To our new Doodle family members,
Please read through the following information and let me know if you have any questions. It is a lot of information to sort through, but I hope that it will be helpful. For the list of things that we recommend, scroll to the bottom of the page. This page has a few general instructions we recommend to help you build a great relationship with your new puppy. This should answer most questions for picking up your newest family member from our home. If you are getting your puppy shipped then I will email you more specific information about what to expect. Other then that, all of this information should relate to anyone adopting one of our lovable puppies.
For the trip home from Twin Lakes Puppies, you/the family can hold your puppy on your lap (take along an old blanket or towel), or bring along her travel crate if you are coming alone. You can expect her to be able to hold it for 2- 4 hours of driving. Once you are home, give her a chance to potty and offer her food and water. This is a good time to bond with her, so plenty of cuddling and play are great. We recommend the crate training method of potty training. Dogs avoid going to the bathroom near their eating and sleeping areas, so they will by instinct try to keep their den (crate) clean. If you are interacting with her, she could stay out of her crate as long as you like. When she has to potty she will start to circle and sniff looking for a place to potty. You will quickly pick up on her body language and can take her outside (through the same door to the same spot in the yard). If you are not going to be watching her, put her in her crate. A rule of thumb for time in the crate is one hour per month of age for a puppy. So, she should not be left in the crate more than about 2 hours at this point. She can hold it longer than that, but we don’t want her to have to get in the habit of holding it for a long time, especially as you are beginning her potty training. Give her plenty of opportunities to potty and if she has been in the crate for a while be sure she has a chance to run and play before she is crated again. The wire crates with an adjustable divider are very nice, as you can make the crate small enough that she only has room to lay down spread out comfortably. Do not leave the crate any larger than this as then a puppy will be more likely to think one corner of the big crate is her potty and the other corner is her den/bed/clean area. Do not put any blankets/beds in the crate for the first month.
For feeding, the puppy is used to eating at about 7:00 in the morning and again in the evening around 4 to 7:00pm. Offer her food (1/3 to 1/2 cup per feeding but the specific amount for your puppy’s size and age will be on the puppy’s shot record we will give you when you are here), putting her bowl down for 20 minutes and then taking it up again. If she doesn’t eat anything for that feeding, just wait until her next meal to offer her food again. She should eat twice a day. If you would like to feed her three times a day that is okay too, just adjust the amounts accordingly. A puppy usually needs to potty about 5 to 20 minutes after a meal so watch her closely for a potty break after she eats. Try to be consistent about what time each day she is fed as a puppy who eats on a schedule also potties on a schedule. Leave water available for her all the time (except for when she’s in the crate), taking it up a couple hours before bedtime. She is used to eating the puppy food listed below. Be sure to feed this food for at least the first week or two. If you wish to change to another high quality dog food, do so gradually over about a 7-10 day period as switching to another food too quickly will cause loose stools.
The first 3 to 5 days is the time of greatest adjustment for a puppy in its new home. Your puppy might be intimidated by things that are new, or bark a lot when she is in her crate. Continue to use the crate, even if she cries when she is in it as once she gets used to all the new things she will love the comfort and security of her crate/”den”. You will notice her comfort level increasing each day that goes by. It seems that by the time the first week is past, a puppy will be adjusted to the new routine and will have already bonded strongly with their new family. It seems to help the puppy at night if their crate can be put in a bedroom near the family for the first few nights. Or, put her crate by the couch and have someone sleep near her. At this age sometimes the puppies can sleep all night, sometimes they will need to get up once during the night. If you find she is consistently getting up more than once during the night, set your alarm for around 2:00 and take her potty. Each night move the clock back ½ hour (2:30 the 2nd night, 3:00 the 3rd night) gradually stretching out the time until she can sleep through until morning.
Grooming is an important part of owning a non-shedding dog. Use a pin brush over the puppy’s coat once or twice a week and also comb deep into the coat once a week. At the length she is now, grooming isn’t really needed, but it is important for her to get used to being handled. Play with her feet, ears, toes, mouth, tail, etc. often so she is used to it. A haircut will be needed every two to three months. Try to limit bathing to once a month if possible, although bathing as often as once a week is ok. As her coat grows longer, be careful that you are combing/brushing deep into the coat. The tangles/mats will not develop on the end of the hair, but right next to the skin (especially behind the ears).
