My mini Goldendoodle Juno before she came to live with me. As a first-time Goldendoodle owner, I was so excited and nervous to bring her home and have her be a part of my family.
Words of Wisdom
Are you a first-time Goldendoodle owner who is looking for some helpful advice before diving into your new life with your beautiful bundle of softness? Well, who better to ask for advice from than people who actually live with a Goldendoodle? So, that’s exactly what I did. Prior to becoming a Goldendoodle owner, I wanted to hear advice from experienced Goldendoodle owners so that I could feel as prepared as possible. I joined a Goldendoodle owner Facebook group with over 91 000 members and posted this question:
I bring home my first Doodle pup tomorrow. If you could give me one piece of advice, what would it be? What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you first brought home your Doodle pup?Me
To my surprise, nearly 400 people commented with their best advice. Now that I have lived with my amazing Goldendoodle Juno for about 1.5 years, I went back to look through the responses. In my experience, the following responses from actual Goldendoodle owners represent the most essential and helpful advice I received prior to getting Juno. Please note, the advice is not in any particular order, but I consider each point to be absolutely vital to consider prior to bringing home your new Goldendoodle. I’m happy to report I followed all the advice, except for the crate training. I definitely tried crate training, but every dog and household is different, and I found using a playpen worked better for my Goldendoodle’s needs. Now that she is older, she no longer uses the playpen either, but it sure did help in all sorts of ways when she was a puppy!
Essential Advice – A Must Read For a First Time Goldendoodle Owner
- Practice patience, love, and understanding.
- Lots of snuggles, kisses, and playtime.
- Puppyhood goes by fast. Embrace it.
- Take lots of photos and videos.
- A tired pup is a happy and well behaved pup. Goldendoodles require lots of exercise and fun!
- Be consistent.
- Provide lots of praise.
- Go to the groomer at 4 months and ask for a “puppy cut” (face, feet, and fanny only). This allows your Goldendoodle to experience being groomed at a young age.
- Use gates at first to control her space.
- Pick up all the socks on the floor.
- Freeze a damp washcloth with a knot and give it to your puppy when it wants to chew/nip.
- Crate train.
- Socialize socialize socialize. Once they are vaccinated, introduce them to other animals, people of all ages, and different environments.
- The difficult puppy stage passes. Enjoy the cuteness.
- Goldendoodles are very smart. Start training on Day 1 and train every day after that.
- The biting and nipping usually stops when they lose their baby teeth at 4 months.
- Provide lots of play, love, and training.
- Take progression photos to have a visual of their growth.
- Have chew toys available.
- Pick up all area rugs during potty training.
- Brush, rub ears, handle paws, brush teeth often to prepare them for when they go to a groomer.
- Watch Youtube to learn how to brush correctly – Search: Line Brushing.
- Deep breaths.
- Get a Snuggle Puppy – Juno still cuddles with hers.
- Bring a soft blanket to the breeder to rub on Mom and littermates. The smell will provide comfort.
- Buy lots of treats. Variety is key!
- Go for car rides with her so she gets used to the car.
- Invest in a doggie car seat or doggie seat belt for safe car rides.
- A doggie playpen is a real lifesaver.
- Use doggie bells when potty training.
- Teach LEAVE IT.
- Watch Zak George on Youtube. I ended up buying his books and following him on Instagram too. I love his positive training methods.
- Don’t leave the yard until puppy has all its vaccinations.
- Having a Doodle is like having a social, curious, really smart toddler.
- Doodles need a lot of attention.
- Exercise your doodle both mentally and physically. Ditching the bowl is one easy way to provide mental stimulation. Read about how to ditch the bowl here.
- The biting phase will be an adventure but it will end.
- Have pupppy go to the same location in the yard each time to potty.
- Puppyhood is really hard but it is worth it!
- Have treats available for training. Juno loves Zukes Training Dog Treats and Crumps’ Naturals Freeze Dried Beef Liver for training.
- Be prepared for teething and be firm when correcting. I found the playpen was so useful during this time.
- Brush your Goldendoodle puppy every day so they get used to it.
- Make sure your puppy gets used to spending a little time away from you every day so he learns how to be alone.
- Put a worn shirt with your puppy to comfort her when you are away. Juno loves this still.
- Put everything out of reach at first.
- Leash Goldendoodle puppy to you at first so you can provide consistent training and they are safe.
- Have them sit before giving them their meal or a treat.
- Training during the puppy stage can be hard but also so rewarding.
- Socialize your puppy as much as possible before it is 12 weeks old. Since your puppy won’t be fully vaccinated until 12 weeks, visit friends with vaccinated dogs or sign up for a Puppy Playtime group.
- Goldendoodles are smart. Keep them engaged by giving them food using a snuffle mat, puzzle feeder, or puppy KONG. To learn more about Kongs for Goldendoodles, click here. To discover healthy foods to use for filling your puppy’s Kong, read this.
There is a lot to consider before purchasing a Goldendoodle. Just like with every dog, becoming a Goldendoodle owner is a big commitment that requires a lot of work, especially during the puppy stage. Of course, any Goldendoodle owner will tell you that they are well worth all the sweat and tears because Goldendoodles truly are awesome dogs. Yes, the puppy stage is hard, but if you follow this advice, you will be on the right track to raising a well-balanced and absolutely amazing Goldendoodle.
Did I miss an essential piece of advice that a new Goldendoodle owner must know? Put it in the comments and I can add it to the list!
Happy Tail Wags. xo
Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.Kinky Friedman