Look at these adorable blue eyes! The Blonde Brownies have opened their eyes and are taking their first steps! Claire talks about picking names and commands, as well as tips for puppy-proofing your home.
Hi everybody, Claire here from Van Isle Labradoodles. This week’s video is the two-week update for the Blonde Brownies litter. As you’ll probably remember from our previous videos, these puppies are medium-sized, multi-generation, Australian Labradoodle puppies. This week’s video is going to tell you about the major milestone that these puppies have achieved in the past week. We’re also gonna give you just a little tiny snapshot of each of their personalities, as they are at the two-week mark. And then we’re gonna talk about some tips to help you be successful when you start bringing your puppy home with you.
So the major milestone that these puppies have achieved over this past week is their eyes are open. It’s an amazing accomplishment for them, and I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a little puppy who’s never seen anything, and all of a sudden there’s all these great big blobs that they can see.
Even though their eyes are open, they still can’t really see properly. They just see some shapes and shades of gray, mostly. So they can’t really define who’s who, but they do see movement. So it is still a whole lot of new input into their little brains.
The puppies are also getting up on all fours now, rather than just pulling themselves along with their front two paws. They’re pretty wobbly and they kind of stagger about, but they are starting to take their first steps.
The other thing that’s happening is their ears, although they’re still not open, they have started to open up a bit. We can see that they’re not entirely tightly sealed anymore. You can see Mister Green Collar is upside down there, which is a Labradoodle trait, that they like to be upside down when they sleep, and they all love to have tummy rubs. I think that every Labradoodle in the world thinks that’s just the best thing of all.
The puppies are also starting to eliminate on their own now, which is another change from last week. When they start to eliminate on their own, and when they’re fairly steady on their feet and can start to actually get out of the nest, then that’s when we think about moving them out.
So next week’s video, rather than coming from the maternity ward here, may be coming to you from the Doodle Den. They may still be here, but they may have moved already into the Doodle Den.
So let’s do a little bit of a snapshot on each of the puppies now. We’re gonna start with Mister Green Collar. Everybody knows Mister Green Collar has my favorite markings, which is a black and white boy. Oh, he’s … he still has his same personality, where he’s very confident, doesn’t hesitate to tell you when he doesn’t like what’s going on, and oh, there’s his nice tongue, and makes sure that everybody adjusts to suit him. He is a very confident puppy, and he’s lovely and solid, and he has this, just a total gleaming coat.
I’m not sure if you can see that his eyes are open or not, he may be a little bit too tired to show you his little blue peepers that he’s got there. All puppies are born with blue eyes, just like human puppies are. But they’ll all change to a dark brown or to hazel.
Next, let’s do our little Purple Collar girl, which is right here. Purple Collar is totally different from Mister Green Collar. She’s just a sweet, calm, quiet, snuggly little girl, and she’ll show you her pink tongue, too. She has no interest in being the boss or telling people off whatsoever. She’s quite happy just to do, if Mister Green Collar tells her to do something, she says yeah, okay, I’ll do that. Whatever you say, boss. She just doesn’t have any interest in being the boss. Oh, there’s gonna give me a little bit of a kiss there. Yes you are!
So I’m not too sure if you can see her eyes, they are open though. And oh! There they are, now there, she’s giving you a little bit of a glimpse at them.
Now let’s check out Miz Gray Collar. Miz Gray Collar who opened her eyes first, before anyone else at day 11. She’ll give you a nice little shot of her pink tongue. Hello baby girl. Miz Gray is the smallest puppy in the litter, but she is mighty. She has no problem standing up for herself, telling everybody off if she doesn’t particularly care for their idea of how things should be, and she had no problem telling Spirit if she’s in the wrong spot at the milkbar.
She’s a ferocious little girl. She’s fierce, not ferocious. But she’s fierce. Oh, and you can hear, she still does have quite a good voice and you can see those eyes. She has them wide, wide open to show you.
