Take Home Preparation
Our mission with breeding goldendoodles is to help make dogs and families happy together. The spark for this mission began years ago when the Hatch family rescued a dog off the streets. Everything seemed perfect about him except that he had never been socialized. He wasn’t familiar with kids and barely tolerated life with the three (at the time) busy Hatch boys. He snapped and growled and had to be crated whenever other kids came to play. After two years of trying every training they could find, they found a new kid-free home and he was much happier. But that experience planted the seed—what if a dog could be born and raised with kids from the very beginning? Could we help eliminate dog shelters if we could raise dogs that would never be surrendered? Dogs that are raised by caring and conscientious families have a much higher chance of being great kid and family dogs that live in one home throughout their lives. The Thompson family have the same passion for the well being of dogs and families. Together we set out to find the perfect breed and raise perfectly socialized puppies that have the best possible chance for a long happy life.
Here's the tricky part--great breeding and great beginnings are only half of the equation. Dogs have to be trained. Puppies and families both HAVE to be trained. Humans and dogs don’t speak the same language. Both have to learn to understand and communicate with each other to live together happily. We have a lifetime guarantee that we will take any of our dogs back at any time—we are committed to keeping dogs out of shelters and we never ever want to see one of our dogs homeless. That means that we are highly invested in the success of our families and dogs together. We have had some families that send their dogs away to obedience training (which can be helpful) but we have found that we need people training as much as dog training! Every member of the family needs to communicate efficiently and predictably with the family dog in order to have consistent and predictable behavior.
We have searched for years to find the best training programs. Some areas that our puppies go to have lots of trainers available and others have almost nothing. We have put some of our favorite training resources and articles on our website to help as much as we can but we haven’t found a total program that we completely love and endorse UNTIL NOW!
We have just partnered with baxterandbella.com to offer the best resource for dog and people training that we have ever found. Seriously. We are thrilled with the wealth of information and resources that this family business provides. They have trained dogs and families all over the country for exclusive clients. They have done board and train options for families that fly their dogs in and out in private leer jets but what they really love is helping regular every day families succeed with their dogs.
Baxter and Bella has a super user friendly, step-by-step program with videos, live chats, pod casts, check lists and everything else you can imagine.
They have offered a discount code for all of our families. Fonda and Kim will both be tracking who uses the program and we will be following up to see how you like the training.
If you purchased a puppy from Kim log in to https://www.baxterandbella.com/learn-more and use the code MAGIC
If you purchased a puppy from Fonda log in to https://www.baxterandbella.com/learn-more and use the code MVGD.
This discount codes will give you 25% off the purchase price.
Baxter and Bella will give us a small referral fee when you join their program--we are passing that savings on to you and adding an incentive of our own. We hope you will take advantage of this awesome resource and let us know what you think!
Here's a sample of some of the printable checklists that you will use in this program. They also have live chat, video, written instruction and more.
Take home information
1. Exercise. Extensive running and jumping or stair climbing can damage still developing joints--especially for our standard sized doodles. Standards will continue to grow and fill out until around 2 years old. Miniatures and mediums will usually be dong growing before a year old. Playing in the yard, playing with kids and going on walks are all great activities for puppies! Many of our adult mini and medium dogs are avid running/jogging partners. Until your puppy is fully immunized after 16 weeks of age avoid areas of high dog concentration where you don't know the dogs--so avoid dog parks, pet stores, busy rest stop areas or busy walkways.
2. Vaccines. Our puppies receive passive immunity when they nurse from mom but Mom's antibodies wear off somewhere between 6 and 15 weeks of age. There is no way to tell for sure when a vaccine is effective so we vaccinate in a series to maximize immunity and reduce risk of rampant dog disease. Ideally we would vaccinate just after mom's immunity has worn off but before the puppy is exposed to disease. There is only one vaccine called Neopar that can provide immunity against parvo even in the presence of mom's antibodies. We give our puppies Neopar at 5 weeks old. Most vets will not accept full vaccinations done by a breeder because they don't know if we have transported, stored and delivered vaccines correctly. We totally understand. In order to expose your baby to the minimum amount of vaccines but get the maximum effect we only vaccinate against parvo (the most common and dangerous puppy disease) and we allow your vet to administer the full vaccines at 8 weeks when they are more likely to be effective. You need to have an appointment within 3 days of getting your puppy home to have the first round of shots and a well puppy check.
