We've put together a few tips to get your puppy started off right.
We think the most important thing you can teach your puppy - starting the minute the puppy comes home - is SIT. This is the easiest thing to teach and most of our puppies go home knowing it. You simply push the puppy's bottom down and say SIT. When they do, you say GOOD SIT and praise them. Do this a few times and they will learn what a SIT is.
Tell your puppy to SIT before you put the food/water down. Tell your puppy to SIT before you pet or give any affection, when you let your puppy out of the crate, etc. Before anything, your puppy has to SIT. What you are doing is teaching your puppy to be mannerly and greet people sitting. You have taught the puppy that nothing good comes when you jump on us but when you sit, you get lots of praise and/or treats.
Start shopping for obedience classes in your area. Find a trainer that uses positive reinforcement and comes recommended. This will be the most important thing you can do for your relationship with your puppy. The puppy and everyone in the family will benefit. We've heard good things from our customers about PetCo's Positive Dog Training, which can be found in most larger markets.
As with children, you will likely want to puppy proof your house. Part of it is to keep the pup safe, and the rest is to keep your stuff safe from the pup. Puppies chew things. Everything below four feet is fair game. Expect it and prepare for it. One of the best solutions is to offer a wide variety of puppy safe chew products all over each accessible floor in the house. If the pup is going to chew, you might as well control what he is chewing. Supervise your puppy at all times. Use child proof locks to keep substances like pesticides, meds, cleaning products, plants, etc locked up in cabinets and away from your puppy. When puppies are young, even rawhide strips and greenies can be dangerous, never give these to your puppy unsupervised.
Avoid heat stroke and don't leave puppies or dogs in the car. Puppies and dogs should never be left alone around water or pools. They can drown in a matter of seconds. You should teach your puppy how to swim and how to find the steps to get out of the pool. Most puppies can swim but need to be able to find the stairs to get out.
Make an appointment with your Vet for a new puppy wellness check. Your puppy will not need any vaccinations at this appointment but it's good to establish a relationship with your Vet and the puppy.
Socialize your puppy
Some great articles that are a must read on early puppy socialization
Health Risks of Parvo
You should not allow your puppy to be out in high risk public places - dog parks, pet stores, rest stops, doggy day care, kennels - until after the Parvo vaccinations have been completed, 16 weeks/4-months. You should wait at least 2 weeks after the last booster. Speak to your Vet about the risk in your area. If Parvo is not an issue in your area, you won't have to be so strict. Don't be afraid to socialize your puppy!
Goldendoodle ear care
Ear care is very important! The number one reason dogs visited a Vet last year was ear infections. This is not Doodle specific but with all dogs. We use Derma Pet's Malacetic Otic weekly and after every bath, swim and groomer appointment. Order online at CHOMP or purchase at your Vet's office. Goldendoodles are floppy eared dogs - which doesn't allow air flow to the ears. It's very important to keep their ears dry and clean. Don't be afraid to let them swim! Just make sure you use this product or another drying solution afterwards. We have learned being proactive with ear care will save you lots of trips to the Vet. Here's a great set of step-by-step instructions from Pet Wave on How to Clean your Dog's Ears.