Top 5 Dog Training Books


Starting to train puppy can be intimidating.  First, there is so much information out there and different ideas on philosophies.  Then, you must consider your own dog’s personality  as well as your family dynamic.  The season you are at in life can also greatly impact what you can/cannot do for puppy training.  With all of this in mind, I recommend starting this process before your puppy comes home, if possible.  This training should begin DAY 1 with your puppy, so it’s important to have a game plan.  But don’t loose heart if you already have your puppy.  Despite the old saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks!

The following books are my recommendations for reading up on the latest and most effective methods of training. The goal is to have a game plan in place to start with love and consistency from DAY 1 of brining your puppy home.  You want your puppy to have:

  1. A loving and trusting relationship
  2. Potty training
  3. Good “house manners”
  4. Basic obedience commands and maybe some fun ones too!

I personally use a combination of methods and techniques.  I have learned so many great ideas and tricks and I hope you will find them useful as well! Of course, there are 100’s of  other great resources out there.  These are just my personal favorites and my hope is to help you narrow down what literature you will read before beginning the exciting journey of building a bond and good relationship with a loving, well-mannered pup. Getting the guidance of a local professional dog trainer can also be an asset to your pup’s training.


  1. How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners: Monks of New Skete

This is like that master book of all dog training.  The Monks of New Sketes’ method has been used for over a century has be refined to create an excellent approach to raising a pup.  The cornerstone for their philosophy is understanding is the key to “communication, compassion, and communion” with your dog. They provide information to help you understand and appreciate your dog’s nature as well as his or her distinct personality–and in so doing, it can significantly enrich the life you share with your dog.



2. How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves: Dr. Sophia Yin DVM MS

They say that dog training isn’t really about training the dog, but training their humans in how to communicate.  Meaning, dogs are going to do what you ask, but first you have to learn how to ask them in their language.  This book, written by one of the leading veterinary behaviorists in the country, takes a scientifically sound yet practical approach to explaining dog behavior and training theory, and then shows you how to apply these concepts so you can train your dog to be well behaved.



3. Clicking With Your Dog: Step-By-Step in Pictures: Karen Pryor

My hubby and I had been training puppies for years before we started clicker training.  And it seriously was LIFE CHANGING!!!! It is so EASY, and so FUN!!! This method is quick and even children can help! In fact, if you have kids or if kids will be around your puppy, this is a great method to read up on.  I love this method also because it is all positive reinforcement based so it builds such a trusting and loving relationship between you and your dog.



4. 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog: Kyra Sundance

This is one is just FUN!!! It has easy step-by-step instructions for training your dog different commands.  They range from basic obedience commands to some really fun ones, like catching and hugging a stuffed animal.  Your dog will love the challenge and bonding time with you.  Dogs are so smart and thrive on continuous learning.  This is one of my favorite things to go to when it’s too rainy to play outside.  They also make a special kid’s version!



5. Dog Rules: 14 Secrets to Developing the Dog YOU Want: Kyra Sundance

I love this author’s approach to training, focusing on a “whole-dog” mindset.  She is a world-acclaimed Stunt Dog Team performer, nationally ranked dog sports competitor, and movie dog trainer, so she really knows her stuff.  I love her focus on finding solutions rather than focusing on the problem. The methodologies she talks about in this book are really an umbrella for working with your pup for their whole life.



I hope this helps narrow down your research for your own pup.  I wish you all the best with your training and building of a lasting and loving relationship.  Congratulations on your new puppy!!!!



What to expect for your puppy’s first night home

first night home

Bringing home your new puppy is an exciting day! You’ve probably been preparing for your pup in many ways and now your ready to bring them home!

My husband and I raise and train premium goldendoodle puppies in the beautiful PNW.  I work with amazing families who want the best for their newest member of the family.  I question I often get is “how can I help my puppy the first night?” It is a big transition for the puppy (and you!) so here are some tips to help it go as smoothly as possible.

Knowing what to expect and having the right mindset will go a long ways!

*Before this day make sure you have everything you’ll need! Here is a New Puppy Checklist that goes over all the supplies a new puppy requires.

When You First Get Your Puppy Home

Everything’s new…everything’s a first!

To help understand your puppy, keep in mind where they are coming from.  Up to this point, most puppies have been with their mama and littermates.  They have eaten when they wanted, slept when they wanted, played when they wanted, and gone potty anywhere and anytime they wanted! Imagine the difference when you try to get them on a schedule! (Don’t worry…they will thrive on a positive and consistent schedule….it’s just new!)

With all that in mind, when you first arrive home give your puppy a chance to relieve itself in an area you have designated for that purpose.  I would take them out without

their leash–just carry them to the spot and set them down.  I recommend starting potty training immediately.


Allow your puppy 10-15 minutes to potty and explore the new territory.  If/when your puppy does relieve itself in the proper area, give them lots of praise.  If they haven’t relieved, take them inside and  again in 10 minutes.

Next, let them explore in the house (be sure to supervise – don’t let him out of your sight). Talk to the puppy when it explores to make it feel more at home.

Puppy’s First Night At Home


The first few nights at home may be difficult for both you and your pup. At night the puppy will feel lonely and will probably demonstrate this by whining. These are a few things that you can do that might make the puppy feel at home.

