A Community of Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Lovers
Okay, maybe you might think I don't dream very big. And you would probably be right. I never fail to be surprised at the goodness God has shown toward me.
I saw a Doodle for the first time a few years back and it was love at first sight. A perfect family dog but what a price tag. ouch. It certainly wasn't in my budget.
But this year my employer gave me a generous Christmas bonus, and the timing was ideal for my daughter's household.
My daughter's husband was partial to larger sized dogs, and Michal desired a cute looking dog and an indoor one, (because it seems so unkind to befriend one and then have it being ignored outside). This made the Golden doodle, with it's non-shedding coat and adorable looks, the perfect choice.
With my Christmas bonus we went doodling around for our pet and found her not far away, amongst a litter of ten. Of the five unclaimed pups she was the one with the soft wavy blond coat (I wished to avoid the challenges of a curly coat). And to top it off she was a female ( a preference of my daughter's) and the calmest one in the bunch (another wise preference of my daughter's) though not showing any signs of being fearful.
What a delightful choice! She is usually quite calm around my little granddaughter Abigail. And seems to have gotten the idea already not to lick her face, though she still likes to stick her nose in Abby's face.
She was 8 1/2 weeks old when we brought her home and weighed in at 12.8 ounces. 10 days later she weighed almost 15 pounds and we could see a difference in her size already. It was suggested that for the sake of her hips we should work to slow that growth down by providing a little less fat and protein in her diet. I hope that we can balance that properly for her.
We have also learned that it is best to provide her with a "live" diet as opposed to a strictly processed food diet. (I.E. dry or canned dog food). By "live" food, the veterinarian was essentially meaning the foods we feed to our families. Fresh and cooked vegetables, cooked meats, cooked eggs and the like. Avoiding the toxic foods of course, like onions, garlic, chocolate, avocados, grapes, raisins, mushrooms, walnuts, macadamia nuts (6 of which can kill a dog), nutmeg, unbaked yeast dough and the artificial sweetener Xylitol found in some gum and candies.
It is a learning experience. We discovered to our horror that we were exercising her too much. My daughter likes to go for long walks every morning. And 3 or 4 times she took Molly with her for these walks. We know better now, to protect her hips from the possibility of getting hip displacia in the future, we only walk her 1 minute for every week of age. At ten weeks old she can go for a ten minute walk, and then spends the rest of the trip in the stroller with Abigail.
I bought a clicker to help train her. I like it, it helps Molly to identify more quickly the behavior that I'm wanting to reward her for. She catches on really quick. She can sit, lay down, look at me when I say her name, and let me brush her relatively well already.
I bought her a toothbrush because with eating less dry dog food she loses the advantage of it's help in keeping her teeth cleaned. I haven't tried it out yet, I'm sure the clicker (training tool) will help her to learn to love it. The toothbrush is a finger brush, you slip your finger into it and rub it around on her teeth, it looks less awkward than a conventional kind of toothbrush, and the toothpaste is chicken flavored, I expect that will help.
I also watched a youtube video explaining how to clean their ears, and bought myself some earwax softening solution. I haven't tried that yet either, I'll have to find out when they recommend that I start cleaning her ears.
I gave Molly her first bath the other day, I jumped into the tub with her and that seemed to help her to feel less nervous. When I'd finished cleaning her, I drained the tub and gave myself a shower.
She is beginning to adjust to sleeping in her kennel/cage. Last night she whined just a little (no yelping) and then settled down for the evening. I woke her up at 7 am and her bedding was still dry. Though I admit I have let her come sleep with me on my bed. When she woke at 5:30 in the morning to go to the bathroom, I didn't have the heart to lock her back in her cage, so I brought her up on my bed. After all, (I justified it to myself) it is morning now so she's allowed out.
We're learning also to always have chew bones within easy reach to put in her mouth when she starts mouthing us. It's so much more effective in correcting her behavior than scolding her. Like I said, we are continuously "learning" and are open to the wisdom that others have gathered along the puppy way. :)