FOOD AND TREATS
When your puppy goes home with you, I'll provide a week's supply of the Earthborn food your puppy is currently eating—I start puppies on Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast, since lamb is easy to digest. To add variety for their adult diet, I alternate between the other Earthborn Holistic foods--my adults do very well on the Primitive Natural flavor. As far as treats, initially just use kibble—when you need something more interesting than kibble, I usually move to Cheerios, and when Cheerios aren't exciting enough, we add the Real Meat Jerky treats, which come in several flavors—break the jerky into very small pieces. You can also use high value treats such as small bits of cheddar cheese or cooked chicken—great for potty training rewards. The Charlee Bear hard cookies are not good for training, since they take too long to chew—I give them as a final reward at the end of a training session or for going into the crate. Bully sticks are edible, but should only be given under close supervision--remove the bully stick when it becomes soft and allow to air dry and harden again and be sure to remove when it gets small enough to become a choking hazard. Make sure all food and treats are sourced and made in the USA, nothing ever from China. I'll also send puppy home with samples of the Diggin' Firm Up! Pumpkin and Doc Roys GI Synbiotics, which helps puppy's digestive system cope with the stress of new surroundings.
Oster 40-Teeth Thinning Shear available at
Sally Beauty $23.59
At the very least for grooming, you should have a steel comb and a good quality puppy shampoo and conditioner. I love the High Cascade shampoo since it has ingredients that are natural flea and tick repellents. I dilute mine 1 part shampoo to 1-2 parts water. I like to use a tearless puppy shampoo around eyes—the Bio-Groom Fluffy Puppy shampoo is gentle and smells wonderful, I've also used Hartz and Sergeant puppy shampoos and even Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo. Finish off the bath with a soothing cream rinse, like the Bio-Groom Natural Oatmeal Conditioner or Mane 'n Tail Conditioner. I usually dilute conditioners 1:2-3. The Charmar Cowboy Magic is a great detangler to use to loosen mats that can form as your puppy's coat transitions to the adult coat around 7-10 months old. The Chris Christensen brush and the Safari De-matting comb are also highly recommended basic tools. If you choose to trim your puppy's nails, I recommend you have styptic powder on hand to stop bleeding if you cut into the quick—it happens even to the most experienced! For those that want the adventure of grooming your own doodle, I've included an Advanced Grooming Supplies list, also. It is a bit of an investment, but I love the time I spend with my doodles making them look just the way I want.
These are some of my favorite puppy items that I like and use myself.
I would love to hear about your favorite products so I can share them here!
ADVANCED GROOMING SUPPLIES
If you want to groom your Cherry Lane Doodle yourself, here are the tools I use. In addition to the basic grooming supplies listed above, you'll also want a thinning shear, a trimming shear, and an electric clipper with comb attachments. The Andis clipper comes with a #10 blade, which is all you need--the Andis combs attach to the #10 blade. The Happy Hoodie helps settle a dog who is unsure of grooming--it soothes them and also minimizes the noise of the blow dryer. While convenient, you don't need a grooming table and professional hairdryer, but I listed them just in case. I started grooming my doodles on a card table and used my handheld hairdryer for many years. Essentials are on the top row, and nice but not necessary to get started items are on the bottom row. The 44/20 Stainless Steel Thinning Shear from Amazon is very high quality. I've included a non-Amazon link to a less expensive, but adequate, 40-teeth thinning shear available at Sally Beauty.
TRAINING AND TOYS
I am a strong believer in crate training/enclosure training. My preference is a double door wire crate for added convenience (side and end doors)—if you want to make it more den-like, just throw a blanket over it. Wire crates can be collapsed for easy transport and storage—use 30 inch for mini to small medium dogs, use 36 inch for larger dogs. I would avoid fabric crates until puppies are well-past adolescence. While puppy is being potty trained, I just use large bath towels as the bedding for ease of cleaning (your puppy will come home with a towel that has been laundered and smells like mama and littermates). Puppy fencing is another house training tool I highly recommend—a secured area keeps your puppy (and house) safe in your absence or for times when you are unable to closely supervise. The Best Pet modular fencing comes in several heights—I recommend the 32 inch for the house-training/growing-up stage, unless you plan to use it as a long-term fencing solution, in that case, the 40 inch would work well. Another adequate fencing type is the x-pen. It is a little less bulky and a little less expensive than the Best Pet, but, in my opinion, it is not as convenient to use since all the sections are permanently attached. If you do choose to use an x-pen, make sure you are getting one that has a step through door. Another house-training tool I recommend is Poochie Bells—you can teach puppy to ring the bell to alert you of the need to go outside.
Your puppy will go home with some new toys from us and also a “comfort” toy that has been gently used by the litter. But, puppies love a variety of toys, so feel free to stock up on plenty of them! As your puppy grows, you may need to phase out soft toys if your puppy becomes an aggressive chewer—some puppies love to carry around and snuggle with soft "babies" and other puppies love to demolish anything that can be shredded. If your puppy is of the shredder type, it shouldn’t have any soft toys (and watch for socks left on the floor!), since they can be eaten and could cause a bowel obstruction. I like Nylabone products for hard toys and unstuffies for soft toys. I also like Kong toys that can be filled with treats, and I have added links to a couple other interactive feeding toys. I never give my adult dogs rawhide chews since they are hard to digest and can cause choking. The only time I give rawhide is to puppies during their teething period to help them loosen stubborn baby canines, and then only under close supervision—if the rawhide becomes soft from chewing, I take it away until it has dried out and is hard again. My dogs enjoy eating Bully Sticks—just be sure to take away the end of the piece before it gets too small and becomes a choking hazard, and I only give Bully Sticks when I am present to observe. Of course, make sure all edible products are sourced and made in the USA—never from China.