Raising your new AussieDoodle

/Raising your new AussieDoodle

Choosing a food for your AwesomeDoodle

Pet food and nutrition have both been in the news a lot lately. One day grain-free is the way to go, the next day research is published saying grain-free can be harmful. One day a brand of kibble is top-rated on dogfoodadvisor.com and the next day there is a lawsuit against it or it is being pulled from shelves for dangerous levels of copper. It is difficult being a puppy parent and deciding what is best to feed your pups to ensure they consume the proper and balanced nutrition they need so they can live a long, happy, healthy life. At AwesomeDoodle, we are not nutrition experts, but we do our best to keep up with research about dog food. We take this research and information seriously and consistently re-evaluate what we are feeding our mama and daddy dogs, as well as your puppies. Transitioning to a new food We recommend you keep your puppy on the food they started on with us for at least a few weeks after they come home. Then, if you want to transition to another high quality food, you can transition slowly. If you transition from a food that is grain-free to something with [...]


Maintaining your AussieDoodle’s Fur

AwesomeDoodles are known for being the smartest doodles around, and they're also known for their beautiful, wavy fur and unique coat colors. The time you spend maintaining your pup's unique coat will vary according to the length you keep it; however, any length will require regular brushing, baths, and grooming appointments to ensure both the skin and fur stay healthy. Note: Nolan's "after groom" picture is on the left, and the "before groom" is on the right. Puppy Brushing When you get your puppy, get them used to being brushed and combed from day one. Some pups never mind it, but most will try to nip at the brush and squirm making it difficult for you to brush them. At first, your pup's fur will be silky soft and won't actually need brushing (for matting purposes); however, they still need to get used to the process and the brushing stimulates the blood flow to their skin to maintain it's health too. Be sure you make brushing/combing a positive activity. For example, save bully sticks or special kong snacks for the daily brushing time. Distract your pup with this tasty treat while you work on their fur. Puppy Cuts [...]


Critical fear period for AussieDoodles

The critical fear period for AussieDoodles is 8-10 weeks. During this time, if they don't have a positive experience with something, they may develop a permanent fear of that thing for life. They may fear things they have not seen before, such as people wearing hats, tall people, short people, people of different races, crowds, cars, streets, or ANY object or thing they haven't seen before. If the puppy perceives this thing as dangerous now, it will ALWAYS perceive it as dangerous. If the puppy perceives this thing as SAFE now, it will ALWAYS perceive it as SAFE, and won't be afraid of it, ever.


Why you should get a dog trainer for your AussieDoodle Puppy

The ideal time to socialize and shape your puppy's behavior is between 3 weeks and 14 weeks old. At AwesomeDoodle, we do our part to socialize and expose your puppy to as many sights and sounds as possible. When you get your puppy, now it's your job to shape their behavior to be a well mannered dog for the rest of it's life. It doesn't take that much effort when it's little. After 14 weeks, it becomes MUCH more difficult to socialize and shape the behaviors you want. Examples: If your dog is allowed to DIG when it is a puppy, this behavior is self rewarding, and they will dig for life. If your puppy is allowed to grab your shoe and run around the house with it, then it will do this for life. However, if your dog is taught that it has to earn it's toys, it will be less likely to take your stuff. Imagine your dog has a little recording device in it's head, that starts recording things into it's brain at 3 weeks old. That recording ends at 14 weeks old. After that, it will play back these things it has learned for it's entire [...]


Separation Anxiety in AussieDoodles

Both Australian Shepherds and Poodles have been bred to be loyal companions. They stick to their family at all times. So when you mix an Aussie with a Poodle, you get double sided sticky! If you've done your homework, you already know that most Aussie Doodles suffer from separation anxiety to some degree. Many Australian Shepherds suffer from Separation Anxiety, and poodles, especially mini sized, can be even worse than Aussies. To get an AussieDoodle to be happy to be locked in a crate, while you wander off, will take a ton of counter conditioning. You'll have to un-do what has been bred into these dogs for hundreds of years. And remember, your puppy has never been alone. It's been with it's litter mates and us humans all the time. Leaving them alone in the crate, can put them into a panic, to a point they won't ever want to be in the crate again. The good news is that you can help your puppy though this scary time, and in the end, you'll have a dog who sticks to their family like glue. Many of our AussieDoodle owners tell us they can walk their dog off leash by the age [...]