Then let’s look at one of the sable boys here. Let’s go to Blue Collar. Blue Collar is the sable boy who has the most dramatic difference between his face color, and his body color. They all want to go over to one side today. But you can see that a lot of his black has disappeared from his face, so he’s starting to, what we call, clear out. There are his beautiful eyes! Oh, you’re gonna give me a yawn. Oh, what a good boy you are.
He’s a lovely little fellow, pretty much right in the middle. When he talks, it’s more just ’cause he’s crying as opposed to trying to boss anybody around. And his sister, ‘scuse me Green, Yellow Collar girl, the other … another sable.
She’s quite different from her brothers. She is a calm, sweet, laid-back puppy, very much like Purple Collar is. She’s a quiet little one, and she just goes with the flow. She has no interest in telling anybody how to be. She just does whatever anyone else tells her to do. She’s giving you a good example of her beautiful pink tongue, and you can even see inside her mouth now where her teeth are starting to show up.
And let’s go over to our other girl, our chocolate parti girl, Miss Peach Collar. Peach is a much more outgoing girl than Yellow and Purple. She is quite an … confident and strong personality puppy. She’s very sweet, she’s very kind, she’s not bossy at all. But she has no problem finding her way within the pack, and telling her brothers and her sisters, hey move over, I’m here, it’s my turn at the milkbar. You can see she’s showing you her beautiful eyes. So that’s Miss Peach Collar.
And then we have our big bruiser boy. Mister Black Collar, who’s the other parti in the litter. There he is with that gorgeous little beauty spot of his. Pink tongue, and his eyes are wide open. This fellow is the most independent one, and he is also the calmest puppy in the world. Nothing disturbs Mister Black Collar. He just takes everything in stride, is just happy with life. He’s just a great little fellow. I love his little markings on his nose. Very sweet.
And last but not least is Mister Brown Collar, the final sable in the litter. This little guy, he is what we call the ‘invisible puppy’. He’s so retiring and he’s so easy-going, it’s easy to forget that he’s even there. Isn’t it, sweetie? I don’t think I’ve ever heard him make a sound yet. His eyes are all open and he’s got that beautiful pink tongue, too. But this is our quietest puppy in the group. Keep in mind, next week, it could be entirely different and everybody’s temperament could have changed quite a bit.
So that’s the kids and where they’re at for this week. Now last week we talked about some tips on picking a vet and a trainer, so I hope you’ve started on your questionnaires for that, and that you’ve started to reach out and make some contact with vets and trainers and are starting to think about setting up appointments with those two people so that you have those in place for when you bring your puppy home.
Now this week what we’re going to talk about is how to start setting both you and your puppy up for success when you bring your puppy home. This is going to involve the whole family this week. We want everybody to be part of this process. That’s everybody who’s going to come into contact with the puppies on a regular basis.
The theme this week is one word: consistency. That is the key to success for everything to do with your puppy. There’s a lot for your puppy to learn when they come home, and there’s a lot for you to learn from your puppy, too. If you’re consistent with your cues and how you do everything with your puppy, then you’re going to have far quicker and far more success in having them learn the things you’re trying to teach them.
As you know, dogs don’t speak English, and we’re all struggling to try to learn doglish. Dogs, when they communicate with one another, although they do have sounds such as barking and growling, and that does communicate things to one another, mostly what the puppies do is use body language and their paws and their stance to communicate what they wanna tell one another.
So that’s what we’re going to talk about first of all today, is what your cues are that are gonna be verbal, and how we’re going to match those up with body language and facial expressions. Dogs read your facial expressions a great deal. They read one another’s facial expressions as well.
As I said, we want everybody who’s going to be interacting with the puppy regularly to be involved in this process. So let’s start with something that you’ve probably maybe already considered, and that’s what are you going to name your puppy? Choosing a puppy, a name for your puppy is just as much fun as choosing a name for your child, and it’s something that’s going to be with your puppy for their entire life.
