Important Information

What do I feed my new puppy? 

TLC Puppy dry food is what we feed our dogs and puppies.  It is recommended that you continue with the food your puppy is used to eating to minimize the transition of going to a new home.  This is a high quality food and is appropriate for all stages of growth and maintenance. We provide a starter bag to each puppy to go home with. Each puppy will eat between 1/4 and 2/3 a cup of dry food 3 times a day by the time they go home. A puppy usually won't overeat so if they're begging or eating every bite of their food and seem to be looking for more go ahead and give them more as having extra kibble in the bowl can make them feel food secure.


Here's where you can get $5 off a bag of TLC puppy or adult food:


How much should I feed my puppy?

Puppies will not overeat if given a quality dry food. Your puppy should be allowed to eat as much as he or she wants at each meal offering of 10-15 minutes. After this time, you should remove the bowl. You'll find your puppy's appetite will increase as he/she goes through a growth spurt. His/her appetite will decrease when less energy is required for growing. Don't take this as a sign your puppy no longer likes his/her food. Offering a new food will entice your puppy to eat even when they're not hungry.




Do I need to soften the dry food before giving it to my puppy?

Most puppies have a full set of teeth when they go to their new homes.  As long as this is the case, then your puppy can/should eat the food dry. If they need incentive to eat because of nerves or if they seem a bit thin you can mix wet canned food in with the dry. If your puppy isn't drinking enough you may add water to moisten dry kibble, feed watermelon or freeze water from boiling liver for an icy cold treat!




Will my puppy have a normal appetite when I first take him/her home?

Most puppies don't eat well for the first few days during a transition. It's not uncommon for them not to eat at all the first day in their new home because of all the changes they have gone through getting ready to leave and being in a new environment. You can mix canned food with the dry, or pour water from boiling liver for training treats on top of the kibble to entice them to eat. 




My puppy doesn't seem to like his/her food anymore, should I change brands?

A dog's diet is boring and this is healthy. Dogs digestive systems don't do well with abrupt changes in their diet. When they're offered something different, they will eat it with gusto. However, if you continue feeding that new food consistently, they will eventually lose the enthusiasm shown when the food was new. Dogs don't need a variety like humans do as long as they are fed a nutritionally balanced high quality food.  By allowing their diet to become mundane, they will eat just what they need to replenish calories they burn.  Finding something new to entice them to eat more may please you, but in all reality, you're probably getting them to eat more than they should.  This is one way dogs can develop a weight problem. 




Can I give my puppy treats?

It's recommended that you give a treat only as a reward for following a command.  Think of giving a treat to a dog like giving a piece of candy to a toddler.  It isn't harmful, but should be done only in moderation. Healthy treats dogs usually enjoy are carrots, cooked or raw, berries, peanut butter, eggs, green beans, sweet potatoes, lean meat, apples, and rice, add a little coconut oil and turmeric once in a while for a shiny coat and possibly better health. We like prepackaged treats for learning, excitement and enjoyment. Our puppies like beef lung, lamb, cow, lamb and pig's ears or snouts, goat horns, hooves, chicken and rawhide rolls etc. Doodles aren't the type of dog you have to worry about their stomachs swelling from swallowing large pieces of rawhide. They usually chew pretty slowly and calmly and this is good for their teeth. Chewing is also a nice activity for night time crate training to help with whimpering, whining or barking. High value treats are used for training things quickly and well. These are reserved only for pottytraining in the beginning. We use cooked liver for this. Usually beef liver, and the tiniest pieces yield amazing results.



Caution, Foods to avoid:

Grapes, raisins, currants, onion, garlic, chocolate, avocado, alcohol, hops, meat scraps (cooked bones), peaches, cherries, plums etc. (pits in particular), caffeine, xylitol, Yeast dough, Rhubarb and tomato leaves, corn on the cob, Persimmons, mushrooms, moldy or spoiled food,  Milk and other dairy products, bacon and other fatty meat or meat fat, raw fish, salt, macadamia nuts, and Human vitamin supplements containing iron. These can be poisonous or unsafe for dog consumption. Some of the foods on this list may be ok in moderation but just be aware and careful with what, or how much, they are being fed or what they may be getting into!


