Welcome to the Cloud 9 Family!
Congratulations! You’ve taken the plunge and joined the exciting and sometimes chaotic world of dog ownership! We would like to thank you for choosing Cloud 9 Doodles as your breeder! In this section you will find valuable information that will help you with your new puppy.
Preparing for your new puppy!
There are many things you can do before bringing your puppy home to ensure a smooth transition and to help prepare your home for the new arrival! In this section, we will cover things such as puppy proofing, what to buy, and other information.
"Puppy Proofing" your home
We always recommend puppy proofing the home before puppy arrives to not only protect your things, but also to keep the puppy safe. Your house is going to be the place that your dog spends the majority of his life, so it’s vitally important that you take precautions to make sure that it is a safe environment for him or her.
Puppy proofing tips for outdoors
It’s best to have a fenced-in backyard with a fence that is high enough to prevent the puppy from jumping over it. Make sure there are no holes in the fence that would enable the puppy to get out, be sure to check the bottom of the fence as well to be sure the puppy can not get under it.
Promptly remove any toxic plans in your yard to prevent your pup from mistaking them for a snack. Here is a link to some information on toxic plants for dogs. https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/basics/top-10-plants-poisonous-to-pets/
Pools are a big hazard for puppies and are hard to puppy-proof because they typically take up a large portion of the yard. It’s recommended that you have a fence surrounding the pool to prevent the puppy from accidentally falling in, but there are dog trainers who can teach pool safety to dogs, as well.
Set aside a portion of the yard for the puppy to use as his bathroom area, puppies can be trained to go to the same spot in the yard each time, and even on command!
Something that smells as strongly as a mothball is likely to attract a pup’s attention, even if it is hidden. It’s better not to put them in the yard at all if you have pets.
Make sure that you take care of the lawn. Ticks are more likely to hide in tall grasses and latch onto your pup.
Keep your dog away from the yard if it has recently been treated with fertilizers, pesticides, or insecticides. Try to avoid using insecticides because the chemicals can be very harmful to your puppy.
Make sure that there is shade for your dog in your yard and be wary of heat. Avoid keeping your dog outside when it is very hot.
Clean up after your puppy to be sure he won’t try to eat his own feces.
Electrical cords are a huge hazard for puppies because they’re likely to chew on them. This can cause burns in their mouth or even worse, electrical shock. It’s best to keep cords out of sight or string them through cord concealers to keep your puppy away from them.
Some foods can be dangerous for dogs, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the list of poisonous or dangerous foods. here is a link with more information. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/foods-can-be-poisonous-pets.
Cleaning supplies should be kept in high cabinets or secured with childproof latches if they’re stored close to the ground. When using them, make sure that the puppy is out of the area, so that he won’t be affected by the vapors given off by the chemicals. Be careful of toilet cleaners and open toilet lids.
Avoid keeping medications on low tables where the puppy can easily get to them.
Doors should be kept closed at all times, so the puppy can’t escape.
Smaller hazards — such as toys, coins, paper clips, and rubber bands — should be put away, as should expensive items, like jewelry, so the puppy won’t chew on them.
It’s best to keep your puppy in an area with flooring that is easy to clean, such as linoleum, tile, or wood. We do not recommend allowing your puppy to roam on carpet until they are fully house trained, and then supervise closely that they do not have accidents on the carpet when first introduced until you are confident you can trust your pup on carpet.
Keep all sharp objects out of your dog’s reach, ensure food is not on the counter within reach of your pup, including cans and chip bags which can be a suffocation hazard for your dog.
Make sure that any small objects are cleared from the floor, so that your puppy won’t accidentally eat them.
Place baby gates in areas where you do not want your puppy to have access to, such as stairs or at the entrance to a room you do not want your pup to have access to. We generally recommend that puppy only have access to a small portion of the house to start, as it makes training much easier.
Puppy proofing tips for indoors
You can buy a wire one or a plastic travel one. We like wire for puppies because they can see out of it and you can put a blanket over it at bedtime to keep them calm for a good rest. You can also attach it to an x-pen, when you are gone for longer periods during the day. You can purchase these at any retail pet store or on-line. You can buy a small one for the puppy stage, or to eliminate the need to buy two, just buy the larger one with the divider. If you prefer plastic, you can still buy large and just place something towards the back until they grow into the crate. They should be able to stand upright in the crate, but not have so much space that they will use the bathroom in the crate.
for more information on what to look for in a good crate, sizing, and much more, please see this link!