  1. Your puppy’s sleeping quarters should be in a crate. Many times people are reluctant to have their puppy sleep in a crate.  My advice is to always listen to your intuition when it comes to your puppy.  With that said, your puppy is used to sleeping in a cove like tight space and the crate will not only help them potty train but give them that cove like feeling. Make it comfortable for them by adding a soft crate bed, a soft toy, and a transition blanket.  I like the Mid West Life Stages crate because it has an adjustable wall.  You can put the wall up to make the crate space smaller and move it back as your puppy gets bigger.  If you don’t have this crate, you can fill the back of your crate with boxes or makeshift your own wall.
  2. Where do you put the crate? Two main schools of thought on this…
    1. Keep the crate in a draft free area next to your bed. This is a good option if you are able to get up often during the night. For approximately the first three weeks, if your puppy cries, take him out, on leash to relieving area. After relieving put him back into his crate. Do not give him any treats or any play time. Put him right back into his crate and he should go back to sleep. This is considered the more gentle method as your puppy will feel safe knowing you are present.  It is more difficult as well because it will take a long time for your puppy to sleep through the night as he will be able to wake you and want your assistance.
    2. Put the crate somewhere away from foot traffic/people. This is a good option for people who are not able to afford losing a too many good nights’ sleep.  Many people choose this option until their puppy is potty trained and then move the pup to their room.  With this option, set a designated time to get the puppy from their crate to go potty. The first night take them out every 2 hours. Each night add an hour in between potty breaks (next day every 3 hours, next day every 4 hours–all the way up to 7).  By the end of one week your puppy will be able to sleep 7 hours in their crate.  With you setting the pace your puppy will learn you will take them out and stop barking after the first 5ish days.  I would invest in earplugs if you choose this option!
  3. Under no circumstances take the puppy to bed with you. This will form a very undesirable habit. Once your puppy is potty trained and sleeping through the night, it is much more manageable if you choose to have your puppy sleeping in your bed.  Before that–you are going to have a rough time with night time potty training and may find yourself getting up frequently for months and months! –or find presents in your bed…! I recommend going a whole month of no accidents and seeing clear communication from your puppy  asking to go outside before moving them to your bed.
  4. Be consistent! Whatever method you choose be sure you can stick with it! Know that a great deal of effort in this beginning time will give you a well trained and happy pup for their lifetime!

Read more on how to crate train and what the days beyond should look like on my crate training post!


Puppy’s First Feeding


This will be your puppy’s first meal by themselves. Once your puppy’s food is prepared, you will start having your puppy sit and wait for his food.

Hold your puppy by his collar by slipping your thumb in his collar and set his food about two feet away. As soon as he stops wiggling, say the words “O.K.”and release your puppy.

This should be done at every meal throughout training.

It is easiest for the puppy if you can feed them the same food your breeder was giving them.  Be sure to order some ahead of time so you can have it ready.  It is recommended they don’t change food for the first few weeks.  You’ll notice they may have tummy issues do to the stress of the change and keeping the food the same will help.  You can also add 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree to their food to help with their tummy.  Expect your puppy to not have much of an appetite.  *They may also drink and obnoxious amount of water!

For this first day and until they are potty trained don’t leave food and water down!  Keep it picked up and give it to them each time.  Immediately take them outside as they will probably go potty within a couple minutes.

You can also expect him to take some time to learn his new environment/smells and a handful of inside accidents is normal.

We feed our pups Life’s Abundance All Life’s Stages Dog Food.  You can read more about why we chose this company and product on a related article, Our Favorite Dog Food.

Bonding Time

Your puppy’s first night home should include some bonding time.  To help them feel secure you can give your puppy a distressing massage while having some cuddle time.  Wait until they are somewhat sleepy or at least not energetic.  Bring your puppy into your lap giving them lots of eye contact. Dogs have distressing pressure points in the slight indent at the top of their head and the sinuses below the tear ducts. You can rub those areas while snuggling in addition to long slow strokes from the top of his shoulder blades to the base of his tale.

Helping your puppy transition will take time.  But…they WILL transition! Dogs are incredibly intuitive and they will be able to sense you love and care for them.  At the end of the day that is what is most important.

Keeping as many things the same will also help.  Talk to your breeder about food, vitamins, transition blankets, etc.  Here is a list of things that will help your puppy make that transition.



How To Treat Worms Naturally In Dogs


Living in the Pacific Northwest I often get families with a holistic/homeopathic mindset for the care of their humans and canines.  After helping many families deal with worms I’ve finally decided to compile what I’ve learned to share with all of you.

Many dogs are able to take chemical treatments for the infection of worms.  Your vet can help you find treatment in this case. Many will not notice any negative side effects from general medication.  However, it’s unfortunatley common for dog owners to notice negative side effects from these treatments and may seek more natural alternatives.  I also work with many people wanting to opt for natural remedies because of personal values.

No matter what has led you to seeking natural remedies for worms in your dog I hope you are able to find these helpful.  Natural remedies take time and effort! Prevention is key to helping our canine companions lead happy healthy lives!

“You may continue grooming and may also do my nails…” 

If you’re not dealing with worms yet, you can still help prevent them through preventative measures.  If you’ve dealt your dog having worms you know how terrible it can be! Here is a way to keep it from happening again!

Preventative Topical Mixture:


  1. 2 cups distilled water
  2. 3 Tablespoons quality vodka or 5 Tablespoons if cheap (lol)
  3. 5 drops cedar essential oil
  4. 5 drops lemon essential oil
  5. 8-10 drops rose geranium essential oil
  6. Clean spray bottle–Be sure it’s safe for essential oils!


