Preparing for Your Puppy’s Arrival
Preparing for your new family member is an exciting time! Follow this labradoodle puppy care guide to help with the transition. A few things you might want to have with you when you pick up your puppy are a bottle of water, some baby wipes, and a towel or a blanket.
If you are meeting your puppy at the airport, your puppy may be thirsty from the trip. We put a frozen dish of water in the crate, but it is usually long gone by the time your puppy arrives. The wipes are needed in case the puppy may have soiled the crate. The towel or blanket also, in case the puppy has soiled the crate, is for you to hold your puppy or to put in the crate.
Using a Leash to Bond with Your Puppy
When your puppy first arrives to your home, we suggest you keep the puppy on a leash for the first couple of days. Do your best to have the primary caregiver be the main person handling the leash.
We also suggest you not have outside visitors to the home for the first couple of days. Give your puppy some time to adjust to her new family first before she meets your world.
Your puppy is going to be a little confused at her new surroundings. She is not used to being away from her “pack.” She has to figure out where she fits in your family, her new pack. From the beginning your puppy needs to learn that she is at the bottom, below even the youngest child. She needs to learn who her main leaders are and what the boundaries are in her new home. Having her on a leash will assist your family in doing this, even if you don’t hold onto the leash every moment.
Having your puppy’s main caregiver so close for a couple of days will help your puppy bond. Labradoodles are people-loving dogs! Your puppy will want to bond. Your puppy is smart and will quickly learn that the person attached at the other end of the leash is important to her. Your Labradoodle will look to you for example and comfort. She will learn that you are her source of not only example and comfort but also food! Using the leash these first few days will help your new puppy learn who to trust and who to please.
Other Advantages of Leash Training Your New Puppy
Even if you are not holding onto the leash, you can control where she goes easily by stepping on the dragging leash. This is much more comfortable to a dog than having you lunge over her to get her.
Keeping her on a leash also allows you to monitor where your puppy is in the house and help her learn which rooms you would like her to be in and where she is not allowed.
Lastly, having her on a leash helps her adjust to the idea of a leash so that she is ready to be trained to heel on a leash.
Why Use a Crate or Playpen for Labradoodle Puppy Care?
A crate can be a useful and comforting tool, or it can be an overused source of misery for your puppy. We suggest using a crate for very short periods of time during the day and for your puppy to sleep in at night.
During the day, there will come short periods of time where you have a task to do that requires your full attention. While your puppy is still in the house training stage, the crate can be very valuable to you. By putting your puppy in the crate for short amounts of time during the day, say an hour, maybe two, you can accomplish what you must do and also help the puppy control her bladder. As soon as you let her out, immediately take her outdoors to relieve herself. Using the crate this way will encourage her to only go to the bathroom where it is appropriate to go. If your puppy is not crate trained already, you will have to work up to the hour or two-hour mark.
By the time your puppy arrives, she should be able to sleep around 7 hours through the night in a crate. Of course, all puppies are individuals, so the time can vary. Your Golden Xpress Labradoodle puppy is used to being in a crate, but she is also used to smelling and hearing her siblings nearby. She may have adjustments to make in her new home because of this. Another factor in labradoodle puppy care is that their little tummies often get upset over the first couple of weeks in their new homes. The water is different, she’s nervous, etc., so she may have to go outdoors to relieve herself a little more frequently.
To help her adjust to your home atmosphere and sleep during the night, keep her crate in your bedroom at night. Keeping your hand down by the wire door is comforting to her. Responding to her cries with talking or tapping encourages your puppy to cry and whine more. Tapping on the crate lightly is okay, but not in response to her noise-making.
Another thing to think about with regard to labradoodle puppy care is if your puppy starts to wet her crate, you need to first check and see if her crate is too big. Generally, dogs do not relieve themselves in their sleeping places. Is your puppy’s crate so big she has decided to make a bathroom in there? If so, either use a smaller crate or block part off with a box.
If her crate seems the right size, you may need to remove anything like blankets or soft materials. It is a dog’s nature to use absorbent materials to relieve themselves. Removing your puppy’s bedding from her crate discourages the potty problem. When your puppy has successfully kept her crate dry for a few weeks, try putting the bedding back in.
Feeding Your Puppy
At first, your puppy will need to be fed three times a day. Once they have adjusted, offer food to them all day so they learn not to gorge at mealtime, and always make sure your puppy has clean, fresh water available to her. Feed your puppy in a quiet place, free from distractions. Put a good amount of food in her bowl and let her eat as much as she would like. After about 20 minutes or so, remove the food. Repeat this morning, mid-day and evening. If she doesn’t eat one meal, she will probably make up for it at the next meal.
I suggest dry food as it is better for the dog’s teeth. It helps keep teeth and gums in better shape than wet food does.
DO NOT feed your puppy people food. Your food does not provide the nutrition that your puppy needs. It’s like junk food for your puppy. She will choose to have the people food and not eat her own. Feed your dog people food, and you will have one unhealthy puppy.
Just because your puppy doesn’t get people food doesn’t mean she can’t have treats. Just make sure you choose high-quality dog treats with some nutrition. At Golden Xpress Labradoodles, we give our dogs and puppies different kinds of treats: dog biscuits, dog turkey, or chicken jerky. The jerky is good as a training aid around the house – to teach the puppy to come, to sit, or lay down. They are very intelligent and very willing to learn, and this makes them easier to train. Just remember that they are puppies, so be patient.
Lots of Loves
Above all, labradoodle puppy care requires lots of love. Make sure you pet her and hold her so she knows she belongs to your family. Labradoodles are loyal, loving dogs – give your puppy your love, and she will return it tenfold.