How We Socialize Our Goldendoodles

We are Dedicated to Your Goldendoodle's Lifelong Wellness through Comprehensive Care, Evidence-Based Methods, and Unwavering Diligence, Ensuring a Healthy, Sociable, and Loving Companion.

Prenatal Puppy Mom Wellness

Our approach to Puppy Culture begins at the source — the puppy mom! Healthy moms make healthy babies, and every puppy mom at ABCs Puppy Zs gets the VIP treatment — especially during pregnancy.

There's no shortage of love and affection at our family-raised Goldendoodle puppy household, where puppy moms are always comfortable, fed with healthy and nutritious foods, and treated like members of the family — which they are!

Our Goldendoodle puppy moms always have access to privacy in a quiet and relaxing place and are monitored very closely at all stages of their pregnancies for any concerns or complications.

The close relationships with first-rate local veterinarians, access to medical technologies and a deep understanding of the dog pregnancy and birthing process ensures that every pup arrives safe and healthy — and ready to take on the world!

Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS)

Early Neurological Stimulation is a proven technique designed to improve a puppy's developmental health into adulthood. The window of opportunity for performing ENS is limited to within the first several weeks of a puppy's life, making it the breeder's responsibility to perform ENS regularly.

ENS has been shown to improve a puppy's physical and emotional health, performance and demeanor with often lifelong benefits.

These include cardiovascular benefits, adrenal benefits, stress tolerance and even stronger immune systems. ENS is safe and simple, and involves little more than holding the puppy in certain positions — and tickling their little toes!

At ABCs Puppy Zs, we perform all prescribed ENS exercises including tactical stimulation (tickling between the toes!), head-down, head-up, on-back and thermal stimulation every day for no more than a few seconds at a time and only when the puppy is calm and comfortable.

Introducing Solid Food (Transitional)

Goldendoodle puppies at ABCs Puppy Zs go through a scheduled solid-food transition using a combination of goat milk and raw weaning for optimal nutritional and developmental benefits.

Puppies are closely monitored as they gradually transition from lapping goat milk to eating a mixed gruel of organic muscle meats and other nutritional foods such as banana and canned pumpkin over a period of several weeks until they are able to chew on large bones by 8 to 10 weeks.

Puppy Socialization

Socialization is one of the most important steps in Puppy Culture and offers tremendous lifelong benefits to any dog breed.

The first 12 weeks of a puppy's life are considered a sensitive developmental period and are a wonderful opportunity to foster socialization — as they will spend most of their time surrounded by people and other pups!

Puppy Socialization typically begins at around 3 weeks (ENS is also a Critical Part of Socilization which we start during Week 1) when they begin to react to sounds and ends around 20 weeks when they have become generally accustomed to the world around them.

With proper puppy socialization, pups can experience developmental benefits of emotional wellness, communication, habituation, bonding, enrichment, performance and overall health.

Three to Four Weeks Old

This is a time of excitement and exploration for puppies, who are beginning to notice new objects and environments around them along with the social benefits of being in a person's loving arms.

Under professional care, this period also involves some startle/recovery exercises that put a puppy's senses to work and help them develop their responsive abilities.

By four weeks old, puppies under our care are taking part in adorable problem-solving activities, being introduced to new objects every day, meeting new people regularly, and playing fun training games.

Distributed Learning

Puppies under 16 weeks old can greatly benefit from distributed learning activities that involve crate training, potty training, chew training and other puppy training exercises designed to teach good traits and behavior.

Our distributed learning sessions are timed in regard to the puppy's mood, energy levels — and always involve plenty of breaks, treats and massages!

Five Weeks Old

Around five weeks of age, puppies typically begin to experience fear imprinting as their fear response instincts come into play. This is a sensitive period for puppies and is best handled professionally with the intent of triggering their fear response in a gentle way, which helps puppies adapt to this new emotion and grow into confident dogs.

Fear imprinting exercises are brief and never designed to do more than give puppies a gentle apprehension or surprise to changes in their surroundings, such as having tarp over their play pen, hearing noisy crinkly bags, and being startled by shiny surfaces.

Every exercise is immediately followed by a recovery period and always in line with the puppy's comfort levels to prevent emotional distress. Any Goldendoodle puppies that show an intense disposition to fear are worked with individually and at their own speed until their fear imprinting is safely achieved.

Six Weeks

By six weeks old, puppies are beginning to overcome their fear response — which is turning into curiosity! This is a great time for puppies to meet some new faces (friendly people and animals only!) and discover the fun and cuddles of being social.

We go to great lengths to create positive experiences that leave puppies socially inclined and ready to make new friends, such as having puppy parties with lots of play, some fun rotation games, and plenty of company so pups can become accustomed to new faces and smells.

Health Testing

We perform regular breed-specific health checkups on our pups as well as their parent dogs through AKC parent clubs to monitor for any susceptible health risks, complications or diseases and ensure a long and healthy life.

Potty Training

The puppy potty training process should not begin until after 12 weeks of age, but puppies can still benefit from some attentive and professional care surrounding potty time well before training.

Puppies typically show signs of an incoming potty break and can begin to associate potty time with being outdoors early in life thanks to the attention and quick action of professional breeders.

Our puppies are moved to a larger weaning pen around six weeks of age and we typically know when puppies will need to potty, such as 10 minutes into a play session, 15 minutes after eating, when they wake up, if they suddenly stop what they're doing and start sniffing around, and other signs to take the opportunity of an outdoor break in a safe environment where puppies can develop a psychological association with going potty and being outdoors.