  1. Bring the water to a boil
  2. Add all ingredients to the water then poor into empty spray bottle
  3. Shake well
  4. Apply to dog by starting at the rump.  Place one hand on your pup and move their fur against the grain as you spray their skin along behind.  Its important to get the mix to their skin! (I have to put the head of the spray bottle against their skin).  Repeat this method on their sides and belly. Spray legs and rub in the mixture.  For the face, Spray it on your hands and rub avoiding their eyes, nose, and any open wounds. Lastly, rub the insides of ears with the mixture.
  5. Apply 3 times a week or more.  Depending on how common worms are and how at risk your dog is–up to once a day.
  6. If you start to feel a build up take a wet towel and wipe them down.  You can also give them a bath or take them for a nice walk in the rain!
This little guy LOVED playing outside in the rain!

Preventative and Treatment Remedies:

In addition to the topical preventative you can also add some natural things to your pups diet to prevent and treat worms.  Many of these items can be found at your local grocery store or co-op but I’ve included affiliate links through amazon as well. Here are several options!

  1. Fresh, raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds help expel worms.  A generous portion pumpkinseedscan be fed as a wholesome treat to your pup and yourself! You may need to grind them up.  You can feed them the seeds alone or with a meal.  *If treating a dog already infected you can add the ground seeds to 2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree.  The puree will help their tummy if they have diarrhea.
  2. Anti-worm mix– blend together 2 cups pumpkin seeds, 1 cup  garlic, 1 cup fennel seed, and 1 cup yucca root.  Add 1 teaspoon/pound of food for 5 days on then 2 days off.
  3. Wormwood is a classic dewormer.  But be cautious! This should only be used in small doses and for short periods of time! Wormwood is a powerful worming agent that has been used for hundreds of years to expel many types of worms, especially roundworms, from dogs, cats, humans and other animals. Yet it is not recommended as the herb of first choice by many holistic veterinarians and is recommended if other natural remedies aren’t enough. Since wormwood makes life miserable for parasites, it is also not kind to the host.*To use wormwood, give up to 1/2 teaspoon of the dried herb per 30 pounds of body weight at mealtime.  Do not exceed three consecutive days of use. The extremely bitter flavor of this herb makes it a hard one to get animals to accept so you may need to hide it in a tasty treat!

As you can see, all of these natural remedies will take time and effort! But I hope you will find your pup to be happy, healthy and worm free!

Looking for a natural remedy for fleas? Check out this DIY treat recipe!

If you have other natural remedies you’ve tried please comment and let us know!

Natural Ways To Help Your Dog During The Fourth of July!


The Fourth of July used to be one of my favorite holidays! Growing up, the whole neighborhood would get together for a BBQ and firework display.  It was a blast!!! But it is difficult to enjoy it as much when you have a loved one obviously in distress.

Depending on breed, dogs can hear 10-100 times better than humans!!! Imagine how scary the sound of fireworks and thunder must be with that hearing capacity! No wonder the Fourth is a difficult time for many pups.


To be able to enjoy the wonderful celebration I need to know my dogs are okay.  I want to share with you the natural remedies I use for my dogs.

The biggest thing I do is give my pups a homeopathic remedy called Phosphorus 30C.

I’ve included a link but it can usually be found in natural food grocers or natural food sections.  I am not a big fan of sedating or drugging dogs, which is why I love this natural product.  As a homeopathic remedy, it works naturally. No side effects, no drug interactions, and no contraindications. It will help them reduce anxiety and help them be sleepy through the display. phosphorus

  • Simply place two pellets on your dogs tongue.  You can do this by squeezing the corners of their mouth together to get their mouth to open so you can place it under their tongue.
  • Generally, we just need to give 1 or 2 doses about 15 minutes apart during anxiety and it lasts for our dog for a few hours. In severe cases, you can give this dose once every 15 minutes until the anxiety lessens. 


    Having trouble giving it to your pup or are they spitting them out?

    • If you don’t feel comfortable with placing it under their tongue, or your pup is not having it, you can dissolve them in water and then squirt some in their mouth.1. In a bottle or jar, put 4 pellets in 4 ounces of spring, distilled or filtered water.2. Let the pellets dissolve for about 5 minutes.3. Put on the lid, shake vigorously and then give the bottle a couple whacks with your hand (this strengthens the remedy).

      4. Squirt 1/4 teaspoon into your pet’s mouth.  (I usually use the squirt syringe from the infant tylenol package but THIS will also work). It’s okay if your pup’s  teeth are clenched.  The medicine just needs to touch the mucous membranes to work.

    • If you can’t get it into the mouth, apply it to the paw pads as it will absorb through the skin.  Make sure to give the remedy on a clean palate – no food in the mouth. Do NOT mix it in their food – it won’t work.

      Keep any of the remaining remedy in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Additional Natural Aids

  1. Beforehand, set up a safe place for them to hide.  If left outside, many dogs may run away! The smoke also messes with their sense of smell so they can easily get lost and be scared to come home or not know how to get there.  Set up their dog bed/crate in a cozy spot. Being enclosed helps them feel safer so you can get some blankets and pillows out and they will dig themselves a little nest.
    • I love these dog cubbies that pups can snuggle into for that safe/cave like effect!


