At the very top of my recommended reading list is The Art of Raising a Puppy, written by The Monks of New Skete. An incredibly informative book that every new puppy owner should read. Even seasoned dog owners can benefit from this book. I myself still refer to it from time to time. A great refresher! Tons of great information that will make life with your puppy so much happier. You can find this book (used) on Amazon for just a few bucks.
Baxter and Bella - BUY IT! This is an online puppy training school, DIY style. You can train your pup in the comfort of your own home, moving at your own pace. They have a wonderful section dedicated to "pre-puppy" to help you get ready to bring the baby home. There is a lifetime of support, chat support, Facebook group, podcasts, bonus emails .... it's quite comprehensive. Much of it is geared toward family involvement, which is so important. This promotes consistency, so that everyone in the household is following the same protocols - keeps doggie from being confused! And your kids will love teaching their new best friend. It creates a deep, rich bond, not to mention a well behaved pupper. This will be the best money you spend. At checkout, use my approved breeder code to save $40: GVDLOVE
I have selected the "must have" products for our Puppy Nursery, and shared them on a recommendations page powered by PawTree. These are the tried and true products we use regularly.
There are a number of Facebook groups out there where you can connect with other doodle owners. I’m a member of several, but the most active ones are Luv Sheepadoodles, Sheepadoodle Lovers and Goldendoodle Dog Owners Group. I’d like to throw out a word of caution though .... like with many things you read on FB, take it with a grain of salt. These groups are valuable in some ways, such as discussions on food choices, experiences with pet insurance, great toy suggestions, etc. And no doubt you will see so many adorable pictures. BUT be forewarned, there are some folks active in these groups that probably had no business bringing a puppy home. I get so incredibly frustrated with some of the posts to the pages. “My puppy is so bad, I can’t have company over. He jumps on everyone. I can’t do anything with him!” Baloney. Yes you can. You can and need to TRAIN him. All doggies need good manners, and it is up to us as their owners to teach the manners.
Another I see too often is “My new puppy chews everything, I just paid $XXX at the vet because she ate another sock”. I only comment in my head (rarely on the post!) but my initial thought is “Another one? Recurring theme? Perhaps you should revisit your supervision plan.”
Accidents will happen, sure. But an unsupervised puppy will be naughty. They aren’t trying to be bad, they are innately curious, and like our children, learn about things by putting it in their mouths. Just like babies, our homes must be childproofed, or in this case puppy proofed. Not only for your sanity while they learn what acceptable behavior is, but also for the pups safety so she isn’t injured.
I also see a good bit of ignorance based panic and vet induced panic. I recently saw a post where a woman was flipping out because her puppy developed an umbilical hernia. Her vet completely freaked her out and is charging her a boatload for corrective surgery, laymen were commenting and advising her to file suit against the breeder for selling a puppy with a life altering condition. Huh?! Seriously? The truth is, umbilical hernias are extremely common, can often remain as is without correction, and only in the rarest of rare circumstances have a negative effect on a dog’s overall health. Furthermore, most of these pups (if from a reputable breeder) are adopted with a spay/neuter agreement. If the hernia bothers you (and the vet) that much, it is a quick and easy repair with the spay/ neuter surgery. And if the vet is charging an arm and a leg over and beyond a spay/neuter for umbilical hernia repair, then I say it’s time to find a new vet. Okay, rant over.
With that said, join a couple of the groups. I don’t mean to sound like Debbie Downer, because you will find some useful information out there. But please, please, please - I implore you - if you have a situation with your pup, be it nipping, countersurfing, potty training, whatever - get in touch with me. Chances are I’ve been there, and can help or at the very least suggest some corrective measures. Don’t let the worry warts, the naysayers and the overzealous (sometimes money hungry) vets get you all worked up. That is what I am here for. If it’s something I can help with, I will. If I think your vet is selling you a song a dance, I will tell you. The relationship between breeder and client at GVD is not a meet-and-greet. I offer a lifetime of support - I want to be involved. So please don’t ever think you are bothering me. Call, text, email anytime.