PUPPY CARE & TRAINING
PUPPY STARTER PACKAGES AND GROOMING PACKAGES AVAILABLE THROUGH SPRING CREEK LABRADOODLES!
These are fabulous packages for anyone adopting a new puppy, or for families who already have a puppy or dog but want to have quality products and toys to use. Don't worry about having to shop for all the items you'll need when adopting a new puppy. We've already put the effort into having basic packages available for your use, and the cost is less than you'd pay at a local retail store in your town! No shopping, ho hassle!!! And absolutely no stress!!!
***Click the links below for full descriptions of what is included in each package!
Puppy Starter Package - Top quality products that will help provide you all the basics you need to begin caring for your puppy from a crate, crate bed, leash, collar, toys, brushes, chew deterrant, waste bags, bowls, shampoo, etc!
Grooming Package - Quality products for bathing, brushing, ear and eye care, and trimming hair around delicate areas like the eyes, feet, ears, etc!
Email us at email@example.com to order your packages!!
IMPORTANT SOCIALIZATION INFORMATION!
Studies have shown there are critical periods during a puppy's development. What should you be doing for your puppy once he has joined your family to ensure you are providing the environment necessary to help your puppy be an outstanding companion? At Spring Creek, we are very careful to provide the appropriate socialization and experiences while raising each litter. It is up to every family to continue the careful raising of their puppy during the critical period after the puppy has left us, which is between 8 and 20 weeks of age. We will provide each family with information on books and links that will help you raise, train and socialization your puppy so that you end up with the best possible family member. We have a thorough packet of information we email out during the time between puppy's birth and the time he goes home to each new family.
Puppy & Dog Behavior & Training - "Jan Fennell's Website
WEBSITE FOR CHILDREN TO VISIT Fun and interactive game that helps teach a child how to behave around a dog in certain situations. Children earn "bite marks" if they answer incorrectly and put themselves in danger, or they earn "safety stars" if they answer correctly. When they eventually make it through the game without any bite marks, they are awarded a "Safety Factor Challenge Certificate" that you can print out. Parents with children, please have your child visit this site.
QUALITY DOG FOOD
First and foremost, it is very important that you feed your dog a quality dog food. All dog foods are not created equal. Companies try to convince you that their product is something great to feed to your dog. However, most consumers never look into what is really put into dog food, and most consumers are not aware that most of the major brands of dog food sold at your local grocery stores are subsidiaries of major multinational companies that utilize the waste products from their human food products by using them in their pet food. Even Hills Science Diet is owned by one of these companies. Many of the ingredients used as fillers in these foods have been shown to be the very reason that so many pets are developing diseases that shorten their life span or make their quality of life less than desirable. Do you really want to feed your dog these foods?
We have researched dog foods, and have found that there are companies using high quality human grade, holistic ingredients. Foods that are not made with fillers and poor quality ingredients, but foods that will contribute to helping your dog live a long and healthy life. There is an excellent article about dog food from the Animal Protection Institute called,
"What's Really in Pet Food"
for those who want to read more about this.
Also, the Whole Dog Journal magazine reviews dog foods annually and recommends those foods they have found to contain high quality ingredients and foods that have eliminated low quality ingredients. Some of the foods that have had consistently great reviews are: Canidae, California Natural, Flint River, Innova, Solid Gold & Wellness. These foods do cost more, but you feed less as your dog's digestive system absorbs more of the nutrients. You usually see less stools as well. The cost of the food may initially seem high, but remember that you are feeding less than you would if you were purchasing a cheap grocery store food. It usually works out to be about the same per meal, even when you do feed the better quality, nutrient rich dog food. Your dog is a loved family member and deserves to be fed a quality food that will keep him in good health for a very long time.
BASIC FEEDING TIPS
For fantastic annual reviews of quality dog food, please visit
You can purchase each year's annual review. Well worth the purchase for information on holistic, quality dog foods that do not contain ingredients that could harm your dog's long term health.