A couple of tips on picking a name. First of all, pick one that’s not difficult to say or remember. Especially if you have young children and they still have developing language skills, you don’t want to pick a name such as, say, Geronimo, because Geronimo can be hard to say. You might get ‘Mamonimo’, ‘Germomom’, ‘Monomano’, and you won’t have a puppy that understands that that’s their name. So Geronimo would not be my first choice.
Another thing you want to do is have the name very distinct. So don’t pick a name that everybody uses, and don’t pick a name that sounds like one of the cues you use with your puppy. A good thing to keep in mind for this is, don’t pick Joe for instance, because Joe sounds just like ‘no’, and the last thing you want is for your puppy’s name to be associated with something that’s negative. You want your puppy to love the sound of their name, and to think it’s a good thing, and to always perk their ears up and go yeah, that’s me! I know who I am!
One final bit of advice when you’re choose a name, is try to avoid the ‘s’ sound. Dogs just recoil from a ‘sss’ sound. It’s something that is not pleasant to their ears, and does not give good connotations for them. So you wouldn’t want to name your dog Bliss, for example, because Bliss would not be blissful to a dog’s ears.
That’s some tips to keep in mind with their name. And then when you’re using their name and you’re calling them, you always wanna have a good smile on your face. Put your eyebrows up. Open your face up, open your whole body up and go, “Hey, Spot, come on!” So that your dog learns that every time they hear “Spot,” yay! That’s me! And somebody loves me, and I want to go over there! That’s really going to help you down the road with recall. Works really well, and important to keep in mind.
The next thing you want to do is establish a cue for going to the bathroom, another major thing when you have a puppy. For this, again you want to follow the same rules. You want to have something that’s easy, and easy to remember for … especially if you have kids, and easy for your puppy to recognize. Again, consistency is very important.
Some of the more common types of cues for going to the bathroom are ‘go potty’, ‘go pee’, ‘hurry up’, lots of people say hurry up because they’re always in a hurry for their puppy to finish doing their business. So whatever it is, you want to pick one, just one, it doesn’t matter if they’re peeing or they’re pooping. You just wanna use the say cue that you have, and you want to use that every time you take your puppy out to go to the bathroom. You’re gonna say, “Spot, go pee. Go pee.” Take your puppy outside, use the cue, and then when they do go, you’re gonna go, “Yay! What a great dog Spot is! Good go pee!” So you wanna use the name, the command, and be really happy, and you want to reward with a treat too, every time your puppy goes. Pretty soon they’ll be going on command.
The final cue that I want you to think about this week is when you want your puppy to be quiet. I don’t mean no sound, I mean you want them to settle down and take a nap or go to bed. There’s lot of times that you need your puppy just to calm down. You probably have several words you use to ask your children to calm down. Hopefully, you get a bit more success from your puppy.
Again, pick something that’s different, unique, that your puppy will recognize and understand oh yeah, okay that’s what this one means. So you can say ‘nap time’, ‘nighty night’, ‘bedtime’, ‘settle’, whatever you prefer. I like to use ‘settle’ myself, ’cause settle is quite different from any other cue that I give my dogs verbally.
Now for this one you want your face to be more neutral, and you want to use slow, calm speaking and movements. So it’s gonna be, “Spot, settle. Okay Spot, let’s settle.” You can do some nice calm stroking with your dog at the same time, to get them into that relaxed mode. So you get the theme, you get the picture here. Your facial expression, your body expression, your tone of voice in particular, all match the cue that you’re giving and everything is consistent. The same thing time and time again.
Once you’ve got that established, then the next thing you want to do is go through some house rules. You might want to start with setting up, what are gonna be the puppy-free zones? Although we all like to think oh, the puppy’s just gonna run free in the house, that’s not the best or the safest idea for the puppy, or your possessions.