  Care and Grooming

Should I brush my puppies teeth?

Your puppy's teeth are baby teeth and they will fall out at about 6 months of age.  However, you will want to brush his/her teeth as a puppy so they will become accustomed to this when they are adults.

Should I clean my puppy's ears?

The ears should not need to be cleaned on a regular basis.  A healthy ear will have no bad odor or waxy build up.  If you see this or reddening of of the ear canal, it probably means your puppy has a bacterial or yeast infection in the ears. Ask your veterinarian what to do with any hair inside the ears. Generally it's not a problem but some pups have more than usual and it can block the ear canal and could cause an infection if not cared for properly. If you see black around the outer ear canal in most cases it's dirt and can be cleaned with just a q tip.

How often can I bathe my puppy?

As long as you use a tearless puppy shampoo you can bathe as often as you like. A tearless shampoo doesn't have grease cutters, and therefore, will not dry out your puppy's coat by frequent bathing. Burts bees has a nice one. 

When should my puppy have their first haircut?

Your puppy will probably be ready at 4 months of age, but if his/her coat is becoming too long, you can have your puppy clipped sooner.  Be sure to take photos of doodles with the haircut you like to assist in explaining to the groomer what you want done. Your Doodle will probably need to be clipped every 2-4 months (depending on coat type, the curlier the more high maintenance they will be) continuously. Teddy bear or puppy cut is the one most puppies under a year old look best in. You should bring your puppy to meet the groomer in advance of the first haircut to get them used to the people, sights, sounds and smells they will encounter there.

How often should I brush my puppy?

Your puppy needs to be brushed daily with a slicker brush followed by a metal comb which will help you detect any mats that are forming.  This will  help keep mats from forming and will also teach your puppy that grooming is a routine event.  Your groomer will thank you for this! If you let it go and there are just a couple mats you can use mane and tail spray and comb them out or cut them out with scissors or a dematting tool. Sometimes if let go too long the only option is to shave your doodle. The groomer won't be able to go through the mats with a comb, brush or clippers and will have no choice but to go under them to get rid of them. In this worst case scenario you'll have to start over with your puppy's coat and remember to routinely make time for brushing to keep that beautiful doodly fluff!


How often should I clip my puppy's nails?

Typically they need to be clipped a couple times a month. You'll want to massage/play with your puppies toes on a daily basis to desensitize them to make clipping nails easier.  A groomer will typically clip nails as part of the grooming service. Getting them used to having their toes touched and paws held will make them more comfortable with having their nails clipped and your doodle will be less scared of the groomer.


 Going Home

What you will need:
A Crate or Kennel and Crate or Kennel Pad,
If it's a full-sized kennel, you should be sure it comes with a divider until your puppy is bigger, if you don't  use a crate a playpen that is high enough will be a great alternative.

We think crate training, if done right, is the best, safest option for your puppy. If it's  too much work for you to continue, or you worry your dog doesn't like it,  then you need to absolutely make sure your dog has a safe place that is only his. This will mean teaching young children to leave the puppy alone if he or she goes to their crate. This safe place should never be a bathroom or room closed off from the family. Dogs are social animals and will want to be close to you, weather in a crate, or larger pup safe area. We do lots of work to make crate training as positive as possible. We don't  like to hear puppies crying any more than anyone else! We like to give plenty of breaks and snacks, attention and praise inside the crate so it's  associated as a positive place. We never ever use a crate as a punishment or leave pups in crates longer than they can handle. If they've soiled the crate, it's  too long. Sometimes the puppy hasn't  learned to be patient and wait for you to let him or her out yet. In the beginning there are lots of accidents while I'm  opening the doors but by 8 weeks that no longer happens. 

