Raising Your New Puppy
A Good Read
The Puppy Primer by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. is a brilliant little book that we believe can be a positive, effective training tool, and wonderfully helpful. We have included it in your Puppy Packet. Please take time to look it over and enjoy it’s down to earth easy approach to the world of living with and raising a puppy.
We have included a blanket and toy as well. Both items have your puppy’s mom and littermates scents on them. They will afford some comfort and security for the first few days, so keep them close, especially at night.
Family Labradoodles – Music to Calm Puppies is a well thought out selection of music designed to calm your pets. The compositions maintain a soothing yet varied dynamic. It includes, among others, selections from The Divinity of Dogs and Music My Pet. Your puppy has been listening to this CD since birth and will be a good tool when you are away or at bedtime. We have included a copy in your packet.
First and Foremost: Until your puppy has received all three sets of vaccinations, use caution and good sense in limiting exposure to the very real diseases that await new puppies. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Make no Mistake: Parvo, Distemper and other infectious diseases can threaten the life of your puppy. They are deadly and they ARE out there. Until your puppy is fully vaccinated, I strongly discourage Puppy Parks, Pet Stores or open public places where other dogs may have defecated. During a veterinary visit, do not allow your puppy on the floor. Keep him on your lap or in a carrier until he is put on the examining table.
Your puppy will need to be vaccinated at 8, 12, and 16 weeks. His first set, given at 7-8 weeks, has been recorded in your puppy’s Health Record. His vaccination program will continue with your veterinarian. Rabies inoculation is a single dose, usually at four months of age or older, with a repeat vaccination every one to three years. Check with your veterinary facility. Socialization is so important at this time- actually most critical between 4 and 16 weeks- but ongoing for the first year.
Pay special attention to this time frame- this is when your puppy learns to grow to be a confident friendly adult. Careful, positive exposure now to all those things he will encounter in his adult life, from car rides to children( of all ages) to individuals outside of his family, and walks and cats too, and other unfamiliar dogs is essential for a happy well-adjusted dog.
I want to mention that at 12 weeks of age, your puppy will experience an ultra-sensitive shy stage. Try not to introduce too much at this time- especially things that could be perceived as fearful, aggressive or over stimulating. You will be walking a fine line between proper socialization and health concerns. Stay vigilant and use good common sense when exposing your puppy to the world.
Never, never use pet rest areas; Dog Parks and pet stores are a big no until all immunizations are complete. A darling little girl from a previous litter, Ivy, died 3 weeks after being with her new family. They were anxious for her to go to a dog park with friends (despite the warnings) and contracted Parvo. She died 36 hours later. So, please, take care while sharing your world – enjoy all the new learning experiences with your puppy while sensibly protecting him.
I encourage all new puppy owners to use a crate for their puppy. Buy a crate that will accommodate your puppy when he is fully grown. Choose one that has a divider to limit his space initially. (This will help with housebreaking). I particularly like the wire crates that have 2 doors; one on the side and front for more placement options.
Any time you cannot keep an eye on your puppy, putting him in his crate will keep him safe. Make going in the crate fun! I always give my dogs and puppies a small treat when entering their crate. I say “Crate Time”, and they run to their crates and are happy to go in. Never use the crate as a form of punishment
Whining: your puppy may or may not whine initially while in his crate. He has been exposed to a crate for several weeks and is familiar with going in and out at will. Do not give in; stay strong- they will learn that being in their crate is a part of everyday life and never a bad thing.
Crating, both at night and when you are unable to supervise, is the safest option for your lively and inquisitive puppy. It will also protect your home, woodwork, rugs, table legs, chair rungs, sofa corners, tennis shoes, homework, book bags and anything else that your puppy is convinced is a toy and needs a good chew.
If it’s on the floor, it’s fair game. Electrical cords are especially dangerous and a favorite for puppies little teeth; I-Pad, I-Pod and any Apple product’s chargers – Kindle’s too. No distinctions are made, one shoe or the other…if it’s on the floor it’s his.
Tip: Bitter Apple spray will help deter your puppy from choosing sprayed surfaces as chew toys.
This is where your crate becomes an invaluable tool. No animal willingly soils his environment (crate). Limiting his space helps to train your puppy to hold his business for longer periods of time.
Your puppy will not know how to tell you he needs to go outside so I suggest taking him out every hour or so until he is older and able to go for longer periods of time. Key times to encourage your puppy to potty outside are: When he wakes up-in the morning and after a nap- after playing for an hour, after eating, and of course, hurry when you see him running in circles!
