Caring for Your Puppy

Time Investment

20130531_073watermarkBefore placing an application for a Colonial Village Labradoodle Puppy, please evaluate the time investment that your family can spend with your new family member. Labradoodles were bred for relationships with their humans and they want and need to be a valued part of your home. Below are some points that we would like to share with you regarding care of your puppy. You can also click here for a downloadable puppy care sheet.

1. Consistency is essential. Dogs (and some humans) love and need routine. They need to be let out regularly to go outside for potty and play breaks. They like to sleep in the same spot at night. They like their meals to be served at the same time and their tummies can only handle small and incremental changes to their diets.

2. We highly recommend that all of our families read Tamar Gellar’s The Loved Dog. This excellent book is used as a foundation in our training program. She recommends that Crate training is essential to training your puppy. It is not cruel. Our homes can be large and frightening spaces to a puppy. They need and desire a crate to allow them to feel secure. Crates provide them a “den” experience. You can safely start crate training your puppy after 6-7 weeks of age.

We will start crate training your puppies before they leave for your house. I prefer the hard plastic crates. They are easy to clean and transport and do not allow puppy’s little paw to get caught. Put puppy in the crate and shut the door. In the crate, you can give them a toy to keep them entertained. Let them out for a little potty break, and then place them back in their crate. Only when they have calmed down and are not whining do you open the door to allow them some family time. Consistency in this practice will give your pup security and insure that you hold the discipline.

3. Discipline is essential. No one likes an undisciplined dog that does not respect his human’s boundaries. We strongly encourage you to enroll your puppy in Puppy Obedience Class. It makes for a happy and healthy pet and a happy and healthy pet owner.

Every moment that you invest in your puppy’s obedience education will be  a reward of  your pet ownership!

We recommend our trainer, Karen Patitz, for private sessions. If you are looking for classes please consider Warren Patitz at www.go2forthedogs.com or Bark Tutor in downtown Broad Ripple at www.barktutor.com. We also love Jeremy at Paws and Play’s Lodge and Learn in Fishers, Indiana.

20130531_060watermarkFeeding Your Puppy

We recommend IAMS puppy food. When we wean your puppy from our dedicated mommy, we will start your puppy on “IAMS” mixed into a gruel. It is easily digested and highly recommended by our excellent veterinarians. When your puppy goes home he will be eating solid puppy food specifically designed for his little body to grow big and strong. We send all of our babies off with a bag of “IAMS” and recommend that you follow that diet and discuss your puppy’s nutritional needs with your own vet. If you do decide to change brands, please transition over a period of time and introduce the new food gradually to not upset your puppy’s tummy. When your puppy is about one year old, we recommend Costco’s Kirkland Chicken, Lamb, and Rice as an economical yet highly graded dog food option. Costco also carries IAMS or the excellent Taste of The Wild Salmon and Sweet Potato.

House Breaking

One of the most important behaviors to train your dog to do is house training. We start all of our little ones at 3 1/2 weeks of age to go potty in a cedar chip filled litter box. it is an easy and effective training tool. When they come to your home they will be trained on where to go and how to do it. This will not hamper your training technique for going potty outside either. We will send you home with a bag of cedar chips, too. We also prepare our little ones for traveling and your puppy will start being acclimated to being in a crate around 4 1/2 weeks of age, too. This helps in housebreaking but also assists in our puppies flying to their forever homes.

Coat Care

We focus only on the allergy friendly coats. Labradoodles seldom need a bath and are naturally blessed to not have that “doggie” smell. Their fleece is almost resistant to dirt. The more you bathe your labradoodle the less natural oils will be in their coat. Fleas are also rare and if you live in an area with a high flea population we encourage you to use Revolution. Always consult with your vet about any treatments. There are three types of labradoodle coats.

1. A hair coat will shed a great amount and is mainly seen in earlier generations of labradoodles. For an example a lab/poodle cross or an F1B or sometimes an F2B.

2. A wool coat is the most allergy friendly coat. If your family suffers with asthma this would be the coat for you. Wool coats are easy to care for with attentive grooming. We shave our wool coat dogs 1 time a year for summer and clip as needed. It is not that we have found these coats on their own are more allergy friendly than fleece but rather the wool coat attracts less allergens in outside play than fleece.

3. A fleece coat is gorgeous and a  fleece coat shouldn’t shed. It offers medium maintenance and can be scissor-ed or clipped like a wool coat and grow back to its long flowing style.  After brushing your puppy, you should also spritz with water to refluff the curls and avoid matting. Trim the dogs hair under their ear flap very short so that air can circulate under your puppy’s ears. This will help prevent ear problems. A good groomer is key- ask us for referrals to groomers that we know and trust!