Kids and AussieDoodle Puppies

Every child should grow up with a dog. I know I did and I'll never forget that dog. But it's up to you, to build the right relationship between your dog and your kids. Puppies tend to recognize children as playmates, especially if your kids are just as rambunctious as a puppy. Your puppy has been wrestling with it's litter mates for weeks, and now will probably try to wrestle with your kids. While it's fun for your kids to play with your puppy, there are some rules kids must follow: 1. Don't allow kids to run from a puppy. Puppies have an instinct to follow. They have an instinct to be mouthy. If you throw a toy and your puppy goes and gets it, great! Keep in mind your puppy will also think your kids pant legs are also a toy. If you let your puppy chase your kids, you're teaching it to herd your kids. 2. Kids need to be sitting on the floor if they want to pick up puppy. Kids (and adults) should not pick up a puppy while standing. If the puppy tries to get away, it might scratch your face and then get dropped. [...]


The first 2 weeks with your new AussieDoodle puppy

You've got your new puppy home. Now what? Feed it three times a day and potty train it? Yes, but there is much more. Your top priorities in the first few weeks are: 1.  Sit, eye contact, and come when called. You can do all this in your living room. Here is a perfect example of one of our families working on this. Do NOT allow kids to attempt to train the dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2vgblZUxsE 2.  Take your puppy somewhere every day. This is one of the MOST CRITICAL exercises you MUST do with your new puppy. Take puppy to Home Depot, the pet store, wherever allows dogs. Let puppy ride in the cart. Put treats in your pocket. When someone makes eye contact with your puppy, tell them, "I'm teaching my new puppy that strangers are good people. Would you give my dog a treat?" And believe me, everyone will want to meet and pet your puppy! If you think that is too much work, you shouldn't have gotten an AussieDoodle :-) 3. Minimize pants and feet biting. This is common and expected. Your pants are a "target" when you're walking. If puppy is having "puppy crazy time," don't [...]


Play SEARCH with your dog

"SEARCH" is a super fun game you can play with your dog. It will help teach your dog to search for things on their own and use their nose to sniff it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJF21DrS41o


Puppy Crazy Time!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOVArtFrcO8 Remember, getting a new puppy is not all "cuteness and cuddles."  These little ones are FULL of energy.  Luckily, they burn up that energy quickly. Puppies have a “crazy” mode a few times a day, especially a couple hours before bedtime.  You WILL have some times where puppy is biting your shoelaces, eating your pant legs, biting or mouthing at your hands, and overall, being super annoying and uncontrollable.  They run around like idiots, and basically act like a kid on caffeine.  DO NOT attempt to teach your puppy any calm behaviors during this time, and don’t try to "correct" it for misbehaving, and whatever you do, do NOT put puppy in the crate, in attempt to “calm it down.”  Crazy time is normal, and it’s a sign your dog needs exercise. Let puppy burn off some energy.  It is YOUR JOB to exercise your dog. Puppy crazy time is not a time to attempt to calm your dog.  Instead, do the exact opposite. Take your dog outside and encourage it to run.  If you have two people, you could separate yourselves by about 50 feet and teach your puppy it's name.  Each person has treats.  One person [...]