Try to take him to the same spot each time and shower praises on your clever puppy when he goes. Remember, he will not know to go outside exclusively for many months. Positive praise for the job well done works. Punishment for accidents, and there will be accidents, may make your puppy fearful and confused with the whole process causing setbacks in the progress he has made.
Note: Please remember to give this little puppy time to understand what it is that you expect from him. But most of all, kindness and patience should always temper all parts of the training process. Be the benevolent leader and teacher in this little pup’s confusing new life.
Puppies should be fed:
- 4 times a day until they are 4 months of age
- 3 times a day until they are 6 months of age
- 2 times a day after 6 months, even as an adult dog
Your puppy has been eating Life’s Abundance Grain Free PUPPY for medium dogs. He should continue with this dry food for the first 10-12 months. At that time his long bone growth is complete. He is now ready for Life’s Abundance Grain Free All Stages Adult. If you wish to change brands at this time, choose a good quality puppy food mixing it in slowly with the Life’s Abundance until he is acclimated to his new food. Remember that any change in food and your puppy will have gastrointestinal upset which will interfere in housebreaking progress.
Free feeding is recommended at first until you get a feel for your puppy’s appetite. If other pets are dining nearby, watch to see that puppy’s food has not disappeared. Otherwise, puppies need to be fed 3-4 times a day. Plenty of fresh water should be available all day, especially during meals.
A puppy should NEVER be near a swimming pool unsupervised. They are at risk and most prone to drowning. Many pups will leap before they look or simply fall in. Their inexperience, curiosity and fearlessness prompt them to explore but are usually unable to climb out of even small bodies of water. The steep sides of pools and hot tubs are especially dangerous.
Dog paddling may be instinctive but they will still drown if they can’t climb out or become too frightened or tried to float. If water gets into a puppy’s lungs bacterial or fungal infections can cause real problems and will need antibiotic treatment.
Your Doodle comes from two breeds that adore a swim and the water is just about the best thing there is, but until they are old enough to find their way out of it, supervision is a must. You will have to teach them where the pool steps or exits are located and help them learn how to navigate their way to safety.
When puppies play with one another and explore, they use their mouths; they naturally do the same when they interact with people. Biting in puppies is absolutely normal and therefore a challenge to convince your new pup that it is not acceptable behavior to treat his human as he would his littermate.
Do not forget when teaching your pup not to bite, that nipping and mouthing is simply common puppy behavior and that the worst thing you can do is physically punish a pup for something that is natural for him. Discouraging this natural behavior can be trying at times however take solace in the fact that once puppies acquire their adult teeth this behavior disappears. Most normal puppy biting just goes away on its own. Labradoodles are not known for being mouthy dogs so keep in mind that this stage does have an end.
Meanwhile, the best approach to this problem is the use of positive distraction and the encouragement and praise of acceptable behavior. Have a favorite toy at the ready and get those teeth into something other than your hand, toe or shoe. Blowing in their face will distract them as well.
Building a good relationship on trust rather than fear will create a bond with your puppy that will last his entire lifetime.
- Hugs Kisses and Baby Talk: Never forget- you have so much in your life that comforts. Your puppy only has you.
- Be Responsible: When walking your puppy in public places….take a pick up bag with you to clean up their deposits. Don’t be squeamish- you will save good neighbor relations in the future.
- Take Time to Read the Book: Even if you have experience with puppies and are sure there is nothing new about raising and loving a puppy. Read the book. You will learn a new trick or two! Enjoy Patricia McConnell- her sensible, charming and good humored approach to training is refreshing.
The Doodle’s Property Laws
Understanding how your puppy thinks:
- If I like it, it’s mine.
- If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
- If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way… ‘cause it’s mine.
- If I’ve chewed something up, all the pieces are mine.
- If it’s in my mouth, it’s mine.
- If it looks like mine, it’s mine.
- If I had it a little while ago, it’s still mine.
- If I saw it first, it’s mine.
- Even if it’s broken, it’s mine.
- If you are new here, it’s mine.
- If you come here with it, it’s mine.
- If you leave here with it, it will always be mine.
- If you look at it, it’s mine.
- Even if my momma gave it to you, it’s mine.
- If you even think about taking it, it’s mine.
- It’s mine, it’s MINE. ALL MINE!