X-pens are handy if you don't have a fenced in back yard and you want your puppy to have some fun outside off leash. This is also really useful when you are gone for long periods during the day, as you can let the puppy have a larger area where they can still play and burn energy, but won't be given free reign of the house and injure themselves or your favorite pair of shoes. Some people who work full-time opt to leave a puppy potty training pad in this area with food, water, toys, and their crate, so they have some of their needs met while you are away for the day. You can find these in most retail pet stores or on-line. Our favorite ones are purchased on amazon. We like them because they are sturdy, and the panels are independent of one another which allows you to shape it however you like and even add to it.
Collar and Leash
We recommend a flat collar and a 6' leash for puppies under 6 months who are not fully leashed trained. if you have a puppy who pulls and is over 6 months, we recommend additional training with your CPDT-KA or AFFA dog trainer, as well as investing in a safe anti pull harness. Do not purchase a regular harness! Regular harnesses are designed to allow a dog to pull and therefore we do not recommend them unless you are doing an activity that requires a well fitted harness for pulling such as Skijor. Be sure to remove collars when placing puppy/dog in crates or in x-pens, as this is a safety hazard for the puppy/dog and can cause serious injury or death. We strongly advise against the use of Extendable leashes, as well as averse training tools such as Electronic Collars, Choke Chains and Prong collars. We don't yet have a favorite for collars.
There are many different kinds of treats on the market these days and while it is nice to have a variety, it can be overwhelming trying to sort out what to buy. The reality is that it very much depends on the individual dog, and a lot of it is going to be trial and error. When looking for training treats, a good rule of thumb is the stinkiest treats will smell the best to your dog. We call the absolute best treats "high value" treats. This is what we use when introducing a new behavior, to work in high distraction situations (Training class for example), or when working with a particularly challenging behavior. Some high value treats we use are boiled chicken, liver, baloney, cheese etc. We do not find pet store treats high enough value for dogs when a high value reward is needed, but again, it depends on the dog. When we are working on an established behavior, training at home, or in a low distraction situation, we generally use pet store freeze dried treats such as Benny's bullies, or we use the soft treats such as rollover treats. Remember, all that is required when training is a small piece of the treat, about the size of a finger nail. As trainers, we recommend soft treats as they are easy to swallow and the dog can focus on the training rather then on chewing. Other treats such as Milk Bones or dog cookies can be given, but we do not recommend these for training purposes.
Bones are an extremely important part of a dogs life. Chewing releases endorphins and are a necessary daily activity for dogs to help relieve stress, boredom and for a general sense of well being. We like to feed all kinds of different types of bones. Some of the bones we recommend are Bully Sticks, Antler sheds, Raw Meaty Bones, Cheese Bones, and Pork Hide.
Bones are best given in their crates or outside during downtime. For great deals on bully sticks, check out bennybullies
We start puppies on Raw, but our adult dog are fed a mix of raw and kibble. We send a little home with you when you pick-up your puppy for transitioning purposes. We recommend if transitioning food, you do it slowly. We recommend, if you are wanting to feed kibble, we suggest you look up your chosen brand with DogFoodAdvisor.com . We order our raw locally from the Complete K9 (https://www.thecompletek9.ca/) as we have liked the results with our own dogs. Kibbles that have worked for our dogs include Canadian Naturals, Acana Classic, Natures Domaine, Purina Pro Plan, and Vibrant Life.