3. First day Home:
First thing at home take your puppy out to the potty area to let him get used to this new surroundings and hopefully go potty right away! Sometimes you might have to ignore your puppy for a minute and slowly walk away from him if he is too excited to go potty. Once he goes, treat with food and attention!
Puppies need to go potty about every 2 hours or after they wake up, eat, drink or play. You want them to go potty in front of you so that you can reward that behavior liberally. Trust us on this! The more often your puppy is treated for going potty outside the more intentional the behavior (potty-ing) will become.
Here's a typical feeding schedule:
7 am--wake up and go straight to potty area. It is critical that you watch your puppy go potty and reward extensively for these first few days. First thing in the morning is usually the best training time--puppy is hungry and less distracted than other times during the day. Plan to spend at least 10 minutes working on your training courses right after wake up. We like to measure the morning food into a baggie and use that as a treat for this morning training. Feed 1/4-3/4 cup.
12 pm--lunch. 1/4 to 3/4 cup food. Give your puppy no more than 10 minutes and then take the food up and put it away until dinner. Always offer lots of water throughout the day. Remember that your puppy will need to go potty soon after eating, drinking, waking up, playing and training so keep a close eye during those times!
5 or 6 pm--1/4 to 3/4 cup food.
Total food: 3/4 cup to 1 1/2 cups (miniature and younger puppies will eat less than older puppies--always refer to food amount recommendations on the back of your food--amounts are based on puppy's weight. Measure food using standard measuring cups. )
4. Bedtime--choose a late bedtime and follow the instructions for sleeping.
5. Sleeping. Crate training. Your puppy has been sleeping in a crate but he hasn't been sleeping alone in a crate. The transition of learning to sleep alone can be a little stressful for a puppy and may take a few nights of crying. Here are some suggestions to make things easier:
1. Take up food and water a couple of hours before bedtime.
2. Choose a late bedtime.
3. Take your puppy potty just before you go to bed.
4. Hold, pet, soothe your puppy with you until she is dozing off to sleep. Once she/he is sleepy put her/him in the crate with thier blanket from their litter and shut the door. If they whine or cry give them a few minutes to settle down on their own. If they continues to cry you can open the door and put your hand inside with the until she they settle down. Sometimes it can help to put the crate next to you in your room for the first few nights. It's okay if your puppy cries a bit. It's not going to hurt them!
If your puppy wakes up in the middle of the night and cries then take them out to your designated potty spot quickly and without making too much fuss. Puppies will often potty as soon as their feet hit the floor so it helps to pick them up and carry them to the potty spot. Remember that this is just potty time not play time. You can give a small treat and then right back to the crate. Follow the same procedure as at bedtime. An 8 week old puppy should be able to go 5-6 hours in a crate at night without needing to go out. Some can go all night. One hour in a crate per month of age is a general rule for daytime crating.
6. Start training right away! You should already have completed your first two preparation units (Prep and Intro) from Bella and Baxter. Puppy brains are fully ready for training at 7 weeks of age. Remember that the most basic principle of training is that puppies will do whatever brings them rewards. If they get treats and attention when they lay down next to the couch they are more likely to lay by the couch. If they get treats and attention when they jump up and put their feet on you they will jump up and put their feet on you. Be careful not to reward 'cute' puppy behaviors that will be problematic in adults (ex: mouthing hands, putting feet up on you, barking for attention etc.)
7. Basic grooming: All goldendoodles need to be groomed so it's important to get them accustomed to being brushed and handled every day. Play with every part of your puppy and use your slicker brush to keep coats smooth and tangle free. If your puppy tries to bite the brush or dislikes grooming time then keep the sessions short and offer a chew toy or other treat to distract during brushing. Your puppy will need to have a hair cut every 6-8 weeks. You shouldn't need to give bathes too often in between grooming--over bathing can strip oils from the coat and cause overproduction of oil to compensate.
8. Diarrhea. Loose stools are a common problem with puppies. The first and most common problem is switching foods quickly. Feed PawTree food during the initial adjustment to a new home and transition gradually if you want to use a different food. Using the Gastro pro plus from PawTree on the puppies food from will help during the transition of food if you wish to do so. The second most common problem is over feeding. If your puppy has soft squishy poop you may need to cut back on volume a little bit. Poop consistency should be like a soft tootsie roll.
