Planning Ahead to Welcome Your Labradoodle Puppy Into Your Home
Before your Australian Labradoodle comes Home
All the waiting and anticipation is over and the puppy is now home with your family. It is surely an exciting time for both your family and the puppy. The key to making this a smooth and easy process is proper preparation. Below you will find a simple plan to make this as easy as possible for both you and the puppy.
Know your local Veterinarian
This would be something you wouldn't think about until something happens and then the need arises. It is very important to have the Veterinarian you plan to use already in place prior to the puppy arriving. This will allow you to make plans for the puppies vaccine shots that will need to be done only a few weeks after arriving at your home. Having a Veterinarian already in place will eliminate a lot of stress if something happens with the puppy and you need a resource to ask questions or seek care for your Labradoodle.
When looking for recommendations for a Veterinarian ask your local friends, family, neighbor, or local Doodle Facebook group. They will often be very honest about who they choose to take care of their own dog. If you are unsuccessful use Google but check reviews before making a selection.
Australian Labradoodle BASIC Checklist
Start with this basic checklist of items that will be needed for the Labradoodle puppy arrival. Having these items on hand prior to the puppy's arrival will make the transition of settling into the new home a lot easier. It is not necessary to have all these items on hand, so use your own judgment as to what you feel comfortable with having on hand. Most of these items are listed on our puppy products page.
- Suitable crate for in the home
- Puppy/dog bed
- Travel crate for travel and trips to the Vet while the Labradoodle is young
- Puppy food. We recommend the "Pawtree" brand and instructions on how to order are listed on our puppy products page
- Small Puppy treats-see our recommended brand or select your own. Just make sure it is made in the USA
- Metal food and water bowls
- Slicker brush, comb, and detangler brush. A quality slicker brush will save you headaches later on
- Nail clippers
- Leash, collar, and harness. The puppy will grow out of these items very quickly and there will be a need to buy these items several times. So keep that in mind when deciding on how much you need to spend on these during that period.
- PeeWee pads.
- Durable chew toys. All toys should be bigger than the Labradoodle puppy's mouth.
- Inexpensive playpen works great for having a place to put the puppy for busy times that your attention is not on the puppy.
How to Puppy Proof Your House
Puppies are very curious and often find things that they really should not be in contact with. Take a look at your home and consider what the puppy might find themselves getting into. Just like having a young toddler in your home if there is trouble the Labradoodle puppy will find it. Look for items they can reach or come in contact with and remove items that might be harmful to them. Here are a few things to consider:
Electric cables- Puppies will crew on anything and electric cables are one of the most dangerous and can be life-threatening. In today's world, we have so many items that require charging or electrical power. TV's, lamps, extension cords, phone chargers, and small devices throughout your home all provide the puppy an opportunity to be harmed.
Small trash cans- smaller trash cans should have lids that do not allow the puppy to get into them. Also, consider the weight of the trash and could the puppy turn it over and get into it.
Baby gates- These work great to keep puppy and dog out of areas you don't want them to have access too.
Designated Daily Area- Your Labradoodle puppy should not be left unsupervised in your home. Inexpensive Playpens provide you with a place to put the puppy during the day when your full attention cannot be on the safety of the puppy. These can be easily moved into whatever area of the home you are in at the time the puppy needs to be in Playpen. Add a water bowl, waterproof blanket for the floor, safe toys, puppy bed, and you have a safe zone for the Labradoodle during periods of the day.
Sleeping Areas & Schedules
This is one area that everyone seems to have an opinion on what is best for the puppy. It has been our experience that it is best to do a couple of things that in the long term lead to a happier puppy.
Use a crate for sleep time.
By using a crate we have found that the puppy sees it as their den and a safe place. Use a soft crate mat, the litter blanket from Majestic, and safe toys to make the puppy feel at home. By using one area in the home for this allows the Labradoodle to understand what is expected when in the crate. Find an area in the home that is safe, quiet, and freer of daytime light for the puppy to sleep in. Use a blanket to cover the front of the crate to allow for a cozy feel to the den. We play low volume classic music to drown out other noises that might interfere with the puppy sleeping.
Set a Schedule and stick to it.
Labradoodle Puppies are just like babies if you can get them on a schedule they will adjust and find comfort in having a routine. By setting a schedule for sleep time, feeding time, and playtime the puppy will quickly learn the structure. After a short period of time, it is amazing how they know what is next even without being able to tell time.
Feeding Your Australian Labradoodle
We feed puppies 8-12 weeks old 3 times a day. We try to keep them on a schedule such as 7a, 12p, and 5 pm. It is best to not feed after 6 pm to help the puppy with bedtime. Once the puppy is 12 weeks old we cut them back to 2 feedings a day. Eliminating the noon feeding and increasing the amount of food as recommended on the dog food bag based on the weight of the dog/puppy. Give the puppy/dog 20 minutes to eat and then put the food away. We don't recommend free feeding and the food bowl left out at all times. Water should be provided at all times except at bedtime.
What To Feed Your New Puppy
We recommend using "Pawtree" brand dog food. This is what your puppy has been fed and what we feed to all of our dogs. In our puppy products section, you will find the instructions to purchase. Order ahead of time so that it will arrive prior to the puppy's arrival.