Puppies need to be fed three times a day until they are 5 months old, and then you can eliminate the mid day meal and then feed twice a day. Feeding at the same time will keep your dog on a regular bathroom schedule. When feeding your puppy, set the food on your own counter, and allow your dog to see you acting like you are taking a bit of his food. This helps to establish the leadership role within your home. Once you have done this, then place the food where you will feed your dog and leave him to eat in peace.
Most puppies will need about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup food at each meal. Increase the amount as your puppy needs. If your puppy quickly eats his food and is seeming to look for more, then provide him more. If he doesn't eat it all at each meal, then cut back a bit. Each puppy will have it's own individual caloric needs.
A dog’s digestive system can be sensitive to changes in food, so be careful when adding things to or changing a dog’s diet, and be prepared to deal with diarrhea for a while if your dog is not able to tolerate the food, or a change has been made too quickly. It is important to help your puppy's system learn to adjust to changes in diet though, so from day one provide your puppy with things mixed into his food that you are cooking in your own meals. Make sure they are safe foods for your puppy however. Things like bits of chopped, cooked chicken, cooked hamburger, raw or cooked carrots, cooked peas, slices of apple, cottage cheese, cooked eggs, plain yogurt, a sprinkle of oregano, a sprinkle of cinnamon, etc. Helping your puppy's system learn that variety is safe, is actually a great way to try and prevent digestive sensitivity later. Not all foods are tolerated by each dog though, so use wisdom and if something irritates your dog's system, then eliminate it.
When switching to a new dry food gradually transition him by mixing portions of both foods until you slowly phase the old food out. Your dog may experience diarrhea if his food is suddenly changed. This is not fun for him......or you.
Keep fresh Drinking water available at all times.
Keep food and water bowls clean.
Don't overfeed your dog. You should be able to feel your dogs ribs easily, but not see them when looking at him. Overfeeding has been proven to contribute to the incidence of Hip Dysplasia in certain cases. Your dog should not look or feel plump.
Housebreaking your puppy can be extremely frustrating if you do not practice consistency. Every ½ hour - hour, take your puppy outside, place him in the spot you want him to relieve himself, and say “Go Potty!” or whatever words you want to use to indicate that you want your puppy to go. You will be most successful with getting your puppy to understand what you want of him if you are able to time this when you know he has to go, and he is naturally ready to eliminate himself. As soon as he begins to go, praise DURING the act, not after. This is extremely important! Say, “Good Dog!” or “Good potty!”. Your puppy will begin to associate your praise with what he is doing during your praise. The more times you are able to successfully make this happen and the more consistent you are, the easier it will be for your puppy to potty train. Be patient and do not rush your puppy. He may have to go several times in one "pit stop." Give him about 10 minutes before taking him back inside. Do not play with him while you are on potty training ventures. Let him know this is a business trip.
When your puppy is not in an exercise pen, or on a leash with you, you must maintain a close watch at all times. As soon as you see him pacing, sniffing around, or turning in circles, immediately take him outside. He is telling you "I am going to go potty somewhere, and this looks like as good a place as any." He does not understand that your floor or carpet is off limits. If you catch your puppy in the act of squatting, quickly scoop him up and race him outside to finish. Do not scold him. He will not understand. If you find an accident left for you, clean it up, and make a note to self to watch puppy more closely. DO NOT scold puppy as he will have no idea what he is in trouble for.
Your puppy will eventually be completely trained, but be patient, some puppies take longer than others. Do not expect your puppy to go for hours without eliminating himself. At this age he is unable to control his bladder, and it is up to you to make sure he is given many opportunities to relieve himself.
Make sure you take puppy out after every meal and play session BEFORE you put him back in his crate. Be consistent and establish a schedule. Pay attention to your puppy's behavior so you can develop a schedule that works for you and the pup. When does your puppy naturally go? In the morning? 10 minutes after eating? Around bedtime? You may have to make some compromises.
