The following is an excerpt from "The Complete Guide to Miniature Goldendoodles" by David Anderson. For more information visit the books Amazon Page.
Author Credit: David AndersonWith the arrival of your Miniature Goldendoodle, everything in your personal life is going to be different. These dogs are more than happy to integrate into your family as quickly and seamlessly as possible. They will pay attention to everything you do and will try to find a way to make you happy, whether through cuddling or playing. Puppies are a bit more of a challenge, but even they want to be with you as much as possible. Time is going to fly by, and before you know it your puppy or young dog is going to be a full-fledged member of your family, going everywhere you go. You probably won’t even notice how quickly your dog becomes an integral part of your family.
One thing to remember about your Miniature Goldendoodle is that the dog’s abilities reflect the time and effort you put into the training, and it requires a commitment on your part to make sure your pup remains happy and healthy.
That first week will establish a lot about your relationship and the way your puppy feels about your home. From the beginning, the hard work will start to pay off (puppy-proofing a home is definitely hard work) as your puppy begins to explore your home. However, you are going to need to train your new little friend every day, something that will be increasingly difficult as you get busier. No matter how crammed your schedule is, make the time to do some training every day so that your puppy doesn’t get into trouble as an adult for doing the things you used to think were cute.
If the last chapter taught you anything, it was that planning and preparation begin long before your new dog arrives. Everything needs to be set up before your Miniature Goldendoodle comes home so that the transition for everyone in the household goes smoother.
The day before your Miniature Goldendoodle arrives, do a final check of your home. Your puppy is going to be curious, so you should get down on your hands and knees and really inspect every room for potential hazards from the puppy’s angle.
Have a list of everything your puppy will need right from the start. That list should include the following (the list is not comprehensive):
- Water and food dishes
If you want to fence off a small area for the puppy, make sure you know how to work the gates. You will also need to test the fencing for your little one to make sure it isn’t easy to knock over.
Sit down with the family and make sure everyone understands the rules, particularly children. Proper puppy handling is essential for making sure your children and puppy play well together, and that does mean being strict with your children—not just your new pup. Verify that everyone knows their roles—who will walk the puppy, who will feed and monitor the water bowl, and who will participate in daily training. Training should be everyone’s job, but one person should be responsible for the harder tasks, such as teaching the dog to sit and stay, and that should be a daily task for one person. Others are free to join in, but having a primary trainer who handles it daily helps establish consistency. One adult should be involved with the puppy’s care too. Pairing up gives your children a chance to be responsible with a bit of extra help until they can remember to do it on their own. One adult and one child can monitor the water bowl; one adult and child can feed the puppy. This makes it easier to ensure that nothing important in the care of the new family member is forgotten in the early days.
Finally, your Miniature Goldendoodle requires a routine in the early days. It is fine if that schedule changes later on, but establishing a predictable schedule in the first few weeks or months helps the puppy feel safe and secure in the new home. It is also fine to occasionally change up the schedule a little, and you can tweak it as your puppy gets more comfortable. The schedule will help you as much as the puppy; if you have a routine, you are less likely to forget a task—autopilot can be a beautiful thing when training a puppy. Your young friend will also become a little alarm after you have been following the schedule long enough.
The final week before your puppy arrives should be used to review everything one last time. Develop the training schedule, starting with when you get up and need to make time for walking, to when you go to bed. You know that things will change, but once you are accustomed to the schedule (if only a little) it will make things easier after your puppy comes home.
After you meet your new companion, it is time to start training. Everything that your puppy should learn has the foundation in that first car ride home. You are going to want to cuddle the little canine (especially if the puppy is scared in the car), but you have got to start being consistent from that first encounter. Your puppy is learning from what you do and say during those early days, and you want the impression to be friendly and consistent. Those adorable eyes will stare you down, and if you give in and take the puppy out of the crate, things are only going to get harder to change as that will be the expectation from that moment. That adorable little face hides an intelligent mind, and if your Miniature Goldendoodle knows that you are weak to the puppy-dog eyes, they are going to use that against you.
It is best to have two adults on the trip to pick up the puppy so that one person can give attention to the puppy while the other person drives. The Miniature Goldendoodle likely will not be too afraid, but you should provide assurance to your new friend because of all of the changes to the puppy’s life. The more positive the driving experience to your home is, the more your new puppy will enjoy future car rides. This is a great way to introduce your new dog to car trips, an activity that is likely to become a regular part of your and your dog’s schedule as you go out for new adventures, hikes, and excursions.
Ensure the crate is secure in the car so that your Miniature Goldendoodle is not sliding around in the back area. The crate should be secured, and not held in someone’s lap. The puppy should experience minimal jostling to create a positive experience.
That first night is always difficult for new puppies. It is the first night away from the mother and the familiar comforts that the puppy has known, and it is understandably a scary experience. However, there is only so much you can do comfort the little one without undercutting yourself. What you do not want is for your puppy to think that negative behavior will get the desired results. You will need to work through those first few nights to teach your puppy that it is not as scary as it seems and that your home is a safe place.
If you have a policy that keeps dogs off of the bed, don’t let the puppy on the bed. You cannot bring the puppy into your room to sleep after he becomes vocal about his fears because that will encourage whimpering and whining every night until that action is repeated. It is nearly impossible to convince a Miniature Goldendoodle that something is not allowed if you allow it once. Keep in mind they are intelligent, and they will figure out how they got you to do what they wanted. Then they will repeat it.