Your Labradoodle Puppy is Here, and We Are So Proud
Bringing Home Your New Labradoodle Puppy
The Labradoodle puppy that we told everyone about is finally here. But the first few days is not the best time to show the puppy off to family, neighbors, or friends. All of these are great for puppy socialization and we encourage you to take advantage of them. Let the puppy settle into the new surroundings before doing this. Keep the vibe in the house calm and relaxing for the first few days and soon the puppy will take to it and be right at home. During this time keep the puppy busy with lots of activities, praise, snuggles, and love to form a special bond with your family before introducing the Labradoodle to others.
The Labradoodles First Night Home
It is very important to understand what can happen the first few nights once you bring home your new Labradoodle puppy.
Why Might Labradoodle Puppies Cry The First Few Nights?
In addressing this topic it is difficult to know how it will go when the puppy arrives. A lot of families have no issues and the puppy settles in and is right at home. Sometimes that is not the case and the puppy has to make the adjustment to the new surroundings. But even the short period of time it takes to get over this is worth years of the friendship, companionship, and love that the Australian Labradoodle has to offer.
Labradoodle puppies prefer the safety and comfort of their family and do not like being separated from them. Consider the mindset of the Labradoodle puppy. They have always been with their mom and siblings for the last 8 weeks. Surrounded by warm bodies and the loving care of the mom. Dogs are pack animals and find safety and comfort in being with the rest of the pack.
On the other hand, your family has waited with great anticipation to bring the puppy home to give it all the love and attention that you can possibly give. The only problem is the Labradoodle doesn't know that yet. The Labradoodle instinctively knows that being away from the pack is dangerous and not normal. So the crying, whining, barking, and evening squealing that could happen the first few nights are normal and just their way of trying to find their pack. I know, sad but let's read on. This will all pass and is something that a lot of puppies go through.
Puppy's first few nights can be the hardest for you as well. We tend to be more emotional, take everything to heart, feel guilty the puppy is sad, overwhelmed, frustrated, think they don't like us, we picked the wrong puppy, or there must be something wrong with our new puppy. Try not to do this and understand that in a short period of time the Labradoodle will LOVE their new home. So it is important that you prepare yourself and the rest of the family for what may come in the first few nights. If your Labradoodle just settles in and doesn't cry or whine this too is ok and just count yourself lucky.
So we have established that crying is the norm and the first few nights may be hard. It is also important to not jump to conclusions the first night or weeks as to what kind of companion your puppy will be. Setting boundaries, schedules, routines, exposing the puppy to new things, and continued training will all go a long way in helping the Labradoodle to be a well-balanced member of the family. Just give them all the LOVE you can and take the time to keep them busy. This will go a long way to keeping the puppy from having anxiety or being afraid. The first few weeks are not a true reflection on how successful that will be. Stay with the plan and it will all work out.
So again I want to remind you that not all puppies have issues adjusting to their new forever home. But if they do it is short-lived and well worth all that the Australian Labradoodle will bring to your home.
Helping the Puppy Feel at Home the First Week
- Use the crate. Puppies need crates like babies need cribs. It gives them a place to relax and sleep where they can feel safe. Associate the crate with something pleasant and never use it for punishment. Puppies under 6 months of age should not be crated more than 3-4 hours at a time. Puppies don't have the ability to hold their bladders and bowels well at the first and really don't understand that they need too.
- Set a sleep/eat/play schedule and stick to it. This will be key with potty and crate training.
- Don't be afraid to set boundaries and don't feel guilty in establishing rules to live by.
- Finds ways to show puppy attention and love. Love will solve a lot of issues. Play games, sniggle, train, and just find ways to make them feel comfortable with their new surroundings.
- It's ok to keep the crate next to your bed for the first few nights. This will allow the Labradoodle to be able to smell and hear you. It can also help the Labradoodle to feel less afraid, not abandoned, and get over any crying a little sooner. Give the puppy the litter blanket and a soft toy animal to snuggle with. Covering the crate with a lightweight soft blanket also helps.
Do not put the puppy in bed with you. I know, wow that sounds mean. But working through the first few nights or week can be hard but you will likely regret making the decision to let the puppy sleep with you. Wait until the puppy has matured to about 10-12 months before doing this.
Helping Your Puppy Sleep at Night
- Make sure the Labradoodle is getting plenty of exercise during the day while out of the crate
- Try to wear them out playing games, simple training, tossing a ball, or running in the yard. All this will help the puppy to be ready for a nap or to sleep at night.
- Make sure the Labradoodle puppy has had plenty of bathroom breaks throughout the day. Take them for a potty break just before putting them in their crate to rest or at night.
- Staying on a schedule will also help the Labradoodle to know when it is time to rest or sleep.
- The hour or so before putting them to bed for the night should be a winding down period and make it part of the everyday routine.
- lots of potty breaks after 6 pm will help with the puppy sleeping at night.
8-week old puppies should be able to sleep 6 hours or more depending on the individual puppy. Limit water before bedtime, potty right before bedtime, tire them out after 6 pm, and settle them down one hour before bedtime will help them to sleep longer. If the puppy wakes up in the middle of the night and is whining to go potty, take them out and put them right back to bed. Limit interaction and no playtime or sniggling. By staying with the same routine and schedule the puppy quickly learns what is expected.