Potty Bags,

Metal Comb and Slicker Brush,

Puppy Shampoo,

Food and water dishes,

Puppy Food
(We will provide you with a 5 lb bag of food your puppy is already eating, and you can transition them to whichever food you prefer using this!)
A great plan for training your puppy

A finger toothbrush and toothpaste of your choice


You'll need to know exactly what you will and won't allow your new puppy to do in your home. Changing your rules after he/she arrives home will be confusing for your puppy.

 A Scheduled Vet Visit 
Your puppy will need to see your vet within 2-3 weeks or less of arriving at your home. Please try to have this scheduled prior to pickup if possible.

What to Expect:
When you get home, your puppy may be confused. Until now he/she has always been surrounded by litter mates, or other dogs and surroundings. Your puppy will need lots of love and attention for the first 3 weeks (or more) of being in their forever home. From 8 weeks until about a year old your puppy will be making new connections. Please use this time to bond with your baby. 
Also, just as you love, cuddle and adore your new puppy, you need to enforce your training plan. Allowing your puppy to eat off the table, or jump up on a visitor is not acceptable at any point, whether or not they are just beginning to adjust. Firm, loving instruction will be your most effective tool of training. 
Your new doodle will probably have a hard time sleeping through the night for about a week. We suggest placing a blanket over his/her kennel when you would like for them to sleep. Placing a stuffed animal such as the "snuggle Puppy" in their kennel can help them feel like they have a friend, too. 
If it is not time to sleep, and he/she is simply resting in the kennel, do not put the blanket over the kennel. Your puppy will learn that when the blanket is over, it is time to sleep and associate this with no more barking, scratching or whining. 

Sleeping on the floor next to the puppy's crate works well for the first night.I like to put the crate on my bed next to me. Your puppy will probably need to go out every 4-6 hours or so at night at 8 weeks old so set an alarm accordingly, or wake up when you hear ypur puppy getting a bit restless (if you're a light sleeper) for potty training success! 

If your dog is barking a lot, whining, scratching etc. and sounding frantic something is wrong. Maybe they didn't get their energy out, Maybe they need to potty, are hungry, thirsty, in need of love. Don't  ignore your dogs cues, try to I turrupt the  ehaviors with an eh-eh or shhh. Usually that will allow for a praise, pet and treat. Repeat this until your puppy is associating positivity to their crate and repeat every so often to keep the positivity going for a lifetime. 

Please don't have your puppy or dog in a crate longer than a couple hours while they're napping or a half hour to an hour awake during the day. Make sure they have plenty of tIoys, attention, things to chew on, training etc. during the day so they aren't put in a crate as a babysitter. The crate should be a nice place your puppy likes to go into. Sometimes arrival first your puppy may avoid a new crate only to use it eventually if left there with a blanket and toys inside. Some people feed meals in the crate to male a positive association which is great if you choose to do that. 


Tips and Training

So you are about to be a puppy parent, maybe for the first time or maybe you are adding to your crew. Either way we are so excited for you and just want to make sure you are getting set up to be the very best puppy parent you can be.

So how can you do that.... being a responsible dog owner is ensuring you provide them with a plan to train your own canine companion to be calm, well-mannered and best behaved doggie you could ever want. 

A trained dog is less stressful not only in the beginning but for life. Proper socialization and manners will give you the dog you are envisioning. But you have to do the work and stay committed. They deserve it! 

So start them the day they come home and do it from the comfort of your own house. 

Online training is one thing but an entire lifetime membership is a whole new adventure for you and your pup. So please get started today, before you pick up your new fur baby and make your plan to set you both up for success. 

Visit and use coupon code 
CUDDLYDOODES25 for 25%. That means for a one time fee that's probably less than the first training classes you can feel confident that you are giving your pup and your family the relationship you desire for a lifetime of fun, excitement and Happiness.

