Your First Days Home
Deer Creek doodle babies start at an advantage of already having been accustomed to a human family schedule. He/ she has already been introduced in a positive way to his/her bed and goes to it willingly and stays quietly inside for naps and rest periods in our trainers' care. To keep this up, keep a bag of treats next to your puppy’s crate and reward them for going inside when directed. Because we have worked extensively with our doodles on crate training, there should be little to no crying the first few nights with your new puppy. Deer Creek doodle puppies sleep from midnight to 6 A.M and are holding their potty during that time before going to their new homes. Before puppies are 6-9 months old, house training is more about management on the human's part and the better the human does at managing mistakes in the house, the sooner the puppy will be completely house trained. Our idea of completely house trained is when a dog tells you they have to go out on their own or use a doggy door, otherwise you are still in the management phase.
Only reward, praise, and pet when your doodle is in a state that you like or doing something that you like. I know that sounds obvious, but it can be hard at times. It is very easy to give puppies the wrong signals if you pet them or baby talk them while they are being fearful, over excited, etc and in these situations you are actually telling them you like how they are behaving. Rules and discipline are just as important as rewards and a puppy likes to know their boundaries to feel safe. Make sure everyone knows the rules and is consistent on what is allowed and not allowed in the house (ex: jumping on the couch, jumping up on people, etc.). Having rules makes a respectful dog. Just like children, puppies thrive on structure and will live in confusion if there are no boundaries- making everyone unhappy.
Most importantly, expose your puppy to everything you would want them to be a part of in your life within their first 16 weeks of age. During this age, you should continue to socialize your puppy to strangers, take them in the car and in pet friendly stores. You should also continue to get them accustomed to being examined, clipped and bathed at an early age to avoid any behavior problems in these areas in the future. The more involved you are in your puppy’s development at this time, the more balanced and well-behaved your new best friend will be for life.
The puppies wake up and are carried outside to the designated potty spot right away. They are carried in the beginning to avoid any mistakes before making it out the door. After a few days of this routine, the puppies are able to run outside on their own after being let out of their crates and no longer need carried.
The puppies eat breakfast. 5-10 minutes after they are finished eating or drinking, they use the bathroom again. Do not play with your puppy outside when you are taking them out to go to the bathroom. Go back inside first and then go back outside to play.
The puppies play for 20-30 minutes and then are placed back in their crates. Puppies must not be allowed to roam freely in your home. You have to watch the puppies during the playtime to ensure they do not need another bathroom break. Anytime you are not feeding, holding or playing with your puppy, he should be in the crate. This is very important the first few weeks in your home to continue the crate training. If you allow a very young puppy too much time out in your house unsupervised you can expect some accidents. Once a puppy starts to potty in the house it is harder to break that pattern.
Every 2-3 hours:
The puppies need to go potty every 2-3 hours during the day in general. Also, the puppies are taken directly outside after they wake up from a nap, come out of their crate, eats/drinks, or have played for a while. Keeping an eye on your puppy at all times during this stage is very important so you can catch their signal that they need to go as soon as possible. They will usually sniff the floor in a circular pattern. Just scoop them up and head out the door to the potty spot. After they go potty outside, praise and even reward with a treat. This will speed up the house-training process. The pattern: Get Puppy from Crate, Go Potty, Eat, Go Potty, Playtime, Back in Crate. Perform this pattern throughout the day. Be sure that you puppy has finished both # 1 and #2 outside before allowing them playtime. A lot of puppies will do both things more than once. Do not play with them at this time so they know they are going out for a reason. If they have not done both things outside, place the puppy back in the crate for a little while and then take them outside again before allowing any playtime in the house. Remember to always praise them and/or give them a reward for a job well done.
Around 4:00- 5:00 PM:
The puppies eat their dinner. Deer Creek doodles are used to sitting calmly before given each meal as instructed.
The puppies have a small play/training session where they enjoy treats or a puzzle toy with treats inside. This is the last time the puppies eat or drink, leaving them satisfied but also allowing enough time before bed to use the bathroom several times to limit any overnight accidents. Now is a great time to play with, exercise or teach your puppy a new trick before bed to wear them down and help them sleep.
Reminder : Do not allow your puppy to roam freely around the house at any time of the day without complete supervision.
Bedtime. The puppies go in their crates with command "In Your Bed" and are given a treat. The lights are turned out and we say "goodnight." The puppies very rarely make a sound in their crates after their training is complete. They settle down and relax in their crates because they associate it as their beds. In a new environment, your puppy may or may not whine 30 minutes or less to test their new home, but then will settle shortly and connect the new location with their old training. It is important not to get them out of their crates when they are behaving in a way you do not like because they will associate their negative behavior to a positive "reward" that is getting out of the crate. If your puppy does continue to cry, be sure they cannot see you. Place them in another room and turn out the lights and place a blanket or towel over the crate. You can also play some soothing music or ambient noise in the room with them and give them a Kong toy with a yummy filling inside to occupy them. We do not recommend sleeping with your puppy or with the puppy sleeping in a crate in your bedroom as anytime you were to move the puppy would wake up and have to go out to potty no matter what time of night it may be. Place the crate in another room near the door they would be going out, this is best for house training.
Keep in mind you are really the one who is "house trained" in the beginning, knowing when to take the puppy outside to potty, to recognize their body language of needing to potty, and to monitor them closely when they are not in their crate. The better the human does in the beginning at limiting accidents in the house, the faster the puppy will be house trained. We also recommend the poochie bells to help your puppy learn through training how to ask to go outside.