How To Care for a Goldendoodle Puppy
How to Prepare for a New Puppy
So, you've made up your mind and you're getting a Goldendoodle puppy! Who doesn't love getting booped by a tiny wet nose and pampered with unlimited snuggles? These little bundles of joy bring love into your life and quickly develop affection towards every member of your family. Of course, being a dog owner comes with major responsibilities, and it's best to be prepared before the big car ride home. Getting your home and family ready for a furry new member will not only help your puppy settle in, but makes it easier to raise your pup and is the start of a wonderful friendship.
Just like kids, puppies have their quirks about feeling happy and safe in their new home. And just like kids, they'll need some things and space of their own. Puppies require essentials such as bedding, toys, leashes, a crate, potties, and plenty of food and treats to be their happiest selves. As a new puppy owner, you should also be prepared to do some cleaning while your puppy learns the difference between right and wrong, so it's a good idea to have plenty of cleaning supplies around the house.
Pre-puppy preparation is a great way to get a head start on your pup, and includes buying essentials as well as taking a few simple lessons on puppy ownership. The more prepared you are to have a puppy, the easier the experience will be on everyone — especially on your new pup. Here are a few tips on how to care for a Goldendoodle puppy before a fluffy ball of happiness tumbles their way into your home and your heart.
Being Mentally Prepared for a New Puppy
After the initial excitement and first few days, it's time to make your Goldendoodle puppy feel at home while preparing to train and discipline them into good habits. It's important to know that while dog ownership comes with infinite rewards, it takes effort and commitment similar to that of raising a child. After all, if dogs were so simple to own, they wouldn't be dogs — they'd be cats!
What to Expect
Disclaimer: puppies will be puppies!
There will be no shortage of fun and love with a puppy in your home, but there will also be the occasional oopsy, uh-oh, and oh-no. Here are a few surprises you should expect:
- Puppies love to chew! Chewing helps them cope with the sensation of growing teeth as well as develop strong jaws and teeth early on. If they happen by a fresh pair of shoes or other chewable object, the temptation may be too much too resist
- You might lose a little sleep from time to time. Puppies often whimper when they're lonely, being disciplined, or just not getting what they want. This is typically resolved with healthy conditioning over time, but don't be surprised if that lazy morning is a little more exciting than you're used to for a while
- Things will probably get broken. Until they know better, puppies might view some of your possessions as expendable playthings. Having to fix or replace a thing or two is normal with a puppy and is easier to cope with if you have some “puppy savings” in the bank
- In short, be ready for anything — but mostly sweet and funny things! If your puppy does something entertaining or adorable, please don't hesitate to let us know. We do love a good laugh
How to Care for a Goldendoodle Puppy: Prepare Your Family
Your new Goldendoodle puppy will have more than enough energy and love for every member of the family, so everyone should be on the same page as far as responsibilities go. Make sure to discuss the details with your family and set a few ground rules for everything to go as smoothly as possible.
Here's what you should discuss with your family:
- Who will be responsible for taking the pup outside or to the papers and when
- Who will take care of walking the puppy and when
- Who will be in charge of feeding the puppy three times a day
- Once the puppy arrives, who will make an appointment with the veterinarian to get all the necessary paperwork and vaccinations
- Who will be responsible for cleaning the puppy's liquid and solid accidents inside the house
Once you get that out of the way, it's time to decide on the vocabulary list you're going to use to train a Goldendoodle puppy. Dogs have a great memory and respond well to verbal commands — once they understand them. It's important for everyone in the family to use the same language and tone to get the idea across to your new pup, who will start picking up on the meaning as they associate certain words with actions. This privilege will also extend to anyone that takes part in raising your pup, such as walkers, nannies, friends and people on your daily routine. A simple trick to puppy training is writing down all the common words you'll say to your pup and putting the list on your fridge door or somewhere clearly visible.