Is it normal for my puppy to be so nippy? 

This is how puppies play and often times includes growling.  They don't know any other way.  It is your job to find ways for your puppy to expend energy in ways that are acceptable to you.  The best remedy is to allow your puppy to play with another puppy or young dog on a daily basis.  Without this type of exercise, you will need walk your puppy several times a day and also find activities such as fetching/retrieving to tire them out. We do work on bite inhibition or "soft bite" with our puppies to help them learn the proper way to play with puppies, kittens and and people, especially young children.  


How can I get my puppy to stop jumping up on people?

This is one training issue that takes a village. You will need to put your puppy on a leash. Have someone with a treat approach your puppy. When he jumps up at the person, don't allow him to jump up using the leash and have the approaching person command your puppy to sit.  When he does, this person can give him a treat. Repeat this several times until your puppy sits upon seeing the other person approach. You also must not allow your puppy to jump on you at any time if you wish to be successful in teaching him not to jump.  When your puppy jumps on you, push him away sharply and turn your back on him until he stops jumping and sits and looks at you. At that point, you should lavish him with praise.  Again, this only works if you are 100% consistent with the training. Allowing your puppy to put his front paws on you erases this training quickly.


When is my puppy fully vaccinated?

Your puppy will get a series of vaccinations that will be completed by about 4 months of age. Until then, you will want to avoid taking your puppy to places of high traffic of unknown dogs such as a dog park, PetSmart, or the floor at your vet. Your puppy can take walks around the block and can play/interact with other puppies or young dogs that you know and that you know are healthy. Some people want to have their personal vet do any medical procedures including vaccinations and/or micro chipping and we're fine with this as long as you let us know before we take our puppies to the vet. It may be too late after this.


At what age can my puppy attend puppy kindergarten?

Most places that offer classes do not allow the puppies to start until at least 12 weeks of age to ensure they have a few vaccinations completed.  If you are so inclined, you can hire a private trainer to come to your house.  The 8 -12 week stage is very impressionable and a puppy is ready to start learning basic commands at 8 weeks of age or even sooner. Our puppies are super smart and usually go home knowing recall and sit. Some can even play fetch at 7 or 8 weeks!


How do I go about introducing my puppy to my existing cat?

The cat will make the rules on this one!  A cat that has not been raised around dogs will probably retreat to higher ground once the puppy moves in.  Do not force the issue. 


How should my puppy  travel in a car?

It is recommended that your puppy learn to wear a harness made for dogs that can be secured to a seat belt.  However, for your puppy's ride home it is important that the stress be as minimal as possible to ensure your puppy's memory of riding in a car is a good one.  Riding on an adult's lap will be much less stressful than riding in a crate or harnessed to the seatbelt.  If you are traveling alone, your puppy may have to be confined to a crate. We work on the skill of riding in the car with our puppies and usually by 11 or 12 weeks they really start to enjoy and look forward to it. You may be able to let the puppy sit on the seat next to you if you get a puppy a bit older. The labradoodles are a bit more inclined to like the car right away but most goldendoodles also like it. 

How do I get my puppy used to riding in a car?

Your puppy should go for a brief car ride daily for the first few weeks at least.  Dogs that drool or throw up when riding in a car are typically those that are stressed/anxious about riding in a car. Start with 5-10 minute rides for the first week and extend it to 10-15 minute trips the second week. If we have a lot of driving to do we will take a few puppies each time for an hour or more as long as they seem like they're  handling the shorter drives just fine. As long as your puppy is not stressed and does not drool or throw up, your puppy is ready to go anywhere with you.  Never leave your dog in the car unattended. We do take our puppies for a series of rides to get them used to the car for you, but if you don't keep them used to it they may need to start over! I would encourage bringing the puppy to a place that serves meat patties or other high value special treats to encourage them to really love the car and hope that if they are lucky enough to be invited to go with you they may get a special treat along with a great adventure.