Interactive toys are a great way to keep your puppy's mind engaged, especially while they are in the kennel. We use different recipes to stuff our KONG toy and then put them in the freezer at night and give them to our dogs during the day. You can find some of our favorite recipes here
Grooming is incredibly important for your labradoodle. This includes thorough brushing at least once a week (short coat) up to daily (long coat), weekly nail trimming, ear cleaning and teeth brushing and baths as needed. When grooming pay particular attention to areas around the ears and legs that can mat easily. Use the slicker brush to go over the entire body and then finishing with comb from the roots up to ensure there are no tangles or mats. We also recommend purchasing an inexpensive electric toothbrush to continue our desensitization protocol as the vibrations mimic the feel of the clippers on a puppy's legs and face. A professional grooming visit will be needed every 6 to 12 weeks depending on the coat type. Wool and fleece coats need groomed more often than hair coats. Watch how to properly brush your labradoodle here
Through research and consultation of many veterinarians and PhD nutritionists we recommend following a rotational feeding program with your Labradoodle. This will allow them to enjoy a variety of diets and proteins and will ensure there are no nutritional deficiencies that can possibly arise from feeding the same food. With rotational feeding one food is fed at a time. Once there is approximately seven days of food left, transition to the next food variety slowly over seven days.
We recommend feeding a 30/20 or similar formula of the above diets to puppies younger until around 8 months to ensure they are receiving the proper amount of protein for balanced growth. After that age we recommend switching to a 26/18 or similar protein to maintain ideal body condition. Feed an amount to keep your dog at a lean body condition as obesity can leave to a wide variety of ailments that will shorten the lifespan of your dog. We DO NOT recommend you feed any grain free or exotic protein diets due to their link with Taurine deficiency and Dilated Cardiomyopathy. You can find more information on selecting a proper dog food here and please consult with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes. We also recommend keeping Fortiflora on hand. These probiotics are wonderful for helping with mild digestive upset. We also feed an Omega supplement to our dogs, especially in the drier months to help keep their skin and coats hydrated and healthy.
This crate comes with a divider that you can use to make the crate the appropriate size, the 42" is the size we recommend. We also recommend a cooling mat so that the crate is an inviting place to sleep. You want the crate just big enough your pup can turn around easily but not so much room that they think there is an area to potty in. A puppy that will be left alone for more than 2 hours will need to have a litterbox set up for a month or two until they are able to hold their bladders for longer. The litter is inexpensive and keeps odors to a minimum and any solids can be cleaned out with a cat litterbox scoop. Once crate training is complete and they are doing well with potty training the exercise pen can be eliminated. There are also some great options for non-spill water bowls, food dishes (do not use elevated food dishes due to the risk of bloat and GVD), leashes, and collars we recommend. We DO NOT recommend flexi or retractable leashes.
Our favorite healthy, natural treats for chewing, training and rewarding. We have found that Kong Easy Treat travel pouches make excellent training treats, they are high value and easy to use without fumbling for treats in your hands or a waist pouch. When just a low value treat is needed, such as for repetitive training commands, you can use pieces of their puppy food or even Cherrios to keep calorie intake low. For much of our training and when our dogs need something to keep them busy we always use raw, meaty bones (NEVER use cooked or smoked bones regardless of what animal they are from) from our local butcher. 4" shank bones are the best but raw chicken wings, necks, duck feet, etc can also be given (smaller raw bones should always be given supervised). We also LOVE to use fresh fruits and veggies! See the list of what fresh produce you should and should not feed your doodle here . Whenever your dog is enjoying a chewing treat we always recommend supervision to prevent choking.
New Puppy Shopping List
The products that we use in our program are recommended from our veterinarians and colleagues. (click the picture to find where to purchase)
Recommended Reading and DVDs
Recommended puppy set-up while potty training
Around The House
Raising Exceptional Labradoodle Puppies In Central Nebraska