Finally, the big day has arrived! You’re off to pick up your new Labradoodle puppy. You’ve gathered the essential supplies and puppy proofed your home to prepare for your new addition. The fun is only beginning, but it’s important to remember that there will be challenges along the way.
Raising a Labradoodle puppy takes preparation, patience, practice, and a good dose of common sense. During the first week, you have the opportunity to lay the foundation for a long and happy life with your new puppy. Here are some tips to help make the transition go as smoothly as possible.
Before You Pick Up Your Puppy
The best time to bring home your new puppy is at the beginning of the weekend. If possible, try to arrange for an extra 1 or 2 days off so you can spend time helping your puppy settle in. Consistency is key when training an Australian Labradoodle puppy, so get the family together to develop the house rules and vocabulary. Choose a quiet place where your puppy can eat and sleep. Also, it’s not a bad idea to have a few names picked out before your puppy arrives.
The Car Ride Home
Your new puppy can be held by a passenger or ride securely in a crate. Sometimes the vibrations, sounds, and movement of the car can make puppies anxious or carsick. Crack the car windows and gently rub underneath the puppy’s neck while speaking in a soft, calming voice. It’s a good idea to bring some extra towels and cleaning supplies, just in case you need them.
If your puppy barks or whines, don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal. Your puppy is going through big changes and will need time to adjust. Bring treats to reward your puppy for calm, quiet behavior. If you need to stop for a bathroom break, avoid areas frequented by other dogs, since young puppies are susceptible to illness.
The First Days at Home
Before bringing your puppy in the house for the first time, visit the designated potty area. When your puppy does business in the correct area, give treats and lots of praise. This will give you a great head start on potty training.
I’m sure you’re excited about showing off your new Labradoodle puppy, but keep visitors to a minimum during the first few days. Your puppy needs some time to settle in, so you want to keep the environment as relaxed as possible.
Let your puppy explore your home, but remember – supervise, supervise, supervise! Young puppies need to be watched at all times. Introduce the crate during the day by leaving the door open and tossing in some treats. Feed your puppy in the crate while opening and closing the door to give your puppy a positive first experience. Keep your puppy on the same food and feeding schedule for the first couple of weeks, since your puppy is already going through so many changes.
Bedtime Routine and Sleeping
Pick up food and water around 7 o’clock so that your puppy will be running on empty. Have a short play session before bed – tired puppies sleep soundly. Afterwards, take your puppy to the potty area and give plenty of praise.
If your puppy starts crying in the crate at night, you might need to allow a potty break, since young puppies have very small bladders. Carry your puppy straight to the potty area, give plenty of praise, and then carry your puppy directly back to the crate. Don’t give your puppy extra attention. You don’t want your puppy to think it’s playtime at 2AM!
Potty Training Your Labradoodle Puppy
In general, you should take your puppy to the potty area in the following situations:
As soon as the puppy wakes up.
After feeding time.
After playtime or activity.
When you see potty signs like sniffing and circling.
Never punish your puppy for mistakes. Most puppies don’t have full bladder control until after 12 weeks. If an accident happens, put your puppy in a safe area and simply clean up the mess. Be sure to spray the area with an enzymatic cleaner to keep your puppy from returning to the same spot. Don’t get discouraged, because potty training takes time and consistency.
Training and Socialization
It’s important to train and socialize your puppy during the first few weeks. Labradoodles are very intelligent and respond well to training. Introduce your puppy to as many sights and sounds as possible. Your puppy needs lots of love, attention, and routine socialization sessions with other people and dogs. Training fosters bonding and can be a lot of fun! Plus, you’ll be building the foundation for a strong relationship that will continue to grow in the years to come.