Taking Puppy Home
Please keep in mind that, as extraordinary as these dogs are, they are still puppies. Puppies need a lot of attention. They must be watched constantly or safely placed in their crate to be sure they don’t get into something that might harm them. They tend to jump, nip, bite, and chew things that they shouldn’t. Some will wake you in the night to relieve themselves, while others will not. They are uniquely individual and go through developmental stages, just like children. We highly recommend signing up for puppy classes in your area, or if you prefer an online version, we use Bella & Baxter (the-online-puppy-school) and find it to be an amazing resource. The more training you invest in your new puppy, the better! They love to learn.
Below you'll find our recommendations concerning puppy/dog nutrition and supplies.
Here at EverHeart Australian Labradoodles, we feed our puppies and dogs Life’s Abundance All Life Stages Dog Food. Life’s Abundance was formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM, a Holistic Veterinarian with more than 20 years of experience. This company uses a small batch manufacturing system and only the finest ingredients to provide a product that comes to us within 4-6 weeks of it being made and provides our dogs with a holistically balanced food that keeps them in optimal health.
Crate and exercise pen
Your puppy’s crate and exercise pen will not only be a safe haven for your puppy, but it will be a life saver for you. We use both 30 and 36 inch crates for our dogs, depending on their size. The wire kennel version of these crates grow and adjust with your puppy allowing you to buy the size they will need as adults and downsize it until then. It’s important during the crate/potty training process that the open area in the crate is only just big enough for them to fit inside and turn themselves around. Because dogs do not like to potty where they sleep, this will keep your puppy from going potty inside their crate. It is also important that your puppy not be left in their crate for too long and are taken out to relieve themselves.
A good rule of thumb is that you have about an hour for each month of your puppy’s age. So when they’re 2 months old, you’re safe to put them in their crate for 2 hours. This does not include nighttime which, in my experience, varies with each puppy, but you certainly don’t have to get them out to go potty unless they’re telling you to (don’t wake the baby!). It is very important that your puppy has some uninterrupted down time to nap, and the best place for them to do that is in their crate. Not only will this help them be a happier, more well-behaved puppy during the day, but it will also help them to feel more comfortable and content sleeping in it at night.
Using an exercise pen or having some sort of gated area for your puppy to play during times when you can not give them your full attention is another valuable practice. This will prevent them from getting into situations where they might be destructive to your property or themselves. There are wire exercise pens available that can be attached to your wire kennel or adjusted in multiple ways to fit all sorts of different environments. When you have a new puppy, baby gates and the like are your friends!
We can not impress how important proper socialization and training are for your pet. As much as these dogs can be amazing little angels, things can take a turn for the worse without mental and physical stimulation. Their brains are like little sponges and it is our job to let them know the appropriate ways to react to every situation possible. This begins as soon as they are born with the ENS that we do and continues using Puppy Culture Methods to bring them where they need to be when you take them home. Here are some options to help facilitate that.
Positive Training Books
- Puppy Socialization, An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness, by Caryl Wolff
- Train Your Dog Positively, by Victoria Stilwell
- The Puppy Whisperer, A Compassionate, Nonviolent Guide to Early Training and Care, by Paul Owens and Terence Cranendonk
- Don’t Shoot The Dog!, by Karen Pryor
- Inside of a Dog, What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, by Alexandra Horowitz
Online Dog Training
If you are looking for an at-home, online option for your dog training, we highly recommend Baxter & Bella Online Training School. They offer a lifetime membership which has a multitude of resources to fit whatever your needs are. You can even schedule private training sessions with one of their trainers if you and your pup get stuck on a specific issue at no extra charge. One of the benefits of this is that you can begin as soon as you bring your puppy home. They have all the information you need to make the transition as smooth as possible, and because it’s online, there’s no need to worry about vaccinations being complete before beginning. They are amazing!!
In-Person Dog Training
If you’re looking for something in person and close to home, simply find an obedience school in your area offering puppy classes and get signed up. You will have to wait until their vaccinations are completed before beginning in-person puppy school, so you’ll definitely want to consult one (or more) of the books listed above to get yourself started beforehand.