  1. Turn on another noise. In addition to being able to hear much more than humans, dogs also have the ability to choose what they listen to.  (Does it ever feel like they don’t hear you when you call their name?–They might not!). Playing some soothing music or turning on the TV will help provide something else for your pup to listen to.  While the fireworks will be overpowering, the other noises will help in between.
  2. Try a Thundershirt.  A Thundershirt provides constant gentle pressure can help to calm anxiety, fear, and over excitement. This product only works on about 80% of dogs but I think it’s worth a try!


3. Massage special pressure points. Dogs, like humans, have spots that can be used to help alleviate stress.  While snuggling with your pup, do small circles on the top their head–often there is a small indent.  Then rub the spot on their nose just after their tear ducts, like the human equivalent of sinuses.  Lastly, give your pup long strokes from their shoulder blades to the start of their tail.


Happy Independence Day!!!



25 Most Creative Dog Products!


The sweetest friends deserve the sweetest things! People are so creative and I wanted to share some of these unique finds with you and your fur baby.


  1. Unique and Personalized Dog Tags!

Back in the day, there was really only one option.  You got your dog tag with a few varieties of shapes that had your dogs name and your number.  Now, check out some of these neat and creative ideas:


Call my mom dog tag


Mountain Dog Tag


Not All Who Wander Are Lost Dog Tag


2. Wooly Snuffle Feed Mat: This fun design puts a new twist on meal time! Helps engage your pups natural foraging skills and encourages them to use their most powerful sense of smell.  And don’t worry…it’s machine washable!


3. Treat Tosser: This gadget may take the cake… it is seriously amazing! While your at work or away, you can still interact and give a treat to your fur baby! This thing has 2-way audio and an HD Wifi camera.  You can check on your little one and interact! It can even alert you if your dog starts barking.  How awesome!!!





5. Key and Leash Holder: The sweetest way to stay organized…

leash holder


6. Dog Teepee: Very trendy and adorable little lounge area for your fur baby! Too cute!!! Comes with the cushion as well…I can’t get enough!


6. Dog Doormat: This doormat is SUPER absorbent and helps prevent mud and other fun stuff into your house.  Made of microfiber it also dries quickly so you can avoid that “wet dog” smell. Brilliant!





7. Outdoor Doggie Fountain: This drinking fountain is so clever! What a great way to keep your pup hydrated with fresh water.  Love this idea for dogs during the summer or who stay outside while their humans are gone.


8. Fence Window: Give your dog a little window to help them with their curiosity.  I love this idea for those curious dogs or fence jumpers!



9. Dog Car Organizer: Perfect for the car dog or the road trip you were planning! This thing keeps all the stuff you’ll need handy and ready.

10. Car Seat Covers! Love these for the car too! They protect your car from fur, hair, dirt, water, slobber, and anything else your fur baby gets into…

carseat cover


11. Whistle GPS Pet Tracker: It is like a FitBit for your dog! Keep track of their activity and fitness patterns.  This creative product is also waterproof and connects to your cell phone.  You can be alerted when your dog goes out and use it to find them if they get lost!



12. Dog Rocks: This unique product can help protect your grass from lawn burns–patches of grass that have been killed by frequent urination.





13. Door Scratch Protector: If your dog likes to paw at your door, you can protect it with this simple door protector.


14. Slurpabowls: Super cute and convenient! They are recyclable and store easily on your leash.



15. Pet iN Action Toy:  bully sticks are a dog owner’s favorite.  But, wouldn’t it be nice if that treat lasted a little longer? This ingenious little toy is great for that! Your puppy will have to work around it and keep them engaged for longer.



16. Zipline Dog Harness Seatbelt: Perfect for the dog that’s trying to jump out the window!





17. Grooming/Massage Glove

Brush away mats, light tangles and loose undercoat with a soft, flexible groomer that turns petting into an effective deshedding tool.



feedingchart18. Dog Feeding Chart: Solve miscommunications with this handy chart.  An easy way to keep track of whether or not the dog has been fed!







19. LED Collar: My hubby loves walking the dogs in the evening after dinner.  I enjoy it too, but I am always nervous about cars being able to see the pups.  Love this LED collar that has 3 different modes and a rechargeable battery!


20. Dog Puzzles: This Swedish design is brilliant for keeping your pup stimulated.  Perfect for a rainy day or just because.  Treat your pup with learning and problem solving!



pawwash21. Paw Wash: A gentle and effective way to clean off those muddy paws before coming in the house!





22. Leanlix: A really fun way to treat on the go! Your dog gets a few licks in of this yummy treat that is compact and allows for a quick reward.





23. iFetch: This is a super fun interactive ball launcher! This is on our fur baby’s wish list!



24. Heated Log Dog House: Living in the PNW, I love the idea of having a heated dog house for the pups to play outside but be able to get cozy if they want.


25. Dog Bandana for Collars: These cute and unique bandanas slide over your dog’s collar! So cute!

How To Puppy Proof Your Home


Puppy proofing your home is a way to make sure your puppy stays safe and to minimize the damage from a playing pup.  Since every home and puppy is different, you may need to alter or add to our list. While you are getting ready to bring you new fur baby home, here are some basic guidelines to “puppy proofing” your home!

*Keep in mind this is all temporary!!! They will be an adult a lot longer than they will be a puppy!

*Anything within reach of a puppy may get chewed on, knocked over, or used for potty.  If it is something of great value to you–put it away for now.

