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Puppy Preparation

So you're getting a new puppy now what?

See our tips and suggestions below.



BAXTER & Bella - Use our code BULLVALLEY for 25% off 


Happy Pup Manor - Happy Pup Manor is located in Barrington Hills, Illinois 

All training packages include chauffeur service within Chicagoland.
Alternative arrangements can be made for those more distant! 

Contact Gabby at 847-902-0773 for more information about their training packages 

Click here to see a video of our breeders Cici and Peanut, graduates of Happy Pup Manor


  • We use Sentinel (NOT Sentinel Spectrum) for Heartworm prevention. Our veterinarian writes us a prescription and we get it filled at 1-800-PetMeds

  • Do not give a shot or oral flea and tick medication that contains isoxazoline class drugs. It is known to cause seizures in dogs and seems to impact doodles greatly.  These brands include Nexgard, Bravecto, Simparica, and Credelio, Revolution Plus. Some Veterinarians are still prescribing these medications and we do not recommend them for your doodle.  Please read the FDA warning about these products here: FDA Warning and AVMA Warning. Revolution and Frontline are the products our Veterinarians recommend. We also use a natural spray by Wondercide if you will be walking in wooded/tall grass areas. 


  • The Puppy Primer by Patricia B. McConnell Ph.D. and Brenda Scidmore

  • Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right by Dr. Sohpia Yin DVM, MS

  • Caring for Your Dog: The Complete Canine Home Reference by Bruce Fogle, DVM

  • Raising Puppies & Kids Together: A Guide for Parents by Pia Silvani, CPDT and Lynn Eckhardt


  • Puppies go through a key socialization period from 7 weeks to 4 months of age.

  • This key socialization period will permanently shapes your puppy's future personality and how they will react to things in their environment as an adult.

  • Gently exposing your puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations during this time makes for a well- rounded, outgoing, confident, loving family companion. 

  • Get your puppy off to the right start by checking off the boxes on our Socialization Checklist


  • Food and water bowls (we recommend stainless steel)

  • Adjustable nylon collar and 6 foot leash - we recommend the Lupine Brand

  • Identification tags with your name, address and phone number

  • Large Crate with divider (dimensions: 36in x 24in x 27in, 40 to 70 lbs)

  • Puppy food - we feed currently feeding Taste of the Wild Puppy food flavor of High Prairie and recommend you keep puppies on puppy food for 1 year. At a year you can transition to Taste of the Wild Adult we like Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains which has several flavors so you can rotate. We also like Life's Abundance Puppy for up to 1 year of age and Life's Abundance All Life Stages for puppies 1 year and older. Anytime you change puppy/dog foods please do so gradually by slowly mixing in the new food with the old food over a two week period. 

  • Bottled water/filtered water

  • Puppy biscuits and treats - grain free treats, Bully Sticks, Beef Hooves, Elk Antlers (NO RAWHIDE OR PIG EARS - they are a choking hazard and it may swell in the their stomachs) 

  • Balls/Interactive Toys - Brands we recommend: Nylabone, KONG, GoDog, Hartz

  • Bitter Apple Spray – to protect the items you do not want the puppy to chew 

  • Exercise Pen or Gates to keep puppy in desired area 

  • EZwhelp Washable Puppy Pads to help with potty training

  • Nature’s Miracle or Odor Ban

  • Paper towels ---a good supply 

  • Check out our SUPPLIES page with links to our favorite items


  • Double Sided Pin & Bristle Brush 

  • Double sided comb – medium/course

  • Greyhound comb

  • Slicker brush – medium size hard (this can hurt a puppy so look for shorter bristles with plastic tips)

  • Pair of sharp scissors with rounded safety tip

  • Shampoo and conditioner – Earthbath All Natural Puppy Shampoo, Tearless and Extra Gentle, Pet Head Puppy Fun!! Tearless Shampoo, and Burt’s Bees Tearless 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner for Puppies 

  • Ear Cleaner & Cotton Balls - Always check your dog’s ears carefully before cleaning them. If red, swollen, or smell foul have your veterinarian check for infection