Should you choose to feed raw, please ensure it is a balanced raw diet. If you are wanting to learn more about raw feeding, some information can be found here: https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/raw-feeding-primer/
Many people purchase toys for their puppies under the impression that all puppies play with toys. unfortunately, not all puppies like toys at first, and you may have to play with your puppy and teach him that a toy is fun. Any puppy can be taught to enjoy toys, but not all puppies will like all toys. When first bringing home a new puppy, we recommend purchasing a variety of types of toys, then getting to know what your puppy enjoys most. Do be aware that preferences will likely change as they mature, but you will have a good idea on preferred toy types for the rest of your dogs life by looking at what they consistently enjoy at around 1 year of age. We recommend starting out with softer toys. Puppies really enjoy the "no stuffing" toys as well as soft rope toys and other soft tug and squeaky toys. Balls are also fun. As your puppy grows, your choice of toys will likely change to more rugged, durable toys that can withstand a rowdy teenager. Teaching your puppy to tug and retrieve will also do wonders in getting rid of some of that boisterous energy puppies often have, sometimes even more so then a walk!
Additional Boredom Relief
A large part of owning a dog is trying to figure out ways to keep your dog entertained. In the first two years, puppies are active and will find their own ways to relieve boredom if we do not provide them with extra stimulation. There is an excellent Facebook group called Canine Enrichment. This group has tons of fun ideas on keeping your dog occupied. For our dogs, we use Kongs, stuffed bones, and frozen treats. Here are some healthy ideas for stuffing. https://www.puppyleaks.com/healthy-foods-you-can-stuff-in-a-kong/ . We also freeze our stuffed kongs for the dogs that are used to them and get through them quickly.
Puzzles are also another excellent way to keep your dog occupied. With my very food motivated dogs, i generally feed them supper using their puzzle toys. We use treat balls, kong wobblers and other fun puzzles to challenge them.
Dog Beds and Crate Matts
Puppies and dogs love a cozy place they can call their own, but they enjoy being with you (on the furniture and all) the best. Whether you chose to allow your pup to cuddle with you on the furniture or prefer them to keep their paws off the furniture, we recommend getting a dog bed so they have their own special "place". The type of dog bed that you chose is entirely personal preference. Dogs and puppies can be very picky on what type of dog bed they prefer to use, and many prefer sleeping on the cool floor, especially in the hot summer months. We recommend starting with an inexpensive "cuddle" style dog bed like the one pictured below. We do not recommend a crate mat for puppies learning crate training, but instead we suggest a towel or a small blanket until the puppy is older. Please keep in mind that some dogs are not compatible with crate mats at all and will simply destroy them when crated. If your dog is a dog bed eater, Kong has excellent durable Dog beds and crate mats.
Food and Water Bowls
Food and water bowls are completely personal preference. We do not recommend a free feeder for puppies as it can interfere with many things including house training, monitoring how much your puppy is eating, as well as not being motivated for treats at training time. Our preference is stainless steel as they do not break easy, are easy to clean/sanitary and will withstand boisterous puppies.
On top of your regular grooming appointments ( generally every 6-8 weeks) you will need to do some maintenance on your doodle's coat. This especially if you like the longer, traditional doodle cut. You will want to start getting your puppy used to grooming and the various tools like brushes, combs, bathes, and blow dryers early. Many doodle owners are not properly educated on proper brushing technique for doodle and poodle coats, which can result in the dog being matted and the groomer shaving your doodle. To prevent this, we recommend that you see our grooming section below.
For shopping purposes, we suggest a slicker brush The Big G from Chris Christiensen lines is an all around favorite. it can be found here http://www.chrissystems.com/tools/big-g--big-k.aspx and a sturdy comb (Can also be ordered at the above website).
For shampoos, you will want something designed specifically for puppies at first. You can find some at any retail pet store or online. Some of our favorite brands are Burts Bees, Natures Miracle, Pet Head, and Earthbath. A good set of nail clippers and grooming scissors are also recommended.
We NEVER purchase over the counter flea treatments / preventatives or dewormers. We only recommend getting these products from your veterinarian. We use Revolution on our dogs as well as a good, strong dewormer every few months.
We usually recommend a good, specially designed stain and odour remover for Cleaning up potty accidents. Natures Miracle can be found at any Petsmart and is an excellent product. Bleach with water is an excellent disinfectant for hard surfaces that do not contain biological matter, but Virkon is the best overall disinfectant as it can be used both indoors and outdoors and will kill almost anything contagious that could affect your puppy if properly applied. This is especially important to know if you have ever had an animal with any kind of contagious disease on your property or if you are a new property owner (less then 5 years). Virkon can be purchased at your vets, at UFA and at Peavy Mart.
