Are you ready?

Below you'll find a helpful timeline and checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your new family member to come home.

 

Once your puppy has been Born:
 

  • Think about if you would like to pick up your puppy or have them delivered.

  • We release puppies to their forever homes at 8 weeks. If you plan on picking them up, this is a great time to start looking for flights so they are less expensive.

  • At the time your puppy turns about 4 weeks old is a perfect time to start preparing, by making sure you have their food, probiotics, a crate, and other essentials. That way anything that needs to be shipped will arrive in time.

  • ​When puppies turn 6 weeks is a perfect time to call your local vet and schedule your puppy's first vet visit.

 

 These four steps make pick-up day or delivery go incredibly smooth.

What do puppies come with?

 

Puppies go home with:

  • a record of their vet visits

  • we email a copy of both parents health testing as it would be a lot of paper (and wasteful) to print.

  • puppies leave appropriately vaccinated (never Lepto)

  • Microchipped

  • Dewormed

Some Go Home Tips

What to expect within the first few weeks of bringing your new puppy home?​ Remember that this is a big transition for your new puppy so these are tips to help you make that transition as smooth as possible for you and the puppy. ​ There will be some time where there may be irregular eating and pooping patterns as your puppy gets acclimated to its new environment and schedule in your home. The best thing to do is to make things as normal as possible so your new puppy can learn and adjust to your schedule/home.

  • Remember that your new puppy is young and can still be susceptible to a number of things. We do not recommend taking them off of your property until after 12-week vaccinations and, even then, avoid things like dog parks, the floor of any vet office, the floor at the pet store, and any dog common areas where you don't know others vaccine history until your puppy is fully vaccinated.

 

This has less to do with your dog and more to do with eliminating potential contact with dogs who have not been properly cared for. Once you do take them out, be sure to monitor the situation and environment. ​​

 

The best thing for success is proper training!

This is a combination of schedule, discipline, and rewards. Your dog should be able to potty every couple of hours when out and can only spend around four hours total in a crate during the day. It should be able to go a full six hours in a kennel at night without incident.

 

As far as basic commands like sit, down and crate, this takes patience and consistency. It is easier to teach your puppy when it is younger. It is eager to learn and it works their mind to give them a valuable purpose in 

your home!

Raising your Puppy - FAQ

What food brand should I feed my puppy?
Our personal favorite is Purina Pro Plan Focus for our puppies and Diamond Naturals for our adults!
Why don't you recommend feeding grain-free?
Unfortunately, there has recently been an association between grain-free food and DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy). This disease is potentially deadly, which is why we recommend avoiding grain-free foods until more information is available. 
How can I help prevent environmental hip dysplasia? 
Hip dysplasia isn't a congenital defect; this means it isn't present at birth. Current studies show that only 15-40% of hip dysplasia cases are caused by a dog's genetics. These poor hip scores and hip dysplasia may be reduced or prevented through selective breeding and health testing. Unfortunately, even the most careful breeders may eventually produce a puppy that ends up with hip dysplasia. If genetics only account for 15-40% of hip dysplasia, what is the cause of the remaining 60-85%? Current studies point towards the majority of hip dysplasia cases being environmental. This means that it's important to safeguard your puppy's hips until they are fully mature! How can you safeguard their hips? 
  • Avoid stairs for as long as possible - carry your puppy up/down flights of stares whenever you can.
  • Avoid forced exercise (especially on hard surfaces) until your puppy is a minimum of 1 year of age for small puppies, 1.5 years for medium puppies, and 2 years for large puppies. Examples of forced exercise include: running on a treadmill, jogging beside a person or bike, running on pavement, fetch, dog sports, etc.
  • Refrain from allowing your puppy to jump on and off of surfaces. Examples include: jumping in and out of the car, on and off the couch, on and off the bed, etc.
  • Try to avoid slippery surfaces where possible. To help prevent slipping, you can also keep your pup's paw pads shaved.
  • Avoid overfeeding your puppy/dog. Extra weight leads to extra strain on the joints! 
  • Encourage gentle exercise. Great exercises for puppies and young dogs include swimming and self-moderated exercise in a fenced-in (preferably grassy) yard. Puppies who are allowed to choose when to stop are much less likely to overdo things.
How do I housetrain my new puppy?
House training can be difficult, especially for first-time puppy parents. We recommend using positive reinforcement to teach your puppy the best place to eliminate. Every time your puppy eats, drinks, or wakes up, he/she should be taken out to go to the bathroom. Bring your puppy's favorite treats! When your puppy has success, it's important to make a big deal of it. Give lots of praise and tasty treats to encourage them to want to go outside the next time. It is also helpful to crate train your puppy, as puppies naturally want to keep their "den" space clean. 
How do I maintain my puppy's coat? (I.E. how to avoid a shave down at the groomers)
Unless your doodle has no furnishings (short coat like a Australian Shepherd) regular maintenance will be required. Lack of grooming can lead to matting. Matting may not appear like a big deal, however it is very painful to your dog. Imagine putting your hair into a ponytail and never taking it out - matting hurts! Part of having a doodle is maintaining their beautiful fur. There are a few ways you can do this:
  • Brushing (and combing) your dog's fur every other day. This is what's required if you would like to keep your dog's hair long. If you can't get a metal comb through your dog's hair from root to tip, your groomer will be forced to shave. It is inhumane to de-mat a dog, so please keep in mind that groomers are not being lazy if they end up needing to shave your pup.
  • Brushing your dog's fur once or twice a week. If you don't mind a shorter/medium haircut you can get away with brushing less often. You will have to bring your pup to the groomer's more often, but maintenance at home can be reduced.
  • Visit the groomers often! Most doodles require a grooming appointment approximately every 4-8 weeks. Length between appointments should be recommended by your groomer based on your individual dog's coat type and your desired style.
  • Introduce your puppy to grooming from a young age. Your puppy should be professionally groomed as early as possible. Some groomers may even groom puppies as early as 12 weeks! Talk to your groomer to see what sorts of sanitation protocols they have to protect unvaccinated puppies. The latest a puppy's first grooming appointment should be is after their final vaccine at 16 weeks. Your puppy does not need to be trimmed at their first (or even their second, third, fourth, etc.) grooming appointments. Your groomer may only do a bath brush and blow-dry the first few times until you (and your puppy) are ready for a haircut. Early introduction to grooming will ensure your puppy isn't afraid of the grooming process.
  • Mistakes happen! Even the most careful doodle parent can make mistakes. If your pup gets matted, it's not the end of the world; simply bring them to the groomers for a shave down. Once the matting is gone, you can start fresh.
 