  • Nail clippers – plier style with nail guard

  • Toothbrush & Cleaner


  • Thermometer for rectal temperature (Normal dog temperature is 101°F to 102°)

  • Needle-less Syringe to administer medication

  • Hydrogen Peroxide or Ipecac Syrup - give if your dog has ingested something dangerous please contact your veterinarian prior to administering

  • Pepto-Bismol (Liquid form) - given for upset stomach please contact your veterinarian prior to administering 

  • Canned pumpkin (with no spices or sugar added) - 1 to 2 tablespoon per day to treat diarrhea and loose stool 

  • Styptic Stick/Powder - apply to nail if bleeding if you accidentally cut into the quick


I suggest brushing the dog from the skin out at least once a week.  Go through the wool/fleece section by section with the wide side of the comb, then again with the fine side of the comb. To prevent tangles spray the coat with water just so the outside hair is wet.  Use your hands to flatten the coat. This will settle the coat and dry quickly.  If tangles do come up between grooming, do the same for that particular part of the coat.  I suggest a quick brushing of the coat every other day to stay on top of any matting that may appear.

Trim the hair short under the ear-flap and against the cheek to allow for air circulation. This will prevent ear problems.  It may be necessary to pluck the hairs in the ear canal with tweezers. Every week to once a month, flush the ears with TrizUltra +Keto Flush and wipe dry with a soft cloth or cotton pads.  Your veterinarian can show you how to do this when you take your puppy for his/her check-up.

The coat around the collar, throat, under the elbows, and under and between the hind legs should be a little bit shorter.  Keep the fur under puppy’s feet clean, as it can be very slippery on some surfaces.

Australian Labradoodles seldom need a bath, but if the occasion does occur, use a good quality shampoo and conditioner. I also suggest clipping nails once at least once a week. Please asking your veterinarian to show you how to clip the puppy’s nails if you have not done this before.


Although some people feel it is cruel to put an animal in a “cage”, if your puppy is properly crate trained, he/she will accept and enjoy their personal time. The crate can give your puppy a sense of well-being and give you peace of mind when you cannot give them all of your attention.  The crate will keep your puppy away from household chemicals, away from cords and other items you do not want chewed, deter destructive habits, and keep them out of trouble. The crate will give your puppy a snug resting place that gives them security and privacy, a place of their own.

Your puppy has a natural instinct not to soil where they sleep. If your puppy is in a properly fitted crate, they are more likely to hold it until he/she is taken outdoors.  Your puppy should be able to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.  If the crate is much larger, the puppy will have the tendency to relieve himself or herself at one end of the crate and lie down in the other end.

Your puppy wants to be a part of the family, have their crate where there is the most family activity. At night, you can move the crate into a bedroom.  Make sure you choose an area where there is good ventilation and not too close to the heat or air condition vents.  Watch that the crate is not in direct sunlight, which can become very hot on your puppy.

Never put the puppy in the crate for punishment. Before you put the puppy inside their crate, take them outside to go potty. Never restrict water intake for your puppy, make sure to take them outside frequently to deter accidents. Learn your puppies “potty” habits and limitations. Remember that a puppy does not have full bladder control until about six months of age. Teach children that crate is the puppy’s private place and to leave the puppy alone when in the crate. Make sure children and other pets do not harass the puppy while they are in the crate. Your puppy will consider the crate a refuge when tired of playing.

When potty training, make sure you choose an area that the puppy can reach quickly.  After his meal, or whenever the puppy gives you his signal, take them out to the potty area. If you carry them, there is no time for hesitation.  Once the puppy is in the potty area, give them a verbal command such as “go potty” and quietly stand there.  When the puppy starts to go praise them quietly as you do not want to distract them, just let him/her know you are pleased with what they are doing. When they are finished, praise them enthusiastically. 

During the puppy stage, do not use pads/blankets in the crate. The puppy will chew and possibly ingest the stuffing. Do not use any bedding until they are past the chewing phase. When they are old enough, it is best to use a pad made specifically for crates. Blankets or towels can be mussed and thrown around and your puppy will be resting on a hard surface, which can cause physical problems.


