Puppy Development

Puppies develop quickly in the first four months, learning much of what they will take with them into adulthood. Here's how we start them in the first two months, and what we recommend you do after they go home in the following two months.

Neurological Stimulation

We start our puppies on a neurological stimulation program from Day 3. This consists of doing several exercises with each puppy once a day, to help them get used to new experiences and sensations. This helps them to develop and become better at adjusting to new situations as an adult.

We touch between the toes, and gently lay them on their back - all things that help when one day you will want to be able to groom them and touch their sensitive paws. They learn to adjust to new experiences with ease and we hope become smarter, more adjusted dogs for their new families.

All of our puppies are handled by our family and approved visitors, and are used to the normal sounds and activities of our home. Puppies do not open their eyes for the first 10 days, and they rely on smell and instinct to find mom and food. Puppies nurse and sleep all day long, and mom stays with them to do everything for them- cleaning and licking them constantly, and making sure they are warm and fed.

Puppy Development of Bernedoodles and Goldendoodles

1-3 weeks: At 1 week they are starting to scoot around a lot more, and although they are not crawling up on all fours, they are more active. At 2 weeks their eyes are open and they are starting to crawl and take in their surroundings. At 2.5 weeks we start separating their whelping area into two sections- one area for bed and another area for toileting. This litter box training is usually learned very quickly, and by 3 weeks they are doing almost all their pottying in the litter area. They naturally want to keep their bed and play area clean. We also start them on basic toys and new sensations.

4 weeks: By 4 weeks the puppies are started on solid food. We begin with puppy kibble soaked in warm goat's milk or water. This gives them a soft mush that they quickly learn to lap up. As their first teeth come in they transition to solid dry food and a separate water bowl. Mom is starting to leave them for longer periods at this time, and they are starting to be more independent. They start to climb and try out new ways of playing.

5 weeks: At 5 weeks we start to introduce crate training, this gives them a chance to start sleeping in the crate at night with their siblings, so that it is not a scary experience, and at this time the mom starts to naturally go longer between nursing the pups. Puppies are active and rough housing with each other during this week, and learning how to socialize. At 5 weeks we also allow families to come and meet their puppy. It is a busy week for them!

6 weeks: At 6 weeks, we take them to the vet for their first set of shots and their first vet health check. He checks them over, physically, listening to their heart and lungs, checking their bite and for any other abnormalities. Their first trip to the vet is usually their first car ride, and most of them think that it is a great adventure. Mom is always relieved when they all come back to her at the end!

Puppies Go Home!

Goldendoodle Puppies go home at 8 weeks
Goldendoodle Puppies go home at 8 weeks
Goldendoodle Puppies go home at 8 weeks
Goldendoodle Puppies go home at 8 weeks

8 weeks: Pups start to go home! Their families come and collect them. Puppies are weaned from mom, have their first shots and are ok'd to leave by the vet. It is a bitter sweet time for us, saying goodbye, but so happy to see each pup go to their forever families.

9-10 Weeks: Pups are due for their next set of shots. Pups have their teeth in and are probably going through a stage of exploration with their mouth! They are learning the rules of their new home, potty training, being away from their litter mates and what is expected of them. They sleep quite a bit, like a baby, but also have times of high energy where they want to run and leap.

11-16 Weeks: This is an important window of socialization for pups, they need to experience meeting new people and other dogs in a positive way so that they can learn not to be fearful of strangers. Have trusted friends and families come and quietly interact with them, in a non-threatening way.

Pups are still not fully immunized yet, but interactions in clean safe places with trusted, fully immunized family member's pets are usually a good way to socialize your puppy without risking exposure to viruses.

16 weeks: Rabies and a final round of puppy immunizations are usually due at this point. It is also a chance to get the ok from your vet to start taking your puppy to training classes.