What vaccines should I give my puppy/dog?
Many new dog owners find the overwhelming quantity of choices confusing. What vaccines are best? Ideally, puppy parents should check with their local vet for recommendations. Different areas have different diseases. We recommend and give the following vaccines:
  • Neopar. This is an early Parvo Virus vaccination given by us at 5 weeks. The south is particularly bad with parvovirus so we have adopted this practice several years ago to give puppies early protection.
  • DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus). This is the core vaccine that dogs receive at 7-8 weeks, 11-12 weeks, and 15-16 weeks. After their puppy vaccines a booster is usually recommended yearly.
  • Leptospirosis. This vaccine is usually given at 11-12 weeks, and 15-16 weeks, then once yearly. Leptospirosis is a devastating and often deadly disease.
  • Rabies. It is usually given at 16 weeks, and then every 1-3 years after that.
  • Bordetella. This vaccine helps to prevent "kennel cough" which is common in dogs that visit boarding, daycare, or other high risk environments. Kennel cough is usually not severe, however if you will be using boarding facilities it is recommended. 
  • Lyme. This vaccine is highly recommended for dogs that are likely to be exposed to ticks. If you go camping, hiking, or participate in other high risk activities it is a good idea to get your dog vaccinated against Lyme. 
 
When should I get my dog spayed/neutered?
The best age for spay/neuter really depends on the size of your dog. Large breed dogs should wait longer than small or medium breed dogs. In large breed dogs, there is an increased risk of hip dysplasia, increased risk of osteosarcoma, and increased risk of ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury. Medium and small breed dogs have less risks associated so earlier spay/neuter is less of a concern. Per our Health Guarantee and Spay/Neuter Contract we require puppies to be spayed/neutered no earlier than eight months and no later than 12 months.
Should I get pet insurance?
Pet insurance is a great investment, especially for the first year of your puppy's life. If you have enough saved up that you would prefer not to get pet insurance, that's OK too, just keep in mind that some treatments can be expensive! 
Do I have to follow the recommendations listed on this page?
No, these are only recommendations, not requirements! Ultimately how you raise your puppy is up to you. We hope that you will do lots of your own research and talk to your own vet for advice. Raising a puppy is kind of like raising a child, everyone has their own preferred methods for puppy parenthood, and that's OK!
"I have questions about raising my puppy that aren't answered here. What should I do?"  We are always available to answer any questions you might have! Feel free to reach out via text or email.