Our preferred breeder has sent me a message saying she has a small standard goldendoodle (35-55 lb) litter dropping in a few weeks.  She hasn't announced the litter yet and wanted to give some people who had shown interest already a "jump" on the application process.

That would mean puppies would be coming home in late January, which for us is the absolute coldest, snowiest part of winter in Ontario.  To give you an idea of how cold/snowy, we regularly get days where it's colder than -30C (-22 F), sometimes -40 with the wind chill.  We also sometimes get days when we get a foot of snow overnight.

We're torn, we wanted to bring home a puppy a little later in the year (Spring/Summer) but there's no guarantee she will be having another larger-sized litter next year.  The parents of this litter are also absolutely adorable.  We could just wait until 2022 though which wouldn't be terrible either.

DH and I are both working from home until at least the Spring, so in that way it would be a "good" time to have a puppy.  I'm just not sure about the whole winter thing... that and our son is turning 2 in January but he's fairly dog savvy already.

Has anyone brought a puppy home in the depths of winter?  What was it like for you?  We brought Luna and Riley home in the Fall (their birthdays are actually only a few weeks apart!) and that was a good time, though I think Spring would be my ideal.

 

 

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  • I have brought ALL my puppies home in Spring or Summer, and planned it that way. Chicago's temperatures may not be as low as yours on a regular basis, (but they are low enough) and we also get lots of heavy snow. I brought Jack home in late January, but he was an adult and already housebroken. Even so, he was not good on leash and my yard wasn't yet fenced; it was not fun walking a big dog who pulls on icy sidewalks. 
    Speaking of fences, is your yard fenced yet? That would be an important factor for me. With -22 temperatures, a foot of snow, little kids and no fence, the dog would have to be Rin Tin Tin and free for me to consider it, lol. 

    • Yes our yard is fenced, we have a secondary fence around the pool as well but we were planning on taking that out over the winter (it's removable).  We also have a big deck that could make a convenient potty area for a puppy, though we would need to shovel it off maybe if there's a ton of snow.  We have a gate for just the deck so it could be a little "puppy" area to run around in the snow a bit without being able to get to the covered pool.  

      Here's Riley on our deck on the morning of the first snowfall of the year - she was so excited lol.  It's about double the size than what's shown in the picture.

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      The really low temperatures are what concern me most ... -20C doesn't bother Riley but it's certainly too cold to go out for a decent walk with a puppy.  The short potty breaks would be fine but going out for longer than a few minutes it's often just too cold, which is fine (But not ideal) for an adult dog but not great for puppies (and kids!) so all my little crazies would be stuck inside together lol.

      I honestly think the whole winter thing is freaking me out a little, breeder said to take our time deciding so we are thinking long and hard about it.

       

      • I just had another thought about the deck thing... we definitely don't want the puppy to pee there when the deck is in use in the warmer months so maybe that's a bad idea haha.  Riley pees down in the grassy area between the house and pool, it would be harder to clear a path for a puppy, Riley can just step through any deep snow.

      • Honestly, this is a hard one. I guess it depends on how much you want a puppy from this particular litter. 

         

        • I think the main reason we are still strongly considering doing it is that we are both working from home until Spring.  That would avoid the awkward young puppy phase where we have to be at work for long periods a day or two a week and puppy is in an ex-pen whatever all day long.  With Riley she was in the back of our mudroom and she tried to eat the walls (and shredded her pee pads).  Realistically we won't get this opportunity again of both of us being home all day every day with a young puppy until after we retire. :p 

  • I know this isn't what you asked but....

    --Larger doodles are NOT 35-55 pounds - that is medium to basic standard  --- just saying - and I understand you wanted larger rather than smaller.  So if you still prefer at a larger dog, this particular litter is not what you are looking for. 

    --IF your son is just turning 2, even though he has lived with dogs, any puppy might still have overwhelming energy with any interactions ( I KNOW you are totally dog savvy and would control the situations but still he is pretty young to hold his own).

    --I think you could  make this work if you want to and an advantage would be that you are both home.

    -- You really wanted to get a puppy in the spring so don't be 'bullied' into taking a possibly smaller dog in a season you hadn't wanted to deal with sooner than you felt appropriate for your son becaue you have puppy fever. 

    ( I live in Southern Califonia and have NO experience or problems with any weather situation other than too much heat in the summer so walks have to be timed around the heat and hot pavement. Therefore I have no business advising you.  But I read your posts and want you to get WHAT you want WHEN you think it's the right time.)

    • Thanks for your insight, I appreciate the perspective.  It's hard not to get caught up in the puppy fever, and DH and I have both caught it so there's no staunch voice of resistance around here lol.

      I meant larger as in larger than some of the other litters she produces, most of her litters are minis from what I can tell.  "Medium" (which is how she described the litter that is coming) would be fine with us, we definitely want a dog that is smaller than Riley.  I don't want two pony-sized dogs at once lol.

      As far as our son goes, at worst we could "divide and conquer" where one parent takes the puppy to one part of the house and other parent takes the kids (or at least our son, daughter is 7 she can fend for herself lol) and Riley to another.  

      Realistically, thinking about the whole "at home" situation, we might be able to swing at least one of us being home all the time the way things are going.  I almost always have 1-2 work at home days a week (or at least 2-3 partial days) and DH's boss has said that moving forward they will likely be allowed 2-3 work at home days a week too since the "remote" working has been going well.

      It would have been so much easier if this litter hadn't appeared out of nowhere ;)  She had told me she was having a litter in "Fall/Winter 2021" but I took that to mean END of Fall 2021 and into THAT winter.  

       

      • J, I know you could make it be a successful puppy-raising.  I totally get the puppy fever part.  I am not even adding a dog to our family and I'm looking at Springer Spaniels!  You started this with your discussions! I blame you. :-}

        • Oops!  Sorry, haha.  I was showing DH pictures of the dam of the litter's previous puppies (they're grown now, different sire)... and he told me to stop showing him because we're still deciding lol.  

          I don't know, we are still very much on the fence.  I told the breeder we'd get back to her within a few days and it's been almost 2 days now.  The "smarter" thing to do would be to wait for Spring, but there are definitely some advantages to doing it sooner.

  • I have a HUGE aversion to puppies in winter.  It's a cold fall right now and I'm SOOOO thankful I'm not bringing home a puppy.  Milo's breeder had two litters I was deciding between.  The one Milo was born into or one that is going home in mid December (at that time we expected mid/late Oct but nature didn't work out that way).  I was so hesitant knowing that I might have 2 months of FREEZING potty breaks at the crack of dawn and late at night.  SO many potty outings each day I can't imagine bundling up that many times.  Before we knew we were getting the pup we got, I was prepared to move to the next litter for the "right" puppy.  I'm so thankful I didn't have to.  The reality of initial potty breaks happening every 20-30 minutes and eventually every hour that you're home.  BRRRRR.   But also so hard to just socialize when everyone is hibernating indoors AND there's a pandemic keeping people apart.  How is weather by April?  

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