Are you ready for your new family member?
Texas Labradoodles Puppy Checklist
Here are a few reminders of what you might want to prepare for your new puppy:
- Life’s Abundance Small/medium Puppy Food for our mini or medium puppies and Life’s Abundance Large Breed Puppy food for our standards, this is what your puppy has been eating. It is much easier on your puppy to continue to feed the same food. We prefer this food, the treats and the Wellness supplements for our dogs because Life’s Abundance has never had a recall, uses all natural, high quality ingredients and only natural preservatives. Good nutrition is so important for our dogs and we feel like we are doing the best we can with Life’s Abundance. You can order your puppy’s food through this link and it will be delivered to your door in 2-3 days.
- A plastic air tight container to store your puppy’s food in (we use 40 lb containers)
- 101 Dog Tricks by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy – A fun dog training book, especially for kids; The Other End of The Leash, Patricia McConnell; Way To Go, How to House train a Dog of Any Age, Karen London, Patricia McConnell (CLICK on each title for a link to the book on Amazon)
- Food and Water bowls (non aluminum) CLICK here
- Wire Crate Extra Large with divider at PetSmart or Petco. Crates are great for potty training and as a safe haven for your new dog. Dogs learn to love their crates when their families are not around. Do not feel guilty about crate training; it is a positive experience for your dog’s entire life. Be sure this is a wire crate, not an enclosed, plastic one. Your new puppy needs to feel part of the activities and be able to see you even during rest times CLICK here
Crate Training Tips
Be sure not to put anything in the bottom of the crate, such as a towel or even paper, as this is counter-intuitive for potty training. The main goal of the crate is to provide a small space for the dog to learn to “hold their potty” until they can go outside. Absorbent material in a crate seems like a good place to go potty, so leave the hard plastic floor until they are nine months to a year old, no matter what your heart tells you, this is best for your new puppy for now. Be sure to give your puppy a small food treat every time they go into their crate to give positive reinforcement that their crate is a comforting place.
More shopping to prepare for your puppy.
- A good dog/people trainer, this can be so helpful and get everyone off to a great start. There are lots of good puppy kindergarten classes. The most important thing to look for is cleanliness and they should always ask for your puppy’s vet record, which you will go home with a copy of from Texas Labradoodles. This ensures that all of the puppies in class are being cared for and receiving their shots in a timely manner, which reduces the risk of your puppy “catching” anything from other dogs.
- A collar with a name tag that includes your phone number and address and a four to six foot leash.
There are so many options for collars and leashes, here is a link to check out some on Amazon. This is just one option. If you’re getting a small or medium puppy, get an extra small or small, if you’re getting a standard puppy, get a small collar.
- A vented hair brush or slicker brush- brushing weekly or every other day is great, depending on how long you want to keep your dog’s coat. This slicker brush is a good option: CLICK here
- A nail file (PetSmart has a great electric rotational file. Always be cautious when trimming nails and only trim the tips.) Your vet can trim nails, too CLICK here
Vets that you trust are so important!
- A GREAT vet! Your puppy will need a series of shots until they are sixteen weeks old and they should not be exposed to other dogs or areas where other dogs might have gone potty until they’ve had all of their shots. Your puppy should also start heart-worm prevention at 10 weeks old. We only recommend flea and tick prevention if your dog gets fleas and ticks. These things are similar to pesticides and it’s best to minimize exposure unless you need to fight fleas or ticks. Keeping flea and tick treatment at your house in case you see something is wise, but only use it as necessary for the health of your dog. Texas Labradoodles puppies have been treated preventatively for worms and are free of parasites. Be sure to discuss these issues and options with your vet.
Caution with your new best friend.
- Please do not allow your puppy to be in any public places until he has had all of his shots. Diseases like Parvo and distemper, which can be deadly, can remain in soil for years. Do not allow your puppy to go potty on the side of the road on the way home, go to “puppy” training classes (until after 4 months old), go to dog parks, or pet stores, including Petsmart and Petco. All of these places can be a place that a puppy could get germs from dogs you don’t know and therefore these places are not safe until after all of your puppy’s shots have been given at 4 months old. If your puppy is quiet, sad, or not eating well after his rest time, have your vet check him/her. If your puppy is vomiting or has loose stools, have him checked by your vet, loss of energy is also an indicator of not feeling well. When in doubt, take him to the vet, and always be sure to hold him in the vet office and be sure no sick dogs have come through the waiting area or your exam room.