For The Kitchen

  1. Make sure your garbage can has a closing lid or is behind a cupboard door.  While there are many human foods your puppy can eat, there are a vast number that can make them sick.  The smells may be enticing to your puppy so make sure all garbage is secure.
  2. Keep all harmful foods also stored away where puppy can’t reach them.  He might not be able to reach the countertops yet…but just wait!
  3. Keep all knives and sharp utensils safely stored
  4. Put child safety locks on the lower cupboard doors.  A curious and smart pup will soon learn how to nudge those open.
  5. When cleaning your kitchen, be sure to block it off.  The chemicals can be harmful to a puppy if they were to ingest them.  Wait until everything is dry or wiped down before letting them back in.


For The Living Room

  1. Carpet=grass to a puppy.  Be sure to roll up any valuable rugs or block them off! We have cheap ones we  place down during the potty training–that way we can train them not to go on the rugs but we aren’t upset when they do go anthem.  An outdoor rug is often recommend. They are more durable and can withstand the wear and tare of a puppy.
    1. To help deter them from wanting to go on your carpet or rugs for potty time, here is a little natural DIY recipe you can spray on them.
  2.  Keep throw pillows and blankets in a closed bin or closet when not in use–a favorite chew toy for many puppies.  They also love the extra challenge of jumping up on the couch to grab it!
  3. Tuck away blind cords
  4. Tuck away electrical cords and chargers.  A great way to keep things plugged in that you need is to cover them with PVC pipe.  You can also try blocking off an area, like around the TV so puppy can’t reach.
  5. Put plants and potted flowers up out of reach. Puppies love digging in the dirt! Not only is that messy to clean up but some can be poisonous to puppies! Be sure to read all warning labels of your greenery.
  6. Block off fireplaces.  There should always be a screen over a fireplace to protect your puppy from getting burned.  Never leave a puppy unattended with a fireplace, wood burning stove, or space heater.
  7. Clear off coffee tables of anything you don’t want them getting into–including remotes!
  8. Spray furniture corners with a bitter apple spray.  This may help prevent your teething puppy from wanting to naw on your nice furniture.


For The Bedrooms

  1. Shoes are a favorite for puppies as well! Make sure you put shoes behind closed closet doors.
  2. Jewelry should always be stored up high to avoid choking.  Some metals and chemicals that jewelry is made of is also toxic to dogs.
  3. Always shut drawers.  Swallowed clothing can be a chocking hazard or block their intestines.
  4. Do laundry on a high surface or close off the room while you do it.  We already have a hard enough time keeping track of all our socks!


For The Bathroom

  1. Always unplug and put cords away.  Puppies can get burned from hair straighteners/curlers if they get ahold of them.
  2. Store medicine in a high or locked area.  You don’t want puppy getting into those!!!
  3. Keep razors also up high or behind a locked area
  4. Your bathroom trash can also needs a lid or be behind a door
  5. Be sure to drain your sink and bathtub after use.  Your puppy may be a natural swimmer but it is still a drowning hazard.
  6. Always keep your toilet lid down! This is one we sometimes forget about an I will hear a puppy plop in the water trying to get a drink!!
  7. A child lock on the cabinets can help you have a safe place to store things.IMG_1673


For The Outside

  1. It is best to have a fenced in play area for you puppy.  This will help protect them from running out into the road.
  2. Always keep tools put away! Lock any sheds you may have as well.
    1. This is especially important for fishing gear!
  3. If you have a balcony or porch, be sure they are closed off to your puppy as you will be surprised at their ability to squirm through and jump off! They could fall or get stuck trying.
  4. Check your plants for any possible harm–poisonous, for lost tools, or escape holes.
  5. Be sure all paints, fertilizers and pesticides are stored away on a high shelf or locked away securely.



  1. Keep doors closed! The bedroom doors and office door stay closed when we are training puppies.  Your don’t want your puppy having access to them when you’re not with them
  2. Block off stairs.  Going down on stairs is bad for your puppy’s growing hips and could cause problems.  We actually carry our puppy up and down stairs! (Going up isn’t as much a problem as the impact coming down).
  3. We also block off a little area that can be “puppy free.”  We have a baby as well and want him to be able to crawl around without getting jumped on all the time by the puppy.  It is also nice to have a place to set things down momentarily without the puppy running off them them.
  4. Invest in a nice “play pen.” When I don’t have the time to keep an eye on the little fur babies, I put them in the play pen with some toys and a dog bed.  They can play and chill out while I’m making dinner or whatever. This is not a place for t the puppy to always be–but it’s great for the few minutes when I need it.
  5. Invest in appropriate chew toys and treats.  When puppies are teething, they will chew on anything! Providing things for them will help protect the rest of your home and help you puppy get through this stage healthfully.
  6. Getting your puppy plenty of exercise is KEY! If you are having a difficult time with their behavior inside your home, get them running around outside.  Experts say they need about 5min per month old they are a few times a day.

*A special thank you to my mother-in-law, Annie, for letting me use her beautiful home for my example pictures.


Tips For Flying With Your Puppy


We work with many families who want to fly home with their new puppy.  I’ve learned so much about this process since we started! We have been working with countless families and their puppies and I wanted to share what I’ve learned with you.

If you are picking up a puppy, you can carry that puppy on board with you as your carry on!

Depending on how far you are going, flying with you puppy may be a better alternative than driving.  We personally won’t ship puppies, and even if your breeder does, I would consider flying with them instead.  Shipping can be very traumatic for the puppy and can result in a negative start for building a positive relationship with them.

If you are flying with your puppy, here are the tips I’ve learned.

