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Hi everyone!


I posted last week about picking up our new Goldendoodle (F1 Standard)- I was just introducing myself and asked about any coat predictions. A few of you were getting your puppies last weekend or this upcoming weekend so hope you are enjoying! To make a very long story short, we did not end up getting the original puppy (he was in my profile pic and I also attached a pic to that last post) but we did end up with another Goldendoodle. It was a stressful week but I believe that sometimes things have a way of working out the way they are suppose to and we are so happy and in love with our new little guy. His name is Theo Dorable (my 7 year old loves Alvin and the Chipmunks and told us Theodore's girl friend calls him Theodorable). Theo has been doing really well with nighttime crate training and potty training too. I have a few questions if you don't mind helping me out. We lost our only dog, a 15 year old Shih-tzu, last summer so we haven't had a puppy in 16 years! Also, while we both grew up with dogs, this is our first 'big' dog. 

1. Any tips on puppy biting, especially with kids? We are on top of redirecting him to things he is allowed to chew on and praising him when he does chew on those things

2. Feeding schedule- is it a must? Our Shih-tzu was free fed and we talked to Theo's breeder and she had the puppies free feeding. The vet (we had our first appt. yesterday) was against it, as I know a lot of vets and dog owners are. 

3. Any tips on crate training for when we aren't home? We have yet to leave him. We only lock him in the crate at night. He , for right now, is next to our bed and immediately settles in when I show him that I am next to him and give him my hand to sniff/lick for a second. We will slowly move him out of our room over the next few weeks. We move the crate to the family room during the day and leave the door open. He occasionally goes in there by himself to sit or play, on his own for a few minutes but then comes out. How do I make the transition to shutting the door and leaving the room/house without it being a tough/bad/anxiety provoking thing for him?

4. Pics attached (plus my profile one). Just for fun, any coat/color predictions? I see some furnishings but his ears aren't very wavy. So maybe just a shaggy , not wavy coat?? I don't think he will have a flat coat but not sure he will have waves. He is really red in some areas and has begun to lighten in some areas too. 

5. Favorite toys? (for teething/chewing and for playing)

6. I noticed Theo's big paws immediately but have also read sometimes big paws are not necessarily a good indicator of size in mixed breeds. The vet yesterday said he looks like he will be about 80lbs. Both of his parents are under 60lbs. He was 11lbs yesterday at 8.5 weeks. What's your experience been like with your doodle?

7. When should I expect to take him for his first grooming? I'd like to let his coat grow a bit just to see it (I know it will change as he loses his puppy coat) but I think he may need a face, feet, and tail type of grooming before he needs a full body grooming. 

Thanks everyone so much for your time and for sharing your knowledge and opinions!

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  • 2.  I prefer a feeding schedule.  Makes life easier and increase the chances they will eat it and you can not worry about it.  If you don't plan on having two dogs, though, free feeding isn't the end of the world.  My dogs have always been food lovers and they ate fast and any food left out by another dog would have been free game.

    3.  I purposely left my doodle pups for a little bit right away, just to get them used to it.  I don't know it that is truly helpful or not, but I knew I'd have to go back to work eventually and didn't want to go from 0 to 4 hours alone at once.

    6.  My last big doodle was 90-105# as an adult (depending on season, age).  At his 9 weeks he was 19 lbs and continued to gain 10# a month till 8 months: 3 months = 30#, 4 months = 40#, 5 months = 50 lbs...and so on.  Usually for standard size doodles it is suggested you double the 16 week weight plus or minus 5-10#.  


    • Thank you!!

    • To add to #6 - Riley was about 12 lbs when she came home at 8.5 weeks but she was skinny, so probably should have been around 13 lbs.  Now she's a year old and about 68 lbs, we expect her to top out around 75 lbs.

  • I am strongly opposed to free feeding for several reasons. First, it makes housebreaking so much easier if you feed on a schedule. Second, free feeding can create picky eaters. You only have to look through our discussions in The Food Group here to see how many people struggle with picky eaters, and free feeding contributes greatly to that. When food is always available any time a dog feels like having some, there is less enthusiasm for the food, less value in the food, and less urgency to eat when you have a chance. With a litter being free fed, there is competition from the other puppies, so it may work well for breeders, but not for only dogs or puppies. It's also giving control of the food bowl to the dog, which can lead to resource guarding. This is particularly important in a household with children.  One of the cardinal rules of raising a well-adjusted, biddable puppy is to let them know early on that they are not in charge of anything. You own everything, and all good things come from you. Lastly, there are going to be many times in your dog's life when you need him to eat his meal promptly and within a certain time frame, so get that started from the beginning. 

    • This makes sense. Thank you!!

  • About the puppy biting... we brought Riley home when my daughter was 5, my son was born when Riley was 6 months old.

    In general if puppy bites hard enough for it to hurt at all say a high pitched "ouch!" And do not make eye contact.  If puppy continues say it again and remove yourself from play (I hid in the bathroom sometimes with Luna lol).  Basically puppy is getting a short time out but it's much easier to remove yourself than try to remove puppy.  Pup will quickly get the idea that if biting happens play time is over.  

    In general you also want to make it clear that your kids are higher up than pup in the pack ranking.  If you are all leaving the house, pup goes last and must sit to ask to leave the house.  We don't do this anymore but Riley doesn't run out open doors in general so I think it did some good.  Also have your kids do basic obedience with pup so that pup sees the kids as authority figures.  

    A few of our favorite toys:

    Omega tricky treat ball (for rainy day entertainment)

    https://www.amazon.com/Omega-Paw-Tricky-Treat-Large/dp/B0002DK26M/r...

    Chewing - nylabone durabone (Riley likes the peanut butter flavored ones)

    Fetch/tug  - hol-ee roller (if you play tug with pup, pup is never allowed to win, especially against the kids.  If dog is too strong just don't play tug)

    https://www.amazon.com/JW-Hol-ee-Roller-Original-Dispensing/dp/B000...

    Have fun with your new puppy!

    Pet Supplies : Pet Toy Balls : Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball, Large : Amazon.com
    Find Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball, Large and more at Amazon.com
    • So helpful! Thank you!

  • Hi Erica! We get our boy this coming week and I wanted to follow your questions/answers as it’s been 16 years since I’ve had a puppy at home too. Congrats! Theo is adorable! What part of Florida?
    • Thank you Karissa! We are in South Florida! Are you in FL too?

      • Yes south Florida too! Martin County area. We got our guy “Wrigley” on Monday. It’s been a whirlwind week. Our family is so in love! Hope Theo is doing well, he’s darling! 

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