Pamper Your Pooch
Bringing home a new puppy is a big adjustment and requires a lot of "firsts" in making your pet a (stress free) part of the family.
To make this transition a bit smoother, we've provided some helpful tips below that we (from experience) have found to be good rules of thumb.
If you are at all familiar with the coat of a wheaten terrier or a poodle, you will know that they are both completely non-shedding. This is FABULOUS for your couch but might not be so great when it comes to maintenance. The wheaten has a very unique coat in that it develops a fluffy undercoat as it grows. This is what gives them that soft texture and teddy bear quality. This "fluffy" undercoat however also requires a very consistent grooming schedule to prevent mats from forming close to the skin. A poodle on the other hand has very fine hair that in some ways very closely resembles human hair. It is naturally curly and as a result can tangle easily if not brushed or cut on a regular basis.
This brings us to the "whoodle".....
Because the whoodle is a mix of the two breeds, it also inherits both features in it's coat. If you decide to keep your pups hair long and encourage that fluffy/curly hair to do what it wants... you need to be ready to commit to the upkeep required.
First invest in some good 'tools' to make the task easy and enjoyable. Grooming time can be a chance to really get close to your pooch and cuddle them, it should not be a stressful experience that makes your pup anxious. With our puppy pack we provide a brush that we have found to do the job of a quick brush and tidy nicely. You will also want to get a good comb that may need to be used on those problem areas like the ears, feet and face. Be consistent....this cannot be stressed enough. If you stay on top of it, your pups grooming will be quick and easy. As a general rule we advise brushing 2-3 times a week and bathing once a month unless a pup is outside on a regular basis and requires more frequent baths. Should you opt to have your dog's hair cut short and styled, the grooming doesn't need to be as frequent. Follow the same bathing routine, however a weekly brush would be sufficient.
(We are a proud supporter of Ecosolve pet shampoo/conditioner and cleaning products; 100% organic, safe and scent free! See pic below.)
Health Checks & Nutrition
Health Checks.....Upon bringing a pup home, they will have received their first set of shots and one deworming. This first set of vaccinations includes distemper, parainfluenza, adenovirus, and parvovirus. As just stated, the pups will receive the parvovirus vaccine however it is highly recommended that your puppy is not taken to dog parks or or in contact with any unvaccinated dogs as a precaution. Parvovirus is VERY contagious and can even be contracted from surfaces that might have become contaminated by another infected animal. We advise that social interaction in these highly public places be avoided until a puppy has had their second set of vaccinations with a another parvo booster.
This brings us to our second point.....when should a pup receive their second set of vaccinations? This is to be done 4 weeks from the date of their first set. In the case of our puppies, that would mean scheduling their exam for when they around 12 weeks old. The third and final set of boosters to be administered is when a pup reaches 14-16 weeks of age. It is at this time that they will also receive their rabies vaccine.
Your vet will then advise on the appropriate vaccination schedule as they mature.
Nutrition.....After a pup leaves our care, they go to new homes with a sample of the food they are currently on. We start our puppies on an all natural, grain free, gluten free and corn free puppy food. It is your decision what you choose to feed your puppy, however we do stress that is be a high quality option that will not cause digestion issues. Recommended feeding quantity when they first go to a new home and environment is; 1/4 cup twice to three times a day. For the first week we recommend softening with hot water to prevent it from coming back up if a puppy gets greedy and goes too fast! (trust me, they can be greedy!)
Puppies grow fast so feel your baby out, if they seem discontent and like they need more, increase the portion very little at a time while monitoring so they do not overeat. By the 12 week point, puppies should be eating around 1/2 cup, three times a day. Again, these estimates are just that...estimates. I always encourage the families who adopt our babies to use their own good judgement and learn to "read" their pup and his/her needs.
Sleep Schedule & Training
This is one aspect of welcoming a new pup that is probably the most important and little things can be done to make it easy. One thing I'd like to add first is that with this particular breed, you have an advantage. The whoodle is incredibly smart and picks up on commands very quickly. If implemented early, your pup will be trained and sleeping through the night in no time.
Sleep schedule.....This is subject to where the pup will be spending it's nights and what the schedule is of it's new family. There should be an area set up that the puppy associates as "his/her own", whether it be a expandable play pen or designated room. If crating a pup, this needs to be started early however we suggest not in the first week of bringing your baby home. This is a huge adjustment for them as they are used to sleeping with their siblings and mom. First thing to do is let them get used to their new home and give your baby as many cuddles and as much love as you can to help them with the loneliness.
Once you feel the time is right, start locking him/her up at night in a crate that is just big enough for them to stand up and turn around. If put in a crate that's too big, they will have accidents during the night as they have too much room to roam around. Before locking your pup up, make sure you have taken them to use the bathroom and avoid feeding them late into the evening. Do not lock them up too early as you're more likely to have accidents and it's not good for a new puppy to be crated for extended periods of time. In the first week or two of bringing your puppy home, you will need to take them out for bathroom breaks during the night. Set your alarm and be ready for a couple interruptions to your sleep, it just goes with the territory!
If you choose not to crate your puppy at night, we still recommend having a designated area set up for them to sleep. Again, this is recommended but of course there are some families that will have their pups in bed with them and that is totally fine too. It's personal preference. Still follow the same recommended schedule of taking your pup for nightly potty breaks. Nobody wants a mess in their bed!
Training.....This sounds daunting but trust me when I say, you will be pleasantly surprised by this breed! They are smart, very smart.
To start, when you bring your puppy home make sure in 'their area' you have pee pads set up around where they sleep, as that is what they'll be used to. This is temporary and should not become a habit as they get older. The goal is to have a designated spot outside that your pup will associate as the 'washroom'. Once you feel your baby has adjusted adequately to their new environment, start taking them outside. Make sure the yard is fenced or your puppy is on a leash as you don't want them getting too curious and wandering off. Start setting a schedule for your puppy to go to the bathroom first thing in the morning by taking them outside to where you want them to go. This helps them with 'holding' it through the night as they'll get accustomed to relieving themselves outside when they wake up. After that, you'll want to take them out every hour through the day so they are less likely to have accidents in the house. An important thing to note is that once a puppy/dog has messed in an area, they will often keep frequenting the same spot. If you use this to your advantage and make outside the 'spot', you'll be well on your way!
We strongly advise signing your puppy up for obedience classes early as to get them in. This is a great thing to do with your new pup. It helps solidify the bonding experience taking place between them and their new owner, as well as setting them up for life.
Training takes time and commitment. It is advised that any new family make those first weeks/months count and devote the time to it. Consistency right off the bat will pay off greatly in the long run.