The first place we like to start as a puppy-free zone is the bathroom. The bathroom is a very enticing place for a puppy. First there’s a bathmat. Whoa! Grass inside! Yay! Let’s go pee here. Not where you want the puppy to go pee. After that, there’s the wastepaper basket full of lovely tissues and empty rolls of toilet paper, and those are just so much fun to rip to shreds and spread all over the place. Eating the wastepaper basket is also a popular pastime. And then there’s always the toilet paper roll which is fun to run all over the house with.
You also may have your prescriptions in the bathroom, and those for sure you want to keep out of reach of your puppy. Although they won’t be able to reach the counter yet, you’ll be surprised how fast they grow. So, better safe than sorry, and better no mess than not. Just close the door to the bathroom.
Other areas in your house you probably want to do that with are, if you have any sort of a craft room. I quilt, so I have a lot of fabric in my quilting room. The last thing I want is one of my dogs to come in with their filthy muddy paws, or their sharp teeth, and wreck my fabrics. So the door to my quilting room is kept shut.
Same with your home office. Lots of expensive equipment in there, lots of cords, lots of things you don’t want puppy to be getting into. And finally, your kids rooms, and your own bedroom. If your kids or you are not good at picking things up, keeping your clothes off the floor, your shoes, your socks, your iPad, whatever you may have in your bedroom, then don’t let your puppy into your bedroom unattended. Because they’ll find all those things, and be very proud of themselves that they discovered these really fun and interesting toys, far better than anything that you paid money for. Especially shoes, they really like those.
It is a really good motivator for kids though, to help them keep their room tidy. It only takes one pair of expensive new running shoes to be ripped up, or their tablet to be ripped up and no longer able to be used before kids start to remember, hm, we got a puppy. I better remember to pick things up.
Those are some ideas for you. The other thing you want to do is, in the areas where the puppies are going to be, is to be sure and puppy-proof those, just like you would for a baby. So basically, you wanna pick everything up, and put it up way out of your puppy’s reach. Make sure your cords are not out and about where they can chew on them. So if you have floor lamps of any sort, you’ll want to, if possible, just eliminate those for the time being so that they can’t chew on the cords.
You want to keep your TV remote controls, your magazines, books, especially your cell phones and tablets, all up really high where the puppies can’t reach them. And the other thing that you want to do when you’re doing your puppy-proofing is to remove any area rugs that you may have. Area rugs, this is if you have a house with hardwood or tile, area rugs read to puppies as grass. That’s why puppies always find the carpet area to go to the bathroom, or throw up on, because carpet, to them, is always seen the same as grass.
It takes a long time for a dog to realize that carpet is not grass. Even adult dogs will pick a carpeted area to throw up on if they can’t get outside. So make sure you get rid of those area rugs. Same thing if you have anything that has any dangling things or fringes. I have a couple of pashminas over the back of chairs that have fringes on them, so I pick those, or fold those up, rather, when we have a baby in the house.
If you have any cords that come down from your blinds, if you happen to have blinds that open and close, make sure you’ve got those cords all safely secured and not on the floor so puppy doesn’t chew the cords or hang himself in the cords. Shoes, purses, everything like that, pick those up. Laundry tabs, anything like that, you need to make sure you have out of the way of your puppy.
The other thing you want to do is establish with your family, is the puppy going to be going on the furniture, and on the beds? Sometimes this takes a while to decide what you want to do with. So my suggestion is you start with not allowing them on the furniture or the beds. Sit on the floor with them, play on the floor with them. If after a while you decide, “Eh, I just am fine with them being up on the furniture and I’m more comfortable sitting on the furniture with my puppy,” go ahead and change the rule.
It’s easy to allow the puppy more freedom and more privileges, rather than try to take them away. A dog is never going to understand why last week they could go on the Chesterfield and this week they’re getting shooed off and told “Oh no, bad dog.” They just can’t comprehend that kind of decision making. They often, I think, probably think that we humans are quite peculiar and make some very strange ideas and decisions.
