Important Things To Consider When Bringing Puppy Home
Puppy Proofing your home
There are lots of potential hazards lying around the home that could cause problems for your puppy. Puppies are lively and curious creatures that like to chew with their new teeth and because they are small, they are able to get into spaces that you haven’t even thought of.
Make sure that all chemicals and detergents are safely locked away and that the cakes of soap are not in a place that your puppy can get his teeth on to it. Don’t leave plastic bags lying around that he can get twisted up in and ensure that small objects such as sewing equipment and toys are not left on low level tables or cupboards. Keep the toilet lid down to stop the puppy from playing and drinking in the water. The lid may fall down and hurt or trap him and the bowl cleaners and blocks are poisonous for animals.
Houseplants can be both irresistible and poisonous to puppies. Remove all houseplants or place them in hanging baskets outside of your puppy’s reach.
If you plan on having your puppy in the garage, the garage has many hazards as many chemicals are left on the ground or placed at a low level. In particular, rat poison, anti-freeze, mothballs, fertilisers and insecticides are all attractive for puppies but all can prove fatal.
Plan carefully the place where puppy will spend most of his/her time, a playpen or smaller enclosed area is best to begin with everything will be new to puppy. Crate training is a great idea and puppy will find a crate a safe and inviting place to rest. Choose wisely where your new puppy sleeps and ensure you have suitable dog bedding to sleep in. A pup is unlikely to go to the toilet in its own bed or crate (the small confines of the crate teaches a pup to hold on). You can also consider a restricted space such as a laundry or bathroom. Your pup has been sleeping outside with its litter mates before going home with you, so if your sleeping choice is outside, make sure the bed has lots of blankets and is placed in a draught free area.
Be prepared for your puppy to cry for 20 plus minutes when you put it to bed the first few nights. If you know it has been fed, and been to the toilet, then be strong and resist going to your puppy while it is crying or you quickly teach your puppy that crying will get attention. Try placing a blanket or sheet over the crate or sleeping place for puppy, this will teach him/her that it is time for sleeping now.
Non-tipping food and water bowls are a must and will alleviate a lot of mess - we will provide you with puppy's food for their first few days.
Chew toys are great for a good play/game before rest or bed time. A tired puppy should fall asleep quickly.
If you have children in your family, make sure they are aware of your boundaries and rules relating to the puppy.
Puppy's First Night
When your puppy first gets to his new home, show him to his toilet area and allow him to have a bit of a walk around. Then, if you are planning on crate training your puppy, put him/her inside the crate for some quiet time. There he/she will feel safe and will be able to look around the new surroundings without feeling overwhelmed with new people or other pets.
At night, keep the puppy in his/her crate next to your bed for the first week or two. He/she will feel secure in his/her own area and you can sleep with the knowledge that your new puppy isn’t getting up to mischief. Give him/her a chew toy and a familiar smelling towel or blanket and every now and then, hang your arm over the bed so he/she can smell and lick your fingers until he/she falls asleep.
If your puppy will sleep in another room, give him/her a night light and a ticking clock or soft music. On the first night, he will be likely to cry as your pup misses the litter mates.
Most puppies will need to be taken outside during the night and again early in the morning. If possible, set your alarm so that you wake up at the same time allowing the puppy to learn his/her night time toilet routine and reduce the incidence of soiling the bedding.
Socialising is the time during which a puppy develops relationships with other people and animals in its environment and allows it to get used to household noises and activities such as vacuum cleaners, music and car travel. Some people will encourage you to wait til your puppy is vaccinated before you socialise your puppy. This is too late. The more your puppy is put into lots of different situations the better. Ensure that you don’t put your pup on the ground, or in the company of another dog until your puppy is vaccinated. However, the more sounds, smells etc that your puppy is exposed to in these formative weeks, the better socialised and better mannered your puppy will be. Visit parks, lakes and festivals and even bring him in to a pet store where he will be spoilt rotten and learn to be in a different environment without being shy or fearful. Make your visits short, but stimulating for puppy, get a foldable playpen with a floor or a rug just for puppy and allow him/her to be exposed to lots of different activity and noise. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of early socialisation in ensuring you have a calm well adjusted puppy.
Although the Australian Labradoodle has a low to non-shedding coat, they still require regular grooming and brushing. Start brushing your puppy when you bring them home with a soft brush and lots of treats. By making brushing an enjoyable experience as a puppy will ensure you have a calm and content adult dog during all your grooming sessions.
The amount of brushing will depend on whether your Labradoodle spends most of their time indoors or outdoors, though brushing on a regular basis will help towards avoiding and limiting matting that can occur with a fleece, wool or hair coat. Brush to the skin and in the direction of the hair. It is recommended to give your Labradoodle a thorough brushing out before a wash and then follow up with a blow dry, this ensures no water is trapped in the coat and again lessens the risks of matting.
Between the ages of 9 to 15 months your Labradoodle’s coat will change. The puppy's undercoat at this time will need to be stripped out with regular brushing using a slicker brush or shedding rake, to avoid matting caused by loose hairs being caught in the adult coat. Your puppy's softer puppy coat may change in texture as the adult coat comes in and can lighten in colour. This is often a good time for a full clip. Normal grooming and brushing will result in removal of hair from the coat and this is not considered shedding.
We clip our dogs every 8-12 weeks, because a shorter coat is easier to maintain and to identify any Paralysis Ticks. We do recommend clipping if you live in a high risk area for Paralysis Ticks as an addition to your preventative treatment. You can invest in good quality clippers and attempt this yourself (YouTube have some great tutorials on dog clipping) or contact a professional groomer.
With a wool or fleece coat comes the advantage of having a dog with low ‘doggy odour’. Depending on if you have an indoor dog or an outdoor dog who plays in the grass, dirt and swims may dictate how often you wash your Labradoodle. Again, start young with treats and make bath time enjoyable and offer lots of praise for good puppies.
Nail clipping is a regular practice when you find your dog tired out. Again start early and just clip the nails on one paw. Your puppy will quickly learn it is not something to be frightened of. Ask your Vet for a demonstration during your first visit for the correct clipping method.
Monitor your Labradoodles' ears and keep the ear canal as free of hair as possible. The hair inside the ear and the long floppy ears can trap moisture and cause ear infections in any dog breed. Your Vet can recommend an ear solution to use to gently clean any waxy deposits from the ear canal.