How to Care for a Goldendoodle Puppy: Pet-Proof Your Home
If you don't pet-proof your home when introducing a new puppy, you're just asking for trouble. These simple precautions will save you money and a few hairs on your head from the stress of puppy-related accidents:
- Set up a puppy-proof area. This will be a safe and easy-maintenance location in your home where the puppy will do minimal damage and can spend most of its time playing and sleeping during the first several months of its life
- Install baby gates to create a buffer zone between your pup and the things you don't want them around. This is essential for both your puppy's safety and the protection of your belongings. However, please note that accordion-like gates can be very dangerous for a puppy and you should always opt for puppy-safe gates
- Make sure to secure the staircase until you're sure your puppy can go up and down the stairs by itself and without falling
- Don't leave any cleaning supplies or other hazardous products or objects within your puppy's reach
- Remove plants, carpets and other things that a puppy can easily ruin, or place your puppy in a location where such things are not within reach
- Do your best to cover or hide any electrical cords and wires. You can do this by tucking them behind cabinets and furniture or installing covers over your cables and wires
- Adopt the habit of picking up everything after yourself and leaving very little to chance. This includes putting clothes, shoes and other belongings away and out of the reach of mouth and paws
- Remove long curtains and table clothes while your puppy is growing to avoid awkward stare downs
- It's a good idea to have a spacious crate around for times when you can't supervise your puppy but can't risk leaving them in charge of the house. A puppy crate is a safe and comfortable enclosure where your puppy can spend the night or hang out when you're unable to watch them. It also makes for a proper timeout spot when disciplining your puppy
- Always safeguard your backyard and garden with a fence to avoid a panic attack and having to search the neighborhood for your puppy
We're almost there! Just a few more things on how to care for a Goldendoodle puppy and you'll be as ready as ever for that little bundle of fluff! Our Pre-Puppy Checklist helps get your essentials in order and avoid rushed errands to the store so you can spend more quality time with your pup.
See Our Goldendoodle Favorites for Everything You Need on the New Puppy Shopping List, which Includes:
- High-Quality Puppy Food Brand and low-calorie Puppy Treats
- Water and food bowls
- Chewable Puppy Toys that keep your belongings safe
- Brain Games that challenge and help to keep puppy minds sharp
- Collar and Leash for walks around the neighborhood and playtime at the park
- ID tag with your puppy's name and your address and phone number
- A Crate that fits your dog's size
- A Dog Bed and bedding
- Wire playpen
- No chew spray (e.g., bitter apple spray)
- Non-toxic stain and odor remover
- Dog Shampoo & Conditioner and brush/comb
- Puppy pee pads
- Poop bags
- Paper towels (you'll need them!)
- Dog Toothbrush & paste
- Puppy nail trimmers
How to Care for a Goldendoodle Puppy: Preparing for Puppy Habits and Behaviors
Raising a Goldendoodle puppy requires lots of patience and care, and great puppy parents are always rewarded with obedient and loving companions that mellow with age. We were all kids once, so in a funny way, we know exactly what to expect from human children — from unbridled curiosity and wild mood swings to unintentional (or intentional) destruction and completely unpredictable behavior, among other things.
But, what about dogs?
Sure, we can liken a puppy to a child, and in many ways, the similarities are strikingly adorable. But unlike people, dogs spend their whole lives on all fours and use their face, nose and mouth in the same way we use our hands. They're also barely a few weeks old before they're running, jumping and exploring their physical limitations.
As a Goldendoodle puppy parent, you sure are in for plenty of fun! Your new pup will bring laughter and joy into your days as they steal your heart and win your love. But to start off on the right paw, you should always know exactly what you're in for before bringing that innocent-looking bundle of fluff into your home. Now we'll teach you how to care for a Goldendoodle Puppy with a few pointers on what to expect, some do's and don'ts — and how to be the best puppy parent you can be.
Controlling Common Puppy Behavior
The last thing any dog owner wants is their pet developing adult dog behavior problems, but unless you make an effort to discourage troublesome puppy behavior at a young age, they might retain bad habits as they grow. Here are some common puppy habits that you'll need to check early — and the best ways to get results.
Chewing is a big part of growing up for puppies, as it brings relief to teething pain and is essential for the development of strong teeth and jaws. However, what your puppy chews on will be entirely up to you. When learning how to care for a Goldendoodle puppy — you'll also be learning how to care for your things! Your job as a Goldendoodle puppy parent will be to discourage them from chewing on your shoes, furniture and other belongings and encourage them to chew on their toys, bones and rawhides. Early on, a big part of the job is to simply keep chewable possessions out of your pup's reach, but their long-term habits will require a little bit of training on your part in the form of bones, rawhides and puppy toys.
To prevent choking, make sure to always keep an eye on your pup when you start offering chewable treats. When you do give your puppy something, to chew, make sure to praise and pet them when they chew it — as this teaches them that chewing on their toys makes you happy. If you catch your puppy chewing on something you'd wish they didn't, stop them immediately and replace the object with one of their bones or toys while giving them praise. This way, they'll learn to associate chewing on certain objects with your positive reaction. That's pretty much it!