Throw a flying disc to your dog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkdQD99cpVM You can exercise your dogs by playing catch with a flying disc. After a day at work, your dog is ready to go for a walk.  You're too tired?  No problem, get out the disc and go in the back yard for some fun. I like to use the cloth discs because they float well, and the dog can get to the disc before it hits the ground.  They also won't hurt your dog if it hits them in the face. This is the flying disc I like the best:  http://www.amazon.com/Hyper-Pet-Flopper-Original-Assorted/dp/B0023GEJSS My dogs love to fetch, and yours should too!  There is something about catching a flying disc in the air that really gives them satisfaction.  They really TRY to catch it before it hits the ground. If you're not teaching your puppy to catch a flying disc, you're missing out on a really fun game with your dog. If you wait until it's older, it's much more difficult to teach them. Here are few tips for playing disc in the back yard. Go out and practice throwing, before playing with your dog.  If your dog is not catching it at least 80% of the time, it's your [...]


AwesomeDoodle Golden Rules for Dogs and Puppies

Our technique for training dogs is a combination of both corrective action and positive reinforcement.  Corrective action is similar to the way Cesar Milan teaches.  He lets his dog know if they are doing something he doesn't want them to do.  He doesn't hit them or scold them; he says, "Shhhht!" And sometimes he will tap them, just enough to get their attention and snap them out of the behavior they are doing.  He practices the "pack leader" theory, which leads your dog to believe you are in charge.  This creates a more submissive and well-behaved dog, rather than an "out of control" dog who jumps on the counter and helps themselves to your sandwich. Positive reinforcement is similar to the way Kikopup trains her dogs.  You can find her on youtube.  So ONLY does positive reinforcement.  She is amazing and her dogs will do things that will blow your mind.  She does not even tell her dog "NO." If her dog is exhibiting an undesirable behavior, she simply distracts it and offers it something else to do.  My only problem with that is, sometimes the dog will learn, "If I do this bad thing, my owner gives me attention." So [...]


Barking at People

Hi all!  This question came in from Sophia and Brad, owners of our spotlight puppy, Tucks!  It is a great question and a common problem with puppies in the 6-12 month old range. Question:   Tucks doing well; first haircut tomorrow! He's listening well these days although I do need your advice on something. He's taken to barking at random people on the street, things in the back yard, and even us.  Should I get a citronella or light shock collar to teach him not to do that? It's really embarrassing! Aside from that, he's the dream pup. He knows heel now when walking and also knows "Go to your spot" which is a towel or dog bed on the floor in various rooms and he goes and lies down. Check out the pic :)   Answer:  First of all, understand this is so common and one of the most difficult behaviors to break.  Usually, this behavior starts early, but escalates at 6 months old, when dogs start to grow out of "puppy" stage.  This is also when they are most likely to take on a role of "protector."  They bark at other people, to let the people know they are [...]


Training your puppy NOT to jump on your guests

One of the hardest things to train, is not jumping on your friends, when they come over, and not jumping on YOU when you get home. Our dogs are a few years old and they still do it. They are so excited to see people, and so excited when you get home. The good news is, you know your dog loves people. It would be worse if they growled at strangers or tried to "protect" you.  Unfortunately, we condition our dogs to jump on us, even though we don't know we're doing it. What NOT to do: Think about it. What is the first thing you do when you get home? You GOO GOO GOO GOO over your dog. Does this sound familiar? "Oh how's my puppy wuppy? did you miss me? I missed you so much, let's get out of that crate and give me some loving! goo goo goo"  When your friend comes over, they do a similar thing, right? Your dog meets them at the door, usually IN FRONT of you, and they pet your dog and give him affection. Here's the problem. The most fun thing in your dog's life is YOU, and people coming over. [...]


Puppy Car Sickness / Motion Sickness

Is your little AussieDoodle getting sick in the car?  You want to "socialize" your puppy to car rides, teach them how to behave and ride in the car at an early age, but your puppy is puking all over your leather seats, or worse yet, your cloth seats. Have you ever gotten sick on some carnival ride that spins you like a top?  The next time you see that ride, your stomach gets upset.  There is a connection between the "twirl - a - whirl" that triggers your stomach to turn into knots.  If you rode it again, you would most likely get sick, even quicker than you did the first time.  The same is true with your puppy. "No!!! Not the car!  When I go in there, I get sick!"  If you keep taking your dog in the car, you could create a forever bad experience for your dog and car rides. The good news is, most puppies outgrow this.  But there are some things you need do to help ease puppy into it.  Most likely, you took puppy on a long ride (greater than 15 minutes) and they puked.  Were they in the crate?  What was the situation?  [...]


