Updated: Apr 23
Congratulations! You’re the proud new owner of a goldendoodle puppy. In the first week you've probably already introduced your new little guy to the family, offered a tour around the new digs, made some key introductions with other housemates in their furrever home and maybe even said hello to a neighbor or two…but now what? Many new goldendoodle owners are often unprepared for what comes next and find that the honeymoon period is not always as glamorous as imagined. This is a HUGE transition (both for you and for them!). That’s where we come in to help – so let’s get to it!
There’s a LOT that could be written about the first week of welcoming a new goldendoodle puppy into your home. To be honest, each of the points in this post could have a blog all to itself, but let’s quickly hit some of the more common issues new doodle owners are confronted with. Don’t Panic! Your Goldendoodle Doesn’t Have an Eating Disorder!
It’s very normal for your new pup not to have much of an appetite for a couple days and/or to have some upset tummy or diarrhea. Many new owners will buy the best food money can buy or, more commonly, offer the same food the breeder has been using. Much to their dismay, pup just doesn’t seem interested. It is very common for puppies to have a transitional period where eating is suppressed. Different factors can be at play here – homesickness, stress, or even intimidation by other household pets. Don’t be alarmed if feeding time gets off to a slow start and don’t make a beeline to the nearest pet store to switch foods. We encourage you to be patient, supportive and just keep offering food – especially during those down times when things are quiet and pup is feeling settled. Eventually, your little guy will come around! Have Some Earplugs Ready on the Nightstand
Ok, so maybe we are exaggerating a tad but the first night with your goldendoodle puppy is usually the hardest, let’s just get that out in the open. This is the first night your pup has been away from littermates so he or she may spend a lot of time whining in the crate (spare a tear for sibling bonding). This can last for several nights, but usually decreases with each passing night. Be assured that your little guy will settle down if snuggling in bed with you…but we consider this a “kicking the can” solution of dealing with the issue and you should be prepared for a bed buddy for life ;)! We recommend sticking with the crate for most families as it provides structure/scheduling for the pup and helps the dog feel comfortable when you do have to leave home without them. At JLDD, we start all pups on crate training by the time they are just two weeks old. When they leave us at eight weeks, they are familiar with being crated individually for two hours a day, but they still have a long way to go - especially with a new family/environment. But the transition is usually much easier than for a pup who has never been exposed to a crate in his/her first two months of life. Be prepared for a few noisy nights at the outset of your relationship, but it won’t be long before you’ll settle into a routine that will leave you both feeling like Sleeping Beauty. Patience & Potty Breaks Galore!
At JLDD we introduce a potty area at around three weeks old and encourage the pups to use puppy pads throughout their time with us. The smaller the area, the more likely your pup will be to use the puppy pad. In fact, confining them to just a room or two of your house at first is often a good idea in general to make things less overwhelming for them. We strongly recommend setting up your puppy’s designated potty area before you bring him home. Consider picking a spot that’s small and easy to manage (for you and for pup – pups can get easily overwhelmed in the confines of a new house). Bonus points if your predesignated area is within direct eyeline to the outside door…that way your little guy can quickly get familiar with the way outside. Be prepared…young pups have to pee A LOT! So, whatever your preferred potty training method (starting with puppy pads or immediately going outside), make sure your tiny dood has the option to relieve himself/herself in the designated area every hour when awake…even more often if they have been drinking lots of water and/or recently eaten. We’ve trained some well-hydrated pups who really need potty breaks as often as every half hour!! This aspect of owning a new pup takes time and is sometimes a 2-steps forward, 1-step back process...so be patient! At night, you can expect your pup to be able to go around 4-6 hours at first without needing to potty…some of our bigger pups can go 8 hours from night one, but it just depends on the pup. Most will need a potty break at some point in the middle of the night for the first couple weeks—it can be tough, but fortunately they are usually able to stretch it out pretty quickly. Your First Week With a Goldendoodle Puppy Is Challenging, But You Got This! To review, when raising a goldendoodle puppy, the best tools you can have in your belt are patience, a good sense of humor and consistency. Puppies thrive on schedules and predictable expectations, and lots of snuggles and chew toys! Doodles are very smart and learn fast, so you should see marked improved by the week, meaning that each progressive week is generally easier than the last. The transition in the first week with your goldendoodle is tough for them, but remember, they are learning that YOU are their new pack. This is a critical phase for bonding to humans and you are about to have a profoundly loyal best friend for life. You got this! - Jenna and the JLDD Team