  1. Call the airline first!

    Sometimes airlines will only let on a certain number of animals–so you want to let them know you are bringing a puppy with you.  That way you can save your puppy’s spot on the plane.  In addition, ask about any fee’s and paperwork they may require.

  2. You need your breeder to get you a “Health Certificate” from their vet.

    This is a simple piece of paper from the vet stating that the puppy is in good health.  This paper means they are up to date on all available shots, de-worming, etc. Most airlines will not let a puppy on the plane without this.  Some even require it be recent-certified within the last 48 hours.  When we have families flying, we take the puppy the day before they get picked up to our vet.

  3. Have your breeder write you a receipt.

    This can be a simple hand written receipt from a receipt booklet. A printed out receipt or invoice also works.  Basically, anything that can prove the purchase of the pup.

  4. Get your supplies ahead of time!

    Here is a list of supplies you will need and some extra tips we’ve learned along the way:

    1. A pet carrier — once you go into security, they will not want you to let your puppy out of the carrier!!  They can, however, stick their head out.  Only therapy or service dogs are allowed outside of a carrier past security.  I have had families use many types of carriers and this one has had the best feedback.  It is airline approved and has lots of mesh walls for the puppy.  They say its just like having the puppy snuggled up on your lap. pet carrier
    2. Collapsable water dish–You can fold it up and put it in the carrier or your purse.  A water bottle can be purchased once you past security, or find a drinking fountain.  Your pup will be thirsty! However, they will most likely not eat.  It is common for dogs, like many humans, to lose their appetite when stressed.  Don’t worry about feeding them during the travels.  They will make up for it later!waterdish
    3. Calming Aid Treats–Natural ingredients can help reduce the stress and anxiety of your pup.  I would try to give these to your puppy before you are in the airport.  This way you can put them in your check bag (since they won’t be allowed through security).  These contain L-theanine, an amino acid known for its relaxing effects in the brain. L-theanine has been shown to support increased concentration and focus while reducing irritability. In addition, they have colostrum.  The bioactive peptides in colostrum have natural relaxing properties that work to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. These bioactive proteins have been found to support cognitive functioning and support stress reduction. calmingtreats.jpg
    4. Calming Collar–For additional support, you can get a natural herb infused calming collar.  Since puppies don’t really have a bonded relationship with you, this can be helpful.  I like this because if the treats wear off, this natural aromatherapy won’t.  It’s like backup! If you are traveling for longer periods or have a layover its a must!calmingcollar
    5. Additional Calming Aid–For their food that day, you can add in this highly recommend calming aid medicine. Overall, this is probably the strongest calming aid for flying with your pup. You can save the extra for the Forth of July or other stressful times your puppy may encounter (thunderstorms, New Years, etc.).zylkene
    6. Poop Bags!–It may sound like a “no-brainer,” but it is commonly forgotten in the craziness of traveling! Try to limit your puppy’s food and water before the flight to reduce nausea and reduce the clean-up you may have.  poopbags
  5. Lastly….relax!!!

    I know traveling can be stressful but your puppy is mostly going to pick up its cues from you.  The rumor is true–dogs really can smell fear!! If you are freaked out, so will your puppy.  Your scent will be telling your puppy there is something to be afraid of.  Instead, take your time. Enjoy some nice bonding time with your new puppy.  Try to relax and make it a new adventure!




DIY Flea Prevention Dog Treats!

title1Fleas are a problem for all dogs but can get especially bad during flea season. It feels like I am often giving the monthly flea treatment on a weekly basis! I cringe at the thought of all those chemicals!! If you’ve been following along you already know I like to use natural and organic products for my humans and animals.

This recipe can help prevent fleas naturally.  When the fleas are in town I use this recipe in conjunction with flea baths and their flea treatments.  But if you have a severe problem, talk to you vet!

This recipe uses only two ingredients!


  1. The first ingredient is Brewers Yeast Powder for Dogs.  Brewers Yeast is an excellent aid to a dog’s diet providing amino acids, protein, and vitamin B. It is able to work against fleas because it contains sulfur compounds that make your dog less palatable to them.


2. The second ingredient is Coconut Oil for Pets. Coconut Oil is known as a “the tree of life” for it’s numerous health benefits for humans and dogs.  Having coconut oil in your pups regular diet can help support healthy skin and beautiful coats, a healthy metabolism, and the immune and cardiovascular systems. Yeast and fungal infections are also treated and prevented through the use of coconut oil. Arthritis and similar pains can also be minimized or treated. Coconut oil can also balance your dog’s metabolism rate to keep his weight under control. Another area in which amazing results have been attained is in prevention of parasitic infestations, and apparently curing the problem in many instances.



1 cup–Organic Coconut Oil For Pets (When I run out, I will also use regular organic coconut oil and have not seen a difference)

1/2 cup–Brewers Yeast For Pets (make sure not to use any other kind of yeast!!!)

2 small–K9 Cakery Bone Silicone Cake Pan, 9 by 5.5-Inch (Any silicone ice cube tray will do–I just love how cute this one is!)


1. Combine melted coconut oil and brewers yeast together in your blender. Blend for roughly 10 seconds until smooth.


2.Transfer blended mixture into a plastic bag and then cut the corner (super small cut).

3. Pour mixture into the silicone cake pan.


4. Chill in the refrigerator or freezer until set & solid. 


4. Remove from the pan and store in refrigerator or freezer for up to 6 months. 


Give up to 1 small doggie bone Flea Prevention Dog Treat per 10 pounds of body weight daily.
For dogs under 10 pounds, give 1 treat every other day.