The first month with your Puppy

The first month with your puppy will be challenging for sure. There are some things you can do to "set the standard" right away. The first month is THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME with your new puppy, for socializing and shaping your dog's behaviors. In the first month, don't concentrate too much time on teaching your dog to "play dead" or similar tricks. Instead, work on shaping your dog's behaviors and socializing it. For example, if you put your dog in the crate right before you walk out the door, you'll teach your puppy that the crate means abandonment. Think like a dog! 1.  Make every experience "FUN" for puppy.  Puppies have a quick "bounce back" factor, but repeat bad experiences may make your dog afraid of certain things. 2.  Don't change your daily routine for puppy.  Don't TIP TOE around the house while puppy is sleeping.  Don't be afraid to put puppy in the crate when you need a "sanity" break, but don't do it right after bad behavior. Never use the crate as a "time out" or for punishment. 3.  Socialize your puppy.  For example, when you're mopping the floor, let another family member rapid fire treats to your [...]


Teach your Puppy to Fetch

With Aussies and AussieDoodles, getting the moving object, comes natural.  Bringing it back to you is the hard part. Here is Max, Tilly and Rosie, learning to fetch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk772PKUF-Y Max, Rosie and Tilly, learning to fetch at only 7 weeks, 2 days old   Below you can see a video of Levi at only 7 WEEKS OLD!  He loves the ball already.  This was our second session.  The advantage here is Winnie's Aussie Pups love people, so he gets the ball and then he wants some human attention.  He didn't want to give the ball up though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujuWoJ8qBJs Teaching Levi, the 7 week old Aussie to fetch.  He's a natural!   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEX5-VqeKio This video provided by Jennifer and her good boy, Ace.  Jennifer got Ace from us in 2013.  He is an exceptional dog and has and exceptional owner.   Soon, they bring it back to you consistently for another round of fun.  Winnie and Osa even know whose disc is whose. Levi, the Red Merle Australian Shepherd, at one year old, with his flying disk.


Basic training for your new Puppy

What is basic training? When you first get your new puppy home, you should start "Socializing" and “Basic Training." Instead of calling it "Training," I like to call it "behavior shaping." We are shaping our dog's behavior without them even knowing it. What is "behavior shaping?" One example, is where we reward our dog for making eye contact. They give us eye contact, they get a treat. Pretty soon, your dog will OFFER you eye contact, without you asking for it, because they are conditioned to do it. They do it without thinking. A dog who gives you eye contact, gives your more attention, especially when you really need it. Weeks 7 - 16, are THE MOST CRITICAL TIME for shaping our dog’s behavior.  In this article, we will go over the first things you should teach your puppy.  We will encourage and reward our dog for good behaviors, like calmness, eye contact, and attention, and we will not reinforce biting, jumping or whining. Clicker training: Using a clicker is an effective way to tell your dog when they have done something correctly.  We “click” the instant we see our dog behaving the way we want.  If you ask your [...]


Doggie Do’s and Don’ts

In this picture, we see "Scout" attempting to "MUG" my hand. Your pup should never be able to get the treat out of your hand when they try this. Only give the treat after they sit calmly and look away from your hand. ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT!  DON’T teach your puppy to shake, high five, sit pretty, jump up, or speak.  Save these for after the dog is 8-12 months old, or better yet, never.  Remember dogs OFFER behaviors.  I don’t want my dog jumping or pawing at me. DO reward calmness in your puppy. DO let your dog in the house when it sits or barks at the back door.  I know barking is annoying, but it is MUCH better than jumping and scratching at the door.  I see torn up back doors.  This is because they don’t let it in when it barks. In desperation, the dog jumps on the door.  Finally, the owner can’t handle it, and they let the dog in, or open the door, tell it to stop, then close the door on the dog again.  Think like a dog: “When I jump on the door, my owner lets me in, but I don’t understand [...]


