Puppies are fun and can help warm hearts! However, like any living creature, puppies are a big commitment and require lots of attention and time. Before you make the decision to commit your family dynamic and time to giving your puppy the best life you can, we would encourage you to research and educate yourself and your family, on as much puppy-related information as you can! Here is some information we would like to share with you, based on our experiences and various websites that are available, even to you!
We would encourage you to seek out Puppy Training classes! PetSmart, for one example, offers training beginning at 10 weeks old, and continued training is also available! Great resource. This is a great way to help bridge the communication gap between your family and your new puppy! I would also suggest asking at your local feed store for any recommended trainers, in your area, for any behaviors that arise, that you may need help with, in the future! There is hope for growing together through the puppy-training stage. Do not lose hope in your dog!
There are many options for bedding available now. A few types, for example, are crates, pads or the foot of your bed! The decision about where you will have your puppy sleep is up to you and your family dynamic! Before you decide, please consider the safety of your puppy, and protection from potential hazards around the house, while you sleep, or are away. As puppies are typically chewers, especially while teething, things like medicines, chemicals, stuffed animals, clothes and electrical cords can be potentially dangerous for a curious puppy. There are advantages to crate training your puppy early on in their development. Crates provide your puppy with a "safe zone" from possible over-stimulation if you have children or other animals in the house. The crate can be a retreat for a quick nap or protection from older dogs from being too assertive during typical dog "rough housing". Another positive aspect to crate training is your trash cannot be rummaged through, instead they can rest peacefully until you awake or return home. Dog pads or mats provide a soft space for puppies and even older dogs to rest, and putting one in a crate, or on the ground is another option for where puppy can sleep. Depending on the temperament and personality of your puppy, and whether or not this option is available to you, your family should do what works best for you! No matter which route you decide to take, remember training takes time!
Here on the farm, mostly, we only crate our girls at bedtime and when we are gone, and we allow our boy to free-roam, in the house. He isn't sneaky or a chewer, and even sleeps at the foot of our bed! Our girls, on the other hand, LOVE their kennels. They have a rotation of their own blankets and chew toys that their people (the kids) frequently switch out for them.
Health and Nutrition
Puppy food and into adulthood is something you should discuss with your vet. The choice to put your puppy on ANY diet is something you and your vet should have a plan to implement. None of our dogs require a special diet, for health reasons and our vet is on board with our choices. We've selected to feed our furry family members Loyall Life All Stages Chicken and Rice by Nutrena because we like the added vitamins and minerals and also treat them to Pedigree Choice Cuts Wet food for additional protein, for dinner. If you choose to switch your puppy's food, please follow the guidelines set by your veterinarian and do so slowly, over time, so as to not upset your puppy's digestion.
Exercise is vital to your puppy in two different lights. It helps keep them healthy and prevents obesity. Exercising your pup will also help them burn energy, so they can adjust to sleeping through the night. Whether you are a runner, a walker, a swimmer, or a hiker, Aussiedoodles and Bordoodles are a great match for your stamina, in time. They are also great competitors in Barn Hunts, Agility, Frisbee or FLyball. Too much exercise, too early, can cause long term hip issues and tendon problems. Your veterinarian can guide you on this schedule, but lighter exercise early on is encouraged!
Puppy multivitamins and probiotics are also beneficial for their skin, coat, eyes, teeth, bones and joints. There are many available, and your vet may recommend any brand to you.
Regular teeth brushing, dog bones, and Kong toys are great for chewing, teething and hygiene. There are MANY chew toys and dog bones, as well as rawhides, that are available on the market. Do your research on the safety of what you choose for your dog. For example, our pups do not get rope bones, because the strings break off and can get stuck in their teeth leading to infections. Because of this concern, we have elected to refrain from rope chew toys. There are still many other chew toys available!
Potty Training & Chewing
Potty Training is not just about training your puppy to go potty outside, but its also about not going potty in the house and how to tell you they have to go! It is also about training yourself and your family to listen and learn the cues your puppy sends to you that they have to go, and to respond to those cues! There will be accidents in the house, and this is the time for you to train how you respond to your puppy when they have an accident. If you do not have access to a yard, or live in an apartment, there are options available for disposable potty pads, or re-usable grass pee mats that are washable, reasonably priced and vary in size. We have a grass pee mat, we use with our dogs, during training. Be forewarned: they have an odor. It is an attractant to entice the puppy to use it to pee on, and after many washes, it gradually fades (we wash ours with Dawn Dish soap). But, at that point, the dog will have a better grasp of the concept.