Finding a Trainer
Cloud 9 Doodles requires all of our puppies to attend dog training classes held by a certified instructor for a minimum of 6 sessions. This is to help your puppy get the best start in life. If you live in Alberta, we ask that you find a trainer who is a member of AFFA (Alberta Force Free Aliance) or alternatively a CPDT-KA or equivalently certified trainer. We do not stand behind aversive training methods such as hitting, choking, shocking or using prong collars. We ask that you find a trainer that does not use these things, but rather find a science based trainer. There are several training books you can buy to learn more even before you bring puppy home! We recommend authors such as Patricia McConnell, Dr. Stanley Coren, Jean Donaldson, Pat Miller and other training professionals. These can be found on Amazon.
Because we understand it can be difficult to attend in person training classes, Cloud 9 Doodles has partnered with Baxter and Bella to be able to access a WHOLE online training program at 25% OFF! Baxter and Bella's online training program was designed by accomplished positive reinforcement service dog trainers.
To learn more about Baxter and Bella, please see their website at https://www.baxterandbella.com
If you would like to attend these classes, use the code "CLOUD9" for your 25% discount code
Finding a Veterinarian
If you already have a trusted veterinarian, then the following likely will not apply to you. If you do not, we recommend you interview a few to see if they are a good fit. Sometimes with veterinarians it is trial and error and finding one who has similar ideologies as you. For example, if you prefer a more holistic approach, try to find a holistic vet. Being able to trust your vet is crucial. Find a vet willing to establish a good relationship for you and your pet and not a clinic where you are just a number. We like smaller town / rural vets for this. Here at Cloud 9 Doodles we primarily use the Animal Care Center of Strathmore. We also recommend Fish Creek Vet for Medical Emergencies in the Calgary area.
Finding a Groomer
Finding a good groomer is very important for several reasons. Many groomers are not properly trained and certified which greatly increases the risk of injury to your pup. Be sure to ask about their grooming experience, any certifications or awards, ask to watch them groom, and have a look through their portfolio. Dedicated groomers attend seminars, competitions, and are always straining to improve their technique. Do not be alarmed if the groomer does not want you to watch them groom your own pup! Owners being there when their pups are being groomed can cause the pups to get excited and unlikely to stand still safely for the groom. You should be able to watch another dog get groomed however. Good groomers are hard to find, but when you find one, tip them well! The good ones work hard to keep your pooch clean, beautiful, and in good condition! We recommend seeing a groomer every 4-6 weeks for a doodle.
Our puppies come with a 4 week free trial of pet insurance through Trupanion. You can research different insurance companies such as PetSecure and Pets plus Us through Costco. Pet insurance is a very personal choice and we recommend you do A LOT of research on the best company/plan to suit your needs or whether pet insurance is right for you. We do not require our puppy owners to have pet insurance.
Bringing puppy home
So it's finally pick up day and you have just arrived home with your new doodle puppy! Now what?
The first few days will be an adjustment period for both you and your puppy. Although we have done our best to prepare all of our puppies for this day, going to a new home poses a lot of stress on a puppy and there will likely be some behaviors that may be difficult to tolerate such as whining / crying, house training accidents, and other typical puppy behaviors. Prior to coming and living in a family, your puppy's playmates were primarily their littermates and their mother. We of course provided plenty of human interaction, but they are used to being in a litter. This means no matter how much we prepare your pup, there is a good chance your puppy will experience stress due to not only being in a strange area, but in a strange area with new people and no littermates. Some puppies are more stressed then others, some puppies may be inclined to play, some may want your affection and will feel safest beside you, some puppies may be nervous and shy. All of these behaviors are normal for the first few days.
The first thing you will want to do is take your puppy to the area you would like them to use to go to the bathroom. This is now their designated bathroom area. Generally this is a portion of someone's backyard. You have travelled and they have likely just awoken from a nap. Stay outside with them until they are finished relieving themselves, praise them, and go inside. Show the puppy to the water, if they are thirsty, allow them to drink and take outside again in 15 minutes. At this point you will want to spend some time getting to know your puppy and his body language. Remember, your dogs use of body language is his primary skill for communication. What is he or she telling you? Do they seem nervous? Relaxed? Playful? Then it is up to you to respond how you feel is appropriate. Comforting your puppy is 100% okay and encouraged! But don't baby them either, remember, there is no real reason for them to be afraid, and you want to encourage curiosity and reward relaxed behaviours. Spend some time playing with your new puppy or doing whatever is comfortable for them at the time. Keeping calm and keeping children and other pets calm is especially important as the sudden movements of children and the boisterousness of an excited strange dog can easily become overwhelming to your new puppy. It is important that not only the puppy respects the children, but the children to respect the puppy.
