Tips for Having a New Puppy:
• Vaccinations/ Exposure to the Public:
Your puppy will come to you with his/her first set of vaccinations. It still needs to have several more vaccinations until you take him/her into public places and let it walk around. You can take it in a cart or stroller to the store or mall. You can carry your puppy in a front pack such as a Paw-a-Boo. Do not let your puppy walk around in public areas, especially pet stores, veterinarians and dog parks. Parvo is highly contagious and deadly most of the time to young puppies. The virus spreads usually by stepping in a contaminated area. It can be spread by you stepping on the area or your puppy stepping in an area. Don’t let anyone (Strangers) pet your puppy unless they wash their hands first…or you can bring sanitizer along. Any signs of bloody diarrhea or lethargic activity should be an immediate call or trip to the vet.
• Ear Care:
For Ear Cleanser, moisten a cotton pad and clean inside the ear approximately every 3 days or more frequently if you see brown in the ear. Cleaning them weekly would be the minimum. You should also clean their ears after bathing or swimming. If your dog’s ears don’t smell good, they may have a yeast infection. You also can purchase hemostats and ear powder. You sprinkle the powder on inside and outside of ear. Then carefully, pull quickly, any tufts of hair in the ear out-don’t pull the inside of the ear-just the hair. There is a video on YouTube that shows you how to do this. If you don’t check your dog’s ears frequently, he/she will get an ear infection. That can cost several trips to the vet and lots of dollars. So, keep them clean and hair free.
You should brush your dog every day. You should find a slicker that is firm, but soft. This helps get the tangles out. My favorite is the wooden slicker from Petco-only online. You can purchase a spray that you can spray lightly on her coat if you don’t want to give him/her a bath, but just make him/her smell good. Just spray and rub in with your hands.
• Foot Care:
You can get baby wipes if you want to wipe his/her feet off to keep them clean. If his/her feet dry out, you can put a little bit of coconut oil on the pads of her feet to moisten. Check in between her toes at least every 3 days or when you are brushing her to make sure she doesn’t get anything stuck in there. When you take him/her to the groomer, you can ask for clean pads (they can shave the fur out between the toes), without shaving the tops of the feet like a poodle.
You will need to take him/her to the groomer every 6 to 8 weeks. If you give baths and keep the puppies nails trimmed, you may not have to go as often. You want to make sure you keep the hair out of the eyes, as this can cause the eyes to be irritated and to run and build up “gunk” in corner of eye. If your puppy does get build up, you can use a warm cloth and wipe gently. If you have PetSmart they offer a grooming of only 15.99 when they are under 5 months old. I would recommend having at least 3 vaccinations before taking your puppy to be groomed. It is good for them to visit the groomer more often as a puppy, so as they get older they can learn to be patient. (Plus, much cheaper when they are little) Grooming a goldendoodle takes a lot of time! If you don’t brush their fur out every day, when you take your dog to get groomed, they will have to shave it down to its skin. Your puppy will not be cute and it’s YOUR fault, not the groomers!!!!
• Nail Care:
If his/her nails are sharp you can use a nail file to file them. You can also get clippers if you want to learn to trim the nails yourself.
Make sure you change your water dish frequently, by washing it out and changing it about every 2 days or you will get slime in there and bacteria and your puppy can get sick.
Your puppy will eat approximately 1/3 cup 3 x a day, or adjust for weight based on the back of the dog food bag. Make sure you let your puppy eat until full and then put the food away. Most puppies have to poop immediately after they eat, so that way you will know when you need to take your puppy to potty. That is not to say that they won’t poop other times, but having a scheduled feeding time can make potty training go easier and quicker.
• Crate Training:
I give my puppies a strong foundation by starting their crate training early. Crates are great because they help with the potty training process. Dogs naturally do not want to potty where they are sleeping. We recommend using them for sleeping or when briefly leaving them. Some puppies are good to sleep alone while others enjoy the comfort of a snuggle puppy. You can purchase a crate mat for your puppy if you wish. Make it simple and washable. Many puppies like the coolness of just lying in the crate with no mat.
Puppies can’t chew on rawhide bones. They can break off and get stuck in their stomach. You can give it nyla-bones to chew on. Or you can also fill your Kong toy with moistened dog food mixed with Kong squirt treat. If you put it in the freezer, it is a great treat for puppies. Kong offers many recipes to fill your Kong toy. You can also get milk bones and give him/her one to two a day of the small milk bones, or one medium a day. Cooked bones can splinter off, but you can give raw frozen bones to your puppy. This is a great choice for teething puppies. If you live locally you can order from www.rufflifedogbones.com.
• Supplies/ Crates:
You will need a puppy playpen. You will need a crate. I usually buy the Midwest Crates from Petco online. They are the wire crates that fold down. They are sturdy and reasonably priced. I recently purchased an Ecoflex crate from Amazon, which so far I love! It looks like an end table, so fits in the home nicely.
Whatever you don’t want to be chewed up, you need to spray with bitter apple. Don’t leave your puppy unattended or alone with anything he/she could chew, such as shoes, socks, baseboards, cabinets, furniture, etc. It is just like having a toddler. You need to make sure there is nothing on the floor it can pick up and put in its mouth when it is out playing with you.
• Potty Training:
Your puppy has to pee every time it wakes up and eats, so every time you take it out, take it to the same area and say “go potty”, “better hurry” or whatever –you just need to use the same command.
• Puppy School:
I highly recommend Baxter and Bella online puppy school, especially for new puppy owners and especially with Covid. This is not a substitute for taking your dog to classes to be socialized with other dogs, but the course offers lessons for the training of your dog whether you want to teach just the basic commands or go on further to teach your dog to be a therapy or service dog. I recommend getting it at least 4 weeks before your puppy; there are tips and training to show you how to set up your house to be successful with your new puppy.
Most importantly have fun loving and cuddling him/her! Puppies need so much love!
• Training treats:
You can buy hot dogs-and cut them into tiny pieces for training. My favorite training treats are found at Home Goods. You can cut them into really small pieces for training. They come in bacon, peanut butter and salmon flavor.
• Training Tips/Tidbits:
1. When you use the “leave it” command, you are telling your puppy that the item is poison and they should always leave it and if it is food, NEVER eat it. If you ask your puppy to wait for something, that is different. You can ask them to wait for a treat and then go ahead and take it. If training leave it, you can offer a treat to them out of your other hand, but NEVER give the treat you are telling them to leave. One of the reasons for this is for the safety of your puppy. If your pup understands leave it, this can help save your puppy’s life in an emergency situation. Be sure to use different items and situations while training to ensure that the concept is well grasped.
2. When you are training your dog to follow a command, such as sit- Do not push its bottom to the ground. Do not repeat the command more than once. If your puppy does not sit the first time requested, then you should coax it to a sit without repeating the command. Whenever training a new behavior, the puppy should learn the behavior and then the command should follow.
3. Having a hand motion to go with a verbal command can be a great method to use. In certain situations, it is so nice if your puppy will respond to a non-verbal command.