Feeding your puppy the best food, matched with love, exercise, proper training, and good rest will give your new member of the family the ability to grow up strong, healthy, and happy. We recommend feeding high quality food such as Taste of the Wild puppy or Life's Abundance. We recommend feeding three (3) times a day, letting the puppy eat as much as they wants to eat before taking their bowl away. Once your puppy reaches 12 months of age you should switch to an adult food such as Life's Abundance All Life Stages and/or Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains

Always make sure your puppy has plenty of fresh water available.  For the first week, we recommend giving your puppy bottled water.  A dog is sensitive to changes especially in food. Be cautious when adding things to the food or changing the diet. Any change in diet should be gradual, mixing both foods at first. Do not give to many treats as this can cause diarrhea.

Be careful with feeding your puppy human food. Some food items can be very toxic to dogs including grapes, chocolate and xylitol an artificial sugar found in sugarless gum. Please visit the following website for a list of items that are poisonous to pets:


Before bringing your puppy home, discuss what the new puppy will be permitted to do, what areas of the home the puppy will be allowed in, and what method will be used to teach the puppy manners. All members of the family should agree on how to raise the puppy. You do not want one person praising the pup and another person saying no for the same situation. Also make sure you puppy proof your house.  Pick up any personal items that you do not want little teeth marks in. Electrical cords, phone cords, and cords from drapes or blinds can be of great interest to your new puppy.

On the way home, make sure that either someone is holding the puppy securely in their lap or the puppy is in a crate. Be sure to pack paper towels, plastic bags, and odor neutralizer, in case the puppy has an accident. Go straight home and when you arrive first take him/her to the potty spot and always remember to praise after they go. 

If your puppy has traveled a long distance, they will be hungry, tired, and thirsty.  Feed and water your puppy. After this, he/she should be ready for a nice rest in their crate. After their rest, take your puppy out to the potty spot and they should be ready for playtime. Going up and down stairs, jumping off high places, and slipping and sliding on slippery floors can be detrimental to you puppies. Do not overwhelm your puppy immediately with too many people, pets, or strange situations.  Talk to your puppy and try to sooth any fear they may have.

At night, it is the best to keep the puppy’s crate next to your bed for the first few days. If you hang your arm down so the puppy can lick your fingers or smell your scent, they will usually fall asleep. Most puppies will need to go outside during the night and early in the morning.

It is best to keep your puppy in your yard and not in dog parks or other well used dog areas until the puppy receives the final set of vaccinations.


Parents need to make sure that things go smoothly when introducing a new puppy in to the home. Children benefit from having a puppy in so many ways. They enhance their self-esteem and help them to learn empathy. Your new puppy can be your child’s best friend, their playmate, their guardian, and even their confidant. Your child can learn responsibility and nurturing while sharing in the care of the new puppy. It is unrealistic to expect your child to have all the responsibility in caring for the new puppy.  It is good to involve children in the care of the puppy, but do not expect them to do it all.


Introduce your puppy to your children in a calm manner. Hold the puppy while your child quietly approaches. Allow the puppy to smell the back of the child’s hand then they can gently pet the puppy. Children must play quietly around the puppy until they are used to each other. Children have high-pitched voices and jerky movements while walking or running. Puppies do not understand this and need to be supervised. Puppies may be afraid of squealing, yelling, and running so keep your puppy in their space when your children are playing, or have them play quiet games when the puppy is out. 

It is best for children to sit on the floor with a new puppy. Teach children the correct way of holding the puppy. They should hold the puppy with one hand under the chest and the other hand supporting the hindquarters. Puppies can wiggle or jump out of their hands and can injure themselves if they fall. 


Remember, all the time you put into your new puppy will be paid back through having a wonderful family companion for the next 12 to 15 years. The Australian Labradoodle is a very intelligent dog. The more intelligent a dog, the more important it is to have consistent early training.  Your commitment to raising your new puppy will be returned to you with constant love and companionship. 

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