You have spent time with your puppy and are probably wondering how often you should take them outside! Here are some house training tips for you!
- when to take your puppy outside -
1. As soon as they wake up from sleep
2. 15 Minutes after drinking & 30 after eating
3. When you let them out of their crate
4. After a good play session
5. Every 30 minutes during the day for the first week, and every hour for the first month
6. Once over night for the first week. Then they are fine over night IF CRATED and let out late at night and early in the morning (Max 8 hours)
Always supervise your puppy when loose. It helps to section off the area you guys are in. You want eyes on that little bugger as much as possible, as they are sneaky little things.
Now that you have survived the first few hours with your new puppy, gotten used to each-other, and have begun to establish a routine, it's likely time to feed them lunch or dinner. Puppies between 8-16 weeks should be fed 3x per day. We like to feed them in their crates while we eat. We give them 20 minutes to finish their meals and then we let them outside to relieve themselves. Your puppy has thus far been "free fed" (this means puppy has access to food at all times). We do not recommend this be continued once puppy is in their new home. We free feed our puppies because with a litter, you want to make sure no puppy ever feels as though they have to compete for resources. This helps reduce food aggression behaviors in puppies for the rest of their lives. We also want to make sure all the puppies are getting enough food, and free choice feeding is the best way to do that. There are other benefits to free choice feeding, however with a new puppy or puppy in training, we do NOT recommend free choice feeding. This is because you want to be able to control when your puppy is eating for house training purposes. If you know when your puppy is eating, knowing when to take them outside becomes much easier (they will need to eliminate approximately 20-30 minutes after eating). Also, being able to control when your puppy eats means that you can monitor his food intake for health purposes, and know when you will likely have a hungry puppy for training purposes! Because your puppy has come to you free fed, you will want to follow the instructions on the bag for feeding amounts or calculate the % of raw your dog needs compared to his body weight. Feed your pup in his crate, then remove the food (and the pup) after 20-30 minutes. Measure how much you give, and how much is left, to get an idea of how much your puppy is eating, then adjust the amount you are feeding to better suit your puppy. If your puppy finishes all his food right away and seems hungry, feed them more at a time.
It's now getting late and its time to wind down. Your puppy may have already taken a few naps, but now it's time to really settle down for the night. We strongly recommend you crate your puppy overnight. Your puppy has already been introduced to the crate, but please remember that up until now, they have not been alone in a crate. This first night is likely going to be difficult for everyone. We recommend having the crate in the bedroom with you. Dogs are pack oriented animals and do not like being alone or feel separated from their packs. This puppy has already been separated from his "pack", and must adjust to your pack. Expecting a new puppy to sleep completely on his own in another room could be very traumatizing to your puppy. The first night, try to not only put the puppy's crate in your bedroom, but try to also have your puppy at eye level beside your bed. This is how they will feel most secure on the first night. Despite all this, your puppy may still be upset. Remember, they just had your complete and undivided attention all day. They played with you and sought comfort with you. Now everything is dark and quiet, and they are alone in a crate in a strange house... without their littermates. Thankfully, the puppies usually will not whine and cry excessively if they can see you. You may make a "shhh" sound if they get too loud, but that is all the attention you should give them. This includes negative attention.
*Tip - NEVER LET A WHINING PUPPY OUT OF A CRATE. This will literally make them whine louder next time to get let out. Try to wait for 30 seconds of quiet/ settled behavior before letting your puppy out, but if this is not possible, wait for at MINIMUM 10 seconds of quiet.
Congratulations! You Survived the first night!