Be fair to your puppy. He cannot be expected to stay alone all day and not relieve himself. During your work days, you will need to have someone go to your home at least once (lunch time is good) to let the puppy out unless you are prepared to work with training puppy to eliminate on a pad or in a puppy potty box, or to be cleaning up accidents on your floor. If someone can go to your home midday, have them take puppy for a walk. Your dog needs something to occupy his mind and cannot be kept for hours alone with nothing to do.
Make sure everyone who is involved in the housebreaking process is using the same spot in the yard and the same word. Everyone should agree on the place they will take the puppy. The odor from the previous visits will cause the puppy to want to go in that spot.
Until your puppy is about 5 months old you will need to take him out frequently and keep an eye on him. But before you know it, you are going to be able to trust him to tell you when he needs to go or learn his cues. And he will learn that when he pleases you by going out to do his business, he gets more freedom in the house.
Important: Remain consistent. Do not allow your puppy to do something one day and not the next. This will confuse him. Never leave an untrained puppy unattended in the house. Always praise your dog for good behavior. No form of physical punishment is as effective as praise and encouragement.
CRATE SIZE & TRAINING
Puppies shipped from us to their new home will be sent in a 28" x 18" x 18" crate, which is included in the shipping fee those families have paid. This crate should be suitable for use for the first few weeks as you begin crate training. In general, you want your puppy to have room to stand and lay down comfortably, so as soon as puppy appears to need more space, it is time to move to another crate. When you are ready to move to a new crate, here are our recommendations: For puppies maturing between 15"-17" , a crate that is at least 32" long. For puppies maturing between 18"-20" , a crate that is between 40"-42" long.
Before you crate train, please be aware: a dog that is left in a crate all day long, gets let out in the evening after work for a few hours and then put back in the crate for the night can become a very unhappy, destructive dog. You will be an unhappy owner of an unhappy dog if you do this.
If you work all day, it is recommended that you find someone who can take your dog out for a potty break and play time midday while you are gone. If this is not possible, and you must leave your dog all day long every day and you have nobody to let the dog out during the day, you should find a room that he can be contained in and put down food, water and toys, as well as something for your puppy to potty in or on. A kitchen, bathroom, or utility room works great. You should set up the room so that a crate/bed and food are at one end and pee pads or newspaper at the other. They need to find something to occupy their mind, so give your dog plenty of toys. Dogs are den animals and will usually come to like and use the crate, but even a den animal would go crazy if it was locked up all day long.
Buy a crate and for the first few weeks keep your puppy in it when you are not with him, but not for more than an hour or two at a time during the day. Make sure the crate is not too big. It should be large enough for the puppy to stand up, turn around, stretch out, but no larger. Dogs do not want to soil their bed and the use of a crate teaches them to control their urge to eliminate.
INTRODUCING A PUPPY INTO YOUR HOME
It is extremely important that the first week in your home is one that allows puppy to adjust to his new surroundings and family with as little stress and excitement as possible. Many families want to introduce their new puppy to all their friends and family as soon as they have brought him home. This is not in the best interest of puppy. Please put your puppy's needs before your own and plan for his first week with you to allow for him to adjust and bond with his sole caregivers only.
We highly recommend that the first 24-48 hours in your home that puppy is kept on a leash for a good deal of time with his main caregiver. In most families this will be the mother as children head off for school and other activities, and the reality is that even if children are involved in the dog's care, it almost always falls to an adult to ensure that puppy is being properly cared for. If you have children that you plan on having involved in the care of puppy, it is okay to involve them in some of his care the first few days, but only as suggested. After the first 24-48 hours, then we recommend another day or two with only your immediate family being involved with puppy before he is introduced to friends and family outside your home.
The reason for the leash time the first few days, is that puppy needs to learn that all of his needs will be taken care of by you, his caregiver. He learns you provide food, you provide toys, you provide potty times, you provide play. This helps to establish you as the leader and puppy does not have the opportunity to be running around deciding for himself what he wants to do. Following these guidelines will help you establish normal pack behavior as much as possible within your home, which will greatly affect the quality of relationship you have with your dog.
