Alaska Goldendoodles

Our last litter of pups are all in their new homes.
Please complete an application and we will let you know when we are expecting.

Caring for Your Dood 

Is a Goldendoodle right for me and am I right for a Goldendoodle?  Be realistic about your ability to care for a puppy, adolescent dog, and a mature dog for the next 10 to 15 years. You don’t have to be a perfect dog owner everyday but you do need to be a responsible owner. All it takes is:

Time: Puppies need time, especially in the critical first 16 weeks of life. Exposing your puppy to many different situations, especially before 16 weeks of age, creates pathways in the brain that help your dog througout his life. After 16 weeks of age, the fight-or-flight response kicks in and new situations become more of a challenge. If your life is going to be too hectic to provide lots of socialization over the first two 2 months, perhaps this is not the best time to get a puppy.

Safety: Will you be able to keep you puppy safe – inside your home and outside? Will you be able to keep your home puppy-proofed – electrical wires out of the way, kids toys off the floor? Will you provide a safe outdoor enclosure for exercise and fresh air and keep it cleaned up? Training is another important way to keep your dog safe (imagine him taking off toward a busy street – will he respond to your recall?).

Training and Socialization: I strongly believe in the use of rewards-based training and I know it works well with Goldendoodles helping to encourage the use of their smarts and preserving their sweetness. Physically forcing, coercing, or punishing your dog undermines your ability to shape behavior and only makes for worse behavior. If you want a happy relationship with your dog, learn and practice RBT.

Once your puppy has completed puppy shots, it is time for Puppy Kindergarten. This is a fun way to add to his socialization, learn training techniques, and get to know other new dog owners in your area. Socialization at this point is critical. Expose your pup to as many people, places, noises, and situations as you can while keeping in mind his comfort level and safety. Did you know that the worst thing you can do for a mildly frightened pup is to comfort him? This just reinforces his fear. Instead, keep your voice happy and upbeat trying to associate the situation with good things (treats).

I recommend following up with a Family Manners (Obedience) class for reinforcement, especially before the end of adolescence. My experience with Goldendoodles is that they are the star of their class - easy to train and eager to please. However, they reach adolescence around 7 or 8 months old and that adorable, compliant pup now wants to do things his way. You need to be prepared for new behaviors popping up (pulling on the leash, chewing out of boredom, counter surfing). For you, it “just” takes being consistent and patient. Most adolescent behaviors are out-grown and quickly reversed.

Exercise: All dogs need exercise to use up energy that will otherwise lead to bad habits or annoying personality traits. A fenced in yard will keep your dog safe but plan on adding other activities into your lives. Plan on a 20-30 minute walk twice a day for a dog inside much of the day with a good run in a safe place a couple times a week. If you work a full schedule, hire a dog walker or check out doggy day care centers. Even if you have several acres of land for your Dood to run, plan different activities to keep their minds busy. My pups enjoy agility classes. It works their minds and their bodies (and mine, too!).  

Regular veterinary care: You pup will come with its first shots and deworming (all newborns need deworming). You will need to provide follow-up to the series of puppy shots and spay/neuter. Some breeders have pups desexed before 8 weeks old and before homing them. At Alaska Goldendoodles, in consultation with our veterinarian, we do not. The hormones that are effected by spaying/neutering also help with muscle growth. However, when accepting an Alaska Goldendoodles pup, you sign a contract agreeing to have your dog spayed or neutered in consultation with your veterinarian and agreeing not to breed your dog. Please contact us if you have any concerns or you are interested in becoming a Guardian home.

Grooming: My experience is that Goldendoodle puppies need very little grooming until they are about a year old. Their coat goes from young puppy fluff to “the ugly stage” (that I find incredibly adorable) at about 4-6 months. It is important to get your puppy used to brushing, nail trimming, and being examined (mouth and feet especially) so he can be easily cared for by you, a professional groomer (if you choose), or your veterinarian. At about a year, I’ve noticed a more challenging coat coming in that may mat, particularly at the elbows. If you have a shedding Goldendoodle (some do shed and no breeder can guarantee otherwise), the need for brushing (or vacuuming) will increase at this point. One last coat change occurs at around 16 months requiring somewhat less care. Goldendoodles have hair rather than fur which means it continues to grow. Professional grooming or becoming comfortable with a good brushing technique and scissors/trimmer will keep your pup looking spiffy. Check out YouTube videos on grooming Goldendoodles. My dogs love to run on the beach but do require a good shower afterwards, with or without shampooing. Making bathing fun followed by a treat has made this a positive experience. For bathing, I use a walk-in shower with a massage head on a long hose. Because of early positive training, they walk right to the shower when they are dirty and I don’t even have to close the bathroom door.

While you are waiting for your puppy:

Read everything you can about puppy development and care. Some of my favorite books include:

  • Goldendoodles by Edie MacKenzie (published by Barron’s),
  • Goldendoodle by Kathryn Lee
  • How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves by Sophis Yin
  • My Smart Puppy by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson
  • and anything by Ian Dunbar or Patricia McConnell.
  • Find a Puppy Kindergarten class to enroll your pup in at 8-16 weeks old. Some classes won’t take a pup older than 13 weeks or so.
  • Puppy proof your home. It is not the puppy’s fault if he chews on the shoes left in the living room. Get into the habit now of putting them in a bin in the hall closet. I’ve heard stories of expensive surgeries, some that didn’t end well, from puppies getting ahold of what should have been out of reach.

 


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Alaska Goldendoodles
1247 Bay Avenue
Homer, Alaska 99603
puppy@alaskagoldendoodles.com
907-756-1111
Email is checked frequently and is the best way to contact us. Thanks! Liz Downing