You made it through the first night with your doodle puppy and despite what may have been a rough night, this little fluff ball has already stolen your heart. We welcome you to the world of dog ownership. Hang in there, for all of those difficult moments you will be rewarded with a lifetime of love and loyalty! It is now up to you do do as much research as you can and provide your puppy with the very best life. We are always here when you and your puppy and never be afraid to ask for advice!
Frequently Asked Questions
"What if my puppy doesn't go when I let him out?"
Stay with your puppy and give him a good 10 minutes. Always go outside with your puppy so you can reward him when he uses the bathroom correctly. if your puppy still hasn't relieved themselves after 10 minutes, bring them back indoors and watch them closely for signs of needing to go outside. These include, sniffing, circling, being generally distracted, searching, and trying to get away if you are holding them. Let them out every 15 minutes until they have relieved themselves, then reset the timer. Once you do this a few times, you will get to know your puppies schedule a little better and be able to set timers for intervals that suit your puppy best. This is hard and tedious at first, but it will help TREMEDOUSLY with house training.
"my puppy goes to play outside then comes inside and messes"
This is what I refer to as reverse house training. It happens FAST and is one of the most frustrating things you can deal with as a puppy owner. Dogs are creatures of habit. Reverse house training can happen to any dog at any time for various reasons.
Reverse house training happens when a dog or puppy starts using the bathroom almost exclusively indoors. They almost seem to refuse to use the bathroom outside. This is actually fairly common and something many dog owners have gone through at one point or another with one of their dogs/puppies. Thankfully it is fully correctable and fairly preventable.
To prevent this, we must first understand how and why this happens. Generally reverse house training happens when a dog that was previously house trained soiled inside a few times. We usually see it during the puppy's first winter when it is cold and uncomfortable outside. They may refuse to eliminate outdoors because they are cold, then begin to eliminate indoors. This establishes a pattern for the dog and thus reverse house training can occur.
We also see this in dogs who have been boarded or who go to doggy daycare, when moving to a new home, or if your dog has a physical issue such as a UTI.
If your dog goes to doggy daycare or to a boarding kennel, ensure they have access to the outdoors regularly. Try not to allow your dog to eliminate on solid surfaces (such as cement, concrete etc.). Ensure a pet odor remover is used on the flooring when moving to a new house, even if it was previously cleaned. Treat your dog like a brand new puppy in every new environment until they are reliably house trained in many different environments.
Curing it will take time and patience but it is possible. Try to remember that dogs do not do things out of spite. Stay calm and be firm but fair. You will need to *almost start over with house training. The good news is, your dog has a bigger bladder then when you first brought him home. Keep your dog sectioned off in the area you are in as you did when he was a puppy. Take him outside more often and stay outside with him until he relieves himself. get to know his pattern again and take him outside 10 minutes before you think he will need to relieve himself. It may be difficult at first to convince the dog to go to the bathroom outside, keep letting them out every 30 minutes for 10 minutes (stay with them) until they do.
"Do I have to crate train my puppy?"
No, we do not require our families to crate train their puppies. We do heavily encourage our families to crate train, and to begin crate training from the very first night. Crate training is not just to protect your house from your puppy, but it is for your pups safety as well. Puppies get up to lots of naughty things, and like babies they love putting everything in their mouth. They are masters of stealth and can get themselves in serious trouble with seemingly innocent things. Crate training also prevents the development of undesired behaviors by being able to manage the environment of the dog. He is contained and therefore will not have the opportunity to develop a shoe chewing habit, for example. This is because when you are there to supervise, you can correct this and replace the shoe with something that is okay for the puppy to chew on instead. The puppy learns this way what is okay to chew, and doesn't get the opportunity to develop bad habits. This is also why crate training greatly helps with house training. We cannot all watch our puppies 24/7, and everyone needs a break/rest. Crating naturally teaches your puppy to "hold" his bladder. They are less likely to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom as you can regulate their water intake. Other benefits to crate training is that it provides a safe and quiet place for the dog when you have guests, for example. It is also beneficial during events such as fireworks, holidays, family gatherings and Halloween. A crate mimics a dogs den and although they don't usually like it at first, many dogs grow to really enjoy their time in the crate and see it as a safe space that they will seek out when feeling anxious or simply want space. Crate training can be incredibly frustrating at first, but in the long run, it is one of the best things you can do for your puppy.