Because of the number of strange noises and smells, your new companion is going to feel uncertain in your home. As a result, the puppy will probably make a lot of noises, including whimpering, and that adorable little face is going to work against you and make you want to give in to what the little charmer wants. You need to expect this so that you can be strong. Learning to ignore the noises from your puppy—and not looking at your puppy when you hear them—makes training considerably easier.
Do not move your Miniature Goldendoodle just because you don’t want to deal with the noises. Ignoring puppies long enough for a few days will convince them to stop. Having your new canine sleep a long way from you will terrify the puppy and will be proof that the puppy is alone in your home—fears you do not want to instill (let alone confirm). Even if your puppy wants more attention and closeness, keeping the Miniature Goldendoodle in the designated space over the first week will show the dog that it is not alone, but there are rules to follow.
Expect that you won’t get much sleep in those early days. After all, you do have a small, furry baby to tend to that will require love and care. It is all part of what you sacrifice to start with a puppy instead of an older dog. The designated Miniature Goldendoodle sleep space proves that your puppy has a place—even if your new young friend has no interest in having his own personal space. There may be times where your puppy will want to have a little alone time after being overstimulated. Boundaries help the new pup understand the restrictions too. Over time, you can let the puppy explore, but for now, the Miniature Goldendoodle should be kept in an area where the puppy can learn to be comfortable. You need to go into that space often as your puppy won’t want to be alone. Do have another area nearby for the puppy to use the bathroom. If you want to start by training your puppy to only use the restroom outside, you are going to have to get accustomed to sleeping even less as you will need to take the puppy outside several times during your normal sleep hours.
The first vet visit is definitely something that you and the puppy will both face with trepidation. Still, you need to do it within the first day or two of the dog’s arrival at your home. It is necessary to ensure that your little one is healthy, as well as creating that initial bond between the vet and your puppy. Considering the fact that Miniature Goldendoodles are a designer dog, you need the baseline to ensure that your puppy is growing up well. Even though your puppy is not going to be happy about it, getting familiar with the vet is important. As an outgoing, friendly dog, your Miniature Goldendoodle will probably develop a great relationship with the vet over time.
The vet will conduct the initial assessment and gain a baseline of your puppy’s health. As your new little companion grows you will be able to make sure it follows the expected health milestones.
For that first visit, your puppy will probably want to explore the waiting room, including meeting everyone there. You will need to be careful that your puppy does not get too hyperactive or close to other animals, especially with older animals that are not interested in being pestered by a puppy. Ask everyone before letting the puppy approach any other animal in the waiting room. Many of the pets are likely to be there for an ailment and may not be feeling well enough to entertain a young dog.
Praise your pup with positive feedback for good behavior. Anything your puppy does that you want continued should be praised—this will have a much greater effect than any kind of food because your attention and happiness are what your Miniature Goldendoodle wants. This will help your little canine to get more comfortable with the environment so that future visits are not as scary. The positive attention also gives your puppy a more positive impression of that first vet visit, giving your puppy a reason to look forward to future trips too.
Training starts the second your puppy gets in the car, but you have a lot of time-intensive work ahead of you. Training may not be particularly hard for Miniature Goldendoodles, but they may look for ways to persuade you that you have better things to do than to train them. That cute little face and adorable expression can easily distract you from the behaviors you need your puppy to learn. Over the next few weeks and months, you need to establish some basic training foundations.
Some Miniature Goldendoodles may be a little more vocal than expected, but you can train them out of this habit. They are prone to barking on walks and when they see or hear something outside. Start training your puppy not to bark at random sounds and sights, starting during that first week. It may mean a few extra treats (make sure to take treats on the walk), but that is all right in the early days and will help your puppy to be quieter.
Your Miniature Goldendoodle may also be a bit noisier in an effort to get your attention. The best way to discourage this is to ignore your puppy when this happens. That does mean you will be training yourself as well as the puppy, so it will probably take time as you figure out when the puppy is barking for your attention or for some other reason. You can prioritize and start by discouraging random barking first, and then stop giving as much attention when the barking is reduced when walking.
Leash training should be incredibly easy, but keep in mind that it is not exactly natural. Depending on your puppy’s personality, the leash may be treated like a chew toy, so you will need to train the new pup not to do that. Mostly your puppy is happy to be included in whatever you are doing. Do be careful not to be too forceful on the leash, and plan to take short walks in the beginning. A trip around the block is fine for the first few days. The puppy is going to be taking in the new world, so the walks are not going to be real exercise until your little canine is a good bit older.
Miniature Goldendoodles will need to be taught to respect all of the family members, even if the dog is very personable. If not trained properly, your puppy could start to act like a little terror, disregarding family members and barking incessantly. You aren’t likely to need to worry about more serious problems, but you don’t want your Miniature Goldendoodle to act like a brat when it gets older.
The best way to gain a Miniature Goldendoodle’s respect is through consistent training. You should not use fear to do this—your puppy wants to please you, that is the best leverage for teaching it respect too. It wants to have positive attention, so just be consistent in your approach, and almost everything else should be easy.
The reason to bring this up is because it is easy to give in to those puppy-dog eyes and pleading face. You will have to be strong, but as long as you are consistent, your Miniature Goldendoodle will be easy to train.
Acclimation to the Home
Any rules you want your puppy to learn will need to be applied consistently, no matter who the family member with the dog is. This means making sure everyone follows the rules. The one common problem that you do have to watch is being consistent. It will take a while for your puppy to understand that the rules will not change. Being consistent and not allowing bending or breaking of those rules is the best way to get your puppy acclimated to your home.
To read more from "The Complete Guide to Miniature Goldendoodles" by David Anderson, or purchase on Amazon, visit the link below: