Human food is much too high in salt, fat and sugar and it can contain hidden foods extremely dangerous to your puppy. It also encourages begging and counter surfing. Your doodle will start to wait for the scraps instead of eating the balanced dog food you have chosen for her.
A good alternative is to give a daily feeding of a couple tablespoons of plain yogurt mixed with a tablespoon of cooked sweet potato, or scrambled egg or cooked mixed vegetables. If you put it in a "treat' bowl and give it to your puppy every day at the same time she will look forward to it as her 'treat'. Boneless boiled chicken cut into small pieces is also a good treat.
Many common human foods are harmful or toxic to your puppy. Among them but not limited to -
cooked chicken and turkey bones
coffee and tea (anything caffeinated)
There are several effective ways to potty train your new puppy but whichever you choose remember that consistency, routine and attention (on your part) are key. Never reprimand your puppy for leaving you a surprise. He just can't connect the two actions. Instead, take him out continuously so that you can give him success with a reward. Please see the Puppy Potty Training file at the bottom of the page for information on a method we recommend.
Here is a guideline to keep in mind if you are planning to leave your puppy alone.
8-10 weeks: 1 hour or less. Puppies this young simply can't hold their urine for more than an hour. Even that is pushing it, sometimes. You might start crate training at this age, but you can't leave a young puppy in a crate for long periods; he'll wet his bed (a lot!)
10-12 weeks: Bladder capacity is increasing but 2 hours is still the longest that most puppies can hold it at this stage.
3-6 months: At this point, consider the one hour per month rule. Three month old puppies can wait for three hours, four month old puppies for four hours, and so on.
After 6 months: An older puppy, like most adult dogs, has the ability to hold it for up to six hours. If you don't have a dog door, be sure to pop home or get someone to pay a visit if you're unable to do so.
Crate training takes time and patience. It may seem difficult at first but the long term results will be rewarding. If you are purchasing a crate/kennel that will be used in adulthood it will need to be divided in such a manner that your puppy will not feel comfortable going potty in it. As the puppy grows and is trained you can allow for more room.
reduces housebreaking time
teaches your puppy desirable behavior
provides your puppy with his own "den" where he can retreat to when tired or anxious
makes traveling with your puppy easier
provides you with peace of mind that he is safe and that he is not developing bad habits
There are multiple ways to crate train that you can explore. A good place to start is by reviewing the crate training pdf below.
Every dog requires grooming. The earlier you introduce your labradoodle puppy to the necessary grooming the easier it will be.
Nails need to be trimmed regularly. Gently massage your puppy's feet (all four paws) Have other family and friends do it also so he gets used to being touched on his pads. Your puppy's dewclaws will be intact. They must be trimmed along with the front nails. Please make your groomer aware of this.
Gently brush your puppy with a slicker brush. Start when he is quietly resting and work up to a full standing position. Don't forget his tail, under all the legs, behind the ears and around the neck. These are places your groomer will probably have to untangle a few knots or mats.
Part of the doodle appeal is their gorgeous soft fleece/wool coats. It also requires regular brushing. Sometimes life makes it hard to commit to a brushing schedule. In that case, we recommend you groom your puppy to a shorter length. Groomers will call it a 'puppy cut'. Doodles will need to be groomed 4-6 times a year with bathing in between.
Because your doodles ears lay flat and don't allow for air movement they must be washed regularly to prevent ear infections. Your veterinarian can show you the proper way to cleanse the ear canal. Additionally, their ear hair can be plucked. Follow your veterinarian's advice. The outside of the ear canal can be trimmed with an electric trimmer (don't ever use a scissor or razor) making sure that hair does not fall into the ear canal. The underside of the ear itself can also be trimmed up. If you notice repeated scratching of the ear area, a foul odor or discharge from the ear, please, see your vet promptly.
Since regular grooming is such an important part of your Australian labradoodles life and health, finding a good groomer is essential. We recommend you interview several of them and ask questions about their grooming practices.