Puppy Care Tips
Tips for Puppy Care
Things you need to know before bringing puppy home
To do list:
- Acquire a crate
- Acquire food and water dishes
- Acquire some basic grooming tools- steel comb with wide teeth, nail clippers, slicker brush
- Decide where your puppy will be potty trained outside. ■Find a vet and Pet sitter while on holiday
- Find a good puppy training class or a trainer (not necessary if you are a previous dog owner)
- Crate training is a very successful way to train your puppy. Puppies do not like to mess in their beds. First thing in the morning take your puppy out of the crate- put him/her on a leash and take directly to the spot you have chosen for your puppy to go potty. While they are very young continue to take your puppy outside to the same spot every hour or so while he/she is out of the crate. Soon you will increase these times to longer periods. After each meal wait about 15 minutes and take puppy out to the same spot. If they do not eliminate leave the potty spot to play etc and go back 10 minutes later to try again. It will not take long for puppy to go to that same spot each time she/he needs to go potty.
- Bathing: Australian Labradoodles do not require frequent bathing. If they get muddy they should be allowed to dry and then brushed to remove debris in their coats.
- Brushing: If your labradoodle is mostly indoors you may only need to brush every couple of weeks. If your labradoodle spends a lot of time outdoors you may need to brush out weekly.
- Brush to the skin, working from under the coat. Work from the feet up to the body and the tail to the head. Brush in the direction of the hair, but add small amounts of coat to each stroke. At approximately eight months old a puppy coat needs very regular brushing to strip out the puppy coat so it doesn’t tangle and get matted in the adult coat.
- Eyes: Bathe the eyes with clear water when needed to clean and clip away bothersome hair.
- Ears: Clean ears regularly with an ear cleaner. Fill ear and gently massage to bring dirt to the surface. Use a cotton ball to wipe out cleaner and dirt. Clip hair from base of the ear.
- Nails: Trim every six weeks
- Sanitary areas: The hair under the tail and the belly should be shaved to prevent mattes and keep clean.
Helpful Suggestions Training Your Australian Labradoodle Puppy
- Training is fun and very rewarding for both you and your puppy. Puppies have an amazing capacity to learn complex demands quickly.
- Start training as soon as you obtain your puppy. Puppies learn rapidly but their attention span may be short, so spend 10-15 minutes twice daily.
- Training should be conducted when the puppy is not excited and when the home environment is quiet. Once the puppy has learned a response in one environment, move the training location to progressively more complex and more stimulating environments. That is, the puppy will have to be trained in each environment that you wish it to respond in.
- Learning occurs more rapidly if one person trains the puppy first and then the other family members get involved. Train the puppy using one-word commands like “come”, “sit”, “down” and heel”. Try not to use the puppy’s name in association with the command, as too much verbiage is confusing and slows the learning process.
- Reward appropriate behaviour as soon as possible after giving the command (best within 1/2 second). Give valued rewards such as food touch and praise every time the puppy responds to a command. You will quickly learn which reward is more valued by your puppy. Once the response is learned, give the rewards intermittently. This will result in rapid learning and make the response more permanent.
- If the puppy fails at any level of training, stop, don’t reward and the training again at a simpler level. How consistently a puppy responds to a command is a function of the degree of training. If a puppy responds only when it feels like it or when the environment is quiet, start again and train more intensely.
- Be patient, never punish. The opposite to reward is no reward, not punishment. A punishment which causes pain or excitement does not work and generally causes problems. Punishment may also interfere with the owner/animal bond. If the puppy is doing something that is inappropriate, distract it or use the reward for responding to a command which is incompatible with the unwanted behaviour.
- Educating yourself in proper training methods that are easy and work well will make a world of difference. If you understand why your puppy is doing certain things then you will know what to do to correct him/her. This will leave you less frustrated and with a happier household and puppy. Putting the time into training your puppy to have manners will give you a well-trained dog for his/her life.
Feeding your puppy
- By the time you take your puppy home he/she will be eating dry kibble three times a day. We feed our puppies Select Gold Junior from Maxi Zoo – if there is none near you tell the pet shop assistance that you would like food with the same quality. The amount that you feed your puppy at each feeding can be determined by your puppy’s weight. Please read the instructions on the bag for daily amount based on your puppy’s weight. Divide that amount by three and that will be your puppy’s portion at each meal. As your puppy grows you can increase the amount based on weight and divide his/her portions into two feeding. Typically when your puppy comes home to you they will be on an 8am, 12pm and 5pm feeding schedule so that puppy has plenty of time to eliminate before bed. Choose the times of feeding to suit your own situation.