Labradoodle Care Guide
I just want to touch base on a few areas that I believe to be very important in the care of your new puppy.
Labradoodles are pretty energetic and they need to have ample room to romp and play. A fenced in yard would be ideal as they don’t do well chained up. They are very personable dogs and should not be kept outside. You should spend at least a half hour a day, and preferably a half hour twice a day throwing a ball, Frisbee or something they can fetch and bring back to you. They love to run and they need to run. It also allows you and your new puppy time to bond.
The puppy will thoroughly enjoy it and by you spending that time with your new puppy you are ensuring that you will have a very loyal devoted companion for his/her life. When the puppy masters bringing the ball or Frisbee back to you, be very exuberant in telling the puppy what a good dog he or she is. They love that. All they want is to please you and when they do, and you make a big deal out of it, they strive for that praise.
I feed all of my adult dogs a grain free dog food such as Blue Wilderness or Taste of the Wild, usually Taste of the Wild as they have more of a variety. I also feed them a good canned dog food such as Nutra, Innova or Merricks. All of those brands have meat as the number one ingredient. The puppies all get Innova or Taste of the Wild dry puppy food and Innova, Max, or Natural Choice canned puppy food. Those foods all have good ingredients that a puppy can easily digest.
They need fresh water every day. You wouldn’t want to drink stale water that has been sitting in a dish for a day or two, they don’t want to either. Their water should be changed frequently. All of my dogs and puppies get NuVet vitamins. It is a very good all around vitamin and nutrient supplement that is made by a cold process that does not kill the ingredients that are supposed to be supplementing them.
I provide a three day supply of the vitamins with every puppy along with a brochure and pamphlet providing information on the vitamins, how they are made and what the vitamins have in them as well as where to purchase them. It is a great boost to their immune system and the stress of leaving their mom and going to a new home can drastically deplete a puppy’s immune system.
I can’t say it enough, the more time you spend with your puppy/dog the better the puppy/dog will be. Labradoodles are very people oriented and love to hear that they are good. Be very positive and excited when they do what you ask them. Praise, praise, praise. If they do something that is not what you want, be firm, tell them no, and lead them in the right direction. Consistency is the key to training.
All of the puppies have been started on potty training at three weeks. They all know to go to the bathroom on potty pads. Very rarely does one go anywhere else. So part of the potty training process has already been started for you. Be patient though, accidents do happen. Crate training is the best method for potty training I know, but remember, a puppy does not have the ability to control his/her bladder for long periods of time. If you don’t get up and let them out in the beginning, there will be accidents.
The good thing is, as they age, they can hold it longer. Believe me they don’t want to go to the bathroom where they sleep. The crate is their den, and dogs like to keep their dens clean. If you don’t get up and let them out when they need to go, don’t get mad at them for soiling their sleeping area. When they are able to hold it through the night, make sure you praise them and let them know how good they are.
The more time and patience you invest in your puppy the better the puppy will be. I have found that puppies that do the wrong thing are either trying to get attention or they have not had consistent training. Start early in training them. They are really smart. Three-week-old puppies that have learned to go to the bathroom on potty pads tell me that early training is good for them. .
Even though labradoodles either don’t shed at all or very minimally, it is important for a labradoodle to be groomed. They rely on their owner to brush and/or comb them regularly in order for their coat and skin to remain healthy. Dogs that shed rejuvenate their coat and skin through shedding. Most labradoodles have a long coat, and depending on their coat type, they require some brushing. All of my puppies have been brushed since they were born and are used to it. Dogs and puppies do like to investigate and sometimes get in brambles and briar patches. If they pick up a burr or two and you don’t get it out of their hair, it will eventually work its way down to their skin and will become a terrible matt that will have to be shaved. I’ve seen and heard so many people complain that their dog had to be shaved (and then blame the groomer) and it boils down to the owner not doing a regular grooming with the dog. The dog can’t remove them on their own. Long haired dogs rely on their owner.
Labradoodles eventually grow in what is called an undercoat. The undercoat is where burrs hide. It is best to do a general feel of your dog when it comes inside. If you feel a burr or “hitchhiker” get it out right away. Believe me it is so much easier than fighting with it later when it has become a full blown mat. Your dog will be happier, and so will you. Labradoodles do not require brushing every day, you can easily get away with two times a week, as long as you don’t let them get where it is unmanageable. I have spent more money than I care to think about on different brushes and combs, but what I have found to be the staple for grooming for me, is a Chris Christensen 16 mm brush and a metal dog grooming comb with narrow tines on one side and wider spaced tines on the other side. Those two tools have been what I have used constantly since I got them. The Chris Christensen brush was a little pricey, but considering all the money I have spent on combs and brushes it was well worth it. I have not had to buy any other brushes since finding that one. All of my puppies have been brushed with it since they were born so they are used to it. Part of the problem people have with brushing is the dog or puppy isn’t used to it. If you get them used to it right away they like it. Use it as your time to bond with your puppy. Tell them how good they are and how gorgeous they look. Believe me they love hearing that. Pet them, love them and tell them they how good they are. Don’t make it a chore, make it your time alone with them, your bonding time. That little bit of attention will make them the kind of dog you will be proud of.
They crave the attention. And you will have the nicest looking puppy on the planet! And really if you keep up with them, it won’t ever be a nightmare. I leave my labradoodles long and shaggy because I like how they look that way, but I do have to check them when they come inside. If there is an intruder in their hair, I get it out right away and I have no problems. I don’t even give them a full brushing, unless they want it. During the summer, when it is just too hot to leave them long and shaggy, my groomer always comments on how good they are and how easy they are to trim.