Puppy Biting

At ABCs Puppy Zs, we use gentle and proven techniques to nip puppy biting in the bud and help them outgrow it as quickly as possible while in the care of their new family. Chewing is very healthy for a puppy and essential to the development of strong teeth and jaws, but left unchecked, a puppy can carry bad habits such as nipping hands into adolescence. Puppy biting correction is one of our many puppy training routines and involves plenty of chew toys, positive reinforcement and calm interactions designed to help puppies outgrow biting quickly and naturally.

Resource Guarding

Even puppies under 10 weeks old can show signs of resource guarding, such as guarding their food, toys, a bone, or even their owner's lap.

We perform resource guarding training activities that typically involve yummy treats and positive reinforcement to condition puppies out of being overly stingy — and show them that sharing is caring!

Body Handling

Puppies familiarized with body handling from an early age will be much more comfortable with belly rubs as they grow up! We perform gentle body handing from birth such as touching their little ears, tails and toes every day as a socialization technique that can make future touches from adults and children much more unsurprising and welcome.

Puppy Evaluation

We love to see how our pups are coming along around the 7-week mark with a puppy temperament test which verifies that our best intentions are working. Puppy evaluations are always performed in between milestones (such as before fear imprinting) for a clear representation of the puppy's temperament and best results. This test typically involves the puppy being placed in the company of a stranger in an unfamiliar setting to gauge their reaction for fear, aggression or shyness. Around 7 weeks, a well-nurtured and socialized puppy should react to a new person and surrounding in a happy and comfortable manner.

Eight to Ten Weeks Old

By 8 to 10 weeks, puppies may experience a renewed sense of fear which may be strong, brief or unnoticeable. We keep close observation of our puppies during this time and take notice of and remove any fear triggers while keeping them in a safe and friendly environment to reduce fear. By 10 weeks, the renewed fear imprint should subside and puppies can resume supervised socialization. Puppies at this age are busy preparing for placement in their new forever homes.

Our puppies are normally ready for their new family between 10 and 12 weeks of age, by which time they've produced an immune response to their vaccines and have been nurtured and socialized through their most sensitive developmental period. It's important to note that between 10-20 weeks, puppies are still in their critical socialization period and that their new family members should focus on creating happy and healthy social experiences for their pups.

Our Puppy Training

You'll be pleased to find that our Goldendoodle puppies have already received some basic puppy training by the time they're ready to snuggle up with their new family. This includes puppy recall training, puppy crate training and puppy advanced auto-sit training. Of course, your puppy is still growing — so it's important to follow through on our training progress until your puppy is a good dog! We've got some very useful puppy training resources here on our website to help get you on your way to having a well-behaved, loyal and loving companion.

Puppy Leash Walking

We can't make any promises at 8 to 12 weeks old, but your puppy will have at least have worn a leash by that age! All our Goldendoodle pups go through some short, fun and basic leash walking attempts in the comforts of our Family-Raised Puppy Residence. From time to time, we even have those natural talents who take right to the leash and are easily manageable. We'll be sure to let you know if that's your pup!

Running with the Big Dogs

Under close supervision and in a safe environment, puppies can benefit from playful interaction with friendly and well-mannered adult dogs.

By the time your Goldendoodle puppy is ready to come home from ABCs Puppy Zs, they've already had extensive playtime with our trusted adult dogs and those of our close friends and relatives. We always make sure our pups feel safe around bigger dogs and only encourage these types of social interactions when they don't show fear and at specific time periods of beneficial development.

Puppy Vaccination

At ABCs Puppy Zs, we do everything possible to ensure a long and healthy lifespan for every pup including the administration of certain Vaccines and Dewormers in accordance with Our Veterinarian, which includes a NeoPar vaccination at 4 weeks, Dewormer at 5 and 7 weeks, and then Nobivac 5-Way administered at 7 and 9 weeks with further scheduled vaccinations beginning at or around 12 weeks (by which time most of our puppies are placed with their new families). It is essential for puppies to be vaccinated prior to outdoor socialization and playtime due to the possibility of diseases and illnesses being transmitted among dogs and their environments.

Vaccination requirements and laws may vary by region so it's important to get in touch with your local veterinarian to find out which additional vaccines will be necessary for your Goldendoodle puppy. They will also be able to inform you when it's safe to take your puppy outside and interact with other dogs in an outdoor environment. To be on the safe side, you should never expose your puppy to other dogs without first knowing of the dog's health and vaccination status and until after your puppy is fully vaccinated as per your local veterinarian guidelines.

Instilling Good Puppy Behavior

Puppies learn best through conditioning and positive reinforcements, not punishment or negative reactions. We follow strict guidelines for gentle puppy training and we encourage all future Goldendoodle puppy owners to do the same. This allows your animal to build trust and loyalty as well as a good-natured and well-mannered personality. Puppy training can take a lot of time, patience and treats — but we promise that the journey is worth it and your dog will benefit from all your efforts in the long run!

You can do puppy training yourself or enroll your puppy in a puppy training class if you are very busy and in order to ensure the attention they need for this important part of the developmental process. Learn More About Goldendoodle Puppy Training or Get In Touch for some useful advice on training pups alone or with the help of a Professional Puppy Trainer.

ABCs Puppy Zs

ABCs Puppy Zs Ensures Healthy, Lovingly Raised Goldendoodles, for an Exceptional Experience in Pet Ownership.

Could you ask for more? You bet:

Video Testimonials

About Our Beloved Pups From Their Forever-Home Families

We Adore Our Pups and Their Families, Who Share Updates as Our Pups Become Fantastic Adults. Watch and Learn About Their Experience.

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We Feel Blessed Raising Goldendoodles. Meet Charlie and Moose, the Bissell Family's Two Amazing Goldendoodles from ABCs Puppy Zs.