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Time to go

“As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.” -Winnie the Pooh

The day has finally arrived.  It’s time to go home!  


While I’m sure there will be more questions along the way, I want to share a few common thoughts to help your snuggly new addition transition from our home to yours.  Some of these things may work for you, and some may not. That’s okay!  This is simply how we do things, and what works for us.  

Time to Eat

Your puppy is currently eating TLC All Life Stages.  This all life stages food designed for active breeds.  We have tried many different brands and varieties over the years.  We are thrilled with TLC!  Puppies typically eat 3/4-1 cup of food twice daily. 

Puppies, when they go home, will experience normal stress that comes with change.  This may cause them to nibble on their food rather than consume an entire meal as you may hope to see to know they are adjusting well. 

We serve breakfast around 8am, and dinner between 6-7pm.  Here, they have their brothers and sisters to contend with encouraging them to eat quickly.  At your home, they will realize they don’t have to rush.  My recommendation is to limit distractions during meal times. 

I recommend feeding your puppy their meals in their crates.  After a potty/play session, give them time in their crate to eat.  This will help keep them on a schedule that will aid in daily routines, as well as predictable house training/potty habits. 

Keep in mind, when puppies go to their forever homes, everything is new!  Nibbling or not completely eating every meal is likely due to distraction with all of these new things and great adventures they are enjoying rather than a distaste for the food.  They will nibble for a few days.  After they settle in, their meal consumption will be more consistent. 

Bad habits are easier to prevent than break.  Steer away from adding canned food or tempting gravy or sauces to their food to lure them to eat.  Give them a little time to figure things out.  They will eat. 

If you do decide to change their food, I would  recommend Eukanuba brand.  Any changes should be made over the course of days, not all at once.  This will help with tummy upset.  Mix some of the new food with the original food adding a little more of the new and a little less of the original daily until you have completely transitioned to your new choice.  

It's Potty Time

Puppies potty a lot!  It will feel like you re walking 24/7 for a few weeks.  You are correct!  Consistency and frequency are key.  Putting in the effort early on will save frustration as time continues.  Poodles and cavapoos are so very smart.  They learn easily.  They are so very smart.  They can also be sneaky.  :-)

Puppies will definitely need to potty first thing after they wake up.  They will also need a potty break after every meal, play session, water break, nap, and crate interval (even if the interval was for 15 minutes and they pottied right before they went into their crate-trust me)!  Set a timer and walk them as close to every 30 minutes as possible for the first several days.  You can adjust the time a little longer after you get aquatinted to them individually.  They will likely need to walk hourly during the day for a couple of weeks.  They will be able to hold it longer during crate times and at night. 

Poochy bells are highly recommended and easy to teach and learn. Hang them on your door knob or a command hook beside the door.  Simply ring the bells as you’re taking them out. Use what ever command you decide.  “Let’s go potty.”, ring the bell, go out the door.  This doesn’t have to be a big production, it simply has to be consistent.  Lots of praise after they do their business! 

I promise, before you know it, you will be somewhere in your house and stop in your tracks wondering if you heard the bell.  You did!  Take them straight out to potty, and praise them like you have never praised them before.  The bells give them a voice that you can understand.  They learn quickly. 

If you take them out and they don’t potty.  That’s okay.  Bring them back in and have a crate interval of 30 minutes or so.  Then, back out to potty. 

If you cannot directly supervise your puppy for a time, crate them.  It’s okay!  It’s all a part of the process.  Some people use crates forever, some just use them through training.  I am a forever crate person.  My dogs have no crate or separation anxiety.  While I love them and, of course, want them to want to be with me, I also want them to know I will be back and the crate isn’t something to stress over.  I don’t have to worry about them chewing into an electrical cord while I am away or about them eating a couch while they’re teething.  It’s safe.  

Time to See the Vet

Your puppy will be due a booster vaccine at 12 weeks of age.  Some veterinarians will try to insist on a booster vaccine during the first appointment even if that appointment is days after they go home.  Please do not allow them to vaccinate your puppy again until at the very earliest 10 weeks, preferable 11-12.  I administer a half dose vaccine at 6 weeks around the age when they wean from their mothers, and a second whole-dose vaccine at 8 weeks prior to going home.  You can have too much of a good thing.  I do not believe their little systems can handle it.

Vaccines are recommended at 12, and 16 weeks.  At the 16 week mark, a rabies vaccine is also recommended.  Your puppy has not received a lyme’s vaccine at this age.  I do recommend vaccinating for lyme’s.

Your puppy is not fully immune to the diseases for which they have been vaccinated for.  This takes a series of vaccines to build complete immunity.  Please avoid direct or indirect contact with other dogs or puppies until after 16-20 weeks. Puppy classes, PetSmart, parks, dog rest areas at stops… all okay places in time. Now is not that time.  Protecting your puppy is of upmost importance while their antibodies are building. 

I also highly recommend a monthly parasite preventative routine.  I personally use Nexgard and Interceptor monthly.  There are many different options.  Please discuss the pros and cons of each with your doctor. 


Why Crate Train

I highly recommend crate training.  This is for your puppy’s safety as well as their security.  Crates are not punishment.  This is their den.  When trained correctly, your puppy will (in time) have no anxiety concerning their crate.  In fact, you will likely see them choosing to crate themselves because they find comfort in their little home. 

I recommend setting the crate up in your most commonly used room of your house.  You can move it later.  Right now, this is just to get them adapted to it.  Puppies should sleep in their crate at night.  I do not recommend giving water to them in their crates at this age.  Water = potty.  The goal is to keep the crate dry and comfy. 

I use towels or thinner blankets in the tray to begin with.  These can be washed easily.  You can add a comfy pad or bed after your puppy has the dry crate down pat. 

When you are around your house during the day, give your puppy regular intervals in their crate.  Teach them to go into their crate when you tell them to, treats, and praise work well.  Repeating the command crate, then offering a treat and praise over and over a few times during a training session will have this down rather quickly.  During these regular crate intervals give them chew toys that they typically do not have access to freely.  I prefer bully sticks or deer antlers rather than actual toys during these times.  Raw hides are dangerous and should be avoided. 

If your puppy whines or starts to cry, which they likely will, you can make a den by covering the crate with a thin blanket or towel to keep them from being able to see around the room or see you.  This is temporary.  Teaching them their crate is a cozy place when you are home will give them comfort knowing it’s a good place when you have to leave the house.  It is not punishment.  I promise!  Crates are wonderful tool, but as with all things, it takes training.  

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