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!
First step, before you bring your puppy home, find a vet! Ask around your local pet feed stores, and agricultural stores, to accumulate recommendations for a veterinarian who is loving, caring and available to provide the best care for your puppy, at a decent price. Prices may vary, due to location, but good vets are out there and are available to help you with a care schedule for vaccinations, nutrition and excercise schedules to keep your new pup healthy! Your vet will also be able to help establish a schedule for vaccinations, deworming, tick medicines and any other preventative health related information.
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, some things to consider are for 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 can may not 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, is up to trial and error, something for your family to try and see 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!
Aussiedoodles and Bordoodles are a hybrid cross of a shedding dog and a hypoallergenic Poodle. Both of these breeds, crossed with a poodle, decreases the likelihood that their puppies will shed, but is not guaranteed with a first time cross. Regardless, Aussiedoodles and 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.
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 grass pee mats that are washable, reasonably priced and vary in size.
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 what the pup shouldn't be putting their mouth on and it will deliver a yucky taste to the pup if they try to chew it, signaling they shouldn't be chewing on it!