If you have another dog, carefully introduce your new puppy to your older dog. Hold your puppy in your arms and let your older dog sniff him. When you put puppy down on the floor, make sure you are supervising the interaction between the two dogs. Let puppy adjust to your home, sleep, relax, figure out the food situation, potty, etc. The first few days should be extremely low key, and encourage a low arousal state in your puppy. In most situations, you will not need to worry about how things will go. If your older dog growls at puppy, don't scold him. He is establishing that he is the leader in that relationship, and puppy will respond. This is what they know and understand. Social order is extremely important to dogs.
We encourage, in general, a 5-10 second rule of handling puppy. Puppies become easily worked up, just like children. It's exhausting as a puppy to be held and petted all the time and given too much attention. It is easy for people to place human emotion on a puppy, but you need to remember they do not think or process thoughts or feelings like we do. They are most comfortable with knowing exactly where they fit into the order of things, and you can cause them to misunderstand their order by giving too much attention. They enjoy our attention, but until you have a puppy that understands his place in your "pack", be mindful of how much petting and holding you are doing. This is especially important with children. Puppies are not stuffed animals. They should not be allowed to carry a puppy around like a toy. If you want a dog that your child can do anything to without fear of being growled at or nipped, buy a stuffed animal. If you want a puppy that grows up to respect your child, then teach your children to respect your puppy.
HAZARD AVOIDANCE STAGES (or mistakenly referred to as "fear periods")
Right around 12 weeks of age puppies enter a developmental stage where they suddenly become aware that there are things out there that can cause them harm. It could be a lawn statue they've walked past every day, but suddenly they think it is going to jump out and eat them. It could be a person they have seen every day of their life while walking down the street. The possibilities are endless. You can't protect your puppy from this stage, and every dog will go through it to different degrees. This stage teaches safety, which is critical in your puppy's development. There are things you can do to help your puppy during these weeks.
The general rule of thumb during this stage is "Good experiences only". Keep things positive. Remove your puppy from any negative experience, even if this includes a person. Do not reassure any fear. Do not talk to the dog if he is acting scared. If you do so, you think you are saying "It's okay puppy, your okay. Nothing is going to hurt you" but puppy is hearing "Oh my gosh! That is scary! I'm worried about that too!". Puppies are pack animals. They look to a leader and if the leader is acting composed and doesn't give any attention to the thing or person that is scaring puppy, then you are actually telling your puppy that as leader you have assessed the situation and all is well and silly puppy needs to get over it. Once your puppy is composed and no longer acting scared, then you can engage in relationship with your puppy again, but you MUST ignore them when something is causing them fear.
The hazard avoidance stage typically lasts from 12-16 weeks, and then another similar stage is experienced again at a later age. Just remember a few things during these stages, and you will greatly help your puppy. Do not reassure any fear. Ignore it and ignore puppy. Remove puppy from any negative experience. Only allow positive experiences. You do not need to speak to puppy as he won't understand your words, but he will understand your body language so act like a leader that is unafraid.
BEHAVIORAL & OBEDIENCE TRAINING
It is important to start training your new puppy as soon as you bring him home. Local dog training classes are often available. Every trainer uses a different method. Clicker training can be a good tool and is a positive training method that encourages your dog to WANT to obey you, instead of demanding his obedience. If you can learn to be the leader in your relationship with your dog, your dog will want to obey you, which leads to a better relationship with less issues.
Two types of training: behavioral, and obedience.
Behavioral training corrects bad habits that your puppy or dog may have developed. Jumping, car chasing, begging, climbing on furniture, and chewing are just a few. It is very important to be consistent during the training process. For example, do not let your puppy on the couch unless you are planning to always let him. If you do this, it will confuse him and cause training problems.
Obedience training sessions should be frequent but short to prevent your dog from becoming bored: ten to fifteen minute sessions, two or three times a day will be sufficient.