Nipping and Mouthing
Don't be shocked when your puppy gives you your first nip on the finger — it's non-aggressive and perfectly normal puppy behavior!
Puppies nip because they're teething and haven't learned that biting your hands is unpleasant for you. This may be one of the more difficult puppy habits to break because they might get stimulated to nip when you're giving them a pet, and who can resist petting that adorable furry head — even at the cost of a nip!
Another possible solution to puppy nipping is gently holding your pup's lower jaw in between your thumb and forefinger when they start to nip (one finger inside of the mouth and one finger on the outside). Don't let go for long enough to annoy them and until your puppy decides it's tired of that game and pulls away. When they do, try giving them your hand again, and if they start biting again just do the same thing. Repeat the process until your puppy simply licks your hand or ignores it, and when they do, reward them with some praise.
If you have children around, make sure to persistently discourage nipping. When your child wants to pet the puppy, try to distract the puppy with a chew toy while they're being petted and continue the same training methods as mentioned above. By learning how to care for a Goldendoodle puppy's nipping habits early on, you may also be preventing more harmful biting habits as they age.
Jumping on you is your puppy's way of getting attention and expressing their emotions — all of which are signs of a happy and healthy dog. But it's not a habit that you want your dog to carry on into adulthood, as it can get a little rough and become more annoying the bigger they get. As much as you may love getting jumped on by your little pup when you get home from work, it's best to discourage this behavior early on and give them a chance to express their affection in other ways — like licking your face!
Remember, when your puppy jumps on you, they are demanding your attention. Maybe you've been gone all day, and it's their way of welcoming you home. Either way, your reaction is what they're after, whether you hug them back or push them off (even negative reactions reward their need for attention, which is important to remember when training them to stop).
When your puppy jumps on you, avoid making a physical reaction. Instead, fold your arms and say “down”, “off”, or “sit”. Your puppy vocabulary will play an important role here, particularly if you're already working on training them with words like “sit”. If your puppy is still jumping you on, try turning your back to them and ignoring them until they follow your command and stop jumping. When your dog sits down, reinforce their good behavior with praise.
Any time your puppy starts jumping again, repeat the process by ignoring them and repeating the commands. This way, your Goldendoodle puppy will begin to understand that demanding your attention by jumping on you will actually have the opposite effect of getting ignored. By saving their energy for a wagging tail, they'll get all the love and attention they could possibly want!
Going to the Bathroom
Now that you've got the basics down, learn how to care for a Goldendoodle puppy using proper training techniques in our article on How to Train a Goldendoodle . You'll find great tips on how to housetrain a Goldendoodle puppy and teach them how to do their business outside, in their crate — and off the rug!
How to Care for a Goldendoodle Puppy: Puppy Don'ts
It should go without saying that you should never slap or hit your puppy as a punishment. Remember, puppies absolutely love getting attention and making you happy, and successful discipline is a simple matter of reinforcing good behavior with praise, treats and lots of pets.
Getting physical with your puppy will only confuse them and can cause harmful side-effects such as “hand-shy” trauma — or the fear of hands. Your puppy may also develop an element of fear in your presence and may even begin to avoid you. At worst, your dog can become defensive and even feel the need to protect itself. Of course, a puppy may also consider your slaps and taps as a playful gesture, and respond with equal roughhousing and set you back even further. For these reasons and good animal care, disciplining your dog should never involve physical punishment.
You're Already So Much Better at Puppy Parenting!
Just like that, you've already learned so much about raising a pup! Remember, training isn't a one-day affair. Raising a Goldendoodle puppy will require your patience and commitment from one day to the next, so make an effort to train your puppy for a few minutes every day to keep things routine and help them form good habits. Dedication is what makes a good puppy parent — and a great dog!
We hope you're as excited to meet your new puppy as they are to meet you. Sure, puppies and dogs may seem like a handful at times, but the amount of joy, companionship and entertainment they offer will make any effort in raising them pale in comparison. As you get used to your new puppy, you'll fall into a rhythm of patience and care that becomes second nature and see your pup grow into a beautiful and loyal dog. After all, a good dog is family first, and a pet second.
Please feel free to Contact Us anytime with any questions or for more tips on raising a Wonderful Goldendoodle!