Chewing is an issue that frequently frustrates puppy parents! A sharp NO! and redirection toward an acceptable toy, and frequently exercising them can help curb chewing. There are different flavored sprays available that you can spray on to whatever the pup shouldn't be putting their mouth on and it will deliver a yucky taste to the pup if they try to chew on it, signaling they shouldn't be chewing on it!
Personalities are, and should be, unique! One of the most intriguing things about Aussiedoodles and Bordoodles is their activity, personality and temperament levels. Australian Shepherds, (or, in our case, Mini American Shepherds), Border Collies and Poodles are known for being HIGHLY intelligent and live to serve, please and entertain, for affection and commendation. Combining these breeds to create the Hybrid Mini Aussiedoodles, or Bordoodles, allows for the intelligence from the best of both worlds! However, because they are such an intellectually advanced breed, they NEED stimulation! They need exercise! They need a purpose, a job. Both The Mini Aussiedoodles and Bordoodles are completely trainable, understanding, hardworking and loving.
Temperament & Activity Level
Since personalities of all animals vary, I can only share with you the personalities of our dogs, and leave the research up to you. Seek out advice and research for yourself to create your own opinion on poodles! Our poodle, Chuck Norris, is a loving, snuggling, smiling, cheerful, energetic - at the right time, and can fully sleep through a movie, on your lap, with you! He is as fast as our Border Collie, Gracie, and prances like a high-stepping horse when he goes for a jog with us. He gets along with all animals we meet, and loves to go for car rides anywhere we so choose. He loves to play fetch and his return is remarkably precise. Chuck is a social creature with animals and humans alike. AND! He does not shed! Yep, that's right! Poodles are hypoallergenic! More on this later.
Mini American Shepherds, (or Australian Shepherds) as well as Border Collies, are herding dogs, and were born and bred to herd animals. The Aussies are also called Velcro dogs, for a reason. Both live to serve the rancher, and keep the cattle, goats, sheep and horses in-line. Because our puppies will be born in a house with younger children, we have the enjoyable task of teaching these puppies not to herd children. However! It is in their instinct to herd, and entirely possible for ANY dog to act upon those desires! Training, and reaffirmations - and a JOB - will remind them to stay focused at their tasks and duties.
Jobs? What kind of a job can a Mini Aussiedoodle or Bordoodles have? Great question! Mini Aussiedoodles and Bordoodles are capable of cleaning up their own toys, with enough training! There are puzzles on the market that dispense food, or treats, which is absolutely rewarding for dogs! Chasing lizards, birds, rabbits or squirrels are definitely the desire of these herding breeds.
Shedding and Grooming
Aussiedoodles and Bordoodles are a hybrid - cross of a shedding dog and a light/non-shedding, hypo-allergenic Poodle. Both of these breeds, crossed with a Poodle, decreases the likelihood that their puppies will shed, or the AMOUNT that they shed throughout the year, but is not guaranteed with a first time cross (breed to a poodle, one time) that there will be NO shedding. There are also two times a year, when they may blow a small amount of their coat, as coat changes periodically occur in all dogs, when the weather changes. Regular brushing and grooming will help keep the shedding under control. It is recommended that your Aussiedoodles or Bordoodles should be groomed every 8-10 weeks, and bathed, blown dry and brushed, when necessary, in between groomings. There are some great grooming kits available for at-home grooming, for the time in between scheduled groomings, but one of the best kinds of brushes for poodle-type and doodle coats is the Slicker Brush.
Most groomers are familiar with the Doodle cut these days. It should really be up to you, as their owner, how you want to be groom your Aussiedoodle or Bordoodle. There are several options that Aussidoodle and Bordoodle parents may desire, but the typical Doodle cut is rounded top brushed out and it will lay down naturally, v-shaped ears, longer muzzle on top, cleaned up underneath chin, shorter coat cut all around, feet trimmed well, ear hair cleared out and a sanitary cut on the backside, brush out the tail but don't trim too much. Your Aussiedoodles or Bordoodles will need regular nail trimming, at the time of grooming.