Before giving a word command to your dog, speak its name to get its attention; then speak a one-word command such as "stay," "sit," "come" or "heel." Do not get impatient. You will probably have to repeat the command many times. Never use negative reinforcement. Do not call your dog to come to you for punishment because this will teach your dog not to come on command. Be sure to keep any frustration out of the tone of your voice. If you feel yourself becoming frustrated, take a break. Your dog can sense this and will start to associate training with your unhappiness.
Some of the specific commands are "sit," "stay," "come," "down" and "heel." When speaking the commands, say them loudly and clearly, repeating them often. The dog may have to hear the commands over and over, but will soon begin to associate the word with its meaning. Always remember to praise your dog when it responds correctly. This will encourage your dog to perform correctly the next time. You may either use food or a verbal praise as the reward or both.
Tips on teaching your dog or puppy to sit:
When teaching your dog to sit, hold your hand high over its head with a reward in it. Your dog will look up at the reward and most likely his rear will hit the ground. When it does, say "sit" and pop the treat into his mouth. Do this as soon as the rear has touched the ground to reinforce the behavior. Do not allow your dog to jump up and grab the reward out of your hand. Walk away if this occurs, but return to the training within a few minutes. You will have to repeat this over and over. Eventually your dog will associate sitting with the reward and will sit with ease. Remember the training sessions should be short but frequent. Repeat this method periodically throughout the day. If you get frustrated, stop and try again later.
Tips on teaching your dog or puppy to stay and come:
It is usually best to teach your dog to sit before you teach it to stay. The reason is: your dog will have an easier time staying if he is in a sitting position. After your dog has the sitting command down and has been correctly sitting for a couple of days without assistance, it is time to teach your dog to stay and come. Tell your dog to sit. Have two rewards in your hand. After your dog sits, give him one reward. Hold your empty hand up like a stop sign in front of your dog's face and back up slowly saying "STAY" clearly, firmly, and frequently. Be sure to stay facing your dog and remain looking at him. Go a short distance and say with some enthusiasm, "COME." When your dog comes to you reward him again. If your dog gets up and runs to you without the "COME" command, say "NO" and start all over again. Remember to verbally praise him as well as provide a food reward when he gets a new command right. Start off only backing up a short distance from your dog. As he begins to understand what you want of him, you may back farther away and eventually you may be able to walk out of site and have your dog still stay until he hears the "COME" command. Remember to be consistent and stop if you become frustrated. Your dog can sense frustration and it will confuse him. He wants to please you. If he senses frustration, he may learn to not like the training sessions.
If your puppy or dog is running around outside and not coming when you call, they do not understand that you are the leader. Do not yell at your dog or smack him when he finally comes. Instead, get your dog's attention and turn and run in another direction making a big fuss as if something exciting is happening where you are headed. Your dog will likely turn and run with you, which helps establish your role as leader in your home. Once your dog is running with you, then calmly connect with a leash and go on with your business. The more calm, quiet and self assured you are about your relationship with your dog, the better.
Tips on teaching your dog to lie down:
After successfully teaching your dog to sit, stay, and come - without assistance, it's time to teach it to lie down on command. Tell your dog to sit. Show him the reward you have in your hand. Hold the reward up and then bring it down in front of the dog to the floor and say "DOWN or DROP" in a firm clear voice. Only give the reward if he lies down to reach it. Do not give it to him if he stands up to reach his reward. Again repeat this throughout the day as much as possible, keeping sessions short but frequent.
Each training session should include any new commands you are trying as well as old commands the dog has already learned - so the dog does not forget them. Always be consistent. Important: If you become frustrated, stop and try again later.
"The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennell This is a must read by every puppy family!
"How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves" by Sophia Yin, DVM This is a must read by every puppy family!
"The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia B. McConnell Ph.D.
"The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson
"The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller
"The Dog's Mind: Understanding Your Dog's Behavior" by Bruce Fogle, Anne B. Wilson