Doodle Dogs For Dummies
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Doodles are very popular dogs, which means there are reputable breeders, committed to producing the healthiest dogs possible, and then there are breeders looking to make a quick buck. You need to know how to spot the difference so you can find the right dog for you. When faced with a lapful of adorable puppies, you may want to take all of them home with you, but doing a simple temperament test will help you find a dog who’ll settle in to your family with ease. Finally, you need to stock up on supplies before you bring home a new dog — knowing what to buy and where to shop will allow you to focus on your puppy, not all the stuff you forgot to buy.

Doodle dog puppy

Photo by April Walker on Unsplash

Questions to ask when purchasing a doodle puppy

Doodle dogs can be expensive to purchase. Be sure to ask breeders the following questions:

  • What size was the Poodle parent? The parent’s size will help you predict how big your Doodle dog will be when they mature.
  • Was one of the parents already a Doodle dog, making the offspring a three-fourths Doodle? Though these dogs tend to shed less than those that are the offspring of a Poodle and another purebred dog, they also can be highly reactive and challenging to live with.
  • What health clearances have the parent dogs had? All breeding dogs should have their hips, heart, and eyes tested for any abnormalities. These will be certified via the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
  • How old must the puppy be prior to your taking them home? Most breeders allow puppies to leave their facilities at around 2 weeks of age.
  • Have the puppies been socialized with people of various ages? Puppies require early socialization with lots of different people, as well as other animals.
  • What are you feeding the puppy? How often? Most young puppies until the age of 3 months require four meals per day. Between 3 and 4 months, they get three meals per day. Some adolescent puppies (4 to 7 months) also require three meals per day, depending on their activity levels.
  • What vaccinations will the puppy have had when she’s ready for pickup? The first distemper, parvo, and influenza vaccinations should be done before the puppy leaves the breeder. You should receive proof of this in writing.
  • How many dewormings, and for what parasites, will the puppy have had prior to pickup? Responsible breeders give worming treatments to puppies at both 5 and 7 weeks. This means a puppy should have had two dewormings before you pick them up.
  • Can you supply a health guarantee for at least one year? Most responsible breeders offer a one-year health guarantee for specific concerns, such as hip dysplasia (a condition in which the dog’s hip doesn’t fit well into the socket, causing severe pain and lameness), epilepsy (a condition that causes seizures), or cataracts (an eye condition that can lead to blindness).
  • Can I meet the puppy in the environment where they’re being raised? The environment should be clean and the puppies should not be covered in waste. There should be an area where you can take your chosen puppy to learn more about them, such as whether they’ll follow you, how they respond when you pick them up, and whether they’re afraid of loud noises. You’ve made a good choice if your puppy follows you everywhere you go, loves being handled and picked up, and also doesn’t flinch at loud noises. When you meet the puppy, be sure to utilize the temperament testing portion of this book, to ensure you adopt the right dog for you, and your family.

Temperament testing a doodle puppy

When you’re considering bringing a Doodle puppy into your home, you’ll want to test the puppy’s temperament to make sure they’ll fit into your environment. Temperament testing helps you understand how a dog will react to specific situations. Follow these steps to test a puppy’s temperament:

  1. Touch the Doodle puppy all over.

Do they flinch when you touch their feet, ears, underbelly, or back? Do they suddenly twist their head around or put their mouth on you when you apply pressure to their rump? You want a dog who will lean into you wanting more touch and attention.

  1. Roll some toys across the floor, or drop a book or keys.

If the puppy moves away, flinches, or otherwise displays fear, this is a Doodle dog you’ll need to be patient and forgiving of. Through positive reinforcement, a dog like this can learn to relax in all situations, but they’ll require time and patience.

  1. Lift the puppy’s upper body, leaving their back feet on the floor.

If they struggle when you pick them up, they’re not comfortable giving up control. It may take longer for a dog like this to adjust to a new environment. A Doodle puppy who relaxes or is happy to be closer to you will adjust more easily to most environments.

