All puppies are awesome, but there's something really special about a poodle. They look and act like a dog that's just a notch above the rest, and when you bring your new darling home, you want everything to go accordingly. Here are six simple steps to succeeding in welcoming him into your home and starting everything off on the right paw:
1. Set Up A Specific Area Just For The Puppy
Your new puppy should have a designated area all his own, preferably set up before he walks in the door. This will be the place he'll run to and sleep in, so it should have a soft and comfortable bed, along with a few toys.
2. Get Your Poodle Puppy On A Set Eating Schedule
Because the potty schedule is directly dependent on the eating schedule, it behooves you to feed your new puppy at the same times every day. This should help you keep your schedule organized, and will go a long way in regulating the puppy's appetite and eating and, consequently, his need to "go".
3. Commence Potty-Training At Once!
Whether you're going to rely on a pee-pad area or strictly outdoors, it's important that you begin potty training immediately. The puppy should learn that potty time is a dependable and reccurring event, so he can eventually adapt to it fully. Expect mistakes at first, of course, but within a couple of months, he'll get the idea that going outdoors (or running to the pee-pads) means "going" outdoors. If your puppy is permitted to relieve himself in different areas of the home, training will be more difficult.
After eating or drinking and at other, regular intervals, take your puppy out or point him to the pee pads and use the same verbal cue, such as "Potty" or "Bathroom". Poodles happen to be among the world's smartest breeds, and given your consistent, patient cues, he'll pick up on the appropriate potty places before you know it.
4. Incorporate Exercise Into Your Poodle's Life
Every puppy needs exercise and these curly-haired pooches are no different. Walk your puppy often and use a verbal cue again, like "Walk" or "Outside", saying it as soon as you pick up the leash. As you enjoy the great outdoors together, look for the dog to relieve himself (because he needs to, not necessarily because he understands going outside yet), then heap the praise on him. Although he's not "going" because he's learned that's the right place to go, your reinforcements will help him learn that much quicker.
5. Try To Keep The House Calm
Despite being little balls of adorable energy, poodle puppies need calm, too. If you figure out a schedule early, you should be able to keep the house a little quieter for naps and "down time", both for the new puppy and his humans.
6. Don't Forget About Grooming Your Poodle
Poodles require a lot of grooming, and from an early age. Introduce your puppy to his grooming tools early, politely asking that he not bite them. Depending on your plans for the future, you'll probably want to start gently putting a toothbrush in his mouth, too. Early introduction should mean quick adaptation, making grooming a time in which your poodle fully cooperates, probably enjoying all the fuss being made over him.
The more you do things the same for and around your new puppy, the quicker he'll pick up on things. Especially with potty breaks, your consistency is his greatest tool for learning. Stay patient, and keep a training journal if things get challenging, so you can figure out what does and doesn't work. Don't be afraid to go overboard on outfits for your poodle, either; particularly in colder weather, they need to be kept warm, and they always want to look their best.