1. Keep the backend area trimmed or you'll end up with a poop dam when they get super fluffy.
2. Eye boogers should be swiped by your finger or a baby wipe every morning and then they won't build up. (super pet peeve of mine...dogs with eye boogies - I even by instinct clean the boogies off stranger's dogs that I say hi to - I just can't help myself!)
3. If you have kids, have THEM feed the puppy....use your hand when they are little....me and the guardians put our hands in the puppies' food just so they know it's ok and keep food aggression at bay. Sometimes puppies will growl when taking away something very special to them (like a bully stick) - my vet says, "why are you giving them something and then taking it away?" - so be realistic with your expectations. If you ever try to take my creme brûlée, I'm going to growl at you.
4. If you are not comfortable trimming nails (I am not), drop in on your groomer or vet - they will usually do this on a drop in basis for a small fee.
5. Do not give your puppy the chance to see that you don't mean it when you use the word "come" - don't use the word unless you know they will succeed - set your puppy up for success by keeping him/her on a leash during the first month or so at home (if you want more detail on this, dm or email me). Dogs that have high prey (squirrel chasers, ahem Benji) instinct will be harder to get to come back to you than those that are loyal. When in an emergency, run AWAY from your pup...most the time they will freak out that you're leaving them and run to you. Chasing your puppy teaches them it's a game and they'll never come to you after a good game of chase/keep away. If you have kids and your kids enjoy chasing the puppy, good luck training "come."
6. Trust me...even though you may have had dogs before and you might know a lot about dog training, take your pup to puppy school. It's more for the puppy's growing mind and social development than anything else (although it is good for you - and your kids if you have them - to learn or be refreshed).
7. Many of you have asked about the balance of keeping the puppy inside while young and not having all shots and getting socialized - the advice is conflicting. If your puppy does not have all of her/his shots, be careful in public places. Do not put your puppy on the floor at the vet. Do not let your puppy go into areas that lots of other dogs pee. Most will tell you that you should socialize your puppy more than worry about shot coverage - I think you need to socialize but be smart and thoughtful. Lepto can be found on a drop of rabbit pee on a blade of grass - so be careful.
8. If they have runny mushy poo when they go home to you, they might just be nervous...use a scoop of canned pumpkin in their food - they will love it.
9. Dogs with floppy ears (goldendoodles) are susceptible to ear infections...clean them weekly with Eptioptic solution. If you take your dog swimming, definitely clean with the solution after.
10. If a puppy is biting....I promise you, it is just a stage. There is a lot of advice out there how to stop it, but the best is "be patient and persistent." Say "no biting" and don't engage in rough play. Try replacing your hands with a toy. And don't swat at their face, even in play - their mouths are their hands and they love to use their mouths to discover things and for play.
11. If you want your puppy to pee immediately upon going outside (a handy trick if you live in the city and for during storms), do not play with them or even talk to them...stand with your arms folded and don't make eye contact. When they pee, be so super excited...like you won the Powerball. This is also handy if you are potty training and need to get up at 3 am....do not play or they'll think it's always playtime.
12. Do not give up on crate training. Do not. ;-)
13. Use Nature's Miracle (see the list of what to get your puppy on this site)
14. If you are in the city and having trouble getting your puppy to go potty outside, find grass. Puppies naturally like to pee on grass. This is not scientific information, this is just my observation from taking many pups outside.
15. If you have bought your pup a big fluffy dog bed, don't use it while they are little. Many of them love to pee on fluffy things - and to chew the stuffing out. Get a small, flat one or use towels that are easy to wash and you don't care if they get chewed on. I use a towel and they are so much easier to throw in the wash than a big dog bed and I don't have to worry about them swallowing stuffing. When they are somewhat house trained, then try giving them a fluffy dog bed. I am definitely saving you some money here! They like to chew - it's fun and makes their teeth feel good.