  1. Give the Doodle puppy a toy and then take it away.

If the puppy growls or tries to take the toy back by putting their mouth on you, jumping on you or showing other assertive behaviors, they may be displaying resource-guarding behavior. This tendency can be dangerous around young children or elderly folks. If you see this behavior in a young puppy, consider it a flashing red light! A puppy who allows you to take the toy will be more forgiving and relaxed about their environment. A puppy who gets excited and wants to play is also great — they want to interact with you, and that’s a good thing!

  1. Crouch down and clap your hands.

If the Doodle puppy readily comes to you, they’re likely very social and engaging. If the puppy doesn’t come toward you, they may be feeling intimidated or have an independent attitude. The puppy who comes to you will be a better fit in an active family or one with children and other pets. The puppy who doesn’t come to you will likely do well in a quiet home, where their human companions offer patience and understanding.

Gear up: shopping for a new doodle puppy

Before you bring home your Doodle pup, you’ll need to have lots of supplies on hand. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Food: Make sure you have at least a two-week supply of your Doodle puppy’s current food (ask the breeder what the puppy is currently eating). If you plan to change the puppy’s diet, do so slowly to make sure they don’t experience gastrointestinal stress. Transitioning over a period of two weeks (slowly increasing the amount of the new food and decreasing the amount of the old food) will prevent issues like diarrhea.
  • Front-connect harness and leash: Young puppies are very insecure and tend to remain close to their family members for a few months, but soon you’ll need some means of controlling your Doodle puppy’s movement. A front-connect harness will enable you to begin training right away, without causing harm to the pup’s sensitive neck area. When you get your Doodle dog’s rabies, identification, and license tags, you can connect them to the harness.
  • Food and water dishes: Buy dishes that will be appropriate for the type of Doodle dog you have. A small Doodle dog or young puppy should have low-profile dishes. You may need to increase the dish size as your puppy matures. Puppies who eat quickly should have a slow-feed bowl to prevent bloat (a potentially lethal gastrointestinal issue) and other possible eating disorders. If your pup likes to play in their water dish, have a bucket attached to their crate to prevent your floor from becoming a slippery mess.
  • Bedding: When you first get your Doodle puppy, you won’t know if they’re the type to destroy bedding or not. To play it safe, purchase a flat mat, without stuffing, that will be appropriate for your pup’s size. Small Doodle dogs often prefer a soft, fluffy bed and are less likely to be destructive, so you may want to indulge them with a cushy bed from the start.
  • Toys and chews: Most puppies love to play with toys, and all of them need something to chew on. The more toys and chews you provide for your Doodle puppy, the less likely they’ll be to turn your house into a giant chew toy. Having enough toys around will make it easy to redirect your pup’s inappropriate chewing (for example, on your chairs) to items where he should be putting his energy and attention (a chew toy). Make sure all toys are size appropriate. At the beginning, avoid stuffed toys until you’re certain your new Doodle pup doesn’t try to “kill” them and tear them apart. Food-filled toys (like Kongs) are a great means of keeping your puppy busy for long periods of time and, if used during feeding time, slowing down their food intake. Stay away from anything made of rawhide or rope, which can be dangerous to energetic chewers.
  • Crate: Purchase a size-appropriate crate for your Doodle pup. The pup should be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down, but you don’t want the crate to be too big — otherwise, they may decide to use one end of the crate as a toilet. They’ll need a place where they can feel safe, and you’ll need a place to put them when you can’t keep an eye on them. A crate is also a place to put their water, feed them, or allow them to play with any particularly messy chew toy (such as a smoked shank bone). To avoid having to purchase numerous crates to accommodate your Doodle puppy’s growth, get a large crate with a moveable divider.

Shopping in a pet store can be fun (and a great place to go on an outing with your Doodle dog), but you can often save money by shopping at one of the following sites:

And, for specialty items:

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Miriam Fields-Babineau has been a professional animal trainer since 1978 and is the author of 45 books in the field, including one on how to train cats! A psychologist and zoologist, she takes her work home with her and lives in Vermont with her family, dogs, cats, and horses.

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