So after you’ve done that, then the other thing you want to do is figure out what door they’re going to go out to go to the bathroom, and then outside where their bathroom area is going to be. Next week’s video, we’re gonna talk a lot more about house-training. We’ll get into the specifics of that more, but for now just sort of scout around and think, this’ll be the best door for us to go out with puppy, and this is where we’re going to take puppy to to go to the bathroom.
Then you want to decide where you’re going to feed your puppy. Where is a good spot for them to eat at? You’ll have the water dish probably in the same location. So for that, you want to have something that’s out of the way of traffic so your kids don’t fall in the water dish, and you don’t step in it. And you want to have it in an area that’s really easy to clean up ’cause puppies can be a little bit messy when they eat and drink, especially when they drink. And fairly free of distractions.
Labradoodles are not highly motivated by food, and are not really big eaters. They don’t have that tendency whatsoever, so you want to have them able to focus on eating so that they do eat enough and don’t get distracted and think, “Oh, I think I wanna go over there and see what that is.” So fairly quiet, but they still need to be able to see you or you stay with them when they’re eating so that they don’t feel like they’ve been left all alone and are isolated.
And then you also want to figure out where are you going to put their beds, their mats. So they have a place where they’re comfortable to have a rest during the day. Dogs love to have something over top of their heads, so if you can put their bed and their mat under a table, a coffee table, the dining room table, a counter, anything that gives them a sense of being underneath, which is what the crate does for them, then that’s an ideal spot to have them for their rests. They’ll really enjoy that. And again, somewhere where they’re near you, they can still feel that they’re part of the family, but that they’re removed from the regular traffic flow and they’re safe to go to sleep where they are.
You also want to figure out where the crate is going to go. Your puppy’s going to sleep in the crate at night, and you may use the crate during the day as well. Along with house-training next week, we’ll talk about crate training. So we’ll go over that in more detail next week.
Finally what you need to ascertain is some sort of a schedule for who’s going to have their eyes on the puppy. It’s really critical that there’s always somebody who’s full attention is on your puppy, because you know the rule. Three seconds of not watching the puppy, and that’s when they chew up something really valuable, or they go to the bathroom when you aren’t looking.
So if you’re the only person home with your puppy, you may want to get what we call a waist leash. A waist leash is just what it sounds like, it goes around your waist and you don’t hold onto it with your hands. So you have two hands free to make dinner, do the laundry, work on the computer, talk on the phone, whatever you’re needing to attend to, but the puppy is still tethered to you and you can be watching your puppy all the time. They’re really great.
They’re really good when you later, when your puppy’s older and if you’re a runner, you can easily jog and have both of your hands available for your proper jogging motion, or walking if you stride a lot when you walk, and your puppy is still fully attached to you and nice and secure. So they’re a good little item to have.
So that’s it for this week. I hope you’ve really enjoyed the books that I recommended to you for reading, and we hope that you watch the video on YouTube. And then, I want to ask you all to comment in the comments section on YouTube, and tell me which book are you preferring? What training style are you liking the best? And also if you have questions about any of those training styles, go ahead and ask me.
Someone asked the other day, what are we going to do with kongs, and stuffing them with treats for our dogs when we feed raw food? So questions like that, feel free to ask and I’m really happy to answer. Please give us a thumbs up if you enjoyed the video and seeing the puppies. They’ve really grown, it’s amazing how much bigger they are now. They’re really starting to look much more like actual dogs, as opposed to just little tiny creatures.
So give us a thumbs up if you’ve enjoyed seeing them, and hearing all the things that we talked about today. If you like, please subscribe to the YouTube channel. That way, you’ll always know when we’ve put a new video up. We do put videos up other than just the updates.
One final thing, please share our video, especially with people who are going to be interacting with the puppy once you get your puppy home. It’s really helpful if other family members and friends understand the style that you’re going to be using with your puppy, and learning what the cues are, and knowing about facial expressions and tone of voice.
We hope to see you next week when we do our week three update, when we’ll be talking more about house-training and crate training. We really hope you enjoyed the video today, and thanks so much for watching.