When giving these to my fur babies, I’ve noticed at times they gobble them up! Other times they don’t seem as interested.  They seem to know what they need and when they need them.
Here are my babies enjoying a tasty treat!
Vera, Eadie, and Rowdy all waiting patiently!


Licking the jar!!!



DIY Natural Pee Repellant Carpet Spray!



Did you know that dogs tend to return to places that have a urine odor?!

Meaning they will build a habit of going in certain areas of your home if not remedied. Therefore, make sure the first thing you do is efficiently clean all areas that may have any urine on them before applying any solutions. I use an organic biodegradable cleaner that’s safe for furniture, floors, and clothes called NuVet Labs Stain and Odor Remover.  You’ll need an order code if you’re a new NuVet customer to get started so you can use mine and create your own account: 91207.


Dog urine has an unpleasant smell because of its enzyme, hormone, and ammonia composition. Over time, the odor of the urine gets worse and is difficult to remove, especially from carpets. To prevent your dog from urinating on carpets while you train it to urinate outdoors, you may use certain commercial repellents or home remedies.

I didn’t want to use ammonia or other commercial products because I also have a baby crawling around.  I wanted to find something that would repel our puppies-in-training and kindergarten students but would be safe for my little guy.  Here is what I came up with!

Please keep in mind this is not a substitution to potty training–your dog will just find another place to go potty inside the house.  This solution is to help break a dogs habits of going in a certain area, to help you keep any nicer rugs or carpet areas clean. You can read how we potty train puppies here.


White vinegar is not only an effective carpet cleaner and urine odor remover, but it also acts as a repellant. Canines don’t like the smell of the acetic acid, which makes up vinegar and are likely to avoid the areas that are sprayed with this solution.

You can find it in the baking isle in your local grocery store or order it from Amazon here!


This smell is pleasant for people, but will keep your dog at bay. The citric acid is also effective if you want to clean and remove urine odor from carpets.

If you are using a fresh lemon, roll it between your palm and the counter before cutting.



  1. 2 cups water

  2. 2 cups white vinegar

  3. 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Combine everything together and spray generously on areas where don’t want your fur baby to pee. This may need to be applied a couple times a week as it will fade.

Yes! It’s that easy!

But before you spray it, be sure to clean up any messes with an enzyme killer!  Most household sprays/cleaners won’t work.  I like to use NuVet Labs Stain and Odor Remover.


If you don’t have an extra spray bottle lying around, just pour it over a paper towel and then ring it out over the carpet area.

Where do you need to spray?

I would spray all carpet areas the dog will have access to.  In addition, you may find your fur baby checking out some other spots in the home. If so, check out this amazing UV flashlight that reveals dog stains! You can use the preventative spray also on these hidden areas, after they have been thoroughly cleaned.

Happy potty training! May your carpets be clean!

Latte and Sidekick’s Litter 2016

Last Updated: 1/25/16

I want to make sure everyone knows there is a $200 spay/neuter fee.  Some of our litters must be spayed/neutered before going home to their family because of who the papa is.  This litter has Sidekick for a papa and is therefore required to be spayed and neutered with us.  We will take them to the vet and get this procedure done and will have a certification of the procedure for you on pick-up day.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Santa left something fluffy and snuggly under the tree…


*Puppy Pickup will be January 28th! All of these puppies are spoken for. We are taking reservations for our spring/summer litters.

Beautiful mama with her precious babes

We are so happy to announce that our beautiful Latte had 9 gorgeous F1 puppies on December 4th! She did amazing!!! We have 5 boys and 4 girls.  The first 36-48 hours are critical when working with puppies. This is the point where they are nursing and with 8 brothers and sisters for competition for milk they can lose out on their share.  Because she had a larger litter, we have separated them into two groups to give everyone a chance to nurse and we switch them out.  Jake and I keep a constant watch on them to make sure they have a good body temperature and are hydrated.  If they need it, we will help them out by supplementing a feeding with goats milk.  The first week they spend all their time with Latte nursing and sleeping.  They haven’t opened their eyes yet and cannot crawl though they are quite mobile and can find mama’s milk wherever she is!

What now???

The next step is to enjoy these precious little ones!! You still have 8 weeks (9 if you sign up for puppy k) so you have plenty of time to get things ready to bring them home.  If you are like me and like to get a head start or like to plan you can check out our Puppy Check List.  This will tell you the basic things you will need for a new puppy.

I always like to encourage people to not worry about which puppy you will pick right now.  We will do the match up process around week 5 1/2-6.  I know right now it may seem impossible to pick just one!!! So don’t worry–we will go over that process when the time comes.  For now, just sit back and enjoy all the cuteness!

If you are a first time puppy parent, here is another article for you: 10 Tips For First Time Dog Owners

Here are their individual pictures and weights:

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Since it was a cold winter day, we were all snuggled up in front of the fire…


Latte is such a good mama! We can’t believe how energetic she was after having 9 puppies!


12/16/16: We can’t believe how fast these little guys are growing! At two weeks old they are opening up their eyes and zooming around! They will learn to fully walk over this next week! To help you in future grooming, we will cut their nails this week and love on them from head to toe.  This helps them to be used to getting groomed, brushed, trimmed, and washed as adults.  Your doodle will need to go the groomers about every 2-3 months but you can also do some maintenance of your own including nail trimming, ear cleaning, and baths.