Another common cause of of diarrhea are parasitic infections like giardia or coccidiosis. Both of these can be passed form mother to puppy and can also be picked up from ground and water contamination. Adults can carry both giardia and coccidosis without having diarrhea. We treat mom and babies for both of these conditions prophylactically along with standard de-worming treatments. If diarrhea is watery or has mucous or if it continues more than two days then he needs to be seen by your veterinarian.
9. Chewing. When teeth are emerging gums are sore and chewing can relieve the discomfort. It's almost impossible to eliminate the urge to chew--the most successful management is to provide acceptable chewing resources. Bully sticks, a Kong stuffed with food or small treats, frozen chew toys can all be great options. We try to keep chew toys all around the house so that we can trade toys for shoes (or whatever) at any time. Once the adult teeth are all in and set chewing will get much better. Be diligent watching and you will survive the chewing stage of life!
10. Adolescence. Just when you think your dog has settled down and is a the perfect pet you imagined, adolescence will set in and it will feel like you are starting over from scratch. This usually hits around 10 months and can last 4-6 months. Don't despair. This "relapse" is temporary. Continue with schedules, walks and training and your puppy will return to his baseline within a few months.
11. Spaying/neutering. There is a lot of debate about this in the dog world right now. The current trend is to leave dogs intact until they are 2 years old or older before spaying or neutering. The theory with this is that bone and body structure will be healthier if all adolescent hormones are present. There are mixed reviews about this in the literature. There are some cancers that have a reduced rate with sex altering procedures and some that are reduced by leaving dogs intact. Our experience is that most people aren't prepared to handle a sexually mature dog. The behavior of un-fixed dogs can lead to unwanted pregnancy, lost pets, traffic accidents, digging, barking and all sorts of difficult behavior. Overall the risks of not fixing outweigh the benefits. We recommend that you spay/neuter before puberty at around six months of age or by 12 months old at the latest. We are passionate that puppies should only be created with intention and purpose. Never as an accident.
Looking for our previously posted training articles? Here they are:
Our goal is to have humans and dogs thrive in each other's company. In order for that to happen there has to be some method of communicating between people and pets. That's where training becomes important. Most dogs (and especially MVGD dogs ) innately want to please their humans so getting them to behave appropriately isn't so much about trying to force or trick a dog into doing what we want--it's about learning how to communicate with our dogs so that they understand the rules and expectations of living with humans. The easiest way to do that relies on one basic principle:
Behavior that is reinforced will continue.
Behavior that is not reinforced will become extinct.
If a behavior is continuing then it is being reinforced somehow,
and if a behavior is not occurring,
then it is not being reinforced.
Sometimes it can be tempting to stop a negative behavior by hitting, yelling, scolding etc, HOWEVER--sometimes attention in any form is actually a reinforcement and will make the behavior continue.
There are a few semantic terms that are commonly used in behavior modification training.
A reward is anything that increases a behavior. If petting your dog makes him sit more often then petting is a reward for teaching the dog to sit.
Punishment is anything that makes a behavior stop. If petting makes your dog jump up and down, then for the purpose of teaching 'sit', petting is a punishment.
Clear as mud?
So a reward or a punishment is determined by the student not the teacher.
Let's share an example from our parenting experience:
The Hatch's daughter Jenna loves to spend quiet time alone in her room while their son Austin hates to be alone and will do almost anything to be right in the middle of the busiest part of the house. Sending Jenna to her room is a reward. Sending Austin to his room is a punishment. In order to be an effective trainer (or parent...) we have had to figure out what works for our specific dog (or child).
One other training note: Behavior that is fear based is not as reliable or consistent as behavior that is reward based--especially if the rewards occur on a random schedule. For example: A dog may learn not to pee in the presence of the newspaper-holding-owner, but instead will learn to avoid the rolled-up-paper-swat by peeing behind the couch. A dog that is rewarded for peeing outside will look for opportunities to get outside to pee.
Of course, behavior training is not always as simple as rewards and consequences. Dogs need good strong leadership and consistency to maintain human-compatible behavior and people are a thousand times more complex than dogs, but understanding the basics goes a long way toward happiness for everyone.
Establishing a good behavior pattern in the first five months of a puppy's life is time consuming, but once the behaviors are established then living together becomes a joy.