Socializing your new Aussie Poo Puppy

You’ve probably heard this term before, but what does it mean?  The single most important thing you can do with your puppy is “socialize” it properly.  When you “socialize” your puppy, you are introducing them to new experiences. Puppies begin to experience “fear” at 6 - 8 weeks, and this is when they learn what to be afraid of, and what is ok.  For example, if your puppy experiences a thunder storm, it might be startled at first by the crash of the thunder.  But after a few strikes, it is no longer startled.  Since nothing bad happened, your puppy doesn’t associate the thunder with a need to be afraid.  It accepts the sound as something normal in life. This is “planted” in the dog’s brain forever.  A six month old dog who has not been socialized properly will hide and cower when it hears the crash.  Several crashes later, the un-socialized dog may continue to be afraid of the sound. It is definitely more difficult to socialize a 6 month old puppy, than a 2 month old pup. The “bounce back” factor. Puppies under the age of 16 weeks, “bounce back” much quicker than a puppy just a month [...]


You are the “pack” leader.

Two amazing Mini AussieDoodles wait for their turn to eat.  Photo by DreamyDoodles. From the first day you get your new puppy, you will be the pack leader.  The “pack” is you and your pup.  Dogs NEED to be the pack leader or be led by one.  Your dog is not “EQUAL” to you.  Dogs are much more comfortable, and less nervous when they have a pack leader to rely on. In the pack, the leader makes the kill, eats, and only then allows the others to eat.  Believe me, your dog is content to watch you eat while they wait their turn. Everything GOOD in your dog's life, comes from you. Lesson 1:  You give food.  You take it. When your puppy is little, take it’s food away or cover it’s bowl with your hands while it’s eating.  Put your hand in it’s bowl, get some food out and hand feed it to your dog. Lesson 2:  Always eat BEFORE you feed your dog. Alpha dogs eat first.  A less dominant dog waits happily for their turn to eat. Lesson 3:  No dogs in the bed or on the furniture.  A dog should not have the run of the [...]


House-breaking your new AussieDoodle puppy

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UJ4G0ZuZx0 House-breaking:  Until puppy is 10-11 weeks old, don't get bent out of shape about house breaking / potty training.  You'll be following your pup around with paper towels.  It isn't until they are about 10-12 weeks until they start to realize they can "hold it."  Until then, they just pee where ever they are, as soon as they feel the need.  However, if they are in their crate, or in their "play place" they will try to hold it, as their instinct is to NOT pee where they sleep. Again, don't try too hard in the first few weeks, and don't feel disappointed in yourself because you didn't get puppy outside to pee, but there are a few things we can do, to start prepping for potty training. POTTY TRAINING AT 8 - 12 weeks old: First of all, don't worry too much about peeing on the floor.  It's good to get puppy outside every 30 minutes, but you don't need to feel disappointed because puppy peed on the floor, or because you didn't take it out in time. 1.  If he falls asleep laying around the house or in his crate, AS SOON AS he wakes up, [...]


The first 48 hours with your new Aussie Doodle Puppy

Vet appointment: It’s important to get your puppy to the vet for a check-up within 3 days of them coming home. Your pup will need to go back for vaccinations/de-worming at 9 weeks old. Also, it is a good idea to get your puppy on a flea preventative when they turn 8 weeks old, as they haven't had one yet and are susceptible to picking up fleas just about anywhere. At night, opossums and raccoons may cross your back yard, dropping fleas everywhere! Collars and leashes: Your puppy has worn a collar yet. Let puppy get comfortable in your new home for a few days before introducing a collar. Wait a couple more weeks before introducing a leash. You should use the lightest and smallest collar possible. Riding in the car: Puppies should ride in the back seat, either in one person’s arms or in a crate. It is not appropriate or safe for your puppy to ride in the front seat, even if they are in your lap. If you let them do it once, they will fight to get up there again. If you have more than a couple hours ride, you will want to stop and let them go in the grass. Choose an [...]