Socialization is key!
- Do socialize your puppy with dogs and people you know (make sure all dogs are vaccinated and not puppies) AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Having as many visitors as possible, short car rides, maybe even holding your puppy as you go through Home Depot (pet stores and dog parks are not good for this until all shots are given). The critical socialization period for puppies is 4-16 weeks old. The following 8 months, up to a year old, are VERY IMPORTANT. We begin socializing the puppies at 3 days old with the Bio Sensor program the military uses for early stimulation. Socialization is a key focus for us, but you continuing safe socialization as soon as you get them is very important to a well-behaved dog.
Texas Labradoodle puppy’s parents have been genetically tested to be sure that their hips, elbows and thyroid are healthy and sound for breeding. One of the biggest problems with larger dogs is hip dysplasia. A healthy diet and healthy environment play a big role in maintaining healthy joints in a dog. Please keep in mind that stairs are not good for dogs to run up and down. If you do have stairs, especially wooden ones, please try to minimize your dog’s access to them. This could make a huge difference in how your dog ages. Dogs are not designed to run long distances with humans. Get your exercise by yourself, and give your dog exercise by throwing them a ball or frisbee. They prefer short, sprint-like running and it’s much healthier for their joints.
Lots of Love is the key!
Your puppy has endured a lot of changes getting to his/her new home. All of this is new for him/her, so be gentle and loving. Puppies will need to potty and then have refreshments (food and water) as soon as he arrives home. Put him in the area where you would like for him to go potty and then praise him quietly. This will get him off to a great start.
Potty training is serious business.
- Potty training is usually the most challenging part of having a new puppy. It is important that you are diligent with your puppy’s crate training. If you are not holding your puppy or playing with him/her, he should be in his crate. This way he can’t make any mistakes that you cannot correct immediately. Dogs have a 2.5 second span that they can connect the mistake to the discipline they receive, which should never be more than a harsh “NO. NO.” Because of this fact, it is important that you not give them the opportunity to make a mistake unless you are right there to teach them immediately. Your puppy wants most of all to make you happy and will learn quickly what makes you unhappy. It will seem difficult at times, but be patient, it won’t be long before you can hardly remember when you had teach your dog to potty outside. Way To Go is a great little book to help with potty training.
When to eat, it’s important for potty training.
- Do feed breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offer approximately one-half cup at each feeding. Feeding guidelines are on your dog food bag, too. He/she may or may not eat all of it. Don’t worry if your puppy doesn’t eat much the first day or two. You want to get him up about 6 – 6:30 am, take him potty, feed and water him, potty again about 20 minutes later and then keep two eyes on him when he’s running around the house, so if he has an accident, you can catch him. Then do the same thing for lunch and dinner time (with going potty outside 20 minutes after food). Take up all food and water around 7:00 pm and then take him outside to potty around 10:00 pm for his final nighttime potty, and put him in his crate. Try very hard not to respond to crying or whining once crated or you will train him to whine or cry in the crate. Remember, dogs do love their crates. Go to bed, sleep well, get up at 6:00 am to let him out and start over. Stay on this schedule until he’s potty trained, four to six months old.
Puppies make bad decisions.
- Puppies chew things, including shoes and wires (very dangerous) so keeping your eyes on your puppy will keep him/her (and your shoes) safe when they are out of their crate. Chewing is not bad behavior, it is necessary and a natural instinct for dogs.
- Be cautious of poisoness household plants and plants in your yard, such as mushrooms. Check out this link for more information.
- All people food is NOT okay for dogs. Please read this article to learn more about what human foods can be dangerous for your new best friend. Feeding dog only food and treats will keep your dog healthy and safe.
Your puppy’s health and happiness as well as your happiness with your puppy is important to Texas Labradoodles, please contact Mardee with any questions.