This week I have also opened up a Puppy Kindergarten Class for this litter.  We will only take 5 puppies, so the first 5 to sign up will get to take the class.  During Puppy K we will take care of the first week of potty training and crate training.  You can read more about it and sign up on our Puppy K page.

Here are the puppies individual photos and weights this week!

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I also couldn’t help myself and put them all in our Christmas basket–they are so cute all snuggled together!!


Latte is just starting to enjoy her walks but she is still pulling us back to her puppies! Normally, she doesn’t pull at all on her leash but man-o-man she is ready to get back to her pups!!! Latte is such a good mama and has also been enjoying this snow!

Latte eating the snow!


And all through the house, not a creature was stirring…not even a puppy…

The snow falling has warmed our hearts this time of year and the fire has warmed the puppies! We are getting things ready for Christmas and having a blast with these cuties.  This week is a turning point for their attachment to mama–they will begin to spend periods of time without her–and more with us.  Latte is also enjoying her time to herself though eagerly wants to get back to her babes.  We continue to snuggle them from head to toe! They are fully mobile and getting more and more vocal each day! As the weather warms up we will also take them outside to play!

loving the snuggles from the dog whisperer!

Here are their individual photos this week:

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We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!!!


12/30/16: To end the new year the puppies were finally able to go play outside!!! We normally like to take them out sooner but the cold temperature can activate sickness for the puppies.  They were so cute exploring the new territory and we have also opened up their whelping box so they can access to an undercover outside area when it is warm enough.  Latte is not cleaning up after them as much so they also have straw in their indoor area.  Latte is still pulling me to get back to her puppies but is spending more and more time away from them.  You’ll hear in the video the puppies are also finding their voices!

They are now half way to going home!! Their personalities are starting to show and they are getting cuter and cuter! If you haven’t already taken a look at the New Puppy Checklist I would recommend doing it now so everything can be there when you bring your little fluff ball home.

We only have a couple of spots open for Puppy Kindergarten so be sure to sign up soon if you want your puppy to join the class!

Here is a little video of their first time outside:

Here are their individual pictures and weights for this week:

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1/5/16: We are definitely starting to see their personalities show through!!! It is so fun seeing them grow and play! They are spending larger amounts of time away from Latte and are weaning nicely.

*If you wanted to have a transition blanket for your puppy, please send it to us this week! We want to make sure we have plenty of time to get it before Latte goes to the spa and back to her guardian home.  (We will rub the blanket on Latte for you to take home with you–the link is to one of my favorites but feel free to send us other ones!)

Next week we will start the temperament tests and do videos of the puppies.  Here is how the match up process will work: Between now and then Jake and I will perform a temperament test on each of the puppies. Please read that article so you know what tests we are doing and you can think about the kind of temperament you are looking for in a puppy.

Keep in mind that with Golden Doodles there will not be any extremes and you are going to find more similarities between each of the puppies than differences.  In addition, your puppy’s personality will be a combination of it’s nature and your nurture.  So having a good training foundation is key.  You can read through our Biggest Mistakes Made When Housebreaking to help you avoid pitfalls.

After we have done the temperament test with each of the puppies, we will look through all the applications and pick our top 2-3 puppies for what you were looking for.  Then we call the first people on our list.  Together we talk about the puppies that stood out to them and the puppies that stood out to us for them.  After going over the test results and talking it through they will pick which one they want.  Once they are matched up, we will repeat the process with the second people on our list and so on until everyone is matched up.

Often people are concerned with getting matched up with the “right puppy.”  My advice is always to not worry about it! The process always feel very natural and organic.  And remember–they are all super cute and it is hard to go wrong! The only problem I run into is when people have their mind set on ONE puppy and that puppy gets chosen.  To avoid that, please keep an open mind and open heart to all of the puppies and narrow down your favorites to 3-4.

Only one spot left for Puppy K! Be sure to sign up if you wanted your puppy to participate!

Whew! Now with all that in mind, here are the puppies and their pictures this week:


1/13/16: Finally!!! We have completed the temperament tests!

Now begins the matchup process! I will start with the first person our list after a few days so everyone has time to review and think about the puppies. This process can take a while so please be patient if you don’t hear from me for a few days.  Also, please keep in mind there are other families waiting for their puppy match up after you! If you are not signed up for Puppy K this is the time to order your vitamins and food so it can be there when your puppy comes home!

Each puppy has their own video with us preforming the tests on them. You will notice we dod not do the food test…we fed them right before! Please review the test in order to see what behaviors the puppies exhibited to earn the results they got.  Keep in mind, this is a guideline for you to use–not the final say on their personalities. As the shy personalities get comfortable/older you may see them not as shy.  The independent behaviors may also decrease as a puppy bonds with their family.  Basically, please see this as a helpful tool but do not put too much into it. We have spent the last 6 weeks with them and can tell you they are all sweethearts! We would love to keep any (or all–hehe!) of them!!


Here is also some pictures of the puppies playing with Wyatt! (I can’t even handle this much cuteness!!!)

This week we also clipped their nails again! They should be good for you guys for a little while!


1/25/26:  The matchup process is now complete! We are so happy and excited for everyone now that you know which little love is going to be coming home with you!!! Please let me know if you have not received the e-mail from me going over the amount due at puppy-pickup and tips on bringing your puppy home.

We have been enjoying our last week with some of them and are looking forward to Puppy K! Here is a little picture of each of the puppies on their last week with us.  It has been joy to watch them grow. We love looking at their first pictures and then these last ones! We are sure going to miss them!!!