So, you’ve finally brought your new family member home! Even a novice dog owner will tell you, every puppy presents new challenges and experiences. You may be wondering where to start. Should you dive right into training or let your new Goldendoodle acclimate to the environment? What do you do when your puppy is mouthy and teething? These are all great questions and you’ve come to the right place for advice.

Expect the unexpected!

First off, expect the unexpected! Goldendoodles are known for their exuberant and goofy personalities. A puppy is certainly no exception. Try not to stress over accidents, mistakes, or mischief within the first few days. Accidents happen! Reset and refresh for a new day; you can always start out on the right foot tomorrow. 

Owning a Goldendoodle is a learning process, as it is with any dog. Take time to get to know your new dog, and let them get to know you. A new house, new yard, and new people can all be overwhelming. Your puppy will need time to decompress. Introduce your Goldendoodle to their new environment slowly, maybe just one room at a time. Advise family members to remain calm and gentle around the new family member, much like bringing home a newborn.

Crate training

One way to make your puppy more comfortable is to invest in a dog crate. This isn’t to say they should spend the majority of their time in a crate. The goal is to establish a safe place for your puppy, somewhere they can relax away from any chaos. Your new Goldendoodle might not be thrilled about the idea at first, especially when your lap is so cozy! But, introducing a crate early will be beneficial to both you and your puppy in the following months. 

Leave some blankets and toys in the crate, the area should be enticing and welcoming. Leave the door open when you can and let them explore the area freely. Another pro tip: make sure the crate is the correct size for your dog. This can be done by using a divider in a bigger crate. You won’t have to buy multiple crates and you’ll cut back on possible waste!

Eating, drinking, and house training

Establish an eating and drinking area immediately. Bring your puppy to the designated area so they can check it out for themselves. Feed them at the same times every day to establish a routine right off the bat. On that note, try to choose an area that will be suitable for the long term. This will further set a routine for your puppy and help with possible anxiety in the future. 

Keep in mind, a puppy’s bladder is very small. Pair that with little to no impulse control and you can expect a few accidents! Take your Goldendoodle outside multiple times a day and reward them any time they do their business outside. A crate is a great way to keep your puppy out of trouble at night, but you should still get up a few times to take them out. Remember, this phase won’t last forever but the potty training will last a lifetime!

General tips

On that note, take a little time off work or make sure someone can stay home with the puppy. If workdays feel long to you, imagine how they feel to an 8-week-old Goldendoodle with nothing to do! It’s not always possible to spend every minute at home, and that’s understandable. But it’s essential to spend as much time as possible with your Goldendoodle to form a lifelong bond and get a headstart on essential obedience training.

Puppy proof your home by making sure anything dangerous is put up. Puppies love to chew and Goldendoodles are no exception. Anything can become a target for a young Goldendoodle! Diapers, trash, and cleaners all seem like great play toys to a young puppy! You can install a few temporary baby gates in areas that are simply not puppy-friendly. 

Lastly, remember to enjoy this time with your new family member! The days are long, but the years are short. Use this time to bond and play with your Goldendoodle. This is a breed that is naturally inclined towards loyalty and companionship, but the more time you can spend with your puppy the better. In hindsight, you’ll always wish you had a little longer with that sweet adorable puppy.

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