We recommend taking formal obedience training classes with your puppy. It is good for the puppy to continue to be socialized to new people, places and other dogs. If you prefer, professional trainers can also do individual classes, or come to your home for private lessons. Choose a class/trainer that uses gentle, positive reinforcement types of methods. The Doodles are by nature a soft hearted, gentle dog, and harsh training methods can break their spirits. (No prong collars needed). Most classes do not allow a puppy to begin until all of their puppy shots are finished which is usually around 12-16 weeks of age. Limit your puppy’s exposure to unknown dogs until all of her puppy shots have been finished. Your friends’ and families’ healthy dogs with current vaccinations are fine for your puppy to be around.
For training at home (the most important kind of training), Jan Fennell’s book The Dog Listener is very helpful, and one I highly recommend reading through. Just a few minutes each day spent in fun interaction and training with your puppy will reap lifelong benefits. While we recommend taking obedience classes as a continued socialization experience for the puppy, as the dog’s owner you are by far the best equipped person to train your puppy. By learning how to interact with your puppy, and understanding how a dog’s mind works, potential behavior problems will be avoided. Help your puppy understand what her boundaries are through training. A well mannered puppy is one who will be loved by everyone and welcome anywhere!
When you are here picking up your puppy, we will give you your puppy’s health record which contains the vaccinations, preventative dewormers and such information on it. Be sure your vet gets this record so they know what has already been done with the puppy and what still needs to be done to complete her puppy immunizations.
Also, your puppy’s microchip number will need to be registered in your name. To register (activate) your puppy’s microchip, go to Microchip ID systems at https://buddyid.com. A small one-time fee (around $20) enrolls you and the puppy for life into the 24-hour Pet Recovery Network and Call Center and into the National Pet Microchip Look up Tool. By activating this chip you will be linking her chip number to your contact information. Without activation, the microchip is useless, like a blank dog tag. You will need the entire 10 digit number to activate her chip, which is recorded on her health record. Your vet can also use a microchip scanner to read the microchip, which is implanted over the puppy’s shoulder blade area. A couple weeks after you have completed this registration, check the online microchip databases that the registration has been processed. Instructions for registering your puppy’s microchip will also be on the health record, which you will receive when you are here getting your puppy.
Supplies to have on hand when puppy comes home:
- Eukanuba Puppy Growth Food – Link to Amazon. Check into where you can find this food a while before puppy is due to come home. (Be sure to feed this food for at least the first week or so. If you wish to change to another high quality dog food, do so gradually over about a 10 day period. Switching to another food too quickly will cause loose stools.)
- Treats-small soft ones work well. For an extra special treat, use cheese or small pieces of cooked ground beef or chicken. Here are links to a couple kinds we use:
- A copy of Jan Fennell’s book or DVD of “The Dog Listener”. This book is a must read/watch for any dog owner who wants willing cooperation from their pet. If you only read one thing-be sure this is it. Here is a link to Jan’s website where you can learn about her methods. Buy her book on Amazon.
- Stainless-steel non-tipping food and water bowls
- I.D. Tags with the contact information for yourself and your veterinarian
- A collar (8 to 12 inch size) and a 6-foot leather or nylon leash (not the retractable type)
- A 37 – 42 inch wire crate with an adjustable divider in the center so you can grow the crate with your puppy.
- Dog shampoo (I like the hypoallergenic kind)
- Brush and comb, – A pin brush goes over the top of the coat to make it look smooth, and a steel toothed comb works great for going deep into the coat.
- Nail clippers
- Cleanup supplies such as a stain remover, paper towels, deodorizing and odor neutralizing spray(like Nature’s Miracle)
- Chew Toys (Kong is one of my favorite brands.) Do not get any rawhide chews.
This is a list of the basic necessities. There are many other helpful and fun products available at pet supply stores. www.petedge.com is one of my favorite online spots to pick up puppy supplies.
For a final payment, a personal check is preferred. Your balance will be as follows: $2500 + $175 sales tax – $500 deposit = $2175. I accept all major credit cards with a 3% service fee for the final payment.
Let me know any questions you have, and welcome to the loving Doodle family!