Puppy Advice: Meet Archie the Labradoodle

Puppy Advice: Meet Archie the Labradoodle

Hi Everyone

So I thought today I would do a little puppy post full of advice and tips and things worth considering before buying or adopting a dog and then filling you in on everything I’ve learned whilst having a puppy and letting you know what Archie is like.

So Archie is my 6 month old Labradoodle puppy, he’s at that age now where hes a rebellious teenager and doesn’t do anything we say unless we have food or treats in our hand! As from next month he will be classed as an adult, so his puppy days will be over. We bought him from a KC registered breeder (Kennel Club registered breeder – a scheme to promote good dog breeding practices and to help puppy owners find find responsible breeders) and it was only him and his brother in the litter, his mum was a short legged chocolate Labrador and his dad was a miniature red poodle so they classed Archie as a ‘miniature Labradoodle’ however 6 months on and there’s nothing ‘miniature’ about him anymore! Even though his mum and dad were a chocolate brown and a red colour, he turned out black, so did his brother. His fur is changing and his puppy coat is going now, but hes still really really black which is unusual.

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Before getting Archie we had to consider so so many things;

Do you have the space?
It all depends on the type of breed the dog is of course, and with Archie being a labradoodle we knew we needed a spacious living environment, and somewhere where he can run around and play, we have a reasonable sized garden,  I mean it’s not the biggest and now that he is getting bigger, we personally would love a new place with a bigger garden as he is such an active dog but its all manageable and well we think he loves it here.

Do you have the time for a puppy? 
When we bought Archie we both sorted our holidays out at work etc so that we could spend as much time as possible with him when we first got him, I think we had a good month with him trying to train him house-rules and a few tricks and then when we went back to work, Matts family had him a couple of days a week which was really lucky for us. It’s also having the time to walk him and to groom him which we do so it felt right getting him. It was important aswell to make him a sociable dog and a happy dog which he is.

Do you have the money?
Having a dog is definitely costly, we didn’t realise how much it would actually cost until we got him. He is such a big part of our family now and as the time has gone on we realise that you have to swap and change toys to keep them mentally stimulated, always buying dog food, buying bigger beds, vet fees, insurance and puppy training classes. We had a brief idea that all these things were included in a dogs lifestyle but had no idea how much things would realistically cost, I think we just put an average cost on things when we were getting him but you learn as you go along i suppose.

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Exercise
Labradoodles in particular need about 30 minutes to and hour’s exercise each day, If it’s me that’s walking him, I keep him on his lead because my worst fear is that having him off and that he’ll just run away. He’s so much faster than me so I would never be able to catch him. If Matt walk’s him, he’ll be off his lead which results to him pulling on lead whenever he’s with me which is so annoying! He spends most of his time on his 2 back legs than on all 4 aswell, on a walk and at home. To make you see a better picture, he’s more like a meerkat than a dog haha.
Obviously our exercise routine will be different to a chihuahua for example, its all in the research which most of it we did online anyway and still do.

Training
The hardest things which we find difficult to train Archie is to stop jumping up at people and jumping up and trying to reach the kitchen worktops! It’s an on-going process. Having the Poodle in him makes him very intelligent and a quick learner so for things like ‘sit’ ‘lay down’ ‘bed’ ‘wait’ and ‘paw’ he can learn in like 10 minutes which is ace, but he tends to just push his luck more for certain house-rules and anything that involves food, he will do anything for, which is the Labrador in him, so greedy! We’ve also trained him to be in the car which he enjoys, he’ll happily just sit there and look out the window, he’s recently just allowed to sit up front in the passenger seat so he’s loving life at the minute.

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Any damage to the house?
We are lucky enough that he hasn’t done any damage to the house, I heard all these stories of puppies throwing tantrums and literally destroying everything they see, but Archie hasn’t which is really good. Now that I’ve said that though, there will probably be a big rip in my sofa next week…. touch wood there isn’t! He has been going for all of our cushions recently though which is annoying, I think he just see’s it as a game though because we both end up chasing him around the house trying to get them from him. Matt’s mum and dad actually bought him a little cushion to keep in his pen at night which is sooooo cute.

Crate Training
We don’t keep him locked away in a crate every night by the way, we still have a crate but it’s just inside his pen to give him a little extra room because he is getting big, but crate/pen training him wasn’t that hard, when we first got him we made sure there was a cuddly toy and a puppy pad in with him for at least 2 months but he has always slept through which gives us a peaceful night’s sleep.

Potty Training
I would be sure to say that he’s potty trained, he sits at the door every time he needs a wee (sometimes he just does it to play up when he doesn’t actually need one) but the majority of the time he is really good and I don’t think we’ve had any accidents in the house for at least 2 months maybe?  Maybe once in a blue moon he might but he’s definitely not bad at making it a habit.

Grooming
As you can see from the pictures, Archie has a lot of fur to look after, since we’ve had him, we’ve been getting him groomed at ‘The Groom Room’ at Pets at Home, the service that you and the dog receive is just really welcoming and professional and always do a good job. When I pick Archie up, he honestly looks like another dog, so cute, soft and cuddly! We’ve been taking him there at least once a month as we’ve learnt he likes to jump in puddles and walk through mud often, aswell as giving him regular showers here at home. I’m going to he honest and say that there are times where he can smell really bad but when i’m washing him myself I use the products that The Groom Room use anyway and I get the best results.

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Overall though, if you love dogs and are in a position to buy one and you’ve thought everything through, you won’t regret getting one. Before we had Archie, people used to say to me it’s just like having a child and I always used to think ‘erm I don’t think so, but ok’ and now that we have him, it literally is just like having a baby. He has changed our lives so much that I can’t imagine life without him now, don’t get me wrong, we have our good days and bad days with him but honestly he is our world. I’ve never had a dog before and I just love him so much.

He has fitted in with our lifestyle really well, and at the same time we’ve had to adapt to him being here but it’s great and it’s so worth it.

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